Home » Trucks Aren’t Built Like They Used To Be: Comment Of The Two Days Ago

Trucks Aren’t Built Like They Used To Be: Comment Of The Two Days Ago

Coty 061924
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[Ed Note: Mercedes dutifully completed this Comment Of The Day edition on Monday, but I whiffed on editing and publishing for two consecutive days. Oops. The good news is comments don’t go bad, it’s not like they’re shredded lettuce or lunch meat. They’re still perfectly consumable! Enjoy! – Pete]

David Tracy has fallen back into his old habit of buying old and broken Jeeps. In typical David fashion, he also picked up that Jeep using a Jeep J10 that makes all of 112 ravenous horses. It’s a great example of how far trucks and and the driving climate in general have changed.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In one of the coolest comments of recent times, UnseenCat points out that this truck comes from a different era:

To be fair, like most older pickups, the J10 was never designed to maintain 70MPH up a steep grade with a heavy load. Gearing down and winding up at 35-40 MPH (or less…) was expected. You would have tucked in along with the other, larger, trucks doing exactly the same thing.

But that was a different time. Prior to the national 55MPH limit, drivers just expected trucks on grades to be slower. Then during the double-nickel years, there wasn’t much interest in designing trucks, especially pickups, with a whole lot more speed capability until the age was over. The best you could get in pickups was something with a rear end geared for loads, and then you had a truck that could climb most hills at 50-55MPH, but on the flat or unloaded at best could do 65 MPH without feeling like you were flogging it. If you wanted faster truck on the highway, then the gearing choice meant slower climbs while loaded.

You used to just gear down, put your left foot in it, and sit back with one hand on the wheel and the other on the windowsill, occasionally waving some fool in a hurry to just pass already, and otherwise just lazily ride your way uphill — although with one eye on the temperature gauge. You’d get over the top when you got there, eventually. No big deal.

It wasn’t until the 90s really, with more and more highways raising speed limits and safety advocates more aware of speed differences in traffic being an issue, that there was a real need for higher-horsepower trucks. Until then, torque and relative fuel economy had been the only major design goals.

We’re spoiled in the 21st century. And we have modern drivers with modern vehicles who just expect everything on the road to keep up, which makes driving an older truck a bit more of a nail-biting experience than it would have been originally.

Thomas wrote about the existence of the Kia Borrego and how it was a V8 SUV with off-road capability and real towing strength. When was the last time you’ve ever seen a Borrego?

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Citrus:

Every time I see a Kia Borrego I say “holy shit a Kia Borrego!”

Trust Doesn’t Rust:

Right up there with “Good Lord, a Chrysler Aspen!”

Arch Duke Maxyenko:

Along with, “By Jove, a Suzuki Kizashi!”

Finally, let’s stop at Bishop’s insane new mail truck camper idea. There are lots of car sites on the net and while they are technically competitors, it’s great there’s so much content out there. But Lizardman in a human suit makes us smile:

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It is an incredibly fucking dumbass idea, but that is why I come here. Other car sites whine about frivolous topics like Tundras with bad engines and CUV’s not handling like sports cars, while you are exploring the Important Issues of the car world. That is why I come to this site.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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Danangme69
Danangme69
22 days ago

I had a 63 Ford F-100 step side inline 6 three of the tree and a manual choke. Top speed 60 MPH and when I bought it from my employer in 1975 it was using a quart of oil for every tank of gas.. Never let me down but it rusted like a 70’s Toyota

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
22 days ago

A Suzuki Kasashi doesn’t surprise me. The local Suzuki dealer was the number one selling Suzuki dealer in the country. Even though they sell KIAs now people still call the owner of the dealership Suzuki Joe.

That said, they sold a ton of Kasashis and SX4s. They are still prevalent on the road here where a combination of cheap and AWD made them the perfect car for the snowy city we live in.

Danangme69
Danangme69
22 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

I drove a SX4 lots of fun to throw that thing around

GirchyGirchy
GirchyGirchy
21 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

I saw a Kizashi the other day, still a decent looking car.

CJ J
CJ J
21 days ago
Reply to  pizzaman09

I worked in a wood mill and we had 2 old 1970’s ford, one with a granny low that wouldn’t exceed about 5mph. Perfect for getting around the property and through the plant. They were beat to pieces with tattered interiors, but mechanically were meticulously maintained, with servicing being kicked out on the same PM schedule as the rest of the equipment in the mill.

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
22 days ago

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a brief time in a ’65 Chevy C20 with a 350 swap, but with the original drivetrain after that. Rear end was a 4.56:1 and first gear was something like 7.5:1. Wasn’t a fast cruiser, but I watched it climb a ca. 45-50% grade at idle – zero throttle.

Professor Chorls
Professor Chorls
22 days ago

Part of why I chose to move to the 4-speed transmission when I did the diesel swap in the vantruck. It came with the 460 big block, the C6 3-speed, and tall gearing (4.10), so trying to just go 65 on a flat highway was wringing the thing out at nearly 3000 RPM. The fuel consumption was simply linear with speed. When I had an aftermarket overdrive added (Gear Vendors), it made a world of difference. It could highway cruise at 2500 RPM and had more than enough torque overhead to pass without flipping the OD switch off.

The E4OD has wider spaced ratios so I think the 7.3 now sits closer to 2300 at 65, and if I zone out and don’t watch myself the thing has enough boost and fuel to just accidentally get to the top of the 85 mph speedometer. My opinion is the thing that made trucks “fast” starting in the 90s is really the 5-6 speed transmissions that started coming out with two overdrive ratios, which negated the need for an add-on gearbox and allowed you to actually use the big engines for torque and not for RPM.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
22 days ago

YAY! IM SO HAPPY!

John E
John E
22 days ago

I had 1969 Jeep J4000. 4 speed manual, manual steering, drum brakes all around and the heaviest clutch I’ve ever used. I drove 70’s cabover semis and none of them were even close to as hard as using the clutch on that Jeep. Every trip to town was a full body workout. Not kidding. No AC and a barely functional heater made it the most miserable vehicle I have ever owned or drove. This was back in the early 90’s. I got it with 20,000 miles and it was like new inside and out. I fell in love and paid all of $2300 for it. It would climb almost anything. It was the most capable 4×4 I’ve owned and I drove it all over the central Idaho mountains where not even stock CJ’s could go. But I dumped it 2 years later because of you don’t need a truck like that, trust me, you don’t want it. It was crude, rode as rough as a buckboard wagon, everything about driving it was difficult and heavy. But it could tow almost anything at 55 mph uphill or on the flats. It had the 390 instead of the 360. But it was brutal.

Plesiomorphus primitivus
Plesiomorphus primitivus
22 days ago

Say what? As a teenager I raced my beat-up 1971 Scout II against a Trans Am on highway 80 in 1984. We hit 110 before I realized what I was doing. It had a manual 4-speed, and no power brakes or steering, but the 304 had plenty of shove.

Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
22 days ago

My 76 Suburban,454, TH400 and 373 gearing. It was built to pull and had no problem cruising. The gas mileage was horrendous but gas was cheap and thrills were too. These days, Id probably get shot for going too slow. I live between Oakland and Antioch..a war zone of assholes and gangs. Not related…can we bring back the death penalty?We really do have enough marginal scum running around. Hang em High.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Robert Runyon

No, no, no. So many people keep telling me it isn’t true! You couldn’t tow until the ’90s! Didn’t you know! If you were going to tow before them, you’d have been lucky to maintain 55mph on flat ground! Hit a modest hill and you might as well be stopped.

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
22 days ago

Oh, yeah, that was indeed a good comment from UnseenCat (and I feel the pain about the autocorrect-enabled typo, as UnseenCat put it about the left foot in another comment on this article; given my propensity myself for typos and my own occasional experiences with driving older trucks heavily loaded in the Rockies as well as around my hometown in East Tennessee I guessed it was in fact the right foot and I figured most people would get it that it was just a typo.)
Had wanted to reply to UnseenCat’s comment and DT’s appreciative response at the time but got sidetracked when one of my cats kept headbutting me and biting me on the ankle (gently but firmly) to remind me it was time for breakfast & I never got back around to it but guess I can do so here, especially since DT is so famously not all that well-versed in pop culture but has indicated a willingness to learn more here and there about things pop: there’s an episode (season 4 episode 16) of The Andy Griffith Show where part of the episode’s premise involves just such a scenario about trucks and hills which provides a good snapshot of what it was like for truck drivers back in the day. I always remembered that episode even though it’s been years since I last saw it and I’m not a Mayberry-head (my older sisters have seen each and every single episode multiple times from when they were first broadcast to the present, ha.)
http://imcdb.org/i059131.jpg
http://imcdb.org/vehicle_59131-Ford-C-800-1963.html
This picture shows what’s clearly an irate exchange between Barney Fife and a truck driver. Barney had just acquired a motorcycle and kept zealously pulling every motorist over for speeding even just a few mph over the speed limit. He kept stopping and ticketing all the truck drivers along a particular stretch of road for doing 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit to the point where Andy took Barney aside and told him to knock it off with the truck drivers because they needed the extra 5 to 10 mph on that particular road to gain the momentum necessary to climb over the upcoming big hill without slowing down to a crawl or even a stop. (Some manual transmissions back in those days required that you come to a complete stop before shifting into first gear, even with double-declutching.) No wonder these truck drivers were so irate, as seen in that picture, ha. That episode evoked such vivid memories of my own experiences, even if limited, with driving such trucks and also childhood experiences of being in the family station wagon stuck behind such trucks in the mountains on road trips. Now it feels weird to be behind trucks maintaining full speed over hills…

Last edited 22 days ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
22 days ago

I often utter “Oh no, a Chevy Uplander!”

Bite Me
Bite Me
22 days ago
Reply to  Ricardo Mercio

ermahgah an envoy

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
22 days ago

Having owned three different 1970s VW vans (with 40-50 hp) in the ’80s and ’90s in the Colorado mountains I can totally agree. The other part of the equation was downshifting to save the drum brakes, on the other side, going back down (“Use the same gear going down as you did going up”)!

JDS
JDS
22 days ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

Agreed! You haven’t cheated death until you’ve driven a ’74 bus (my dad’s) over Red Mountain pass. It’s not the drive that will kill you, it’s the guy in his F350 trying to pass you on a blind curve. Or maybe an avalanche. I’m pretty sure that would kill you too.

Third gear going up, third gear going down, and haul as much ass as possible in the flats to preserve momentum for the next climb.

Tsorel
Tsorel
21 days ago
Reply to  Jim Zavist

Something’s wrong. The Type 4 engines in 70s buses made between 70 and 84 hp, depending on the capacity (1.7, 1.8, and 2.0). No fire breathers, for sure, but better than the 1200-1500cc motors of the 50’s and 60’s busses that actually were making 40-50 hp.

Jim Zavist
Jim Zavist
20 days ago
Reply to  Tsorel

Up until ’71, the buses used the 1600 upright engines. VW changed to the bigger engines in ’72

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago

I call bullshit on this.

Loads of old truck can easily cruise at 65mph without problem. Chevy started throwing small blocks under the hood of the C10 way back in 1965. In ’69 it became the venerable small block 350. Paired with the most common gears (3.73) you can easily hold 65mph without a problem at all.

Heck, even the older I-6s and V6s should be able to hold 65mph with the right gears. The lowest power Stovebolt still made something like 150hp, which is plenty for a 2WD, 3.73 gears, and even the clunky 3-speed.

Now hills when loaded? Yeah, you aren’t going to maintain 65mph. But this idea that somehow old trucks were incapable to doing highway duty at all without having to drastically reduce speeds on every hill is just silly.

The small block 307 was super common in 2nd gen C10s and was putting out 200 ponies and 300 lb-ft.

I’m a Chevy guy, so I’m not sure what Ford or Dodge (or even International) had at the time, but I can’t imagine it being that much worse.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

You’re not wrong, but 65-75 is a quaint, east-coast sort of slab speed. Out west where the real mountains are, the going rate these days is 85-95. I’ve seen short convoys of 18-wheelers on I-80 pegged on 100.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago

Ok, but that’s not what the original poster claimed. The poster basically claimed that an unladen truck could only muster about 65mph before it became a huge hassle. That frankly isn’t true.

I’ve got a ’65. While it doesn’t have the original engine, the tired SBC350 paired to a turbo 350 3-speed probably produces less power than the SBC350 they started putting in them in ’69. It’ll cruise at 65 without any problems. At 70mph the steering becomes light, but the engine is happy as a clam and I’ve still got plenty of passing power on tap (given that the kick-down works, which typically requires a sharp stab on the throttle).

Sure, at 75mph or 80mph, the revs are getting high, but it ain’t exactly feeling flogged; just feels you are running out of gears. And all of this is with plain-jane 3.73 rear gearing. If I really wanted a bit better highway manners, 3.08 gearing was a readily available option of the time, though less common.

Sebastian Bear
Sebastian Bear
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Yeah, put 5000lbs behind it and see how fast you can go up a grade. I think that’s what the original comment was saying. I’ve got a 65 f250 with 4.56’s and a 390. It doesn’t like going more than about 60, revs start getting too high. But it’ll pull whatever you want it to pull. Wouldn’t be the case if it had 3.08’s or 3.73’s, but that was the trade off. Pulling power or top speed/fuel economy. Now we get both.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

You don’t have to think anything, you can read it yourself…

but on the flat or unloaded at best could do 65 MPH without feeling like you were flogging it.

Sebastian Bear
Sebastian Bear
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

The best you could get in pickups was something with a rear end geared for loads, and then you had a truck that could climb most hills at 50-55MPH, but on the flat or unloaded at best could do 65 MPH without feeling like you were flogging it.”

Reading comprehension. That’s in the context of deep rear gears

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

Yes, reading comprehension is important. He’s basically saying you couldn’t get gearing for highway. That’s my entire point. 3.08 was readily offered and available, 3.73 was probably the most common. 3.08 isn’t geared for loads, 3.73 is the middle ground. 4.11 was offered but certainly not common either, but it was also typically paired with an overdrive transmission.

Sebastian Bear
Sebastian Bear
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

“If you wanted faster truck on the highway, then the gearing choice meant slower climbs while loaded.”

Never said you couldn’t get higher gears, just that that there was a trade off. Which there is.

Last edited 22 days ago by Sebastian Bear
BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

And now we are full circle with my first comment. 3.73 gears is perfectly adequate for being able to climb while loaded. Is it going to keep up with today’s trucks? No. But unless you are at max load and trying to climb a legit mountain pass, it was perfectly adequate at keeping up with traffic.

Remember, these trucks had GVW’s of 5,000 lbs, which mean only like 1,000 pounds in the bed. I’ve had that much in mine and it has zero problems on the highway at that load.

EDIT: That tradeoff still exists today. Getting lower gears means better highway speeds but worse passing/towing power. Nothing has changed how gearing has worked… there’s always a trade off when it comes to gearing.

Last edited 22 days ago by BolognaBurrito
Sebastian Bear
Sebastian Bear
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Now hills when loaded? Yeah, you aren’t going to maintain 65mph. But this idea that somehow old trucks were incapable to doing highway duty at all without having to drastically reduce speeds on every hill is just silly.”

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

I’m talking worst case scenario here.

OP clearly implied that trucks of yesteryear simply weren’t cutout for highway duty regardless of the hill or the loading. I’m saying they are perfectly fine, but obviously when you add in hills and full loads, yeah, it’s gonna struggle. But so is a new Tacoma (at least the previous generation) or a V6 Ram 1500. Big whoop.

Sebastian Bear
Sebastian Bear
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Read the comment again if you think they’re ‘clearly implying’ that. The context of the article was worst case scenario, thus, it tracks that the comment was also in that same context. If the argument is ‘Old trucks can operate well within their load capacity and go almost highway speeds given appropriate gearing”, yeah, I agree. But to say a truck with 200 gross horsepower and 3.73’s can maintain 65mph loaded down up a decent grade is just asinine. I think old trucks can work, I think they should work. Nobody is saying they can’t tow or haul. Just that you either will slow down going up grades or you just won’t be able to go very fast depending on gearing/load.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

I used the 307 to be somewhat fair. it was the least powerful V8 they offered in the 2nd gen C10. You could also get (depending on year) the 327, 350, 396 or 402 (called the 400).

Dale Mitchell
Dale Mitchell
22 days ago
Reply to  Sebastian Bear

Can attest; I daily drive a 71 F100 with a 390 and 4.10 gears. Even driving around our almost-rural town, other drivers with more modern rides seem impatient.
the 4-speed manual transmission is also a factor (with one forward gear only fit for crawling) – means the top gear (4th) is a compromise that does not favor speeds above 60 mph.

Marty Densch
Marty Densch
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Summer job in high school was working as “gofer” for a refrigeration repairman. Our dispatch truck was a Chevy C10 with a custom bed with large utility boxes on either side of a diamond plate bed. Boxes were full of tools and freon tanks. The owner bought I6 C10s because, as he told me, “tune ups are cheaper.” Acceleration wasn’t breathtaking but that I6 had no trouble keeping up with traffic.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
22 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

It’s not that they didn’t put more powerful engines in, it’s what was baseline acceptable, to be sold and driven. I had a 1984 Isuzu P’up diesel, granted not a full size, but all of 58 horsepower, and maybe 3k redline, and that was perfectly acceptable in the 80s for a truck, and it could not crest a medium grade in the blue ridge mountains at more than 50mph with an empty bed, nevermind if hauling something.

Tsorel
Tsorel
21 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

My mom’s 1970 Dodge Camper Special with the 335hp 383c.i. and TorqueFlite transmission in front of a 4.11 rear end and 10-16.5 tires (32”) would cruise at 70-75 easily with or without our slide-in camper or fishing boat. God knows how much gas we were using but it did have a 25 gallon tank.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
23 days ago

You used to just gear down, put your left foot in it, and sit back with one hand on the wheel and the other on the windowsill,”

… as your vehicle gradually slowed to a stop.

Why?

Because the left foot is for the clutch. If you’re putting your left foot in it, you have just pushed down the clutch and disenaged the transmission.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
22 days ago

I dunno man, when I inherited my grandpa’s Cherokee, it had an adapter to give a left side gas pedal. I mean, he’d had a stroke, but they technically exist as an aftermarket option!

MGA
MGA
22 days ago

I noticed the same.

UnseenCat
UnseenCat
22 days ago

Ugh. My autocorrect-enabled typo will now live forever

Adam Guha
Adam Guha
23 days ago

I’ve actually seen quite a few Suzuki Kizashi’s around. Kia Borrego’s, not so much.

Modern vehicles in general are so much faster, and so much larger than even just 20ish years ago. My dad had a ’99 BMW 540i, which made it to 60 in about 5.8 seconds. I recently read that my ’23 330i does it in 5.4. I remember being nervous driving his car because it was so fast… Mine, not so much. Also, my 330i has more interior space than the first generation X5. I could ask why we need all that space and performance in a small sport sedan, but I think the majority of buyers expect it now, so companies have to deliver…

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
23 days ago

I’m liking this new “Comment of the at some point in the past” feature. It fits in nicely with the slightly unhinged chaotic vibes that make this place feel so inviting. Like a slightly dysfunctional family that might have forgotten a kid at the grocery store, they’ll still make sure anyone who walks in the front door has a dinner plate full of the best home cooking.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
23 days ago

they’ll still make sure anyone who walks in the front door has a dinner plate full of the best home cooking

This is the home of David “shower spaghetti” Tracy (never mind his cooking hijinx with not-so-fancy Kristen) and Jason “bumper ham” Torchinsky.

Maybe rethink your use of “best”.

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
23 days ago

In hindsight, maybe those “dysfunctional” modifiers are doing a lot more work than I first intended.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
23 days ago

It’s very specific & unusual dysfunction here, but even if the cooking isn’t the greatest – or even acceptable by very loose standards – you know it’s gonna be earnest.

The Mark
The Mark
22 days ago

They never really did elaborate on the shower spaghetti story, did they? I’ve heard of a “shower beer” but never spaghetti, or really, any shower food other than the one Seinfeld episode.

Dogpatch
Dogpatch
23 days ago

Trucks have seriously gotten too big,the midsize is basically what a full size used to be.
Plus for those of wanting to still shift only one manual transmission left,the Tacoma.
Yes,Automatics have gotten way better and no one wants a manual anymore.
Yes ,you can tow a house with a truck now but try to get anything out of the bed of one now,it’s difficult.Perhaps the manufacturers with go to drop down sides like my old VW crew cab truck has.They sure are handy.
Yes they have steps but with those steps comes a huge price to pay for them as the price of a truck is steep .
Im done whining now.

Dogpatch
Dogpatch
23 days ago
Reply to  Dogpatch

Ops I forgot the Jeep has a truck again with a manual.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
22 days ago
Reply to  Dogpatch

No, you were right the first time. A gladiator is just a jeep wrangler with an open trunk

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
23 days ago

I speak from years of experience towing stuff up hills with old shitbox trucks.

If you want to experience what it used to be like to tow things using a pickup, but would appreciate doing it in a modern vehicle, Jeep still has your answer.

A stick shift gladiator with 4 or 5000 lbs behind it will give you all the joys of the days gone by. Dutifully rowing through the gears to keep the engine in its powerband, listening to that engine howl with determination to both maintain 60 mph and keep its bottom end together, pushing the braking system to its very limits because for some reason they Jeep never designed a trailer brake controller as a factory option, and of course slipping the ever loving hell out of the clutch to get the load moving from a stop light because you have a 1st gear long enough to hit 30 mph, it’s got all the rustic charm of pulling a load around with a tired square body Chevy with a 305, but with leather, satellite radio, and a functioning air conditioner.

Always broke
Always broke
23 days ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

I think the taco is still around with a manual too. I just took my gladiator for a test drive with a new brake controller and an empty trailer can’t wait for the struggles of towing like I’m in the 80’s, no leather seats though

Last edited 23 days ago by Always broke
H4llelujah
H4llelujah
22 days ago
Reply to  Always broke

Yeah, but it probably has a nice clutch, good gear spacing, and torque.

It’s definitely a better truck, but alas, it ain’t no Jeep.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
23 days ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Hey man, functioning air conditioner? Might as well be in the Taj Mahal

Soasas
Soasas
22 days ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Where was I reading about Jeep’s clutch problems……

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
22 days ago
Reply to  Soasas

So, I have a funny insider take on that: A customer of mine (who just bought a stick shift wrangler from me) actually works for the company that makes these clutches. She claims that the whole problem is because of people resting their foot on the clutch and thus it’s riding around slightly engaged, causing the overheat.

I’m inclined to believe her, because honest to goodness I’ve had 4 different JL platforms with a stick, and I am ROUGH on them, and I’ve never had an issue. Nor have I heard of any issues in 5 years of selling them.

It’s not necessarily a bad design, just one that is susceptible to user error. (Which admittedly, could be considered a bad design)

OptionXIII
OptionXIII
22 days ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

The whole setup is terrible. I was an engineer working on early prototypes – not specifically on the transmission, but I was able to get these things on a lift and was driving them before the camo was even off.

The firewall and pedal box would flex enough that when you pushed the clutch pedal you could visibly see the master cylinder move. They traded out the direct acting shifter for a cable shifter. They turned the clutch pedal from a normal style to a compound bow style assisted setup, then put the friction point at the same point as where the assist level changed. I plotted out the ratios of the JK and JL transmissions and the JL gear spacing was more like two separate three speed transmissions, the thing just completely fell on it’s face when you shifted to 4th.

It’s like they took advice on how to change the manual transmission equipment from a focus group of people who hated manuals. I drove manual JKs every chance I could and avoided the autos. When I started having to drive JLs instead, I was in an auto as often as possible. I love manual transmissions and they completely sucked the joy out of driving a manual wrangler.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
18 days ago
Reply to  OptionXIII

That’s the best way I’ve heard it described. Spot on, the clutch “breaks” just like a compound bow, and at the worst possible time.

With 33” tires on my non-rubicon and a 30 mile commute that never got over 55mph, I pretty much drove it as a 4 speed. There was absolutely no difference in fuel mileage never using 5th or 6th.

An engine that doesn’t build power until 4000 rpm and higher, A transmission that hates to be hurried, with 4th, 5th and 6th gears set up for interplanetary travel.

Passable in a 2 door base model wrangler, but laughable on a truck.

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