Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/non_aviation/read.main/2466560/

Topic: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: af773atmsp
Posted 2012-11-03 23:05:46 and read 3232 times.

I never really considered practicing driving a manual transmission car, but that changed recently after I got a job at a car dealership. My first time driving a manual was a month ago in my uncle's Saturn L200, and after stalling it many times I discovered how tough it is. After beginning my job at the dealership I have rare encounters with manual cars, and all I have to do is park it in the lot, so I'm in first gear the whole time. I have been getting better, and stall a lot less. The manager was even kind enough to let me practice in a Volkswagen GTI with a manual transmission thats on the used car sale lot. Now I have been pretty much teaching myself how to drive manual, and the GTI is actually pretty easy to drive.

So for those of you who have mastered driving a manual transmission, how long did it take, what car did you practice with, and any bad experiences with manual cars?

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2012-11-03 23:24:18 and read 3227 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
So for those of you who have mastered driving a manual transmission, how long did it take, what car did you practice with, and any bad experiences with manual cars?

I learned to drive on a 1971 Chevy C-10 pickup, with a three-on-the-tree manual. The straight-6 engine had mountains of torque, and would not stall no matter what I did, but it would lug. Till the day he died, my grandfather (who taught me) blamed his neck pains on the first day he took me to an abandoned airstrip to learn how to drive.

But after the first day, I never had any more problems. And after the C-10 (whose clutch was almost either in or out, very little in between) all other manuals were easy.

To this day I still prefer manuals. You have a lot more control, especially in hilly areas. I can't imagine a bad experience with a manual.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-03 23:54:44 and read 3213 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
how long did it take

Took a few weeks till I was comfortable driving around. Took a few more months before I really felt I was proficient at it. Frankly, even after driving manuals exclusively for 6 years, I still think I'm learning.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
what car did you practice with

A 2002 Civic EX. 1.7 liter 127 horsepower, 5-speed. A very easy car to learn on - hard to mess up. Only thing is, with low horsepower/torque, you do occasionally have to be wary of stalling, especially on an incline. But the car was at 114,000 miles or so when it got totaled, still on its first clutch, engine, and gearbox.

I'm currently driving a 6-speed Mazda 3 with a 2.5 liter 160-something horsepower engine, and even that jump in engine power took some getting used to. Plus, there's something about the throttle and/or clutch that still bothers me a bit, at least compared to the Civic....Otherwise, I love the car.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
and any bad experiences with manual cars?

No, nothing that wouldn't happen in an automatic.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
To this day I still prefer manuals.

Me too. But it seems that they're getting to be harder to find, at least in the US, which makes me sad.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Fabo
Posted 2012-11-04 01:11:31 and read 3197 times.

I have never driven an automatic, so I suppose I am not really the person you are looking for.

Anyway, it did not really take me a long time to learn to work the clutch. The trick is to learn to feel when the clutch is just about in but not quite yet. I found that having to get a really underpowered car (Skoda 120L) going in a small incline did help me get the feeling. Getting the driving school car moving and stopped just by using clutch (no brakes, no gas) on a level ground might also help (although I did not do that much, really).

After that, it is only about practice. You just have to drive stick for a while until it all becomes second nature. I had my situation made a bit harder by the fact that I had only passed the tests after moving out for college, so I did not drive at all for several months after getting license. Everything fell into place though after driving almost daily when I returned home for summer. These days I only ever stall after not driving for 2-3 months and then only if I change cars within first day or two.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: AzoresLover
Posted 2012-11-04 01:31:29 and read 3175 times.

I first drove a manual shift in college at Ohio State. I had a trusting roommate who needed me to help drive on a trip, so he spent a few minutes one evening showing me how to drive a manual. After a few stalls I "sort of" got the hang of it. The next morning we took off for St Louis, with me driving. That round trip helped me to become pretty adept at driving a manual. So I have always preferred a manual, for the reasons stated in above posts. My latest car, a 2012 Chevy Cruze, has a 6-speed manual, and I totally love that car!

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: bjcc
Posted 2012-11-04 01:47:04 and read 3166 times.

Easiest way is to learn to drive a manual first, then an automatic. But it's clearly too late for that.
It takes a while to get used to clutch control, and it probably doesn't help if you have no one to show you the tricks of the trade. When I learned to drive, my instructor had me using the clutch to control the car on a hill, that was a good way of learning to control the clutch.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Zkpilot
Posted 2012-11-04 02:43:54 and read 3145 times.

a little gas first then ease it out increasing the gas as you do it. Japanese cars tend to have soft clutches (which are easier), euro's tend to be firmer (harder), both have their benefits... a firmer clutch is usually better on a higher performance engine whilst a softer clutch helps an underpowered engined car get going.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-04 05:54:17 and read 3090 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
how long did it take

It took me about two days until I was comfortable driving on the public roads, but I have a vast technical knowledge about cars so I was able to learn what I was doing wrong very quickly.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
what car did you practice with

My 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (2.0L, 130HP), 5-sp manual. I, to this day, love that freaking transmission. The clutch was nice and heavy and the gear changes were buttery smooth.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):
there's something about the throttle and/or clutch that still bothers me a bit

I don't know if your car has the same clutch as mine (I don't think so), but if it does, the thing that feels "unusual" is the spring-loaded return. It's a hairline clutch, it's either all the way in, or all the way out, with nothing in between. I actually love it 95% of the time, except when I'm on a steep incline. I burned the crap out of the clutch last week once at an uphill traffic light when the guy behind me pulled up so close I had no room to roll at all.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 6):
Japanese cars tend to have soft clutches (which are easier), euro's tend to be firmer (harder)

That's funny, because my friend has a VW GLI (I have a Mazdaspeed3) and his clutch is like a soft pillow compared to my spring-loaded one. We switched cars last month and while I loved his GLI before I got my Mazda, I don't think I could ever go back to a car without a spring-loaded clutch anymore. The amount of leg force I need on my Mazda's clutch is ludicrous, but I actually really like it.

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Larshjort
Posted 2012-11-04 06:02:09 and read 3085 times.

The car used to take my driving license was a 1998 Mecedes E230CDI 5 speed manual with 450.000km on the clock

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 7):
My 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (2.0L, 130HP), 5-sp manual. I, to this day, love that freaking transmission. The clutch was nice and heavy and the gear changes were buttery smooth.

That description fits my 2003 Fiesta 1,6. On the other hand the clutch in my mothers 2010 Fiesta 1,4 is extremely soft.

/Lars

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Charles79
Posted 2012-11-04 06:58:21 and read 3060 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
So for those of you who have mastered driving a manual transmission, how long did it take, what car did you practice with, and any bad experiences with manual cars?

Didn't try learning until I was 26 and did it in a rental car in Germany. It was 2006 in a Seat Altea and I had two reasons to learn. First, it was a skill I wanted to acquire and, second, because we were going to drive from Bottrop to Berlin and I didn't want to ride shotgun the entire time (plus it wouldn't be fair on my other half to drive the entire time). I can't say I mastered it right there but I learned enough to be able to share driving duties in the Autobahn.

Fast forward to the end of 2008 and by then I had driven enough manual transmission cars to feel confident enough to buy a manual car. Since then I have only driven automatics as rental cars and do not miss them at all. I no longer stall the car, plus our current vehicle (a VW GTI) has a great clutch and transmission set-up making it very easy to drive the car smoothly.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-04 07:23:24 and read 3046 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):

To this day I still prefer manuals. You have a lot more control, especially in hilly areas. I can't imagine a bad experience with a manual.

Also your fuel econ is more easily controlled this way. My car should get about 31mpg on the highway. In practice (skipping gears on the A-bend, N-gearing it down hills, etc...), I get about 37 and maybe 29 city. I managed to pull about 580mi out of my last (16.8 gal) tank. Not bad for a 4cyl Sonata.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 2):

Me too. But it seems that they're getting to be harder to find, at least in the US, which makes me sad.

I think this is due to the advent of CVTs and "manu-matics." I'm really not a fan of the latter, and irrespective of what people sometimes try to tell me, I really don't see them as the same as a true manual...



Just out of curiosity, anyone ever notice how much dropping into top gear waaaaaay early (like 30mph) and winding all the way up to 95 feels a lot like a CostIndex 0 takeoff? Not that I would ever do such a thing, of course,  

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Ken777
Posted 2012-11-04 08:17:17 and read 3020 times.

Hard to remember - it was 53 years ago.   
I seem to remember that it only took a day for the basics. Dad was a mechanical engineer (he wanted to get a job in Detroit in the Great Depression) so was a car fanatic. A day with him and you were doing OK. I was even taught to hold the car with the clutch at a light on a hill that first day.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2012-11-04 08:28:11 and read 3008 times.

Ah manuals... still not very good at them but it's a necessary skill (IMO) because when you need it the most, you won't have time to learn it.

First time I drove a manual, I started from 5th gear @ 80mph (lol, crazy story.) Really learned to drive manual in the hills of Dahlonega, GA, probably not the best place to learn. Still haven't really mastered getting the vehicle going from a standstill when I'm on a hill...

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Fabo
Posted 2012-11-04 08:42:35 and read 2999 times.

Quoting AzoresLover (Reply 4):
My latest car, a 2012 Chevy Cruze, has a 6-speed manual, and I totally love that car!

Slight OT, but my dads car is also a Cruze, albeit a 5 speed, 1.8L. The car could really do with a sixth gear, especially on highways... And some nice V6. I still like the car very much though, would not mind getting one of my own.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 10):
Just out of curiosity, anyone ever notice how much dropping into top gear waaaaaay early (like 30mph) and winding all the way up to 95 feels a lot like a CostIndex 0 takeoff? Not that I would ever do such a thing, of course,  

Technically, Cost Index does not kick in until after 10K ft, in (unrestriced) climb mode. But I understand what you mean (lets say a maximum derate takeoff).

And no, dont do that. Personally, I would not even cruise in top gear at 30 (although some people advocate it...), let alone accelerate.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-04 08:54:35 and read 2992 times.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 13):
And no, dont do that. Personally, I would not even cruise in top gear at 30 (although some people advocate it...), let alone accelerate.

Low-rpm, high-gear acceleration is perfectly fine in a naturally-aspirated car. You certainly don't want to do it in a turbocharged or supercharged car, though...

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-04 09:15:11 and read 2980 times.

Learned on a 2000 Subaru Legacy Wagon; my mom drove it to a parking lot the day we bought it and I spent about 10 minutes feeling it out. Took it out on the road and drove to the store, then home. A week later we had an unexpected first snow of the season, and I was out driving to school with one week of manual experience on a car with nearly-bald summer tires. I've never driven any other manual to compare it to, but I'd really like to some day.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Newark727
Posted 2012-11-04 15:26:54 and read 2891 times.

I'm in no way proficient with a manual transmission but both of my parents' cars have had them and so I've practiced on a 2004 Mini Cooper (briefly) and a 2011 VW Jetta diesel (started to get the hang of it.) Both times the venue would be an office parking lot on a weekend- California has no shortage of such things where I am. With the Jetta I managed to get into traffic for a while too but I hated it because when I did make a mistake there was more pressure to get back up to speed again. I think the problem for me is translating the action of working the gears and clutch in isolation with no other factors to consider into working the gears and clutch on the road with traffic.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: jetmech
Posted 2012-11-04 15:53:46 and read 2873 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
what car did you practice with

I like you got a job in the service department at a car dealership where I was performing work on new vehicles. There were a very high proportion of manual cars in those days (more than 15 years ago), so I had no choice but to learn quickly. I'd never driven manual before, so I ended up learning on all the customers’ cars. I serviced about 15 cars a day on average, so it didn't take long to get a lot of practice in. This was mainly on passenger vehicles with a few four wheel drives thrown in.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
how long did it take

I'd say about a week to be comfortable and confident with moving cars across the road, and a few more weeks before driving in public.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
any bad experiences with manual cars

Not yet. My current manual car is misfiring allot, so it needs quite a few revs on board and very deft use of the clutch for hill starts, but aside from that, no real negative experiences.

Regards, JetMech

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: panam330
Posted 2012-11-04 17:36:22 and read 2841 times.

I learned how to drive a stick in a car I was test driving back in 2008 (a Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V). The salesman gave it to me overnight to "get acquainted with it," and my roommate took me to a huge abandoned parking lot to teach me. I got it down in like 20 minutes, give or take. Damn near emptied the car's gas tank driving aimlessly that night. I bought a Subaru with a 5-speed after I wrecked my first car, and now my 2010 Saab is a 6-speed manual. I'll never buy an automatic again until I need a bigger car for kids.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: bohica
Posted 2012-11-04 18:01:13 and read 2836 times.

I learned to drive a manual in a 1967 Volkswagen Bus on the streets of San Francisco. Once I learned the basics of the manual I had to learn how to get it moving while facing uphill without rolling backwards. I stalled the engine quite a few times until I learned the parking brake was my friend.  

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: DocLightning
Posted 2012-11-04 18:21:26 and read 2830 times.

I learned at 17 on my 1993 Ford Escort.

My father won "quote of the year" when telling me how to handle the accelerator vs. clutch:

"You have to be slow and gentle. Like making love to an old woman."

Yup, that's a great bit of advice to give to a 17yo boy.   

Like any motor skill (motor as in use of your body, not the car), it takes practice, practice, practice. The only way to learn is by doing.

By day 3, I was pretty proficient. By week 2, I was very good. By month 2, I was double-clutching and accelerating more smoothly than some automatics.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-04 21:32:11 and read 2803 times.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 13):

Technically, Cost Index does not kick in until after 10K ft, in (unrestriced) climb mode. But I understand what you mean (lets say a maximum derate takeoff).

Oh, I know. I wasn't being so literal, but I'm glad someone got that.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 13):

And no, dont do that. Personally, I would not even cruise in top gear at 30 (although some people advocate it...), let alone accelerate.

Not something I'd do a lot.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 14):

Low-rpm, high-gear acceleration is perfectly fine in a naturally-aspirated car. You certainly don't want to do it in a turbocharged or supercharged car, though...

It does so happen I'm NA here, yes. But I'm curious now. I thought laboring an engine was always bad. You're saying it's not unless you've got forced air induction?

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: JJJ
Posted 2012-11-05 02:50:57 and read 2770 times.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 12):
Still haven't really mastered getting the vehicle going from a standstill when I'm on a hill..

If the hill is really steep, the easiest way is using the handbrake.

Keep the handbrake on, put 1st gear and slowly pull the clutch and press accel until you feel it starts to power the wheels. Keep it that way (it won't stall unless you're pressing too much), release the handbrake and you're on. It's easier on the clutch as well, as it doesn't have to pull the weight of the car going downhill.

A lot of manuals now have hill assist, though.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: B747-4U3
Posted 2012-11-05 04:18:03 and read 2771 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
The manager was even kind enough to let me practice in a Volkswagen GTI with a manual transmission thats on the used car sale lot. Now I have been pretty much teaching myself how to drive manual, and the GTI is actually pretty easy to drive.

I learnt to drive in a Golf 1.9 Diesel and it was easy to drive and had a brilliant clutch. I'd driven manual motorbikes before and I found the transition to a Golf was really easy.

I then bought a Chrysler Crossfire (3.2 litre, V6) which was a completely different story. The clutch pedal is quite springy so it is very easy to let it out a bit too fast and stall, or worse let it out a bit too fast with your other foot on the gas pedal and fly off...and with an engine that size it really does fly (although the sound the engine makes is superb).

I think it is just a case of getting used to it. Indeed, I got in someone else's automatic the other day and spent a few seconds fumbling around with my foot trying to find the clutch pedal before it dawned on me that automatics don't have them. Then every time I came up to a red light I was pushing down expecting to find the clutch to change down.

Once you get used to a manual you might find that you prefer it. Mine is a nuisance to drive around town because you have to apply so much pressure on the clutch pedal (unlike a Golf), so changing gears constantly is tiring. But once I'm out on the open road there really is nothing that can beat a manual. It gives you a lot more control over the power and you can use the gears for faster acceleration, helping you to slow or just to create a nice noise from the engine.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-05 05:44:05 and read 2805 times.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 21):
It does so happen I'm NA here, yes. But I'm curious now. I thought laboring an engine was always bad. You're saying it's not unless you've got forced air induction?

It's not that it's not bad. It can, of course, cause severe problems if you do it all the time. It's the equivalent of running an engine without oil, so you can have damage to the crankshaft, cams, and cylinders from repeated wear and grinding since oil isn't pressurized and lubricating. But high-load at low-RPM in a NA engine won't risk spontaneous destruction like it will in a forced induction car (bent rods, shattered cylinders, torn up manifolds, destroyed turbos, etc).

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-05 08:02:45 and read 2839 times.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 7):
I don't know if your car has the same clutch as mine (I don't think so), but if it does, the thing that feels "unusual" is the spring-loaded return. It's a hairline clutch, it's either all the way in, or all the way out, with nothing in between.

I doubt we have the same clutch, based on this:

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 7):
The amount of leg force I need on my Mazda's clutch is ludicrous, but I actually really like it.

I find the Mazda clutch to require about the same force as my Civic clutch did, but it has a slightly shorter travel.

Aren't all clutches spring-loaded anyway? From what I've read, the clutch plate is actuated by a spring.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 7):
I actually love it 95% of the time, except when I'm on a steep incline. I burned the crap out of the clutch last week once at an uphill traffic light when the guy behind me pulled up so close I had no room to roll at all.

That's what the parking brake is for! I use it all the time on hills where I don't want to roll backwards. And use it for parallel parking into a tight spot.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 10):

I think this is due to the advent of CVTs and "manu-matics." I'm really not a fan of the latter, and irrespective of what people sometimes try to tell me, I really don't see them as the same as a true manual...

It's that, and the advent of hybrids and electric cars.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 13):
And no, dont do that. Personally, I would not even cruise in top gear at 30 (although some people advocate it...), let alone accelerate.

I used to switch to 5th gear at around 35 mph in my Civic. But in 5th, the engine was already turning at ~1700 rpm by then.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: af773atmsp
Posted 2012-11-05 20:48:12 and read 2825 times.

Is there anyway of knowing when you're ready to drive a stick shift on public roads? Sometimes I feel like I'm ready, but other times I feel I need more practice. I have gotten better at a smooth start in first gear, and starting on slight inclines is becoming easier, but I still stall a few times.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-05 22:30:33 and read 2840 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 27):
Is there anyway of knowing when you're ready to drive a stick shift on public roads? Sometimes I feel like I'm ready, but other times I feel I need more practice. I have gotten better at a smooth start in first gear, and starting on slight inclines is becoming easier, but I still stall a few times.

Whenever you're reasonably comfortable. Basically, if something goes wrong, you don't want to freak out. So if you're at a stop sign, and when it's your turn, you stall it out, just calmly turn the car back on and try again. When you feel like you can do that without sitting there for 10 seconds slightly panicked, then I'd say you're ready.

When my dad was teaching me to drive stick, after a few sessions around our neighborhood and in a local parking lot, he said, "ok, you're welcome to take the car out around town". I was like, "really?? already???" But I took him up on it and started driving around town. That's really the only way you'll get used to it - just have to do it repeatedly. So basically, I felt the exact same as you do when I first took the car out on the public roads.

Sort of funny story: I've been driving a manual for almost 10 years now; exclusively for 6 years.. A few months ago, I went to pick up food at a local pizza place. Picked up my food, got in the car, turned it on and was about to back out when I realized I'd forgotten a straw. Ran back in to grab a straw. As I ran back out, I see my car starting to roll backwards. Total "holy sh*t!" moment. Ran to the door, swung myself in (I was pretty proud of that move, I must say....clearly I'm destined to be a Hollywood stuntman), and slammed on the brakes. Yup, in my absentmindedness when I realized I'd forgotten a straw, I didn't engage the parking brake. That NEVER happened to me before, even when I was a rookie. But hey, now whenever I get out of the car, I double-check the parking brake. Luckily, the slope of the parking lot was mild, the car hadn't picked up much speed, and there were no other cars or people in the way.

I don't remember what my point was, but there you go.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: NAV20
Posted 2012-11-05 23:11:16 and read 2847 times.

af773atmsp, one thing that no-one seems to have mentioned yet - and that is that 'letting the clutch in' is very much a two-stage process.

The clutch consists of two 'plates,' one of which is connected to the engine, the other being connected to the roadwheels. When starting off, the first is of course turning quite fast, the second is stationary. It is therefore essential to operate the clutch in four stages:-

1. You push the clutch pedal right down and engage first gear (or reverse);

2. You press the accelerator to add some power, and bring the clutch up (reduce your foot pressure) until it partially engages - then you hold it there while the friction causes the drive to the roadwheels to begin turning (at which point the car starts to move);

3. You then keep the clutch partially engaged (the sensation is more or less that you're 'pressing' on the spring-loaded clutch pedal) until your instincts and the 'feel' of the thing tell you that both 'plates' are turning at pretty well the same speed;

4. Then you gently ease the last of the pressure off and allow the clutch pedal to move to 'full up' in a controlled fashion.

Same 'two-stage' letting-in procedure, allowing the rotation speeds of both 'plates to equalise, for every gear change - though, of course, once you're moving, the transition stage from 'full out' to 'full in' is much less critical.

You've probably already got that taped by this stage. But if not, I'd recommend that you find somewhere with a lot of space - like an empty car park - where you don't need to worry about where you're actually heading, so that you can concentrate on getting the clutch procedure exactly right, practising it until it becomes instinctive and you no longer need to think about it.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ImperialEagle
Posted 2012-11-06 05:05:25 and read 2833 times.

We had a funeral yesterday for a gentleman who had a vintage car collection. The immediate family showed up in a 1941 Packard 120. The car was in immaculate condition and the straight-8 just purred. After the funeral was over and everyone was milling about at the graveside visiting, the son of the deceased asked if I would like to take the car for a drive around the cemetery. Absoloutely! The clutch was very tight and I had to be careful not to hop all over the road especially since I have not driven a manual shift in a while. Instead of the old long stemed floor shift this car had three on the tree which when combined with the lack of power steering tended to make slow speed manuvering somewhat clumsy for me since I am so out of practice. The car drove like a bank vault on wheels. No telling what the thing weighed and it was all steel! The topography of the cemetery is very hilly and fortunately I did not have to practice holding it on a hill! Anyway, it reminded me of all the reasons I have come to like automatics. Lazy.

I learned to manual shift on a navy blue, six-cylinder 1965 Chevrolet step-side pick-up truck we used at the high school I attended, up in north Georgia. I was glad the old country roads were clear most of the time because it sure took me a while to get used to it. With the ice and snow of the winter manual shift really came into its own and It certainly got me out of plenty of situations where I would have been stuck if It had been an automatic. In later year, back home in Atlanta I also drove a few manual shift cars. They were fun when I was young and dizzy, although I was never as good at holding the car on a hill as I was at burning-out clutches because of it!

Besides the obvious good fuel mileage, there are other advantages of a manual shift as well, such as being able to get to a rolling start if the battery dies, or rocking the car to get out of mud, etc.

Best wishes on your manual shift adventures!

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: FI642
Posted 2012-11-06 08:12:15 and read 2829 times.

I've been driving a "manny tranny" for a long time. The easiest? Toyota. Most difficult? Honda.

Once you get the knack of it, you'll be fine, and remember how to do it for the rest of your life. I
enjoy driving a manual, and plan on driving one for a long time to come.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-06 20:28:40 and read 2825 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
You have a lot more control

Control of what?

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 29):
1. You push the clutch pedal right down and engage first gear (or reverse);

2. You press the accelerator to add some power, and bring the clutch up (reduce your foot pressure) until it partially engages - then you hold it there while the friction causes the drive to the roadwheels to begin turning (at which point the car starts to move);

3. You then keep the clutch partially engaged (the sensation is more or less that you're 'pressing' on the spring-loaded clutch pedal) until your instincts and the 'feel' of the thing tell you that both 'plates' are turning at pretty well the same speed;

4. Then you gently ease the last of the pressure off and allow the clutch pedal to move to 'full up' in a controlled fashion.

5. Or drive an automatic and not worry about all this!   

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-06 20:37:17 and read 2826 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 32):
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 1):
You have a lot more control

Control of what?

Allow me to state the obvious answer:

Shifting gears.

 

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-06 21:32:14 and read 2826 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 33):
Allow me to state the obvious answer:

Shifting gears.

How could I miss something so clear?   

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-06 22:47:24 and read 2830 times.

First car I ever drove was a 1935 Graham.........in about 1945; ( I was all of 13 yrs old at the time )

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 29):
The clutch consists of two 'plates,' one of which is connected to the engine, the other being connected to the roadwheels. When starting off, the first is of course turning quite fast, the second is stationary. It is therefore essential to operate the clutch in four stages:-

1. You push the clutch pedal right down and engage first gear (or reverse);

2. You press the accelerator to add some power, and bring the clutch up (reduce your foot pressure) until it partially engages - then you hold it there while the friction causes the drive to the roadwheels to begin turning (at which point the car starts to move);

3. You then keep the clutch partially engaged (the sensation is more or less that you're 'pressing' on the spring-loaded clutch pedal) until your instincts and the 'feel' of the thing tell you that both 'plates' are turning at pretty well the same speed;

4. Then you gently ease the last of the pressure off and allow the clutch pedal to move to 'full up' in a controlled fashion.

You have that about half right !

Yeah, there ARE two "round" (circular) surfaces, and the one that's connected to the fly wheel IS rotating any time the engine is running; and the other one, ( the "pressure plate") IS stationary while the clutch is "dis-engaged"; (pedal down)

The whole "trick" is getting these two surfaces "together", with the absolute minimum of "slippage"; (once you have had to "replace" a clutch just one time, (and pay for it), you will very quickly realize why this is so important ! )

Actually, the slower the the flywheel is turning when the two halves of the clutch "come together", the less slippage you have. Clutches, (just like all moving parts that "wear" against each other) are in the slow process of "wearing out" every time you "disengage" then "engage" the clutch. If you do it right, they will last a long time; if you "slip" the clutch every time you start out............you WILL be replacing the clutch plate MUCH sooner !

First off, every vehicle is "different"; it all depends on such things as how much the vehicle weighs, how much power the engine has, and how well the vehicle is driven.

In the example given in reply #29, forget about "revving" the engine BEFORE "engaging the clutch; in 1st gear, as you commence letting your left foot "off" the clutch, your RIGHT foot (on the gas pedal / accelerator) does NOTHING, until the clutch plates start to "engage"...........at that exact point, your left foot comes "clear up"......."quickly", just as your right foot is depressing the accelerator. You might say, it's all a matter of precise timing; a lot like playing a piano........you tend to get better at it as you get more "experience / practice".

By the time I got my driver's license (when I turned 16), I had probably already driven a few thousand miles.........(every one of which was with a manual transmission.)

When I started driving tractor-trailer trucks (at age 20), I thought an old Ford 1 1/2 ton flat bed farm truck I had driven (with a 5 speed transmission and an electric two speed rear axle) had a "lot" of gears to "keep track of";

One of the first guys I worked for had about 24 B-61 Mack road tractors; all but one had Mack "duplex" transmissions; there are two "sticks", side by side; the left stick (the "main") changes the five gears; the right stick, (the "auxiliary") operates the two-speed "duplex", (which is inside the transmission with all of the other gears) incidentally, if you see
a duplex tranny laying on the ground around a truck repair place, they're about half to size of an old VW "beetle", and probably weigh more; (but like everything else Mack ever made, they last almost forever !

Driving a Mack duplex goes like this; start out in 1st-direct; then shift "duplex" stick forward, to 1st-over; next, shift "main" stick into 2nd, and duplex back to direct, (at the same time). then, duplex back to "over", and you're in 2nd-over; then, (again, with both hands), move main into 3rd, and duplex back to "direct". and so on up, till you're in 5th over, and cruising down thje road'. If you ever happen to see a guy driving a dump truck, and it looks like he's trying to "sit" in the middle of the truck, (and appears to be "fighting snakes")..........he's probably driving a duplex.

A couple of things............if you ever have occasion to drive an old Mack with a duplex, it would be nice if you had three hands and three arms. Does it sound "complicated" ? No, it really isn't; in fact, it's really a "piece of cake"..........when compared to driving the only other Mack tractor that guy had.........as it had a Mack Triplex !

Back in the late 50's and early 60's, Macks were VERY common.........they were probably the commonest truck on the road at the time; but when they came out with the triplex, for some unknown and mysterious reason, they put the "auxiliary" (or triplex) stick on the LEFT, and the "main" on the right.......completely backwards to the duplex arrangement. Driving the triplex took a lot of "concentration" to say the least; (about 4 times as much as a duplex)

Needless to say, when I started working for Earl Vertner, driving his damned Macks, (and being low man on the seniority board ), guess which tractor I had to drive 98% of the time.............driving a loaded tractor trailer with a triplex, (on any kind of road other than a perfectly straight, perfectly FLAT Interstate highway, (which had yet to be built when I had the misfortune to be doing it), GUARANTEES that you will be changing gears at least 500 times every hour you have to do it !

IMHO, while the triplex transmission WAS the WORST transmission Mack made "back then" to drive,............it WASN"T the one with the most gears ! That dubious distinction would go to...........the Mack "quadraplex" ! with that "beast", the "auxiliary" was back on the right, (where it belonged), and the "main" was on the left (nearest the driver), where IT belonged. Fortunately, my only job that required me to drive a "quad" (with 20 speeds) was when I worked a few years for a rigging company, moving heavy, over-size, over-weight, over-length, and usually over-width, (and sometimes even over-height loads. ( oddly enough, driving a quad isn't as quite as bad as driving a TP)

( so.......... don't start feeling sorry for yourself if you ever decide to get a diesel truck with a "mere" 6 speed "stick"..........it's easier than falling off a log backwards and not nearly as dangerous ! )

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-06 23:09:01 and read 2826 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 35):
Actually, the slower the the flywheel is turning when the two halves of the clutch "come together", the less slippage you have.

While that's true when starting from a stop, that's the only place it holds. The rest of the time, it's not strictly about flywheel speed; it's about the matching of speeds between the two sides of the clutch (the engine speed and the driveshaft speed).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 35):
In the example given in reply #29, forget about "revving" the engine BEFORE "engaging the clutch; in 1st gear, as you commence letting your left foot "off" the clutch, your RIGHT foot (on the gas pedal / accelerator) does NOTHING, until the clutch plates start to "engage"...........at that exact point, your left foot comes "clear up"......."quickly", just as your right foot is depressing the accelerator. You might say, it's all a matter of precise timing; a lot like playing a piano........you tend to get better at it as you get more "experience / practice".

I'll have to disagree here. While what you posted is a perfectly valid way to start, it's not what I do, nor what most people I've seen drive manuals do. This all happens very fast, but basically:

1.) Let out clutch to where it first engages while pressing the accelerator.
2.) As the driveshaft speed matches the engine speed, continue letting out the clutch till it's fully engaged.
3.) Let out clutch completely and drive away.

That all takes probably about 1-2 seconds. When upshifting while already moving, it's even quicker.

Waiting till the start of engagement before you give the engine gas will produce less wear on the clutch. But it's also a great way to let the engine get bogged down. And when you're just starting out, it's a superb way to stall!

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2012-11-07 05:37:23 and read 2821 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 31):
Control of what?
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 32):
Allow me to state the obvious answer:

Shifting gears.

In the case of a rear-wheel drive car, a manual gives you the best possible control of the car's dynamics. There is a very good reason why the vast majority of the world's professional race car are manual and rear-wheel drive. The simplest way of putting it is that in such a car, you control the front of the car with the steering wheel, and the rear of the car via the throttle (with far more precision than an automatic), basically by inducing oversteer or understeer as needed.

That's not the sort of thing that you will find useful on your normal daily drive, but definitely noticeable when in low-traction conditions, or in the mountains.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-07 16:16:06 and read 2813 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 36):
There is a very good reason why the vast majority of the world's professional race car are manual and rear-wheel drive.

True, but the normal daily drive never encounters the same conditions. My family vehicle will neither spin nor skid; improve on that please!

I realize that you are probably a highly talented driver, but 99.9% (or higher) of the driving population is not. Provided a driver knows how to drive an automatic, he/she has every bit as much control of the vehicle as the driver of a manual. I live in the north, and I've got around 1,000,000 miles under my belt, so I speak as someone with more experience in the 20 years I've been driving than most drivers will get in their entire lifetime.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-07 19:01:27 and read 2814 times.

quote=TLG,reply=37]My family vehicle will neither spin nor skid; improve on that please![/quote]

That's a very interesting statement.......a vehicle that will neither spin nor skid ? I must point out, "skidding" is all about inertia, velocity of the vehicle, and the coefficient of friction between the vehicle's tires and the roadway, (and a few more things); roadways "vary" greatly in their relative "slipperiness", and a bare amount of packed snow will afford a surprising amount of "friction"; solid ice will "afford" absolutely NONE; so, for your non-spin, no-skid "family vehicle" to be completely immune to "skidding", (or "breaking traction and spinning"............it all depends on what you have between the pavement and your tires !
(Unless of course your "family vehicle" happens to be a Caterpillar D-8, with 30 in. wide tracks, and weighs like 75,000 lbs. )
Then, you may have a valid point...............

Quoting TLG (Reply 37):
I live in the north, and I've got around 1,000,000 miles under my belt, so I speak as someone with more experience in the 20 years I've been driving than most drivers will get in their entire lifetime.

I'm very surprised that you have time to monkey around on the internet, what with having to drive, on average, 50,000 miles per year, every year, for 20 years, to rack up that 1,000,000 miles of "experience" you mention !

The "operative" word there, being "most" drivers.....! ( you will note that driver's "experience" varies greatly also )

I normally had to drive anywhere from 60 or 70 thousand miles per year, all the way up to 110,000 thousand a few years, to record 2,000,000 miles in my 40 plus years of keeping log books. ( so I too have a bit of "experience" driving "stick shift vehicles" on rainy, snowy, and icy roads.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 35):
I'll have to disagree here. While what you posted is a perfectly valid way to start, it's not what I do, nor what most people I've seen drive manuals do. This all happens very fast, but basically:

I would be greatly surprised if "someone" didn't "disagree", vikkyvik ! They almost always do............ however, you will note that I mentioned that.......

First off, every vehicle is "different"; it all depends on such things as how much the vehicle weighs, how much power the engine has, and how well the vehicle is driven.

Everyone on this thread is talking about a different vehicle, differing "road conditions", etc. etc. etc. if you happen to be driving a dinky little Ford Fiesta, (weighing maybe 1,800 lbs.) and having a 1.5 liter engine, you very well may NEED to "slip the clutch" a bit to get the thing MOVING ! My 1 ton Dodge dually P /U truck, (with a 24 valve Cummins, and about 300 lbs. ft. of torque), you would only need 1 foot to drive it, because you merely "remove" your foot from the clutch pedal, ( "quickly" I might add), and whether it's "empty", or if I have my 2,500 lb tilt deck trailer in tow, (often with 4 or 5 tons of logs loaded).......and you are "moving"..........(in 1st gear)......so at that point, you can use your "one foot" for the accelerator. All of which just reminded of something else having to do with "stick shift vehicles"..............

How far have you ever driven a manual transmission vehicle without using the clutch at all ? a mile ? 10 miles ?

I once left Lordstown, Ohio with a load of new cars, bound for New Jersey, and would be crossing the state of Pensylvania from west to east, on Interstate 80; ( I-80 is 310 miles from the Ohio line to the N.J. line ) Shortly after crossing into Pa. I stopped for something, and when I was about to start back up, I discovered the clutch was "out" of my tractor; ( hydraulic operated clutch ) Had I "called in", I would have been put on "breakdown time" until the unit was towed, or repaired; however, I had absolutely NO wish to collect breakdown time; I NEEDED to get to N.J., get empty, and get back to Lordstown, ASAP; so I "improvised" I should point out, as I traveled I-80 "all the time", I was intimately familiar with every exit, every mile marker at every exit, and every repair shop that my company normally used; (no need to even "look it up" in a book).......so I elected to proceed to a particular exit, (about 200 miles east of where I broke down) (and you probably couldn't do this in a Ford Fiesta)

With the engine still off, I engaged 1st gear; then "bumped" the starter, (knowing that in 1st gear, the starter motor would have sufficient torque to move the truck forward, and start the engine) ; once I had the thing moving, it was a simple matter to go through the gears, and get out on the Interstate and proceed to my repair shop, (200 miles up the road) during the 200 miles, I was "contemplating" how I was going to get off at my exit, and without stopping the truck, get word to the repair shop that I had no clutch; It proved to be even easier than I anticipated; when I got off the exit, I geared down, went into the truck stop lot, got on my CB radio, and got the repair shop on the radio, and told them of my "situation"; they advised me, "just keep circling the lot while we get this truck "finished"; I ended up making about 75 round trips through the truck stop, (to the bafflement and amusement of all the truck drivers parked there), and FINALLY, they finished the truck they were working on, got it out of the repair bay, and I carefully "chugged in", (in 1st gear), and pulled the fuel cut-off and stopped...........over 200 miles of very hilly Interstate Highway miles "up the road".

I'm relating this story to make a point; you DON"T have to have a clutch in a truck to get from point A to point B; it is certainly much easier if you do have a working clutch, but it's NOT absolutely "necessary"; ( you DO however, need to be VERY good at changing gears without one.) ( you get a LOT of practice when you drive the same equipment, day in, day out, year in, year out though.)

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2012-11-07 19:11:34 and read 2811 times.

Originally I was taught by my cousin when I just got my liscense 40 years ago when I turned 16. Scott (my cousin) had one of those 2 door early 70's Volvos that was built like a tank and had the ergonomic supporitive seats and a 4 speed. I was starting to pick it up but that back then was my one and only lesson because that car met it's end by fire. (No one in car thank God)

Flash forward to 1985. I was working part time parking cars in Atlantic City while working part time in radio. My co-workers taught me. At first, I was rusty but then within a week or so got the hang of it and got the bug up my ass to perfect my stick driving. So, I took a stick shift lesson. The best $40.00 I ever spent that wasn't on a woman The lesson was three hours and the car was a classic Rear engined, rear drive VW Beetle. Since Atlantic City is as flat as a fashion waif model's chest the only place to practic hills were the high rise casino parking lots. Trump Plaza (not that anymore) thank you vert much provided the setting for me to get the hang of hills.

My last two cars were Toyota stick shifts and I hope my next car again is a stick shift. It's fun and you have better control of your car especially in rain and snow. However stick can be a pain in the you know what in stop and go traffic and congestion. Driving stick on the notorious NY area Belt Parking Lot comes to mind (way before Hurricane Sandy)
Best of luck. I always said if I had kids espcially girls I'd make sure they learned and mastered driving stick because you never know when your life could depend on this. I read too many suspense novels and watch too much TV I know but, this makes sense.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2012-11-07 19:37:04 and read 2817 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 37):
True, but the normal daily drive never encounters the same conditions. My family vehicle will neither spin nor skid; improve on that please!

You'd be surprised. Even here in Atlanta - hardly considered a mountainous area - there are some places where you encounter steep hills and sweeping turns that in icy conditions can be tricky. You have the choice of driving at 5 MPH and hope you don't skid (most modern FWD cars will understeer, so if you do skid you will probably go straight off the road), or with a manual RWD car you could take the turn much faster, in a controlled skid.

I have to admit having learned how to drive mostly sideways in the Alps. My friends and I used to run these 2 AM races up and down the very twisty road to Megeve in France whenever we heard the roads were completely snowed up. Highly illegal, and somehow we never got caught  

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-07 21:30:40 and read 2815 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 37):
My family vehicle will neither spin nor skid; improve on that please!

Never?

Quoting Geezer (Reply 38):
I'm relating this story to make a point; you DON"T have to have a clutch in a truck to get from point A to point B; it is certainly much easier if you do have a working clutch, but it's NOT absolutely "necessary"; ( you DO however, need to be VERY good at changing gears without one.) ( you get a LOT of practice when you drive the same equipment, day in, day out, year in, year out though.)

I know you don't need clutches in trucks with unsynchronized/non-constant-mesh transmissions, and I know a lot of truck drivers float the gears (though starting from a stop without the clutch is not normal, far as I know).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 38):
How far have you ever driven a manual transmission vehicle without using the clutch at all ? a mile ? 10 miles ?

I haven't driven any miles at all without the clutch. I've only driven synchromesh transmissions, and you're doing the transmission more harm than good by not using the clutch. However, I have started from a stop without giving the engine any gas plenty of times, mostly when I'm sitting in traffic.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 38):
First off, every vehicle is "different"; it all depends on such things as how much the vehicle weighs, how much power the engine has, and how well the vehicle is driven.

Certainly true.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-07 22:19:35 and read 2816 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 38):
That's a very interesting statement.......a vehicle that will neither spin nor skid ? I must point out, "skidding" is all about inertia, velocity of the vehicle, and the coefficient of friction between the vehicle's tires and the roadway, (and a few more things); roadways "vary" greatly in their relative "slipperiness", and a bare amount of packed snow will afford a surprising amount of "friction"; solid ice will "afford" absolutely NONE; so, for your non-spin, no-skid "family vehicle" to be completely immune to "skidding", (or "breaking traction and spinning"............it all depends on what you have between the pavement and your tires !
(Unless of course your "family vehicle" happens to be a Caterpillar D-8, with 30 in. wide tracks, and weighs like 75,000 lbs. )
Then, you may have a valid point...............
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 41):
Never?

Correct, never. Traction control & ABS anyone?

Quoting Geezer (Reply 38):
I'm very surprised that you have time to monkey around on the internet, what with having to drive, on average, 50,000 miles per year, every year, for 20 years, to rack up that 1,000,000 miles of "experience" you mention !

Good job on the math Geezer! Much of my experience came the same way you got yours; I used to be a professional truck driver. I've not been doing that for a few years though. I now have an office job and probably drive less than 20,000 miles/year.

I've commented before on other threads containing some form of manual vs. automatic debates. I have experience with both. I've lived in the North my entire life, where several months of the year are spent driving in winter conditions. I don't say this to brag about my capabilities; my skills are probably average. I only say that to let you know that I speak from experience, not hearsay.

Both manuals & automatics have their pros & cons. Some people enjoy shifting. Years ago manuals were more reliable, more economical, and gave better performance, although those margins are now pretty much gone. I also realize that many a.net members do not live in the US or Canada and have little to no experience driving automatics. But I don't buy the idea that a manual gives you more control. Control of which gear you're in maybe, but not more control of the vehicle. Claiming that a manual helps increase control of the vehicle indicates little experience with an automatic.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: JJJ
Posted 2012-11-08 00:27:37 and read 2817 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 42):
But I don't buy the idea that a manual gives you more control. Control of which gear you're in maybe, but not more control of the vehicle. Claiming that a manual helps increase control of the vehicle indicates little experience with an automatic.

Sorry but having driven all kinds of manuals, double-clutches and regular automatics that's absolutely non-true.

With a manual you can control just how much of the gear is engaged (that's great help in snow), you can brake with the engine, you can jump shifs whenever you feel like. That translates into better control, whether you feel it's worth the extra effort is not relevant.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-08 08:23:17 and read 2812 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 42):
Correct, never. Traction control & ABS anyone?

Shall I send some snow your way?

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-08 16:08:24 and read 2809 times.

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 44):
Shall I send some snow your way?

Certainly, I've driven many thousands of miles on snow covered roads! Google "traction control" and "ABS" to find out what they are.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-08 18:51:57 and read 2809 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 41):
I know a lot of truck drivers float the gears (though starting from a stop without the clutch is not normal, far as I know).

Please understand........I am NOT advocating driving ANY vehicle without the clutch; I was merely pointing out that.......if you are VERY familiar with the vehicle, it IS "possible"; (it may even "make sense" under certain circumstances.)

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 41):
you're doing the transmission more harm than good by not using the clutch.

Let's put it this way.............once you have the truck rolling, the flywheel AND the clutch pressure plate are BOTH rotating; as long as they are both turning at, (or VERY near) the same speed, there is absolutely no damage done, no undue "wear", when you change from one gear to another, either "upshifting" or "downshifting"; the big trick is, knowing when they are turning at the same speed.

If you were to ask any maintenance superintendent, "is it O.K. to shift without using the clutch", he would most likely try to fire you ! ( of course, very few shop supers actually know how to drive a truck !) ( but they are VERY knowledgeable about what it costs to repair them !)

We had many drivers who seldom used the clutch when changing gears; (this is something I never could "figure out" about a lot of my fellow truck drivers.........it was a "show off" thing......."hey, look at me.......I can shift gears without the clutch" ! (but for NO useful reason ! ) Only to "show off'; I despise "show offs"...........I drove our company trucks just like I drove my own car..........carefully and properly; I only drove that truck across I-80 "sans clutch" because, A. I would have lost a full day if I had waited for a tow truck B. I was able to save my company at least a thousand dollars, by avoiding having to be towed, (and avoiding collecting 6 or 8 hours of break-down time, ( at about $18 per hour at the time) and C. because it got me back to my terminal in time to reload and get another $600 trip in that week and D. because I KNEW I could do it.

For anyone desiring to "draw attention" to one's self driving a truck...............my advice is..........forget about changing gears without using the clutch...............you're "risking" tearing up a VERY high dollar piece of machinery...(that doesn't belong to you); if you want to "impress" your boss, come to work on time, take proper care of the company equipment, and TRY to go for 20 years ( driving in every big city, in every state in the U.S., on almost every Interstate Highway, without putting a single scratch (or dent), on company trucks, OR anyone else's car.) I can guarantee you, that WILL impress any boss ! (and it will make you a lot more $$$$$ while you're doing it) (been there, did that)

For anyone reading this............do yourself a favor........never attempt to drive your manual transmission car or truck without using the clutch; if your "timing" is slightly off when changing gears, you can cost yourself a LOT OF BUCKS!

As for "starting out" without using the clutch............I seriously doubt it would be possible in a gasoline powered car; ( gasoline engines have a totally different "torque curve" than diesels have; they make their power at much higher RPM's than diesels do; diesels have a LOT of low-end torque; I have never tried it, (and I never will), but I'm fairly certain that it would be possible to get my Cummins "rolling and started" without using the clutch; ( but at the same time........I'm not nearly "curious enough" to find out, that I'm willing to risk tearing up a $3,000 transmission, or a $500 starter motor if I'm wrong.....)

At the end of the proverbial day.............leaning to drive a standard shift vehicle is "simple".........and it's even "simpler" if you have a basic understanding of how clutches and transmissions "work"; and again........I see it as being like learning to play a piano or a guitar; some people can learn to "do it" quite quickly, and as for the aforementioned musical instruments................I tried to learn to play each of them, and FAILED miserably at BOTH ! (some people are natural born drivers, and some people are naturally born "players" of musical instruments); I was only "natural" at driving................and totally lacking in musical "talent"; (but I still greatly admire those people who DO have musical talent)

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-08 19:34:01 and read 2810 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 46):

Oh my God you love quotation marks...re-read your post doing "air-quotes" with your fingers each time you use them. You'll see how "excessive" it is and that they're often "not needed." It makes me picture someone doing it, and it's amusing.

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-08 20:55:09 and read 2807 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 45):
Certainly, I've driven many thousands of miles on snow covered roads! Google "traction control" and "ABS" to find out what they are.

I know what they both are, thanks, and I also know that neither will always stop a car from spinning and/or skidding. Almost always, sure, but not all the time.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: af773atmsp
Posted 2012-11-08 21:22:56 and read 2809 times.

Although I'm still not quite ready for the roads just yet, I did reach another milestone in my manual driving. Now I'm able to drive manuals through the dealership's car wash without stalling even once. The slight ramps that I have to face when driving a manual are no longer a challenge.

And like my mother and uncle said, learning to drive stick shift is like learning to ride a bike. The first few times its not fun, but after awhile its simple and you never forget.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-09 00:03:24 and read 2807 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 46):
Please understand........I am NOT advocating driving ANY vehicle without the clutch; I was merely pointing out that.......if you are VERY familiar with the vehicle, it IS "possible"; (it may even "make sense" under certain circumstances.)

I understand, and I'm aware.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 46):
Let's put it this way.............once you have the truck rolling, the flywheel AND the clutch pressure plate are BOTH rotating; as long as they are both turning at, (or VERY near) the same speed, there is absolutely no damage done, no undue "wear", when you change from one gear to another, either "upshifting" or "downshifting"; the big trick is, knowing when they are turning at the same speed.

Come on Charley, you completely ignored the first half of my sentence:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 41):
I've only driven synchromesh transmissions, and you're doing the transmission more harm than good by not using the clutch.

Clutchless shifting in a synchronized/synchromesh transmission can put quite a bit of undue load/wear on the synchros. They're designed to quickly match speeds between the input and output of the transmission, without any engine load. Unless you're perfect at rev-matching (which I think would be mighty difficult, considering you have no tactile/auditory feedback like you do in an unsynchronized box), you're wearing the synchros out.

By the way, there are benefits to floating gears in an unsynchronized box. Less clutch wear, especially since you'd be double-clutching every shift. Less leg wear as well.   I'm not saying those benefits outweigh the possible cons; I have no idea.

Quoting TLG (Reply 42):
Correct, never. Traction control & ABS anyone?

See this:

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 48):
I know what they both are, thanks, and I also know that neither will always stop a car from spinning and/or skidding. Almost always, sure, but not all the time.

Sorry TLG, but to say that Traction Control and ABS will never let you skid is simply incorrect. It's like saying a seatbelt and an airbag will never let you get injured when you rear-end someone.

Ha, I laughed when I just read over that last sentence that I wrote.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 49):
Although I'm still not quite ready for the roads just yet, I did reach another milestone in my manual driving. Now I'm able to drive manuals through the dealership's car wash without stalling even once. The slight ramps that I have to face when driving a manual are no longer a challenge.

And like my mother and uncle said, learning to drive stick shift is like learning to ride a bike. The first few times its not fun, but after awhile its simple and you never forget.

Absolutely. Congrats on your progress - hope you're enjoying it!

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-09 03:14:33 and read 2810 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 50):
Come on Charley, you completely ignored the first half of my sentence:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 41):
I've only driven synchromesh transmissions, and you're doing the transmission more harm than good by not using the clutch.

Clutchless shifting in a synchronized/synchromesh transmission can put quite a bit of undue load/wear on the synchros. They're designed to quickly match speeds between the input and output of the transmission, without any engine load. Unless you're perfect at rev-matching (which I think would be mighty difficult, considering you have no tactile/auditory feedback like you do in an unsynchronized box), you're wearing the synchros out.

vikkyvik.........

After carefully re-reading the preceding paragraph, I don't think we have any disagreement; I think you are referring to manual transmissions in cars, while MOST of what I have been referring to, is manual transmissions in heavy trucks. and I agree with you that attempting to change gears in a synchromesh transmission, sans clutch, would almost surely result in a "torn-up" transmission ! ( which is one of several reasons I indicated I think it would be a "bad idea" )


[quote=ANITIX87,reply=47]Oh my God you love quotation marks...re-read your post doing "air-quotes" with your fingers each time you use them. You'll see how "excessive" it is and that they're often "not needed." It makes me picture someone doing it, and it's amusing.

TIS.............

I'm sorry if you find my use of quotation marks to be "excessive"; there are several reasons behind it............first, I tend to be very precise in my thinking, and it carries over into my typing. That's one reason. Another reason may probably be...........even though I normally tend to have an excellent memory, it's been "quite a while" since I attended an english class, inasmuch as I graduated from high school in 1950.

Reason three may be..........I definitely tend to feel the need to place emphasis on certain words (when I'm attempting to make a point, or to explain something. Have you ever encountered a person who uses a lot of very unusual (and sometimes rather bizarre) movements of their facial muscles when speaking ? Or a person who "blinks" a lot, or has certain "tics" ? I don't do ANY of that, but I suspect that all of these things (for lack of a better word), probably emanate from the same place.......the brain. I suppose it's something to do with the way different people are "wired up"; ( that's just my guess )

Ask yourself this question; why do you suppose anyone takes the time (and effort) to even read people's replies to other people's posts, much less post replies themselves ? I often wonder about this; why do some people enjoy (or seem to enjoy) sitting in bar rooms all night, drinking alcoholic drinks, wasting their money, then getting into arguments which often lead to getting into fist fights............which usually settle nothing, and almost always resulting in bodily injury ?

My best guess would be..............because everyone is somewhat different from everyone else !

But back to the quotation marks; I do realize that they tend to annoy certain people; but so do a LOT of other things annoy some people; for example;  I'm a very friendly person, I'm far more inclined to go out of my way to help other people who are
"in need".........I normally will converse with anyone who seems remotely interesting...............yet in spite of all of that........for some unknown reason, it seems that almost any time I used to go to a bar room, a club, whatever, any place where there are women and people are drinking alcohol..............it seems that almost invariably someone would attempt to "get in my face" !

Another of my many characteristics is...........I have almost ZERO tolerance for people attempting to get "in my face"; and as peaceful as I am by nature, this rude behavior by other people has resulted in my becoming "involved" in a great number of fist fights and brawls over the years. I've also had far more than my share of "BS" from rude, crude behavior from other drivers, several of which have resulted in physical injury to the "offender". Maybe that's why I get on A.net ? Because I finally realized, I'm getting too damned old for this crap; I no longer smoke, drink alcohol, or "pick up women", so there is no further reason for me to go in bars (and anyplace else where fools are likely to hang out). So here I am, talking about manual transmissions with people I've never met, and trying to "explain" my "excessive" use of quotation marks ! (It's a good thing that I don't mis-spell a lot of words ! ) Incidentally, notice where I put that exclamation mark after "words" ? That's Miss Arlie's big "pet peeve" ! Just because she got all A+'s in English class and can type more words per minute than I type per hour, and can spell about 3 times better than I can..........she insists that there should be NO space between the last letter of the last word and the damned exclamation point ! Hey.....she may be right.........but at least MY WAY you can see the damned thing !

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: FrankAMS
Posted 2012-11-09 04:04:07 and read 2811 times.

They say the best anti-theft deterrent in the States for a car is buying a manual. I would hazard a guess that 90% of Americans can't drive a manual, based on the fact that only three others and I at my local high school had manual transmissions.

I learned to drive manual from my mother, and probably took a couple of years off the life of that car (which in the end mattered little when my brother totaled it a few years later) but I haven't looked back. I would say that it took me about 5 months to fully master manual. I now have the tendency to stomp my left foot down if I'm driving an automatic, something which has thankfully never happened with heavy traffic.

As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot? I'd recommend you go to a deserted parking lot to try it, but it's amazing how sensitive your right foot becomes, and how brute your left foot really is, even driving stick.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-09 06:36:02 and read 2805 times.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
I now have the tendency to stomp my left foot down if I'm driving an automatic, something which has thankfully never happened with heavy traffic.

Oddly enough, that never happens to me. I have an MT for a personal vehicle, but almost all the company vehicles I use (often on a daily basis), are full auto.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot?

All the time when I fly. But never in a car, no.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 51):
I'm sorry if you find my use of quotation marks to be "excessive";

I think they're 'effing hilarious. Between than and at least the promise of some story about trucking something from the midwest, I look forward to seeing your postings. By the Way, which of the minor outlying US Islands are you from, if I may ask?

Quoting Geezer (Reply 51):
............first, I tend to be very precise in my thinking, and it carries over into my typing.

Same here. Though mine's more cumbersome and doesn't "flow"" so well (I can't, for example, remember the last time my posts didn't contain a whole bunch of parentheses, commas, "..."s, etc).

Quoting Geezer (Reply 51):
I am by nature, this rude behavior by other people has resulted in my becoming "involved" in a great number of fist fights and brawls over the years.

We have got to go drinking sometime...

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-09 06:45:46 and read 2806 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 51):
TIS.............

Charley, I didn't mean for you to be insulted. There's no correct or incorrect use of emphasis, I'd just never seen it done with quotation marks (I'm used to italics, underlining, or capital letters). I pictured someone sitting at their computer doing "air-quotes" every time they appeared, and I was amused by the visual.

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-09 08:42:46 and read 2806 times.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot? I'd recommend you go to a deserted parking lot to try it, but it's amazing how sensitive your right foot becomes, and how brute your left foot really is, even driving stick.

You're not the only one. I've tried it a few times when I'm bored and always end up looking like an idiot. I don't know why it's so difficult; as you said with how precise you have to be with the clutch you'd figure that it would carry over to the brake. No such luck I guess.  

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: ANITIX87
Posted 2012-11-09 08:56:41 and read 2811 times.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot? I'd recommend you go to a deserted parking lot to try it, but it's amazing how sensitive your right foot becomes, and how brute your left foot really is, even driving stick.
Quoting Kaphias (Reply 55):
You're not the only one

Same here. I damn-near break my nose every time I try it. I'm blown away by how difficult it is to do. One time I drove my dad's automatic Accord after having driven exclusively a stick-shift for years. I was slowing down for a light and went to push the clutch in with my left foot. I used clutch-level force on the brake pedal by mistake and even the ABS wasn't able to overcome how hard I hit the brakes. I'm relatively certain the front bumper touched the pavement. Oops!

TIS

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-09 09:00:41 and read 2809 times.

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 55):
as you said with how precise you have to be with the clutch you'd figure that it would carry over to the brake. No such luck I guess.

The clutch also has a much larger travel and more force required than a typical brake pedal. So even though you have to be fairly precise, I wouldn't require really fine movements. A quarter inch of travel on the clutch may not make a whole lot of difference, whereas a quarter inch of travel on the brake could halve your stopping distance.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 51):
I think you are referring to manual transmissions in cars, while MOST of what I have been referring to, is manual transmissions in heavy trucks.

I know, but you were responding to my statement about cars.

Anyway, no, not much disagreement.

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 56):
Same here. I damn-near break my nose every time I try it. I'm blown away by how difficult it is to do. One time I drove my dad's automatic Accord after having driven exclusively a stick-shift for years. I was slowing down for a light and went to push the clutch in with my left foot. I used clutch-level force on the brake pedal by mistake and even the ABS wasn't able to overcome how hard I hit the brakes. I'm relatively certain the front bumper touched the pavement. Oops!

Ha, I've never hit the brake pedal, but I do end up slamming my foot into the floormat/footrest when trying to push in the clutch on an automatic.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-09 20:29:37 and read 2808 times.

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 48):
I know what they both are, thanks, and I also know that neither will always stop a car from spinning and/or skidding. Almost always, sure, but not all the time.
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 50):
Sorry TLG, but to say that Traction Control and ABS will never let you skid is simply incorrect. It's like saying a seatbelt and an airbag will never let you get injured when you rear-end someone.

You are both correct, and I should've worded it differently. I fully realize it's possible for a vehicle to spin or skid even with Traction Control & ABS and they probably often do, but I do not recall a time that mine ever has. However, I tend to drive very lightly, and both features very seldom engage. I lived in Wisconsin most of my life and recently moved to the Northeast, so I do know something about driving in winter conditions.

The key to keeping a vehicle under control is to keep the tires from losing their grip on the road by slipping sideways, spinning, or skidding. Avoiding slipping really has little to do with the transmission being manual or automatic. ABS is pretty much equal on both types of transmissions, but care must still be taken if letting off the accelerator when using a manual if the road is slippery. I don't have any experience with TC on manuals, so I won't comment on any differences there.

All that being said, how does a manual give you more control? Control of which gear being used, RPMs, yes. Overall control of the vehicle? I don't see how. Equal control maybe, but not more. In my mind, there are no clear advantages so it's not worth the bother. Besides, I have a family and drive a minivan, so manual isn't even an option for me.

In doing some research I came across this recent post in Car Talk's blog.

http://www.cartalk.com/content/today...manual-transmission-myths-debunked

Quoting Geezer (Reply 46):
Let's put it this way.............once you have the truck rolling, the flywheel AND the clutch pressure plate are BOTH rotating; as long as they are both turning at, (or VERY near) the same speed, there is absolutely no damage done, no undue "wear", when you change from one gear to another, either "upshifting" or "downshifting"; the big trick is, knowing when they are turning at the same speed.

If you were to ask any maintenance superintendent, "is it O.K. to shift without using the clutch", he would most likely try to fire you ! ( of course, very few shop supers actually know how to drive a truck !) ( but they are VERY knowledgeable about what it costs to repair them !)

We had many drivers who seldom used the clutch when changing gears; (this is something I never could "figure out" about a lot of my fellow truck drivers.........it was a "show off" thing......."hey, look at me.......I can shift gears without the clutch" ! (but for NO useful reason ! ) Only to "show off'; I despise "show offs"...........I drove our company trucks just like I drove my own car..........carefully and properly; I only drove that truck across I-80 "sans clutch" because, A. I would have lost a full day if I had waited for a tow truck B. I was able to save my company at least a thousand dollars, by avoiding having to be towed, (and avoiding collecting 6 or 8 hours of break-down time, ( at about $18 per hour at the time) and C. because it got me back to my terminal in time to reload and get another $600 trip in that week and D. because I KNEW I could do it.

For anyone desiring to "draw attention" to one's self driving a truck...............my advice is..........forget about changing gears without using the clutch...............you're "risking" tearing up a VERY high dollar piece of machinery...

Geezer, I can't agree with you there. In fact, I didn't know that truck drivers use the clutch for shifting! Of the many truck drivers I know, only one used the clutch for shifting (that I am aware of). For one thing, if you use the clutch you have to double-clutch; 2 times in & out for every gear change. To a shop supervisor that means in & out on the throwout bearing. Most truck drivers, after getting a feel for their truck, very seldom grind gears. I drove local, so I shifted hundreds, maybe thousands, of times every day. I never counted, but I would imagine I would've used the clutch maybe 25 - 50 times more often if I would've used the clutch.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: NAV20
Posted 2012-11-09 21:21:07 and read 2807 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 49):
The slight ramps that I have to face when driving a manual are no longer a challenge.

af773atmsp, following my principle of (as briefly as possible) giving you advice that may help, a couple more things:-

Starting off a manual-gearbox car on a slope presents a bit of a problem; with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the clutch, you don't have a third one to work the footbrake. Luckily though, you DO have a spare hand! So, to avoid the car rolling backwards before you can engage the clutch, hold the handbrake on until you have first gear engaged and the clutch plate just 'in contact' with the driveplate; the car should then stay still and you can then proceed to let the handbrake off and 'ease' the clutch in that little bit more, so that the car starts moving forward. Another thing that needs a bit of practice, but a skill worth developing.

Secondly, about 'double-declutching.' On most manual cars, second, third, and fourth gears have a feature called 'synchromesh.' Moving up through the gears, 'equalising' the speed of the two 'halves' of the clutch is easy during a gear-change, as the 'drive-side' of the clutch is turning at about the same speed as the 'engine-side.' Changing down, though, the engine is usually turning much slower than the lower gear requires. 'Synchromesh' sorts this out for you when changing down, automatically increasing the speed of the 'engine' side to suit as you move the gear-lever; but, for some reason, synchromesh is not fitted to first gear (not in any manual vehicle I've ever driven, anyway). So if you try to change down to first gear while the car is still moving, you'll get nothing but a nasty rasping noise!

You don't often need to do that anyway; I only learned about engaging first 'on the move' in the reserve army, because we were driving trucks in the mountains of South Germany, where the hills were so steep that we needed to engage first to keep the things moving at all! But the solution is simple; just;-

1. clutch down
2, gear lever to neutral
3. clutch up and rev the engine
4. clutch down again and 'offer' the lever to first gear; as soon as the revs 'equalise'; it should slip straight in with no nasty noises!

[Edited 2012-11-09 22:10:34]

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-09 22:56:17 and read 2809 times.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 59):
but, for some reason, synchromesh is not fitted to first gear (not in any manual vehicle I've ever driven, anyway). So if you try to change down to first gear while the car is still moving, you'll get nothing but a nasty rasping noise!

Really? I know that was the case in the past, but all manuals I've driven have a meshed 1st gear.

For unmeshed 1st gear, I suppose the reasoning is like you stated - that you hardly ever would have to use first gear while moving, so you may as well come to a stop and shift to 1st.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-09 23:30:25 and read 2811 times.

As long as we're talking about manual transmissions and trucks, I'll pass on this sad story from my early trucking days;

Years before I started hauling cars in about 1972, I usually worked for freight companies; the freight business is very "up and down", so you tend to get laid off a lot, (depending on how much seniority you have); every time I got laid off, I would work "casual" for other freight companies. One such company, Yankee Lines, had a whole bunch of 20 something year old gas-job former road tractors that they now used for city pick up and delivery; they were a make of truck that went out of business years and years ago, and I forget what the name was now; anyway, they all had un-godly miles on them, and all had very old 6 speed direct manual transmissions.

One day that I worked for Yankee, I had just got back to the terminal from delivering a loaded trailer and was standing on the freight dock. A driver who worked for them regular, (and was VERY "infamous" for his "cow boy" driving had just pulled into the lot, (always doing anything and everything to "show of") and was intending to stop at the fuel pumps to refuel. As he was approaching the fuel pumps, maybe 50 feet away, (and still going like 30 mph), he attempted to make a radical down-shift into either 2nd or 3rd gear, but because everything on these old tractors was so "worn out" and sloppy, he inadvertently got the damed thing into 1st gear, (quite by mistake) obviously, because of the trucks road speed, (and the low gear ratio of 1st gear), the second his foot came off of the clutch, the engine was forced to "overspeed" to an incredible RPM, and we heard this terrific loud "BANG"..............just as the flywheel ( which was almost directly under the drivers seat ) exploded, and pieces of it came through the "dog house", and one piece struck the guys leg about midway between his knee and hip joint, completely severing his leg. The driver came very close to bleeding to death before they got him to Middletown Hospital, which fortunately was only about 4 miles away.

Needless to say, it was a terrible, terrible thing to be that close to. Later inspection revealed that the flywheel had cracks in it that had been there for years, they were so rusty. That flywheel was probably 20 to 22 inches in dia, maybe 3 inches thick, so it's a very heavy piece of metal; rotating right beneath the driver's seat ! as long as the RPM's were within reason, it was strong enough to stay together; but the driver's "show-off" driving caused it to rotate so high that centrifugal force caused it to disintegrate.

If you have ever been a drag racing fan, and if you have ever been around where they have them apart, you'll see that there is a 5/8" thick titanium "scatter shield" over their clutch housing; those scatter shields used to be about 1" thick steel, but to save weight, (and gain more strength). they all have to be made from titanium nowadays..............and they have saved countless driver's from what I just tried to describe.

This is one of the many reasons why I am so adamant about drivers having at least a basic understanding of the way the vehicle they drive "works". When you spend as many years as I did around trucks and heavy equipment, you can't help seeing a lot of accidents; At least people refer to them as "accidents"; IMO, about 2/3's of so-called "accidents" are not accidents at all; many are merely "tragic incidents" that are just waiting for the right set of circumstances to happen; (and about 9/10's of them could have been easily prevented with a bit of common sense, carefulness, and fore-thought. When your job requires you to attend countless safety meetings every year, if you have common sense, you become very "safety conscious"; ( which I'm certain is one of the reasons I have made it to within 2 months of becoming 80 yrs old ). I'm not relating all of this just to "amuse" you; I'm attempting to "plant a seed" in your brain.......that could very well go a long way towards you "making it" to become 80 yrs old if you let it.

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-10 01:41:09 and read 2811 times.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 61):
As he was approaching the fuel pumps, maybe 50 feet away, (and still going like 30 mph), he attempted to make a radical down-shift into either 2nd or 3rd gear, but because everything on these old tractors was so "worn out" and sloppy, he inadvertently got the damed thing into 1st gear, (quite by mistake) obviously, because of the trucks road speed, (and the low gear ratio of 1st gear), the second his foot came off of the clutch, the engine was forced to "overspeed" to an incredible RPM, and we heard this terrific loud "BANG"

That is a tragic story.

Though the cynic in me has to point out that if he had been floating the gears, he probably never would have gotten it into first in the first place, since he would have been aiming for 2nd or 3rd gear RPMs.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Fabo
Posted 2012-11-10 04:10:29 and read 2810 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 42):
Correct, never. Traction control & ABS anyone?

Yeah well, remind me of that when you kill yourself going 50 into that snowed up corner, because ESP will take care of that. You will not be first and you will not be last. But you will all have one thing in common - your cars never skid. Except when they do.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot? I'd recommend you go to a deserted parking lot to try it, but it's amazing how sensitive your right foot becomes, and how brute your left foot really is, even driving stick.

I have. It was NOT pretty, thankfully I had the presence of mind not to do it with traffic behind me.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: planewasted
Posted 2012-11-10 05:21:32 and read 2806 times.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot? I'd recommend you go to a deserted parking lot to try it, but it's amazing how sensitive your right foot becomes, and how brute your left foot really is, even driving stick.

I do it quite often, it's a good way to have fun in a FWD car without using the handbrake.
Push the accelerator at the same time as you brake with you left foot. What will happen is that the engine will cancel out the braking force on the front wheels, so only the rear wheels will brake. If you turn at the same time you will start to drift.  

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-10 08:44:54 and read 2806 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 60):
Really? I know that was the case in the past, but all manuals I've driven have a meshed 1st gear.

For unmeshed 1st gear, I suppose the reasoning is like you stated - that you hardly ever would have to use first gear while moving, so you may as well come to a stop and shift to 1st.

If first gear on my 2000 Subaru Legacy is meshed, it takes FOREVER to do it. I ran into that problem soon after I got the car and was learning to drive it, and since then I've just given up and resorted to... whatever you call the other method. I have one corner in my commute I need to go into first on, and I found many more when I was dealing with hills while my car was very heavily loaded.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: YXD172
Posted 2012-11-10 14:21:06 and read 2804 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 57):
The clutch also has a much larger travel and more force required than a typical brake pedal. So even though you have to be fairly precise, I wouldn't require really fine movements. A quarter inch of travel on the clutch may not make a whole lot of difference, whereas a quarter inch of travel on the brake could halve your stopping distance.

I'm pretty sure that a big part of it is also where the sensitive range of motion is. Most clutches that I've used are very sensitive when they are close to being fully depressed (ie. this is where the gear is engaged/disengaged), at least at lower gears. Brake pedals, on the other hand, seem to be very sensitive when they are depressed more than ~10% of the way

Not to mention that the typical clutch-foot sensitivity is in letting the clutch out, not in! So, inevitably, the left foot is terrible at braking even if you drive manual.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-10 15:11:00 and read 2803 times.

Quoting FrankAMS (Reply 52):
As a side note: has anyone ever tried braking with their left foot?

I know what you mean! I used to do it all the time when I drove truck. Since the accelerator is necessary to downshift, it's not really possible to brake & downshift at the same time unless you use your left foot to brake. I became used to it, but since I haven't been driving truck for a few years now, I imagine it would be somewhat rough if I tried it now. In a 98,000 lb. rig though you wouldn't really feel it much even if you were less than precise at braking.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Geezer
Posted 2012-11-10 17:23:44 and read 2802 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 58):
Geezer, I can't agree with you there. In fact, I didn't know that truck drivers use the clutch for shifting! Of the many truck drivers I know, only one used the clutch for shifting (that I am aware of). For one thing, if you use the clutch you have to double-clutch; 2 times in & out for every gear change. To a shop supervisor that means in & out on the throwout bearing. Most truck drivers, after getting a feel for their truck, very seldom grind gears. I drove local, so I shifted hundreds, maybe thousands, of times every day. I never counted, but I would imagine I would've used the clutch maybe 25 - 50 times more often if I would've used the clutch.

TLG;

Here we go again ! What kind of a truck / transmission are you talking about that you have to "double-clutch" (depress the clutch pedal twice) in order to change gears ? So far, I have driven every make of truck ever made in the U.S., and I have yet to see one that REQUIRED one to "double-clutch". That practice started way before I started driving trucks (in 1956) and may have had some slight benefit on a very limited number of WAY older transmissions, but even there, working the clutch pedal twice is simply a way to develop "timing"; ( kinda like saying to yourself, " a thousand one, a thousand two, a thousand three", rather than just saying "one, two, three", when you're trying to do something once every second. ) Any way you look at it, the only "object" when changing gears, is to make the change at the exact point when the flywheel (plus all of the gears inside the transmission) are going the same speed as the clutch plate. Any deviation either way, and you're going to hear gears clash. Now..........have you ever replaced a throw-out bearing in a truck clutch ? I have.........more than once; know what a throw-out bearing costs ? Not very much ! in fact, the cost of having one replaced is about 85% labor. Have you ever actually replaced broken gears in say, a 10-speed road ranger gear box ? I have helped to do that too..........and I can tell you this...........( and I'm pretty sure any shop superintendent who has ever been responsible for a fleet of trucks will back me up 100%)...........repairing a heavy-duty truck transmission is a VERY "pricey" job; ( like a couple of thousand bucks ) Now......the very next time you find yourself talking to a shop super who is responsible for a big fleet, ask him just ONE question.........."what is the single biggest CAUSE of transmissions in fleet trucks needing to be torn down and repaired ?"

The answer will always be the same..........."dumb-ass truck drivers trying to change gears without using the clutch" !

You're right about one thing; throw-out bearings DO sustain a certain amount of wear, every time you operate the clutch.
Just like wheel bearings sustain wear every time the wheels "go around" ! Juat like EVERY other bearing in any vehicle; as a matter of fact, EVERY moving part on ANY vehicle sustains wear when the vehicle is moving; (and let's not forget all of those 18 big expensive tires )..........they wear out too! People who own (and have to pay "big money" for fleet trucks) are perfectly aware of all of this; (and I'm sure they expect it !) (Trucks don't make a cent until they start "rolling")

I'll go a step farther here.............I'm sure you have heard of Ryder System; at one point, Ryder decided they wanted to "get into" car hauling; so they bought out Complete Auto Transit; then they acquired Associated Transport, them M&G Transport, and about three more car=hauling outfits. The whole "thing" was named "ACD / Ryder System" I worked for Complete Auto when it became part of the "Auto Carrier Division of Ryder System"; in the last few years before Ryder sold the entire "ACD" to "Allied System", they had done away with all of there former company names, and it was just "Ryder ACD"; Why am I mentioning this you ask? A couple or reasons; first, Ryder ACD owned and operated somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 "power units", and a few more than that many auto carrier trailers; at that point in time, we were transporting something like 38% of all automobiles produced in the U.S. (AND Canada), plus about 35% of all "imports" coming in from other countries.

It was a BIG business ! and just like ALL big businesses, they "keep track" of EVERYTHING ! I was personally acquainted with several of the individuals who did this "keeping track of" anything and everything that entered into the "cost" of operating that big fleet of trucks. For the 20 plus years that I worked for Complete, I heard all about the many things that drive up operating costs of truck fleets; to list them all would require more pages than "Obamacare" ! But a few of the "biggies", year after year, were "running under-inflated tires", and "abuse and improper use of clutches and transmissions".

If ANY driver working for the ACD, driving all of those 5,000 car carriers, ever walked into a shop and announced, "hey, I can drive a truck without using the clutch" , he (or she) would have been filing for unemployment comp the NEXT day !

If anyone would have come up with that bit about throw-out bearings "wearing out"............they would probably told you to go "try out" for "Saturday Night Live" !

I'm sure everyone on A.net "knows" someone who can "do something"........."unusual", "un-desirable", or "un" anything else, but at the end of the day, when you are paid union wages to do a very difficult, very "exacting" job.........believe me, you need to do it the way they "want" you to ! ( or look for other work )

Charley

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: vikkyvik
Posted 2012-11-10 18:06:04 and read 2802 times.

Quoting Kaphias (Reply 65):
If first gear on my 2000 Subaru Legacy is meshed, it takes FOREVER to do it. I ran into that problem soon after I got the car and was learning to drive it, and since then I've just given up and resorted to... whatever you call the other method. I have one corner in my commute I need to go into first on, and I found many more when I was dealing with hills while my car was very heavily loaded.

Fair enough. If I'm below 10 mph or so, I can shift into 1st with no problem. I don't do it much at all, but it's possible.

Quoting YXD172 (Reply 66):
I'm pretty sure that a big part of it is also where the sensitive range of motion is. Most clutches that I've used are very sensitive when they are close to being fully depressed (ie. this is where the gear is engaged/disengaged), at least at lower gears. Brake pedals, on the other hand, seem to be very sensitive when they are depressed more than ~10% of the way

Not to mention that the typical clutch-foot sensitivity is in letting the clutch out, not in! So, inevitably, the left foot is terrible at braking even if you drive manual.

Both good points!

Quoting Geezer (Reply 68):

Simple question then. In an unsynchronized/unmeshed box, as appear on many trucks, how do you downshift without double-clutching?

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: AM744
Posted 2012-11-14 07:44:25 and read 2795 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
So for those of you who have mastered driving a manual transmission, how long did it take, what car did you practice with, and any bad experiences with manual cars?

Learned from a young age in VWs. No bad experiences at all. They are simpler, require less maintenance and old clunky cars can be jumpstarted by pushing them when the electrical system refuses to  

Hills are your biggest challenge, especially when you have to stop and there is traffic behind you.

This.

Quoting bjcc (Reply 5):
When I learned to drive, my instructor had me using the clutch to control the car on a hill, that was a good way of learning to control the clutch.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
I was even taught to hold the car with the clutch at a light on a hill that first day.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: jamincan
Posted 2012-11-16 07:37:03 and read 2796 times.

I learned on a '96 Honda Accord and have driven manual exclusively since then except the odd time where I've driven someone else's car. Practiced a few times in a deserted parking lot, but once I actually had to drive around on the street, quickly got the hang of it.

Starting on hills is certainly more challenging and the parking brake can help in particularly steep situations. But to be honest, I have never had to do that since being taught it in driver's ed. You'll become pretty in tune with your cars clutch over time. One useful thing to learn, which helps you get a feel for your clutch is starting the car in higher gears. This is most useful in icy conditions to help avoid spinning your tires when you start. Normally second gear should be fine for this, but I have done it in third as well.

Generally I far prefer the feel of driving a manual transmission. Even under-powered cars feel so much more lively compared to automatics I have driven. The big downside is in city driving you need to have both hands free.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: rlwynn
Posted 2012-11-22 03:51:07 and read 2754 times.

We had a rental car in America with an automatic. I would keep trying to push in the clutch and hit the big brake pedal instead. My family would tell me how stupid I was every time it happened.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2012-11-22 07:45:17 and read 2729 times.

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 72):
We had a rental car in America with an automatic. I would keep trying to push in the clutch and hit the big brake pedal instead. My family would tell me how stupid I was every time it happened.

That reminds me of the first time I drove in the UK. It was a manual. For the first time I was driving from the right seat, and the gearshift is in my left hand. I got used to that fairly quickly, but it was the pedals that messed me up. Everything else was "mirrored", so why shouldn't the pedals be too? The accelerator belongs towards the transmission tunnel, and the clutch towards the door. For some reason I had a hard time using my feet normally but shifting with the left hand. It felt really wierd pushing in the clutch with the left leg and and moving the gearshift with the left hand. In the "normal" configuration, there seems to be some balance (right hand, left foot), but the UK system took me a good day to sort out. But for a while I was hitting the accelerator when I wanted to push the clutch, and vice-versa. A few close calls that day...   

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: af773atmsp
Posted 2012-11-22 09:36:15 and read 2716 times.

Basic manual driving question: If I'm in a higher gear (lets say 3rd or 4th gear) and I'm approaching a stop and need to slow down, do I have to down shift a couple gears while braking, or can I leave it in a higher gear while braking and pushing the clutch, and then shift into neutral when I come to a stop?

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Kaphias
Posted 2012-11-22 10:13:15 and read 2710 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 74):

Basic manual driving question: If I'm in a higher gear (lets say 3rd or 4th gear) and I'm approaching a stop and need to slow down, do I have to down shift a couple gears while braking, or can I leave it in a higher gear while braking and pushing the clutch, and then shift into neutral when I come to a stop?

I think you'll find that everyone does it a little differently. For me, as soon as I know I'm stopping I either pull it into neutral if there's no load on the drivetrain or push the clutch in, put it in neutral, and take my foot off. If it's snowing/slippery, I'll keep the car in a gear so I can pull out of a slide if I need too.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2012-11-22 10:20:49 and read 2708 times.

Quoting af773atmsp (Reply 74):
Basic manual driving question: If I'm in a higher gear (lets say 3rd or 4th gear) and I'm approaching a stop and need to slow down, do I have to down shift a couple gears while braking, or can I leave it in a higher gear while braking and pushing the clutch, and then shift into neutral when I come to a stop?

Whichever way you like. Shift down if you want to use engine braking, but otherwise, just push in the clutch once you've slowed down to under 800-1000 RPM or so.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: TLG
Posted 2012-11-22 11:59:03 and read 2695 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 76):
Whichever way you like. Shift down if you want to use engine braking, but otherwise, just push in the clutch once you've slowed down to under 800-1000 RPM or so.

That's about right, although downshifting is normally not recommended because of the extra wear & tear on the clutch. Brakes are much easier & cheaper to replace than the clutch.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: mad99
Posted 2012-11-22 23:52:47 and read 2655 times.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 60):
Really? I know that was the case in the past, but all manuals I've driven have a meshed 1st gear.

This was common for cars built before 1970, especially British cars.

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 72):
We had a rental car in America with an automatic. I would keep trying to push in the clutch and hit the big brake pedal instead. My family would tell me how stupid I was every time it happened.

One of the guys from the office had to travel to the us and had the same problem. He got the keys and once he got in the car went back to the rental desk and told them he couldn't drive the car. They showed him how to!

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: moo
Posted 2012-11-23 01:14:14 and read 2645 times.

Quoting TLG (Reply 77):
That's about right, although downshifting is normally not recommended because of the extra wear & tear on the clutch. Brakes are much easier & cheaper to replace than the clutch.

In the UK, engine braking and downshifting during braking are both taught during driver learning - the only situation where I was told not to downshift was if I knew I was going to definitely stop, and then I could use the clutch when the engine started to push.

Engine braking saves fuel, as in modern cars the engine isn't fed fuel if it's being turned by the driveshaft. Clutches are also harder wearing than people think - I drove my first car for 60,000 miles from new, replaced the pads but never had any issues with the clutches. Both my current cars are over 100,000 miles, never had a clutch replaced.

Going by data from a previous job (automobile business fleet maintenance), you could expect to replace a clutch in a car every 250,000 miles on average. If you are doing it before that, something's wrong.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-23 02:41:32 and read 2632 times.

Quoting jamincan (Reply 71):

Generally I far prefer the feel of driving a manual transmission. Even under-powered cars feel so much more lively compared to automatics I have driven.

Yup. My car was certainly not designed with enthusiasts in mind. But it does feel a lot more "fun" to drive around the hills and twisties of my neighborhood than it otherwise would.

Quoting jamincan (Reply 71):
The big downside is in city driving you need to have both hands free.

You can still do this. I find I just need to stay about 5 seconds ahead of the car. If I do that, there's no disadvantage; nothing I can't do in my car that I couldn't in an Auto. Hell, I even have cruise control.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 60):

Really? I know that was the case in the past, but all manuals I've driven have a meshed 1st gear.

Here's a question, since you seem to know a bunch about about this. Holding the clutch in, in gear. Is there ever a good time for that one? I've always been under the impression that the answer is "really, no", whether we're cruising down a hill (I take it all the way out of gear for full Neutral anyway there), or at a stop light when the other side turns yello.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 73):
I got used to that fairly quickly, but it was the pedals that messed me up. Everything else was "mirrored", so why shouldn't the pedals be too? The accelerator belongs towards the transmission tunnel, and the clutch towards the door. For some reason I had a hard time using my feet normally but shifting with the left hand.

Never had a problem with that one. I found that leaving the feet to do what they were used to was pretty helpful during that transition.

Quoting moo (Reply 79):

Engine braking saves fuel, as in modern cars the engine isn't fed fuel if it's being turned by the driveshaft.

Ok, that I didn't know. So, supposing I drive, let's say 2010 model vehicle with electronic throttle input. Good chance it's made like that then?

Quoting moo (Reply 79):
Clutches are also harder wearing than people think - I drove my first car for 60,000 miles from new, replaced the pads but never had any issues with the clutches.

This is true. I replaced a clutch a few years back, on a vehicle that had about 140,000mi on it. It had over half the wear left on it! I continued the replacement anyway since I had the parts & the components were already "opened up". But still... I was floored.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: JJJ
Posted 2012-11-23 02:55:01 and read 2629 times.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 80):
This is true. I replaced a clutch a few years back, on a vehicle that had about 140,000mi on it. It had over half the wear left on it! I continued the replacement anyway since I had the parts & the components were already "opened up". But still... I was floored.

It depends on your driving habits. City driving puts a lot of wear on clutches, and you'll see most manual taxis having the clutch replaced preventively at around the 150.000km mark.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: moo
Posted 2012-11-23 03:59:38 and read 2618 times.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 80):
Ok, that I didn't know. So, supposing I drive, let's say 2010 model vehicle with electronic throttle input. Good chance it's made like that then?

Definitely - if my 1998 Landrover did it, then so will your 2010 vehicle  
Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 80):
This is true. I replaced a clutch a few years back, on a vehicle that had about 140,000mi on it. It had over half the wear left on it! I continued the replacement anyway since I had the parts & the components were already "opened up". But still... I was floored.

Quite often you will find yourself replacing the clutch not because of the wear, but because some of the supporting system has failed - the only time I have replaced any part of the clutch was when the slave cylinder burst in our 2004 Freelander.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-23 04:00:05 and read 2614 times.

Quoting JJJ (Reply 81):

It depends on your driving habits. City driving puts a lot of wear on clutches, and you'll see most manual taxis having the clutch replaced preventively at around the 150.000km mark.

Sounds reasonable enough. I try to keep my shifting to an average of about 2 shifts per mile (I can get away with that living in Southern California, where it's mostly freeway driving).

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: Fabo
Posted 2012-11-23 06:23:39 and read 2593 times.

Quoting moo (Reply 82):
Definitely - if my 1998 Landrover did it, then so will your 2010 vehicle  

Yep, pretty much every fuel-injected car does that.

Topic: RE: Practicing Manual Driving
Username: af773atmsp
Posted 2012-11-26 18:56:35 and read 2243 times.

Well I drove a manual shift car on public roads for the first time. There were a couple times when I thought I was driving an automatic and the RPMs spiked a little, and I stalled once, but there was only one car behind me and they waited patiently. I did pretty good, but I could use some improvement. I drove a 2008 Volkswagen GTI Rabbit in case you guys are wondering.


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/