Shifting into first while moving

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shiftmate
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Shifting into first while moving

Postby shiftmate » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:41 pm

I've noticed that when I try to downshift (or shift from neutral) to first while the car is moving slowly, the gearbox doesn't want to let me move into first. When I'm at a complete stop, it lets me move into first easily. I assume this is a design feature - perhaps meant to reduce risk of redlining?

It seems strange that it won't let me easily go into first when I'm going slow enough that the engine is on the verge of stalling in second.

Is there any harm in pushing through the resistance the gearbox presents when trying to shift into first while the car is moving?
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby theholycow » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:44 pm

It's totally normal. It's not a specifically designed feature; it's just the nature of the transmission. That's a lot of work to ask 1st's synchronizer to do. Don't push through the resistance, but feel free to patiently wait until it quits resisting with normal pressure on the shifter.

Better than that, try double-clutch rev matching.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Shadow » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:50 pm

You should try not to downshift into first gear....pretty much ever. You can come to a slow crawl in 2nd gear and then just pop the transmission into neutral as you come to a stop. And if you need to accelerate again before stopping, 2nd gear should get you moving just fine. Also, if your car is almost at a complete stop (but still moving very slowly forward), you should be able to easily slip into 1st gear.
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shiftmate
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby shiftmate » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:51 pm

theholycow wrote:It's totally normal. It's not a specifically designed feature; it's just the nature of the transmission. That's a lot of work to ask 1st's synchronizer to do. Don't push through the resistance, but feel free to patiently wait until it quits resisting with normal pressure on the shifter.

Better than that, try double-clutch rev matching.
Is pushing through the resistance harmful to the gears?

If I double clutch rev match, will the gearbox allow me to move into first easily? Could I achieve the same result with a single clutch rev match?
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Shadow » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:57 pm

shiftmate wrote:Is pushing through the resistance harmful to the gears?


It's not harmful to the gears, but it will cause excessive (and unnecessary) wear on the synchronizers.

If I double clutch rev match, will the gearbox allow me to move into first easily? Could I achieve the same result with a single clutch rev match?


Double clutching is basically taking the synchros out of the equation. Rev-matching is something entirely different. So to answer your questions in order--yes and no.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby shiftmate » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:15 pm

Shadow wrote:
shiftmate wrote:Is pushing through the resistance harmful to the gears?
It's not harmful to the gears, but it will cause excessive (and unnecessary) wear on the synchronizers.

OK, I'll heed your advice from the earlier post and stop pushing through the resistance to downshift into first. I take it the wear on the synchronizers occurs even if I don't release the clutch until the car is at a very slow crawl (even slower than when I shifted into first)?

Shadow wrote:Double clutching is basically taking the synchros out of the equation. Rev-matching is something entirely different. So to answer your questions in order--yes and no.

OK, so my options are:
1. wait until I'm going slow enough that the gearbox offers no resistance to moving into first
2. move into neutral as I come to a stop
3. double clutch downshift into first. Is rev matching needed if I'm moving less than 10mph in second and double clutch shifting into first? Also, wouldn't the gearbox offer resistance when shifting from neutral to first if the car is still moving?
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Shadow » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:55 pm

shiftmate wrote:OK, I'll heed your advice from the earlier post and stop pushing through the resistance to downshift into first. I take it the wear on the synchronizers occurs even if I don't release the clutch until the car is at a very slow crawl (even slower than when I shifted into first)?



That's correct. If you feel resistance in the shifter, it's because the synchronizers are basically overworking themselves, for lack of a better term. They are working to try and match shaft speeds (in the gearbox) and allow you to move the shift level into the gear you're attempting to shift into.

OK, so my options are:
1. wait until I'm going slow enough that the gearbox offers no resistance to moving into first


Yup, but at that point you'll likely be moving very slowly... On my car, it's easy to get into first only if I'm stopped or barely moving at all, maybe 1 or 2 mph at most.

2. move into neutral as I come to a stop


Yup, that's what I usually do. If I'm in the mood to downshift, I'll downshift all the way to 2nd gear and then just pop the trans into neutral right before I stop completely, at which point my revs will be just under 1,000 RPM.

3. double clutch downshift into first. Is rev matching needed if I'm moving less than 10mph in second and double clutch shifting into first? Also, wouldn't the gearbox offer resistance when shifting from neutral to first if the car is still moving?


Hmm.....I rarely double clutch anymore. Back when I had worn out synchros in my old cars, I used to double clutch quite often because it was the only way to avoid the nasty synchro grinding sound. If you double clutch into 1st gear, the shifter should easily move into 1st gear while you're still moving forward. The reason is because you're physically doing the work that the sychronizer would have done otherwise by moving the shift level to neutral and re-engaging the clutch. This will match the shaft speeds and allow you to select 1st gear without the synchronizer having to do its job. Give it a try and let us know how it works. I believe it should work just fine for you.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby kayubassist » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:53 am

I hate it when my car doesn't let me shift into 1st while very slowly moving on a hill.
every time this happens, i just launch in second and my car makes growling lugging sound.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Tups » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:31 am

Hooray for a car that allows you to shift to first at nearly any speed. I have no idea how they did that...
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:38 am

Double-clutching will allow you to avoid synchro abuse. If you don't also rev-match with the throttle as you're letting the clutch back out, jerkiness would be an understatement.

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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby tankinbeans » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:58 pm

Tups wrote:Hooray for a car that allows you to shift to first at nearly any speed. I have no idea how they did that...


I know the manual for my car advises that you only downshift into 1st if you are going 15 mph or less, but I hardly ever do anymore now that I've become used to allowing my car to creep in 2nd. It's fairly smooth.

I once did a mega-botched shift after my friend told me to get his car, 98 Mustang GT, up to freeway speed in 2nd and then start shifting. Long story short, with the gearshifter canted at an odd angle, I lost 3rd and dropped it back in 1st. :shock: :oops: Engine starts screaming, back end gets frisky, I panic. My friend, patiently I might add, told me not to panic and just told me to get out of 1st and move on. That was...interesting.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Shadow » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:21 am

tankinbeans wrote:
I once did a mega-botched shift after my friend told me to get his car, 98 Mustang GT, up to freeway speed in 2nd and then start shifting. Long story short, with the gearshifter canted at an odd angle, I lost 3rd and dropped it back in 1st. :shock: :oops: Engine starts screaming, back end gets frisky, I panic. My friend, patiently I might add, told me not to panic and just told me to get out of 1st and move on. That was...interesting.



Gotta be careful with that. Even if the car has a rev limiter, you can still over-rev the engine when you do that.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby tankinbeans » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:28 am

Shadow wrote:
tankinbeans wrote:
I once did a mega-botched shift after my friend told me to get his car, 98 Mustang GT, up to freeway speed in 2nd and then start shifting. Long story short, with the gearshifter canted at an odd angle, I lost 3rd and dropped it back in 1st. :shock: :oops: Engine starts screaming, back end gets frisky, I panic. My friend, patiently I might add, told me not to panic and just told me to get out of 1st and move on. That was...interesting.



Gotta be careful with that. Even if the car has a rev limiter, you can still over-rev the engine when you do that.


I don't do that now since I'm more or less okay finding 3rd :) . This incident was purely on accident. My friend like to beat on that car and wanted to teach me speed shifting.
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Tups » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:35 am

I once accidentally shifted back to 1st from 2nd while accelerating. The springs in the shifter were broken and it wouldn't automatically center between 3rd and 4th. Fortunately nothing bad came out of that...
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Re: Shifting into first while moving

Postby Charles421 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:59 am

Some cars have a 1st gear lockout when engages after a certain speed. Mine does.

In the unlikely situation I'm moving at a crawl where 2nd is too high, I'll move the shifter from N > 1. However don't just ram the shifter forwards; I push it against the gear until it goes in on its own.
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