My Sticking Points

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SEOJay
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My Sticking Points

Post by SEOJay » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:35 pm

I've been driving manual transmission for a couple days now and while I can get around, I'm not very smooth and there a couple points in particular where I'm really not sure exactly what I should be doing. I'll detail those scenarios below, any advice is greatly appreciated.

1. Downshifting and regaining speed after slowing down. For the time being, I'm not rev matching until the basics become second nature to me. At that point I'll try to master the art of rev matching, but for now, just standard downshifts.

With that in mind, do I need to work the clutch/gas similar to an upshift after selecting a lower gear? Am I letting the clutch out while feeding in the gas? Or, do I simply let off the gas, put the clutch all the way in, shift down, release smoothly and continue back on the gas (or brake) once the clutch is back out?

In regards to slowing down, but not coming to a complete stop. Let's say I'm in 2nd gear and have to slow to the point where I'm at 1k rpm or just slightly above. Do I need to clutch in to get back to speed smoothly? If so, how should this be done?

Alternatively, when I do slow down to the point where I have to clutch in, but still not coming to a complete stop, what's the best way to get going here? Once I'm ready to regain speed, do I modulate the clutch/gas similar to an upshift even though I'm staying in the same gear? In general, how much clutch should I be using when slowing down and I feel the car starving but can't give it gas? Should I be all the way in with the clutch, or modulating accordingly and again how do I proceed once I can get back on the gas?

2. Hill starts. Here, I can get going up steep hills with minimal roll, albeit not extremely smoothly as of yet. However, I'm not sure if the method I'm using is good on the clutch, plus it also takes me awhile to get going. I'm holding the brake pedal as I release the clutch slowly until it engages. Once I feel it engage I release the brake and feed in the gas. What I'm concerned about is whether or not this will cause sever damage to the clutch. Secondly, it takes me a few seconds to get going this way. Will speed come with time, or should I switch to a different method now?

Other than that I think my biggest issue is just fear of hurting the transmission or clutch. Any tips to calm those fears? As long as I'm not doing xyz I have nothing to worry about? Last question, exactly when should I start feeding in the gas when starting or upshifting. At the catch point or prior?

Really looking forward to reading the advice here and getting back at it. Thanks.

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tankinbeans
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Re: My Sticking Points

Post by tankinbeans » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:47 am

Welcome to the forum Jay!
SEOJay wrote:With that in mind, do I need to work the clutch/gas similar to an upshift after selecting a lower gear? Am I letting the clutch out while feeding in the gas? Or, do I simply let off the gas, put the clutch all the way in, shift down, release smoothly and continue back on the gas (or brake) once the clutch is back out?

In regards to slowing down, but not coming to a complete stop. Let's say I'm in 2nd gear and have to slow to the point where I'm at 1k rpm or just slightly above. Do I need to clutch in to get back to speed smoothly? If so, how should this be done?
If you're not worried about rev-matching right now, I'd hold off on adding the gas and focus on letting the clutch out smoothly. If you were to add gas at this point you would just be increasing the speed, of the engine, which the clutch would be trying to pull back down. You would effectively be canceling one action out with the other.

As relates to your question about idling down to 1k and then speeding up, you don't need to clutch in again since the car is already in a gear which would allow you to gain speed. Apply gas smoothly until the vehicle starts to pull and then you can mash it to get up to speed. I do this all the time.
SEOJay wrote:...when I do slow down to the point where I have to clutch in, but still not coming to a complete stop, what's the best way to get going here? Once I'm ready to regain speed, do I modulate the clutch/gas similar to an upshift even though I'm staying in the same gear?
This would be where you would practice a rolling second gear launch if you've already disengaged the clutch, but need to keep going. You wouldn't modulate the clutch and gas as a normal upshift because you'll need to be more smooth and controlled. A regular upshift is usually a stab and go.
SEOJay wrote:Hill starts. Here, I can get going up steep hills with minimal roll, albeit not extremely smoothly as of yet. However, I'm not sure if the method I'm using is good on the clutch, plus it also takes me awhile to get going. I'm holding the brake pedal as I release the clutch slowly until it engages. Once I feel it engage I release the brake and feed in the gas. What I'm concerned about is whether or not this will cause sever damage to the clutch. Secondly, it takes me a few seconds to get going this way. Will speed come with time, or should I switch to a different method now?
The consensus around here is that we worry too much about the clutch. As long as you're not holding yourself on the hill with the clutch and gas you're fine. Hill starts are going to result in more wear no matter which way you slice it. If this is working for you, keep doing it. This is one of many methods used to start on hills. Like anything, speed will come with practice.
SEOJay wrote:Other than that I think my biggest issue is just fear of hurting the transmission or clutch. Any tips to calm those fears? As long as I'm not doing xyz I have nothing to worry about? Last question, exactly when should I start feeding in the gas when starting or upshifting. At the catch point or prior?
Don't worry too much about the clutch. Generally speaking, as long as it's fully in or out it's not suffering. When you're shifting gears and the clutch is slipping for a normal amount of time it's fine.

The rule of thumb is don't have your foot on the clutch unless you are using it to shift gears, don't rest your foot on it, and keep it either fully in or out. Don't go halfsies.

As soon as the vehicle starts moving you can start feeding in the gas. It's whatever makes you comfortable, within reason.
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Rope-Pusher
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Re: My Sticking Points

Post by Rope-Pusher » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:54 pm

I'm a firm believer in practicing no-gas launches (engine at idle) to get familiar with the location of the friction / engagement point of the clutch vs the clutch pedal position. You can even do this on slight up-grades as you get better at it.

For launching from a dead stop, I'm also a firm believer in, as you let the clutch pedal come up from it's downstop, that as you feel it start to transmit torque / propel the vehicle you hesitate at that clutch pedal position for 1/2 to 1 second before you again begin to let the pedal come up more. This seems to smooth-out the engagement and avoid stalling. Clutches seem to exhibit more friction as the speed differential is reduced and without this hesitation, they tend to grab more severely than expected.
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potownrob
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Re: My Sticking Points

Post by potownrob » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:34 am

SEOJay wrote:I've been driving manual transmission for a couple days now and while I can get around, I'm not very smooth and there a couple points in particular where I'm really not sure exactly what I should be doing. I'll detail those scenarios below, any advice is greatly appreciated.
haha, no worries. 2 days is barely enough time to get things down, let alone smoothly. 8) :lol: :)
1. Downshifting and regaining speed after slowing down. For the time being, I'm not rev matching until the basics become second nature to me. At that point I'll try to master the art of rev matching, but for now, just standard downshifts.
sounds like a good plan to me 8) .
With that in mind, do I need to work the clutch/gas similar to an upshift after selecting a lower gear? Am I letting the clutch out while feeding in the gas? Or, do I simply let off the gas, put the clutch all the way in, shift down, release smoothly and continue back on the gas (or brake) once the clutch is back out?
are you talking about rev-matched downshifts or the ones you're doing before you get the basics down?? assuming you mean the basic one, you want to let the clutch out more slowly than on an upshift to get a smooth downshift; if you let the clutch out too quickly, you will shock the drivetrain. you will want to learn rev-matched downshifts once you have more consistently smooth upshifts and launches. once you learn about rev-matched downshifts, you'll learn (or should learn!!) why non-rev-matched downshifts are typically fundamentally incorrect and not good for either the clutch or rest of the drivetrain, depending on if you let the clutch or rest of the drivetrain absorb the rpm difference between gears at a given speed. for now, focus on getting smooth shifts and launches, figuring out which gears are good for which speeds, how high to rev for different situations, etc. let us know when you're ready to learn more about rev-matching though.
In regards to slowing down, but not coming to a complete stop. Let's say I'm in 2nd gear and have to slow to the point where I'm at 1k rpm or just slightly above. Do I need to clutch in to get back to speed smoothly? If so, how should this be done?
you shouldn't have to, as long as you are going to keep moving at the same speed or higher. in general, once you are moving, 2nd gear should be good for even moving at a crawl. you might have to shift into 1st if moving really slow, like under 5 mph, up a hill, depending on your car.
Alternatively, when I do slow down to the point where I have to clutch in, but still not coming to a complete stop, what's the best way to get going here? Once I'm ready to regain speed, do I modulate the clutch/gas similar to an upshift even though I'm staying in the same gear? In general, how much clutch should I be using when slowing down and I feel the car starving but can't give it gas? Should I be all the way in with the clutch, or modulating accordingly and again how do I proceed once I can get back on the gas?
when the car is shuddering and you're coming to a stop or continuing to move that slow, you push the clutch all the way in, and you can do this quickly if you want. you'll hear some of us referring to this as stabbing the clutch. when disengaging the clutch, for whatever reason, you don't have to do it smoothly or slowly, but you should do it completely (stab it all the way down, lol).
2. Hill starts. Here, I can get going up steep hills with minimal roll, albeit not extremely smoothly as of yet. However, I'm not sure if the method I'm using is good on the clutch, plus it also takes me awhile to get going. I'm holding the brake pedal as I release the clutch slowly until it engages. Once I feel it engage I release the brake and feed in the gas. What I'm concerned about is whether or not this will cause sever damage to the clutch. Secondly, it takes me a few seconds to get going this way. Will speed come with time, or should I switch to a different method now?
your method sounds perfect. with practice, you'll get quicker with the launch and may even be able to get off the brake before launching. for now, i'd stick with what you're doing.
Other than that I think my biggest issue is just fear of hurting the transmission or clutch. Any tips to calm those fears? As long as I'm not doing xyz I have nothing to worry about? Last question, exactly when should I start feeding in the gas when starting or upshifting. At the catch point or prior?
i think cow gave a good and very wise answer to this, but i'll reiterate (if he mentioned this) that the car is designed to take some abuse and the clutch is designed to slip some. as for your last question, part of understanding how the clutch works is realizing that there is more than one way to work the pedals. either way is ok, as long as you can do it without too much drama. i have gone through periods (while driving certain older cars) of doing no-gas launches, where i let out the clutch slowly til the car started moving before adding any gas. you will probably want to (unless you drive a musclecar) at least eventually learn to add the gas as you're letting out the clutch but, as cow mentioned [EDIT: it was rope who mentioned it...], the no-gas launches will help you to learn where the clutch engages, if nothing else.
Really looking forward to reading the advice here and getting back at it. Thanks.
no worries - it sounds like you're already off to a good start!! :D 8)
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Rope-Pusher
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Re: My Sticking Points

Post by Rope-Pusher » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:50 am

Image
"Sticking"? Seems tummy the distributor cam can always open the points. Problems were mor elikely wrong point gap size or worn/pitted contacts.
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wannabe
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Re: My Sticking Points

Post by wannabe » Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:28 pm

SEOJay wrote:Other than that I think my biggest issue is just fear of hurting the transmission or clutch. Any tips to calm those fears? As long as I'm not doing xyz I have nothing to worry about? Last question, exactly when should I start feeding in the gas when starting or upshifting. At the catch point or prior?
Hurting - make sure you have roadside assistance/towing insurance in case your vehicle gives up the ghost while driving. tows are expensive.
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