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soundline 01-10-2008 09:08 AM

New TJ, which transmission/year?
I'd like to know what you guys think would be best for my particular situation. I do a LOT of driving, 40-60k mi a year and the vast majority of that is over Snoqualmie pass on I-90 and Manastash over I-82 between McChord AFB/Tacoma, WA and Yakima, WA. It's not a particularly steep pass but my girl's YJ has to down shift into 3rd gear doing 45mph a couple of times with both of us in it. So I'd like to know what you guys think would be the best jeep to drive a lot of on-road passes as a daily driver that will see weekly of road-trail use?

I was thinking that an 05-06 with the 4.0 and the 6-spd would be a good one since the 6spd gets marginally better fuel economy. However, I don't know if the stock gearing will be able to pull the pass.

Thanks for your help in advance!

Jerry Bransford 01-10-2008 09:36 AM

I'd go with the automatic if it were me. In fact, I am converting my TJ's 5-speed to an automatic next weekend.

soundline 01-10-2008 10:36 AM

What are the advantages of the auto transmission? Do they hold up better?

JCS05Rubi 01-10-2008 10:54 AM

the 6spd does not get better mpg. in fact, the 5 spd from 04 and under has a better overdrive then the 6spd. the 6spd runs higher rpms.

Jerry Bransford 01-10-2008 11:00 AM

I can't say they hold up any better, or any worse. Manuals and autos both have their strengths and weaknesses. So long as you keep the lube/ATF changed in both, they both hold up fine. I really believe that so long as an automatic transmission is not allowed to overheat, especially due to old ATF, it'll be fine. The TF999 (32RH) auto tranny I'm installing on my TJ is known for being very rugged and reliable, even when used for rock crawling as I'll be using it for.

The torque converter in all automatics gives better low-end torque, up to 2-3X, as well as an infinitely low first gear ratio which is excellent for getting a heavy load you're towing rolling, as well as when climbing steep obstacles. And that modern torque converters "lock up" once you're cruising pretty well negates any fuel economy benefit manual transmissions used to have.

Not to mention how much nicer an automatic is when you're driving in heavy traffic. I've driven manual transmissions since 1964 but I'll choose them only for certain kinds of cars... and a Jeep Wrangler would not be one of them. Porsche or other sports car? You bet, manual all the way. Anything else, I'd go with an automatic. :)

soundline 01-10-2008 12:57 PM

Hmm, that's intersting from both points of view. JCS05RUBI, since you've owned both the 5spd and the 6 spd I'll take your word on the gas mileage and rpms.

And Jerry, it sounds like I've finally found a forum filled with people that have more experience than me. The only reserve I have about an auto is that I just don't like'em. Hard to rationalize that when I talking about a jeep, but I had one in my XJ and it just feels like it takes a lot of the fun out of driving to rely on a mechanically controlled shift. I see your point with rock crawling and I agree with that whole heartedly but for a daily driver, I'd really like to stick with a manual.

Hell, with people on here like you two it's hard to remember why exactly I left the jeep/4x4 community to begin with. So I'll be looking for a low mileage 2004 5spd at a dealership so I can trade in my car.

nicolas-eric 01-10-2008 01:02 PM

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if you really want to drive off the road an auto tranny is the best.

i had a YJ and a TJ with the 5spd manual tranny before. now i have a tj with the 4spd auto tranny. itīs much better in my opinion.

JCS05Rubi 01-10-2008 07:21 PM

Dont get me wrong soundline, the 6 spd has its ups, as well as downs. As does the 5spd. It is really personal preferance. With the 6 spd, you will be rowing through gears a lot, but at the same time, the gear ratios are much lower and closer spaced, so you can get away with skip shifting or leaving it in one gear, much easier. Also, the 6 spd has a really low granny gear. With 31 inch tires, and the 4.11s in my rubicon, my 1st gear is almost useless. Tops out at around 12 mph. On the same token, with 31s and 4.11s, I am turning around 2500-2600 rpms at 65mph. My old TJ with the 5 spd and taller gears was much lower i believe. I can get you the exact ratios for the 5 spd and 6 spd if you want, but I am sure someone here has it. With a "regular" TJ without the 4.11s, and with smaller tires, it may be better. I can only speak for the gearing with 31s and 4.11s. I can also say, that from what I have read on the internet, the 5 spd is much stronger than the older 5 spds. I can also tell you that a lot of people are having problems with the 6 spd. First it was a synchro problem (poping out of reverse) now thats fixed, and people are having chronic throw out bearing and master cylinder/slave cylinder/clutch fork issues.

I could go on and on about the advantages and disadvantages to both, but Im borrowing a comp right now and don't have the time. Spilled gatorade on mine, and Geek squad is STUPID slow. Im sure someone will chime in. Don't count the 6spd out yet, it is kind of a toss up. In a rubi, the 5 spd gets better gas mileage, is arguably stronger, but has a much heavier and more "gritty" clutch (when the 6 spd acts right). On the flip side, the 6spd has better gear ratios for offroad, can accomodate larger tires without regearing (again, refering to 4.11s not sure what a reg. tj gets) and comes in the newer TJ years, with usually less mileage.

bpowa 01-10-2008 09:11 PM

i get about 12-14mpg with 32'' its an 05 4spd auto.. I also like manuals but not for a wrangler.. gearing is too close and constant shifting in traffic gets on my nerves. i also have an overdrive button if it is hard to pick up to speed on the freeway.. I was concerned with MPG also, but am getting used to if you are looking for mpg wranger is not for you, get a suzuki samurai.. I hate the mpg but living with it.

nicolas-eric 01-10-2008 09:16 PM

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Originally Posted by bpowa (Post 180821)
I hate the mpg but living with it.


you have to live with it.
if i would live in the US that wouldnīt be a problem. your gas prices are so low.

here in germany 1 gallon 87 octane fuel costs 9.70$ (1 liter = 1.43 euros)

annejeep 04-23-2008 06:17 PM

Will these gear boxes swap?
Will any of the 2.5L equiped TJ's transmissions bolt to a 95 YJ 2.5L? I know I have the AX5 and it is starting to go. I don't mind the engine but am bitting my nails about the trans letting go. Any help you gurue's can give me (and help me sleep better) would be great.


Jerry Bransford 04-23-2008 06:36 PM

Any AX5 out of a TJ will bolt right up to your '95 YJ. The only difference may be with the slave cylinder for the clutch mechanism which is externally mounted on a TJ AX-5 and internally mounted on a YJ AX-5. But if your '95 is a late enough model, it may even be an external slave model so it'd be a direct swap. Either way, I have been told it's not that difficult to modify an external to an internal slave cylinder for the clutch mechanism.

soundline 04-23-2008 06:53 PM

I ended up picking up an 04 TJ with a 5spd. The mpg isn't as bad as I tought it would be. I'm getting 17mpg mixed with 30's" and I really like driving it. I'll move up to 31's or 32's when these wear out.

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