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I'm a current YJ owner and my wife wants something more civilized. This will remain fairly stock, as it will doing some DD and 500 mile trips to some mountain property. We have driven the YJ the 500 miles to the Smoky Mountains and it wasn't particularly comfortable.

1) In stock form, how does the 3.8 perform on interstate in the mountains? I know the 3.6 has significantly more power.

2) Is it easy to "manually shift" the five speed auto? Our Tundra has electronic sequential shifting and it's effortless, just tap the shifter.
 

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The 3.8 is down on power. But as I recall it also has a 4 speed auto trans which makes the power deficit worse. But it is livable for many. I would rather have a decent 3.6, but if your budget doesn't allow for that the 3.8 isn't horrible.
Gearing is key, getting shorter gearing will help, especially if you are running larger tires.
 

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I'm a current YJ owner and my wife wants something more civilized. This will remain fairly stock, as it will doing some DD and 500 mile trips to some mountain property. We have driven the YJ the 500 miles to the Smoky Mountains and it wasn't particularly comfortable.

1) In stock form, how does the 3.8 perform on interstate in the mountains? I know the 3.6 has significantly more power.

2) Is it easy to "manually shift" the five speed auto? Our Tundra has electronic sequential shifting and it's effortless, just tap the shifter.
I would recommend 3.6, 5 speed auto is easy to downshift, I had to get used to it though. Its unusual that in manual it moves left to right, and needs to be holded a split second to the right to return to D. After a while I found it convenient and intuitive.
 

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I'm a current YJ owner and my wife wants something more civilized. This will remain fairly stock, as it will doing some DD and 500 mile trips to some mountain property. We have driven the YJ the 500 miles to the Smoky Mountains and it wasn't particularly comfortable.

1) In stock form, how does the 3.8 perform on interstate in the mountains? I know the 3.6 has significantly more power.

2) Is it easy to "manually shift" the five speed auto? Our Tundra has electronic sequential shifting and it's effortless, just tap the shifter.
I cannot speak to an auto JK/JKU, but I can speak to the transition from a YJ to a JKU. I drove YJs exclusively from 91 until this past February when I sold my last YJ and purchased my JKU.

Mine is a fun vehicle that makes trips to the beach and our cabin in PA; both are <200 miles away.

Mine is a 2013 w/6sp. The 3.6 is no 4.0, but it is decent enough. Look for one with 3.73s at least; you do not need a Rubicon to get these gears. I hear good things about the 2012+ auto too.

What I like best is the mpg; I got 20 yesterday coming back from the beach and I'm running 35s!

Good luck with your search, and if you budget allows go 3.6 you will not be disappointed.
 

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I agree with Lemotan.

The auto shift thing took me a while to get used to. Sometimes when I am making a turn from an intersection, I will steady myself with my hand on the shifter and inadvertently down shift...then when I accelerate, I am winding out the engine until I realize I am still in 1st! Just takes some getting used to.

I tow a boat, and the manual mode is really a nice feature.

My last Jeep was an '07 Sahara JKU with the 3.8. Not too bad for a daily driver, but seemed very anemic on the highways, and sluggish pulling the boat. Would downshift for overpasses on the highways.

My new Jeep is a '15 Sahara JKU and it is night/day. A real pleasure to drive. Just took it on vacation (with the family) and drove thru the Smokys...Gatlinburg, up to Clingman's Dome, then up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway checking out falls and overlooks. The 3.6 handled it just fine! Cruising the mountain roads really gave me a chance to get used to the manual "slap stick" shifting.
 

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I've been driving 4-cylinders my whole life, and the 3.8 (in a 2-door with stock tires and gearing) behaves basically like a 4-banger in a lighter vehicle. On mountainous highways, the auto trans has to downshift on hills and sometimes hunts for the right gear, but put the hammer down and it moves acceptably, but not inspiringly.
 

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Not to hijack but what is this auto manual shifting you guys mentioned above? Lol sorry, I just got my 2015 Auto and before I had an ‘08 6-speed. This is the first I’ve seen/read on the auto manual shifting.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Trans selector lever should show P, R, N, and D.
When D is selected speedo will indicate you are in D for drive. Move the lever slightly to the left and you will downshift to the next lower gear for every move to the left. To upshift move the level to the right. To go back to D (drive) hold the lever to the right for a few seconds. Where the D is displayed in the speedo you will get the indication of what gear you are in when you select the manual mode.
 

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Trans selector lever should show P, R, N, and D.

When D is selected speedo will indicate you are in D for drive. Move the lever slightly to the left and you will downshift to the next lower gear for every move to the left. To upshift move the level to the right. To go back to D (drive) hold the lever to the right for a few seconds. Where the D is displayed in the speedo you will get the indication of what gear you are in when you select the manual mode.


This is spot on for operation of this transmission. It’s just that simple and works great. I’ve also found if I wanted to go to manual shift from D but didn’t want to downshift to get there I just move shifter to right while in D and it will switch to manual shift and will hold the current gear.

My ‘16 JKRU is very comfortable. Wife and I take long trips in it and we’re not exactly spring chickens. It’s got all the creature comforts we like and will climb a mountain while jamming to Joe Bonamassa on the kick ass Alpine system. I bet you and your wife would enjoy one of these
 

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the one big negative on at least 2013 and newer autos is if you are using the manual mode and come to a stop it will put you in 1st and will not upshift even if you are bouncing off the rev limiter. It is possible to accidentally have your wife or passenger knock your shift lever over putting you in standard mode and the driver not realize it, come to a stop and then merge into traffic ext and be stuck in first gear until he/she realize what is going on.
 

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Trans selector lever should show P, R, N, and D.
When D is selected speedo will indicate you are in D for drive. Move the lever slightly to the left and you will downshift to the next lower gear for every move to the left. To upshift move the level to the right. To go back to D (drive) hold the lever to the right for a few seconds. Where the D is displayed in the speedo you will get the indication of what gear you are in when you select the manual mode.
Excellent description; wanted to add one comment:
when downshifting, the trans will select the closest gear to the optimal rpm for the speed.

In other words, if you are going 25mph in D, and down shift, it won't go to 5th or 4th; it'll drop down to 2nd or 3rd. If you are humming along at 65mph, and down shift, it will probably go to 5th or 4th.

Just my observations, but still new to me too.
 

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The manual mode is useful, but it's still a slushbox. It takes time to adapt to. The more you use it the better you will know it.

I have a 2017 and have been on several 2,500 mile weekend+ trips. It is comfortable to drive other than the wandering it does and the wind noise, oh, and the tire noise (now very noticeable since 44k are on the OEM KM2's). Good thing it has the 22.5 gallon fuel tank or I'd have to stop more often for fuel ;)

The leather seats (JKUR) are comfortable and cabin air temp can be maintained (better now with Hot Heads insulation in the top).

You would probably find it much improved over the YJ for highway use.
 

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It is possible to accidentally have your wife or passenger knock your shift lever over putting you in standard mode and the driver not realize it, come to a stop and then merge into traffic ext and be stuck in first gear until he/she realize what is going on.
This! Between five kids, their friends, two dogs and the wife it’s far from the biggest problem in my life but it happens frequently.
 

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auto too.

What I like best is the mpg; I got 20 yesterday coming back from the beach and I'm running 35s!
Unless somehow your drive home from the beach is downhill or you had a huge tailwind, your math is off. lol
 

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auto too.

What I like best is the mpg; I got 20 yesterday coming back from the beach and I'm running 35s!
Unless somehow your drive home from the beach is downhill or you had a huge tailwind, your math is off. lol
i don’t see how. the 4.10 gears seem to be in the sweet spot in the highway in 6th gear. all flat 65 the entire way.
 

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I looked long and hard for a 3.6 for my daughter but couldn’t find one in her budget. She ended up with a 3.8 with the auto. It’s fine for her - her daily commute is 2 miles to school or 3 miles to work. Couple of times a week it might go a bit farther. It sucks gas and is definitely underpowered. Keeps the teenager slow and close to home - not a bad thing. Only way I’d buy a 3.8 for myself is if it was a manual.
 
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