Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by theholycow » Tue May 03, 2016 10:13 am

Adjusting road speed is acceptable. Go ahead and accelerate/brake if that helps.

No matter what, it sounds like you're going to need more practice with guessing target RPM and finessing throttle control. Maybe more time with the free-rev exercises, maybe just 100,000 miles experience. Except where the car is doing throttle stuff for you (rev hang on new cars, cold high idle on old cars, and the latest auto-rev-match systems) most shifts require some kind of fine throttle work; you can't always do it all with the clutch.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Wed May 11, 2016 3:35 pm

It's really funny how some days I feel like I can re-engage 1st gear from a slow roll seamlessly and other days I feel like it's an impossibility. I'm still working on it though baby... and now that I know I can slip 2nd at a lower speed the thresh hold limits are a lot better. One question I do have though is when I re-engage 2nd gear at say 6-7 mph and I work it up to 10-11 mph before fully lifting off... is it normal for the car to judder a little when the clutch is slipping? It judders lightly and once I start adding gas and getting up to speed it dissipates, it's never jarring or actually stalls but it's kind of an off putting feeling. I was wondering if that just has to do with the situation- and it is what it is or if I'm actually holding the clutch in an incorrect point?

Also- I watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTwnsWdxZ3M

It kind of opened my eyes with the diagram of when he would start braking, shifting down gears, and be in the actual ideal gear for the turn. I know this has performance track driving as it's focus but I was starting to wonder and question if in every day driving if I am actually getting into the right gear for a 90 degree turn too late. It's been said a lot of times in this thread but I usually brake progressively up until the last possible second and start engaging 2nd gear at the beginning of the point I start to actually physically turn the wheel. Should I really be in 2nd gear (all hooked up and engaged) as I'm still at my last seconds of going straight so I worry about steering wheel and throttle? I'm also concerned about upsetting the balance of the car as I'm just about fully engaged into the lower gear as I'm starting to turn. I might have to refine this technique...

I wait to the last possible second because typically at this point I am at the lowest speed and barely feel the shift. If I was to engage 2nd gear while still going straight I'd probably be doing so around 17-18 mph (while still bleeding off speed) and typically when that happens I feel kind of a "bump" or a little jerk when going into that gear. SO i'm unsure...

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by theholycow » Thu May 12, 2016 3:36 pm

Your judder probably means you need to adjust that just a little bit with slightly less clutch engagement and slightly more RPM.

About the video...it really doesn't apply. Really. It's completely irrelevant for driving on public roads. You have totally different needs, completely different conditions, and other far more pressing concerns. In the meantime he doesn't care about the comfort of his passengers or the abuse to his car so when he can afford the traction for it he'll rush his shifts even more and let it jerk the car hard, and he has no worries about the pavement or animals or side traffic or cops. Your needs and priorities are totally different.

You should be in 2nd gear (all hooked up and engaged) when you want to - when you can afford the attention to shifting, when you're not going to go "VROOM!" and get that cop to come after you looking for an excuse to ticket you, when your inexperienced self can complete the shift within your standards of satisfaction rather than forcing yourself to do it when it's not optimal and you mess it up.

Anyway, ATS-V. Sweet!

Around 4:40 he tries to demonstrate a wrong-time downshift but messes up the incorrect timing, completing the shift (including clutch engagement) long before ever steering into the turn, negating the very effect he was attempting to demonstrate. Then, in order to demonstrate, he purposely spun the car.

The video isn't merely "performance track driving as it's focus". That video is entirely about racing, when you push your car to and beyond the limit. You could see that the car was not sticking, but rather sliding around those turns, barely under control...just the way you might do in an autocross race.

In that kind of driving you depend on the car's balance to keep it sliding sideways at all 4 tires in a controlled manner instead of allowing one end to slide more resulting in loss of control. The only reason that shift timing becomes so crucial is that there is no traction to spare, no margin for error at all, so the tires can't absorb a little extra demand for traction. You also depend on the track to be exactly as perfect as it was 30 seconds ago during your last lap and you depend on your memory of the track as you push the envelope more each lap. You don't even drive like that in a race where other cars are on the track with you, because conditions can change every lap...you leave a little margin.

On the street (with the possible partial exception of long highway entrance/exit ramps surrounded by big grassy fields) you simply can not EVER consider driving anywhere near/beyond the limit of traction like that. You'd be a real douchecanoe if you did, and one hell of an idiot. Not only are the stakes high (property damage and injury not only for you but others too, on top of getting the book thrown at you), but a road is no track; you never know when there's going to be a new bump, a stick that fell off a tree, some sand that dribbled out of a truck, whatever. Consistency and predictability is required if you are going to drive with no margin, and streets do not offer that.

So, if you'd like to practice for autocross then definitely work on your shift timing. The idea is to complete the shift and be back into smooth power delivery just before the tires are struggling to hold on; you want to tighten that sequence up as much as possible. If you shift during a controlled 4 wheel slide then two things happen:

1. When the tires are already exceeding their available traction and you start asking for more from the drive tires, the drive tires will slip more while the other tires continue to slide exactly as much as before. (He started babbling about tire multitasking during the Tirerack ad^H^Hsponsored content that I skipped.) The balance across tires of the amount of sliding is different and you lose control. (A similar sequence happens when you're sliding on ice and one or two tires suddenly grab on some dry pavement.)

2. Since your car doesn't have the Inertial Dampers found on the Starship Enterprise, changes in acceleration feed force into the center of gravity. Just as any car nose-dives during heavy braking and a dragster pulls a wheelie on launch, lesser forces affect the car in the same way, just less severely...but if you're depending on that balanced weight distribution to keep traction balanced then when you allow any change in inertia/center of gravity you're gonna have a bad time. Inertia changes from presumably neutral to mildly negative acceleration as you declutch and coast, then with a perfect shift acceleration will resume exactly as you intend and change balance, but with the very likely imperfect clutch/throttle work you could get some strong negative acceleration followed by positive acceleration and really take a harder hit to balance.

Neither of those things are possible when you're on the road looking for some excitement and risking a ticket, pushing it only as much as you can expect to do on the road. There's still enough margin left to absorb the minor inertial shock of shifting, even at that level of pushing the envelope. When you're driving in a reasonable, legal, courteous (but not slow) manner, the way you might drive to work every day, you have plenty of margin to accidentally mis-shift into the wrong gear and accidentally sidestep the clutch because you unknowingly stepped in slippery dog doodoo and then the shock unbalances your foot and you accidentally plant the accelerator...all without losing traction. Of course you will lose traction when you slam into the car in front of you and your rear wheels actually come entirely off of the ground for a moment.

Go find a big smooth paved place where you can drive like a jerk, perhaps an abandoned parking lot commonly used for autocross events, and play around with it purposely trying lose control. Start by pushing the limit during a turn and slamming the brakes to throw all the weight forward, unloading the rear tires, then on the next lap try to unbalance the car with a botched shift, then try to do it with a good shift.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Thu May 12, 2016 9:51 pm

Your judder probably means you need to adjust that just a little bit with slightly less clutch engagement and slightly more RPM.
That's what I think.. it's almost like sometimes if I catch the friction point too low it'll be on the brink of the juddering but if I dip into it from the top end it really has no quibbles. I'm usually making a really conscious effort when doing this knowing that I could stall if I'm really not careful about it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I really appreciated your response about the video as always. The response was pretty overwhelming this time around but I made sure I read through it all. I guess the video for me just kind of opened my eyes to experiment a bit more. Many pages of this thread is dedicated on the process of how to handle, slowing down for 90 degree turns with no stopping in between. Truthfully, it was one of my biggest fears of doing even over stalling out 1st gear because I didn't want to screw up and I wasn't really sure how to approach it.

I literally think I've done every approach to this scenario now. In the beginning I pretty much engaged the gear mid turn. After that I tried engaging the gear after the turn was completely done and the wheels were straightened out again - this wasn't really a problem but it was painfully slow and not graceful at all. Then I basically waited to the last possible second to start engaging the gear at the beginning of the turn. Now I've kind of approached it to fully have the gear (2nd) engaged as I'm still going straight and really focusing on brake/throttle and steering. I feel like this is the best for me because I can really focus on the steering and I don't have to pick up my left foot at all. Now that I have better "control" of the clutch movements I feel like I can get into 2nd gear fairly smoothly. I always try and blip before I do it and then I just slowly let the clutch out when bleeding off speed. I'm situated in the correct gear right before I'm about to turn and then add throttle accordingly during it to pull me out.

I understand that the video is dedicated to racing and track usage and I'm not coming even close to any limits on public roads but I do like to operate efficiently and carry as much as I can. I feel like I still need a bit of grace when it comes to this stuff instead of hoping for the light to turn red so I can resume gradually in 1st :)

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by theholycow » Thu May 12, 2016 11:01 pm

Hah, I did delve pretty deep for what was not the most major question ever. Honestly, it's a very common major misunderstanding and I guess I fell into a combination or overcompensation and rant mode.

Just experiment and figure out what works best for you...don't worry about what's best for a race.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Fri May 13, 2016 3:48 am

theholycow wrote:Hah, I did delve pretty deep for what was not the most major question ever. Honestly, it's a very common major misunderstanding and I guess I fell into a combination or overcompensation and rant mode.

Just experiment and figure out what works best for you...don't worry about what's best for a race.
It's no big I followed through but I did realize the point you were making that it was very race/track oriented.

I am starting to really warm up getting into 2nd gear with my wheels pointed straight forward before the turn. Follow up question here is... is this an instance where I could benefit from engine braking if I don't match revs and slowly let the clutch out into 2nd gear while slowing down? Would this be bad to consistently do? I usually guide the rev's up close or around the correct rev range but it kind of takes me back doing this because: 1) it's very smooth, 2) I'm taking my foot off the brake to do this. I did it without rev matching or blipping and the "engine braking" that occurred kind of aided me in the situation in that it continued to slow me down until I got back onto the throttle... Thinking about my clutch...

I'm really not used to down shifting without matching my rev's though. I usually try and do it any instance I can.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by potownrob » Fri May 13, 2016 4:12 am

Teamwork wrote:is this an instance where I could benefit from engine braking if I don't match revs and slowly let the clutch out into 2nd gear while slowing down? Would this be bad to consistently do? I usually guide the rev's up close or around the correct rev range but it kind of takes me back doing this because: 1) it's very smooth, 2) I'm taking my foot off the brake to do this. I did it without rev matching or blipping and the "engine braking" that occurred kind of aided me in the situation in that it continued to slow me down until I got back onto the throttle... Thinking about my clutch...

I'm really not used to down shifting without matching my rev's though. I usually try and do it any instance I can.
all i can tell you is that once you start downshifting without rev-matching, it's a hard habit to break... :shock: :? :oops: :!:

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by theholycow » Fri May 13, 2016 10:42 am

Many or maybe even most manual drivers never learn to rev-match and they do fine. Go ahead and do non-rev-match downshifts when you feel like it.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Fri May 13, 2016 12:46 pm

potownrob wrote:
Teamwork wrote:is this an instance where I could benefit from engine braking if I don't match revs and slowly let the clutch out into 2nd gear while slowing down? Would this be bad to consistently do? I usually guide the rev's up close or around the correct rev range but it kind of takes me back doing this because: 1) it's very smooth, 2) I'm taking my foot off the brake to do this. I did it without rev matching or blipping and the "engine braking" that occurred kind of aided me in the situation in that it continued to slow me down until I got back onto the throttle... Thinking about my clutch...

I'm really not used to down shifting without matching my rev's though. I usually try and do it any instance I can.
all i can tell you is that once you start downshifting without rev-matching, it's a hard habit to break... :shock: :? :oops: :!:

https://youtu.be/b7MwgByxPs8
I actually find it to be harder to break the habit of not blipping the throttle before I go down. I usually make a cringing face and slowly let the clutch out wondering if my car's going to explode.
Many or maybe even most manual drivers never learn to rev-match and they do fine. Go ahead and do non-rev-match downshifts when you feel like it.
All I needed to hear... I'm very keen on abnormalities and clutch smell and I haven't really experienced any.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by tankinbeans » Fri May 13, 2016 2:00 pm

theholycow wrote:Many or maybe even most manual drivers never learn to rev-match and they do fine. Go ahead and do non-rev-match downshifts when you feel like it.
I've been having the most trouble getting smooth with schizophrenic rush hour, "we're going fast, no we're going slow, no we're going fast" traffic. I try to rev-match back into 2nd (or sometimes 3rd), but end up feathering a bit anyway and getting a bit of a bob.

Mrs. Frizzle is a bit handsy (grabby) and has an augmented clutch. Two, count em TWO clutch plates.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Fri May 13, 2016 4:03 pm

tankinbeans wrote:
theholycow wrote:Many or maybe even most manual drivers never learn to rev-match and they do fine. Go ahead and do non-rev-match downshifts when you feel like it.
I've been having the most trouble getting smooth with schizophrenic rush hour, "we're going fast, no we're going slow, no we're going fast" traffic. I try to rev-match back into 2nd (or sometimes 3rd), but end up feathering a bit anyway and getting a bit of a bob.

Mrs. Frizzle is a bit handsy (grabby) and has an augmented clutch. Two, count em TWO clutch plates.
I'm about to enter more rush hour grinds but I don't feel like I have too many issues in stop and go crawls. The thing that I hate and am kind of unsure about even is when a driver in front of me we'll randomly stop (check his cell phone) leave a huge distance between itself and the car in front of it (still talking about the guy in front of me) and then proceeds to slowly inch up and then I'm forced to either inch up or look like a jerk who leaves 3 car lengths in front of me. Most of the time if it's noticeable 2 car length- I'll try and pulse and glide using 1st gear but sometimes I feel like I have to ride the clutch a tad longer and I cringe a little. It's like that sweet spot where you can't fully lift off but it's too long of a distance to blip the throttle, dip into the friction point and get out. If the person behind me looks innocent and understanding or even just out of touch and not caring- I'll leave a ton of space in front of me and not abide to slushbox inching. That is few and far between here.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by theholycow » Fri May 13, 2016 6:13 pm

Sounds like a recipe for lots of no-gas launching.

There's nothing jerky about leaving space in front of you. In fact you may even improve things by doing so.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by tankinbeans » Fri May 13, 2016 6:25 pm

I've tried the space thing, once going 23 miles and tapping the brakes only 6 times, but it's exhausting playing chicken with knuckledraggers who play morse code braking.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by IMBoring25 » Fri May 13, 2016 6:44 pm

Having comparatively low gearing is nice in such situations. Ideally, you can get the clutch all the way out and do all your moving at idle. If you can't go that fast without choosing between leaving an excessively large gap and occupying the same space as the vehicle in front of you, pulse and glide is it. Unfortunately, that doesn't work so well uphill, but you should be able to keep clutch temperatures acceptable (and your leg somewhat rested if you go to neutral for the longer glides) using that strategy in most cases.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Post by Teamwork » Fri May 13, 2016 7:03 pm

tankinbeans wrote:I've tried the space thing, once going 23 miles and tapping the brakes only 6 times, but it's exhausting playing chicken with knuckledraggers who play morse code braking.
Seriously if I'm on a long stint, knowingly going to be on it for more then 10 miles I will get behind someone who I feel like knows what they're doing or I will specifically try and find a manual transmission vehicle. I know it's not realistic but I make a conscious effort to leave the mini-van mom whose morse coding false signals- tap dancing on the brake for no rhyme or reason (even if that means I have to pass on the right). I mean I've done that even when operating automatic vehicles but it seems to count more for sanity sake when driving standard.

In terms of inching up, riding the clutch, pulsing and gliding- I guess I'm just concerned about efficiency and wear. I feel conflicted when it's right in the sweet spot where I can't really just pulse and glide forward far enough without doing it a bunch of times consecutively. It's not quite a big enough gap where I feel like I could lift fully off the clutch without having to go back into neutral or fully floor it. And I feel like maybe I'm riding it a bit for an elongated amount of time but I'm not revving like crazy and really barely revving at all. I do typically try for a no gas launch and slow roll...

What is also your guys takes on waiting in que at a red light and taking your foot off the brake pedal on level ground- when the guy behind you is completely stopped as well. Is it worth the risk? Is it what is supposed to be done so you don't dazzle your brake lights behind you? The fear I have is the guy behind me being so used to automatics and seeing my brake lights go off and thinking it's time to go...

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