Off Road-Manuals vs Automatics -

View Poll Results: Which transmission do you have/use
Manual Transmission... 50 41.67%
Automatic Transmission... 41 34.17%
Don't care, Jeeps are great either way 29 24.17%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Off Road-Manuals vs Automatics

Hey, this is my first post here and I have to say, I have loved Jeeps. I grew up in one (my Dad bought it new) and then I ended up with it as my car when I became a senior in high school.

Unfortunately, my Jeep is edging on 22 years old and my parents are looking at buying me a new (new to me, but a pre-owned Jeep) Jeep for a graduating from college present/saving me money from having to be in debt to buy one myself .

As I have been scouring our local listings both on the internet and in the local car magazines, I have yet to find "THE JEEP" that would be worthy to replace my beloved '86.

Anyways, this leads me to the topic of the title of this thread.

I've been driving stick since I was old enough to and have grown very fond of it because it makes me feel a little bit more superior to those who drive automatics.

What is the general opinion of somebody who drives an automatic off road? I prefer manuals, but have yet to find one that would suit my needs (under 100K miles, manual and from 1999 or newer).

Personally, I would prefer to stick with a manual as it sets those who can drive one apart from those who can't (my own superiority complex I guess). You drive a manual, an automatic drives you...

I know this is kind of a preference thing, but does it matter to you what transmission your Jeep has?

Do automatics perform differently than manuals off road?

I really appreciate any insight into what you (Jeep lovers) think in terms of transmissions and the performance of them on and off road.

EDIT: I messed up the poll. The second choice should be Automatic Transmission...I'm sorry.

Last edited by fastredjeep; 10-10-2007 at 03:54 AM.
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post #2 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 03:28 AM
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While driving a manual on the road may be fun, it's just another pedal to worry about on the trail. Some view it as fun, but I've wheeled both and prefer auto.

It also depends on the type of wheeling you do. I prefer rocks, more technical stuff where being able to use the brake and gas at the same time is a major advantage. I know a lot of guys that crawl with manuals and are moving to hand-throttles.

However, if you're into mudbogs and what not where you pretty much open it up, I could see a manual being a lot of fun.


98 Cherokee Classic

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34" LTBs
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post #3 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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The kind of off roading I have done was in a friend's Jeep Country (Auto) and it wasn't anything serious except for a couple rocky spots and rocky creek beds, so my exposure to off roading is limited.

The reason I haven't taken mine off road is because I'm afraid the front right strut will break and then I'm screwed.

The reason I'm getting more and more interested is because as a fly fisher, some of the less frequented lakes are about 30 minutes up trails and such.

The extra pedal is nothing too terribly much to worry about. I find that slowing down using the engine compression is easier than having to use the breaks a lot.

I might not have a choice in the matter though. One should never look a gift horse in the mouth I guess.

Thanks for replying!
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post #4 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 04:05 AM
XTC Jpr13
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if you get into more difficult technical wheeling you will wish you had an automatic!
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post #5 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 07:09 AM
1 ton yj
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Automatic all the way. The two guys I wheel with had the same mentality as the original poster, swore up and down that manuals were the best hands down. I let each of them wheel my Jeep for a few hours this season and now they are both swapping to automatics this summer.

Anything a manual can do, a properly built automatic can do just as well or better without having to interupt momentum to do it (step on the clutch). I can start in any gear I want, have full compression braking like a manual and full control over shifting just like a manual. But unlike a manual I can wind my motor out and grab 2nd or 3rd gear on that muddy rock pile without having to stop the tires by stepping on the clutch to do it. Plus a torque converter will absorb most of the driveline shock that breaks parts.

Anyone that says a manual is better than an automatic has never wheeled a built automatic
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post #6 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 07:16 AM
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I've never wheeled an auto, but i'm sure once i get into the harder stuff, a hand throttle should make things a little easer.


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post #7 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 07:17 AM
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For technical rock crawling an auto is the way to go. I personaly and would sorta prefer an auto for the wheelin i do. The manual isnt all that bad and has its advantages, and having a manual by no means limits you, just makes it a little more of a challenge.
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post #8 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 07:27 AM
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My offroading is of a mixed variety. When I am in the rocks, I wish I still had an automatic. On the hills, I prefer my manual.

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post #9 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 07:41 AM
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Here's a quick little fix that I've been wanting to do for a while, but haven't had the time. It's a PITA having to either run it up to 4500 to shift into 2nd on hill climbs, or taking them in third then when fast enough bump down to 1/2 and hopefully not downshifting into first gear.

See, you can have all the gear selections you want, even with an auto.


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post #10 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 09:25 AM
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I'm about to convert my 5-speed to a 32RH automatic transmission for purely offroading reasons, all the parts are now in my garage.

P.S. I would have voted but I couldn't figure out what that second option was saying. But near as I could tell, I didn't agree with its reasons for why I would have chosen an automatic in the poll.

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post #11 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 09:41 AM
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I woke up this morning worried that I wouldn't see a flame-fest on JF. Then low and behold a stick vs auto thread. All my worries melted right away

Personally I drive both and enjoy both for off road. Sports cars on the other hand, 100% 3 pedal.

I'm the only gay eskimo.
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post #12 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 10:39 AM
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I have a manual and enjoy it. There have been times off-road that an auto would have made life much easier.
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post #13 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 10:43 AM
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I've done both offroad. I voted manual. It really depends on your plans I think. If you like rocks or climbing up a wall then you cant beat the auto. Everything else I like a stick. I like having more control of the Jeep. The only time i've found a manual that sucks is when someone puts bigger tires on it and does not regear. I've also heard that an auto is a little more easy on parts because it doesnt have a direct link between the engine and tranny. I would just go with what you like.

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post #14 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 11:29 AM
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I have a manual now and would like an auto, but then I want a Hemi in front of it too, so I guess I'll run it as is.

Actually my ideal Jeep would have a manual for playing around and a fast change to an auto for wheelin or being lazy. Wheelin where I go is better suited for an auto over a manual, slow speed on desert rocks and canyons, some serious rock-crawling, an occasional fast run over the desert, some sand, steep hills that appear out of nowhere with loose dirt and/or rocks, back on the highway to run to the next trail, and I do get tired of the burning clutch smell at times.

An auto would work better, but the manual is ok for now. Maybe when I get that Hemi...
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post #15 of 45 Old 10-10-2007, 11:39 AM
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Auto is the way to go! Makes life better pulling my bass boat, & driving on and off road!
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