Originally Posted by cork1958
I almost consider a Jeep or a truck with an automatic transmission in it a "wanna be" vehicle!!
When I first got into Jeeping, I thought the same thing... that a Jeep needed to have a manual transmission. Then as I moved into more difficult trails and finally into my current rock crawling trails (some of which are pretty darned extreme), I learned how much better an automatic does. Not to mention you gain 2-3X greater low-end torque from the torque converter inside the automatic transmission. For a lot of reasons including the greater low-end torque and the infinitely high crawl ratio, I converted my previous TJ from its OE 5-speed to an automatic and the gain in its offroad abilities that produced was equal to what I gained after installing front and rear lockers. That TJ was stolen two years ago so I bought a replacement TJ (Rubicon) and made sure it was an automatic.
Go to a high-end competition event like for rock crawling and you'll be hard pressed to find a single manual transmission. The pros switched to automatics years ago, they just work better when you get into extreme level trails. The overall winner of the most recent King of the Hammers had an automatic, and so did the winner of the King of the Hammers Every Man Challenge vehicle as driven by John Currie of Currie Enterprises and Gerald Lee from Savvy Offroad. Both automatic transmissions were stock by the way, the one in Currie's and Lee's vehicle was a 42RLE, the same one in my Rubicon.
So y'all can love your manual transmissions but don't disrespect the automatic transmission. By far, automatics are the choice of pro-level competitive offroaders... and those guys can afford to run any transmission they want to. I'll never go back to a stick shift for a Jeep that sees the pretty darned tough rock crawling trails my TJ sees on regular basis.
Would I have an automatic in a Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Cobra, etc? Nope. Those vehicles work best wtih manual transmissions. For a Jeep that sees extreme level offroad trails? Automatic transmissions work better than stick shift enthusiasts could ever imagine. And don't equate stick shifts with being more manly.... most of us got over that years ago.