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Old 06-14-2012, 12:32 PM   #61
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When I first decided I wanted a '12 JK, not knowing anything about the different gear options, the dealer let me test drive a Sport and I was very impressed with the pickup.

Little did I know that the Sport had 3.73s, and when I drove off in my Sahara a week later, something didn't feel the same. I wasn't sure if it was just me, or if mine was a bit less peppy. Eventually I realized mine had the 3.21s. D'oh!

You can feel the new motor has some pep in the higher RPM's, but the tranny likes to upshift as soon as possible and keep the motor barely 1000rpm when cruising, where there is absolutely zero power. It's fine for most situations, though when I have a passenger (or two or three), the engine and my right foot have to work real hard to keep up with traffic, and if the A/C is on at the same time...well, you may as well just stay in the right lane with your hazards on

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:38 PM   #62
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I have to admit, I didn't know much about Jeeps when I bought mine but I lucked out and got a sport with 3.73 gears, max tow package and limited slip differential. At the time I was more concerned with color and uconect, which was a deal breaker for me.

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Old 06-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by MikeK46 View Post
When I first decided I wanted a '12 JK, not knowing anything about the different gear options, the dealer let me test drive a Sport and I was very impressed with the pickup.

Little did I know that the Sport had 3.73s, and when I drove off in my Sahara a week later, something didn't feel the same. I wasn't sure if it was just me, or if mine was a bit less peppy. Eventually I realized mine had the 3.21s. D'oh!

You can feel the new motor has some pep in the higher RPM's, but the tranny likes to upshift as soon as possible and keep the motor barely 1000rpm when cruising, where there is absolutely zero power. It's fine for most situations, though when I have a passenger (or two or three), the engine and my right foot have to work real hard to keep up with traffic, and if the A/C is on at the same time...well, you may as well just stay in the right lane with your hazards on
Slap that shift lever to the left!
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:14 PM   #64
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Slap that shift lever to the left!
lol he's kidding right????
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Old 06-15-2012, 05:03 AM   #65
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Think he is talking about the "slapstick" shift feature...IDK if it is needed on the road though? My foot is heavy enough, that we do okay
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #66
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^I was referring to MikeK46's comment about having to work hard to keep up with traffic or ride in the slow lane when he has a passenger (or two) and the AC on because he is cruising at 1000 rpm.

My response was to slap the shifter to the left, (to downshift) and get more power.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:40 PM   #67
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^I was referring to MikeK46's comment about having to work hard to keep up with traffic or ride in the slow lane when he has a passenger (or two) and the AC on because he is cruising at 1000 rpm.

My response was to slap the shifter to the left, (to downshift) and get more power.
Slapping the stick to the left once usually doesn't give you hardly any more power at all, while slapping it twice surges the engine and give you too much.

Like someone mentioned before, driving isn't just "gentle cruising" or "need tons of power NOW!". Oftentimes you want to just depress the pedal a bit and get a nice, smooth pickup.

Having to slap the stick around to rev the engine out in order to pick up speed defeats the purpose of buying an automatic in the first place.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #68
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Just traded my 08. 3.21 for a 12 wrangler altitude w 3.73. Wow what a difference!!!
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #69
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Just traded my 08. 3.21 for a 12 wrangler altitude w 3.73. Wow what a difference!!!
Going from 3.8L JKU w/ 3.21's to 3.6L JKU w/ 3.73 does seem like it would be a huge difference.

From 3.6L JK w/ 3.21's to 3.6L JK w/ 3.73 would not be anywhere near as much, though.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:54 AM   #70
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Going from 3.8L JKU w/ 3.21's to 3.6L JKU w/ 3.73 does seem like it would be a huge difference.

From 3.6L JK w/ 3.21's to 3.6L JK w/ 3.73 would not be anywhere near as much, though.
True no doubt, but for those driving the manual tranny the difference will be bigger than those driving auto. With a stock sport S with manual, 1st and 6th gears are both noticeably compromised with 3.21.

After driving a Sport S with 3.21 for 6 months I'm pretty comfortable saying 3.73 is the sweet spot for this set-up. With the auto it would be easier to argue it doesn't matter so much.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:03 AM   #71
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The biggest issue is the Automatic's insistence that you cruise at under 1500 rpm. When I am on a 50 mph country road go up and down small hills, the Auto often likes to choose 5th. Same type of thing happens around town with 4th gear. Unless I am going on the Interstate, I limit it to 4th gear and sometimes 3rd. Off the line isn't an issue, nor is cruising at 70. I actually am happy with a 3.21 when cruising at 70. I understand trying to get the most mpg out of this brick, but I really wish there was a power setting for the automatic or a way to reprogram it to be more aggressive. I really don't think I need or want to regear, I just need a more aggressive automatic.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #72
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True no doubt, but for those driving the manual tranny the difference will be bigger than those driving auto. With a stock sport S with manual, 1st and 6th gears are both noticeably compromised with 3.21.

After driving a Sport S with 3.21 for 6 months I'm pretty comfortable saying 3.73 is the sweet spot for this set-up. With the auto it would be easier to argue it doesn't matter so much.
After nearly a year of looking...that is where I'm at.

If a get a new 2 door auto - 3.21 or 3.73's....all other configurations (2 door stick, 4 door stick, 4 door auto), 3.73's only.
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:43 AM   #73
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Just bought a 2012 Sport after first test driving a white 3.73 and then a dark cherry 3.21, both auto trans. With four of us in the car (two adults, two kids) I noticed slightly more power from a standing stop with the 3.73 when I went up a relatively steep, paved incline on the test drive. Other than the initial acceleration, didn't feel a lot of difference. Went back and forth on which one to buy, but in the end I really wanted the dark cherry and it came with hard top vs. soft top for the white (we live in Denver, so I am guessing I will like the hard top come winter). The white also had hail damage, and while the dealer would give us $500 off for it I hated starting a new Jeep relationship with baggage ...

Will take it into the mountains this weekend (roads) to see how the power flies there. So far we are getting 17.5 mpg on a lot of short (3-5 miles) trips around town. Pretty pleased with that.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #74
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My main issue with the 3.21s is probably the shift from 1st to 2nd, which drops me WAY under the powerband. Unless I mash the gas, acceleration stops after the shift to 2nd. I understand the idea is to save gas, but it's pretty ridiculous.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:36 PM   #75
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The biggest issue is the Automatic's insistence that you cruise at under 1500 rpm. When I am on a 50 mph country road go up and down small hills, the Auto often likes to choose 5th. Same type of thing happens around town with 4th gear. Unless I am going on the Interstate, I limit it to 4th gear and sometimes 3rd. Off the line isn't an issue, nor is cruising at 70. I actually am happy with a 3.21 when cruising at 70. I understand trying to get the most mpg out of this brick, but I really wish there was a power setting for the automatic or a way to reprogram it to be more aggressive. I really don't think I need or want to regear, I just need a more aggressive automatic.
Agreed. The transmission on most modern cars are programmed to cruise as low as possible. This is stupid, and I wish there was a way to reprogram the shift points in the JK without affecting the other systems like speedo, etc.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:48 PM   #76
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The biggest issue is the Automatic's insistence that you cruise at under 1500 rpm. When I am on a 50 mph country road go up and down small hills, the Auto often likes to choose 5th. Same type of thing happens around town with 4th gear. Unless I am going on the Interstate, I limit it to 4th gear and sometimes 3rd. Off the line isn't an issue, nor is cruising at 70. I actually am happy with a 3.21 when cruising at 70. I understand trying to get the most mpg out of this brick, but I really wish there was a power setting for the automatic or a way to reprogram it to be more aggressive. I really don't think I need or want to regear, I just need a more aggressive automatic.
X2! Thank you for expressing what's also drives me CRAZY. Stupid thing upshifts to 4th right at 38 mph and the RPMs positvely tank. I go from "lively" to "what the heck just happened!". On the freeway its just fine- but city driving feels like a tank.
For those that think buyers are "just clueless" for buying the 3.21s- aren't you just special and omniscient. EVERY salesman I spoke to heard the same spiel from me- "I will be upgrading the wheels & tires"- and not one mentioned the gearing. Little did I know they'd sell a Jeep with a gear ratio only intended for stock skinnies. They all sold 3.73s as "only needed for towing". I figured the 80 extra HP and 5 speed tranny were all I needed. I researched my lift and tires out the wazoo before I bought. Forgive me for not stumbling onto the Jeep Gear chart or for not having Googled "Are stock 3.21 gears a problem on a 2012 Jeep" in advance of my purchase. Shame on me for not remembering the gear ratio on my TJ from 1998. Jeep shouldn't be selling these with 3.21s to start, their salespeople should know the difference, and the 24S package should automatically bump you into 3.73s. The highly modifiable/very often modified Jeep should be the last vehicle you should be worried about in terms of gearing and/or tire changes. Someone else has said it- and I don't mean to insult all the 3.21s owners out there (myself included)- 3.21s shouldn't be stock on a Jeep to begin with. And you shouldn't have to sign onto a Jeep forum to know it.
(No, I am not bitter.)
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:43 PM   #77
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i was a brain dead bone head when i ORDERED... gearing and differentials weren't even in my thoughts. regrettably, my first OlllllllO

everything she does though, she does well... but i know i'm missing out sans 3.73's and LSD. it's hilly here. right foot heavy.

i've long decided on 4:10's and ETT-LSD... but... i think if i'm going that far... i might as well just put on 4:10's with eaton lockers. -think the Dana 30 can handle it? i will certainly be off road, but no plans to scale the lion's back @ moab anytime soon.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:48 PM   #78
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What ratio would YOU ( " YOU " being the resident expert ) suggest on a 2012 Sport 2 door, 6 speed, 33"s, daily driver, town and hwy, no towing, counting on somewhat decent mileage.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #79
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ohh... folks... ALWAYS go with the manual!!!
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #80
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What ratio would YOU ( " YOU " being the resident expert ) suggest on a 2012 Sport 2 door, 6 speed, 33"s, daily driver, town and hwy, no towing, counting on somewhat decent mileage.

3.73's on everything except 2012/13 2-door autos that will be stay stock, and be used for simple commuting and very light wheeling.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:52 PM   #81
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What ratio would YOU ( " YOU " being the resident expert ) suggest on a 2012 Sport 2 door, 6 speed, 33"s, daily driver, town and hwy, no towing, counting on somewhat decent mileage.
It's a 6 speed MANUAL !!
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:59 PM   #82
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Great thread guys, has helped a lot. I plan on building a JKU with a manual and hard top, but was torn between 3.21 and 3.73 gear ratio. I've been driving lifted jeeps for many years, but this JKU is going to be my dd and family vehicle, so I don't plan on running big tires or a lift, and minimal offroading. I've decided to stick with the 3.21 to optimize fuel economy.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:58 AM   #83
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I wanted 3.73s mainly because it doubles the tow rating to 2000lbs on the 2 door model.

After buying it, I'm glad I went 3.73s. Stop and go is so much easier..you can just about pop the clutch at idle in 1st and not stall it.

Freeway isn't too bad at 70..around 2500rpm I believe..but I have the smaller 16" wheel/tire combo.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:12 PM   #84
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I wanted 3.73s mainly because it doubles the tow rating to 2000lbs on the 2 door model.

After buying it, I'm glad I went 3.73s. Stop and go is so much easier..you can just about pop the clutch at idle in 1st and not stall it.

Freeway isn't too bad at 70..around 2500rpm I believe..but I have the smaller 16" wheel/tire combo.
Exactly why I ordered 3.73s on my 6 speed manual. I test drove both 3.21 and 3.73 and thought the 3.73 was much easier to drive. The 3.21 almost turned me off to even getting a Jeep until I tried the 3.73.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #85
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3.73's are the best decision i didn't know i made !
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:34 PM   #86
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I wanted 3.73s mainly because it doubles the tow rating to 2000lbs on the 2 door model.

After buying it, I'm glad I went 3.73s. Stop and go is so much easier..you can just about pop the clutch at idle in 1st and not stall it.

Freeway isn't too bad at 70..around 2500rpm I believe..but I have the smaller 16" wheel/tire combo.
On the 2012's and above, all 2-doors have a 2000 pound tow rating, regardless of tranny or axle ratio.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:09 PM   #87
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On the 2012's and above, all 2-doors have a 2000 pound tow rating, regardless of tranny or axle ratio.
Not according to page 73 of the owner's manual.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:54 PM   #88
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2012 Tow chart
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:08 PM   #89
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Ouch. More bad news on the 3.21s.
Gotta stop looking at this stuff.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #90
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Not according to page 73 of the owner's manual.
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2012 Tow chart
The owner's manual is incorrect. It is still set up for the 2011's. (Notice the lack of 3.21's for an auto which were not available in 2011).

http://www.jeeppr.com/jeep/pdf/2012_...gler_Specs.pdf

If you pull the 2011 owners manual, you will see the same chart that you posted. I emailed Jeep and tried to tell them about the error. The response I got was that 3.21's are not available on 2012's with autos.

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