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Re: Manual shifting again...

Solomon Ngan sez:
> All these clutchless shifting really baffle me.  I have been driving 
> stick shift for over 20 years, but didn't know nor dare to try such 
> a thing.

This is a small set of instructions I posted quite a while ago to this list--
perhaps it will help...

Clutchless shifting is really easy once you learn it; it also does no
harm if done right (and  it does save wear and tear on your clutch --
though as clutches are cheaper than syncro's, that isn't exactly a
good motivation).  I learned by driving race cars (dog-drive in the
tranny -- no syncros at all!), and now do clutchless shifts about
85-90% of the time.  I've never had any trans problems, but I shift
very smooth.

The easiest way to learn is with the 3-4 upshift and a nice open
freeway -- 3-4 is easiest as it is quick and the 4th syncros are very
forgiving, and the open freeway is essential as you don't want to
worry about traffic, etc while learning this (you will have a tendancy
to watch the guages, probably).  First practice getting out of third
w/o the clutch -- manipluate the throttle so that it is *very* easy,
this should not require *any* pressure on the gear shift.  The correct
technique is a quick blip on the throttle and a (slightly delayed)
nudge on the gear shift.

Putting the enigne in gear is next; this will require a blip of the
throttle to bring engine speed to the correct point.  Again, the
correct technique is a blip and a nudge, but this time the blip will
need to be held.  Also, the nudge is a longer push; you will feel
slightly more resistance in the gearbox, but it should *not* be at all
hard.  There should also be no grinding noise.  Most trannys respond
better to a technique where you blip the throttle, nudge the shifter,
and continue the blip with more throttle as the lever slides into gear
(This is so hard to describe!!) -- you sort of want to be going into
gear with increasing throttle.  However, while  this gives faster
shifts, and can be easier on the trans, if done wrong, this can be
very bad -- you certainly don't want to have the throttle adding real
power as the  trans goes into gear.  The car should not lurch as this
move is done -- neither surge forward or back -- as that means serious
wear on the trans.

Sometimes, you may miss a shift, with the gear shift not feeling like
it is fully in gear.  If this happens, quickly drop into N, and try
again.  Otherwise, the gearshift will pop out on its own, with lots of
internal wear (and that can even break your wrist on a race car), on
the next power application.

On down shifts, be sure to use your brakes, not the engine/trans to
slow the car; with clutchless shifting, that calls for real heel-toe
action, and two blips of the throttle (blip-to N-blip-to gear).  On
upshifts, you can generally fold the two blips into one, but down
shifts two seperate blips are essential (they spin the syncros up to
the propper speed).  (This is known as double-declutching when done in
an ancient no-syncro truck.)

BTW: this is easier on some cars than others; I find the Audi very
easy (91 coupe), but Porsche trans are notoriously difficult for this
move.  American cars are also very easy; something about the syncro
design.  No-clutch shifts are quicker, too, especially on
high-performance engines -- though clutchless shifting on some engines
can be slower on the upshift if the engine has a heavy flywheel (the
engine RPM does not drop quick enough, and you are better off dropping
it via the clutch).  (So, if you're really into it, install a Tilton
carbon-carbon clutch -- faster shifts, better acceleration, and
infinite wear, to boot! :-)

fhd@interport.net  | [M]athematics is not the study of intangible Platonic
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