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Old 12-19-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
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Automatic Gearbox - Downhill

I drive a 2006 Jeep Wrangler with an automatic transmission. Can anyone help on the way I can use engine-braking when driving downhill on mud/snow/ice? Even when I choose 1st gear, the engine is not breaking and I have to use my breaks (something very dangerous cause I lose control!). THANKS!

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Old 12-19-2010, 06:09 AM   #2
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I have a 4.0L 3speed auto, 2000 tj, and it does hold its speed (doesn't coast) on the downhill slopes. it's the first car that I've owned that does that. maybe it's just specific to the type of transmission a jeep has.

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Old 12-19-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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I dunno, I have the same transmission you do and it compression brakes (not breaks) just fine.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:02 AM   #4
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Try putting it in 4LO and 1st gear. I haven't needed to do that in the jeep, but worked well in previous vehicles.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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Not the same trans, but my 93 vette also has no engine braking. In doing some checks and reading, I founbd there is a clutch inside the trans that makes engine braking happen in the 4L60, and that mine is shot and the trans needs to be rebuilt. As there's no other problems with the trans I've chosen to ignore it.

The jeep trans very likely has something similar.

My 2000 TJ (3 speed auto) has plenty of engine braking.
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #6
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Are you in 4WD? If really steep and slick, in 2WD and low gear, its possible your tires just skid due to the compression braking
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:26 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your replies (and for the correction of "brakes")

I have tried everything in order to see if it works, but it doesn't. I'll ask a mechanic also and if it is still not possible, I'll even proceed with changing to manual transmission...
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:39 AM   #8
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I believe there's a Sprague clutch inside the trans that goes south. Check with a trans guy, he'll know how difficult it is to fix/replace it.

But it still isn't like a manual trans, the torque converter still slips to the stall speed.

Some folks put a switch on the lock-up converter, locking it manually for braking. Not sure, it may affect the PCM somehow in an adverse way.
Again, ask a tranny guy that knows Jeeps.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:37 AM   #9
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I have the four speed as well, and engine braking works just fine for me and is the only safe way I can stop with snow on the ground. Second gets me to hold at 35mph, first doesn't go above 15mph and I can stop from there. That's whether I'm in 4hi or 2wd
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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I have the 32RH auto and when I manually downshift, the engine brakes sufficiently for driving on the road. When I off-road, I use compression braking (in either 4lo or 4hi) a lot while descending down lengthy forest service slopes. Before, I used to rely primarily on my brakes but they would heat up after some time (before I switched to Yellowstuffs, my Autozone pads would actually begin to fade ).
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:37 AM   #11
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I finally understood how it works! The truth is that I was used to drive my friend's Wrangler (manual), where you can feel better the engine braking! With the automatic transmission you can use the engine braking BUT at more mph (a little more dangerous).
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:38 AM   #12
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THANKS everyone !
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:37 AM   #13
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My 99 TJ has the three speed auto, and it seems to go as fast as it wants on a down-hill - it feels more like it's in neutral rather than in gear. If it's a spot that I need to stay slow, for a long distance, I pop it into 4-Lo so I can keep off the brakes a little more.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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Push the overdrive off button if you want engine braking going downhill at hiway speeds.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJDave View Post
Push the overdrive off button if you want engine braking going downhill at hiway speeds.
mine has no such device
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:08 PM   #16
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If you are driving at highway speeds, no way, absolutely NO WAY do you want to even try to shift into 4 wd. And 4 wd LOW is only for speeds under 15 mph. NOT for on the highway. If you are slowing down, just not enough, then downshift the auto to 2, feather the brakes (yes, brakes, not breaks) until the shift completes, then you will have some engine compression to help slow you down and no loss of wheel control. Once you get it down below 45 mph you can shift to 4 wd 'high' and get some control over the front wheels. Just remember...4 wheel drive has NO difference on wheel control on ice...no matter what anyone says...if you start to slide on ice, you are GOING to slide on ice...it's if you hit some rough patches the 4wd will give you some control back.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #17
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If you are driving at highway speeds, no way, absolutely NO WAY do you want to even try to shift into 4 wd. And 4 wd LOW is only for speeds under 15 mph. NOT for on the highway. If you are slowing down, just not enough, then downshift the auto to 2, feather the brakes (yes, brakes, not breaks) until the shift completes, then you will have some engine compression to help slow you down and no loss of wheel control. Once you get it down below 45 mph you can shift to 4 wd 'high' and get some control over the front wheels. Just remember...4 wheel drive has NO difference on wheel control on ice...no matter what anyone says...if you start to slide on ice, you are GOING to slide on ice...it's if you hit some rough patches the 4wd will give you some control back.
Umm, I must have missed something. I thought this thread wasn't speed-specific. Please point that dunce cap elsewhere.
I'm no fool I know when it's unwise to use 4-Hi, and I wouldn't use 4-Lo on a highway at all. That's just Ludacris

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