My Shifting Style

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Puchrider
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My Shifting Style

Postby Puchrider » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:35 pm

Lately while driving my 1995 e36 325is BMW, I noticed I'm getting "locked out" of second gear occasionally. I'm probably being persnickety and too gentle on the stick while I'm letting my synchros do their thing. (I'm sure the pressure plate is good, there's no chatter)

I thought it would be best if I shifted in a manner which naturally synced up the gears; however, I couldn't be bothered with double clutching.

I discovered that if I shift out of gear very gently while, at the same time disengaging the clutch and letting off the gas, it will go perfectly into the next gear (after I depress the clutch all the way to the floor of course).

My question is:
Is this safe to do? I read somewhere that people were sliding out of gear without using a clutch at all in the point of time after the gas pedal was released and before engine braking could set in. If there's no grinding or resistance, and it makes shifting smoother, I'm sure it's not bad at all.

Also, I've been practicing my "heel toe" shifting and steep hill starts by rolling and straddling my right foot from my brake pedal to the gas. In my car, the pedals seem to be perfectly spaced and even with either (in other cars, however, I may not be so lucky). Does anyone else use this method? I can't call it "heel toe" in my case haha.
Last edited by Puchrider on Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Puchrider
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby Puchrider » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:37 pm

My method as in "rolling" the foot rather than using the heel and toe specifically
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potownrob
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby potownrob » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:38 am

i could be mistaken, but i think it's okay as long as the shifter easily slides out of and into gear. if you have to force it, you're doing it wrong. if the shifter very easily slides out of gear and goes into the next when you let up on the gas, you have found the perfect shift point. this will of course be helpful for your OTR clutchless shifting. it is frowned upon to shift a synchronized transmission like this, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong or bad for the transmission (assuming you're doing it right).

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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby theholycow » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:06 am

When you step on the clutch pedal, you are disengaging the clutch.

Shifting out of gear to neutral without using the clutch pedal, or jumping the gun a little and doing it simultaneously with clutch pedal movement, is fine as long as it feels fine. Disengaging the clutch allows you to do it any time regardless of how neutrally the forces are balanced between the engine and the transmission, but as long as you can get to what is often labeled "neutral throttle", where the engine and transmission input shaft would be spinning at the same speed even if they weren't connected, you're fine. In practice, reaching that point after letting off the throttle for an upshift is as easy as merely timing it right.

I have been known to call that "half double clutch". If you shift out of gear without touching the clutch pedal you're halfway to the double-clutching that you couldn't be bothered with. You can go the rest of the way by rev-matching in neutral before stepping on the clutch rather than after.

If you also want to shift from neutral into the next gear without touching the clutch pedal, it gets a little more messy. You're expected to float gears in big rigs and they are designed for it. You are not expected to do so in passenger cars and they are designed with the assumption that you won't. You may never know if you did it perfectly when using a synchronized transmission, it will feel perfect when it's a little imperfect and eat the synchronizers. Save it for special occasions like a nursing failing clutch release system to get to the repair shop.
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AHTOXA
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby AHTOXA » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:05 am

OP, when you feel locked out, does it require extra force to get in gear or it simply won't go? How hard have you tried to engage it?
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Puchrider
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby Puchrider » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:14 pm

theholycow wrote:When you step on the clutch pedal, you are disengaging the clutch.

Shifting out of gear to neutral without using the clutch pedal, or jumping the gun a little and doing it simultaneously with clutch pedal movement, is fine as long as it feels fine. Disengaging the clutch allows you to do it any time regardless of how neutrally the forces are balanced between the engine and the transmission, but as long as you can get to what is often labeled "neutral throttle", where the engine and transmission input shaft would be spinning at the same speed even if they weren't connected, you're fine. In practice, reaching that point after letting off the throttle for an upshift is as easy as merely timing it right.

I have been known to call that "half double clutch". If you shift out of gear without touching the clutch pedal you're halfway to the double-clutching that you couldn't be bothered with. You can go the rest of the way by rev-matching in neutral before stepping on the clutch rather than after.

If you also want to shift from neutral into the next gear without touching the clutch pedal, it gets a little more messy. You're expected to float gears in big rigs and they are designed for it. You are not expected to do so in passenger cars and they are designed with the assumption that you won't. You may never know if you did it perfectly when using a synchronized transmission, it will feel perfect when it's a little imperfect and eat the synchronizers. Save it for special occasions like a nursing failing clutch release system to get to the repair shop.


Thanks! I meant to put "disengage." It's a bad habit of mine.

It's always smooth and allows me to slide into the next gear like butter. I never try to go into gear without clutching though, I've shifted an Eaton 10-speed and was able to float but, on a car, you can't achieve the same feel because the synchros are in the way.
"If you're out of gear, you're out of control" - Johnny Mock

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Puchrider
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby Puchrider » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:17 pm

AHTOXA wrote:OP, when you feel locked out, does it require extra force to get in gear or it simply won't go? How hard have you tried to engage it?


Honestly, I think I'm just too gentle. It will always go in even if I don't use the method described above. It's just a matter of gently resting the shifter into the gate and allowing it to fall in when the speed is right.
"If you're out of gear, you're out of control" - Johnny Mock

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SonicHKS
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Re: My Shifting Style

Postby SonicHKS » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:10 am

What you're doing sounds like what I do to double clutch. I consider double-clutching to be clutching once to get out of gear, rev-match and clutch again to select the next gear. You don't really have to clutch that much to get it out of gear. I usually only "half-clutch" or at the very least I don't go all the way to the floor. I get it out of gear quickly and focus on the rev-match and selecting the next gear. Honestly to me these days it feels like a normal shift and I tend to do it subconsciously, in fact I'm not even sure I can SC on downshifts anymore I can't recall the last time I did it. I have to actually think of how to SC to do it on downshifts, lol. Upshifts are like 50/50 double-clutching as it makes engaging 2nd and 3rd much smoother, though sometimes I'm lazy.

On my '86 Fiero 4-speed I'd shift sometimes without the clutch....it felt a lot more solid than modern transmissions so I didn't feel that bad about it, and it never grinded. I haven't tried that on the Sonic and I probably never will just because its harder to feel it out, it doesn't have very much feedback in the shifter.

Too gentle? That's why I double-clutch into 2nd. Gives me confidence it'll go into gear and that I'm not wearing on the synchro as much, so I go straight for it instead of "waiting for the synchro" or however you phrased it. My double-clutching might actually be faster than my single-clutch upshifts because the gears engage so much faster but its definitely a lot more of a workout.


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