What is the best way to off-road in a manual TJ?


matrixman303

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Feb 21, 2021
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Hi, just got my 2000 jeep sport a couple of weeks ago and wanted to ask what is the best way to offroad in a manual? Such as what gears to run and so on?

Thanks
 

Rubicon88

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Western PA....Altoona area to be exact.
Hi, just got my 2000 jeep sport a couple of weeks ago and wanted to ask what is the best way to offroad in a manual? Such as what gears to run and so on?

Thanks
There is no set rule to this. Sorry.

Terrain, obstacle etc all dictate what you gear you need including 4hi and 4lo.

There are times 1st gear 4hi is the answer. There are times 2nd gear 4lo is needed. Sometimes 1st gear 4lo is the only thing that can help.

The only way you can know this is experience. Just get on the trail and start wheeling. You'll figure it all out pretty quickly.

Congrats on the TJ buy and be safe
 

JEEPCJTJ

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We are here, wherever that really is (earth?), and you are probably here too but somewhere in Florida, maybe?

You also have slightly more knowledge of what your Jeep is today than we do.

I'm not trying to belittle you for not knowing how, what, or why to do some off roading with your TJ but there's only one real answer for for that question. The main answer is...Take that TJ out and go off roading. If you can drive a stick shift you just have to go by feel. There's no real way for anyone to suggest what gear to be in without knowing a lot more about your TJ and where you're planning on taking it.

Going with someone else that's been off roading in your area or even taking them with you could help. I know FLA isn't exactly full of empty space but keep this in mind: don't get too far off the road without another vehicle at least within the distance you don't mind walking.
 

Jerry Bransford

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Florida is different wheeling than most other areas but seldom will there be a need for 4Hi, you'll normally want to be in 4Lo. 1st and 2nd gear for most parts. Only if you get into deep mud would the be a need to try something like 4Hi where you need some wheel speed to keep going.
 
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toximus

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I can tell you one thing not to do: deep water crossings while working the clutch at the same time, no es bueno 😲

We had a guy on a little night run a few weeks ago. He always talked smack about our automatics. Well, he got up against an underwater ledge and had to reverse and reset. After reversing he had to be towed to go forward... ...all the way back to town...
 

Jerry Bransford

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We had a guy on a little night run a few weeks ago. He always talked smack about our automatics. Well, he got up against an underwater ledge and had to reverse and reset. After reversing he had to be towed to go forward... ...all the way back to town...
Nothing like a little mud or muddy water flowing in between the clutch disk and flywheel to ruin the rest of your wheeling day. 🤣
 
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Westtown Willy

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Nothing like a little mud or muddy water flowing in between the clutch disk and flywheel to ruin the rest of your wheeling day. 🤣

and a whole other indeterminate day in the future when you've bolted all this crap on to fix what you've done in the deep water

IMG_5414.jpg


only to realize you forgot to slip this stupid thing on first:

IMG_5385.jpg
 

Midtenn

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Practice..and go maybe during the week. I’ve only been once and stalled out a bunch of times and nearly rolled backwards down a hill. If I had it to do all over again, I would have tried to hitch a ride with someone first to have an idea what I’d see and how to overcome it.
 
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SecondChanceTJ

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The hardest part about wheeling a manual is when you get into really technical stuff or really steep stuff. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying you need to be good managing 3 pedals at once. Here's a few tips I've picked up:

If you have to stop and start on steep uphills, be quick onto the brake and clutch to prevent rollback. Give a little throttle before you let off the brake and clutch to start going again. Many times in 4 low (depends on tire size and final drive ratio), I don't even need to give throttle, I just engage the clutch and the idle is strong enough through gear reduction to start going again. Don't be afraid to "blend" the pedals a bit.

For steep downhills, engine braking is very useful and very easy with a manual transmission. Do not ride your brakes down a long steep hill. Let the engine do the work. Put it in first or second and let it idle down the hill. It may rev the engine a bit but it will keep you at a safe speed while going downhill.

On technical obstacles, I've seen it many times; the biggest thing to overcome is the urge to push in the clutch when you lose the slightest bit of confidence. If you're not good, you may roll back and, more importantly, lose momentum. Commit to it.

Don't ride the clutch halfway engaged.

A thumb throttle comes in handy. You don't need it, but it's nice to have, and the same techniques above apply to it.

Again, you'll learn with experience.
 

tr21triton

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Blue Ridge' Ga
For steep downhills, engine braking is very useful and very easy with a manual transmission. Do not ride your brakes down a long steep hill. Let the engine do the work. Put it in first or second and let it idle down the hill. It may rev the engine a bit but it will keep you at a safe speed while going downhill.
and the best part is if its slippery and you use the engine instead of brakes your front tires are still rolling so you have steering, where if you use breaks the front tires will lock up and you just skid out of control