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Old 09-11-2019, 10:11 PM
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Manual Shifting Question/Issues

I'm sure there have been lots of posts on this but I figured I would post exactly what I'm experiencing to see if there actually is an issue since I'm new. I just bought my 2017 Rubicon 2 dr at the end of August with 30,000 miles.

Most of my manual driving experience comes from driving Mustangs and a Ford Ranger so I want to make sure this isn't just a "Jeep thing".

When I'm shifting from 1st to 2nd and less so 2nd to 3rd, I'm feeling a bit of grind in the shifter even though I definitely have the clutch pedal fully compressed. Am I just shifting too aggressively?

The other issue is that I feel that if I don't have the perfect harmony between clutch and accelerator (i.e. letting out the clutch more aggressively) I'm hearing a bit of a clunk/tap from the drive train. Should I be concerned? I have a hard time believing anything is failing with only 30,000 miles (it doesn't look like the previous owners took it offroading much based on the skid plate condition).

Hopefully this is all just getting used to the intricacies of this vehicle...

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Old 09-11-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
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Not a slick shifting trans but it's definitely trucky feeling. I don't have any grinding between gears but its not an ez trans to learn and appreciate MT especially when looking for 6th gear. At 22K the trans is a bit noisy and clunks can happen if my clutch+accelerator is not quite perfect. Turning off hill-assist seems to have helped smooth clutch engagement.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:52 PM
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Not a slick shifting trans but it's definitely trucky feeling. I don't have any grinding between gears but its not an ez trans to learn and appreciate MT especially when looking for 6th gear. At 22K the trans is a bit noisy and clunks can happen if my clutch+accelerator is not quite perfect. Turning off hill-assist seems to have helped smooth clutch engagement.
Yeah it definitely feels trucky which should be expected I suppose. Mine doesn't have hill-assist so I can't blame it on that. Most of my heartburn is over 1st to 2nd. I feel like I'm pretty skilled at driving a stick and I just feel like i have to feather it oh-so-perfectly to not have a clunky shift. If that is normal I supposed muscle memory will prevail eventually.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:14 PM   #4
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I feel like I'm pretty skilled at driving a stick and I just feel like i have to feather it oh-so-perfectly to not have a clunky shift. If that is normal I supposed muscle memory will prevail eventually.

Mine has made clunky noises since the beginning and Iím also using Redline MTL. I can generally do pretty well 1st to 2nd below 3500 RPM. But rev up to 5500 RPM and it gets more difficult to shift without some clunking. Not impossible, just everything has to be done right on the money.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:16 AM   #5
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My two cents....
Some transmission, especially in cars, can shift from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd, in one clean action. Quick and easy.
I find the JK / JKU manual trans is more like a truck transmission (as it should be) and shifting is really a two step process. When shifting from 1st to 2nd, for example, you are really shifting from 1st to neutral and then from neutral to 2nd. If you give it that slight pause between gears it shifts better with no grinding. It is mainly if you rush the shift and try to make it one fluid motion that you have issues.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:04 AM   #6
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It's never going to be the smoothest shifting gearbox, but this will help:

Change the gearbox oil to synthetic. Redline MTL, Amsoil Manual Synchromesh or Royal Purple Synchromax.

And do so every 30,000 miles.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:32 AM
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My two cents....
Some transmission, especially in cars, can shift from 1st to 2nd, or 2nd to 3rd, in one clean action. Quick and easy.
I find the JK / JKU manual trans is more like a truck transmission (as it should be) and shifting is really a two step process. When shifting from 1st to 2nd, for example, you are really shifting from 1st to neutral and then from neutral to 2nd. If you give it that slight pause between gears it shifts better with no grinding. It is mainly if you rush the shift and try to make it one fluid motion that you have issues.
Thanks for the tip! What is your typical shift point rev-wise out of first if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the tip! What is your typical shift point rev-wise out of first if you don't mind me asking?
I shift around 3 grand. But our Jeep has been re-geared, along with bigger tires.
By the way, in my opinion, if your Jeep has proper gearing you should be able to take off in second gear in many situations with minimal / normal clutch slipping. Taking off in second allows you to go further / faster before needing to shift.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:00 AM
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I shift around 3 grand. But our Jeep has been re-geared, along with bigger tires.
By the way, in my opinion, if your Jeep has proper gearing you should be able to take off in second gear in many situations with minimal / normal clutch slipping. Taking off in second allows you to go further / faster before needing to shift.
I have gone directly into 2nd with no issues, in fact I preferred it for the reason you mentioned, but I wasn't sure if this was putting unnecessary wear on my clutch over time.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:17 AM   #10
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I have gone directly into 2nd with no issues, in fact I preferred it for the reason you mentioned, but I wasn't sure if this was putting unnecessary wear on my clutch over time.
As long as you aren't applying excessive throttle and clutch slippage to do so you are fine.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:27 AM   #11
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Generally I shift gears at 3 to 3.5K as that's a nice sweet spot. If I'm on a mpg quest then probably 2.8 to 3K
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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As long as you aren't applying excessive throttle and clutch slippage to do so you are fine.
Yeah it's a fine line before it lugs.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:49 AM   #13
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Yeah it's a fine line before it lugs.
That is where better gearing shines. In most situations we can easily take off in second gear. No lugging, no excessive clutch slippage required.
There are plenty of other advantages to re-gearing, but that is one of them.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:31 PM   #14
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Yeah it definitely feels trucky which should be expected I suppose. Mine doesn't have hill-assist so I can't blame it on that. Most of my heartburn is over 1st to 2nd. I feel like I'm pretty skilled at driving a stick and I just feel like i have to feather it oh-so-perfectly to not have a clunky shift. If that is normal I supposed muscle memory will prevail eventually.
I'm at 3 years and 36K on my 2dr Rubicon with stock tires, and I've come to accept that mastery will never occur with this system. And the 1-2 shift is definitely the clunkiest of the bunch.

I find that the lower RPM I shift, the quicker I need to make it, and the more I have to feather it. If I run it up to 3.5K, then I can shift slower and feather less, but the stiff accelerator pedal and electronically-controlled throttle (or drive-by-wire) make the transitions unpredictable. Sometimes the RPMs just drop out and when I engage the clutch it just thumps or ka-clunks.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:42 PM
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I'm at 3 years and 36K on my 2dr Rubicon with stock tires, and I've come to accept that mastery will never occur with this system. And the 1-2 shift is definitely the clunkiest of the bunch.

I find that the lower RPM I shift, the quicker I need to make it, and the more I have to feather it. If I run it up to 3.5K, then I can shift slower and feather less, but the stiff accelerator pedal and electronically-controlled throttle (or drive-by-wire) make the transitions unpredictable. Sometimes the RPMs just drop out and when I engage the clutch it just thumps or ka-clunks.
This pretty much perfectly describes my experience. Glad I'm not the only one
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:26 PM   #16
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You may be shifting it too fast (forcing it into gear). I apply only a light pressure on the shifter, and it slips right into the gear when it's ready. No clunking or grinding. It is way slower than a passenger car transmission and doesn't like fast shifts. The key is not to rush.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:32 PM
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You may be shifting it too fast (forcing it into gear). I apply only a light pressure on the shifter, and it slips right into the gear when it's ready. No clunking or grinding. It is way slower than a passenger car transmission and doesn't like fast shifts. The key is not to rush.
Yeah I've been trying to be more gentle with it since a couple people now have mentioned it. I was definitely shifting it like a sports car before
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:45 PM   #18
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Try double clutching and see if that helps.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:55 AM   #19
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I'm at my second Jeep Manual right now I have a 2014 JKU with 110k miles shifting is pretty smooth have no clunking and such but yes it definetly is more of a truck feel to it, we also own a Nissan Xterra manual which shifts very and I mean very smooth and fast but it's a JEEP and it's expected. I plan to add a B&M shifter as I hear it shortens the 4th to 5th gear and the other cross over gears a bit faster (I shift slow anyways) but anything helps. I don't regret getting a manual I love manuals. I bought this 2014 brand new and the first thing I did was replace the oil with Amsoil and the Amsoil helped a lot. The jeep has had amoil for probably 105k of the trans lifespan and it has been real beneficial as it shifts smooth. Coming from a sports car to a Jeep is a big change hope everything works out for you don't worry you will come to appreciate the Jeep driveline in time I did. I came from Camaros and faster cars when I was younger.
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Old 09-13-2019, 07:54 AM   #20
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It's never going to be the smoothest shifting gearbox, but this will help:

Change the gearbox oil to synthetic. Redline MTL, Amsoil Manual Synchromesh or Royal Purple Synchromax.

And do so every 30,000 miles.
This exactly....I just dropped Redline MTL in my 2011 and although the gearbox is still very truck like the transmission is quiet as a mouse now, no clunking or sputtering like before. Made a believer out of me for sure.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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I'm at my second Jeep Manual right now I have a 2014 JKU with 110k miles shifting is pretty smooth have no clunking and such but yes it definetly is more of a truck feel to it, we also own a Nissan Xterra manual which shifts very and I mean very smooth and fast but it's a JEEP and it's expected. I plan to add a B&M shifter as I hear it shortens the 4th to 5th gear and the other cross over gears a bit faster (I shift slow anyways) but anything helps. I don't regret getting a manual I love manuals. I bought this 2014 brand new and the first thing I did was replace the oil with Amsoil and the Amsoil helped a lot. The jeep has had amoil for probably 105k of the trans lifespan and it has been real beneficial as it shifts smooth. Coming from a sports car to a Jeep is a big change hope everything works out for you don't worry you will come to appreciate the Jeep driveline in time I did. I came from Camaros and faster cars when I was younger.
Despite my post, I'm really enjoying driving it. I only ever wanted a manual.
I'm just becoming obsessive about getting perfect shifts I guess.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:42 PM   #22
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You may be shifting it too fast (forcing it into gear). I apply only a light pressure on the shifter, and it slips right into the gear when it's ready. No clunking or grinding. It is way slower than a passenger car transmission and doesn't like fast shifts. The key is not to rush.
I have a 2017 Rubicon two door also a 6 speed manual . It is very smooth IF you slow down . My Wrangler came stock with 4:10 gears I never use first gear no need .

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