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Can you Aussies help a lazy American get use to a manual?

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  • Can you Aussies help a lazy American get use to a manual?

    I've been driving slushboxes for all my driving life (2 years) and I've recently picked up a manual because I wanted something different so I picked up a Mitsubishi Eclipse with a 5 speed which leads to my trouble. I can drive it but not smoothly, 65% of my starts are jerky and rest are only only somewhat smooth. Plus I can't parallel worth a crap with a stick and constantly stall it. So any tips for a lazy American trying to get use to stick? Plus how much wear does hard starts and stalls put on a car?

  • #2
    Stalling the car won't do any damage. maybe very very little if it happens for a long time.
    17 Years Old, Red P plater
    --
    Dream Car - Nissan Skyline R34 Gtr in Midnight Purple
    Dream Bike - 2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R

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    • #3
      Stalling is probably not as bad as riding the clutch. When you let the clutch out too slowly and it slips a lot, that is bad. You seem to be on the safer side of things so just practice until it gets better.
      Originally posted by MOOG
      Volvo is turbo and proper mad.
      Originally posted by Jenga
      You see, when a piston, block, crankshaft, and some fuel and air all love each other very, very much.....

      Comment


      • #4
        1) Practice
        2) Practice

        The first 2 weeks will suck then it gets better.

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome to the Rake School of Roadcraft and Hoonery.


          I STALLED IT OMG DID I BREAK IT? SADFACE

          Taking off is the hardest thing to do in a manual. Tried pushing a car? Hard work. But once a car has begun to move, it becomes easier - infact, sometimes a car can be moving so well, that it's hard to stop it!

          So to take off, you need to give it a fair bit of power on the go pedal. If you don't, you'll stall as you know. But really, turning the key to off stalls the motor as well. It's no different. There isn't really anything bad about stalling an engine - don't worry.

          An engine stalling is just like a person or animal going to sleep. It's natural!

          ALSO: It is (basically) impossible to stall an engine while the car is moving!!!! But that's a topic for driving "whilst moving" changing gears etc. For now, I'm just writing about taking off.


          THEM CLUTCH FEELS

          The biggest thing newcomers to manual don't really get is the friction point on the clutch. What you need to understand is this:

          - The first 40% of the clutch pedal travel (from the floor, lifting up) does nothing
          - The next 20% of the pedal travel is the friction point - this is where you feel it 'bite' and the car starts to move forwards.
          - The last 40% of the pedal travel does nothing.

          'Where' the friction point lies may vary between car to car, as well as how 'big' it is. Some cars might have the friction point further up the pedals travel, others closer to the floor. No two cars are the same. One might be 30-30-40, others 50-30-20, others 5-10-85. But the concept is the same - there's the friction point and two zones of 'nothing' either side.


          HOW TO / NOT TO USE IT

          Either way though. The right way to drive a manual is:

          - Lift the pedal quickly through the first 40% of 'nothing'
          - When you reach the friction point, ease the clutch slowly and smoothly through that 20%
          - The cars going now, quickly come the rest of the way up.

          Learners are taught to go slowly on the clutch, and thus do the opposite. They:

          - Lift the pedal slowly through the first 40% of nothing
          - They find and 'feel' the friction point, and for some reason they just think "I'M DONE NOW" and rapidly lift the clutch all the way to the top
          - The car shudders and bounces and lurches forward

          You'll notice, a competent manual driver can operate the clutch pedal, infact, very quickly - far quicker than a learner who's focusing on what their nerve endings are telling them. So how is it that you're meant to lift the clutch 'slowly', does the person doing it (much) faster do a better job? The above is why - it's where in the pedal's travel you do/don't go slow.

          In other words, a seasoned driver will go quickly to the friction point, then slow down. Newcomers go slow to the friction point, then speed up. This is the #1 mistake new manual drivers make. "Going Slow" applies only to a fraction of the clutch pedal's travel - not the entire lot.

          Edit #8903: Think of it like putting the needle on a vinyl record. You don't take 30 seconds to swing the arm where it needs to be, only to carelessly 'drop' the needle onto the record. Instead, you quickly get the arm/needle in place, then gently set it on the record.

          The other mistake is learners don't apply enough throttle on takeoff. Thus engine RPMs drop extremely low (just a couple hundred RPM) and the 'pulsing' of the motor's firing becomes a lot more apparent - resulting in a lot of jerkiness as the engine fights to stay alive. Leaners really seem 'shy' with the accelerator. They don't like the noise, they're worried they'll take off too quick, whatever. The noise isn't an issue and the car won't rocket forward with smooth, proper clutch control. Worst case, you'll just do a small burnout. Big deal!


          THROTTLE CONTROL

          It's not hard. Remember, as you lift the clutch, the engine, if idle, will not be generating enough power, it will be overwhelmed, and the revs will go down. Push the clutch in, that work goes away, the engine rpm will go back up.

          The objective when taking off is simple - you merely compensate. All you really need to go is give it just enough to prevent the revs going down as you lift the clutch up.


          PANIC?

          A lot of learners seem to .. if they freak out about something, is take their foot off the clutch. Quite abruptly - which means more hopping and lurching and, ultimately, stalls.

          You need to do the opposite. If your brain is like "OMG GOING TO STALL WHAT DO I DO!??!" .. push the clutch IN. That way you won't jump the car around and 99% of the time you'll avoid stalling the engine.


          SLIPPING THE CLUTCH

          When the pedal is on the floor, the clutch and flywheel/pressure plate aren't touching. No wear. When the clutch is up, they're all clamped together tight. No wear. When you're at the friction point, they clutch plate and flywheel/pressure plate surfaces are toughing with light pressure. FW/PP is spinning, the clutch is not. Thus, they rub together - exactly like a brake pad - but it's to add motion, not take it away. This is the clutch 'slipping', or sometimes 'riding' the clutch. As you vary the pressure (by moving around in that 20% 'zone' of the pedal's travel) the car will move more and more (or less and less). This slipping is where the clutch wears.

          Slipping the clutch is normal - its how it works. You need to in order to drive smoothly. However you do not want to 'slip' the clutch for any more than a few seconds - it wears it out! It's possible to sit in the friction point and hold the car on a hill like an auto. But this shortens clutch life and creates heat and all sorts of other bad things.

          I say this however for hillstarts. When doing a hill start, you need to:

          - Get through the lower "nothing" zone of the clutch pedal travel
          - Get into the friction point so it 'bites' and the car wants to start going - but do not go further! Hold it in the friction point.
          - Have enough throttle so the engine makes enough power to move the car uphill
          - Release the brakes
          - The car should be holding as you're slipping the clutch. When the clutch takes over from the brakes, and the brakes are released, un-pause your clutch foot and progress with taking off.

          You also slip the clutch for precise movements - for instance, to move the car just a few feet (or even mere inches) when creeping in traffic, or parking. You get to the friction point, ride in the friction point to give it juuuusssssstttt enough to start moving, then when you've moved far enough (or have got enough momentum rolling) you just push it back down again.

          Riding the clutch happens a lot in reverse - if you lift it up all the way and accelerate as though you were going forwards, you'll often be going far too quick!

          Slipping the clutch is a bit like using the brakes. When you're driving at speed and you slow down, do you just squish them to the floor? No - you'll stop rapidly and hit your face on the dash (and probably get rear ended)! You apply only as much pressure as needed, gently, and you increase or decrease pressure while you do it, to control the rate of deceleration. A clutch is the same - you precisely vary the clutch's position in the friction point to smoothly control the car's acceleration.

          --

          Anyway. They're my cliffnotes on driving a manual in a taking-off scenario.
          Last edited by Rake; 20-01-2013, 10:36 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            rake gave really good advise. You cant teach someone to drive a manual over a forum unfortunately, it's all about "them clutch feels". When i first started i couldn't do a hill start. Ide stall it and stall it again and panic because there are cars behind me. I eventually got pissed off and just wacked it on the limiter and dropped the clutch. DO NOT DO THAT lol, It's all about being cool calm and collected, If you have ridden a motorbike you sort of get the idea of a manual transmission. If you can learn in a diesel car that is easier because it is very hard to stall a diesel. Although when you do stall it you know about it lol.
            Czech out my ride: http://forums.mightycarmods.com/show...28first-car%29


            Originally posted by jmacman12
            me n swagger on sum trains an
            dey goin fast an
            I got a railway themed, Pashmina Afghan
            we kingz of the world, on trains like Te'o
            If you're on the road, then you're sure not me, oh
            Get the f*ck up, this train is real

            Comment


            • #7
              In a quiet car, On hill starts. If you have a Tacho. (or noisy car with no tacho. .. If you have neither ur screwed till u get used to the car =P)
              Hold the foot brake, and release clutch till you see/hear the engine rpm drop slightly. Welcome to the friction point. Quickly release brake, apply throttle and then ease the clutch out. Once you get this down you will be able to carry out a hill start without use of the handbrake.
              On cars with difficult accelerators i will pulse the accelerator a little to get the feels for it, (especially in reverse) to help control the engine rpm and avoid over-revving (burning clutch) or stalling.
              Last edited by Crazy2287; 20-01-2013, 09:45 AM.
              My "show" (wan|<) car:
              http://forums.mightycarmods.com/show...ing-(Car)Build.

              Comment


              • #8
                The most important thing for you to remember is not to panic if you stall the car in traffic! When I was learning how to drive stick I stalled in traffic and I was the first car at a green light on a busy road. Of course all you could hear for miles was the sound of blaring horns. Well, I'll admit it I did panic at first, pushed the clutch in, started the car and tried to take off too fast and guess what.. I stalled again. It was at this point that I realized I had to calm down and take my time even if I was probably the most embarrassed person on the planet.

                Driving manual is all about practice the more practice you have the better you will be and there is no forum or video that will replace practicing in a real car in real traffic. Don't be too hard on yourself either, we were all new at one point and we all sucked at driving manual. No one got in a manual car for the first time and started doing heal n toe.

                I also recommend that you take the car on a quiet street with a hill and learn how to take off without rolling back and without pulling the handbrake up to help you. Learning how to effectively do this will help you out A LOT in traffic and relieve some of the stress and anxiety when you look in your rear-view mirror and see some dick head is right behind you following too closely.

                Just take your time and practice as much as possible you can do it

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t85kDzc76ZE

                That video might help you out a little as you can see his feet and everything he is doing.

                Good luck

                Comment


                • #9
                  When my father taught me to drive manual fresh onto my Ls, he took me to a quiet area where they were still building houses but the roads were open. This meant that at most there we saw 3 cars in an hour of driving and I just went in circles around about 15 small streets. I practiced there for about 10 hours over 2 weeks before I actually drove on the normal roads. It allowed me to get completely used to the feel of pulling off, stopping, shifting and hillstarts to the point where I wasn't thinking about the action of doing it. That then allowed me to focus on watching other cars and all that when I did start driving around busier roads. Seeing as you have already had your license for a few years maybe just spending 1-2 hours in a quiet area like that one afternoon will help. Anywhere you can start and then stop and start again multiple times over a 100m piece of tar will do as long as you aren't holding up any other cars doing so. Empty parking lots are also great for this. Pull off, shift into 2nd, Slow down and stop before repeating the process over and over.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rake View Post
                    Welcome to the Rake School of Roadcraft and Hoonery.


                    I STALLED IT OMG DID I BREAK IT? SADFACE

                    Taking off is the hardest thing to do in a manual. Tried pushing a car? Hard work. But once a car has begun to move, it becomes easier - infact, sometimes a car can be moving so well, that it's hard to stop it!

                    So to take off, you need to give it a fair bit of power on the go pedal. If you don't, you'll stall as you know. But really, turning the key to off stalls the motor as well. It's no different. There isn't really anything bad about stalling an engine - don't worry.

                    An engine stalling is just like a person or animal going to sleep. It's natural!

                    ALSO: It is (basically) impossible to stall an engine while the car is moving!!!! But that's a topic for driving "whilst moving" changing gears etc. For now, I'm just writing about taking off.


                    THEM CLUTCH FEELS

                    The biggest thing newcomers to manual don't really get is the friction point on the clutch. What you need to understand is this:

                    - The first 40% of the clutch pedal travel (from the floor, lifting up) does nothing
                    - The next 20% of the pedal travel is the friction point - this is where you feel it 'bite' and the car starts to move forwards.
                    - The last 40% of the pedal travel does nothing.

                    'Where' the friction point lies may vary between car to car, as well as how 'big' it is. Some cars might have the friction point further up the pedals travel, others closer to the floor. No two cars are the same. One might be 30-30-40, others 50-30-20, others 5-10-85. But the concept is the same - there's the friction point and two zones of 'nothing' either side.


                    HOW TO / NOT TO USE IT

                    Either way though. The right way to drive a manual is:

                    - Lift the pedal quickly through the first 40% of 'nothing'
                    - When you reach the friction point, ease the clutch slowly and smoothly through that 20%
                    - The cars going now, quickly come the rest of the way up.

                    Learners are taught to go slowly on the clutch, and thus do the opposite. They:

                    - Lift the pedal slowly through the first 40% of nothing
                    - They find and 'feel' the friction point, and for some reason they just think "I'M DONE NOW" and rapidly lift the clutch all the way to the top
                    - The car shudders and bounces and lurches forward

                    You'll notice, a competent manual driver can operate the clutch pedal, infact, very quickly - far quicker than a learner who's focusing on what their nerve endings are telling them. So how is it that you're meant to lift the clutch 'slowly', does the person doing it (much) faster do a better job? The above is why - it's where in the pedal's travel you do/don't go slow.

                    In other words, a seasoned driver will go quickly to the friction point, then slow down. Newcomers go slow to the friction point, then speed up. This is the #1 mistake new manual drivers make. "Going Slow" applies only to a fraction of the clutch pedal's travel - not the entire lot.

                    Edit #8903: Think of it like putting the needle on a vinyl record. You don't take 30 seconds to swing the arm where it needs to be, only to carelessly 'drop' the needle onto the record. Instead, you quickly get the arm/needle in place, then gently set it on the record.

                    The other mistake is learners don't apply enough throttle on takeoff. Thus engine RPMs drop extremely low (just a couple hundred RPM) and the 'pulsing' of the motor's firing becomes a lot more apparent - resulting in a lot of jerkiness as the engine fights to stay alive. Leaners really seem 'shy' with the accelerator. They don't like the noise, they're worried they'll take off too quick, whatever. The noise isn't an issue and the car won't rocket forward with smooth, proper clutch control. Worst case, you'll just do a small burnout. Big deal!


                    THROTTLE CONTROL

                    It's not hard. Remember, as you lift the clutch, the engine, if idle, will not be generating enough power, it will be overwhelmed, and the revs will go down. Push the clutch in, that work goes away, the engine rpm will go back up.

                    The objective when taking off is simple - you merely compensate. All you really need to go is give it just enough to prevent the revs going down as you lift the clutch up.


                    PANIC?

                    A lot of learners seem to .. if they freak out about something, is take their foot off the clutch. Quite abruptly - which means more hopping and lurching and, ultimately, stalls.

                    You need to do the opposite. If your brain is like "OMG GOING TO STALL WHAT DO I DO!??!" .. push the clutch IN. That way you won't jump the car around and 99% of the time you'll avoid stalling the engine.


                    SLIPPING THE CLUTCH

                    When the pedal is on the floor, the clutch and flywheel/pressure plate aren't touching. No wear. When the clutch is up, they're all clamped together tight. No wear. When you're at the friction point, they clutch plate and flywheel/pressure plate surfaces are toughing with light pressure. FW/PP is spinning, the clutch is not. Thus, they rub together - exactly like a brake pad - but it's to add motion, not take it away. This is the clutch 'slipping', or sometimes 'riding' the clutch. As you vary the pressure (by moving around in that 20% 'zone' of the pedal's travel) the car will move more and more (or less and less). This slipping is where the clutch wears.

                    Slipping the clutch is normal - its how it works. You need to in order to drive smoothly. However you do not want to 'slip' the clutch for any more than a few seconds - it wears it out! It's possible to sit in the friction point and hold the car on a hill like an auto. But this shortens clutch life and creates heat and all sorts of other bad things.

                    I say this however for hillstarts. When doing a hill start, you need to:

                    - Get through the lower "nothing" zone of the clutch pedal travel
                    - Get into the friction point so it 'bites' and the car wants to start going - but do not go further! Hold it in the friction point.
                    - Have enough throttle so the engine makes enough power to move the car uphill
                    - Release the brakes
                    - The car should be holding as you're slipping the clutch. When the clutch takes over from the brakes, and the brakes are released, un-pause your clutch foot and progress with taking off.

                    You also slip the clutch for precise movements - for instance, to move the car just a few feet (or even mere inches) when creeping in traffic, or parking. You get to the friction point, ride in the friction point to give it juuuusssssstttt enough to start moving, then when you've moved far enough (or have got enough momentum rolling) you just push it back down again.

                    Riding the clutch happens a lot in reverse - if you lift it up all the way and accelerate as though you were going forwards, you'll often be going far too quick!

                    Slipping the clutch is a bit like using the brakes. When you're driving at speed and you slow down, do you just squish them to the floor? No - you'll stop rapidly and hit your face on the dash (and probably get rear ended)! You apply only as much pressure as needed, gently, and you increase or decrease pressure while you do it, to control the rate of deceleration. A clutch is the same - you precisely vary the clutch's position in the friction point to smoothly control the car's acceleration.

                    --

                    Anyway. They're my cliffnotes on driving a manual in a taking-off scenario.
                    holy crap rake, you could write the internets!
                    we all know this forum is about koalas, kangaroos and eucalyptus leaves, not cars.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GOOMH View Post
                      I've been driving slushboxes for all my driving life (2 years) and I've recently picked up a manual because I wanted something different so I picked up a Mitsubishi Eclipse with a 5 speed which leads to my trouble. I can drive it but not smoothly, 65% of my starts are jerky and rest are only only somewhat smooth. Plus I can't parallel worth a crap with a stick and constantly stall it. So any tips for a lazy American trying to get use to stick? Plus how much wear does hard starts and stalls put on a car?
                      When you change gears, feed in the amount of clutch the car requires to get it moving away smoothly, too much clutch let-out it'll be jerky so only feed in enough clutch to get going and that's it. Once you get used to feeding the clutch in and making smooth gear changes, then you can focus on using the clutch less. The more time you spend feeding the clutch in, over time it will use it up a bit.
                      But when you are practicing initially, it doesn't matter if you spend 8 seconds feeding the clutch in in order to make the car happy, just do it that way and practice making smooth gear changes before advancing on to clutch-saving techniques and doing more efficient changes. It's more important that you practice being smooth first.
                      Think about how stupid the average person is,
                      and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And when taking off on a car with a tacho, use the throttle and clutch in a fluid motion, so that the needle on the tacho stays at one speed, for example 1500 rpm, the more you drive, the faster/better/smoother you'll become at this.
                        Modifying is a lifestyle!
                        Originally posted by milkchicken
                        Oh man I hate it when the bolts on my car decide to strip, its so awkward.. I'm like dude I've got a partner I can't be seen doing this...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can you Aussies help a lazy American get use to a manual?

                          I think everything has been mentioned above, but one thing is dont give a shit if your holding other drivers up while stalling etc, they have all been learners also and you get some impatient shits that will beep you, just keep cool, smile and wave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There's some seriously good advise here, I think I now know what I've been doing wrong and that is not keeping it in the catch point long enough with enough gas.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can you Aussies help a lazy American get use to a manual?

                              All i can suggest is practice and patience, apart from a couple of semi autos all I've driven is manual and I still stall, my dad who drives for a loving and has done for 25 yeahs still stalls, don't worry about it, if you think your gonna stall just dip the clutch.


                              Sent from a potato.
                              Originally posted by BIGZED
                              Honestly. If I'm up for too much longer, iM going to try and solicit possum for sex, and that shits going to end badly.
                              Originally posted by LikeABoss
                              Possum is our dark saviour, he loves us all in his own way
                              sigpic
                              Sauce.

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