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basic manual transmission questions

4442 Views 27 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  SquallLHeart
Hi, this is my first manual transmission car. I have put 1000 miles on it and seem to be smooth at shifting and dont roll back on hills anymore either. I think i am doing pretty well, but I would like to clear up some questions i have so i know how to keep my clutch from wearing out on me very fast.

1) When im on a hill, I figured out that I can keep the car in place and not roll back if i push in the clutch somewhat and rev somewhat. as i let off the clutch i will roll and start. I want to know if this is wearing my clutch and to what extent if it is.

2) When startin, I usually rev to like 2000 rpm as im letting of the clutch as i go and then as the clutch is being released i can feel the car start to move freely so i can let off the clutch completely without any jerk at all.

3)Sometimes when im rolling forward like 2 mph or somethin ill want to reverse (like when doing a 3 pt turn), but when i put it in reverse i feel this hardcore grinding and im like wtf mate. so i try not to do that but i just want to make sure nothins wrong with my car n i didnt f anythin up.

4)Ive heard of double clutching. To my understanding this is when you push the clutch in, shift to neutral, rev, push clutch back in, shift to gear, release. Well i dont know if i understand that correctly, but that brings into question whether i am shifting properly because i usually push in the clutch all the i like push in clutch, rev to the rpm i think is necessary while shifting and then release clutch slowly. Am i wearing my clutch? am i ruining anything? If i understand double clutchign properly, what's the point?

5)Iv eheard of 'lugging' the engine which i think is when ur at low rpms in high gears. anyways since i started driving i always tried to follow the optimum shift points listed in the book except when i was driving fast. I was wondering if i have lugged my engine cause im at 2k rpm in 5th gear at 45mph which is what it recommends but i was told that this is bad for my engine. I just want to make sure if i have messed anythign up?

6) Any pointers for newbies would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance...
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#1) As long as you're not holding the hill for oh, 5 minutes waiting for the light to turn green, this is fine. Minimal wear.

2) It's not really going to "hurt" the clutch for a long time doing this, but you're basically doing a jump start every time, just at a lower rpms. I'm sure Lance will chime in with more technical details, but it's causing the synchros to work a little bit harder right off the bat.

3) Very very bad boy. Stop completely before going into reverse. What you're doing is forcing aside the shift gate that keeps you from accidentally going into reverse while moving forward. It doesn't like that. You'll get the same effect if you back up, put it in neutral and then try to pop it back in reverse. Reverse should be best engaged if you're at a complete stop.

4) I don't think I've ever double I'm probably causing wear on my clutch that way.

5) As I told ya...just wait 'til after the break in period to be in 5th at 2k. otherwise you'll have a little more wear on the engine, not the clutch.

6) Let's go driving...I'll see if I can point you into better shifn' techniques.

Clutches last a pretty long time, even with new people learning them. My first one in my first car lasted 10 years. and it was a toyota. And I learned on it. So you'll have to try real hard to fry your clutch.
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^^^ And they call you the car beater

I don't think it's actually at 2k rpms at 45 in 5th, more like 2300-2400 or so, I believe. Anyway, I've been following the manual's guidelines with shifting at 15, 25, 35, 45. Hopefully, I haven't been bogging down the engine...
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1. Does lead to premature clutch replacement, but I've done it for years. As Labfish said, 5 minutes would be very bad. I try not to hold the car on an incline more than 10 seconds. Worst case, you will overheat the flywheel and pressure plate causing the clutch to glaze and slip. If it starts to slip, you will notice it first in 5th gear, and as it gets worse you'll notice it in lower gears.

2. As you gain experience, the rpm will get lower. 2k isn't too bad though. Believe it or not, you can take your foot off the gas completely and start the car moving very smoothly at idle with just careful clutch engagement. Perfect practice makes perfect.

3. When you shift into reverse while going forward (which you can do at any speed, there is no lockout that I've found, and I can say it is very bad to have a 5 speed and a 6 speed in the garage at the same time), the friction disc in the clutch has to spin backwards, which means you are using the reverse synchro to reverse the motion of the entire geartrain. This is a LOT more than this synchro was designed to do, so if you want to keep the synchro working in reverse, don't shift until you are at a full stop. Otherwise you'll be playing lots of clutch-in-clutch-out games to get reverse to engage. AMHIK.

4. Double clutching is a waste of time and effort. Period. Let the synchros do their job.

5. I drive at 2k in 5th a lot. Nothing to worry about. However, running below 2k and applying a lot of throttle to accelerate is lugging the engine. It is very bad for the rod bearings because oil pressure is rpm dependent. At low rpm, oil pressure is low, and a heavy load tends to squeeze the oil out of the rod bearings and wear them out prematurely. If you need to accelerate hard from a low engine speed, gently roll on the throttle until you are at or above 2k, then hammer it open. It is very bad for the bearings to lug the engine. Again, AMHIK.

6. If you drive the way the owner's manual says, you can't go wrong. Some pointers not in the book: Don't downshift into first at more than 5 mph. First gear is the largest gear in the gearbox, so the load on the first gear synchro is more than any other gear (except maybe reverse with forward motion unless you are shifting into first while rolling backwards). Downshifting into first at 5 mph or more is very hard on the synchro, and may lead to premature failure, AMHIK (I didn't rebuild my Getrag 6 speed for fun!). It is ALWAYS better to match the engine speed to the road speed of the gear you are shifting into to minimize the work the synchro has to do. It is also a lot less unsettling to the car.
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That and it's nearly impossible to throw it into first above 5 mph. LoL.
Glad I wasn't too far off. Whew. I guess the resistance that I felt at rolling speeds made me think there was a safety that prevented reversing at high speeds.
^ Nah, pop it in neutral and blip it before you put it in gear. Goes right in without a fuss. Clutch enages without a jolt. I generally avoid it and go into second whenever I can, but it's not a big deal going into first smoothly even at 10mph imo.

Now, just trying to stick it in first without blipping it from neutral, yah, that's a bitch.
i honestly think first gear should onyl be used to accelerate....why shift into it when decelerating or anyhting like that, ur just gonna waste gas and minimize the life of ur trans. and last time i checked thats why they had brakes on cars to slow you down, and even on occasion stop why would u want to use a trnasmission to slow the car when u can use brakes?? if u would rather replace a few thousand dollar transmission instead of 50 dollar brake pads....
alright well this thread has been EXTREMELY helpful. I was thinking though, if youre wasting your clutch from driving good, youre also saving yoru clutch by driving jerky. I guess its a win-win situation. How long you think a clutch would last if you tend to drive very smoothly and dont do the thing where you hold urself on a hill?
Originally posted by Soundguy50@Apr 13 2005, 10:13 AM
i honestly think first gear should onyl be used to accelerate....why shift into it when decelerating or anyhting like that, ur just gonna waste gas and minimize the life of ur trans. and last time i checked thats why they had brakes on cars to slow you down, and even on occasion stop why would u want to use a trnasmission to slow the car when u can use brakes?? if u would rather replace a few thousand dollar transmission instead of 50 dollar brake pads....
Generally when I pull into my apt complex lot, I'm going from the street at 45mph, to 10mph in the lot till the first turn in the lot which i take at 5mph (our lot is screwy). So... I don't want to pop it in second after coming off the main street since 5-10mph is first gear speeds anyway nor do I feel like slowing down to 5mph just to get it in first only to accelerate to 10mph then slow back down to 5mph. So, I just blip it to around 2300rpm and toss it first once I'm in the lot. Goes in with no effort. Clutch engages smoothly. No problems *shrug*. I think you should try to avoid shifting down into first, but there comes a time when it's being overprotective imo.
You'll feel good about that until your first gear synchro stops working. AMHIK.

If you are nice to your clutch, there is no reason it won't go 100k miles. I had 106k in my Supra when I replaced the clutch, and I've never had any clutch go bad before that in any of my other Toyotas.
Ya how about this downshifting in order to stop thing? Will that cause premature wear on the tranny?
Engine, transmission, and clutch. Brakes are for stopping, use them.
But my ricer friends use the engine to slow down!!

They also sit 5' from the steering wheel......
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I dunno what this could possibly have to do with your 'ricer friends.' Do ricers drive one certain way. This is the dumbest ricer diss i have ever heard in my life. Its ok tho you tried.
"Rice friends" describes the younger generations of males who do ridiculous thing to and with their cars thinking it makes them cool or they are actually going faster, when really they are just making giant asses of themselves. Doesn't everyone know this by now?

If everyone did there'd be no need for the term then...what a shame.
Because of the nasty winters here, I usually use a combination of downshifting and braking to slow my car down, but in better weather, I just use the brakes. Does anyone think that's a poor strategy?
Yes, I think that's a poor strategy. Whether you are using your engine or your brakes, your tires are still the only thing in contact with the road. Just use your brakes.
Is it easier to modulate two things at the same time or focus on modulating one?
Plus, if you hit a patch of ice or what have you, how is ABS supposed to work properly with the engine forces involved?
In response to lobux's question, I usually end up braking while I'm downshifting so I end up at about 2500 rpm in each gear I downshift into, so I suppose I'm not putting all that much pressure on the engine and transmission. However, I suppose with ABS it's not all that necessary to do all that downshifting because it has kicked in when my tires slipped, so the shifting doesn't seem to interfere with the ABS since I don't shift at fairly low RPM's.
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