Getting the hang of shifting from 1st to 2nd gear

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Getting the hang of shifting from 1st to 2nd gear

Postby cargirl2B » Sun Nov 04, 2007 11:23 am

I have been driving a manual 5 speed for years and yet don't feel I've ever gotten the hang of shifting from 1st into 2nd. It's usually a jerky feel.

What am I doing wrong and how to correct this?

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Postby DeHackEd » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:06 pm

Depends on the direction of the jerk. If it's forward (a sudden acceleration) then you're releasing the clutch too soon. If it's a backwards motion (like hitting the brakes) then you're taking too long to release the clutch.

1-2 is the hardest because you'll feel any mistake the most out of any gear (2nd is quite a low ratio) and the gap between the gears is the greatest of any other pair.

Other strategies to try are changing when you shift out of 1st (sooner or later (higher or lower engine RPMs)) or to add/remove gas during the shift. Especially for jerks backwards, giving a little bit of gas during a shift or before releasing the clutch will arrest the engine's RPM drop and give you more time to shift.
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Postby PureLife » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:41 pm

If you're jerking back (being thrown back in the seat), you either have to wait for the revs to drop sufficiently (slower 1-2 shift since you're holding the clutch in longer), or get off the clutch slower ... if neither works, try shifting out of 1st as soon as the car is rolling.

If you're jerking forward (like you're going to slam into the dash with your head), then you have to go quicker since the revs dropped too much (shift faster), or again: slower off the clutch.

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Postby DocPHD » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:19 am

1-2 shift is the hardest because they're the only two gears that are meant for hard acceleration. if you got a 3 speed drag transmission you'd have the problem with every shift.

it just takes practice. the more you pay attention to what works, the better you'll get at it.

try giving it less gas and let off the clutch slower
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Postby Solotw » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:49 pm

Accomplishing a non-jerky shift requires that the rpm's are at the (near) perfect level.


If you accelerate in first to 15mph, and 15mph in first gear equals 3000 rpm, say 15mph in second gear equals 2000rpm. So when you shift out of first the rpm's begin to fall, your objective is to 'catch' the rpm's by completing the shift into second gear when they are at 2000rpm. If you do this correctly the shift will be perfectly smooth and easy on the car. When you do this you should practically dump the clutch (but not quite). Getting a perfect shift is about the gear ratios and the rpm differences between gears at different speeds, not about using the clutch to smooth it out.

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Postby Dammit Cubs » Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:45 am

yeah this is pretty hard and I have my days.

On performance, you can definitely feel it when you make a mistake.

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Postby mren » Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:07 pm

Solotw made a good point about 'catching the rpms'. You have to listen to the engine here as your best indication of when to bring the clutch out. I'm usually on the gas pretty quickly as well. My cars performance tuned so the RPMs drop real quick, it's a matter of balancing a bit of gas through the clutch until it's fully engaged. It's all about timing and balance and listening to the car.

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Postby Johnf514 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:39 am

Welcome to the site, cargirl2B. :mrgreen: Feel free to introduce yourself in the New Members thread. :)

The 1st-2nd shift is the hardest, as there is less speed and wider gearing to create some noticeable jerkiness in driving. The best thing to do is pick a speed (say 10 MPH) when you want to do the shift. Then find out what the engine RPM is at 10 MPH in 1st and in 2nd gear. When you shift, you want to make sure that when you put your clutch in, the engine is spinning at about that speed. This will take care of that buck you're experiencing.

Good luck!
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