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Lots of good input here and I’ll just add a slightly different tack as usual: I went to 35s in my Rubicon last year. I drove it for just about a year and did a number of difficult trails with the stock 4.10s in the diffs. Now I live at elevation and the trails I’m on are at an even higher elevation, but the 4.10s kinda sucked for the street, and- more importantly and really my point- I had to actually start using the throttle when on hard obstacles in 4 low on trails.

I don’t like using the throttle and very much prefer to idle up everything. I found myself slipping the clutch every now and then and stalled regularly due to having driven on the OEM gears and tires for so many years. I very recently had 4.88s put in the diffs and it’s now back to the OEM feeling, which I loved.

So my point is, “just popping it into 4 low” to account for too tall gearing when in 4 high isn’t really the question you want to be asking in my opinion. It should instead be, “is my 4 low enough to keep me from being a throttle jockey when in the hard stuff?”

Put another way, let’s say 1st gear 4 low is plenty to climb walls, but you‘d like to cover more ground than a walking pace for the time on the trail. Well, the advantage of a manual in that situation for me is that I start in 3rd, maybe even 4th gear. I actually spend a decent bit of time in 6th gear in 4 low if I want to go over 10 mph. If I need to go any faster for any length of time or want to mob like an idiot, I put it back into 4 high.

Another component that more or less has been answered is that the OEM gears are established for various models for various reasons. Meaning, a Rubicon was to be focused on ultimate capability out of the box. An auto Sahara is a bit more tame- albeit still very capable. Once you alter that configuration, you are now having to do all the engineering work the OEM did to figure out what was best for the model given the design use case. So, now that I have brought the gear to tire ratio back to stock, despite running higher revs than I did with the larger tires too tall gears, my economy has improved quite well as has overall drivability, because now I don’t have to wring it’s neck any longer.
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