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View Poll Results: Can you downshift from 2nd to 1st at 15 mph?
Yes. 53 42.40%
Yes - but not without double clutching. 37 29.60%
No way. 30 24.00%
First gear grinds even when I am in neutral. 5 4.00%
Voters: 125. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-19-2001, 12:05 AM   #1
Cupholder
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Default Can you downshift from 2nd to 1st at 15 mph?

Can you downshift from 2nd to 1st at 15 mph?
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Old 10-19-2001, 12:11 AM   #2
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I say yes but you better rev match perfectly or else it doesn't sound good. I usually wait till I hit 20kph (12mph) so not much of a difference.
But a good blip on the throttle and it eases right into 1st. But never to use 1st as a compression gear, only if you want to get back into high revs. 1st gear is pretty short anyway so unless you have a WRX I don't feel like it's worth getting the revs up for that short of a period of time.

My 0.02$

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Old 10-19-2001, 12:25 AM   #3
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how does matching revs help a downshift? i could downshift into first at 15, i just really gotta push it up hard.

dennis
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Old 10-19-2001, 12:54 AM   #4
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I think just out of habit, I match revs for first. Basically, I put pressure on the stick and rev up the engine till it slides in. Sometimes I double clutch, but sometimes it just seems to magically go in. I can even pop it in at 25 MPH. Weird thing is sometimes it won't go into 3rd at 10 MPH.
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Old 10-19-2001, 12:56 AM   #5
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i'd vote but I honestly couldn't say for sure since I don't even bother at more than 5mph any more

why would one want to downshift into 1st at that speed anyway in, 2nd gear's pretty close to 1st gear's ratio anyway as was mentioned
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:11 AM   #6
Jon [in CT]
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When it comes down to it, shouldn't this poll be about eliminating 1st gear altogether? Because:
a) first gear is way too short; so why bother?
b) I'd always been told to never downshift into 1st; so why bother?
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fubaru
i'd vote but I honestly couldn't say for sure since I don't even bother at more than 5mph any more

why would one want to downshift into 1st at that speed anyway in, 2nd gear's pretty close to 1st gear's ratio anyway as was mentioned
Why? You must not live in a big city where you will find yourself stuck in stop and go traffic for a good deal of time.

Another time to downshift to 1st is while hitting a corner and kind launch out of the corner like a slingshot...
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Old 10-19-2001, 04:37 AM   #8
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Not sure what you CAN do, but my car never sees first until it is at a complete stop.
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Old 10-19-2001, 08:00 AM   #9
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Yes I can, but I usually don't. Why add the wear-and-tear to the first-gear synchro that's a known weak link in the tranny? I slide into first just before coming to a stop.

However, sometimes I double-clutch into first just to keep my left foot happy; it's jealous that my right foot gets to work two pedals.
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Old 10-19-2001, 08:06 AM   #10
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I avoid doing it.
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Old 10-19-2001, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cupholder


Why? You must not live in a big city where you will find yourself stuck in stop and go traffic for a good deal of time.

Another time to downshift to 1st is while hitting a corner and kind launch out of the corner like a slingshot...
I live around boston, I fight traffic everyday. I don't have a wrx, I do have enough torque to lug around in 2nd gear all the way down to rolling in gear. I can also sling shot out of corners in second... it's power band goes all the way down to 10-15, and if I'm going slower, then it's not a problem to get in gear....Think smooth
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Old 10-19-2001, 09:52 AM   #12
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I don't care if it could do it, it feels abusive, sounds abusive and is abusive to the whole drivetrain. I could drive everywhere in second gear, running along at 6k on the highway. But that's stupid too.
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Old 10-19-2001, 09:55 AM   #13
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so it's abusive to use the low end torque of my motor, however it's not abusive to jam your car into a gear, it doesn't want to be in?
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Old 10-19-2001, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
so it's abusive to use the low end torque of my motor, however it's not abusive to jam your car into a gear, it doesn't want to be in
Danger! Danger! Misunderstanding!

M750, I'm with you, I was replying to the original question. I have no desire to force any car into 1st at anything more than a crawl.

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Old 10-19-2001, 10:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cupholder


Why? You must not live in a big city where you will find yourself stuck in stop and go traffic for a good deal of time.

Another time to downshift to 1st is while hitting a corner and kind launch out of the corner like a slingshot...
Ummm...why the hell would you downshift into first in stop and go traffic????
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Old 10-19-2001, 10:55 AM   #16
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Default Downshifting to 1st on the move

Quote:
Originally posted by Fubaru
why would one want to downshift into 1st at that speed anyway in, 2nd gear's pretty close to 1st gear's ratio anyway as was mentioned
If you Auto-X (in the WRX), it is sometimes a necessity to downshift to 1st for tight corners so you don't come out of it chugging along like some wheezy Yugo .
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Old 10-19-2001, 10:57 AM   #17
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It's funny, I spent this morning in stop and go traffic, and the flexibility of second gear on the WRX amazes me. It's good for any speed from 10 to 60, making it the perfect stop and go gear. Obviously for full stops you grab first, but I got to thinking about this whole "I can't grab 1st at 30 mph" business, and wondering, as many others have posted, why anyone would ever do that?

I know that there are sample to sample variances, so what is a problem for one might not be for another, however.

Oh, to the point, I can grab 1st at 15 mph, but never do.

Kevin
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Old 10-19-2001, 10:58 AM   #18
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Default been there done that

Reply to the first post, I think that it can be done, the reason that I say think, is that I jammed my WRX into first on a turn at an autox a few weeks back after I screwed up the turn and approach. With all the adrenaline pumping and a huge 'sorry' to my car, I coerced my baby into first gear and it was not happy about it. I didn't even look to see how fast I was going, nor the rpms, but it is not something that I would suggest for normal operation, or doing it unless you actually had to. I know that the car was still moving semi-quickly, however the wrong direction, but when I shifted and hit the gas again, I was high enough in first to take off like a rocket and had to shift again real quick.

so, yes, it can be done, no, I would not reccomend doing it.


As for the stop and go, there are some times where you need to downshift to first, but I would wait to shift until the mph is pretty low.
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Old 10-19-2001, 12:38 PM   #19
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Have a Nice Day? The question was.....

"Can" you downshift from 2nd to 1st at 15 mph, not "should" you. Had it been should, my vote would have been different.
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Old 10-19-2001, 12:53 PM   #20
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I usually have no problem double clutching into 1st. I end up double clutching into first most of the time because sometimes I will come to almost a complete stop (around 10MPH) and engage the clutch and it slides nicely into first and GRINDS! I hate that. There is no lockout, the clutch is fully engaged and the thing still grinds! Double clutching seems to solve the problem and it slides in smoothly and doesn't sound bad at all. Of course you can't just double clutch and jam it in, it does take some good rev matching to make the whole process smooth. When it's done right it feels awsome though, you just come launching out of a turn. It's great for tight hairpins at the track and whatnot.

I really wish the WRX had 6 gears when I am at the track. A close ratio tranny would really feel good on this car. Sometimes the gears seem too tall and I want something in between. It's still a nice gear box though. I am coming from a ITR so compared to that the WRX gearbox doesn't feel quite as nicely matched to the engine. I guess I will just have to get a full dog box with rally gear ratios
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:15 PM   #21
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SuperFreq: What track are running that has 1st gear hairpins and needs 6th gear?

I've been very impressed with the gearing and rarely feel like I've dropped my reves too low due to shifting. More gears just means you're rowing through the box more!
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:35 PM   #22
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yup but you hve to rev-match ..
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:36 PM   #23
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I can get into first at 15-20. Double clutching helps it to feel smother but is not nessecary.
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:40 PM   #24
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There were two golden rules I was taught by my truck driving father; never sit at a light with the car in gear (unnecessary wear on the throwout bearing) and, always match revs when downshifting. Because..... That resistance you feel while trying to downshift (without matching revs) is the synchro working to match the relative speeds of the gearsets. You feel a lot more resistance in first gear due to the extremely low gear ratio, hence a massive speed differential between second and first gear. That is a feeling to be avoided at all cost. The synchros have a limited life expectancy, and forcing them to work in this manner will make that life very short and painful. Always try to minimize the work of the synchros by rev matching downshifts if you want them to live a long and happy life. Again, due to the deep ratio of low gear, you may even want to double clutch as you rev the engine, then it will slip right into gear. But still, I find it an extremely rare scenario (like maybe a auto-x hairpin) that requires a downshift to low gear. In two years of auto-x'ing my RS, I only recall one. It has never been necessary on the street, although I realize the smaller displacement/taller geared WRX might be a little different there.

Ken M
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Old 10-19-2001, 02:23 PM   #25
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I know its not "good" to downshift into first but I'm interested in this post because my car "won't" downshift into first unless I'm stopped or rev-match. I almost never actually downshift to first unless I'm stopped and I know its not good for the engine and yada-yada but I want to know if its NORMAL for my 4 month old '02 RS that had 7kms on the odometer when I picked it up and has NEVER been able to willingly or easily downshift to 1st gear unless I'm stopped. Is it OUR cars that have a problem or is it MY car that has a problem. If its a common Subaru thing then I'll just continue to live with it but if not then I will pursue the matter with the dealer until it gets fixed. So let's put the question like this:

"If YOUR car would never downshift from 2nd to 1st (at any RPM) without either being at a complete stop OR rev-matching/double-clutching would you be concerned enough to pursue the matter at the dealership"

That's what I'd like to know. thanks
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