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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:42 pm 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:37 pm
Posts: 16
So obviously you have to balance the gas and clutch on first gear. And there is some wear and tear on the clutch (but not excessive or premature).

In order to avoid wear and tear on the clutch, I just release the clutch in about 0.7 seconds. I don't quickly let my foot off the clutch, or release it slow, but I try to avoid the time the clutch is spent in between up and down.

But there is a jerkiness to the car that seems okay because I think the synchros are meant to be there.

Should I be doing the same gas and clutch balance on every upshift?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:40 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Posts: 15042
Location: Glocester, RI
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
The jerking is not related to the synchros. Synchros will affect the ease of moving the shifter into each gear. The jerk comes as you engage the clutch and it grabs.

If the jerk sends your head towards the windshield, your engine speed is too low when you engage the clutch. If you watch the tachometer you'll see it jump up as the clutch grabs. You might fix it by shifting faster, but you probably just need to give it a little gas before or as you bring the clutch pedal up. Exactly when and how much is a matter of practice. There was a thread about this just the other day.

If the jerk sends your head towards the headrest more than accelerating in the new gear should, your engine speed is too high when you engage the clutch. If you watch the tachometer you'll see it jump down as the clutch grabs. If you're giving it some gas as you engage the clutch, do less. Otherwise you might wait longer before engaging the clutch for it to fall naturally (if your car isn't afflicted with rev hang). If you don't want to wait, can't nail your timing perfectly, or have rev hang, you will need to ease up the clutch pedal more slowly like when launching from a stop. That's fine, the car was designed with the expectation that you will do that.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:48 pm 
Senior Standardshifter
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Cow said it better than I could have. Welcome to the forum FRSstyle!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:17 pm 
Master Standardshifter
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Location: Shakopee, MN
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Welcome. As cow said, it'll just take practice. Don't worry about damaging anything. Your car can take the learning process and then some. At most it'll be uncomfortable for you and passengers.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:57 am 
Senior Standardshifter

Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:18 pm
Posts: 367
Cars: VW Golf R
Like others have said, don't obsess about minimizing the time spent between clutch in and clutch out. I'm sure you heard it from someone or read it online that slipping your clutch is bad. Don't focus on that, instead experiment to find out what gives your smooth starts and shifts. A little shift shock is acceptable but if you think its too much then just adjust your timing and slow down your clutch release if you have to.

Learning is an ongoing process, so don't expect to be an expert in a couple months. I've been driving for almost 2 years and I still try to work on some things every day. I'm sure there are those who've driven manual longer than I have who do the same. Enjoy the learning process and welcome!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:43 pm 
Junior Standardshifter

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 14
daleadbull wrote:
Like others have said, don't obsess about minimizing the time spent between clutch in and clutch out. I'm sure you heard it from someone or read it online that slipping your clutch is bad. Don't focus on that, instead experiment to find out what gives your smooth starts and shifts. A little shift shock is acceptable but if you think its too much then just adjust your timing and slow down your clutch release if you have to.

Learning is an ongoing process, so don't expect to be an expert in a couple months. I've been driving for almost 2 years and I still try to work on some things every day. I'm sure there are those who've driven manual longer than I have who do the same. Enjoy the learning process and welcome!


Driving manuals for 22 years here, and I agree with most of what everyone here has said... (and yes, I'm still learning every day as well)

Eventually, all of it just becomes muscle memory, and if you're timing your clutch release, you're probably thinking about it too much. Each vehicle/transmission/clutch will have it's own "personality" and sweet spots. Just get used to getting a *feel* for what feels right for your vehicle, and eventually it will seem instinctual.


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