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Stadard or automatic hold up better?

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by Anthony259, May 16, 2015.

  1. Anthony259

    Anthony259 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I would like to get some opinions about what transmission would hold up better plowing and towing with a jeep 6 cyl. I prefer to plow with a standard, it would only be my driveway 300 ft and my small commercial lot 10 cars.
    Towing would be a trailer under 2800 lbs with electric brakes.

    How would towing that weight be with a standard? I have not towed anything that heavy with a standard in the past

  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Ummmm depends on how well you drive a standard. I plow for a living... I hate autos, I replace my clutch every 75K miles weather it needs it or not (I run a business I cant afford to have a clutch quit in the middle of a storm). The one auto I have needs a tranny after 5 years of plowing looking at $2K to rebuild it. I can replace the clutch for $600.
  3. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    You haven't considered the CVT transmission with a center locking differential, have you?
  4. Anthony259

    Anthony259 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    No I have not I will find out more information about that
    Thank you
  5. Anthony259

    Anthony259 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the reply and info plowmeister
  6. Hubjeep

    Hubjeep Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Discussing this is like asking if you should use synthetic or dino oil, everyone has an opinion.

    My experience:
    Doing only a few driveways at first I plowed with a manual YJ 4.0L with thee t-case in 4HI, tried 4LO but reversing was too slow. The biggest problem was the clutch chattering when hot (yes, driver "error", learn how to drive, bla, bla, bla).

    For the past 6 years I have been using an automatic XJ Cherokee to plow (with big transmission cooler and temp gauge). So much better IMO.

    If doing long driveways/roads a manual may be fine, but lots of forward-reverse in 4HI got the clutch hot.
  7. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Well you answered you own question, you cant drive a clutch... why are you asking?
  8. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    I prefer floor or center console shifted autos. Also because I'm not the only driver and not many can drive standards well .

    But improper shifting between rev and forward is the big killer on autos. My dad got his 98 wrangled new with a plow from day one. It now has 180k with all but the last season plowing 40 plus drives each storm. Trans has never been opened.... fluid and filter changed and bigger cooler added at some point when the other one leaked. The aw4 in the Cherokee is another stout auto and why I swapped it in place of the standard in my yj
  9. gunsworth

    gunsworth Senior Member
    Messages: 523

    Honestly it's a matter of preference. No one can prove one way or the other. Lots of different autos and manuals too
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

  11. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,585

    I always liked a three on the tree!
  12. MLG

    MLG Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 187

    I agree, it depends on how you drive yer rig, and your preference. What I don't like about plowing with a manual is there is more fussing around with shifting and the clutch, which, along with running the plow and steering, gets awfully busy. The automatic helps reduce some of the work. But the nice thing about a manual is a more 'positive' feel. My XJ has plowed a lot of snow and the auto tranny is still good. But I change the fluid more often and I really don't work it that hard.

    As for towing they work pretty well. My brother used an XJ for years to tow 3500# cars to and from car auctions on a tow dolly and tranny seemed fine. But XJ's are lightweight vehicles. The way they keep them light is making them from sheet tin. The one problem my brother did have is the sheet metal in back where the receiver hitch would attach is pretty thin. He ended up bending the rear box section and part of it, I guess you could say it was the frame back there, from towing stresses. Broke the spot welds and pulled the frame rails down from the body.

    On my XJ, I just took a hitch off my 87 XJ to replace with a newer one. I'm not sure if it was factory or dealer installed, probably dealer installed. What they did back then was a pretty good idea that gave the receiver hitch a lot more support than the new ones out of the box give you. what they did was the lateral part of the receiver the square tube section that goes across the back of the vehicle, they drilled several holes and also holes on the lip of the rear piece of the body that is right above the square tube (when installed), and inserted 4 or 5 3/8" bolts through the square tube. The affect was to basically attach the square tube to the back of the body (in addition to the frame rails). Hard to explain but if you look at how the receivers mount, you'll see a lip on a body panel across the back that is right above the square tube of some receivers. They also put a 1/2" metal spacer (like a 2" metal block with a hole in it) to fill the space between the receiver tube and the back area where the bolts go. The whole effect was to distribute the tongue forces of the hitch across the whole back of the vehicle, and not just use the bolts on each side of the frame channels. Frankly, those channels are so weak to mount a strong receiver to, you'd want to do as described above, or add additional metal to the frame box channel, or you can just about expect the hitch to break away like did with my brother's XJ.

    Also, the rear differntials on the XJs are pretty light duty and don't take the abuse the front ends do. So, you want to keep an eye and an ear on things back there, or just put in a new pinion bearing/seal kit proactively if yours has 120k miles, especially if you are going to do a lot of towing, which it sounds like you do. When they go, there isn't always a lot of warning. I had one go out once, when my wife was driving. It destroyed the pinion bearing (pinion was salvageable) but it was a complete Bit@h to get the pinion out after the bearing spun on the pinion. Would have been a lot easier to have proactively worked on it ahead of time.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016