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Why Do You Love Manual Transmissions?
Performance 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Better Fuel Economy/Consumption 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
More Control Over Your Car 26%  26%  [ 5 ]
Frugality 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Ease of Maintenance 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Driving Excitement/Pleasure 37%  37%  [ 7 ]
Tactile Feedback 11%  11%  [ 2 ]
Durability 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
All of the Above 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 19
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:23 am 
Junior Standardshifter

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Long time, no hear from! :D

My reasons for creating this thread is because I am looking for your opinion/vote on the following question: Why do you love the manual transmission?

It is all for a Senior-year graduation project that I had started back in February, where I had set out to create a research paper and PowerPoint presentation on manual transmissions, covering its' history, why people in America love them (as well as why most prefer automatic transmissions), and the merits/"demerits" that come from driving a car with such a transmission.

I have also left a poll for you guys where you can pick out one of the answers as to why you love manual transmissions. Have fun chatting, and place your votes! :)

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Last edited by Progressive Shifter on Thu May 03, 2012 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:34 am 
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It's all about the control for me. Well, since we can choose two options, I would have also voted for "driving pleasure" if you had included it.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 12:12 pm 
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I chose "More control" by process of elimination, but FUN is the real reason I like them. In fact, now that automatics have virtually erased the performance and fuel economy advantages that manuals used to enjoy, "fun" is the biggest remaining reason to drive a manual in my book. (But still, reason enough.)

And here is a link to an earlier thread I started on stick shift trends over the last 60 years or so, in case it helps with your paper. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:01 am 
Junior Standardshifter

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+1 to more fun.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:13 am 
Master Standardshifter
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love is an awful strong word...that said, picked all of the above :D :lol: 8)

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:58 pm 
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I chose all of the above because I couldn't narrow it down to just two. Haha. :lol:

Primarily why I like them is because there's always something to adjust or something that you could do better/differently that it doesn't get boring. I hate getting complacent and that was my default, for good or bad, in the automatics that I've driven. My goal is to get a 'good' manual; my car is fun, but I can't help but think that it's slightly crude and that there are more manuals out there that are slightly less picky.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:43 pm 
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tankinbeans wrote:
I chose all of the above because I couldn't narrow it down to just two. Haha. :lol:

This. Almost every reason up there, including being frugal on my part. For most cars, it's at least $750-$1000 cheaper to get the manual version of the car over the auto. There are a few instances where that has changed recently, but it's still true for the majority of cars I've seen. So even if fuel economy is the same (and it's not if you short shift), I would still get it for more control and a cheaper price.

Side note on the fuel economy: my car is supposed to get 28/29 city and 38 or so on the highway. I regularly get 31 in the city and match that 38 on the highway with short shifting and being smart while driving. The auto transmission is supposed to be 30 city and 40 highway. I guess I could improve highway mileage with the auto still, but my city mileage is better than what they advertise. And it's a lot harder to improve economy on an auto than it is on a stick...
/rant :lol: :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Squint wrote:
it's a lot harder to improve economy on an auto than it is on a stick...

Bingo. A number of fuel-saving techniques and strategies exist for manual that don't exist for auto or don't work well on auto. With an auto you're pretty much stuck with what you get - which, these days, is likely to be equal or better compared to an uncaring driver's operation of a manual transmission...but certainly not more efficient than a manual driver who studies and works at improving fuel economy.

A few potential reasons are missing from the poll. I really enjoy the tactile feedback - feeling the shifter as it slots into gear. I also enjoy the option to always continue perfecting my technique (what feels better while driving than a perfect DCHT?) or to be lazy and sloppy.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:30 pm 
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theholycow wrote:
Squint wrote:
it's a lot harder to improve economy on an auto than it is on a stick...

Bingo. A number of fuel-saving techniques and strategies exist for manual that don't exist for auto or don't work well on auto. With an auto you're pretty much stuck with what you get - which, these days, is likely to be equal or better compared to an uncaring driver's operation of a manual transmission...but certainly not more efficient than a manual driver who studies and works at improving fuel economy.

A few potential reasons are missing from the poll. I really enjoy the tactile feedback - feeling the shifter as it slots into gear. I also enjoy the option to always continue perfecting my technique (what feels better while driving than a perfect DCHT?) or to be lazy and sloppy.

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to drive for mileage. All of the tips and tricks are seemingly contradictory. It's maddening.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:44 pm 
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I've been doing well with short shifting to improve mine a little bit. I have a little shift indicator light that comes on in my car when it's "time to shift that's optimal for fuel economy". I always shift before then. Basically, depending on the gear, I shift to the next gear between 2000-2500 rpm. Obviously it varies based on hills, traffic, etc... It's worked well for me. What methods have you tried?

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Squint wrote:
I've been doing well with short shifting to improve mine a little bit. I have a little shift indicator light that comes on in my car when it's "time to shift that's optimal for fuel economy". I always shift before then. Basically, depending on the gear, I shift to the next gear between 2000-2500 rpm. Obviously it varies based on hills, traffic, etc... It's worked well for me. What methods have you tried?


I tried short-shifting, but I'm never sure what the definition is. I've seen it where you shift short of 2,000 rpm, but that doesn't give you enough torques in the next gear for any meaningful acceleration; 2,250 rpm seems to be a nice balance. I've tried starting in second gear just to shunt the amount of unnecessary torque going to the wheels in first, but this feels unnatural. I've also tried keeping the engine spinning 2,500 rpm because I've read around that higher rpm is better for smaller engines, but the racket got to be a bit much. I've avoided 6th gear if I'm travelling below 55 mph, and I've used 6th gear as soon as 40 mph, just to see if there's a gain/loss. I've tried slow and steady acceleration as well as balls out, 'get up to speed, then cruise,' acceleration.

When people say short-shift, what exactly is meant?

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Its when you're in the bathroom at work and realize that you are about to be late for a meeting, so you pinch the loaf off sooner than intended.

Wait, we're not talking about that.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Add an "f" Ahtoxa... add an f.

Back to the topic at hand, every car is different when it comes to shifting. My car works fine and I don't feel underpowered at 1800-2000 rpms. So I can shift at 2000 or so and be fine as long as I'm not going uphill. Also, I would always be in the highest gear you can be in where you feel comfortable with the power at your disposal. So I usually am in 5th gear (my highest) between 35-40 mph. My power range is between 2500-3500/4000 in the Fiesta, so if I need more, I just push it a little further and I can get the power required or just downshift quickly.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:57 pm 
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tankinbeans wrote:
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to drive for mileage. All of the tips and tricks are seemingly contradictory. It's maddening.
Very often, two totally contradictory techniques can both work. Sometimes that's because they work in different ways, sometimes it's just because both force you to really pay attention and give a damn (basically, a placebo - but a placebo that produces results is good enough).
tankinbeans wrote:
I tried short-shifting, but I'm never sure what the definition is. I've seen it where you shift short of 2,000 rpm, but that doesn't give you enough torques in the next gear for any meaningful acceleration; 2,250 rpm seems to be a nice balance.

In my experience, the best fuel economy in acceleration comes from lower RPM than feels good or "seems to be a nice balance". I generally try to stay just above the point where it would growl (and, with modern fuel injection, using most or all of my throttle). Whether that's a compromise you're willing to make or not, is your decision.

Quote:
I've also tried keeping the engine spinning 2,500 rpm because I've read around that higher rpm is better for smaller engines, but the racket got to be a bit much.

If the racket is a bit much then your RPM is way too high, small engine or not. Every revolution costs energy in the form of engine friction (rings, bearings, etc) and reciprocating loss (gotta change the direction of each piston 4 times in each revolution). Every extra revolution costs energy. Engine friction isn't proportional; it goes up as a square of RPM (just as aerodynamic drag goes up as a square of speed). Higher RPM revolutions cost more than lower RPM revolutions.

There are other variables that may come into play if your RPM goes too low, but that level is lower than what is pleasant to drive, deep in growl territory.

Quote:
When people say short-shift, what exactly is meant?

Definitely differs by car. My VW was happy when I shifted at or before 1300...but not every car is like that.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:07 pm 
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tankinbeans wrote:
When people say short-shift, what exactly is meant?
wouldn't know, too busy shifting at 3-4k rpms :D 8) :twisted:

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