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Old 08-06-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Wheelin' in an automatic.

Upon my triumphant return to Jeep ownership I took the first opportunity to hit the trail. The two rigs I wheeled in before were both manuals. My current JK is a automatic (I didn't have much choice).

When I first hit the spot where I needed to pop into 4wd I decided to stay in 4H. I'd been on this trail before in a manual Tacoma and I was in 4L the whole time. I figured since I had no clutch to worry about it didn't matter as much, I could keep it rolling at about the same speed as 4L in my auto. The trail never gets super gnarly so why bother with 4L?

On the way back down (literally) I figured I'd try 4L for the engine breaking and better control downhill. Only, its an auto. So it doesnt engine break. So I figured that was worthless again and popped it back in 4H and basically rode the breaks the rest of the way down.

I'm curious what it really means to wheel in an auto. I feel like most Jeep owners (of the offroad variety) prefer manuals. I know you really only need 4L when the going gets rough. But, I figured it was great to use as a means to keep your speed nice as slow with plenty of torque to gently roll along and not dump the cooler over.

Is it bad the crawl along really slowly in 4H? Am I putting undo stress on my automatic transmission? Can you bake your breaks riding them down long enough hills? Am I totally wrong and you can achieve engine breaking with an auto?

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:40 PM   #2
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if you're prerunning 4Hi is okay. if you're crawling along use 4Lo. your transmission will thank you

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Old 08-06-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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if you're prerunning 4Hi is okay. if you're crawling along use 4Lo. your transmission will thank you
X2!!!! And shut the overdrive off.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:47 PM   #4
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I did shut off my overdrive at least. What about downhill? Is the only thing you can do is ride your breaks?
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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I did shut off my overdrive at least. What about downhill? Is the only thing you can do is ride your breaks?
Can't speak for your ride, but my rubicon in 4 lo has plenty of engine brake. IMHO once you have wheeled with an auto you will never own another stick.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Can't speak for your ride, but my rubicon in 4 lo has plenty of engine brake. IMHO once you have wheeled with an auto you will never own another stick.
I guess I gave up too soon with 4L going down. It felt to me like I was just going to cost down way to fast. So you just stick it in 4L and let it roll and when it gets up to speed the clutch engages and it will engine break? I hope that doesn't sound totally stupid! Lol.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #7
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I guess I gave up too soon with 4L going down. It felt to me like I was just going to cost down way to fast. So you just stick it in 4L and let it roll and when it gets up to speed the clutch engages and it will engine break? I hope that doesn't sound totally stupid! Lol.

Thanks for the help!
My transfer case has a 4:1 ratio where I believe yours has the 2.73:1 ratio. So mine will be a little lower geared. I also have 5.13 gears as well. Make sure you drop it in 1st when going down hill because it will shift through the gears in 4 low fast.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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... Make sure you drop it in 1st when going down hill.......
Is it possible that the OP was NOT trying this?? Based on his comments, I guess it is.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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Mine has hill descent, I love it.

I too wheeled only in manual till I got this jeep. I will never go back to a stick, its so much easier on technical trails than my manual was. The key is to remember that though its an auto you still control what gear your in, especially in 4lo. I have an autostick in mine, I'm not sure that's in yours. Some just like it better in a stick, I thought I was one of those people but I was wrong.... I like wheelin in an auto. You DO have to change how you drive though, cant drive the same offroad... its an adjustment.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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Is it possible that the OP was NOT trying this?? Based on his comments, I guess it is.
Yes I think it is very possible it could have been in a higher gear.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #11
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Did you put it in first?

Most drivers who offroad prefer the automatic, not the manual.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #12
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Did you put it in first?

Most drivers who offroad prefer the automatic, not the manual.
I guess I forget I can sorta shift. Lol.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #13
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Haha yeah, 1st gear will make a big difference

I have a 3 spd auto, and I have 1, 2 and D. So I can literally shift through ALL the gears. I think they should make all autos this way (5sp/6sp autos with slap shift).

Try it out and let us know how it is. I engine brake all the time, on the road as well to save my brakes.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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I will definitely give it a shot! I also have to say having, "Hill Start Assist" is like cheating. Its like easy mode. No more need to use two feet or any hill-toe action.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #15
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hill start assist and hill descent are different aren't they?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #16
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hill start assist and hill descent are different aren't they?
I think so. I think they are separate options. I don't know if I have Hill Descent. If I do I haven't noticed it yet. HSA I have most certainly noticed.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #17
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Hill descent will be a button next to your esp that is a jeep and a little tach picture on it. Oh and a the jeep is pointing down and an arrow in front of it.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:43 PM   #18
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Hill descent will be a button next to your esp that is a jeep and a little tach picture on it. Oh and a the jeep is pointing down and an arrow in front of it.
Ah yeah, definitely don't have that.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:31 PM   #19
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When I go off road, I'll engage my 2nd gear and 4 wheel. But if I'm going downhill, It'll go into first to help with coasting.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:32 AM   #20
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The last time I was out wheeling (my first time as well). I was doing greens (easy trails) in 4Hi. About half way through the day I get a fast chime with an error saying "Hot Oil" (though the engine temp was fine). I pulled over right away and let it cool. The guys I was wheeling with told me to put it in 4Lo (took me a bit to figure out how.. gotta be in N) I did that, then went to 1st gear. It seemed to be better after that, no over heats at any rate.
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Old 08-27-2013, 03:52 AM   #21
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The last time I was out wheeling (my first time as well). I was doing greens (easy trails) in 4Hi. About half way through the day I get a fast chime with an error saying "Hot Oil" (though the engine temp was fine). I pulled over right away and let it cool. The guys I was wheeling with told me to put it in 4Lo (took me a bit to figure out how.. gotta be in N) I did that, then went to 1st gear. It seemed to be better after that, no over heats at any rate.
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