Manual or Automatic for Offroading

DanW

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im comfortable with manual


You pretty much loose 8th with an auto and 37s but it compensates fine. An outfitter in moab runs MC JLs on 37s and stock rubi gearing and have a great time with them. As mentioned, Kevin and Brittany do as well with out complaints. These JLs and 8 speed are an entire different animal vs a JK.

brett
Yep, everything you came to know with the JK is out the window with the JL, particularly with an auto. Even with the manual, though, it is clearly much better. I drive them back to back every day. The only change I'd make, if I could, would be to make top gears a little lower, making the JL's 6th gear ratio equal to the JK's. 6th is just a little too tall, with 35's, although my JL's 3.6 is pulling it quite a bit better now that it is broken-in. With the stock 33's, the 6th gear ratio would be fine where it is.





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Kevin8086

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I'm a manual fan, but I'm not sure you'd have to regear with an auto Rubi. @Kevin8086 hasn't regeared and his JL runs 38's and has some heavy mods, such as a steel skid plate system and more. I think this auto pushes these things around just fine. I've got 35's with the manual and it is plenty spunky, but the auto has so many ratios that I'd bet it handles bigger tires just fine.

IMHO, both of these transmissions are great options and you can't go wrong. I prefer the manual and saved a couple grand in the process, but I'm sure I'd be happy with the auto, too. I wish I could afford one of each!
It does do great but I am going to gear it because of ALLLLL the driving we do. It’ll make things a little nicer but no it’s not needed with the 8 speed
 

Akbill

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I just traded in my manual JKUR and bought a '19 JLUR with the auto due to an increasingly painful left knee with arthritis (yeah, getting old). I've never wheeled an automatic before so we'll see. Previously, when wheeling with a manual I just put it in 4Lo and chose an appropriate gear for the obstacle. The only thing that has me perplexed a bit with the auto is descending a steep hill/incline. I know about the hill descent control feature, but I haven't been offroad in the JLUR yet to try it out. Don't want it to roll away from me. I love the control a manual gives while descending and I'm hoping the auto with hill descent control can mimic it.
Where is the hill descent control switch? I have 2019 Jlur automatic, not seeing a button for that,,,,,
 

DanW

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Where is the hill descent control switch? I have 2019 Jlur automatic, not seeing a button for that,,,,,
When you do find it, don't forget to use it. I almost was rear ended by a JK coming down a steep hill on Hells Revenge in Moab. He said he forgot to engage it (as well as not manually selecting a lower gear.) Fortunately, I was watching the rear view camera and saw him coming, so I moved over. BTW, that was a win for Tazer JL, which overrides the time limit on the rear camera view.
 

Akbill

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When you do find it, don't forget to use it. I almost was rear ended by a JK coming down a steep hill on Hells Revenge in Moab. He said he forgot to engage it (as well as not manually selecting a lower gear.) Fortunately, I was watching the rear view camera and saw him coming, so I moved over. BTW, that was a win for Tazer JL, which overrides the time limit on the rear camera view.
I found it. Used it to day on a 19 degree incline, works great.
 

TCogs1

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Tough topic... But one point I have not heard... I use my automatic as a manual... meaning I like to be in control of the gear selection… thus I find myself using the auto most of the time im manual mode, unless I am easting a cheese burger :) ..

In 4L 1st or second gear in most cases I don't have to touch the throttle at all it goes and it slows... I have not tried the hill decent yet, because in manual mode I don't need it...
 

TCogs1

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For the JL, first gear in the manual is geared lower than the auto. The first gear ratio for the JL manual is 5.13. The auto is 4.71.
For your consideration..

The torque converter provides between 2x -3x more torque than a manual at stall.. so this acts as lower gearing.. gear ratio's themselves don't mean as much as the actual force (ft/lbs) be delivered to the wheels. That is where torque converters shine, thus the reason they are used in drag cars and big land moving tractors.

I will look for some charts from Jeep to illustrate..

But I think you can see this in action on youtube lite brite channel. The guy is running 38's and can "slowly" spin all 4 wheels on a solid rocks at just off an idle. While in a manual you need more engine rpm to do the same, thus the wheel speed must be hirer.

With that said.. in real world use that is not really that big of advantage because we all know the 3.6 should be a hemi :)

I hope that helps,

TC
 

DanW

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For your consideration..

The torque converter provides between 2x -3x more torque than a manual at stall.. so this acts as lower gearing.. gear ratio's themselves don't mean as much as the actual force (ft/lbs) be delivered to the wheels. That is where torque converters shine, thus the reason they are used in drag cars and big land moving tractors.

I will look for some charts from Jeep to illustrate..

But I think you can see this in action on youtube lite brite channel. The guy is running 38's and can "slowly" spin all 4 wheels on a solid rocks at just off an idle. While in a manual you need more engine rpm to do the same, thus the wheel speed must be hirer.

With that said.. in real world use that is not really that big of advantage because we all know the 3.6 should be a hemi :)

I hope that helps,

TC
True. The auto certainly has some advantages in some situations. However, the JLUR manual is as effortless as any I've driven off road, and my JKUR with slightly taller gearing and the old NSG370 isn't bad, at all, either. I have yet to find a situation that a comparable Jeep with an auto could get through or over that I couldn't do just as easily in either of my Jeeps, including that old JK 3.8, which is much further from a Hemi than the 3.6, Lol! Besides, experience is more important than auto vs. manual, anyway.
 

OBJLU

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I kept thinking I’d made a huge mistake when I bought my 6 speed until I actually took it wheeling. I couldn’t be happier, manual keeps it interesting, the Rubicon gives me so much capability that I enjoy thinking about choosing the right gear and finessing the clutch and gas although most times I just put it in first and let it crawl, I made it up a steep double waterfall doing just that on a difficult rated trail, did the same on the last “most difficult “ until I got to an obstacle that swallowed my 35’s at which point yeah I had to work it’s the clutch and gas, I stalled a couple times but I made it up, until that point though everyone assumed I was on an auto. I just bought 37’s and am going to regear to 5.13 which will give me a monster 105 to 1 crawl ratio.
 

intentsrig

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I kept thinking I’d made a huge mistake when I bought my 6 speed until I actually took it wheeling. I couldn’t be happier, manual keeps it interesting, the Rubicon gives me so much capability that I enjoy thinking about choosing the right gear and finessing the clutch and gas although most times I just put it in first and let it crawl, I made it up a steep double waterfall doing just that on a difficult rated trail, did the same on the last “most difficult “ until I got to an obstacle that swallowed my 35’s at which point yeah I had to work it’s the clutch and gas, I stalled a couple times but I made it up, until that point though everyone assumed I was on an auto. I just bought 37’s and am going to regear to 5.13 which will give me a monster 105 to 1 crawl ratio.
You will LOVE the 105:1. I find it very hard to stall now..almost impossible haha. Even when bound up front and rear on two ledges while dragging your under carriage plus hitting the brakes. Very hard to stall it.

I enjoy my 6 speed but I loved the benefits of my automatic JK rubicon. Now that my crawl ratio is is 105:1 I don't even think about the clutch anymore. Sometimes I use second gear for a little more wheel speed on certain obstacles because first is just that low.
 
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Personally prefer manual all the way. It's only more difficult off road if you aren't skilled with the clutch. Take the time to learn and you'll have more control in most situations and, in my opinion, it is much safer. Automatics just feel like they drive themselves, which isn't fun, and I feel like it's doing things I'm not necessarily telling it to. Also, you can replace the clutch 1-2 times for the price you pay for the auto transmission. I'd rather keep improving my driving skills and spend the money on parts.
 

TJ2018

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Manual off road? BTDT... had a manual Xterra Off-Road (and a manual Frontier Pro-4X). Perhaps I'm getting lazy but at this stage of life I'll take all the convenience I can get. Given the choice between manual and auto... auto hands down.
 

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Overall an auto is safer. A manual is more fun, and you don’t have to regear if you go to bigger tires.
JFK Special Warfare School?
 

intentsrig

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Honestly, a manual off road road is more pain than it’s worth unless you have the transfer case gearing/ axle gearing. For most the population..auto 100%.

If you have a manual and a sport t case and still disagree. You are not rock crawling BIG obstacles.
You wouldn’t say manual trans if you were. If you do and disagree..meet me on the Rubicon this year and then fordyce.p
 

Therby

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Honestly, a manual off road road is more pain than it’s worth unless you have the transfer case gearing/ axle gearing. For most the population..auto 100%.

If you have a manual and a sport t case and still disagree. You are not rock crawling BIG obstacles.
You wouldn’t say manual trans if you were. If you do and disagree..meet me on the Rubicon this year and then fordyce.p
Don’t you have manual?

I just regeared my manual sport jl. Makes a world of difference, cant wait to offroad it now.


Also, has anyone heard of this. I got the re gear done and now i have a “service stop/start system” not that i really care cause now i finally got rid of that feature
 

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