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Dilemma: Manual 2.3 VS Auto 2.7

Cactus Jack

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Have driven manual pretty much my entire life, but might just jump ship and go auto.

The reason is simple, I want the more powerful 2.7

The only thing that makes me question that decision is whether or not the manual 2.3 will be fast enough.

With a Ford Performance tune, it could make 345 HP and 385 lb-ft torque, which comes very close to 2.7L output figures.

I’m afraid if I go manual 2.3, I’ll wish I had more power, but if I go auto 2.7, I’ll wish I had a manual.

When will we have the opportunity to drive Broncos?
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TJconvert2.7

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I was just thinking I cannot wait to DRIVE the 2.7.

pretty sure the last Ford I drove was a 1993 with the 4.0 V6.

basically the same thing right?
 

Lakelife36

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Have driven manual pretty much my entire life, but might just jump ship and go auto.

The reason is simple, I want the more powerful 2.7

The only thing that makes me question that decision is whether or not the manual 2.3 will be fast enough.

With a Ford Performance tune, it could make 345 HP and 385 lb-ft torque, which comes very close to 2.7L output figures.

I’m afraid if I go manual 2.3, I’ll wish I had more power, but if I go auto 2.7, I’ll wish I had a manual.

When will we have the opportunity to drive Broncos?
Test drive a Ranger and see if you think it's fast enough enough you. @Rick Astley has some specific instructions on what to do with the mediocre transmission so it doesn't bog you down.
 

Bronco-ocnorB

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Go manual/2.3!!! It is my understanding the better diff gearing will help with the "quickness" feeling.

Plus it is more fun to drive a manual!
 

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BlazinGTO

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I love manuals. I really really do. I've had many. On the Bronco I never even considered it. There's no way I would be happy with the small engine. It's going to be noticeable.

People say "get a tune for the 2.3". It's not a great long term solution. It's going to affect engine life if you run it for the life of the truck. It will still be underpowered to the 2.7

If you end up spending a fair amount of time offroad, you will thank yourself later for the auto.
 

Big Boss

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Test drive a Ranger and see if you think it's fast enough enough you. @Rick Astley has some specific instructions on what to do with the mediocre transmission so it doesn't bog you down.
This ^

I have driven the 2.3 in the Mustang, Explorer and ranger. It has plenty of get up and go. Also, these aren't race cars, in a vehicle like the Bronco or Ranger I wouldn't care how fast it is. As long as it has enough to merge and pass it's good to go. The 2.3 has got plenty of power to get out of it's own way.
 

Superstition

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If you end up spending a fair amount of time offroad, you will thank yourself later for the auto.
EXACTLY. I own a heavily modified manual Rubicon on 35's. It's really a pain off road after a while. And if you think that's bad, try driving it in traffic. New autos are so good that there isn't even a reliability improvement with a manual. My Rubicon manual blew at 135K miles and cost me $5,500 to replace. I'm looking forward to my Badlands/Sas/2.7 Auto.
 

mpeugeot

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Although I am going with the 2.7, I have to agree with many here in that the 2.3 is hardly underpowered, even in bone stock trim with no tune. When coupled with the manual transmission and the crawler gear, it should be able to climb walls if there was enough traction. So I wouldn't be worried too much about the power, unless street performance is a factor, in which case the 2.7 auto is probably going to be the faster vehicle.
 

VelocityBrew

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Getting a 2.7 here but I would be perfectly happy with a 2.3 after driving a Ranger for a week previously.

Still might end up with a 2.3 Ranger as our second vehicle if I can get over how tall and narrow the truck bed/tailgate looks 😆
 

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King Luis

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This ^

I have driven the 2.3 in the Mustang, Explorer and ranger. It has plenty of get up and go. Also, these aren't race cars, in a vehicle like the Bronco or Ranger I wouldn't care how fast it is. As long as it has enough to merge and pass it's good to go. The 2.3 has got plenty of power to get out of it's own way.
exactly. if you are looking for high power, you might as well look at a sports car. the 2.3 is plenty for moderate doing and driving every day. you'd be surprised how much of the ~300ish hp you'd actually use.



EXACTLY. I own a heavily modified manual Rubicon on 35's. It's really a pain off road after a while. And if you think that's bad, try driving it in traffic. New autos are so good that there isn't even a reliability improvement with a manual. My Rubicon manual blew at 135K miles and cost me $5,500 to replace. I'm looking forward to my Badlands/Sas/2.7 Auto.
how do you blow a transmission? you must really be putting a lot of load on it constantly to really destroy it.
 

ChrisD

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This is just my perspective... I always drove manual transmissions. I had a TJ with the iron 4 with a stick, a JK with a V6 and a stick, lived overseas for a while, moved back and wanted a Rubicon. I was working with a small town dealership and they were able to get everything I wanted except it was an auto and yellow. I went for a test drive.

We took it off road as part of the test drive to try out all the features, sway bar disconnect, front and rear lockers, etc. To me, it drove just as well off road and it was one less thing for me to worry about. In practice, it worked very well for me. I could still set the gear I wanted it to run in for downhill stretches, etc. but for the highway and for cruising about getting to and fro, it was a lot more convenient.

To me, features like "trail control" or whatever that cruise control thing for trails is called and "one pedal" are far more useful. Most of my off roading is involved in getting to places I want to go, though, for some people it's more about purism or control, which I get. I'm really cool with that and respect it.

In the end, it's going to be subjective, but for me, the auto will work out fine and the trade-offs made a lot of sense.

Edited to add: I drove my brother-in-law's Ranger last week. It did plenty well with the 2.3. I was pleasantly surprised.
 

projectrally

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I had the same dilemma. Here was how I made my decision and ended up with the 7MT:

You know why you want a manual. You understand the added engagement brings joy to the driving experience. And it prevents you from dealing with a bad automatic. At this point, the 10AT is a crapshoot. It's in a lot of Fords and Chevys, and my experience is that it varies a lot based on the shift programming. It's great in some cars and really terrible in others. If the shift logic is bad in the manual, it's my fault.

So the question that really matters is why do you want/need the added power? If you want to do high-speed desert running, get the 2.7L. I live in the Northeast, so I'll never do that.

Do you just want it to be faster on the road? Go buy a sports car. The 2.3L has more power than a Gladiator or Wrangler, and can easily be tuned to make a LOT more. The Jeeps aren't fast, but they have adequate power for highway cruising and city traffic. The Bronco should be better than either with the 2.3L.

You can't tow any more than 3500lbs in any configuration, so there's no advantage to more power there.

If you've got a use case that needs more power, go with the 2.7L and don't look back. For me, the question was: even if I had the extra power, how often would I really need it or use it? How often am I going full throttle and care about that extra shove? The answer, for me, was a lot less often than I'd take joy from rowing my own (which is EVERY time I drive it).
 

Big Boss

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exactly. if you are looking for high power, you might as well look at a sports car. the 2.3 is plenty for moderate doing and driving every day. you'd be surprised how much of the ~300ish hp you'd actually use.
Exactly, I have had my current car almost 3 years and can probably count the times I have gone WOT on both hands.
 

The_Phew

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My current car has a (stated) 220 HP (although that's more like the wheel horsepower than the crank), and I only tap into that 220 HP maybe once a week when trying to avoid being run over by a big rig while merging. Accelerating hard in a straight line is kind of fun occasionally, but the novelty wears off quickly if you are driving something other than say a Mustang GT. It's even less appealing in a 2.5+ ton truck.

In 25 years of driving manuals, the tactility of shifting still hasn't stopped being fun for me.
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