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3.21 ratio what do you have.

  • 2012 or newer with auto and 3.21 Rear Axle Ratio and happy

    Votes: 135 53.4%
  • 2012 or newer with manual and 3.21 Rear Axle Ratio and happy

    Votes: 66 26.1%
  • 2012 or newer with auto and 3.21 Rear Axle Ratio and not happy

    Votes: 17 6.7%
  • 2012 or newer with manual and 3.21 Rear Axle Ratio and not happy

    Votes: 19 7.5%
  • pre 2012 with 3.21 and not happy

    Votes: 4 1.6%
  • I dont even own a JK but you must have 5.13 ratio becasue all the cool guys have them.

    Votes: 12 4.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
See lots of complaining about the 3.21 ratio but wonder just how many of those complaining actually have a 2012+ 3.21 with auto and how many have the manual and how many dont even have the 3.21.
 

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I am very happy with mine. I have a '12 auto tranny. I do lots of highway driving between 55-65mph. Great MPGs.
 

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I just bought my 2012 JK after having test driven several on the lot, both with 3.21s and 3.73s. I found that even with the larger 255/75R17 tires that came with the S package on my sport, first gear in my manual transmission is plenty deep to get my Jeep going with the 3.21 gears. I'll cruise the freeway in town at 55 (speed cameras everywhere) in 5th gear just fine. When I get out of town and get up to 70-75 in 6th gear and cruise with no problems. With the 3.73s, I felt that first gear wrapped out a little too quickly for my tastes but starting out in second gear wasn't going to cut it. The 3.73's felt a little unbalanced because of that. Now, I think the ideal gear for the size tire I have is probably a 3.31 or even a 3.54 but I'm not going to be able to get that from the factory and I'm sure as hell not going to pay to do that minor of a swap. Given that this Jeep is going to be my daily driver for the next 4-5 years, I decided that the 3.21s were for me.


My crawl ratio is around 39:1 which is fine for light to moderate trail riding, which I do plan on doing while I daily drive this Jeep. I plan on sticking with stock size tires for the first several years. Having driven several stock Jeeps over the years, I know that this setup will be fine for light duty work.

I know I'm not going to do any kind of serious technical rock crawling in this Jeep for quite a while. There just isn't that much of it available anywhere near me. When I want to do that in this JK I'm going to be doing a lot of work to it to get it ready to do that. That kind of work is going to involve at least swapping out the front axle assembly entirely. I may even swap out both axles as well. If I just do the front axle, I'm still going to have to modify the rear axle. I'll swap out the gears to mach and replace the carrier with a full locker so whether I have 3.21s or 3.73s won't make one iota of difference. I'll just buy the new front axle with the gears I want and drop the $1500 on a gear/locker swap in the rear. Or, if the budget allows, I'll just go ahead and drop in the matched D60's and build them the way I want so I can run 40's or bigger without worrying about pushing a marginal axle.

So yeah, the 3.21s are fine for now. Exactly what I need. When the Jeep is no longer my DD, that will change.
 

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I think folks get a little lost in the weeds on this.

IMO, the 3.21s are fine. Your jeep will go in the direction you point it. But the 3.73s will in all respects be better, except for a marginal gas mileage impact.

So the issue isn't the 3.21s are awful and the 3.73s/4.10s are awesome, it's just that for $100 or whatever it costs to order 3.73s from the factory, almost everybody would be better off ordering the 3.73s.
 

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I ordered 3.73's on a 2013 JKU auto. But I fought long and hard all last year on behalf of 3.21's with the new 5 speed auto's. I think 3.55's or so would be perfect....and I ONLY ordered 3.73's for the increased "Chrysler approved" tow ratings. I test drove both ratios back to back last year in identical Sahara JKU's. The 3.21's were fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While this may have been true on pre 2012 this is just not the case with 2012+. The new auto is geared lower and the 3.6 has loads more power to take advantage of the 3.21 while getting better mpg. There are special applications. If you live in the mountains or plan to tow.If you are going with over 33" tires then sure 3.73 or even more would be ideal. For most people as an all around DD / occasional wheeler with 33" or smaller the 3.21 is a better option on the 2012+
 

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It all depends on what you are planning to use the Jeep for. On my end I'll be using it for a daily commute into Manhattan and MPG's although not that important to me should be somewhat reasonable, so the 3.21's are fine for now. Would I prefer 3.73's? Yes, but I'll probably wind up changing them down the line anyway. So for now, 3.21's will do the job.
 

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Panther, explain this. I looked on Jeep's site and it doesn't say anything about gear ratios under the towing information.
For the 2212/13 four doors, the tow rating is limited to 2000 pounds if you have 3.21's. That limit goes up to 3500 pounds with 3.73's.

For the 2 doors, it is capped at 2000 pounds no matter what.

Jeep has been pretty bad at showing a clear source on their tow ratings. The owners manual will say one thing....the website will say another. I go by their offical technical spec sheet.

http://media.chrysler.com/newsroom.do?id=4&mid=4

Look over to the right under Product Specifications and you can find the 2012 and 2013 spec sheets for the Wrangler. (they are PDF's)
 

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For most people as an all around DD / occasional wheeler with 33" or smaller the 3.21 is a better option on the 2012+
If you value a marginal increase in mpgs over an increase in power, then yes. Most jeepers don't fit in that category or they would've bought Priuses or Accords. I'd trade one mpg for some more zip off the line and torquey-ness around the trails, and think most folks that drive jeeps would.

For example:

On my end I'll be using it for a daily commute into Manhattan and MPG's although not that important to me should be somewhat reasonable, so the 3.21's are fine for now. Would I prefer 3.73's? Yes, but I'll probably wind up changing them down the line anyway. So for now, 3.21's will do the job.
I'd say this is the view of most folks who drive jeeps with 3.21s. They're fine, but they'd rather have 3.73s.
 

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If you value a marginal increase in mpgs over an increase in power, then yes. Most jeepers don't fit in that category or they would've bought Priuses or Accords. I'd trade one mpg for some more zip off the line and think most folks that drive jeeps would.
It's rare...but this is one time I have to disagree with you. However...it really could depend on what you mean by "Jeepers".

If by Jeepers you mean people that mod and wheel them...than yes...you are correct.

But if you mean Jeepers as in Wrangler owners...I have to disagree (in terms of the "new breed" of Jeepers).

The arrival of the Unlimited, the interior update, and the 3.6 has brought in people (like myself) that are not true Jeepers. I'm replacing a Liberty that hardly ever went off road with a Sahara that will hardly ever go off road.....so MPG is important to me. Of course, it isn't really hard to get better MPG than a 2006 Liberty.For such a small vehicle, it is AWFUL on fuel.
 

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My wife and I just got his and hers Jeeps as a late wedding present to ourselves. She got 2012 JKU with the 3.21 gears and mine is a 2013 with 3.73 (Wife wanted the one on the lot with tires/wheels already installed and I opted to wait two weeks). Needless to say, she get's slightly better gas mileage and with the new 3.6, can't really tell that much difference in drivability on highway or beach in 4 wheel drive. May be a different story when we take them to Concan in November to run the rocky/hilly Jeep trails.
 

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It's rare...but this is one time I have to disagree with you. However...it really could depend on what you mean by "Jeepers".

If by Jeepers you mean people that mod and wheel them...than yes...you are correct.

But if you mean Jeepers as in Wrangler owners...I have to disagree (in terms of the "new breed" of Jeepers).

The arrival of the Unlimited, the interior update, and the 3.6 has brought in people (like myself) that are not true Jeepers. I'm replacing a Liberty that hardly ever went off road with a Sahara that will hardly ever go off road.....so MPG is important to me. Of course, it isn't really hard to get better MPG than a 2006 Liberty.For such a small vehicle, it is AWFUL on fuel.
No no no--MY speculation about what most people want is much more sound than YOUR speculation about what most people want . . . :D

To me, I feel like jeeps are already bad on mpgs, so what's an extra 1 mpg or so to feel a little more pep in all circumstances? Also lets you go to bigger tires if someday you'd like to do so. Also makes you better off for towing you may happen to do someday that you're not aware of now. Also does better for that trip to the mountains you'll be taking three years down the line you don't know about today. Etc.

So 3.73s just seem like a more flexible and sensible choice to me for just about anybody. Every time. Even if they never plan on modding the jeep, towing, or driving in the mountains. Plans change. You never know.

I SUPPOSE there are folks, somewhere, that would choose otherwise. "Here, take my extra pep and future flexibility--just give me another 1 mpg!!!" I just don't see that as very practical, especially when there are countless vehicles that get far better mpgs anyway.

I dunno, it's up to everybody's preferences I guess.
 

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I am very happy with mine. I have a '12 auto tranny. I do lots of highway driving between 55-65mph. Great MPGs.
In the city, the 3.73 and 4.10 wouldn't necessarily return lower MPG's. With the 3.21's sometimes you have to mash it just to get it to move and that kills fuel economy.
 

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Being a new wrangler ower there was a lot of not knowing when it comes to gears. Bought mine almost a year ago w 3.21s (which i had no idea) added 33s 4 mths after I purchased it. If I would have known gears mattered with adding mods then I would've sesarched for 3.73 on lots. Still happyy with my 3.21 but for $100 more 3.73 is a no brainer.
 

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Wish I'd'a Known

MTH has convinced me, and I do a lot of highway miles on my way to the trails.

Since I tow with a manual and plan to upgrade tire size slightly as stockers wear out, I wish I'd camped on this site a few months before I ordered my 2012.

Nevertheless, consider me very satisfied with my 3.21s. I prefer low r's for cruising, but not necessarily for improved economy. I've found there's more to (marginally, agreed) improved fuel mileage than just low r's.
If I want lower gearing I can just downshift. If I want a higher gear than sixth, it can only easily come from the differential(s).
I haven't yet had to ride the clutch through any rock gardens.

How big a deal is aftermarket regearing?
 
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