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  1. You took the words right out of my mouth. Most of it has to do with the final gear ratios of the transmission and axles combined. Engineers figure out what is required to make the vehicle perform within the parameters they preconceived. Auto and Manual transmission ratios will typically be different, especially now that some have up to 9 gear transmissions. I read an article not long ago that with upgraded transmission, transfer cases may be out the door. I have noticed most people out in the dunes have mostly stock’ish lifts, just upgrade suspension components with no lift. More money goes into engine upgrades for horsepower. So is HP better then torque when driving in the dunes. i was actually looking at some of the manual Jeep XJ’s on dubizzle the other day.
  2. I have had both automatic Jeeps and a manual Jeep both had stock 4.0l engines. I had a great time in both. I used the manual when off-roading more and the Auto as my daily driver in heavy traffic. The off roading I did was not sand or dune based. So I am following this thread to learn more. What I did like about my experience is having that second vehicle, if one breaks (Usually the off-road one) you will have a second car to get to work at the end of the weekend and until you get one fixed. Doing it again I would buy a Jeep with better lift, wheels, lighting, and everything else that I want, that is in my budget. The type of transmission is lower on my priority list. When I was young, 30 years ago, I would kill car batteries a lot. Dead batteries of the past still haunt me. I have not killed a battery in 2 decades. Since those time being stranded still haunt me if I found two Jeeps that are equal I would probably get the manual.
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