up to just recently i would have said autos suck off road (okay i did say that often) but now i have to say autos really do perform very well off road. i have driven a couple 74 autos in the dirt mounds and found it works fine. the auto will be much more drivable off road than the manual due to the auto absorbing much of the sensitive throttle issue with the 13BT on rough ground at speed...
Have ben driving a BJ74 auto since spring, 2005. no problems so far. Some tire spine on ice when stratring off in 3rd , also as d riveis a overdrive gear have used 3rd around town, and drive on the hiway. I've been told it puts les steess on the torquce convertor. Overall a god truck.
1989 BJ74, lockers, auto, all power options. (just needs a upgrade suspension)
I've been happy with mine as it's less hassle in the city, and one less thing to juggle. I think it does cost a bit of power and mileage, but not too much. I do wish it had an overdrive lockout as it locks up very quickly even at relatively lower speeds, but that's solved by just leaving it in 3rd under 80km. Since I'm usually driving the highway to Squamish, there is lots of shifting back and forth.
Not so sure about 37's with stock gearing though - you probably would find it sluggish, and engine braking might be just about gone. I noticed a big difference on a rig with 33's trying to creep downhill.
Auto's rock offroad. That torque converter slipping is like an extra (low) gear. You should make sure you have a good cooler. Rob, with 4.10 ring and pinion gears 37" tall tires should be fine with that rig.
Most people who import 70 Series Land Cruisers are content to leave them stock, since parts can be difficult to source and there is already a certain novelty to having one of these rare vehicles. Not Wong, though. He took his prized possession to Matt Stoffregen at Stoffregen Motorsports, who swapped in wider, stronger axles and built a completely custom suspension.