Too much gas at start-up

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g35toc2s
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Too much gas at start-up

Post by g35toc2s » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:16 am

Hello Shifters! Here comes a newbie.

I bought a beater (1998 civic) to learn the stick. As my user name suggests -- I have an auto Infiniti G35 coupe right now, and I plan to buy a manual Porsche 911 Carrera 2S. Instead of learning on a $6000 clutch, I thought I should learn on a $300 one.

This old little car works pretty well, and my mechanic told me that the clutch still has "50% life".

However, the gas pedal is really non linear and non responsive -- if I start up from a stand-still, and try to "give a little gas", nothing happens, and the car is at the verge of stalling every time.

So I end up doing this
- release the clutch until the engine seems to slow down
- tap on the gas pedal quite firmly and hope for the best -- I usually end up running
the engine up to 1500~2000 RPM
- if the engine revs too high ease off the gas pedal
- slowly release the clutch for the rest of the way

This way I can start pretty smoothly, and chance of stalling is much lower .... but I am not sure if this is the right thing to do. I heard that the RPM should be about 1000 at stand-still. Is this right.

Can the gas pedal be fixed to be have more linear response?

I don't mind destroying the clutch on the civic, but I am afraid of learning a habit that would destroy my dream car ....

Thanks!

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FDSpirit
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by FDSpirit » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:31 am

Welcome to the site! :) . The pedal response delay may be caused by an out of spec throttle cable. Mine was the same way. I fixed it and it responds damn near immediately.
2000 Honda Civic Si- Slightly faster than your grandmomma's grocery getter......slightly.

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gizmo
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by gizmo » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:34 am

check this video out, you might find it helpful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeJkq9chg2M

supposedly... that's NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne taking the other guy for a ride around TMS. What's interesting about that video is that Kahne spends 30 seconds or so just toying with gas, with the car completely out of gear, just to get a feel for how the motor responds to pedal inputs. Notice, aftereward, when he launches, the gas is used the same as when he toyed with it. It was a smart thing to do, I thought, when I first saw the video.

That being said: for most drivers new to driving stick, the gas pedal generally seems more temperamental. But, and that's a big but (rope, resist the temptation here), your post doesn't seem to complain with an over sensitive gas pedal, but rather a very unresponsive gas pedal. I drove an old camaro that responded like that, it takes getting used to.

Every car is different, and your porsche will hardly drive like a civic, at least I hope not. So let's assume your porsche has a working gas pedal, and your civic doesn't. Since you're just trying to learn the motions, so to speak, then just accept your 2KRPM launches as perfectly okay -- in that there's no way for you to launch from a lower RPM as the pedal won't allow such a small input. So long as your clutch work mirrors that of proper technique, you should begin getting a feel for gauging your progress.

But again, (rope...), your porsche will drive differently and what you're doing with your civic might not directly transfer over onto your porsche. So just focus on whether or not you're constantly adapting to the needs of the car.

goodluck. keep us posted.

g35toc2s
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by g35toc2s » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:46 am

Thanks guys! I will take the car to my mechanic to see if it can be fixed (preferably at a cost lower than the price of the car :-)

Yes, I hope the Porsche drives differently. Now my main goal is to get over the mental hump. I take a 1 hour practice drive every night. I've done that for almost 3 weeks now, and every time it still feels like getting a root canal at every stop.

I am pretty bad at learning things that "just needs to be natural at it", like sports, the guitar or foreign languages. So I am assuming that I need to work 3x harder than others ...

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FDSpirit
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by FDSpirit » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:55 am

I'd at least check the deflection of the cable to see if it is actually out of spec. I think it's 1/2 an inch at the most. Mine was a little over that. But gizmo makes a point. Get you process down. I drove for a year with my car out of spec just fine. But if you have any experience under the hood, you should be able to do the job on your own. That is, if the cable is out of spec.
2000 Honda Civic Si- Slightly faster than your grandmomma's grocery getter......slightly.

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by g35toc2s » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:32 am

FDSpirit wrote:I'd at least check the deflection of the cable to see if it is actually out of spec. I think it's 1/2 an inch at the most. Mine was a little over that. But gizmo makes a point. Get you process down. I drove for a year with my car out of spec just fine. But if you have any experience under the hood, you should be able to do the job on your own. That is, if the cable is out of spec.
Hi FDSpirit,

Is it something like this?

http://99civic.blogspot.com/2007/01/gas ... as_10.html

I've never messed with my car before, but I will try to look at it tomorrow ....

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by theholycow » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:48 am

Sorry about the encyclopedia-length post, but there's a lot to be said...I've tried to bold the main points.

I disagree that you should accept sloppy technique now in hopes that a new vehicle will fix it. The Porsche is going to be more difficult to drive. You should master the Civic while you have it. AFAIK, a 1000RPM launch in a rev-happy Civic is not something that a newbie should expect to accomplish dependably, but certainly under 1500 every time.

The link you posted seems like it could be the right thing. I've driven automatic vehicles whose gas pedal feels like that, I hate it...it's got to be 100x worse with a manual.

Is your gas pedal configured the way you're used to? I had a similar difficulty when I got my 2008 VW. I was used to American style gas pedals that float on a rod that hinges at the firewall, where you use the tip of your toe on the bottom corner to feather it (and you only use your whole foot if you want to go wide open). The VW pedal has a hinge at the bottom of the pedal, closest to me; accurate feathering requires me to use my whole foot.

Is your seat moved up far enough? Many auto drivers sit too far back for operating a manual well. Even if you think your position is good, try moving forward.

I also found that driving barefoot helped me learn.

You definitely need to practice your pedals separately.

Sit in the driveway practicing operating the gas pedal. Make sure that, from idle, you can put your foot on it and go immediately to any RPM in 100RPM increments - 1000, 1100, 1200, etc up to 2000; and 500RPM increments up to 5000. Of course, don't start with 100RPM increments; get good at 1000 or 500RPM increments first. Don't expect to do it all in one sitting.

Go to an abandoned parking lot and practice no-gas launches. It will be very, very tedious if you can do it at all, but it will train your left foot very quickly. Without touching the gas, very slowly let off the clutch pedal, and pause letting it up when the car starts moving. The goal is to learn how fast you can do it.
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by Rope-Pusher » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:09 am

theholycow wrote:Go to an abandoned parking lot and practice no-gas launches. It will be very, very tedious if you can do it at all, but it will train your left foot very quickly. Without touching the gas, very slowly let off the clutch pedal, and pause letting it up when the car starts moving. The goal is to learn how fast you can do it.
Since Gizmo has banned me from having any pun, I'll just have to say that I agree with HolyCow's last paragraph most hole-heartedly.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by FDSpirit » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:10 am

g35toc2s wrote:
FDSpirit wrote:I'd at least check the deflection of the cable to see if it is actually out of spec. I think it's 1/2 an inch at the most. Mine was a little over that. But gizmo makes a point. Get you process down. I drove for a year with my car out of spec just fine. But if you have any experience under the hood, you should be able to do the job on your own. That is, if the cable is out of spec.
Hi FDSpirit,

Is it something like this?

http://99civic.blogspot.com/2007/01/gas ... as_10.html

I've never messed with my car before, but I will try to look at it tomorrow ....
Bingo. But like the others have said, you should get comfortable with the basics of pedal operation as well. After I fixed it though, I went back to practicing the rev technique theholycow stated because now the pedal was much more sensitive than it was before. Good luck, and let us know how everything turns out.
2000 Honda Civic Si- Slightly faster than your grandmomma's grocery getter......slightly.

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by fa22raptorf22 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:21 am

Also just to let you guys know, the easiest way to launch the porsche is to do the bump and ease off start. What that is, is to start by giving the car a bump of gas and then a bump with the clutch to get you moving...then the amount of gas you gave would be too much to sync the clutch to your current speed...so what you do is...then back off the throttle as you let the clutch up.

This is technically counter intuitive..but I hope you understand how this works....a bump to get going, then lessen the throttle greatly as you let up the clutch and go.

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by theholycow » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:35 pm

fa22raptorf22 wrote:a bump to get going, then lessen the throttle greatly as you let up the clutch and go.
Is that because the Porsche's clutch is difficult to modulate, like a racing clutch, more of an on-off sort of thing?
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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by g35toc2s » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:12 pm

fa22raptorf22 wrote:Also just to let you guys know, the easiest way to launch the porsche is to do the bump and ease off start. What that is, is to start by giving the car a bump of gas and then a bump with the clutch to get you moving...then the amount of gas you gave would be too much to sync the clutch to your current speed...so what you do is...then back off the throttle as you let the clutch up.

This is technically counter intuitive..but I hope you understand how this works....a bump to get going, then lessen the throttle greatly as you let up the clutch and go.

Wow, maybe I should have left my sticky throttle the way it was -- I was doing exactly this -- give a lot of gas, then ease off to let the clutch catch up.

But anyway, I think I should try to learn to drive the Civic the way it should. Then when I get my Porsche (if wife allows), then learn the Porsche way.

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by g35toc2s » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:18 pm

FDSpirit wrote:
g35toc2s wrote:
FDSpirit wrote:I'd at least check the deflection of the cable to see if it is actually out of spec. I think it's 1/2 an inch at the most. Mine was a little over that. But gizmo makes a point. Get you process down. I drove for a year with my car out of spec just fine. But if you have any experience under the hood, you should be able to do the job on your own. That is, if the cable is out of spec.
Hi FDSpirit,

Is it something like this?

http://99civic.blogspot.com/2007/01/gas ... as_10.html

I've never messed with my car before, but I will try to look at it tomorrow ....
Bingo. But like the others have said, you should get comfortable with the basics of pedal operation as well. After I fixed it though, I went back to practicing the rev technique theholycow stated because now the pedal was much more sensitive than it was before. Good luck, and let us know how everything turns out.
I went to my mechanic and he cleaned the throttle body and adjusted the throttle somewhat. This felt better but still there was a big dead zone at the top of the pedal. So I went home and tweaked the throttle cable a little more, like the link I posted above. It was really easy (but I hope I didn't mess up anything ...)

Now the throttle still has a very small dead zone at the top, but after that it's quite linear and responsive. With bare foot, I can consistently rev up to 1200 or so. So tonight I will try to go to a parking lot and get familiar with the new throttle.

Thanks to everyone for your help. Now I feel much better and much more connected to my car!

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by Rope-Pusher » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:23 pm

g35toc2s wrote:
fa22raptorf22 wrote:Then when I get my Porsche (if wife allows), then learn the Porsche way.
the Man's Prayer: "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

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Re: Too much gas at start-up

Post by fa22raptorf22 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:01 pm

Rope-Pusher wrote:
g35toc2s wrote:
fa22raptorf22 wrote:Then when I get my Porsche (if wife allows), then learn the Porsche way.
the Man's Prayer: "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

Don't feel bad, we're all in this with ya.
Mis-quote sir!

Also, yes. Clutches that are hard to modulate you typically do the pulse, catch, go method,rather than the typical rev, slip, catch, go....used in most econo cars. That being said it depends on the clutch...most you can just slip nicely...but others that are tight or chattery...you cannot do this well enough.

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