Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

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LesPaulMan
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Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LesPaulMan » Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:25 pm

Hi all,

From reading some responses on this forum, I realize that shifting from 1st to 2nd, compared with 2nd to 3rd or even higher shifts, is always going to be trickier to get right due to a more drastic difference in gear ratio (hopefully I am understanding correctly). Currently, I launch my car in 1st, rev until around 3000RPM (about 13 to 15mph) and then shift into 2nd, let out the clutch rather quickly at around 1800 to 1900RPM. This sequence makes my Versa shift the smoothest, I've found, and does not make me super slow in traffic. However, I still find that it's quite bothersome how hard my right hand has to work to shift from 1st into 2nd. This shift feels the notchi-est (most resistance if you will) by far.
I work around it by shifting very quickly to neutral position, and from there into 2nd. I find that shifting directly from 1st to 2nd straight down vertically is just too notchy.
Am I approaching this correctly? What's causing the resistance?
(When the engine is off, shifting into any gear feels just as easy, which makes sense since there is no issue with things spinning at different speeds.)

Drove 600 miles within my first week of owning a manual because I am having so much fun.

Thank y'all
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby potownrob » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:08 am

LesPaulMan wrote:Hi all,

From reading some responses on this forum, I realize that shifting from 1st to 2nd, compared with 2nd to 3rd or even higher shifts, is always going to be trickier to get right due to a more drastic difference in gear ratio (hopefully I am understanding correctly). Currently, I launch my car in 1st, rev until around 3000RPM (about 13 to 15mph) and then shift into 2nd, let out the clutch rather quickly at around 1800 to 1900RPM. This sequence makes my Versa shift the smoothest, I've found, and does not make me super slow in traffic. However, I still find that it's quite bothersome how hard my right hand has to work to shift from 1st into 2nd. This shift feels the notchi-est (most resistance if you will) by far.
I work around it by shifting very quickly to neutral position, and from there into 2nd. I find that shifting directly from 1st to 2nd straight down vertically is just too notchy.
Am I approaching this correctly? What's causing the resistance?
(When the engine is off, shifting into any gear feels just as easy, which makes sense since there is no issue with things spinning at different speeds.)

Drove 600 miles within my first week of owning a manual because I am having so much fun.

Thank y'all
this is a brand new car, right? the gearbox will be tight for a while (possibly a long time), so don't expect buttery smooth shifts at first. the 1-2 shift is known to be hard, mainly for the reasons you mentioned. you could try shifting sooner (at lower rpms), though this will be difficult in some situations and will make you accelerate more slowly. you could also double clutch into 2nd. if the shifter is going into gear without grinding or any real (significant) resistance, then i wouldn't worry much about it.

edit: by the way, welcome to the SS :D :twisted: :mrgreen:
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LOVEDAMANUAL » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:46 am

Try pressing the clutch slower on one 2 shift. By doing so the rpms wil drop more making for smoother shift. Also remember to do this WHILE your accelerating to 3000 rpms. Not exactly at 3000. So in other words.. Start clutching in at 2700 rpms and then complete it at 3000. Shifting at a lower rpm will smoothness too.

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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LesPaulMan » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:57 am

Thanks, you two. I have adopted the "shift at 2k, let 2nd gear come in at around idle" technique. When I remember to not rev 1st gear out of 2k, this seems to work quite well.

I think I have been having a little bit too much fun. Nissan advises owners to not floor the throttle or go beyond 4k. Both of which I have done in the past few days. Attempted to downshift from 5th to 4th on a pretty empty highway to accelerate up a hill a few times. One time I blipped the throttle too hard and the rev went into the 5 or 6K rpms briefly with the clutch in. Several other times I did not rev match well enough and the engine had to either catch up or slow down when I let out the clutch rather quickly. Hopefully no harm done?

EDIT: I almost forget. Was lugging 4 people in my Versa S today up hill, I pushed the throttle in pretty hard after an upshift (one gear too high in retrosepct) and the car gave a pop from the front. Either it was coming from the drivetrain moving faster all of a sudden, or it was an engine backfire. Hoping for the former :shock:
Either way, Imma driver nicer now
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby potownrob » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:42 am

LesPaulMan wrote:Thanks, you two. I have adopted the "shift at 2k, let 2nd gear come in at around idle" technique. When I remember to not rev 1st gear out of 2k, this seems to work quite well.

I think I have been having a little bit too much fun. Nissan advises owners to not floor the throttle or go beyond 4k. Both of which I have done in the past few days. Attempted to downshift from 5th to 4th on a pretty empty highway to accelerate up a hill a few times. One time I blipped the throttle too hard and the rev went into the 5 or 6K rpms briefly with the clutch in. Several other times I did not rev match well enough and the engine had to either catch up or slow down when I let out the clutch rather quickly. Hopefully no harm done?

EDIT: I almost forget. Was lugging 4 people in my Versa S today up hill, I pushed the throttle in pretty hard after an upshift (one gear too high in retrosepct) and the car gave a pop from the front. Either it was coming from the drivetrain moving faster all of a sudden, or it was an engine backfire. Hoping for the former :shock:
Either way, Imma driver nicer now
if you are still within the break-in period, i'd look for the break-in guidelines or procedure for your car. for my last car, the 15 accord, it said to avoid using cruise control, avoid downshifting and maybe a couple of other things (one might have been to vary engine speed or avoid staying at one engine speed for prolonged periods of time). it's probably not a big deal at this point (unless you were driving hard before the car warmed up), but might help you a little. if the car drove fine after that pop sound you heard, then probably no harm done.
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby theholycow » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:56 am

I don't know the Versa, but in most cars I like to barely get rolling in 1st then execute a very easy lightning-fast shift to 2nd. There's very little interruption in acceleration, and I can then floor it if necessary for better acceleration without any craziness since I've entered 2nd around idle RPM.

However, I don't know how perfectly it can be optimized. I was googling for reviews of the Versa to find out if others complain of a balky 2nd when I was reminded that it is the cheapest car on the market and (by modern standards) woefully underpowered. If traffic around you in more varied vehicles is hectic, you're driving a compromise. That's ok, you just have to remember it and accept it. You can compromise smoothness to gain some speed...after all, if you were going to be as boring as an automatic then you might as well drive an automatic. Go ahead, enjoy feeling a little kick in your shifts, whatever 109 hp @ 6000 rpm and 107 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm produces in a 2400+lb car.

There are various schools of thought on break-in. It's pretty likely that the manufacturer's recommendation is a safe bet. However, they know you are human, not perfect; and they expect that a dozen people will test-drive the car before you buy it and some of them will flog the everliving crap out of it. No harm done.

If there was a backfire then I bet it would throw a code and set the Check Engine Light.

Keep in mind that a car full of adults weighs 400-800 pounds more than a car with just a driver, and that's a large percentage of a 2400lb car. When hauling like that you'll need to adjust your shifting (and turning and braking!) and plan better for hills. I hope that wasn't the whole band...you could fit your Les Paul and a bass and a couple small practice amps in a car trunk but you'll need a van or trailer to haul the show amps and the drums!
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:50 am

Welcome to the boards. I get pops here and there when the suspension gets unsettled.

Break in to me is just to vary engine speed and don't race. I've already done it 4 times.
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LesPaulMan
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LesPaulMan » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:10 am

theholycow wrote:I don't know the Versa, but in most cars I like to barely get rolling in 1st then execute a very easy lightning-fast shift to 2nd. There's very little interruption in acceleration, and I can then floor it if necessary for better acceleration without any craziness since I've entered 2nd around idle RPM.

I am trying this but I lose a lot of acceleration time because sometimes the shifter provides a little bit of resistance going from 1st to 2nd, so the whole process gets bogged down. Shifting from 2k @1st gear into 1k/idle @2nd gear is pretty much smooth all the time though, which is cool.


theholycow wrote:If there was a backfire then I bet it would throw a code and set the Check Engine Light.

No lights. I am just going to assume that life is good and it was the transmission complaining.

theholycow wrote:Keep in mind that a car full of adults weighs 400-800 pounds more than a car with just a driver, and that's a large percentage of a 2400lb car. When hauling like that you'll need to adjust your shifting (and turning and braking!) and plan better for hills. I hope that wasn't the whole band...you could fit your Les Paul and a bass and a couple small practice amps in a car trunk but you'll need a van or trailer to haul the show amps and the drums!

Yup, I did the math afterwards and figured I added about at least 25% of the car's weight onto the car, lugging 4 people around.

And no, it wasn't the whole band, it was 4 friends wanting a lift to the movies. I do plan on dragging the band at some point though. We have another guy with a Civic, he can lug the bandmates. I will lug the guitars and amps; they don't complain about rough upshifts.

Currently having a blast with the cheapest car in America. Accelerating onto the highway is actually not bad at all as long as I spend a long time in 3rd and 4th before hitting 65mph. It is only when I have to climb a hill do I miss my dad's Mazda 3. Oh, and when I have to reach back to open a door for someone since there aren't power locks.
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby potownrob » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:10 am

theholycow wrote:However, I don't know how perfectly it can be optimized. I was googling for reviews of the Versa to find out if others complain of a balky 2nd when I was reminded that it is the cheapest car on the market and (by modern standards) woefully underpowered. If traffic around you in more varied vehicles is hectic, you're driving a compromise. That's ok, you just have to remember it and accept it. You can compromise smoothness to gain some speed...after all, if you were going to be as boring as an automatic then you might as well drive an automatic. Go ahead, enjoy feeling a little kick in your shifts, whatever 109 hp @ 6000 rpm and 107 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm produces in a 2400+lb car.
it may be underpowered but, with a manual at least, it can probably move the car quickly enough, as long as OP is not as heavy as me and doesn't carry more than a couple hundred pounds in cargo (and doesn't blast the AC). :D :mrgreen:
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LesPaulMan » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:46 am

Alright guys. Sorry for another question. I am the type to get paranoid about things when a new toy is acquired.
Whilst backing up on a small incline today, I heard a crackling noise from somewhere under the car with the clutch not fully engaged. I have not been able to reproduce the noise by trying to reverse with some braking. I only managed to stall the car in trying to reproduce the noise.
I understand that the reverse gear and idle gear are two straight spur gears and should be much noisier, but this is the first time I have heard a crackling sound and I am a little worried.
Oh, also, while coasting backwards with the clutch depressed, I stupidly thought it would be okay to shift into reverse. The result was of course some nice grinding noise, would never do again.
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby theholycow » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:18 am

Can you describe the crackling in more detail? I would guess that you ran over some sticks and they crackled.

Yeah, I've done the same coasting backwards quick shift into reverse grind. Seems like it ought to be an easy already-double-clutched shift but maybe not.

Also, once I accidentally plum forgot to step on the clutch pedal while at a stop shifting to reverse on a hill (my driveway); the car rolled backwards and gained just enough speed before I hurriedly shoved the shifter and with a nasty grind/clunk it all just worked and I promised myself never to do it again (and then I think I might have done it once more, but definitely not a third time).

The car is tougher than you fear, it's not a Faberge egg. The guys who engineered it know you are human and they don't want you telling tales of how everything broke on that dang crappy car they built so they build it to handle normal human error...they want to still have a job in 10 years, and they won't if their brand gets a bad reputation. We all have normal human errors no matter how experienced we are. Do avoid abusing it, don't be paranoid about mistakes, and don't avoid getting the driving experience you want/need out of it because you're too timid.

After all, you don't worry about your sweat landing on your pickups, nor the wild strumming you do when the crowd gets you overexcited scratching the pickguard, nor about the strings you occasionally break (or preemptively replace to keep a crisp sound). You get out there and enjoy that Les Paul (sunburst finish, I hope) and play the everliving hell out of it because that's what it's for!
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby LesPaulMan » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:29 pm

Mmm. They crackling sound crackled for a couple of seconds and was very faint. You are right, it was probably sticks that I ran over. I guess I thought I wasn't moving, but it's also possible that I was moving ever so slightly. I am going to stop thinking about it unless it happens again.

Haha. You know, when I first got the Les Paul, I also babied it like crazy. Playing some gigs with it and finally chipping the finish let me stop thinking about it though. Now my Les Paul has a lot of mojo on it and I love it. I am looking forward to breaking in the car so I won't be so timid about it.
Here is what I play. Couldn't find a picture of my own. http://images.gibson.com/Files/7e4c8cfb-390d-40fc-8de0-0930ddf2cd36.jpg

Judging from what you have said, you also a guitar player? What do you play?
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby Teamwork » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:03 pm

LesPaulMan wrote:Mmm. They crackling sound crackled for a couple of seconds and was very faint. You are right, it was probably sticks that I ran over. I guess I thought I wasn't moving, but it's also possible that I was moving ever so slightly. I am going to stop thinking about it unless it happens again.

Haha. You know, when I first got the Les Paul, I also babied it like crazy. Playing some gigs with it and finally chipping the finish let me stop thinking about it though. Now my Les Paul has a lot of mojo on it and I love it. I am looking forward to breaking in the car so I won't be so timid about it.
Here is what I play. Couldn't find a picture of my own. http://images.gibson.com/Files/7e4c8cfb-390d-40fc-8de0-0930ddf2cd36.jpg

Judging from what you have said, you also a guitar player? What do you play?

Chips, dings, and scratches are just mojo on my units... inevitable. Each really bad one usually came with a story too. That les paul silverburst looks a lot like what Adam Jone's uses from Tool- I always liked that finish.

Chips, dings, and scratches though on my cars usually cut me deep though no matter what though. :x

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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby theholycow » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:51 pm

Not sure I've seen silverburst before but that's pretty sweet!
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Re: Gear 2 harder to shift into than higher gears... What am I doing wrong?

Postby potownrob » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:28 am

i'm so used to seeing black, white, beige, gold, sunburst etc. not sure i've ever seen a silverburst les paul before.
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