3.45 too tall with 6-speed?

N75

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Has anybody else driven a 6-speed manual Sport or Sahara and asked “where’s the torque?” I took a new base model with LSD for a spin - really liked the shifter feel, and I don’t mind the lighter clutch at all. What struck me is a slight grade at 55mph I was downshifting into 3rd to maintain speed. I only hit 5th once on my test drive, and I can’t see 6th being useful below 80 or going down a hill!

Am I just missing low end grunt because the motor isn’t broken in? Do I really have to upgrade to a Rubicon to get shorter gearing? Was it maybe a strong head wind? Lol.

Note, I am a torque junky. Had quite a few diesel and/or boosted cars previously. Coming out of an older Mercedes 3.5 V6 though which is rated for less, has a 5-speed auto, and is a 4000lb AWD car. I expected the wrangler to be a little pokey due to weight and wind resistance but my Sport S budget friendly build is currently out the window.

Can any JL Rubicon owners vouch for highway driving not requiring downshifts to maintain speed? Dropping to 5th is fine, 3rd kinda annoying.

Thanks!!





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That One Guy

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Has anybody else driven a 6-speed manual Sport or Sahara and asked “where’s the torque?” I took a new base model with LSD for a spin - really liked the shifter feel, and I don’t mind the lighter clutch at all. What struck me is a slight grade at 55mph I was downshifting into 3rd to maintain speed. I only hit 5th once on my test drive, and I can’t see 6th being useful below 80 or going down a hill!

Am I just missing low end grunt because the motor isn’t broken in? Do I really have to upgrade to a Rubicon to get shorter gearing? Was it maybe a strong head wind? Lol.

Note, I am a torque junky. Had quite a few diesel and/or boosted cars previously. Coming out of an older Mercedes 3.5 V6 though which is rated for less, has a 5-speed auto, and is a 4000lb AWD car. I expected the wrangler to be a little pokey due to weight and wind resistance but my Sport S budget friendly build is currently out the window.

Can any JL Rubicon owners vouch for highway driving not requiring downshifts to maintain speed? Dropping to 5th is fine, 3rd kinda annoying.

Thanks!!
Are you exaggerating this a bit? Third? I could see fourth.

In every other 6 speed I've driven, 6th isn't particularly useful until you're cruising 65-70+ anyway. The 3.45's are an improvement over the base JK gearing. Would be nice if they offered a different factory regear like the did with the JK's, though. I have no interest in regearing my JL in the first couple years of ownership so I hope the power is there. It didn't really feel there on a stock JKU with the 3.21's (or whatever) and the 6 speed.
 
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N75

N75

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Not exaggerating - this was my initial reaction after taking a cruise on a slightly hilly highway. Now, I was being gentle on the throttle and RPM so not to hurt somebody else’s break-in, so maybe laying into the throttle more than 50% will make all the difference! That said, at 55 mph I hit a couple percent grade. Downshift to fourth still had me losing speed, so I went down to 3rd.

I keep hearing good reports about this ratio. Somewhat looking for feedback, could be just me!
 

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Not exaggerating - this was my initial reaction after taking a cruise on a slightly hilly highway. Now, I was being gentle on the throttle and RPM so not to hurt somebody else’s break-in, so maybe laying into the throttle more than 50% will make all the difference! That said, at 55 mph I hit a couple percent grade. Downshift to fourth still had me losing speed, so I went down to 3rd.

I keep hearing good reports about this ratio. Somewhat looking for feedback, could be just me!
Here's my experience with the stock Dueler 245/75/17s (31.5" tires)
-6th will lose speed on a grade but will maintain 70+ mph on an even surface.
-5th will let me slowly pass traffic above 70 and can maintain speed on grades
-4th will allow me to slowly pass on grades above 70
-3rd raises the revs but will get me out of a bind above 40 (haven't had to use it past 50mph/still breaking in)
-2nd is a long gear but helps me get around traffic and accelerate at 10+ mph on surface streets


My biggest complaint is 1st...ugh. Its a very short gear but not all the way short enough to overcome the lack of grunt that the pentastar 3.6 has near idle (I have a feeling the engineers did their best to find the sweet spot). I've stalled a couple times and understand what Motortrend was talking about. To start from a stop during a spirited commute, I need to hit about 1100 while disengaging the clutch. The engine picks up torque around 1500-2000 and starts to scream at 3000 - it'd be well suited for a street car.

I will update once I get 35's.
 
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Excellent write-up! That’s exactly the feedback I was hoping for when I started the thread. A 10 minute test drive is in now way comparable to spending even a day with a new vehicle.

I haven’t crunched the numbers to compare 4.10 with 33’s vs 3.45 with 31.5, but gut feeling is it’s just a little shorter effective gearing in stock form.
 

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Just an update. With 35’s it has less power but I can still get out of my own way getting through traffic. I don’t expect a significant difference from before off-road.
 

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I drove a manual Sahara today up I70 west out of Denver (5-7% grades) and experienced this same thing. I could not get out of third gear and slowed down when I did try and shift to fourth, even with the accelerator floored. I’m not sure if sixth gear is even necessary. I wish they would’ve have had a manual rubicon to try out but the automatic I test drove seemed to do fine on the same hill. The turbo 4 and diesel supposedly make torque a lot sooner in the power band than the 6 so maybe this would help. FWIW, I did like the way the manual shifted. I thought it was very smooth and easy to adjust to, even for a guy who hasn’t driven one for a few years

One more reason to get the Rubicon I guess.


Not exaggerating - this was my initial reaction after taking a cruise on a slightly hilly highway. Now, I was being gentle on the throttle and RPM so not to hurt somebody else’s break-in, so maybe laying into the throttle more than 50% will make all the difference! That said, at 55 mph I hit a couple percent grade. Downshift to fourth still had me losing speed, so I went down to 3rd.

I keep hearing good reports about this ratio. Somewhat looking for feedback, could be just me!
 

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Sounds like the stock ratio is so mpg biased that it isn't suited well for realistic daily driving. I hope it ends up being decent for me. Maybe the lighter two door will help.

Thanks for the in-depth feedback guys.
 

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I hve a sport with the manual trans. I feel it’s powered just fine with the 245/75R17. I am coming from a 3.8L automatic 2 door on 35’s. So everything is faster than that.

Getting 35’s soon and will report back
 

intentsrig

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Have not got the 35’s yet but I have driven up to Tahoe both north and south sides. I have no idea how or why you needed 3rd. I went up most the way in 5th and occasionally 4th.

I Was able to cruise at 70mph or faster and never needed to go over 3k rpm in any gear to maintain those speeds. Hell, in 4th around 2450 rpm it would still gain speed quickly despite the elevation and grade.

Also I have never stalled the Jeep. You don’t even have to hit the gas if you wanted to creep. Let the clutch out and it’ll start moving. I can go up a small hill by my driveway with no gas at all. Just 1st gear and let it walk up.
So idk what your issue was
 

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So it wasn't just me

Didn't go higher than 4th in my test drive, and I was going about 70 on (rt)18. Wonder how 4.10 would be
 

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The gearing in JL is actually perfect. Very good transmission gearing on both the manual and automatic, and the 3.45s are right in the sweet spot.

The problem is the Pentastar engine. It makes a little over 200 lbs/ft of torque at the wheels which is 1990s V6 levels of power. Very pathetic. This is the one area where the Hurricane engine will be better, and the EcoDiesel will have absolutely no issues at all.
 

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The gearing in JL is actually perfect. Very good transmission gearing on both the manual and automatic, and the 3.45s are right in the sweet spot.

The problem is the Pentastar engine. It makes a little over 200 lbs/ft of torque at the wheels which is 1990s V6 levels of power. Very pathetic. This is the one area where the Hurricane engine will be better, and the EcoDiesel will have absolutely no issues at all.
So what mods would you need to tie in with a tune to make enough torque?
 

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So what mods would you need to tie in with a tune to make enough torque?
Well, the exhaust setup is horribly restrictive on the JL. I can't believe how they've pinched the tubing, and that huge resonator, and how they run the flow into the muffler at a 90° angle. It's obvious that performance wasn't on their mind. So I believe a guy could do a full aftermarket exhaust, cold air intake, and a quality tune and probably pick up 15-20 lbs/ft of torque.

But, I think that if you're going to run large tires with the 3.6 on the interstate and you want to hold higher transmission gears, you're probably going to have to go back to the old school and swap out your axle gearing for 4.10s. Whenever there's a lack of power, you've got no real choice but to make use of what you have by gearing down.

I had a '92 YJ once with a 4-cylinder engine and 33" tires. I had to run 3rd gear up hills at 55 MPH. It got 13 MPGs hand calculated. I swapped the factory 4.10 gears out for 4.88s and suddenly I could use 4th gear and my mileage increased to 18 MPGs. It was still slow, but it drove much much better.

If you regear the JL to 4.10s or 4.56s you'll have the ability to use any gear you want on the road.
 

Rogues Gambit

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Well, the exhaust setup is horribly restrictive on the JL. I can't believe how they've pinched the tubing, and that huge resonator, and how they run the flow into the muffler at a 90° angle. It's obvious that performance wasn't on their mind. So I believe a guy could do a full aftermarket exhaust, cold air intake, and a quality tune and probably pick up 15-20 lbs/ft of torque.

But, I think that if you're going to run large tires with the 3.6 on the interstate and you want to hold higher transmission gears, you're probably going to have to go back to the old school and swap out your axle gearing for 4.10s. Whenever there's a lack of power, you've got no real choice but to make use of what you have by gearing down.

I had a '92 YJ once with a 4-cylinder engine and 33" tires. I had to run 3rd gear up hills at 55 MPH. It got 13 MPGs hand calculated. I swapped the factory 4.10 gears out for 4.88s and suddenly I could use 4th gear and my mileage increased to 18 MPGs. It was still slow, but it drove much much better.

If you regear the JL to 4.10s or 4.56s you'll have the ability to use any gear you want on the road.
That's the plan, though gonna look into 4.10 & .56 a bit more first
 

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