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Hello Everyone,

Hoping you can give me some advice on which transmission I should get for my 4x4 FJ. I've had a Jeep Wrangler and currently drive a stick shift acura, so sticks are not necessarily a problem for me. I'll be using this truck as a daily commuter in awful Seattle traffic and will use it on the weekends for kayaking/hiking/skiing...

Would it be worth going for the automatic to pick up the ability to shift to 2WD (presumably to save on gas mileage). What would I be giving up in terms of off road capability, performance, aftermarket add ons...What are the trade offs? Is the manual the way to go?

Any help would be appreciated. \

Damien
 

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I talked to an ASE certified mechanic today. I was sold on the full time 4x4 with the 6-speed manual, but after talking to him...

He said that folks who are serious about off-roading will generally want an automatic. Having an automatic means that you don't have to burn out your clutch prematurely to flutter it properly getting over certain obstacles. Also, in traffic, do you want to be running through 6 gears to stay with the flow? Or just sit back with your beastie in drive and let it do the dirty work for you?

He said that the Toyota transmissions are some of the stronger transmissions that were ever made. He also said that Toyota tranny's have been used in jeeps for many years because of their dependability.

I will probably drive both, when it finally comes out, but I may actually change my choice to the automatic so that I have the option of running 4x4 or not.
 

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kiltman458 said:
Would it be worth going for the automatic to pick up the ability to shift to 2WD (presumably to save on gas mileage).
the ability to shift to 2wd hi will save a little on gas, but not as much as you might think. going with an auto part-time in 2wd and a 6 speed full time 4x4 will probably net the same fuel economy as what might be gained by being in 2wd will be lost in the auto. Just my .02

explaination:
Most modern 4x4s, unfortunately, come off the line with drive flanges on the front hubs to support systems like toyota's ADD (automatic differential disconnect). without going into too much detail ADDs primary function is to disengage the front diff in such a way that allows for shift-on-the-fly without having to get out of the truck and lock the front hubs first. However, comma, without manual hubs the front CV drive shafts (commonly called half-shafts, they go from the centrally(ish) mounted diff out to the wheels) are constantly locked into the hubs at the wheels, causing them to spin all the time, this degrading your fuel economy and causing premature wear on your half-shafts (compared to manual hubs; this wear is more pronounced on vehicles with spacer type lifts).

A manual hub conversion is going to be one of the first mods i do if i end up with one of these any time soon.
 

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Topless,

You are obviously more knowledgable in this area than I am. How do you feel about clutch wear on a 6-speed, vs. no clutch to wear on an automatic?
 

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personally i am just fond of manuals in general, much more fun to drive and i like being in control of as much as possible while driving, autos are annoying in that i can never seem to get them to shift when i want, or not shift when i dont want for that matter!

As far as wear on the clutch, i would expect to get anywhere from 60k to 100k+ on the clutch before it needs to be replaced, depending on driving habits and how the vehicle is used, of course. figure maybe 800-1000 for parts and labor at a shop to get a new one? i dont really know as i have never paid anyone to work on my vehicles, last clutch i did (changed the factory clutch out of my 94 4x4 pickup after just under 120K) cost me a grand total of $130 in parts and about 4 hours time, taking my time.

Autos will still need to be serviced periodically, depending on what service interval you fall under. figure $100 or so (again, an estimate) to flush the ATF every 30k = about $400 in 120K. that does not take into account any maintenance that may need to be done on the transmission, which is generally very expensive, nor does it count having the filter changed (which would most likely involve dropping the transmission oil pan, = more hours = more $$$) nor the additional expense of having maintenance done at a reputable shop or stealership.

all told, counting only regular maintenance, you would probably end up about the same. however, if you do any work on vehicles yourself, the manual is going to be cheaper in the long run. Changing a clutch is pretty easy, maybe a 2.5 on the bananna scale. i did my first one in a weekend before i started working as a mechanic with only the most basic tools. Actual work time was only about 4-6 hours (the rest of the time i was screwing around or getting distracted by shiny objects). Auto trannies (especially the modern electronic ones) are pretty complex, so you would most likely end up having to have the stealership service it it something goes wrong.

that said, toyota autos are quite reliable, given regular maintenance, so it would probably be a couple hundred thou before you see any problems.
 

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off-road usage will burn out a clutch faster than sticking to the hardball all the time, partly because you must feather the clutch to regulate how much power gets to the wheels, and also because you end up putting greater loads on it during off road usage (steep hill climbs, greater rolling resistance in softer ground etc) and alot of off-roaders end up with larger than stock tires without changing the axle gears to compensate which also puts more load on the engine. another advantage you get with an auto off-road is that you dont have to interrupt your momentum to shift gears, very important on steep climbs, sand, and mud. also the torque converter in an auto has an inherent multiplication factor, which when combined with the proper gearing, can greatly increase the amount of torque getting to the wheels, off-road torque is king!

I really love my manual transmissions, but this southern california traffic might be enough to convert me!
 

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Well, then we are still on the same page. I have done a full engine swap and installed my own clutch and - I'm with ya, not too damn difficult. Right tool for the job and all. This will be my first vehicle with a factory warranty. So, I am considering the automatic, but I too like the control of a stick. Hell, my girlfriend goes through brakes like guys go through underwear and she is in an automatic. I still haven't had to do the brakes on my truck, but I rely on the manual and slow myself with the transmission as much as the brake in most cases.

That, and I don't really think I will be rock crawling. I like camping. I will find trails and master them, but for pure off-road use, I probably don't even need the capability that the FJ will have stock. So, really I could go either way. I do so love the sound of a 6-speed. I guess we'll just have to wait and drive this puppy and see what feels the best.
 

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I think, personally, if I am going to wait for a supercharger, I will have to have the 6-speed. I can't wait to roast off all four wheels burning the ass off of a wrongler (as you so aptly put it earlier in another post) at a stop light just because I can. I would hate to lose just because the auto doesn't shift in just the right spot.
 

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I spent 9 years and 130,000 miles in a 4x4 V6 Nissan Pickup with 5-sp manual. I spent a decent amount of time off road and never had to replace the clutch.

I don't believe wear of the clutch off-roading is an issue at all. How the clutch is used in day to day driving is what will determine wear. Common bad clutch habits: using the clutch to maintain position on a hill, resting your foot on the clutch between shifts or while driving and downshifting with engine braking.

I know many will scream at the last one, but the best stopping technique is to use the brakes. Dropping a gear and letting out the clutch to slow down using engine braking de-stabilizes the vehicle, wears on the clutch and will suck the valves in on engines with valve springs instead of hydraulic valves. If you've ever ridden sport bikes hard you'll will know what I'm talking about.

If you are used to driving a stick and like the control you will hate a regular automatic.

Six-speeds might seem like a pain to go through, but once you are up to speed the engine has the torque to pull a tall gear, so you really won't have to downshift unless you want to.

BTW, I think a 5-MT is easier to drive than a 6-MT. In my accord coupe 6-MT I found myself having to drop 2 gears to pass. Not as easy going from 6th to 4th as it is going from 5th to 4th. While I never missed a shift and hit 2nd I was always afraid I would.
 

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scrum said:
I spent 9 years and 130,000 miles in a 4x4 V6 Nissan Pickup with 5-sp manual. I spent a decent amount of time off road and never had to replace the clutch.

I don't believe wear of the clutch off-roading is an issue at all. How the clutch is used in day to day driving is what will determine wear. Common bad clutch habits: using the clutch to maintain position on a hill, resting your foot on the clutch between shifts or while driving and downshifting with engine braking.
you'll will know what I'm talking about.
If you want to be in control of yout vehicle, go with the manual..
You can't compare the cost of replacing a clutch to how much fun your going to have off roading with a manual . Don't even think about that. Worry about the clutch when is goes kapoot !!
 

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im curious what the gear ratios on the six speed are going to be, has anyone heard anything with regards to this? Im hoping that since the 6-speed is supposed to be the transmission for badass 4x4 they will give 1st a super low ratio (4 or 5:1), like a granny gear in the heavy trucks, and then go up from there using regular gear ratios (2nd being someting like 2.5:1)
 

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No idea on that one, I will email the mechanic guy I was talking to at the after party and see if he has any information on that. I'll let you know when and if he responds.
 

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Thanks percy, ive been looking around the 'net a bit, but have been unable to uncover anything thus far.
 

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Percy said:
I think, personally, if I am going to wait for a supercharger, I will have to have the 6-speed. I can't wait to roast off all four wheels burning the ass off of a wrongler (as you so aptly put it earlier in another post) at a stop light just because I can. I would hate to lose just because the auto doesn't shift in just the right spot.
Well, there are rumors that the 2007 wrangler will be getting the 5.7 Hemi, and it allready has a six speed and it is smaller and lighter, so you better be careful who you decide to challange, because you might look like an ass in the end ;)

As for me, its all stick shifts. Period. I don't find it to be that bad, even in our D.C. traffic (3rd worst in nation). You have better control over the vehicle, and a clutch costs a lot less than a transmision rebuild. I like it off road because it will stay in the gear I tell it to be in (I'm a slow and steady guy, I don't like tearing up the environment by going hog wild) and on road, it is just a lot more fun to drive. I also hate driving automatic cars, whenever I drive one I am stomping the floor and swinging my arm out of habit. A couple of days ago I was driving a auto car for the first time in several months. I want to shift gears so I press the "clutch pedal" and thus skid in the middle of the road, almost causing and accident, and looking like a complete jackass.
 

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praetorian said:
manual = drive
automatic = point
Amen brother! I, unfortunately, live in Southern California, so driving ANYTHING in traffic sucks, but i still wouldnt trade my 5 speed for any kind of out tranny.
 

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kiltman458 said:
Hello Everyone,

Hoping you can give me some advice on which transmission I should get for my 4x4 FJ. I've had a Jeep Wrangler and currently drive a stick shift acura, so sticks are not necessarily a problem for me. I'll be using this truck as a daily commuter in awful Seattle traffic and will use it on the weekends for kayaking/hiking/skiing...

Would it be worth going for the automatic to pick up the ability to shift to 2WD (presumably to save on gas mileage). What would I be giving up in terms of off road capability, performance, aftermarket add ons...What are the trade offs? Is the manual the way to go?

Any help would be appreciated. \

Damien

Sounds like a 2WD would work, but your weekends sound pretty active. i would hate to see you stuck in a position that only a 4x4 could handle. just something to think about while your hiking ....
 

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mpd8488 said:
Well, there are rumors that the 2007 wrangler will be getting the 5.7 Hemi, and it allready has a six speed and it is smaller and lighter, so you better be careful who you decide to challange, because you might look like an ass in the end ;)

The secret there is 5.7 ltre hemi, he might be in the lead until he tries to drive past a gas station...
 

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Percy said:
The secret there is 5.7 ltre hemi, he might be in the lead until he tries to drive past a gas station...
Yea, but the Hemi has cylinder deactivation technology, so it only sucks huge amounts of gas when he stomps it. That Toyota V6 isn't exactly easy on gas either. :p
 

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mpd8488 said:
Yea, but the Hemi has cylinder deactivation technology, so it only sucks huge amounts of gas when he stomps it. That Toyota V6 isn't exactly easy on gas either. :p
If he's gonna beat me, he's gonna have to stomp on it.

Toyota is speculating mid 20's for mileage on the FJ. Show me another vehicle that can tackle Rubicon stock and gets mid 20's for mileage...

Yeah, I didn't think so.
 
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