[A4] A4 clutchless shifting

Rocky Mullin caliban at sharon.net
Thu Apr 19 11:33:25 EDT 2007

On Apr 19, 2007, at 3:03 AM, Sean Reifschneider wrote:

> Indeed.  I have a '97 A4 2.8Q with 160k miles on it's original  
> clutch.  And
> my friends agree I don't baby it when I drive it, but I also don't  
> hammer
> the clutch.  I've been expecting to have to replace the clutch for  
> years.
> This isn't a "highway miles" car.

i drove my B5 like i stole it.  sold it with 70k.  i live in san  
where doing things like backing into a parking place on one of the  
streets in the world basically requires clutch work that makes you smell
the thing when you're done.  ditto stoplights at the top of steep hills.
my wife (then girlfriend) learned to drive in the car, at age 27.  in  
francisco.  she'd never driven anything.  needless to say, that's not  
on a clutch (or me ;)

at 55k or so i misjudged a quick left turn into a driveway, and the snow
tires gave up traction.  i didn't make the full turn, and ran into an  
tall curb bordering the driveway.  broke the lower engine mounts and  
them thought he radiators, oil pan, etc.  insurance paid $14k and i  
that the clutch HAD to be screwed so i paid for the part since it  
cost me but a few minutes of labor since the engine was out anyway.

they replaced the clutch, and afterwards told me that the old one was in
totally great shape.  now, i would have liked to know that when they  
it, as i would have saved $1500 and left the old one in, but oh well.

> On the topic of "clutchless shifting" (also called "speed shifting"  
> and
> "rev matching", when I was farting around with it in my youth)...  A
> new-ish Audi isn't the machine to be learning it on.  Who actually  
> thinks
> it's a good idea to risk damaging a transmission to save the cost of a
> clutch?  If your friend thinks a clutch replacement is expensive, I  
> can
> only imagine what they'd think of a transmission rebuild.

the b5 actually had some ability to be eased into gear clutchless.   
the b7
i don't even try, though once a month i miss a shift and grind the  
waaaay more than my b5.  it doesn't shift the same at all.  doesn't  
me though, since it's a lease.

> It can be done.  I tried to learn it on my '69 Datsun B-210 when I was
> learning to drive in '87-ish.  The whole car cost less than a clutch
> replacement for an Audi, so...

it's totally simple to do on motorcycles.  upshifting, anyway.  down  
won't do it, at least on my beemer GS.  watch roadracing on TV, they  
cameras on the bikes and you can see them shift without even touching  
lever.  sequential cassette tranny of course.

> One thing I will say though...  To this day I rarely use the clutch  
> when I
> come *OUT* of gear to neutral.  Rev-matching the engine to the road  
> is real
> easy when you're in gear.  If I'm coming up on a stop sign or  
> light, I will
> often rev-match and go into neutral, instead of hitting the  
> clutch.  If I'm
> going into another gear though, I always use the clutch.

ah yes, i remember doing this a lot.  it's also pretty easy to kiss  
it into
first gear in a very slow roll.  just put a little pressure on the  
stick and
if it's right, it'll just ease in with almost no pressure.  never  
tried doing
any more than that.

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