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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
yooper2001xj
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When do you use the lower gears on the automatic transmission?

I've searched for awhile on this with no luck.

Can anyone explain when to shift into the lower gears, 3,2,1 on the auto transmission? When to use and not to use them? Any info or links explaining this would be great.

Thanks

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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:48 PM   #2
foggybottombob
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I use them for long downhill sections on the highway in mountainous terrain to slow down without smoking my brakes. And I use them off road to pick an appropriate speed range for the trail surface.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
JeepCherokee513
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I hardly ever use the lower gears unless im 4 wheeling, and even then i mostly keep it in Drive. unless im going up a somewhat steep hill then i'll throw it down in 1-2.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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Use OD (overdrive) for all your daily driving.

Use 3 for towing.

Use 3 for downhill sides of mountain roads, the engine compression will help slow the vehicle. Use 3 for very steep uphill mountain roads like Vail Pass.

Use 3 for 4x4 trails. Use 1-2 for very step downhill 4x4 trail sections. The engine compression will help slow the Jeep without using the brakes
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
Greenz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foggybottombob View Post
I use them for long downhill sections on the highway in mountainous terrain to slow down without smoking my brakes. And I use them off road to pick an appropriate speed range for the trail surface.
X2
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Unread 10-21-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
Gnl.Weirdness
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1-2 is nice for steep roads with snow/ice on them as well.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #7
yooper2001xj
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When towing in 3, is there a max speed? I assume when towing something light, like a small boat, drive is fine. When towing a U-Haul loaded, down shifting to 3 would be a good idea.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
yooper2001xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Use OD (overdrive) for all your daily driving.

Use 3 for towing.

Use 3 for downhill sides of mountain roads, the engine compression will help slow the vehicle. Use 3 for very steep uphill mountain roads like Vail Pass.

Use 3 for 4x4 trails. Use 1-2 for very step downhill 4x4 trail sections. The engine compression will help slow the Jeep without using the brakes
When towing in 3, is there a max speed? I assume when towing something light, like a small boat, drive is fine. When towing a U-Haul loaded, down shifting to 3 would be a good idea.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
natetuff
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I would more or less obey posted speed limits, maybe even 5mph under depending on what you are towing.
Your RPMs should tell you the appropriate speed in 3rd.

The main thing to remember about towing is not just getting up or traveling at a certain speed, it's slowing down/stopping. Similar to snow/ice conditions,
you can go as fast as you want, but good luck stopping.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
lowicz96
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I've always heard you don't put it in overdrive while towing because when the torque converter locks up, it puts to much stress on the trans and it will overheat from the pump not pumping fast enough.
1 - 2 for steep incline/declines and some wheeling
3 - towing
OD - regular driving

But like what natetuff said its not how fast you can pull something, its getting it stop. I've pulled an XJ with another XJ and it pulled great but was scary as **** having to stop it in traffic
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Unread 10-21-2009, 11:20 PM   #11
Greenz
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I towed ~2500# trailer across the country mostly in OD. In the mountains, used the gears to help with speed control. Plenty of snow and ice in the rockies made me stay cautious.

Did not have any overheating issues with the tranny nor had any breaking problems. I did install a tranny cooler before the trip and it was in December so that may have been the difference.

Hardly new it was back there except it was wider than the jeep and the mirrors barley worked with it.

Frickin sand on the road sand blasted my rockers, rear flares, windshield, and tire width pattern on the front of my trailer. Thanks Idaho!
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Unread 10-22-2009, 01:29 AM   #12
Luke94XJ
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I occasionally tow 1800 lbs of Jet skis/trailer, leaving it in 3 definitely helps, especially in slightly hilly sections. In most truck manuals it will tell you to take the trans. out of overdrive.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 02:36 AM   #13
CJ7-Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yooper2001xj View Post
When towing in 3, is there a max speed?
Whatever the speed limit is.
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Unread 10-22-2009, 06:28 AM   #14
dcorn
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My drive from the DC area to Snowshoe mountain ski resort is full of pretty big mountains, so this time I left it in 3rd going up and down the mountains. Needed the extra gearing to get up the hills and used the engine braking so my brakes weren't burning up on the way down.

Occasionally, if I'm towing the wave runner locally and not going over 50mph, I'll keep it in 3rd.

Last time I went wheeling, I'd put it in 1st going down really steep hills and it gives you tons of control because you barely have to hit the brakes and you just crawl down the hill. Helps more if you have shorter gears as well.
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