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Unread 08-23-2013, 11:35 PM   #1
Mfrancis
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Automatic vs. Manual

I'm looking at getting into the Jeep life. I'm looking at getting a JKU soon. Is there a big advantage to having a manual for off roading? It will be my DD as well as my toy, so I'm wondering what to get. And yes, I know how to drive a manual. Thanks.

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Unread 08-24-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
HappyTrails
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For off-road (i.e. rock crawling), an auto is fantastic, unless you have three feet and can work a manual like magic.

I grew up on manuals...love the control you have over it. But on the rocks, an auto actually rocks (no pun intended).

Most off-roading is done at slow speeds. As they say, "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary."

I'm sure others will chime in with more in-depth advice or strong opinions to the contrary. But that is what this forum is for....thoughtful discussion.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 01:47 AM   #3
JeeperSC
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Manuals are more fun to drive . IMO if your looking for performance and reliability automatics are the way to go. Drive both and pick which your happier with
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Unread 08-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #4
wtfcrunch
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I love manual Jeeps I feel that's the way they were supposed to be but that's just my personal opinion. Off roading is where you will hear both sides. I agree that rock climbing is better in an auto for sure.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 04:10 AM   #5
bogleparsons
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I too love a manual for the fun of shifting.

Auto would be nice off-road sometimes though.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
Jankoid
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I hate autos personally, they are boring. I don't like them offroad either. I feel much more in-control of the rig with the manual, and you don't need 3 feet to drive one unless you just don't know what the hell you are doing. The main thing I dislike about the auto when offroad is that you are over-reliant on your brakes. I would much rather compression brake down a hill than rely solely on manual brakes. The only advantage that an auto really has is that you can't stall it, but I rarely stall my manual anyway so that is no benefit to me. The auto is definitely easier to learn and is basically stupid-proof, but I know I wouldn't enjoy my Jeep nearly as much if it was an auto. How do I know that? My first TJ was an auto, and now all of my current Jeeps (LJ, TJ, and MJ) are manuals.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 05:59 AM   #7
Filthy-Beast
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I have both, I like both, manual more fun but you can chew up throw-out bearings if you play in muddy water holes a lot. Auto easy and can shift in water and mud holes. Auto more expensive to fix. I do not use brakes any more in the auto than I do with the manual on hills. Put it in 1 and let it engine brake down the hill.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
Mfrancis
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Thanks everybody. Also, what's the point of the hill assist if you have an auto. I can see the point for a manual, but don't see the point in an auto.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 07:16 AM   #9
4x4jkx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filthy-Beast View Post
I have both, I like both, manual more fun but you can chew up throw-out bearings if you play in muddy water holes a lot. Auto easy and can shift in water and mud holes. Auto more expensive to fix. I do not use brakes any more in the auto than I do with the manual on hills. Put it in 1 and let it engine brake down the hill.
You can shift in mud holes in a manual as well, it's just more of a pain in the rear. You have to first turn the jeep off, then shift without depressing the clutch pedal, and then start the jeep in that gear, again without depressing the clutch. Also, this only works in 4lo, because the clutch interlock is disabled in 4lo.

Both of my jeeps have been manuals, I get bored in automatics very quickly. Because of the extra difficulty in gear changing in water for a manual, it requires the operator to plan a little before jumping in water which may be potentially more hazardous than you think at first glance. This has honestly saved me in a couple of occasions from drowning the engine because I'm forced to take a few extra seconds to evaluate an obstacle.

Ultimately, it books down to user preference.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 07:26 AM   #10
Filthy-Beast
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Water would be fine it's the muddy silt and grit that still get in the bell housing and slowly chew up the bearings.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #11
Chest_Rockwell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jankoid View Post
The main thing I dislike about the auto when offroad is that you are over-reliant on your brakes. I would much rather compression brake down a hill than rely solely on manual brakes.
That is a common misconception. I compression brake just fine in my auto going down hill.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 08:38 AM   #12
Jankoid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chest_Rockwell View Post

That is a common misconception. I compression brake just fine in my auto going down hill.
It's not a misconception. It feels different. In an auto I always felt like I was being pushed downhill and had to counteract it with the brakes. You can compression brake with an auto, but not nearly as well, at least in my experience anyway.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
Chest_Rockwell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jankoid View Post
It's not a misconception. It feels different. In an auto I always felt like I was being pushed downhill and had to counteract it with the brakes. You can compression brake with an auto, but not nearly as well, at least in my experience anyway.
Do you put the trans (auto) in first? I assume that you have the t-case in 4-Lo.

By misconception, I was referring to the auto / manual brake compression. Best to my knowledge it makes no difference. The gearing in the trans, t-case, and diffs is what makes the difference with downhill engine braking.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
tjty11
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for offroading i would go with an auto.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 09:43 AM   #15
jjvw
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I will easily concede that an automatic might functionally be better in many driving applications-- possibly most in this day and age. However, if I want to be entertained by my vehicles, then I want a manual. Having fun isn't always about doing things the best or most efficiency way.
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