New to Forum - New Car Jitters

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tkdinga
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New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tkdinga » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:05 pm

First post, and tremendous thanks to everyone for the valuable info in this forum! I have to say I am somewhat embarrassed to have recently purchased my Dream Car, a late-model CPO 911 Carrera, and am suffering a bad case of new car jitters! This will be my 3rd manual, having basically taught myself how to drive a Celica GTS about 20 years ago, and then I had a short stint w/a Jeep CJ5. Anyway, this car takes shifting to a whole new level and I'm trying to unlearn some bad habits and make sure I don't screw up the transmission. My biggest problem is sloppiness and poor rev-matching on downshifts, but I haven't done anything terribly bad (except maybe a 5-4 that turned into a 5-2 at around 50 mph where the tach took a big bounce :shock: - but since I think it will pull to well past 50 in 2nd gear anyway, I don't think I did anything but scare the bejeezus out of myself).

Any immediate suggestions for tightening up/speeding up my shifts and improving the downshifts? I'm looking into taking a lesson from one of the instructors at the new Atlanta Motorsports Park (the Porsche Driving School in AL is too expensive and I'm still driving like a Grandma who just got her first driving license right now).

Anyway, you folks are all great, I've read tons and watched some of the videos so I'm sure it will get better w/time. I will try to figure out how to post a pic of my car in my Sig next! Thanks and take care-

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theholycow
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by theholycow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:23 am

Welcome!

Is that car rear wheel drive? I don't know Porsches well but I vaguely remember some being all wheel drive. If RWD, your next mis-shift may have larger consequences than that one. That's a lot of engine braking at the rear wheels and could exceed available traction (especially in the rain, on rough pavement, or on sandy pavement); if you're turning when it happens, it could cause a loss of control.

You should search the forum for hand positioning advice. Adjusting how you grip the shifter can eliminate mis-shifts.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

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watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

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tkdinga
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tkdinga » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:13 pm

Hi Cow, great point although in this instance, it was dry weather and I was going into a long left hand sweeper so no real danger this time. But you're right, it is a rear-engined flat six and lots of engine braking. In past models, I know Porsche's had mid-corner "lift-throttle oversteer" problems too (not to mention it was not a good idea to shift in a corner and risk upsetting the car's balance). But I also have read that the PSM, or "Porsche Stability Management" system they have now does a pretty good job of limiting that by applying braking to the outside front wheel if you go in too hot. But your point is well taken. If I'm ever dumb enough to turn off that button I'll deserve what I get! :wink:

I will look for the hand-positioning advice. Right now I am way too timid on my downshifts and usually miss the optimum RPM's on the fall as I'm too slow releasing the clutch. I've got to get better at this. Any more tips would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. - Noob question I know but how do I shrink the mpxls to make it upload in a sig?
Thanks!

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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by theholycow » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:54 am

Shifting during a corner is fine if you're not close to the limit of your available traction (and, of course, you should not push the limit on public roads). Anything that upsets balance, such as throttle lift-off or shifting or going over a bump or the heavy Ikea box in your trunk sliding around, can be bad during a turn at the limit of traction...so there's no need to elevate shifting to some uber-upsetting status, it's just like a hundred other things you deal with daily.

Most photo editing software, including Paint that comes with Windows, can shrink a photo. In Paint you go to the Image menu and choose Resize. I don't remember what the specific rules are here but most forums require it to be less than 600x200 pixels, and on this forum I recommend significantly less than that; things aren't very flashy around here and I think there are some low-bandwidth users, there's no need to be gaudy.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

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Squint
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by Squint » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:33 pm

Welcome! Nice car, care to post a bigger picture in the thread (or link to one) so we can see the car? There are a large number of people out there who think 911s are some of the most fun cars to drive, at some point I would love to get behind the wheel of one. How and when? That's a different problem :lol:
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
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tkdinga
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tkdinga » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:29 pm

Thanks for the compliments, let's see if I can do this...anyway, about the car, it's been a longtime dream in the works, now to get over the honeymoon and raise the revs instead of being too protective on the shifts. This thing obviously is rev happy! Also, it has Sport Exhaust so the sound of a flat six wailing is something not to be forgotten. Let's see....
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Shadow
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by Shadow » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:10 am

Nice...I love that color combo.....those wheels go great with that paint color.

BTW, don't worry too much about over-revving your engine. Your car has a rev limiter that will protect the engine and prevent it from over-revving in most cases. But as you mentioned, it is possible to mechanically over-rev if you really make a mistake while downshifting. A 5-2 downshift could definitely be a problem if you were at really high RPMs in 5th gear and then dumped it quickly (and accidentally) into 2nd gear to downshift. The thing some guys don't realize is that you should be able to "feel" that kind of mistake in the clutch pedal as you begin to release it during your downshift. You'll feel the resistance of the engine starting to spin up because you're in 2nd gear instead of 4th. You should be able to catch yourself and depress the clutch pedal before the engine over-revs. Of course the better idea is to just prevent that kind of mis-shift in the first place.
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focus2013st
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by focus2013st » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:25 pm

your car looks awesome!!! and welcome
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tkdinga
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tkdinga » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:56 pm

Thank you Shadow; Cow alerted me to virtually the same thing, which I completely agree with concerning the mechanical over-revs. I checked w/some of the guys over at the Porsche Forums I read and they said it was probably fine as the 911 will pull to 73 mph in 2nd; however, point taken that the clutch had to absorb some shock there and in a corner, (particularly if wet) it could upset the balance of the car.

I'm trying to speed up my shifts and also be more certain of going through the proper "gate" when downshifting. I've gotten better actually, so I think it will just take a little more time. There are some things I need to practice. Someone suggested a short-shifter carries more precise feel, but I don't want to do that just yet and have heard they can be quite stiff or "notchy" in cold weather. Right now I just want to calm down and smooth-out.

BTW, nice Audi, I'm sure you love yours; I had an A6 a few years back and it was a great car. When the warranty ran out the repairs started getting really expensive though so I had to let it go; but it was very nice - had the quattro AWD too, which was alwasy comforting in bad weather. Thanks for your comments and support!

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Squint
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by Squint » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:51 am

Beautiful car. You said you got it CPO, how close to new are we talking? And I totally understand not wanting to use all of the engine, though you probably should exercise it a bit every now and again. I think it was theholycow that said occasionally doing high revs in 1st can clean off your clutch from any buildup. I wasn't a fan of using more than 3000 rpm in my little Fiesta :lol: . Every now and again, I'll push it above that just to stretch the car out.
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by theholycow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:42 pm

I don't remember saying that but it's possible that I did. You'd have to slip it at high revs, and you wouldn't want to do it for long or you risk overheating it.

However, there's always the matter of you should run it up to high RPM (not slipping the clutch) in 2nd occasionally to help exercise things and prevent/blow out carbon buildup on the pistons.
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Put your car in your sig!

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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by Squint » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:02 pm

theholycow wrote:I don't remember saying that but it's possible that I did. You'd have to slip it at high revs, and you wouldn't want to do it for long or you risk overheating it.

However, there's always the matter of you should run it up to high RPM (not slipping the clutch) in 2nd occasionally to help exercise things and prevent/blow out carbon buildup on the pistons.
Perhaps my brain merged things. I think that's what I meant to say. Probably. It's what I will go with.
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

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Shadow
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by Shadow » Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:28 pm

tkdinga wrote:... Someone suggested a short-shifter carries more precise feel, but I don't want to do that just yet and have heard they can be quite stiff or "notchy" in cold weather....
I have lots of experience with short-throw shifters, although never on a Porsche. I'll tell you this though--a decent short-throw shifter will give you an amazing shift feel. I like to describe it as "bolt action" because it's definitely more mechanical, but at the same time its also very smooth and has a very positive engagement. To me, an aftermarket short-throw shifter is one of the best modifications that can be made to a manual transmission car. By design, a short-throw shifter is usually stiffer and gives you a bit of a notchy shift, but not in a bad way. I'm not talking about the kind of notchy shift that you get on some cars when the gearbox is cold...it's more the result of the positive engagement from the shifter itself. Cold weather has never made a difference in any of the cars I've owned with a short-throw shifter. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you decide to install one. Just be sure to get recommendations from the Porsche forum guys if you decide to buy one.
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tkdinga
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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tkdinga » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:01 am

Thanks for the comments and support, Shadow, Squint and Cow! The Car only had about 7,350 mi. when I brought it home late Sept. (it's what is known as a 997.2 or Gen 2 - so even though they changed body styles this year, it is still a 2012 - as is the newer model known as the 991 - both still internal model designations for the 911 - if that all makes sense.)

But being so new and me being so protective at this point, I know I haven't pushed the engine anywhere near redline, Cow. Well, (except close on that 5-2 missed shift) which, now that I think about it Shadow, I do believe I caught that sort of "mid-bang" to the drive-train, and mashed the clutch back in. I think you were right, remembering from my old days w/my Celica I think my brain instinctively knew I had done something bad and did the first reasonable thing to save the error. As soon as the jitters smooth out I need to "blow the soot out of it"! :wink:

Anyway, the Short Shifter kit from B&W is about $239 best price I've found but not sure how much the install is; probably a lot more than that. Since the car is so new, I might wait a little before taking that option but I did drive one a couple years ago w/it and you're right, from what I recall it was amazing how much "throw" it removed and "bolt-action" feel of the shifter sounds pretty much spot-on.

Squint, the Porsche CPO Warranty takes the new Car Warranty (which ran to 4yrs/48K if I recall correctly) out to 6 yrs. and 100K!! Wahoo, because I don't think I would have bought the car without having that in my back pocket. If you ever decide you want one of these I can point you to a great Sales Rep in ATL that worked w/me probably 4 yrs. He even put me in touch w/a Perf. Driving Instructor at the new Atl. Motorsports Park north of the city and I'm going out to spend an afternoon w/him to see if I can get some pointers on not only my shifting but driving dynamics, car control, etc. Maybe I'll have some interesting info to benefit others when I come back in a few weeks.

Anyway sorry for the long post but thanks, you guys are all very nice to be so helpful.

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Re: New to Forum - New Car Jitters

Post by tankinbeans » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:53 am

Did anyone else hear Clarkson joshing Hammond about his Beetle in their head?

Nice car, and welcome to the forum.
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