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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just looking for your opinions about either transmission and the benefits of each out on the trail. What is YOUR preference???
 

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manual - you can control which gear you're in.
you know what gear you should be in for the trail ahead and can plan for that.

most of the arguments for auto i've heard deal with starting on an incline - you only need two feet to start on an incline with an auto.
 

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In my opinion (and echoed by many others)…

Uphill = Auto (* more confidence during take off, and it up-shifts/down-shifts when needed)
Downhill = Manual (* geared lower, and has better engine compression braking)

But since you are usually going to see those inclines & declines, one followed by the other, the benefits sort of cancel each other out.

Cheers!
Smiley
 

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I've driven both on and offroad.

I had an 88 Trooper with the five speed.

Now I have the 98 Passport with the auto.

Hands down the auto for the trails. And that should mean something seeing as I love to row through the gears.

To me the fact you don't need to worry with the clutch while on a very steep uphill climb, or you need the contol of easing up something. Downhill I have brakes, I don't need to rely on engine braking, although they say if you put the Teralow gears in the auto case you actually get engine braking with the auto tranny.

There's my two cents.

Joe
 

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It's easier to break an auto, versus a manual.
This is true for the most part.

In light truck as ours I really don't think it's an issue.

So long as you put a cooler on your tranny you should be fine. I have 100,000 miles on mine and it's ship shape. Shifts fine and every time I drian the fluid for a change it's been nice a bright red. I've towed some heavy loads with it as well.

I towed my 67 convertable Mustang through the moutains on a full trailer, same thing with a four door Explorer.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I would prefer the auto for offroad.

Joe
 

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im going manual. most of the time at uwharrie, i was in neutral just rolling. i only put it in gear going uphill. i did that to try to save my on the way out clutch. even if i had an auto i probably would have done the same. as long as you can work a clutch and not kill it, manual is alright for trails. however, with an auto you will always have power to the wheels. i think this is mostly driver preferance.
 

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Well I actually prefer driving a manual. Just not on the trails.

My first trip to Uwharrie with the 88 I was getting pissed at how slow people were going in front of me because I couldn't keep it in gear and in 4wheel low. I was on the clutch constantly just to keep it running.

The Teralows helped this some, but not completely.

Just so you get the point. My 97 F-150 I ordered a V8 5 speed because I couldn't find any on the lot. My 89 CRX was a five speed, my 88 trooper was a five speed, my wifes 01 bug is a five speed. My Passport is the only thing I've had in a long time that's an auto.

Much more control starting on uphill slopes.

Joe
 

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go w/ the auto. I've had 4 trooper. The 01 auto was far superior in the rocks comapre to the '86 & 2 '95 troopers. Current ,95 has a teralow and lower gears, but still pales comapred to the '01.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, very compelling arguments for both sides!!! I appreciate everyone's effort on this one, as newbies like me really aren't sure of what would be better in that arena. The Trooper that I'm gonna get trail ready is a manual 1993 3.2 DOHC, so I guess I'm gonna have to learn how to operate 3 pedals all at the same time for the big hills!

Thanks again all! :D
 

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I've got a fair bit of practice on and off the trail with my clutch, and with that practise, has come a great apreciation for the manual. I can get it going in 4low on some pretty steep hills without a problem on the trail. I absolutally love being able to take full advantage of engine braking on decents... Having said that- I have been in some hairy spots where the slower speeds on the uphill would have been nice... hope to aleviate those issue with lower gearing in the axles, and terra-low eventually...

The main issue I see with creeping an auto along all day- is heat... Very little air cooling, and the torque converter is "slipping" all day, making heat... heat destroys autoboxes, and the trail is a good place to make a lot of heat... For autos- a tranny cooler is essencial imo, for manuals, you don't even have to worry about it, they don't make much heat.
 

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Point â€" Counterpoint:

Rodeoholic said:
im going manual. most of the time at uwharrie, i was in neutral just rolling. i only put it in gear going uphill. i did that to try to save my on the way out clutch. even if i had an auto i probably would have done the same…
I completely understand the desire to save the clutch, but putting that part aside for a moment, and concentrating solely on the idea of ‘coasting’ the downhill sections…

Under normal operating conditions, I’m inclined to advise against it. (No pun intended!) --- There's a whole lot to be said for engine compression braking, especially with Tera Lows… if for no other reason than the fact that it saves your brakes, keeping them a lot cooler, for when you really need them.

BEFORE my Teras, I would very often be in 1st Gear and 4-Low on a steep downhill section, and still riding the brakes to stay off the tail of the rig in front of me â€" but if I’d been coasting it, the ONLY thing keeping me off of their bumper would have been the brakes â€" and in many situations, particularly while going down the back side of a rock or ledge, coasting it would have also raised the potential for tire slippage on the break-over - however, with the driveline engaged, the slippage is considerably less pronounced (if present at all)...

With a manual, keeping it in gear (whenever possible) = More Control.

AFTER the Teras, I could run those very same trails in 2nd Gear and 4-Low, and hardly ever have to get on the brakes at all. --- But on the few occasions when I’ve needed to go slower (whenever it was really steep), I’ve simply down-shifted it to 1st and crept my way on along.

* I have yet to encounter a downhill section - while idling along in 1st Gear and 4-Low, with someone behind me with an Automatic - where the driver back there didn’t come on the CB and ask me to pick up the pace (`cause they just couldn’t go that slowly) â€" Not even Andre’s Passport (Auto + Teras) can creep as slowly as mine (Manual + Teras) on a downhill grade.

Manual + 4-Low + downhill engine compression = SLOW (+ Tear Lows = EVEN SLOWER)…
Compared apples to apples; the Manual is capable of going slower on a downhill grade than the Auto, every time.

bigpoppax2 said:
My first trip to Uwharrie with the 88 I was getting pissed at how slow people were going in front of me because I couldn't keep it in gear and in 4wheel low. I was on the clutch constantly just to keep it running.

The Teralows helped this some, but not completely.
You weren’t behind me, were you? :p

Seriously, I’d have to say that some other factor must have been involved as well, because in 1st Gear and 4-Low, with the 285/75/16s and 4.56 gears on your old Trooper - compared to the 265/75/16s and 4.30 gears on my Rodeo - your crawl ratio should have been almost exactly the same as mine. (*Shrug*)

At any rate, it’s good to know that you’re pleased with the set-up that you have now.

Rodeoholic said:
…i think this is mostly driver preferance.
*Ding-ding-ding!*
Give that man a cigar! ;)

Cheers!
Smiley
 

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I'll vote auto. I had 3 5-speed Troopers that I loved before I bought the 89 RS. The RS changed my mind off-road and now I wouldn't want a manual for the trails.

My transmission heats up FAR FAR more on the road than it does on the trails. I could drive for 2 hours on some steep trails in Uwharrie and I'd peak at around 180 degrees. If I took a hard run on the dirt roads before or after hitting a trail I could see 260 degrees.

Smiley: my brakes will let me go slower in gear than your tera-low'd Rodeo :)

-Tad
 

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Ahhh yes, but I still have brakes too ;)

Cheers!
Smiley
 

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Starting off on an incline, in a rock field sucks for both manuals and autos, but in my opinion the auto is the better config for this. As we all know the idea is not to stop on an incline... in a rock field. This usually happens when your not prepared or you decide the line you chose wasn't the best choice and you get into trouble and have to stop. Usually I read up on a trail before I take it so I have an idea as what to expect... Then before you reach the area in question, I get out and walk this part, picking out the line I want to take. I also ask someone to get out and spot me. The idea is, don't stop, you loose your momentum, then it's a bitch getting started again. If it looks too hairy I usually look for a different route, or bag the idea all together and head back down for a beer. My Rodeo is not something I want to beat the crap out of. Also on a day to day basis the auto is a better choice as well. I hate riding the clutch in stop and go traffic. All that said, what do I own? A 5sp manual.... :wink:

If I was setting up a serious trailer, I would pick an auto V6 Rodeo Sport, lift kit, etc. Or the same in an early Trooper. Can't carry much in a Rodeo Sport/Amigo, but the smaller size has it's benefits. That is why the Rodeo is such a good fit form me. A good compromise between the two...
 
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