Gladiator auto or manual? -
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-14-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Gladiator auto or manual?

I am in the process of getting into a jeep gladiator but ive hit a snag. They ony allow you to get 4.10 gears in the sport with an automatic and i really wanted to get a manual. My big question is would the automatic be a smarter option with the max tow package? The max tow gives you the slightly wider track 44 in front and rear with 4.10's, 250amp alternator and a better trans cooler along with the automatic. The manual 6 speed comes the standard 44 front and rear but 3.73 gears with optional limited slip. This rig will be used for modest offroading and camping with some wheeling up in Timberon. I just wondered which one will fit the bill? I eventually want to supercharge or turbo as well and curious which transmission would be a better combo and handle the extra power?

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-16-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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No one has any input on this ?
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-16-2019, 08:53 PM
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I used to be a die-hard manual guy but modern technology has pushed automatics to entirely new performance levels nowadays.


"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-16-2019, 09:08 PM
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As much as I like the manual transmissions, if you are going to be doing a lot of heavier towing get the automatic. If you aren't going to do much heavy towing I'd get the manual. The clutch gets the largest initial shock trying to get a load moving and if you aren't careful of course you can quickly burn up the clutch. The automatic eliminates that initial shock with the torque converter and internal clutches which are bathed in oil keeping them cooler than a clutch on a manual transmission. Don't get me wrong a manual transmission is far more fun in regular driving and more reliable but when towing an automatic just takes the shifting issues out of the equation, on the other hand towing in the mountains a manual transmission is a huge help on saving brakes as you can keep a lower gear to avoid excessive brake usage.

Its really a very hard choice, but I wonder what the difference really is between the regular tow package and max tow package? 3.73's or 4.10's will both do fine for towing, I think you can get limited slip with either axle course there's always an aftermarket solution to give the 4.10's and limited slip if you want/need it. The heavy duty engine cooling maybe the largest reason to go automatic, but again aftermarket would be an option too. Biggest thing with towing is keeping the automatic transmission cool regardless of the vehicle so unless it has an auxiliary transmission cooler adding one would be a must. The max tow package really doesn't offer anything spectacular
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-17-2019, 09:24 AM
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I'm at the point in my life where the auto is just a better fit. Wheeling with an auto is really nice and driving in traffic, it's a must.

I love a stick, had many when I was younger but today's autos are just so much better. The 8 speed is a really nice addition. I wish my JK had the 8 speed like momma's WK2 has.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-17-2019, 01:02 PM
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If the rig is primarily used for rockcrawling and towing then I’d go with the auto. Gear ratio can be easily changed to suit your needs. If you go with larger tires then you’ll need to regear anyways.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-08-2019, 05:50 PM
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I've got a 2016 JKU that I ordered with the 6-spd / Trac-lok LSD rear. I love it and I've always enjoyed manuals. Hell my wife's WK2 is only the 2nd auto we've had in 15+ years (and a good 8-9 cars/trucks).

But the box is sloppy, the shifter bushing has been replaced twice under warranty/recall, the throw out linkage is creaky and I'm wondering when it will fail, and I suspect off-road in deep sand as I use it is sometimes tough on the clutch.

So if I were to buy again I think I'd go auto. I get the impression it would be not only be a better performer (both from a power and economy standpoint), but more durable. Especially in a truck!

That said I still love my JKU.

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-15-2019, 12:26 AM
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If the maximum tow package/rating is important to you, be aware it's only available with the 8sp auto trans.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-22-2019, 03:12 PM
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Like most have said, auto is the way to go. I broke in my first driver's license on a manual transmission (full size '79 Ford Bronco 351 4x4, probably why I have always wanted a Jeep), and my only Jeep to date is a manual 6-speed, but I've been introduced to automatic 4x4 for several years now with my dad's land rover LR4 and now sport, plus two Toyota Tundras. What makes the difference today is the select-a-gear option. Now there simply is no excuse to go with a clutch and manual stick as the select-a-gear was the last remaining option that manuals had over an automatic prior to their introduction. Now, an automatic transmission in a 4x4 setting can do anything a manual transmission is capable of except popping the clutch, which was a desperate move even for a manual.

Enter the new Gladiator, and the manual is now a sub-standard option in comparison as the tow rating is lower and the option packages just aren't as good. Stepping up to the Rubicon, with the auto-disconnect for the sway bar and manual locker switches, plus the option for remote start....why would you even want a manual transmission except for nostalgic emotional purposes? While I know that I'll still be stomping on the floor with the left foot, and reaching for the gearshift with the right hand, my choice is going to be the automatic in the Gladiator.

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-28-2019, 06:59 AM
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Wondering how long Jeep will offer a manual. I dont think it will be offered with the diesel, and maybe not when they go hybrid.

I know autos are superior in many respects, but I grew up with manuals, and was thinking of getting one if I get a lower end Gladiator.

No towing, light off road use, ... but thought a manual might be a novelty a few years from now, and $2000 is a bit of change for the auto option.

As fewer people drive standard with time, I also worry it could make it harder to sell?

Also, have Jeep manuals gotten better lately? Asking because I heard so much griping a few years ago
from manual owners.

Appreciate any thoughts on manual vs automatic, its one of the last decisions to make.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-28-2019, 07:08 AM
Kev M
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Originally Posted by rwc77 View Post
Asking because I heard so much griping a few years ago

from manual owners.

Appreciate any thoughts on manual vs automatic, its one of the last decisions to make.
Like I said earlier I like our 16' JKU with a manual, but I KNOW it's an inferior choice.

Smoked some clutch in deep sand the other day too. I have to pay much closer attention to it in the dunes than I would with an auto, especially in the deep stuff.

Current Jeeps:

2016 JKUS
2012 WK2 Limited
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-28-2019, 09:29 AM
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if you really want a manual transmission, you more than likely won't be happy with an automatic. You may learn to enjoy it, but I bet in the back of your mind you will still wish you had the manual. I know I would, manuals are just more enjoyable to me.

I don't care which one is "better", for me it's about the fun of driving. If you enjoy driving a manual, get the manual. If you're constantly worried about resell value, you aren't going to enjoy the vehicle. Get what you want, and drive the piss out of it

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