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I noticed that descending the trails at the Summit last year that it seemed like I was having to ride my brakes quite a lot in our AT FJ while also noticing that those in front of me apparently didn't have to (since their brake lights rarely came on). I don't like to ride my brakes as much as I was having to. If I went to 4WD LO that helped but then there was the problem of the areas where everyone sped up a bit and then I would have to go back to 4WD HI. So my question is... Do the MTs have a lower gear ratio in 1st than the ATs that enables them to use the engine as a brake assist on descents?
yes.
 
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