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Old 10-17-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
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shifting question on 2011 wrangler

Hey All!!

I just bought a new 2011 wrangler sport and I love it! I have a question about the gearing however. This is not my first manual transmission car, but it seems that the gearing is different from my past cars.

There is a "green zone" on the RPM meter from about 1-2.5 RPM, (I am asuming this green zone is where I want to keep my RPMs in range?)third gear takes me to about 40 mph but it tops out just past the green zone at 40mph, but 4th gear takes it very low, just above 1000RPM if I shift up and drive in 4th gear at 40mph.

I dont want to lugg the engine but I dont want to run it at a higher gear than necessary.
Can someone give me some insight on this? What gear shoudl I run it in while driving at 40mph?

I know this is probably a stupid question but thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 10-17-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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40 mph

if driving on level road 4th gear is fine while driving 40 mph. if going up use third. this is only if u are going to maintain that speed

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Old 10-17-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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First and foremost, it's not a car. The 3.8 likes higher rpms. The "green zone" is aguide for fuel efficieny. I find when cruising I can easily shift between 2 and 2.5K. If you are trying to get up to speed you should probably be between 3 and 4K depending upon conditions.

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Old 10-18-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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Picked my 2011 up on Friday. I had a 1987 YJ Sport for many years and loved it. I learned to drive stick with it. Drove that YJ all over the US from cost to cost. I loved the IL6 258 (low RPM high torque) and the 5 speed it had. Now with my new 2011, it seems so damn "wimpy" compaired to the IL6 I had in my YJ.

Pulling out onto a highway (70 mph speed limit for example) it just dosen't seem to have the pick-up that I remember the YJ had. Although I'm also finding myself driving with the ECO light on (green zone) quite a bit, but the 3.8 just seems to be a lame duck. Maybe I need some time in my 2011 to get "use" to the higher RPM engine?

I've found that for me, 4th @ 40 MPH on a flat road is fine. That was a great question.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rktman56 View Post
quite a bit, but the 3.8 just seems to be a lame duck. Maybe I need some time in my 2011 to get "use" to the higher RPM engine?
A lot has changed since your YJ. But I don't think HP is one of them. The 3.8 is @ 202HP which is what I believe the 4.0s were (difference from 4800RPM - 5200RPM for the 4.0)...What was your tire size, gear ratio, ect. Also you were dealing with a 5spd. Now you have a 6spd...
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:44 PM   #6
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Don't get me wrong, I'm a tread lightly member. BUT can we get away from the Al Gore, global warming, polar bear rescue, greenzone B.S.? I'm getting the urge to throw something hard at something else that is breakable.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #7

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I've owned a jeep now since Nov. of 07. My Sahara Unlimited had 3.73 gears. I got the Rubicon in August of 08 on a buy-back because of a problem with my Sahara. I can say that there is a difference in pickup off the stop in the Rubicon. It is slightly more peppy. That having been said, they are BOTH sluggish IMHO. Now, having driven the Rubicon for over two years, I have gotten used to coordinating my clutch foot with the gas foot off the stop pretty well. The jeep clutch is more tricky than any other vehicle that I have driven with standard transmission. That is in almost 40 years of driving with only 7 years in an automatic. Bottom line is that it took me a long time to get used to the clutch. It gets off the stop quickly when I want it to now....every time.

Regarding what gear at 40 is a hard question to answer but I can say that I'm in 6th at 40 on a flat surface when I'm in economy mode. If I'm in the hill towns near my house, many times at 40 i'm in fourth especially on winding roads just because it tends to be a lot of work shifting around every turn. That seems to give good torque up hills. Occasionally on a steep grade I'll go to 3rd and wind it a bit.

I usually don't think about it much any more. I usually go by sound and knowing what gear I'm in presently. Just to give a for-instance, if I'm in 6th at 40 conserving fuel on a flat surface and want to pass, with good acceleration, I'll downshift from 6th to 4th and wind it out to 55 or 60 before I go to 5th. I usually do that especially on the ramp getting onto the highway and needing to get up to the speed limit.

This is the first six speed that I have owned. I've had 3 speed, and 4 speed standards but never a 5 or six speed. So far, I'm happy with the jeep. Don't be afraid to wind it out. I've had it up to 5 grand a lot. I don't do it constantly but it is good to blow the carbon out a few to several times a week.

I will say that the higher the RPMs the more careful you have to be with coordinating the clutch and moving the shifter. You definitely want the clutch in far enough before moving the shift lever at high RPMs. Damage could result if you move the shifter before being down far enough on the clutch. At that RPM, the engine produces a lot of torque and it will forcefully come out of gear if slipped out of gear at the wrong position of the accelerator.

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:28 PM   #8
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Ive had many manuals throughout my life and I rarely look at the RPMs. I just always drive by feel and sound and I never thought much else about it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:58 PM   #9
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RPMs are what you are feeling and hearing. The tac just gives you a visual reference of what the engine is doing as oposed to touch and audio.

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