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Old 10-31-2013, 12:58 PM   #31
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I don't agree with that... It has long throws, basically feels like a truck transmission. From what he's saying it sounds like the manual is worlds better than the new auto running larger tires.

Unless you spend the extra for the Rubicon, 3.73 is as high as you can go.
Ya think?

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Old 10-31-2013, 12:59 PM   #32
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Wait, so what I'm getting from your post is that I can take my Jeep to the dealer and get them to install 3.73 gears as if they were a factory option (at $495)?
No, you can only do that if you are factory ordering. If you are buying off the lot you have to find one that already has the 3.73s installed from the factory. If you want gears installed aftermarket, the going rate is anywhere from $1000-$2000 depending on where you are in the country. Around me, its an average of $1500.

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Old 10-31-2013, 12:59 PM   #33
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MikeDBoyd,

It's worth asking where you live and what kind of driving you do, miles per year, mostly highway, etc. Also, are you pretty sure you're sticking with a factory 32" tire?

Driving around 30K miles/year I have had my heavy 35's and 4.10s ('12 auto JKUR') yield around 250 miles between fillups, whereas a factory 32" with 3.21's can get ~330 miles ('13 JKU). A 3.73 with stock tires will give you closer to the 3.21 numbers. If the engine runs much higher than 2600 rpm or you run a heavy tire, your mpg goes down considerably.

Around town, with stock tires you won't likely won't notice a difference - the same holds true if you are crossing Kansas with the cruise control on.

However, on hilly terrain - the 3.73's will be better.

PS. I have no vested interest, I just have been fortunate enough to drive all 3 with varied tires quite a bit over the last 3 years. (two trips to Yellowstone, five to Colorado, and to the Outer Banks countless times.)

PS. You really can't screw this up - whatever you get will be fine and you can always trade it in (because it's high resale) on a new one.

PSS. If you drive a lot, get the Sirius/XM option.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #34
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First I've heard that the manual isn't a quality manual transmission. Is that real?
By quality, I don't mean it will rattle and fall apart. It is very sloppy (nothing like a honda or a manual tranny in a sports car), it does have much more issues than the auto (popping out of gear, throwout bearing issues, vibrations, etc). I don't think it is a pleasant driving experience like a sports car with a manual is. With the manual mode available on the autos that will hold a gear, and advantage the manual had over the auto went out the window. Personal opinion.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:04 PM   #35
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I had a 2000 TJ for many years before I bought my JK (2013, Auto, 3.21s), I think my Wrangler hauls ass compared to my old TJ. I don't rock climb, run on mostly flat land (Louisiana), don't tow a boat, and am firmly in middle age. I LOVE my Wrangler like it is, and have no desire to jack it up and mount huge shoes (my wife is barely over 5' and can hardly climb in as it is). When the factory rubber wears out, I will install 265s or maybe 285s, but even at that I am going from a 32" tire to a 33" tire in the case of the 285s.

From my personal experience, a JK w/ auto and 3.21s works great. Get's better than 20mpg on the Interstate too...something my TJ wouldn't do if towed on a trailer.

But then, I'm OBVIOUSLY not a REAL Jeeper.
No need to get defensive. I had 3.21s as well. You have a 2 door, OP wants an unlimited, and the 3.21s are worse on the unlimited. This thread is also designed to help him make the correct purchase off the bat, and not make the same mistake MANY of us made when we bought our Jeeps. It has nothing to do with being a "real" Jeeper. I took my 3.21 equipped sahara to the peaks of Colorado and through the sand and rock in moab...it is simply to help a fellow member make a wise decision, and nothing more.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:57 PM   #36
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By quality, I don't mean it will rattle and fall apart. It is very sloppy (nothing like a honda or a manual tranny in a sports car), it does have much more issues than the auto (popping out of gear, throwout bearing issues, vibrations, etc). I don't think it is a pleasant driving experience like a sports car with a manual is. With the manual mode available on the autos that will hold a gear, and advantage the manual had over the auto went out the window. Personal opinion.
They dropped my transmission twice and it still rattles. But, even though these things have been used since 05 (or earlier) in wranglers, I haven't read of any long-term mechanical problems with this 6 speed. Jump of of gear problems were fixed after December 2011. Throw out bearings are still a concern.

As stated, the manual is fine if you're not expecting a slick shifting unit from a car with a lot of feedback. My '96 Nissan 200sx with 200k miles on it shifts far better than the Jeep. However, the transmission has character. I personally would not trade it for any automatic. People who are passionate about manuals don't care if automatics are better. If they invent an auto that produces beer, I might consider it.

If you're on the fence, get the auto.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:20 PM   #37
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MikeDBoyd,

It's worth asking where you live and what kind of driving you do, miles per year, mostly highway, etc. Also, are you pretty sure you're sticking with a factory 32" tire?

Driving around 30K miles/year I have had my heavy 35's and 4.10s ('12 auto JKUR') yield around 250 miles between fillups, whereas a factory 32" with 3.21's can get ~330 miles ('13 JKU). A 3.73 with stock tires will give you closer to the 3.21 numbers. If the engine runs much higher than 2600 rpm or you run a heavy tire, your mpg goes down considerably.

Around town, with stock tires you won't likely won't notice a difference - the same holds true if you are crossing Kansas with the cruise control on.

However, on hilly terrain - the 3.73's will be better.

PS. I have no vested interest, I just have been fortunate enough to drive all 3 with varied tires quite a bit over the last 3 years. (two trips to Yellowstone, five to Colorado, and to the Outer Banks countless times.)

PS. You really can't screw this up - whatever you get will be fine and you can always trade it in (because it's high resale) on a new one.

PSS. If you drive a lot, get the Sirius/XM option.
I live in Kansas City, north side. I probably drive just under 10k per year, mostly around town, some within a few hours. KC North is hilly, but not like Branson, etc. When the first tires wear out, I may go to a knobbier, 1 size bigger tire, but that's likely the limit, for me. I've driven the auto and the manual, though I don't know the gear ratio's of the ones I drove. I thought I'd grown out of wanting the manual (30 years of driving manual tranny's) but when I test drove the stick, I really liked it (on a Sahara).
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #38
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I drive through your area 2-3x/year. It is relatively hilly. I'd go with a 3.73.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:45 PM   #39
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3.73 is sounding better also, because as much as I hate to admit it, I occasionally have some issue getting started on steeper inclines, with a stick. I was fine till one fateful evening in Branson, MO that I was in traffic on one of those mega-hills they have. Had to eventually trade places with my wife and she was able to get it going. Panic attack? something anyway. Ever since then I've been very aware when I'm having to get started on a steep incline. Gonna go with the 3.73, just for peace of mind. the 2 second hill brake delay sounds pretty good too.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:47 PM   #40
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3.73 is sounding better also, because as much as I hate to admit it, I occasionally have some issue getting started on steeper inclines, with a stick. I was fine till one fateful evening in Branson, MO that I was in traffic on one of those mega-hills they have. Had to eventually trade places with my wife and she was able to get it going. Panic attack? something anyway. Ever since then I've been very aware when I'm having to get started on a steep incline. Gonna go with the 3.73, just for peace of mind. the 2 second hill brake delay sounds pretty good too.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:52 PM   #41
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Don't even think about 3.21's if you have an option. The difference in fuel mileage MIGHT be somewhere around .2 mpg at best. I've owned Jeeps, trucks and other SUV's for over 40 years. It should be a crime for a manufacturer to make any of them with anything less than 3.55's. I've gone through that disappointment in the past. 3.73's are adequate for tires up to about 31". I wouldn't want the 3.21's with anything over 29", and even then would feel underpowered.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:57 PM   #42
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I don't think it is a pleasant driving experience like a sports car with a manual is.
Exactly. Of the seven vehicles (cars, trucks, and my '98 TJ) I've owned with manuals, my '12 JK was by far the least enjoyable to drive.

If it were me ordering up a brand spankin' new Unlimited, I'd get the auto AND the 3.73s.....
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:33 PM   #43
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Ya think?
Is there a better way to describe it to someone who doesn't know?
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:41 PM   #44
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"The manual on the other hand is probably one of the worst manual transmissions available on modern automobiles".
Is this based on your personal, subjective opinion, or in facts? I've owned over 25 vehicles with manual transmissions and this one is pretty good.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:11 PM   #45
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I came from Acura/Honda manual....so I'm biased.

But for me, the issue wasn't simply the Jeep manual tranny itself...it was a combination of factors. We all hate the drive by wire throttle with the first 20% of of the pedal being deadspace. But when you couple a long throw shift mated to a high clutch release and trying to deal with the drive by wire throttle...it just seems bad (in comparison to a Honda manual..or the new auto). But here is the thing.... I could have probably gotten used to the quirkiness of the shifting. I think the JOG's and throw-out bearings are items covered under warranty...so I could maybe have lived with that as well. However...the useless (and hard to replace) parking brake was an absolute deal killer. I have a pic on my phone from about a month ago where a Jeep rolled into another car in the a parking lot...on a very, very, very slight incline. I looked in the Jeep, the parking brake was set....it just didn't hold.

Weak parking brake on an auto? Meh...
Weak parking brake on a manual? Major red flag. (I'm bad about putting my car in gear when I park...but...my parking brake works great and is easy to adjust. It uses the rear disk brake and it "reset" when you change brake pads)
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:15 PM   #46
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I've got 285's, heavy Nitto Grapplers and 3.21 and I call my Jeep "Zippy". It's got lots of pep and drove someone home last night who said that they were impressed because the transmission never had to downshift or lost its gear going up hills on the highway here.

That 285 HP engine does very well and I've not had problems offroad either. I had a FJ previously with 3.73's and a 265 HP engine and I thought it was a dog by comparison.

So, in reality there is really no issue with the 3.21's, however given the choice I would select 3.73's without a doubt. If the 3.21's are this good then I would imagine the 3.73's are even better. However, I am fully cognizant of the fact that most people have budget constraints. My point being that if you are one of these people, the 3.21's are pretty sweet in their own right. I wouldn't get too worked up otherwise.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:39 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Gonzos Wrangler View Post
"The manual on the other hand is probably one of the worst manual transmissions available on modern automobiles".
Is this based on your personal, subjective opinion, or in facts? I've owned over 25 vehicles with manual transmissions and this one is pretty good.
Please read that comment in the context of the rest of the post. Yes, I have driven almost every manual transmission on the market available in the US, from Porsches to BMW, to honda, to acura to ferrari to saab, to audi, to mazda, the list goes on and on. The wrangler is by far the WORST. I am placing the wrangler into the "car" category and not the "truck" category. It is not smooth and not refined. I clearly said that it DOES NOT mean that it will fall apart, I was merely talking in context of driving dynamics. Having said that, the JK manual is known for having numerous issues. The comment again was to inform the OP to make a wise purchasing decision. Very few on this forum badmouth things they have. If they have a manual, its the best thing in the world. If they have 3.21s, they are awesome. If they have product x, its amazing. That doesn't help new buyers. Im an honest guy, and tell it like it is. I had a 3.21 Sahara. I thought it was ok, but thats because I tootled around town. As soon as I started driving around the country, I realized how much they suck. I had them, and thats the truth as far as I see it. I hated them so much it was one of the major reasons I traded in my 2012, giving up a color that I was in love with no less. I will fully admit when I made a mistake with a purchase, something you seldom see on forums. Many don't want to swallow the "I made a bad purchase pill" and do not provide honest feedback. So again, the point I was trying to make isn't manual vs auto in the abstract...it was about the WRANGLER manual transmission PHYSICALLY vs the auto...there is no comparison IMHO in smoothness and refinement. If you have a manual, thats fine, absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, I want the OP to know the potential issues with the manual, the honest driving dynamics of it, etc. I tell others exactly the things I would want to hear from members if I was looking for a new vehicle.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:01 PM   #48
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Here is my experience with the 3.21 mileage in my jku. If you're doing a lot of long distance highway driving, it definitely gets good mileage. On a 500km trip, we got 9.5l per 100km. Now, absolutely anything other than cruising in 5th(I'm referring to the auto), there will be no benefit whatsoever, and it may even be a hindrance to mileage IMHO. I've done regears myself,(years ago) and am patiently waiting for a set of nearly new 4.10s to pop up on Kijiji.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:00 PM   #49
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Again - thank you all.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:48 PM   #50
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I've got 285's, heavy Nitto Grapplers and 3.21 and I call my Jeep "Zippy". It's got lots of pep and drove someone home last night who said that they were impressed because the transmission never had to downshift or lost its gear going up hills on the highway here.

That 285 HP engine does very well and I've not had problems offroad either. I had a FJ previously with 3.73's and a 265 HP engine and I thought it was a dog by comparison.

So, in reality there is really no issue with the 3.21's, however given the choice I would select 3.73's without a doubt. If the 3.21's are this good then I would imagine the 3.73's are even better. However, I am fully cognizant of the fact that most people have budget constraints. My point being that if you are one of these people, the 3.21's are pretty sweet in their own right. I wouldn't get too worked up otherwise.
Yep same for me. I consider the 3.6/ auto with 3:21 to be zippy even with 33s and I am very happy with it. But there is no logical reason to not get the 3:73s if you are ordering or the dealer has one in stock.The bump from 3:21 to 3:73 is small and mileage should not be much worse while power should be somewhat better.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:24 AM   #51
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Yep same for me. I consider the 3.6/ auto with 3:21 to be zippy even with 33s and I am very happy with it.
The difference of opinion must be due to different styles of driving, what other vehicles people have driven, and lack of comparison with other vehicles.

Yes, if you normally drive with a heavy foot then the 3.21's will be "zippy" because when you rev it up the pentastar makes decent power. However, basically any vehicle will be "zippy" with a leadfoot behind the wheel. What if you don't drive with a lead foot? The 3.21's keep RPM's way down where there's no torque. You're not going anywhere.

Yes, if you're used to big, heavy vehicles then the 3.21's will be "zippy" because in comparison, it's not so bad. What if you're used to driving a lighter sedan with a much better power to weight ratio? The 3.21's will make you feel bogged down.

Yes, if you're just looking at how fast you're going when mashing the gas, then 3.21's will feel zippy. But the guy accelerating next to you is using 1/4 throttle while you're using 3/4 throttle. How do 3.21's do when you're light on the gas? When you're not revving it out past 3000rpm in every gear? Answer: not so hot. Shifting over 3000rpm to keep up with traffic is the opposite of zippy. In my opinion you should be able to keep up with traffic without going over 2000rpm. For comparison, you can keep a torquey V8 under 1500rpm all day and do just fine. The motor shouldn't have to be working hard to keep up with a Prius. Sure it's zippy if you're revving to 5000rpm. But if you have to go 3/4 throttle and rev to 4000rpm to keep up with a Camry accelerating from a red light, I hate to break it to you but that's not zippy.

I can't wait to get some 4.56's in this thing. I might even go 4.88 because I rarely do any highway driving so I only get over 60mph every once in a blue moon.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:56 AM   #52
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MikeK46, do you think maybe you're contradicting yourself there? You want to stay below 2000 RPM but installing 4.88 gears?

It seems like you're searching for low RPM torque, something you're just not going to get out of a naturally aspirated Pentastar. I think gearing can only substitute for lack of power so much. The Pentastar is much better than the 3.8, but the way it makes its power above 3k doesn't really suit the JK.

Supercharging a 3.73 or 4.10 equipped Jeep seems like it'd be more in line with what you're trying to attain.
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:16 AM   #53
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The difference of opinion must be due to different styles of driving, what other vehicles people have driven, and lack of comparison with other vehicles.

Yes, if you normally drive with a heavy foot then the 3.21's will be "zippy" because when you rev it up the pentastar makes decent power. However, basically any vehicle will be "zippy" with a leadfoot behind the wheel. What if you don't drive with a lead foot? The 3.21's keep RPM's way down where there's no torque. You're not going anywhere.

Yes, if you're used to big, heavy vehicles then the 3.21's will be "zippy" because in comparison, it's not so bad. What if you're used to driving a lighter sedan with a much better power to weight ratio? The 3.21's will make you feel bogged down.

Yes, if you're just looking at how fast you're going when mashing the gas, then 3.21's will feel zippy. But the guy accelerating next to you is using 1/4 throttle while you're using 3/4 throttle. How do 3.21's do when you're light on the gas? When you're not revving it out past 3000rpm in every gear? Answer: not so hot. Shifting over 3000rpm to keep up with traffic is the opposite of zippy. In my opinion you should be able to keep up with traffic without going over 2000rpm. For comparison, you can keep a torquey V8 under 1500rpm all day and do just fine. The motor shouldn't have to be working hard to keep up with a Prius. Sure it's zippy if you're revving to 5000rpm. But if you have to go 3/4 throttle and rev to 4000rpm to keep up with a Camry accelerating from a red light, I hate to break it to you but that's not zippy.

I can't wait to get some 4.56's in this thing. I might even go 4.88 because I rarely do any highway driving so I only get over 60mph every once in a blue moon.
Ehhh. Before my jeep I only drove "sports" cars. From a Hyundai Tiburon to a Ford Mustang to a Camero. I have also driven about every work truck imaginable in size due to my work. I have the new engine(auto) with 3.21 on 33 Duratracs. I can say that my jeep does just fine and feels powerful enough. I would agree that getting up large hills I have to give it a little more gas but nothing serious. Off roading I keep up with everyone else just fine and that's all that I car about. For me I just can't justify spending a thousand dollars on a gear change when in reality the jeep is just great for my needs. If the 3.73 was offered in a jeep that had all the options I wanted like the 3.21 yeah no brainer I would have picked up the bigger gears.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #54
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Hey guys....the original post said "round-town, no rock climbing". I think if it's a DD, then the 3.21's are OK.
If he's going off-road, then certainly some serious gear ratio is in order.
IMHO, 6th gear is just for "rolling along", and that's why it's #6. It'll get you the best MPG under mostly no load.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:39 AM   #55
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I'm fine cruising to work in 6th gear at 1500rpm and 65 mph. I didn't get a jeep to be the quickest car on the road. I have a Sahara unlimited with 3.21
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:42 AM   #56
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=Weak parking brake on a manual? Major red flag. (I'm bad about putting my car in gear when I park...but...my parking brake works great and is easy to adjust. It uses the rear disk brake and it "reset" when you change brake pads)
You mean the Honda, right? Wrangler uses a drum inside the rotor and is a major pain to adjust. Mine is shot.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:03 AM   #57
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You mean the Honda, right? Wrangler uses a drum inside the rotor and is a major pain to adjust. Mine is shot.
Yup, my Honda/Acura...not the Wrangler.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:10 PM   #58
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6-Speed Manual needs 3.73 gear even on stock height tires
Auto can deal with 3.21 gears since you're staying on stock height tires.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #59
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It is a matter of opinion. My previous DD was a 06 CTD Ram 4x4 a torque monster that would pull any hill around here without downshifting. Nope my JK wont pull hills like that but if I smash the pedal and wind her up she goes very well for a Jeep. My 81 CJ7 had a built 304 and 4:56 gears and this 3.6 feels quicker.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #60
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 275
It's just hilarious. I've been driving for 26 years and have driven dozens of vehicles. I know what is "zippy" and not. Don't know why some people feel like they've got to be know-it-all jackwagons.

I can clearly state that 3.21's with heavy 285's is excellent onroad and (GASP!!!!) offroad. Is it possible that 3.73's or 4.10's are better? Yes, certainly I'm not debating that. But, if you run 3.21's it is terrific. I'm really happy with the setup. This isn't my first vehicle.

You've got different gear ratio and have a need to feel superior...I'll send you a cookie and alert your mommy to put your post on the refrigerator. Congratulations.

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