That's a shame, us rock crawlers converted to automatics years ago. I converted my previous TJ's 5-speed to an automatic for the benefits it brings to extra-tough trails. Significantly more (up to 2-3x) low-end torque and what is in effect an infinitely low 1st gear ratio means better low-speed crawling. I'd never go back to a manual transmission in my Jeep so long as it's primarily an offroad vehicle.Don't think I'd ever buy a jeep that didn't have a manual or 4.0
Automatic is the way to go. I really can't understand the draw of a manual. If you have a true granny low manual trans, then manuals are effective..... But I'd still take an automatic.
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honestly, thats the old world line of thought. the additional work that needs to be done for an auto is to add a $50 passive trans cooler in front of the radiator. the extra maint is disconnect one of the hoses by the radiator to complete a trans flush when necessary. sounds a lot cheaper and easier than replacing a clutch. as to the water and mud, both auto and trans jeeps have several breather lines that need to be extended above the deepest intended water line.I tow and often go through mountains so a manual performs better. I also do a lot of deep water crossings. Has a lot of previous issues with autos falling due to water or mud. Then there is heat factor along with ease of maintenance