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Old 09-24-2013, 02:00 AM   #1
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Any tips/ tricks for a new 6 speed Jeep owner?

I'm taking delivery on a 2014 JKUSS in a few weeks. This will be my first manual transmission. I test drove it just fine without stalling once but can't say it was pretty. I noticed right away the clutch engages really high. Do you have any tips particular to Wranglers? I want to make sure I break her in properly.

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Old 09-24-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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Its not an easy vehicle to drive smoothly, don't be hard on yourself. There is a lot of driveline slop and you will hear a lot of clanks at first. The noises lessen and the shifter gets noticeably smoother (mine did, anyway) at 1500-2000 miles.

The hill holder feature isn't universally loved. I have stalled it a few times in reverse. My driveway is on a hill and you will probably find reverse is geared almost awkwardly high.

You may have already seen warnings about not clutching while in deep water/muck. There is an "8" shaped vent at the bottom of the transmission which will let stuff contaminate the clutch if you engage it while in the slop.

I love the 6 speed overall. Its engaging and fun to drive even if its not the fastest, most precise gearbox around. The vent is the only thing I find worrisome, because I'm afraid I'd go for the clutch on muscle memory if it was about to stall in muddy water.

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Old 09-24-2013, 05:29 AM   #3
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what gears did you order? on my 05 LJ after 6 months i never used 1st gear on the road.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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It sure is an awkward vehicle in stick until you get used to it like TOK said, there is a lot of valve train slop. Add in the fact that these wheels and tires are heavier than most cars, plus the electronic cable/fly by wire set up.

With that being said, give yourself a thousand miles and you will be a pro.

I've driven manual vehicles for 10+ years and this one was a little cumbersome at first, but you will get the hang of it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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I had been driving my 03 Mustang GT for a few years, before getting my Jeep. Man was this thing a culture shock, shifting wise. My cars shifts were very short and pretty stiff. The Jeep has long shifts, but they are pretty easy. Like others have said, the hill start is a pain, especially in reverse. And the fly by wire throttle, takes a bit of getting used to. I also agree, give it a few miles and a bit of time, and you'll love it. I have found that running the engine a bit harder, and not lugging in too high a gear, will help you get better mileage too. So have fun and enjoy.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:41 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=TOK;4813145]Its not an easy vehicle to drive smoothly, don't be hard on yourself. There is a lot of driveline slop and you will hear a lot of clanks at first. The noises lessen and the shifter gets noticeably smoother (mine did, anyway) at 1500-2000 miles.

The hill holder feature isn't universally loved. I have stalled it a few times in reverse. My driveway is on a hill and you will probably find reverse is geared almost awkwardly high.

You may have already seen warnings about not clutching while in deep water/muck. There is an "8" shaped vent at the bottom of the transmission which will let stuff contaminate the clutch if you engage it while in the slop.

I love the 6 speed overall. Its engaging and fun to drive even if its not the fastest, most precise gearbox around. The vent is the only thing I find worrisome, because I'm afraid I'd go for the clutch on muscle memory if it was about to stall in muddy water.[/QUOTE]



So what are you supposed to do if you're going to stall? Let it stall? And then what, get pulled out?
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 80sforlife View Post
I'm taking delivery on a 2014 JKUSS in a few weeks. This will be my first manual transmission. I test drove it just fine without stalling once but can't say it was pretty. I noticed right away the clutch engages really high. Do you have any tips particular to Wranglers? I want to make sure I break her in properly.
Manual transmissions (and/or gas pedals) can vary quite a bit from vehicle to vehicle or from model year to model year. My 1995 YJ (manual) with over 200,000 miles has a much stiffer clutch than the 2014 JK model I test drove. However, the gas pedal in the 2014 was stiffer than my 1995.

Just be patient and I'm sure you will do fine. For me it's much more fun to drive a "stick".
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=doctorsteve;4815105]
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOK View Post
Its not an easy vehicle to drive smoothly, don't be hard on yourself. There is a lot of driveline slop and you will hear a lot of clanks at first. The noises lessen and the shifter gets noticeably smoother (mine did, anyway) at 1500-2000 miles.

The hill holder feature isn't universally loved. I have stalled it a few times in reverse. My driveway is on a hill and you will probably find reverse is geared almost awkwardly high.

You may have already seen warnings about not clutching while in deep water/muck. There is an "8" shaped vent at the bottom of the transmission which will let stuff contaminate the clutch if you engage it while in the slop.

I love the 6 speed overall. Its engaging and fun to drive even if its not the fastest, most precise gearbox around. The vent is the only thing I find worrisome, because I'm afraid I'd go for the clutch on muscle memory if it was about to stall in muddy water.[/QUOTE]



So what are you supposed to do if you're going to stall? Let it stall? And then what, get pulled out?

4 lo, you can start the jeep without depressing the clutch
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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I had trouble finding 6th when I got my JKU. I found that pushing a bit to the right BEFORE pulling down from 5th to 6th made it easier. Before finding that trick, I would hit 4th a lot and reverse twice. Not a pretty sound.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:51 AM   #10
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^^ Yep, 6th is hard to find until you do what gtibrett said.

With my stock 29" wheels, 1st was real low and I didn't really have to use it. when I swapped to a set of Rubicon wheels/tires, I now use 1st every time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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I love the feel of the clutch and the gears. The only thing I don't like about these Jeeps is the gas pedal. There is a slight delay in the time you press the gas until the time you actually get power. This caused me to jerk around in my Jeep for quite a few weeks before I got smooth at driving it, and I've owned manual transmission cars all my life.

I did dislike the hill start assist, as everyone else has said, when I first got it, so I turned it off. A couple of days later, I turned it back on. I didn't like how high you have to rev to get off a hill with 35" tires, so I went back to the assist and I appreciate it now for how it works. It's also great offroad! Good luck, and have fun with your new Jeep. They are a blast to drive!
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #12
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Love the 6 spd. You do have to position your hand on the drivers side of the shift knob or move the lever slightly to the right to get 6th easily. I disabled hill assist when I heard guys on this forum saying they had worn out their rear brakes in 30K miles.....I grew up without it, I can probably go the rest of the way through life without it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #13
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I've found that if you take it up to about 2500 RPM, you will have a smoother shift.
Going into 6th gear requires just a little push....not lots of muscle!
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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the jeep is definitely happier shifting at higher RPMs but then you play the whole MPG efficiency game. i turned off hill start assist because i have never had it before and it was throwing me off. i do, however, turn it back on when trailing.

my wife drives my jeep occasionally and she is not very experienced but can manage to get around. don't race through the gears, let the Jeep stay with you on the shift. start in 1st unless you already have momentum or roll forward then you can start in 2nd. drive with the windows down and radio off so you can listen to the Jeep, it will help the feel. good luck and whatever you do, do not panic.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:23 AM   #15
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I had trouble finding 6th when I got my JKU. I found that pushing a bit to the right BEFORE pulling down from 5th to 6th made it easier. Before finding that trick, I would hit 4th a lot and reverse twice. Not a pretty sound.

Aint that the truth. Hit reverse the 2nd day of ownership, hasn't happened since.

The sound of reverse trying to mesh at 60+mph is enough to make a grown man cry
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:37 AM   #16
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My 2007 2dr Rubicon with 4.1 gears and different 33 inch tires was what I learned manual on. The clutch does engage very high. What I found to be smoothest was to hold the clutch for a slight amount of time on the biting point to get moving then let it all the way out. This will get a smoother start, at least for me. Don't hold the clutch in at a stop light. Put it in neutral. Practice on a hill so you will know how it'll feel. Give it about 2000 rpm's. I think its pretty easy to stall out with the 4.1 gears.
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:40 AM   #17
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BTW here's my thread I made a while back for the same reason.
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/fir...lp-256080.html
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=fp8950;4815641]
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4 lo, you can start the jeep without depressing the clutch
^^^Good tip here. You can shift into reverse if needed after you stall, then start it again without the clutch. You'll just start rolling.

Also, when you first start driving it, just go to a nice flat empty parking lot. Without pushing the gas, let the clutch out slowly. You should be able to feel it catch and you'll start rolling. I didn't know this when I first started and I wish I had. I was like haha. I actually learned it from someone else on this forum. If you can already kind of drive a manual you might already know this, but I thought it was something worth posting.

EDIT: The link that air head posted above has a lot of good knowledge in it that helped me to better understand things. Give it a looksie
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:05 PM   #19
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Sorry for the newb question but as I stated before the Wranglers seem to have a lot of travel in the clutch. Do I need to press the clutch all the way to the floor before shifting or can I press it 75%? I'm assuming best practice would be 100%.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:17 PM   #20
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4 lo, you can start the jeep without depressing the clutch
Alright, I'm a bit confused at this one as well. Apologies in advance for the noob questions. So if i get stuck in some mucky mud gunk, I can put it in 4LO and there is no need to press the clutch in, in order to put it into gear? What about 1st or 2nd?

Back-story: I got stuck in mud a couple weeks back up to door height and was instinctively pressing the clutch to put it into 1st, 2nd, reverse to try and get it out. The jeep is still under warranty, so i'm not concerned if the clutch goes. But for future reference, what should I have done?
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:18 PM   #21
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Alright, I'm a bit confused at this one as well. Apologies in advance for the noob questions. So if i get stuck in some mucky mud gunk, I can put it in 4LO and there is no need to press the clutch in, in order to put it into gear? What about 1st or 2nd?

Back-story: I got stuck in mud a couple weeks back up to door height and was instinctively pressing the clutch to put it into 1st, 2nd, reverse to try and get it out. The jeep is still under warranty, so i'm not concerned if the clutch goes. But for future reference, what should I have done?
First off, if you have mud in your bell housing(there is a vent) they can deny your whole warranty in a second.Off roading and racing is abuse and warranties don't cover abuse; only manufacturer defect. There is a whole thread currently on this

Next point: I always find it easier to wheel in 4low with a 6speed. It drastically reduces the amount you have to slip the clutch to go. You can get up to 25mph without hurting it in 4low so that covers pretty much all off road situations other than dunes

4low allows you to start it in gear. So if you get stuck you can kill the engine, put it in first and restart it, no clutch. If you want to shift then you better hope you are good at matching gears because there is a good chance you'll just "grind it till you find it"
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:42 PM   #22
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^ This.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #23
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First thing I would do is to disable the hill start assist. It may be a nice crutch for a beginner, but it's not really necessary and caused me to stall this jeep more than anything I've ever driven. After that, I'd disable the Eco light, as it's more annoying than its worth. Keep your shift points at 2500-3000rpm and it will drive a lot smoother. Your 1-2 shift can be lower, I usually hit 2nd at around 1800rpm.

If you're new to manual transmissions, a lot of people will tell you to leave it in gear and hold the clutch at stop lights. Not only is that really hard on your throwout bearing, but it's dangerous if you get rear ended while waiting at the light. Leave it out of gear until the light is about to change.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #24
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You'll be fine. I learned, not only to drive in general, but to drive a manual as well at the sane time in my jeep. A manual jeep is pretty easy to drive and pretty forgiving. Don't be discouraged if your shifts aren't too smooth because i haven't been able to make them consistently smooth yet lol. Overall I'm very happy driving a 6spd and would never trade it for an auto. My mom is only 5 feet tall and has trouble driving my jeep because, yes, the clutch is super long. (She gets so mad they she cant drive it lol)
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:25 AM   #25
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How about when in park do you guys put the shifter in 1 + handbrake? or neutral + handbrake?
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:02 AM   #26
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How about when in park do you guys put the shifter in 1 + handbrake? or neutral + handbrake?
I've found it best to always engage either 1st or reverse along with the handbrake when on any kind of incline. It's just good practice since you never know if/when your brakes might fail.
Quote:
Also, when you first start driving it, just go to a nice flat empty parking lot. Without pushing the gas, let the clutch out slowly. You should be able to feel it catch and you'll start rolling. I didn't know this when I first started and I wish I had. I was like haha. I actually learned it from someone else on this forum. If you can already kind of drive a manual you might already know this, but I thought it was something worth posting.
Best advice I've read so far. Most people don't realize how little gas is needed to get your vehicle moving. This will also help you learn where your clutch grabs. As for the hills, just clutch and brake until you feel the engine/transmission holding you in place and you'll find you don't roll back into as many cars on the hills.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:26 AM   #27
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How about when in park do you guys put the shifter in 1 + handbrake? or neutral + handbrake?
I park it in second and use the handbrake, incline or not.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:56 AM   #28
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I found my 2013's trans to be a bit underfilled from the factory, when I removed the lube fill hole and no lube dribbled out.

Since the input bearing rides a little high in the front, I worry about it getting lube, so I use a jack to tilt my Wrangler's passenger side up a few degrees and then overfill the trans slightly before reinstalling the plug and dropping it off the jack.

I did this for my 2005 and it registered 110K trouble-free miles with the 6-speed.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:16 PM   #29
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Are you mechanically inclined? I have always found it helpful to understand what is really going in a manual transmission vehicle so you can appreciate why it drives the way it does.

(1) Your engine flywheel is spinning at the rate shown on your tach.

(2) When your foot is off the clutch pedal, the "friction plate" (or "clutch plate") is pressed against the flywheel very tightly by the "pressure plate." If you are in gear, there is a solid mechanical connection all the way to your tires. If you are in neutral, the "input shaft" on your transmission is being driven by the engine, but there is no mechanical connection inside the transmission so your "output shaft" is not being driven.

(3) When your foot is holding the clutch to the floor, the "throwout bearing" rides forward and causes the pressure plate to release tension on the friction plate. Now, it doesn't matter whether your transmission is in neutral or not - there is no mechanical connection to your tires.

(4) As you let the clutch off of the floor, the throwout bearing slides back and the pressure plate starts putting more pressure on the clutch plate, pushing it toward the rotating flywheel. During the movement of the clutch pedal, there is actually only a fairly small part of that movement when this occurs. As you feel the clutch start to engage the flywheel, the engine RPM's will try to slow down (if you aren't giving it sufficient throttle). This is when you want to start to (a) slow down the rate at which you release the clutch pedal and (b) give sufficient throttle to get the vehicle going.

(5) When downshifting or upshifting, there are "synchronizers" in your transmission that spin at different rates so that it is easier to get the transmission into the next gear. It can be easier to shift (particularly downshift) if you "rev match" the engine. So, if you are downshifting at 2500 RPM in second gear into first gear, the engine will want to be at a higher RPM, say maybe 3000.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:33 PM   #30
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I82much thanks for the thorough info, very helpful.


As for parking why are some folks leaving the shifter in 2nd, isn't first a bigger hence better gear? Also in response to reverse gear I'm assuming that's when you're facing down a steep grade?

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