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Old 12-03-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
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auto or manual?

whats better for offroading? and what does everyone prefer

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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I'm sure this answer will open a can of worms. It comes down to personal preference as both have their pros and cons. Such things as repair costs (clutch mainly), crawl ratios etc. are all a consideration. My 80 CJ had a manual but my Rubi has an auto. Maybe it's an age thing, but I'm happy with the auto. Disclaimer: All of the above is IMO so don't flame me.

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Old 12-03-2009, 06:50 PM   #3
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The tougher the trail, the better an automatic shines. Look at the pro rock crawlers, the vast majority of them converted to automatics years ago. After 40+ years of driving with sticks and 176,000 miles on my TJ with a 5-speed, I converted my TJ to an automatic two years ago.

The automatic gave me a boost in off-road performance nearly equal to what installing my front and rear lockers did. Better control on the extreme level 5 and 5+ rated trails and, suprising to many, the auto's torque converter gives a 2-3X low-end torque increase as well. What benefit would that 2-3X increased low-end torque give? Here's just one example... when I had the 5-speed, my TJ with 35" tires and 4.88 gearing had to be winched up the same three rock ledges out in the desert. Every year. It just couldn't quite make it. Then last year, after converting to the automatic, it scooted effortlessly up those same three ledges with the exact same 35" tires and 4.88 gears. The ONLY difference was the automatic.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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Depends on what you are doing. I bought an auto because I was tired of shifting. Around town its great, but out in the hills, I miss the stick on downgrades. I often go to low range so I don't have to use the brakes. If I had a stick, first gear high range would be fine in a lot of places. Going uphill, the auto is very good.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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wow 176,000 miles, how long you think your Jeep will last? Ive promised myself ill always keep this 05 Wrangler, even put it through new paint job (Green!), engine and transmission when needed.

I will always stick with manual as I dont want to do the conversion, but i would also never do a 5, 5+ trail. A level 3 incline and decline scare the crap out of me as is.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:02 PM   #6
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Well Albert, my TJ has 182,000 miles on it now and the 4.0L engine is nearly bulletproof and 250-300K miles is about the norm before a well-maintained 4.0L needs an overhaul. It runs as well today as it did brand-new when I bought it and the engine uses no oil. There's nothing else in the TJ that isn't easily replaceable... axle bearings, t-case, transmission, engine overhaul that leads me to believe I'll need to replace my TJ before I pass it on to my son.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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discussed many times here's one: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/auto...ht=auto+manual

many "hardcore" wheelers went to auto, i like hard trails, i prefer manual.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #8
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I prefer manual since I like shifting, but for offroading I would much rather have an auto

luckily I bought my jeep and barely get to take it offroad, so this worked out perfect for me owning a 5 speed
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:35 PM   #9
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Yes, if I were a true off roader I would take auto. My friend had a stock 04 Sahara automatic, 31" tires and I believe 4.10 gearing, I had 4" lift 33" tires 3.07. He could make it up this hill easily, I gutted my engine and finally made it over the hill and I do believe my engine died on me for one second there.

I am of course comparing apples to oranges but its true automatics do have higher lower end torque.

And it looks like ill be having my TJ for a while, provided the hawaiian weather doesnt do any bad corrosion. Ive already decided to own a beater car and at 4 years, this Jeep only has 31k on it. It also wont be my DD for now on so hopefully ill be 40 before I hit that 250-300k
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdocdave View Post
discussed many, many, many times here's one: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/auto...ht=auto+manual

many "hardcore" wheelers went to auto, i like hard trails, i prefer manual.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #11
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I have used both on different jeeps. Either one does fine. Currently I have an auto, as with kids in the Jeep shifting is one less thing I need to worry about, plus I know I can for the most part toss the keys to anyone and they can move it up the trail with out me thinking about a new clutch. Bottom line get which everone you like the most.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:38 AM   #12
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I have no lockers, so have only run4+ trails, but it REALLY helps not to have a clutch on a steep upgrade! (Especially if you are cheating the limited slip rear with the brakes!{thanks Jerry!})
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:41 AM   #13
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When you say 4+, dont trails only get rated to 5?
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:14 AM   #14
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or is 4+ an extreme version of 4 but not yet 5? since theres a 5+ trail I would assume so but I have no idea.

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