Opinions on 2.5 automatic TJ?

Wesley

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Thanks for letting me join ... I'm looking for my first Wrangler, we have had several Grand's with 4.0 .... I have found a clean TJ but it has the 2.5 with auto trans ... keep in mind that I'm 72 years old and don't need a hot rod .. but .. we do ride some trails with steep hill's .... is the trans and transfer interchangeable with anything else ... I would prefer the old tried and true 4.0 .... Thanks ... your wisdom is much appreciated .... How bout going 06-17 TJ ... what to look for?
 

Chris

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I'd highly encourage you against buying a 2.5 automatic. It's going to be an absolute dog in terms of power. If you can, you really want a 4.0. There are plenty of them out there so there really isn't an excuse.

1997-2006 are TJs
2007-2018 are JKs

If you buy a JK make sure it's a 2012-2018 as the 3.6 engine is way better.
 
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Wesley

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I'd highly encourage you against buying a 2.5 automatic. It's going to be an absolute dog in terms of power. If you can, you really want a 4.0. There are plenty of them out there so there really isn't an excuse.

1997-2006 are TJs
2007-2018 are JKs

If you buy a JK make sure it's a 2012-2018 as the 3.6 engine is way better.

Thank you Chris ... I was afraid of the power with the auto trans ... But one this clean is hard to find :(
 
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inkedrose

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Thank you Chris ... I was afraid of the power with the auto trans ... But one this clean is hard to find :(

It’s that clean because no one likes driving the 2.5 :) A few of the guys I wheel with have JKs and really like them…. more creature comforts than the TJs. TJs are easier to work on if that’s what you’re looking for
 

97JadeTJ

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My TJ is 1997 with a 2.5L auto that has a 4” lift and 33” tires which I regeared to 4.88 from the stock 3.73… It is more than capable to run the fire roads and trails in central and northern Arkansas…I can still run 60-65 on the highway and I haven’t found anywhere I can’t go (that I wanted to go) in 4lo…if the price is right don’t let the 2.5L scare you, drive it yourself and see… Clean ones are getting hard to find around here!

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Wesley

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It’s that clean because no one likes driving the 2.5 :) A few of the guys I wheel with have JKs and really like them…. more creature comforts than the TJs. TJs are easier to work on if that’s what you’re looking for

I like the looks of the JK's .. but think the TJ's are better suited for us ... Will a 4.0 mate up to the 2.5 auto trans?
 
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Wesley

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My TJ is 1997 with a 2.5L auto that has a 4” lift and 33” tires… after I regeared it to 4.88 from the stock 3.73 it made it more than capable to run the fire roads and trails in central and northern Arkansas… I can still run 60-65 on the highway and I haven’t found anywhere I can’t go (that I wanted to go) in 4lo…if the price is right don’t let the 2.5L scare you, drive it yourself and see… Clean ones are getting hard to find around here!

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I'm 4 hours from it ... it's worth looking at ... if it was the manual trans I would have already been there ... but do prefer the auto for our use ... What is your RPM's at 65? I'll look the gears up and get an idea of cost ... Best parts source?
 
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Chris

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Thank you Chris ... I was afraid of the power with the auto trans ... But one this clean is hard to find :(

That’s because it’s no fun to drive with that engine and transmission combo. That’s why it’s so clean 😉
 

97JadeTJ

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I'm 4 hours from it ... it's worth looking at ... if it was the manual trans I would have already been there ... but do prefer the auto for our use ... What is your RPM's at 65? I'll look the gears up and get an idea of cost ... Best parts source?

it‘s been awhile since I looked but I think around 3000 rpm at 60 mph… I like driveing it in 50-55 mph range… I’m retired and in no hurry… I got my gears from USA gears and did the work myself…

That’s because it’s no fun to drive with that engine and transmission combo. That’s why it’s so clean 😉

Don’t let the young whipper snappers scare you… you can still have a lot of fun in a 2.5L auto!…😎
 
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Jerry Bransford

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Thank you Chris ... I was afraid of the power with the auto trans ... But one this clean is hard to find :(
The automatic makes that 2.5 an even worse choice, I wouldn't touch it. The 2.5 with the 5-speed is not bad at all and is a great offroad vehicle (not as good on the highway though) but that automatic transmission just kills it for the 2.5.

I'm not an automatic transmission hater, I love them! I even converted my previous TJ to an automatic and my current TJ is an automatic but I wouldn't touch a Wrangler with the 2.5 engine if it has the automatic transmission.
 

P man

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I'll buck the trend a little and say if the price is low enough why not? You are looking at the least desirable drivetrain combo so the price should reflect that. Once you get the jeep bug you are just going to pull the drivetrain out anyways and do an LS swap
 

Foxhound67

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I'll buck the trend a little and say if the price is low enough why not? You are looking at the least desirable drivetrain combo so the price should reflect that. Once you get the jeep bug you are just going to pull the drivetrain out anyways and do an LS swap

As someone who acquired a 2.5 auto recently, I'll say that the 500hp motor sitting in my Trans Am is looking mighty fine...
 
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Hesher

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I have had 2 CJs with the 258, 2 Wranglers with the 4.0, and a JK with the 3.6.

My 2.5 TJ (no top, less weight where i can, 31s) is slower than all my previous ones. But Marginally. Since I sit in lots of stop/go traffic, that doesnt really matter and I am perfectly happy.
 

Jerry Bransford

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Just to keep it in perspective, the OP is 72 years old and is not likely inclined to do any serious off-roading or a ton of mechanical work. ;)
I just turned 75 and was still doing tough rock crawling trails at 74 and still doing all my own work.

This was earlier this year. 😊

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bucky

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He did not get to 72 by being a sissy. All the above posts say it will be a dog, none say it will not do the most jobs. It will get you where you want to go, you’ll just get there slower. Low range will be your friend. In my opinion 4 bangers are not worth spending money on “performance” upgrades like 4” lifts and big tires.
What type of wheeling are you interested in doing.