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Old 08-15-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
volkl23
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Default Shifting question -- do or don't?

I am ecstatic that I am an owner of a black Sti that I picked up not too long ago. Just so you know, this is my first MT car and although I don't shift silky smooth yet (I still get the occasional jerk when shifting in 1-3), I would I think I'm sorta getting the hang of it.

I do have a few questions about my technique. Since this is a fairly expensive car, I don't want to get in the habit of driving it "wrong" in the beginning.

So here is my question... Do you guys usually downshift from 6-5-4 etc... to 1 when you see a red light (need to full stop) or do you shift to neutral and just let it coast? This is what I usually do.

I did read in the manual to "not drive the vehicle with the clutch disengaged or with the shift lever IN THE NEUTRAL POSITION."

Will letting the car coast in N until it stops hurt the transmission? I know this is a big no-no in ATs.

It just seems rather tedious to shift from 6 down to 1.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:41 PM   #2
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Oh another quick question... At stop lights, I sometimes engage my clutch and shift to 1st, 2 or 3 seconds before the light turns green. I'm still sorta slow, so I want to be prepared when the light turns green?

Is this bad to engage the clutch in first, even though it's just a few seconds?
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:50 PM   #3
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None of the things you are doing is bad to the transmission.

When the manual says do not coast in neutral, it is not because it mechanically bad to the transmission; it is not engaged. It is not safe in an emergency as I found out when I was 22 years old and flipped over 3 times, and I had the car in neutral. If it was in gear, any gear, I could have saved the ditch but pushing the gas pedal did nothing other than rev the engine

Again, you are doing the right things. The only things you should worry about is not to grind the gears, and ensuring that you do not downshift abrubtly when actually trying to upshift; e.g. going 4th to 3rd, whereas you meant to shift to 5th
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Old 08-15-2003, 02:00 PM   #4
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agreed. you can sit at a light with your foot all the way down all the time. heck, i do it at most lights. i usually let it sit in N only when i know its a long light. if you see that the light is green and youre going to keep going or turn or something, its better to shift to a lower gear, so then you can just keep going. also, you will want to keep the car in gear (a lower one) when flying around your local cloverleaf

its so much fun being in 6th, then braking, downshifting to 5- 4- 3 then blasting through an off ramp. wee. makes me want to go drive NOW!
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:04 PM   #5
volkl23
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Thanks a lot guys for your inputs! I'm glad to hear that I'm not slowly killing my car!

I'm just so used to putting it in neutral when I know I'm about to stop from a highway or something, as opposed to it slowing down and bogging down the engine with a high gear. I guess at this point, I should just downshift.

When you guys downshift, do you always doublecluth or revmatch?
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by happasaiyan
agreed. you can sit at a light with your foot all the way down all the time. heck, i do it at most lights. i usually let it sit in N only when i know its a long light.
Well, I don't think this is technically accurate. The longer the clutch pedal is held down (disengaged), the shorter the clutch life will be. The life of the throwout bearing is related to the cumulative length of time there is pressure being applied to it, I think. I'm no expert, I'm just repeating what I have heard from experts. I usually put it in neutral when I'm sitting anywhere waiting to move.

PS - I'm not a stick n00b, so I can get it into gear and get going pretty quickly
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:47 PM   #7
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You have seen TFATF way too much. You dont gotta double clutch these cars or rev match your shifts. These cars have synchros. They dont have DOG boxes.
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Old 08-15-2003, 03:50 PM   #8
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I always keep my car in gear. When I slow down I downshift with a little blip to match revs. When it's standing it's always in neutral. Clutch is pressed and released as fast as possible.
Emergency braking = both pedals to the floor (clutch and brake).
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:28 PM   #9
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I believe JLMarx is correct-- if you sit at the lights with the pedal down, there will be extra wear on your throwout/release bearing. I have had one replaced (under warantee) on my car (it is a honda transmission, though, so perhaps the Subaru bearing is stronger.)

However, it may be safer to have the pedal down and the shifter in 1st: if someone comes up too fast from behind and won't be able to stop, you could shoot ahead faster. This happened to me once, but I was in an Auto so it was easy.

What I do now is sit in N with feet off the pedals, but if I anticipate a light change or a need to move quickly, I put in the pedal and shift into first to get ready.

Eric
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by thermite
You have seen TFATF way too much. You dont gotta double clutch these cars or rev match your shifts. These cars have synchros. They dont have DOG boxes.
ever try hitting 2nd at 60mph at the track? without rev matching?

if you are shifting to a lower gear where you know the rpms will be high (e.g., from 40mph in 4th to 2nd) you will get a jolt if you don't rev match. alternately, you could let the clutch out slowly to minimize the jolt but you will still get it. even going from 25 mph in 3rd gear to 2nd gear will produce a jolt unless you rev match.

double clutching is not really necessary for anything. it is supposed to save wear on the synchros but i doubt you'll want to try it till after you have the rev matching stuff down.

raj
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:38 PM   #11
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Not an expert in clutches but I try my best not to "clutch in" for the whole time when the light is red. Commom sense tells me if I engage it for the full 2-4mins, I will shorten the life of the spring?? also makes your left foot ache like hell..

What I do is to look at the lights to the right or left and once I see the "red" come on, I engage 1st and within 2 sec, the light turns green and I go.

If you cant see the lights, you may also try to look out for the pedestrian crossings, once the "dont walk" is on chances are next few seconds your light will go green.

works for me all the time...
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:19 PM   #12
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With the excellent brakes there's no need to downshift coming to a traffic light. Coasting in neutral elliminates control (not wise). The brakes are assisted with the car in gear under power. Downshifting for fun is just that! ...Especially the part when you get down to 2nd, the light turns green, you go WOT, and the rear wiggles like a bitch in heat.
Yeehaw!
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:53 PM   #13
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i've always wondered, do you have to press on the clutch to put the car back into neutral or can you just move the stick to neutral without pressing the clutch?

also, my gears grind once in a while lately, around 1st and 3rd. i'm not sure if i'm just getting lazy and i'm not pushing the clutch all the way down or if the clutch is slipping already.
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:39 PM   #14
happasaiyan
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrxmike
i've always wondered, do you have to press on the clutch to put the car back into neutral or can you just move the stick to neutral without pressing the clutch?
as long as there is no load on the engine, yes. if you yank it out of gear...well lets just say dont do that. haha.

to ease getting it out without the clutch, blip the throttle.
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrxmike
i've always wondered, do you have to press on the clutch to put the car back into neutral or can you just move the stick to neutral without pressing the clutch?

also, my gears grind once in a while lately, around 1st and 3rd. i'm not sure if i'm just getting lazy and i'm not pushing the clutch all the way down or if the clutch is slipping already.
On the first point, you can go right to neutral without the clutch without any problem.

On the second point, I'm seeing the same thing. I've had 3 grinds now; once admittedly I was pushing hard on some industrial roads on a Sunday (2-3 grind), other 2x just cruising and apparently didn't have them fully meshed before releasing the clutch...
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:41 PM   #16
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Here's what i've been doing when I'm slowing down to a stop.
Usually, i would just pop it in neutral then apply the brake. But if i'm going down a hill and need to stop for a light, i keep it in gear (ex. 4th) and apply the brake then clutch in and put it in neutral.
Now, i've seen people downshifting in all gear when slowing down. Like going down in 5th, sees red light, clutch (and hold it), 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and finally 1st while the clutch was pressed down the whole time. Now, i find that pointless and wearing out your pressure plate. I say it's pointless because the whole time you have your clutch press down, it's the same thing as if you were to put the gear in Neutral, so all you're doing is wearing your clutch.
But...if you were to downshift and toe-heel throughout all gear, yes...that will slow your car down faster compared to braking in neutral.

Hope you understand my long boring response.
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Old 08-16-2003, 12:46 AM   #17
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Its good, I do it 3-5 seconds before lights turn green, so I am already ready to roll and smoke someone..

Quote:
Originally posted by volkl23
Oh another quick question... At stop lights, I sometimes engage my clutch and shift to 1st, 2 or 3 seconds before the light turns green. I'm still sorta slow, so I want to be prepared when the light turns green?

Is this bad to engage the clutch in first, even though it's just a few seconds?
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Old 08-16-2003, 12:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Shifting question -- do or don't?

Cost in Neutral - nothing gonna happen to your car. It's better than grinding evry single gear plus it will take u 3 minutes to downshift like that.. SOmeone (u have to get used to it) lets say u going 70, I would let car coast to around 30-40 (depends on the car), throw into 3rd and let third engine brake a bit.. But remember, its cheaper to replace brakes than clutch..

Quote:
Originally posted by volkl23
I am ecstatic that I am an owner of a black Sti that I picked up not too long ago. Just so you know, this is my first MT car and although I don't shift silky smooth yet (I still get the occasional jerk when shifting in 1-3), I would I think I'm sorta getting the hang of it.

I do have a few questions about my technique. Since this is a fairly expensive car, I don't want to get in the habit of driving it "wrong" in the beginning.

So here is my question... Do you guys usually downshift from 6-5-4 etc... to 1 when you see a red light (need to full stop) or do you shift to neutral and just let it coast? This is what I usually do.

I did read in the manual to "not drive the vehicle with the clutch disengaged or with the shift lever IN THE NEUTRAL POSITION."

Will letting the car coast in N until it stops hurt the transmission? I know this is a big no-no in ATs.

It just seems rather tedious to shift from 6 down to 1.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-16-2003, 02:21 AM   #19
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I only put it in N when im at a light I know is long. Other than that, I think the car should always be in gear for saftey reasons.

But I engine brake alot, mostly cause I dont care if my engine or tranny explodes The next time that happens, im gonna upgrade Plus all that shifting keeps me from getting bored
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Old 08-16-2003, 02:29 AM   #20
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Default Re: Re: Shifting question -- do or don't?

Quote:
Originally posted by amdmaxx
Cost in Neutral - nothing gonna happen to your car. It's better than grinding evry single gear plus it will take u 3 minutes to downshift like that.. SOmeone (u have to get used to it) lets say u going 70, I would let car coast to around 30-40 (depends on the car), throw into 3rd and let third engine brake a bit.. But remember, its cheaper to replace brakes than clutch..

AMD is 100% correct.

There is zero point or reason to downshifting through all the gears to retard speed much less to facilitate a complete stop. Thats what you have big ass Brembo racing calipers and quality Jurid pads for. Use them (!).

Otherwise you are unnecessarily wearing out clutch material.
Its very easy and relatively cheap to replace brake pads.
A clutch job including a flywheel refacing is on the other hand neither easy nor cheap.

In the old days truckers used to 'save the brakes' by using engine braking but that was eons ago back in the day of 'Jimmy Hoffa' and the movie 'Hi-Ballin' but hasn't been necessary since the days of 'Smokey & The Bandit' and 'B.J. & The Bear'.

Modern big-rigs/semi's use an engine compression auxillary braking device called a 'Jake Brake' (aka 'Engine Brake' or 'Compression Brake') to retard forward movement. You still hear the big down rev noise as though the truck were being downshifted but in fact thats not the case.

Bottom Line: Use your brakes dude.
Thats why Subaru installed them for you.

For more info on big rig Jake Brake technology go to; http://www.howstuffworks.com/question134.htm

- Janq
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:33 PM   #21
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This is what I do,Engage clutch hold tach around 35oo rpm,Put in 2nd,Light changes
let it out fast,butterfly the gas peddle a little
then smash into the fire wall,hold it till it feels right,let off gas slam it in third no clutch
hold it to red line,up and down one more time no clutch, ye haw,get the picture.Matt
Oh ya these trannies only cost 8000 so do not miss or lose timing with no clutch!!
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:40 PM   #22
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man i thought i was an terrible driver when it came to stopping at lights or signs. after reading this i guess i've been doing fine. i've seen people downshift through all the gears. i downshift to 3rd and then pop it into neutral and coast to a stop or if the light changes i drop it into 2nd or third and get on it. always thought i was making some sort of mistake.
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Old 08-17-2003, 07:03 PM   #23
volkl23
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Thanks everyone for your helpful comments! I think I'm just going to stick to putting it in neutral when it's nearing the time to stop.

Another question.. sorry for all the noob questions, but when I'm a parking lot going very very very slow, it feels like I'm about to stall in first gear, so I use a lot of my clutch to prevent that from happening. Is there another way of "driving" really really slow (eg 3-5 mph)?
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:24 PM   #24
wewu
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yeah I do the same thing when going slow or in traffic. Some peeps might say you're wearing out your clutch or what not by riding your clutch but I figure the clutch is a wear item like brake pads.
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by volkl23
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments! I think I'm just going to stick to putting it in neutral when it's nearing the time to stop.

Another question.. sorry for all the noob questions, but when I'm a parking lot going very very very slow, it feels like I'm about to stall in first gear, so I use a lot of my clutch to prevent that from happening. Is there another way of "driving" really really slow (eg 3-5 mph)?
I use second gear for everythign but a standing start.
First gear is stump puller low.

Another option if second is too high for your revs (like when you're creeping to find a parking space) is to set the DCCD to a fornt bias at the first triangle. It greatly reduces drivetrain loading which greatly reduces the bucking effect while lugging along and also reduces the snap lloading you get through the drivetrain once you give it gas.

- Janq
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