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Old 11-14-2013, 04:50 AM   #1
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Auto or Manual for wheeling

Which is better for wheeling. Auto or manual.

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Old 11-14-2013, 05:47 AM   #2
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Personal preference.

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Old 11-14-2013, 06:36 AM   #3
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Auto.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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Autos supposed to be a little better, but enjoy manual way to much to ever want an auto.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:41 AM   #5
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It depends on what the best oil is, which is still under serious debate so we'll probably never know. I prefer automatic for all utility applications.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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I prefer standard
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:32 AM   #7
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A friend of mine said after buying his first automatic ever that he feels all dirty inside, like he's cheating.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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It depends on the trail. If it's an easy trail, you can go either. But the 2-3X greater low-end torque generated by an automatic and its greater control can be of HUGE benefit on the tougher trails... which is why I converted my first TJ's 5-speed to an automatic and made sure my replacement TJ was an automatic.

Not to mention that the vast majority of high-end competitive rock crawlers generally all use automatics. For example, the winners of both classes at the last several year's King of the Hammers event were using automatics. Having manned a checkpoint for two of the KOH events, I actually don't recall seeing any manual transmissions pass by me.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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I run a manual. the new jk manual is nothing like trying to wheel an older style manual.
the hill start assist is awesome. ive wheeled autos and manuals and autos are easier but the tech in the JK makes it a wash.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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Can go either way imo. Auto is nice on technical sections. A low geared vehicle with a manual has slighty better STEEP downhill engine braking. I like my 6 speed manual for where i live when hunting and stuff in the STEEP mountain terrain. But have driven lots of auto TJ's at work and my sister had one, and they are OK.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #11
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I hunted out a manual because I had heard bad things about the auto in the 4.0 TJs. I shouldve done my research here or with actual TJ owners before doing so.

I like my manual, and so far I havent had a reason to NEED an auto on the trails I do but when wheeling with my friends in their autos I sometimes find myself jealous of the laziness they get to use.

I installed a hand throttle which helps me not want an auto so bad when used right.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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i have driven both offroad, and prefer auto.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Wheeling,auto,road, stick
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:56 PM   #14
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Auto is easier, however for me i wheel for fun which is why i bought a manual / standard
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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x2 on the personal preference thing and the type of wheeling you'll be doing. I've had an 06LJ since it was new, so I can only share my own experience. Manual transmissions are fun to drive about 95% of the time. The remaining 5% of the time it gets really frustrating. For example: traffic jams, city traffic, large rocks or ledges, and anytime you are unable to drive and no one you are with can drive a stick.

If you do choose a manual transmission for a wheeler, I would really suggest you look into installing the bike shifter/throttle controller onto the stick. This way, when you are stuck between large rocks and rolling over, you will won't have to do the "heal-toe" dance with the brake and gas pedal. You use the bike shifter that you'd attache to your stick shift to control the throttle, while you use one foot on the clutch, and the other on the brake. When you are in a really precarious situation with your wheeler, this bike shifter throttle control becomes a safety feature real fast.

Oh... and you're wife will enjoy wheeling a WHOLE lot more if you get the Auto.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:53 AM   #16
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X2 on the hand throttle. That's what I ment earlier when I brought it up.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:13 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by lk2dson View Post
x2 on the personal preference thing and the type of wheeling you'll be doing. I've had an 06LJ since it was new, so I can only share my own experience. Manual transmissions are fun to drive about 95% of the time. The remaining 5% of the time it gets really frustrating. For example: traffic jams, city traffic, large rocks or ledges, and anytime you are unable to drive and no one you are with can drive a stick.

If you do choose a manual transmission for a wheeler, I would really suggest you look into installing the bike shifter/throttle controller onto the stick. This way, when you are stuck between large rocks and rolling over, you will won't have to do the "heal-toe" dance with the brake and gas pedal. You use the bike shifter that you'd attache to your stick shift to control the throttle, while you use one foot on the clutch, and the other on the brake. When you are in a really precarious situation with your wheeler, this bike shifter throttle control becomes a safety feature real fast.

Oh... and you're wife will enjoy wheeling a WHOLE lot more if you get the Auto.
Id be interested to hear more info on the throttle thing.Do you have a good link to it?
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #18
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I know I have gone up and over things so slow in my auto that any stick would of stalled.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #19
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Id be interested to hear more info on the throttle thing.Do you have a good link to it?
It's really nothing more exotic than a bicycle gear shift lever & cable. Just make sure to clamp the cable's protective steel sheath around the cable to something at the throttle end so the lever can move the cable inside properly.

This is how I installed my hand throttle on my previous 5-speed and later the automatic I converted that TJ to. Yes it is even useful on automatics.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:47 AM   #20
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I've always driven manuals and prefer them but I'll admit for technical rock crawling an automatic is much easier.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #21
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... but I'll admit for technical rock crawling an automatic is much easier.
To describe an automatic as only being much easier would lead one to believe a manual would still be better if you didn't need the ease of the automatic. But even the most skilled drivers around like those who compete in the most difficult rock crawling events use automatics. If sticks were better with only sufficient skill needed to make use of them, competitors would use them... but they don't. There are actual well-known benefits with an automatic such as 2-3x greater low-end torque and an infinitely high crawl ratio which is ideal for extremely difficult trails. Those are not traits overcome by better skill with a manual. Which is why I don't recall seeing any manual equipped vehicles coming through the two check points I have manned at two years of the King of the Hammers. Not to mention again that the winners of both classes of the KOH the last several years were all running automatic transmissions.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:45 AM   #22
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It's really nothing more exotic than a bicycle gear shift lever & cable. Just make sure to clamp the cable's protective steel sheath around the cable to something at the throttle end so the lever can move the cable inside properly.

This is how I installed my hand throttle on my previous 5-speed and later the automatic I converted that TJ to. Yes it is even useful on automatics.
Hey Jerry how is the cable attached under the hood? I like that Idea will a brake lever work as well?
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #23
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after a little thought,the gear lever will actually hold the increased throttle. This would be a handy device to add HAHA!
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #24
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A small bracket mounted at the throttle body where the accelerator cable is helps to hold the cable so it can't move. Fabbing one wouldn't be hard but at one time, Rubicon Express made hand throttle kits with that bracket that made it easy to install.

I don't see the hand throttle kit on Rubicon Express's website anymore but that doesn't mean they don't still have them for sale. I'd call them to see if they still carry them. Rubicon Express: Jeep Suspension, Lift Kits and other Jeep Parts -RH2

One more helpful hint... the throttle return spring snaps onto the throttle lever with a real nice plastic clip. You can buy a return spring from the dealer for $1.50 or so that includes that clip which you can use for the hand throttle cable. Cut the spring off that clip & throw the spring away.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #25
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So for someone with a 2004 Wrangler Sport 4.0 5-Speed who wants to convert to an Auto, what should they be looking for? I currently run 31x10.5x15 BFG AT's but plan on going with 33's in the future, with a possible upgrade to 35's down the road. This is my DD.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #26
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A small bracket mounted at the throttle body where the accelerator cable is helps to hold the cable so it can't move. Fabbing one wouldn't be hard but at one time, Rubicon Express made hand throttle kits with that bracket that made it easy to install.

I don't see the hand throttle kit on Rubicon Express's website anymore but that doesn't mean they don't still have them for sale. I'd call them to see if they still carry them. Rubicon Express: Jeep Suspension, Lift Kits and other Jeep Parts -RH2

One more helpful hint... the throttle return spring snaps onto the throttle lever with a real nice plastic clip. You can buy a return spring from the dealer for $1.50 or so that includes that clip which you can use for the hand throttle cable. Cut the spring off that clip & throw the spring away.
Thank you Sir I'm going outside now and take a look.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:07 PM   #27
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So for someone with a 2004 Wrangler Sport 4.0 5-Speed who wants to convert to an Auto, what should they be looking for? I currently run 31x10.5x15 BFG AT's but plan on going with 33's in the future, with a possible upgrade to 35's down the road. This is my DD.
I've done that conversion with a '97 but not on a 2003 or newer that uses the computerized 42RLE automatic.

You really have two choices of transmissions, the 4-speed AW4 out of a Cherokee XJ or the 4-speed 42RLE which is used in 2003 and newer TJs. The AW4 is, by far, the better transmission of the two but the 42RLE would be an easier straight forward installation.

Are you up for a little more of a challenge with the AW4 or would the easier bolt-in/plug-in 42RLE be more your interest? The 42RLE is not a bad choice but you do have to gear the axles with a lower ratio to compensate for its very steep .69 Overdrive gear ratio.
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #28
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Jerry,I like the idea that a hand throttle would make wheeling with my 5sp easier but I cant visualize how it would work.So your not touching the gas pedal at all? Are you constantly moving that lever when your on say,a large rock? It sounds very hard to get used to.Also when your normally driving on the road is the hand lever going to be constantly moving?
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #29
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When your on the road it does nothing unless you engage it. Think of it like a throttle lock as in your move the shifter (attached to the throttle linkage) and it opens the throttle and holds it at whatever point you open it up to and keeps it there till you close the bike shifter lever.

I use it as a way to "bump up the idle" so to speak. Allowing me to take my foot off the clutch with out worrying about stalling and just work two pedals at once depending on the situation.

I dont have cruise control so I just ran mine where the cable for that would be. Bought the lil spring with the part on it Jerry mentioned that would be where the CC attached.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:27 PM   #30
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Jerry,I like the idea that a hand throttle would make wheeling with my 5sp easier but I cant visualize how it would work.So your not touching the gas pedal at all? Are you constantly moving that lever when your on say,a large rock? It sounds very hard to get used to.Also when your normally driving on the road is the hand lever going to be constantly moving?
No the lever doesn't move while driving. While wheeling and using the hand throttle, I keep my foot entirely off the gas so a bump can't cause my foot to apply gas at the wrong time which can cause shock-loading of the drivetrain. Resting your hand on top of the shift knob with your fingertips controlling the lever is very easily and precisely done, it works well and it very intuitive to use.

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