Off roading with a manual transmission Bronco

Gman90

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Well how is it? I’ve driven manual cars before I even got my license, all my daily’s have been manual. But all my trucks have always been 4x4 auto. Manual is like breathing to me, but I can barely imagine being a steep incline and feathering the clutch to continue to go up or get out of being stuck. I understand the gear ratio and crawler gears pretty much allow you to slowly slip and go, but how does it feel? What’s it like truly crawling with a manual and getting up over obstacles in the way?
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I prefer wheeling in a manual. It presents an extra challenge but also gives you way more control over how the truck behaves. I can't count how many times I've gotten scoffed at for having a stick, or how may times I've shown those people up by making it over whatever obstacle they said I wouldn't be able to do.
 

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To paraphrase the late great Granville King "Pick a low enough gear and keep your d**n foot off the clutch", no slipping.
 

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Well how is it? I’ve driven manual cars before I even got my license, all my daily’s have been manual. But all my trucks have always been 4x4 auto. Manual is like breathing to me, but I can barely imagine being a steep incline and feathering the clutch to continue to go up or get out of being stuck. I understand the gear ratio and crawler gears pretty much allow you to slowly slip and go, but how does it feel? What’s it like truly crawling with a manual and getting up over obstacles in the way?
Use low range and don't slip the clutch. This is why the crawler gear is so important.
To start on the incline you can have it in crawler gear and hit the starter button without pushing in the clutch.
My Toyota has a clutch cancel button that can do the same thing. It lets you start in gear.
You do need to know the tricks but it is more fun then an auto.
The turn break assistant is auto only so you must out on that but I still want the manual because it is more fun.
 

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It's different...if I say it's better the automatic trans nazis will beat me down...but its a different strategy in the drivers seat. 1st off, not alot of "feathering" of the clutch. When I wheeled my yj I often didn't touch the clutch negotiating some nasty obstacles...in 4low and low gear i could pedal it nice and easy, and had the instant torque where a slight blip of the gas would get me out of a low spot. For the most part in low the clutch is either in or out...even at idle I can just drop it. I only had to remember to step on it when I had to full stop to figure out my line. Mud holes were WAY more fun than auto trans. In low range you can use higher gears to get more wheel rpms to clean out the tires and throw the mud roosters. The direct mechanical connection gives you instant reaction to your throttle inputs...hammer down=hammer down. You can also jog the clutch to get some bounce to get over tough spots. Its alot more driver technique you can use to have way more fun...as opposed to stepping on the gas and the truck either gets through or gets stuck...feels like you didn't have any part of it w/auto trans!
 
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Gman90

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I had no idea about no feathering! So if you’re on a hill already, say front tire is pitched way up high on a rut and you’re kind of stuck in and stopped, you just let the clutch out in crawler gear and it doesn’t bog down and stall?
 

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I had no idea about no feathering! So if you’re on a hill already, say front tire is pitched way up high on a rut and you’re kind of stuck in and stopped, you just let the clutch out in crawler gear and it doesn’t bog down and stall?
More or less...if you have no traction wheels will spin=stuck ("static driving mode" again, Granville King), if you have traction it will move=not stuck, you may have to give a little throttle to avoid stall.
 

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I had no idea about no feathering! So if you’re on a hill already, say front tire is pitched way up high on a rut and you’re kind of stuck in and stopped, you just let the clutch out in crawler gear and it doesn’t bog down and stall?
The torque that you'll have with that low gearing and crawler gear in low will rarely if ever stall, especially if you're not on pavement.
 

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It likely comes down to preference. Some people can't do without the manual. Others say Auto is better as its one less thing to worry about when rock crawling.

I don't think on a general open easy/medium trail one presents an advantage over the other. Comes down to personal preference (and cost apparently)
 

Ajfetterman

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I have always wheeled my YJ's with an automatic but I'm looking forward to the challenge of a manual especially with crawler gear.
 

Dads_bronze_bronco

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Even without the crawl gear, my past MT rigs in 4 low have all been able to run practically without even using the clutch or break.
Essentially this is what they are trying to replicate with Trail Control on the 10AT.

And personally, I just like the no-nonsense and drama feel of just idling up and over an obstacle.
 

N3T

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If this manual is anything like the manual in my last Escape then it’ll prefer shifting without any feathering at all. It wasn’t like a manual car where if you wanted a fast start you’d have to rev & drop. As a truck like trans it liked to be dropped into 1st gear at low rpms and then you’d hammer the skinny pedal. It took me a while to stop fighting it and remap my brain but then I really enjoyed it.

On the trail or sitting at a stoplight on an incline, you can use the granny gear to get moving without any drama at all because of the tremendous torque multiplication to the rear wheel. If you engage all 4 wheels or use 4 low it gets even more monstrous and easy to use.

Personally, I’m geeked that Ford is offering a manual bronco and can’t wait to do a ton of dumb stuff with it while my kids squeal in the back ?

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Gr8Hortoni

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Absolutely prefer wheeling a manual over an auto. About the only place an auto may have an advantage is in rock crawling, but considering the gearing and the crawl gear, that may even be a wash. Manual let’s you dictate the rpms and amount of torque you’re generating depending on terrain and to hold a certain power band for an extended amount of time.

once you go wheeling with a manual, you won’t want to do it with an auto.
 

JesseS

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I started driving a 'flat bed ford' with granny gear back in '61', then in the Army all of our early trucks were manual, and my first Jeeps were manual as well. I have never had an auto trans 4X4, so don't know how they feel on the trail. My wife wanted me to get the auto, but I told her my truck, my way, besides, she know how to drive a standard!
 
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