Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

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Teamwork
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Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Teamwork » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:43 pm

Greetings all,

First off I just want to state that I really wish I found this forum 4 months ago when I first got my 2015 VW GTI with a 6 speed because a lot of the first page questions and techniques are things I had to learn on my own. A lot of you guys really seem like masterful wizards within the art and have great answers to questions. I've only been daily driving my first manual transmission ever for about 4 months now... it's been a trying and humbling experience to say the least and I'm at the point now where I can pretty much drive at any hour (I used to practice really late at night when fewer people were on the road) and I've been doing 20-40 mile stints and am still... alive- and my car is as well. I've seen a few threads that basically provide scenario questions and I have some as well for things I really want to refine in my technique. I hope you guys go easy on me and maybe even laugh at how nominal some of these things may seem to experts.

1) The first scenario question I have is so ridiculously basic that I can't seem to get it down and it's probably one of the most frustrating things for me in driving stick. It comes down to skipping down gears, down shifting into 2nd when approaching 90 degree right/left turns without the need to stop in between. For instance, I'll be driving on a main road at about 35-40 mph in 4th or 5th gear, just cruising and then when I'm about 1/2 a mile from the turn my brain starts kicking into overload. I typically start braking down while staying in the higher gear and right as soon as I get about 10 feet from the turn I floor the clutch (disengage the engine/rev's usually go down to idle pace) and I start to gently bring up the clutch right at the point before I'm about to turn, with no gas until I know 2nd is engaged. The problem is about 50% of the time I get this "fish hook" jerk and while it feels minor, it doesn't feel good to me. Other times I feel like it's a smooth and clean transition but the problem is I'm not sure where I'm going wrong with my technique. I also think speed is somewhat relative to it as well but I'm not for certain. When I slow down to about 12-15 mph I feel like the engagement is a lot less noticeable and relatively no jerk but if I even go above 15 mph to say 20 mph that the fish hook/hiccup jerk is more prevalent.

2) Second scenario is basically on the highway or a main road late at night. I'm going to try and keep this one "light" because there is a thread regarding it on the first page. I'm traveling in 6th at 60-65 mph and I want to make a pass emphatically around a slower moving vehicle. I'm assuming the best and most efficient way of doing this is going 6th>4th in one transition with a rev match. The issue I'm having is when I try and blip the throttle I can't match rev's that well or close to where it should be (I'm typically off by 300-400 rpms underneath it). I haven't really needed to do this often but there's a ton of red light cameras around here and I'd rather be somewhat sure footed in doing this rather then taking a lazy risk rev match down shifting into 5th for less power. Any tips here? I know some people in the other thread said to guide the throttle "holding" it semi to the correct rpm but whenever I try and do that I'm really ungraceful and usually over rev...

3) Third scenario is more an open discussion about parking lot maneuvers and slow moving situations. I'm absolutely terrible and my mind just needs a better understanding of an approach to be taken here. What I've found out about my car is that the absolute lowest I can go in 2nd gear is 10 mph without the engine starting to judder. 1st gear is pretty applicable from pretty much 5 mph (probably even slower without juddering) and it only starts to make itself "known" at about 14-15 mph. So as ridiculous as this sounds, obviously I enter the parking lot in 2nd gear- I kind of hope that I have to stop completely so I can re-engage smoothly into 1st without pissing off someone behind me. This isn't always the case and I am unsure of what I should be doing pretty much to get into 1st smoothly or how I can stay in 2nd without juddering/stalling. If I'm on the move at about 8-9 mph in 2nd- my car physically won't even let me go into 1st gear without much resistance until I'm 7 mph<. I'm guessing this has to do with the synchro...

4) And finally last, within my car I have a ton of rev hang between 1st and 2nd gear (as a lot of newer cars do so it seems) but when it comes to upshifting from 4th to 5th I can't be fast enough most of the time because the revs drop at a much quicker rate (in the OD gears) then any other of the previous ones. I literally feel like I have to most at a consciously fast rate and lift off the clutch as fast as I possibly can or I notice on the tach that the rev's drop under the intended rpm and shoot up by like 200-300 rpm. Any tips on what I can do to slow down the rev's from dropping so fast? It doesn't really jerk that hard but it's still noticeable enough but I feel like I'm going at a lightning quick pace and am timing my throttle in 4th going off it and clutching in split seconds to try and keep the revs up to give me a chance.

I know a lot of these questions probably have been asked timelessly and are bone headed but I am really trying to refine my technique here and hopefully become good enough someday to teach someone. As difficult as it's been for me to learn I can't say that I'm not having fun or even prefer this over the latter option. Thanks all for taking out the time to help a newbie :)

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:13 pm

First, welcome to the board. You should have a good time here.
Teamwork wrote:Greetings all,

First off I just want to state that I really wish I found this forum 4 months ago when I first got my 2015 VW GTI with a 6 speed because a lot of the first page questions and techniques are things I had to learn on my own. A lot of you guys really seem like masterful wizards within the art and have great answers to questions. I've only been daily driving my first manual transmission ever for about 4 months now... it's been a trying and humbling experience to say the least and I'm at the point now where I can pretty much drive at any hour (I used to practice really late at night when fewer people were on the road) and I've been doing 20-40 mile stints and am still... alive- and my car is as well. I've seen a few threads that basically provide scenario questions and I have some as well for things I really want to refine in my technique. I hope you guys go easy on me and maybe even laugh at how nominal some of these things may seem to experts.

1) The first scenario question I have is so ridiculously basic that I can't seem to get it down and it's probably one of the most frustrating things for me in driving stick. It comes down to skipping down gears, down shifting into 2nd when approaching 90 degree right/left turns without the need to stop in between. For instance, I'll be driving on a main road at about 35-40 mph in 4th or 5th gear, just cruising and then when I'm about 1/2 a mile from the turn my brain starts kicking into overload. I typically start braking down while staying in the higher gear and right as soon as I get about 10 feet from the turn I floor the clutch (disengage the engine/rev's usually go down to idle pace) and I start to gently bring up the clutch right at the point before I'm about to turn, with no gas until I know 2nd is engaged. The problem is about 50% of the time I get this "fish hook" jerk and while it feels minor, it doesn't feel good to me. Other times I feel like it's a smooth and clean transition but the problem is I'm not sure where I'm going wrong with my technique. I also think speed is somewhat relative to it as well but I'm not for certain. When I slow down to about 12-15 mph I feel like the engagement is a lot less noticeable and relatively no jerk but if I even go above 15 mph to say 20 mph that the fish hook/hiccup jerk is more prevalent.


Don't overthink this too much. Are you familiar with rev-matching? If you want to turn without a drawn out process of slowing down and then shifting into second while waiting to reengage the clutch I would recommend revmatching.

1. Disengage clutch (pedal down)
2. Select desired gear (most cases for a 90 degree right turn 2nd is best, but I've found that 3rd can work)
3. Blip throttle (rude and crude example: if you're in 4th at 40 miles per hour revving about 1500 rpm and 2nd would put you at 2500 for the same speed, you would want to rev up to 2500 rpm. *Numbers pulled out of thin air, your car is likely not going to be this. YRMV)
4. Reengage clutch (pedal up)
5. Continue through your turn
6. To start with I would do this as soon as you get in the lane, if there isn't any sort of traffic control device that would force a stop anyway.

I say you would want to do this to start because there are fewer things that can go wrong than trying to heel-toe into a corner. You've likely read about this. Don't worry about it until you want to practice and have fun.
2) Second scenario is basically on the highway or a main road late at night. I'm going to try and keep this one "light" because there is a thread regarding it on the first page. I'm traveling in 6th at 60-65 mph and I want to make a pass emphatically around a slower moving vehicle. I'm assuming the best and most efficient way of doing this is going 6th>4th in one transition with a rev match. The issue I'm having is when I try and blip the throttle I can't match rev's that well or close to where it should be (I'm typically off by 300-400 rpms underneath it). I haven't really needed to do this often but there's a ton of red light cameras around here and I'd rather be somewhat sure footed in doing this rather then taking a lazy risk rev match down shifting into 5th for less power. Any tips here? I know some people in the other thread said to guide the throttle "holding" it semi to the correct rpm but whenever I try and do that I'm really ungraceful and usually over rev...

If you're not fully confident in your revmatches at this point, don't worry about it. You have a turbo and all of your torque comes in around 1500 rpm and sticks around for awhile. If you need to pass and you're at 65 mph, mash the gas and go. No revmatching required; you can when you're comfortable. Your car has more than enough power and torque to move itself along without the necessity of a downshift. They're fun, but not required at that speed for a pass. I regularly pass in 6th at 65 mph as my car runs 2500 rpm and that's right where my peak torque/overtorque hits.
3) Third scenario is more an open discussion about parking lot maneuvers and slow moving situations. I'm absolutely terrible and my mind just needs a better understanding of an approach to be taken here. What I've found out about my car is that the absolute lowest I can go in 2nd gear is 10 mph without the engine starting to judder. 1st gear is pretty applicable from pretty much 5 mph (probably even slower without juddering) and it only starts to make itself "known" at about 14-15 mph. So as ridiculous as this sounds, obviously I enter the parking lot in 2nd gear- I kind of hope that I have to stop completely so I can re-engage smoothly into 1st without pissing off someone behind me. This isn't always the case and I am unsure of what I should be doing pretty much to get into 1st smoothly or how I can stay in 2nd without juddering/stalling. If I'm on the move at about 8-9 mph in 2nd- my car physically won't even let me go into 1st gear without much resistance until I'm 7 mph<. I'm guessing this has to do with the synchro...


I'll defer on this one as my car doesn't have this issue. I will say that you can slip the clutch in second to smooth it out around parking lots if you're too fast for first. Sometimes slipping is unavoidable, just don't slip excessively (holding a car on a hill via the gas/clutch seesaw method, for example).
4) And finally last, within my car I have a ton of rev hang between 1st and 2nd gear (as a lot of newer cars do so it seems) but when it comes to upshifting from 4th to 5th I can't be fast enough most of the time because the revs drop at a much quicker rate (in the OD gears) then any other of the previous ones. I literally feel like I have to most at a consciously fast rate and lift off the clutch as fast as I possibly can or I notice on the tach that the rev's drop under the intended rpm and shoot up by like 200-300 rpm. Any tips on what I can do to slow down the rev's from dropping so fast? It doesn't really jerk that hard but it's still noticeable enough but I feel like I'm going at a lightning quick pace and am timing my throttle in 4th going off it and clutching in split seconds to try and keep the revs up to give me a chance.

I know a lot of these questions probably have been asked timelessly and are bone headed but I am really trying to refine my technique here and hopefully become good enough someday to teach someone. As difficult as it's been for me to learn I can't say that I'm not having fun or even prefer this over the latter option. Thanks all for taking out the time to help a newbie :)


I'll leave this for Cow. He had a Rabbit with the same issue. Revhang...the bane of a newer manual driver's existence. I had to deal with this in my first manual. Drove me bonkers.

Good luck and ask plenty of questions. We've been there, did that, done that. Eventually you'll be answering questions and helping others. I know that I asked a ton of them because all of my google searches kept landing me here and I pretty much taught myself after some initial instruction from a friend.
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InlinePaul wrote:The driving force of new fangled features to sell more cars [is to] cater to the masses' abject laziness!

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby IMBoring25 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:47 pm

Welcome.

1) I'll cover the finer points of downshifting in a subsequent response. The easiest answer is to postpone the completion of the shift until after the corner. It's frowned upon and less than ideal for a number of reasons, but it works in a pinch and there are lots of people who never progress past that technique. Other than that, you will not likely be down to idle RPM before you turn in. You can smooth the transition a little with very precise clutch work through the friction zone, but it will take throttle to be really smooth. You can either manipulate the timing of your braking so you don't need to be braking when you complete the shift (which is not ideal for working in traffic) or you can work on a technique called heel-and-toe, which involves spanning your right foot across the brake and gas, using a steady amount of brake, and manipulating the gas as needed. Either way, practice in a parking lot before you risk it on the road. Either of those techniques can be a lot for your concentration when you're learning it.

2) Perfection is fickle. If you're low, more gas next time. If you're high, less gas next time. Personally, I double-clutch all my downshifts. It's not necessary, but it does save the synchros some work, and it might help you here too. It involves clutching in, shifting to neutral, letting the clutch back out, matching revs for the new gear with the throttle, then clutching again and completing the shift. This is something else to practice where you have room to make a mistake. As you get a feel for your car, how easily it goes into gear will be a hint for whether your first rev-match was right or needed a little fine-tuning.

An aside: NEVER make this shift in a hurry, and be VERY careful to pull the shifter straight back. When you're going for a gear that's in the center gate, let the centering springs do the work. A 6-2 at highway speed can be an expen$ive mistake.

3) Yes, the first-gear synchro is often too weak to allow a shift at anything more than easy walking speed. If you want first without coming to a near-stop first, the answer is double-clutching, as discussed in (2). You can slip the clutch in second as if you were launching to allow you to get under idle speed in second and back above idle speed in second, but that is not a technique to use more than momentarily.

4) You can leave some throttle in on upshifts too when the situation calls for it. I am very seldom completely off the throttle when letting the clutch back out on a shift. That approach always works. The timing approach, as you've noted, sometimes breaks down if you don't have an especially quick-shifting transmission.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Teamwork » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:52 am

Thanks guys for the prompt responses. I daily drive this thing as my only form of transportation so any amount of prompt, informative, and helpful responses is greatly appreciated before I ship out yet again. I know it's really "wordy" but I'm trying to describe the scenarios and problems at hand in the greatest amount of detail as possible. Let me revisit some of the numbers to further explain and quote somethings that I thought were notable to point out and answer specifically.

1) I don't really know the rules of skipping down gears and so fourth or what's efficient and what is better for wear and tear purposes. Everything I've learned so far to survive the streets of New York is in essence from the internet. I like understanding the science of what things are doing for me to perform better at things. I can't tell you guys how many times I've heard "when turning you should only be focused on steering and your wheels should be focused on traction only for turning". What I was doing before essentially which may make you guys cringe but I was only doing it for a week was rev matching downshifting chronologically from the higher gear to 2nd. So: 4>3>3>2... I am decent at rev matching going down one gear so in doing this I was pretty much using a combination of engine braking + actual braking and getting into the right gear for the turn while still in a straight line with all 4 wheels. Problem is I had to plan for 90 degree turns like 1/2 a mile in advance to get down to the right gear, and honestly the blips and down shifts were giving me dirty looks from other drivers lol. I don't know how much truth there is in this but I feel like the fish hook jerk could definitely be "speed relative" to a degree. For instance, naturally if I was slowing down to stopped traffic but they started resuming motion and I didn't come all the way down to a stop... if I was resuming back into acceleration around 17-19 mph; I would choose third. If I was resuming back acceleration in the same scenario and around 12-14 mph; I would choose second. I'm not even sure how my technique is when re-engaging 2nd skipping down without a rev match... I usually gently go into the friction zone and hold it for a second and then lift off with the gas. There could still be fault in that, even. For the notion of re-engaging 2nd after when you straighten out of the turn I don't know if I'd feel comfortable being in A) neutral/no gear at all or B) too high of a gear to be useful.

2) Again, rev matching down a single gear is no problem for me but I can't seem to blip "hard enough" to go down in necessarily two. I understand the concept of rev matching and such but I feel like I've only heard about it in the sense of going down chronologically. I'm actually fairly confident in rev matching down one gear because I typically am either spot on or miss it (over rev) by I'd say 100-200- it's negligible to the point where I barely feel it in the car. I've admittedly have passed people in this vehicle without dropping a gear period but I kind of gotten scared reading about Low Speed Pre-Ignition problems when you use moderate amounts of throttle in a short period of time when the engine is running low. I heard about a few eco-boosts blowing out black smoke matting it in 6th so I kind of gotten scared.

3) I seriously start cringing when I get into this tight/small parking lot and can't find a spot right away lol. I'm kind of lost when people tell me to "slip" the clutch in second. Does that mean put the clutch back into the biting point while moving in that gear? What in essence is supposed to happen and will it prevent me from stalling or only stop the engine from juddering?

3) Yes, the first-gear synchro is often too weak to allow a shift at anything more than easy walking speed. If you want first without coming to a near-stop first, the answer is double-clutching, as discussed in (2).

I briefly understand the concept of double-clutching but by the time I start dipping into the low end thresh hold of 2nd gear if I floor the clutch and put it into 1st (directly) i'll be going slow enough for the gate to let me in. The issue is I think I need advice on how to handle the clutch when going into 1st while noticeably still moving. Sometimes I really start to hop and bop lol...

4) Is kind of really throwing me off because my revs hang drastically in 1st to 2nd. I didn't want to make this a scenario question because it probably gets asked on this forum multiple times a week and I've kind of smoothed out by 1st to 2nd upshifts. When I'm driving leisurely I literally stay in 1st gear until about 2.4-2.6k rpm and when I clutch in I literally wait a conscious amount of time before even lifting my foot into the biting point, more or less waiting for the revs to fall and trying to catch them at the correct rpm. I wish I could remember what my 1-2 upshifts were like in week 1 compared to now. It feels like forever though and there are plenty of times still where I'll see the rev's "smash" downwards on the tach by a few hundred if I didn't time it right. On the flip side of upshifting 4>5 I basically can be/need to be as fast as possible in all muscle movements. Moving the lever and lifting the clutch and still sometimes the rev's shoot back up. EVERY SO OFTEN though I'll get a scenario where I'm being conscious on the throttle, release the throttle quick, and shift fast and the rev's don't seem to drop drastically. I don't know what I'm doing, or if it's even me doing it but god I hope someone has a solution lol.

Again, thank you for the indepth responses. I am trying to adapt and grasp as much knowledge as I can here where there seems to be a fountain of it.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby tankinbeans » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:22 am

Is there somebody around you, who is reasonably proficient at driving a manual, and whom you can observe? Now that you are able to get around easily enough you can take some time to observe.

I will say not to stress about it too much. You'll get there in time. I have an EcoBoost and I've never read about any of the issues you described. Then again I'm not a yabbo and don't tend to try and show off. I pass and move on with my life.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby theholycow » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:49 am

One thing I can tell you above all else: You're overthinking and overworrying. That's normal. With time you'll improve, and with time you will also care less.

So, I had a 2008 VW Rabbit 2.5 NA. It had gobs of torque right from idle (whereas yours has a flat spot for the first 500RPM until the turbo kicks in), very short gears (you have a MUCH more reasonable final drive, quite excellent), very close ratios (you have them too), and awful rev hang (as you have). My current car (1980 Buick Lesabre) has no power at any speed, tall gears, wide ratios, and a fussy carburetor that just revs too high sometimes.

Most of all, what I can see is that you need to do some throttle and clutch exercises. Click the meta-sig link in my sig. Somewhere in there is a description of the exercises where you sit around in your driveway/parking lot revving it in neutral to practice blipping and where you ride around an empty parking lot doing no-gas launches to get a better feel for the clutch. Training your muscle memory for these things will eliminate a lot of the worries you've described.

1)

1/2 a mile from the turn my brain starts kicking into overload

Stop that. What did you do when driving automatic? Do the same thing, except step on the clutch pedal too. When you're almost ready to accelerate again, shift and (optionally) rev-match, and ease off the clutch pedal as quickly or slowly as necessary to make it smooth.

I typically start braking down while staying in the higher gear and right as soon as I get about 10 feet from the turn I floor the clutch

Good so far.

I start to gently bring up the clutch right at the point before I'm about to turn, with no gas until I know 2nd is engaged.

If that's when you'd like to begin accelerating then that's good. If not, wait.

The problem is about 50% of the time I get this "fish hook" jerk

Standard jerk question: Does it push your head towards the engine, or does it push your head towards the trunk?

Other times I feel like it's a smooth and clean transition but the problem is I'm not sure where I'm going wrong

Most likely the problem is that you need a few years of practice.

When I slow down to about 12-15 mph I feel like the engagement is a lot less noticeable and relatively no jerk but if I even go above 15 mph to say 20 mph that the fish hook/hiccup jerk is more prevalent.

Are we talking about the same gear at different speeds? If so, of course the jerk is going to be more severe at higher speed. Higher speed in the same gear is higher RPM. Higher RPM is more power (if engine is going too fast) or more engine braking (if engine is going too slow). Even if the error is the same quantity of RPM (so maybe you're 400RPM off your target in both scenarios), at the higher speed that same error will cause a more severe jerk.

I don't really know the rules of skipping down gears and so fourth or what's efficient and what is better for wear and tear purposes.

While there are some relatively concrete rules, mostly it varies by scenario, opinion, mood, time of day, price of tea in China, solar flares, temperature, and the gravitational constant of the universe.

I can't tell you guys how many times I've heard "when turning you should only be focused on steering and your wheels should be focused on traction only for turning".

I would suggest that you should leave those things to your subconscious level and focus on traffic, pedestrians, road hazards, etc. One thing you shouldn't spend too much attention on is shifting. In a few years you'll be able to do it subconsciously whenever necessary. For now, your driving is just gonna suck for a while.

What I was doing before essentially which may make you guys cringe but I was only doing it for a week was rev matching downshifting chronologically from the higher gear to 2nd. So: 4>3>3>2...

Unnecessary but fun.

I am decent at rev matching going down one gear

Honestly, with your close ratios it's probably pointless to rev-match a sequential shift. You shift one gear and your RPM barely differs. Even with wider ratios it's generally unnecessary. I suppose if you generally hang around in much lower gears/higher engine speeds than I do then it might be a little more worthwhile (larger gaps and more power/engine braking).

honestly the blips and down shifts were giving me dirty looks from other drivers lol.

I hate drawing attention unnecessarily. I totally get where you're coming from.

I don't know how much truth there is in this but I feel like the fish hook jerk could definitely be "speed relative" to a degree. For instance, naturally if I was slowing down to stopped traffic but they started resuming motion and I didn't come all the way down to a stop... if I was resuming back into acceleration around 17-19 mph; I would choose third. If I was resuming back acceleration in the same scenario and around 12-14 mph; I would choose second.

Remember what I mentioned earlier about engine speed contributing to severity of jerk? Well, gear choice contributes inversely. In a different gear, the leverage between the engine and the road changes. In a higher gear the excess power or engine braking has less ability to jerk you around. In my previous explanation I considered a scenario where the gear remains the same and speed differs, so engine RPM is higher and makes the jerk more severe. In this scenario imagine different road speeds and the same RPM in different gears; the higher gear will have a less severe jerk. So at 2000RPM in 2nd at 20mph the jerk will be worse than 2000RPM in 3rd at 30mph. (Numbers pulled directly out of my ass.)

I'm not even sure how my technique is when re-engaging 2nd skipping down without a rev match...

What do you mean? You floored the clutch pedal but then decided not to shift after all? Those are easy, either give it a little gas for a rev-match or be real gentle and slow with the clutch pedal. I mean, those are easy with practice...when you're new it's tough to successfully accomplish either option.

I don't know if I'd feel comfortable being in A) neutral/no gear at all or B) too high of a gear to be useful.

These are acceptable. In reality no car has acceleration power even remotely similar to its braking and steering ability; 99% of scenarios where someone thinks acceleration was the only option to avoid a problem, they are wrong and/or they made a bad choice a second earlier. For that sort of driver I recommend driving automatic, which will downshift immediately to the lowest possible gear when you slam the accelerator pedal to the floor. (At least, the ones I've driven will.) Anything less than the lowest gear and there's not enough power to accelerate out of a dangerous situation...and even then you need a powerful engine.

2)

I'm traveling in 6th at 60-65 mph and I want to make a pass emphatically around a slower moving vehicle.

What's your RPM? In my Rabbit I could just step on it slightly more and the dang thing would surge forward because it was already buzzing along at a ludicrous 3000RPM. I suspect that you have far better gears and need to downshift (AKA you get an excuse for a fun downshift).

The issue I'm having is when I try and blip the throttle I can't match rev's that well or close to where it should be (I'm typically off by 300-400 rpms underneath it). ... in the other thread said to guide the throttle "holding" it semi to the correct rpm but whenever I try and do that I'm really ungraceful and usually over rev...

Don't bother with the steady-throttle rev-match in your car. When trying to steady-throttle a drive-by-wire VW, it would be faster to send your throttle inputs by postal mail than using your foot on the pedal. Don't bother with trying to tune your rev-match blipping by pressing the pedal to different depths either. Just stab it and take your foot right off again. STABBY STAB STAB!
Image
(but just one stab)

there's a ton of red light cameras around here

I don't know NYC like the back of my hand but I've driven in it more than a few times and I can't remember anywhere that you could possibly go 65 and deal with traffic lights. Actually I can't remember anywhere it was possible to get above 20 unless you're driving this car:
Image
Anyway, the correct response to red light cameras is to stop short at every goddamn fresh yellow light, get rear-ended, and sue the idiots who put them up.

I can't seem to blip "hard enough" to go down in necessarily two

Have you made that accelerator pedal your bitch? Have you stomped it like the KGB's boot heels stomped the proletariat? Pretend you've spotted a spider on it. Worse, pretend you've spotted a US Presidential candidate on it. Don't be shy, until that day that it makes a ridiculous "VROOOM!!!" and everbody looks at you and you feel silly...then maybe back it off a notch.

I kind of gotten scared reading about Low Speed Pre-Ignition problems when you use moderate amounts of throttle in a short period of time when the engine is running low.

I assure you, your late-model car CANNOT experience pre-ignition as a result of anything you do while driving, even WOT below idle in high gear. It would probably take a pretty severe component failure before it could happen, and even then I bet the computer would successfully prevent it. If it's accelerating smoothly, even only very gradually, then downshifting or staying in gear is entirely up to your preference...you can downshift and be more excited, or stay in gear and be more dignified.

My 2008 VW was also pre-ignition-proof.

My 1980 Buick with NO computer whatsoever has Flintstone technology that controls ignition timing. There is a hose, a goddamned hose, that connects manifold vacuum to a gizmo that adjusts ignition timing a little. It's completely silly. Why in the world would anyone do that after 1950? Nonetheless, it was normal on most brands until the 1980s. This is a car where it is advisable to worry about pre-ignition. If I choose too high of a gear, I get a CHUFFGNARCHUFFABCHUFFGARACHUFFBGAARBCHUFFGRRBACHUFFRAGBCHUFFARGLECHUFF sound that tells me I chose the wrong gear. It sounds kinda like a diesel truck is driving next to me. This guy has it worse:


I heard about a few eco-boosts blowing out black smoke matting it in 6th so I kind of gotten scared.

Totally different thing. Black smoke (and sometimes white smoke) means fuel mixture is too rich. Some people adjust their engine to do it on purpose; they call it "rolling coal" and everybody calls them "douchebags". Some manufacturers tune in just a little bit of it; my mom had a 2005 Acura RL (NA, not turbo) that did it a little bit and her white rear bumper was always stained from exhaust. The idea is that a little wasted fuel is better than allowing it to go lean at WOT and a million RPM.

3)

Third scenario is more an open discussion about parking lot maneuvers and slow moving situations. I'm absolutely terrible and my mind just needs a better understanding of an approach to be taken here.

Nope. Your butt needs more seat time.

enter the parking lot in 2nd gear- I kind of hope that I have to stop completely so I can re-engage smoothly into 1st without pissing off someone behind me. This isn't always the case and I am unsure of what I should be doing pretty much to get into 1st smoothly or how I can stay in 2nd without juddering/stalling. If I'm on the move at about 8-9 mph in 2nd- my car physically won't even let me go into 1st gear without much resistance until I'm 7 mph<.

Two options...

1. Slip the clutch in 2nd. You don't want to do this all the way across the mall parking lot, but for getting through a temporary situation it is fine, that's what the clutch is there for. Keep that clutch pedal part way up, in a position where the engine is revving faster than it should for that gear but is not completely free like neutral (in my 2008 VW it was probably 85% up). As a noob, you won't be any good at this.

2. Double-clutch into 1st. Clutch pedal down and shift to neutral, blip (STAB!), clutch pedal 75% up then immediately down again (this is a reverse stab motion), complete shift, clutch pedal up (blip again if necessary, or adjust clutch foot speed as necessary). As a noob, you won't be any good at this.

Notice anything in common between the two options?

4)

Any tips on what I can do to slow down the rev's from dropping so fast?

What you're experiencing is the lack of rev hang...an actually obedient throttle. That used to be the way at all times. Drivers were expected to feed it a little gas to keep engine speed up during a slow shift. Of course, those obedient throttles were obedient in every way so it was easy to just feed it a little gas...that's kinda tough to do with yours. The trick is to time it just right. Once you're in gear you're gonna step on that accelerator pedal, right? Well, just do that a little bit sooner, just before the clutch bites instead of just after. Fine-tuning this timing will come with practice. Using your entire foot on the entire accelerator pedal helps, too, especially with that bottom-hinged VW pedal; you can have much finer control of the pedal at the top than the middle or bottom.

I literally wait a conscious amount of time before even lifting my foot into the biting point, more or less waiting for the revs to fall and trying to catch them at the correct rpm.

Don't wait for rev hang. You've got better things to do, like continue accelerating. Just let the clutch absorb it so you can get on with life. Man, I hate waiting around for rev hang.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby tankinbeans » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:30 pm

I just got dirty looks when I got to the bit about stomping presidential candidates because I started giggling a bit too hard. There are plenty that I'd be fittin' to stomp right now.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:40 pm

The problem is about 50% of the time I get this "fish hook" jerk

Standard jerk question: Does it push your head towards the engine, or does it push your head towards the trunk?


No wonder the guys driving these always FAIL when they take Cowabung's Advice:
Image
Image

Image
So,....does this guy have an old-school telephone handset at each wheel?

"Hey, listen up, it's me, your left-front tire. How about pulling over up ahead and pumping in a few more pressures?"


This is how old-school tire pressure warning systems worked, right?
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Teamwork » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:56 pm

tankinbeans wrote:Is there somebody around you, who is reasonably proficient at driving a manual, and whom you can observe? Now that you are able to get around easily enough you can take some time to observe.

I will say not to stress about it too much. You'll get there in time. I have an EcoBoost and I've never read about any of the issues you described. Then again I'm not a yabbo and don't tend to try and show off. I pass and move on with my life.

First, again thank you guys for the time to really analyze and give feedback to my questions and rants.

Holycow- I am reserving a separate reply to you when I am in a more focused environment later. Incredible response though and input. I really appreciate the time taken out to yell at me and to steering me into the right directions.

Tankinbeans- thanks to you too. I kind of recognize you guys on a lot of posts from the avatars and such lol. To answer your question, I do have one friend who drives manual but I don't know if I trust his judgment and driving style (not trying to sound judgmental) but he has consistently given me questionable advice in terms of coasting at speed, telling me to basically "go into neutral- to save gas if needby" and just choose gears from there. On a side note which isn't necessarily a bad or good thing he told me he never rev-matched down shifts in all of his years of driving.

I actually had the opportunity to drive a co-workers 2001 VW Golf with a n/a 4 cylinder - described as "one of the most forgiving clutches ever". He ended up moving to California though when I first bought my GTI... and he probably would've been a real relaxed teacher. I've really needed to rely on youtube and google in general to self teach so I kind of speak, treading water not knowing if I'm right or wrong for a lot of these things. I don't want to make it seem as bad as it is because I am daily driving this car and not constantly stalling, bucking, or failing to get to destinations. If that was the case on Long Island- I might not even be alive to be writing this.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby tankinbeans » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:40 pm

Coasting in neutral to save gas is a counter productive. At a certain point your injectors shut off because your tires are spinning enough to turn the engine. In neutral the engine has to spin itself. You probably knew that though. Also, as somebody's signature says, "if you're out of gear, you're out of control." Not bucking our stalling excessively ova the first step. The rest is just details.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Teamwork » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:59 am

Now that I've had time to process, exercise, and wind down before bed I will go through a formal reply to 'theholycow'. I think a little more back story to set the mood and to even help understand where I came from and what I'm doing "here". This is my first shot at daily driving a manual transmission vehicle after brief stints with a 2000 Honda s2000 and 1988 BMW 325i. I wouldn't say I got any further then engaging 1st gear in an empty parking lot and maybe upshifting into 2nd and rolling around in circles. Years passed but the intriguing nature of manual transmission never really left me, I really wanted to give it a go while I still had the chance. Unfortunately, the two people within those cars moved out of my life (1 turned into an ex of a good friend, and the other physically moved across the country). To fast forward this brief story I've been left to try and self teach myself the best I can without a mentor.

What I've done to get through the basic steps of operation was quite simple. I was on the last month of my former lease when I first got this car so I was able to share time in an automatic and manual transmission without being thrown directly into the fire (only partially). During the week I'd go out to an elementary school around the block from me and just roll around in the parking lot. At first I'd basically experiment getting into 1st and what each of my feet needed to do. When I was good enough to successfully get into 1st more then 60% of the time without a hiccup or hopping like a bronco I would simulate traffic situations in my head. It got to the point where I would be able to navigate roads at night around 11 pm onwards when there was less traffic on the road and I was trying to grow my confidence. I don't know what really happened to be but say after 1 and 1/2 weeks of this I kind of got confident enough to just go out. I'm not going to say it was easy and it was definitely a humbling experience.

Stop that. What did you do when driving automatic? Do the same thing, except step on the clutch pedal too. When you're almost ready to accelerate again, shift and (optionally) rev-match, and ease off the clutch pedal as quickly or slowly as necessary to make it smooth.

When I would drive an automatic I would basically try and carrying as much speed while modulating the brake as safely and within reason as possible. As an automatic driver I tried to coast a lot which is what I can do precisely more control with a manual transmission. I basically treat a succession of traffic lights in a way where I try and not have to stop completely if possible. I was never racing to stop signs or speed lights though, I'd try and time gaps and distance perfectly- as I do now (and feel like I get rewarded even more now). I'm guessing the point I'd start powering out of a turn is as soon as all 4 of my wheels were near straightening out again.

Standard jerk question: Does it push your head towards the engine, or does it push your head towards the trunk?

If I had to designate a direction I'd say it pushes me back into the seat but that wouldn't in essence be right to say. The way I would describe it as a "pop jerk" which it basically jerks for literally 1 second to let me know I'm back into 2nd. It never really frazzles me in a way where I feel like I'm violently being jerked in the cabin but it definitely doesn't feel good or normal to me.

Are we talking about the same gear at different speeds? If so, of course the jerk is going to be more severe at higher speed. Higher speed in the same gear is higher RPM. Higher RPM is more power (if engine is going too fast) or more engine braking (if engine is going too slow). Even if the error is the same quantity of RPM (so maybe you're 400RPM off your target in both scenarios), at the higher speed that same error will cause a more severe jerk.

Yes, I was referring to the same gear in different speeds. I'm nearly always referring to 2nd gear because to my understanding that is the gear that is needed for perpendicular 90 degree turns when traffic permits you not to stop in between. I understand the theory being presented here and have no reason to rebuttal anything stated. One of the things I may need to reprogram in my head naturally is that I can't carry as much speed while being smooth (relative) as I would turn in an automatic perhaps. The thing that I want to emphasize here again for the turns is when I was basically flooring the clutch getting ready for the turn while braking it'd cause the revs to drop completely down to idle. I'm pretty sure the jerk could be caused by the revs shooting back up when engaging 2nd gear. I haven't tried blipping the throttle more or less because my feet are tangling in the footwell trying to get organized in the order of operations.

Unnecessary but fun.

In regards to downshifting while rev matching chronologically, I still kind of exhibit that behavior when going off exit ramps that spiral or twist. Not sure if this is accepted or looked down upon behavior. For instance, on the highway I'll clearly be in 6th so I'll go all the way down to 3rd or 4th without skipping gears and "bleeding off" the speed.

Honestly, with your close ratios it's probably pointless to rev-match a sequential shift. You shift one gear and your RPM barely differs. Even with wider ratios it's generally unnecessary. I suppose if you generally hang around in much lower gears/higher engine speeds than I do then it might be a little more worthwhile (larger gaps and more power/engine braking).

Understandably. It's definitely closed ratio and most of the time when I get to the higher gears I'm only dropping 300-400 rpm.

I hate drawing attention unnecessarily. I totally get where you're coming from.

#1 reason why I stopped doing it. It's not because I wanted to be judged by others but there are other "manual transmissions" on the road and I don't hear or witness this happening with them so I figured it was obnoxious or maybe plain out wrong.

Remember what I mentioned earlier about engine speed contributing to severity of jerk? Well, gear choice contributes inversely. In a different gear, the leverage between the engine and the road changes. In a higher gear the excess power or engine braking has less ability to jerk you around. In my previous explanation I considered a scenario where the gear remains the same and speed differs, so engine RPM is higher and makes the jerk more severe. In this scenario imagine different road speeds and the same RPM in different gears; the higher gear will have a less severe jerk. So at 2000RPM in 2nd at 20mph the jerk will be worse than 2000RPM in 3rd at 30mph. (Numbers pulled directly out of my ass.)

This may be the most important response. This is where things get interesting when I read this and experiment. On some late night stints I just experimented taking 90 degree turns at a higher rate of speed and trying to use 3rd gear as the work horse gear. I only did it a few times but with mixed results IMO. If I wasn't really quick on the gas coming out of the turn the engine would basically be close to juddering but it would work it's way out without doing so. The "jerk" wasn't really as bad as it is in 2nd but the issue here is the power coming out of the turn- I would call it lethargic. If 2nd is considered more then enough (which it is for me) then 3rd would be the equivalent to weezing and limping past a finish line.

What do you mean? You floored the clutch pedal but then decided not to shift after all? Those are easy, either give it a little gas for a rev-match or be real gentle and slow with the clutch pedal. I mean, those are easy with practice...when you're new it's tough to successfully accomplish either option.

I meant to say that I'm not too sure how gentle or how long I should be in the biting point when going back into 2nd without a blip to match the revs. So technically my technique could be at fault as well but I can say this: I'm easing in gently, grinding my teeth waiting for that jerk, and just holding it there for a second if anything before lifting up and giving more gas.

These are acceptable. In reality no car has acceleration power even remotely similar to its braking and steering ability; 99% of scenarios where someone thinks acceleration was the only option to avoid a problem, they are wrong and/or they made a bad choice a second earlier.

I actually tried this out to try and eat my words and did with semi-success. What I did was turn a 90 degree right turn on a local street when no one was around and basically as soon as I was getting ready to turn I left it in the high gear and put the clutch down while modulating the brake and turning and when I got out of the turn I put it into 2nd and it was fairly controlled and I felt a lot more conscious about clutch control when going into 2nd. The problem I had which might get better with experience is that I felt like I was slow in transitioning back into a gear to have the torque to move out. By the time I was making this turn in 4th gear with the clutch down when all 4 of my wheels were straight and ready to move down the right I've already dropped to about 10-12 mph so getting clean into 2nd was cake.

What's your RPM? In my Rabbit I could just step on it slightly more and the dang thing would surge forward because it was already buzzing along at a ludicrous 3000RPM. I suspect that you have far better gears and need to downshift (AKA you get an excuse for a fun downshift).

2015 VW GTI is turning just over 2k in 6th gear at 65 mph. 6th gear is really great for cruising the highway in relative quietness. I'm not sure exactly where it's at with 60 mph but I can assure you it's under 2k. This is one of the biggest selling points for me with this car believe it or not.

Just to hit some of the remaining points made without specific quotes...
- I do need to work on rev-matching when skipping down gears and getting better with my throttle pedal.
- I've been really trying to work on better upshifts 4>5 and I basically followed your instruction to a tee and it's giving be the little bump I need to be smoother. Great.
- I think the parking lot situations are just a live and learn type of deal but I'm kind of getting confused by what people mean when they refer to "slip the clutch" into 2nd. I'm assuming that refers to riding the biting point while in second to keep the engine from juddering but I just need further explanation on a theory stand point why and how this can be utilized without being harmful.

Don't wait for rev hang. You've got better things to do, like continue accelerating. Just let the clutch absorb it so you can get on with life. Man, I hate waiting around for rev hang.

Again, a tad confused on the alternative of not waiting for the revs to drop? When I was first starting out and didn't have any of my timing down, I used to "thunk" pretty hard into 2nd from 1st. I would literally watch the revs drop (smash) downwards and it was probably the most violent jerks I've ever experienced in this car. I started waiting on it and it pretty much cleaned up the jerkyness... when you say "let the clutch absorb it" does that refer to letting the car jerk and just moving onwards or am I missing a critical step/piece?

Anywho holycow- I hope you know that I greatly appreciate the feedback and emphasis.

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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby theholycow » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:07 am

tankinbeans wrote:Coasting in neutral to save gas is a counter productive. At a certain point your injectors shut off because your tires are spinning enough to turn the engine. In neutral the engine has to spin itself.

Which option benefits efficiency depends on the exact situation and the exact behavior of the specific car. Often, neutral coasting is more efficient than DFCO (Deceleration Fuel Cut Off).

Also, as somebody's signature says, "if you're out of gear, you're out of control."

I've already ranted about how unsafe a driver who needs that strategy is...
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby theholycow » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:59 am

I basically treat a succession of traffic lights in a way where I try and not have to stop completely if possible.

Good. As a manual driver you now have even more motivation to perfect that by looking further ahead and planning well.

If I had to designate a direction I'd say it pushes me back into the seat

So, that means RPM too high. If you were already not touching the accelerator pedal then your options are to wait around for RPM to drop, choose a lower gear (and probably have to double-clutch), or just let the clutch absorb it by slowing/pausing your clutch foot as it travels through the friction zone. I say do it with the clutch; waiting sucks and choosing the wrong gear sucks.

One of the things I may need to reprogram in my head naturally is that I can't carry as much speed while being smooth (relative) as I would turn in an automatic perhaps.

That won't be necessary. You could consider it temporarily as part of the learning process, but once you're more proficient it won't be an issue. If anything you may find that you're able to (in a racing situation, not anything on public roads) squeeze out just a little more speed by having better control of traction through the better connection between engine and wheels (not only need you never fear an unexpected shift, but also there is no torque converter) allowing you to fine-tune traction.

The thing that I want to emphasize here again for the turns is when I was basically flooring the clutch getting ready for the turn while braking it'd cause the revs to drop completely down to idle.

This should be normal, expected behavior unless a smartass computer decides to meddle (e.g. rev hang).

I'm pretty sure the jerk could be caused by the revs shooting back up when engaging 2nd gear. I haven't tried blipping the throttle

So, as I suggested in another part of my earlier post, instead of a discrete blip, merely advance the timing of your right foot; you were going to step on the go-pedal just after your left foot finishes with the clutch but instead do it a little earlier while your left foot is still doing stuff.

more or less because my feet are tangling in the footwell trying to get organized in the order of operations.

Yes, for a while this will plague you and stymie your attempts at executing every technique we discuss.

In regards to downshifting while rev matching chronologically, I still kind of exhibit that behavior when going off exit ramps that spiral or twist. Not sure if this is accepted or looked down upon behavior. For instance, on the highway I'll clearly be in 6th so I'll go all the way down to 3rd or 4th without skipping gears and "bleeding off" the speed.

Apart from discussing it here, as long as your observable actions on the road are the same (slowing down for the exit ramp), this choice is not a social issue at all. It's not going to hurt anything. We could try to split hairs about which option causes more normal, expected wear (the kind of wear that you don't worry about in any other context, like you don't avoid opening and closing windows or adjusting seats or steering around turns) but that's not only an exercise in futility, but a needless distraction. If you enjoy sequential downshifts, go ahead and do them. You probably have no need to rev-match but if you enjoy it, do it. I do plenty of unnecessary stuff for fun or perfection.

90 degree turns at a higher rate of speed and trying to use 3rd gear as the work horse gear.

This would be a major difference between your tall gears/low torque at idle and my 2008 Rabbit's short gears/high torque at idle. 3rd was a cakewalk for those turns, I always used 3rd at 15mph anyway, and I could try 4th the way you tried 3rd. With the very tall gears in my Buick I might slip 2nd or DC into 1st for the same turn...

If I wasn't really quick on the gas coming out of the turn the engine would basically be close to juddering but it would work it's way out without doing so.

In a marginal situation like this, we go back once again to the suggestion that you slip the clutch a little. Of course that's easy to say because my feet have lots of practice; for now it's more difficult for you. You'll improve.

The "jerk" wasn't really as bad as it is in 2nd but the issue here is the power coming out of the turn- I would call it lethargic. If 2nd is considered more then enough (which it is for me) then 3rd would be the equivalent to weezing and limping past a finish line.

On my roads with my personality, lethargic is acceptable and even relaxing. On your roads I can easily enough imagine myself (let alone someone less relaxed) feeling impatient with that result.

I meant to say that I'm not too sure how gentle or how long I should be in the biting point when going back into 2nd without a blip to match the revs. So technically my technique could be at fault as well but I can say this: I'm easing in gently, grinding my teeth waiting for that jerk, and just holding it there for a second if anything before lifting up and giving more gas.

Your technique is good. It is not possible to specify in an internet forum post how gentle or how long you should be in the biting point; as a passenger I could say "you should have been a little more aggressive with that clutch" or "hey, chill out with that left foot!". Soon enough you'll get a feel for what you're doing wrong each time, even if you don't yet find yourself able to control it properly or predict what you'll need to do as you approach the next situation.

In short, what you need is practice.

The problem I had which might get better with experience is that I felt like I was slow in transitioning back into a gear to have the torque to move out.

A lot of people have trouble executing these actions quickly, and that's definitely exacerbated by inexperience. One thing I was good at right from the start was shifting fast; I could slap that clutch pedal to the floor (and pop my right foot off the go-pedal) while simultaneously flicking the shifter and get all of that done in a flash, and then it was just up to my feet whether or not I could engage the clutch and get on the accelerator smoothly. One thing that helped was that I always perfer lower RPM and higher gears, and that (of course) produces less jerking.

2015 VW GTI is turning just over 2k in 6th gear at 65 mph. 6th gear is really great for cruising the highway in relative quietness. I'm not sure exactly where it's at with 60 mph but I can assure you it's under 2k. This is one of the biggest selling points for me with this car believe it or not.

I ran the ratios through my gear calculator but I couldn't believe the results; that was totally not VW's modus operandi. I figured I screwed up the dual final drive ratios. Turns out I did it right. That's excellent, I wished my Rabbit was geared like that. That type of highway loafer high gear was one of my main goals when I put the T5 in my Buick and I succeeded with that, so with this car I do get a relaxed engine and an excuse to downshift on the highway sometimes. I bet if you got away from NYC so your car could stretch its legs on a nice highway ride you'd have excellent fuel economy.

- I think the parking lot situations are just a live and learn type of deal but I'm kind of getting confused by what people mean when they refer to "slip the clutch" into 2nd. I'm assuming that refers to riding the biting point while in second to keep the engine from juddering but I just need further explanation on a theory stand point why and how this can be utilized without being harmful.

Why: Because it gives you higher RPM at lower speed without having to choose a lower (and therefore more jerky, and possibly more difficult to get into, and possibly entirely wrong) gear, and it softens the normally solid connection between the engine and wheels, allowing some slippage for little variations.

How: Just gotta find that sweet spot where the clutch transmits some but not all torque, and exercise excellent fine throttle control too. You're gonna suck at that for now. That's ok.

Without being harmful: Don't do it all the way across the parking lot. Do do it while going over that bump at the entrance and dealing with the SUV that unexpectedly slowed sharply after entering the lot and such, then get your speed up another 1 or 2 mph so you can quit riding that clutch. If you find that you need to do it for too long then you should have chosen a lower gear instead.

when you say "let the clutch absorb it" does that refer to letting the car jerk and just moving onwards or am I missing a critical step/piece?

You're missing the critical step of slipping the clutch (just as described above for avoiding judder in 2nd in the parking lot, except your right foot has no role since the damnfool smartass computer is holding that throttle open anyway). You know the same stuff you do for a no-gas launch from a stop in first gear? Do exactly that, except you're at speed and in a higher gear. The clutch absorbs the shock so your butt (and your CV joints) won't.

I used to have the worst clutch wear paranoia. Then in 2010 I converted my Buick and my potential costs for clutch replacement dropped dramatically. Then just a few months ago I replaced the clutch (and transmission) (after 90,000 miles of abuse on a mismatched clutch set with a clutch disc way too small for my car) and found that it really hadn't worn much but my habits of trying too hard to preserve clutch wear (along with the aforementioned too-small clutch) caused a delamination failure. Now I get it...the thing doesn't look very thick but it really doesn't wear fast at all, you'd have to be a really severely abusive driver to wear a clutch prematurely.
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby Teamwork » Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:29 pm

I'm going to try and be a little more prompt and just as thoughtful with the response here holycow. I love how you break up specific points and further point out things and question them. Makes it feel like a true open ended discussion which message boards should promote! I think a lot of the questions and statements that reflect upon me may make the situation seem worse then what it actually is... When asking a lot of these instances I'm trying to have better approaches and refinement of my technique from whom I'd considered seasoned operators. It's mostly because I can't really differentiate from right and wrong or good and not so good approaches.

First, I just want to touch on the subject of the only person who is readily available who could potentially mentor me. I kind of strayed away from him because I didn't like his driving style (I have driven with him before) or answers to my questions. He has a modern day Acura with a 6 speed manual and on long stints on the highway he basically coasts in neutral and re-engaged a gear if needby for the said claims of "fuel economy". Maybe I'm mistaken on my views of hyper miling but this seems like he would be using more gas idling, never mind the fact that it seems to be down right dangerous. He openly admits he doesn't rev match on down shifts at all, so naturally some instances he's pretty jerky. He's driven with me once in the wee beginning and stayed pretty neutral in his comments when I basically openly invited him to criticize me. Two of the only things he said was "he couldn't believe 'good' my launches were" for being new and he made remarks about how he couldn't believe it was only a 2.0L.

So, that means RPM too high. If you were already not touching the accelerator pedal then your options are to wait around for RPM to drop, choose a lower gear (and probably have to double-clutch), or just let the clutch absorb it by slowing/pausing your clutch foot as it travels through the friction zone. I say do it with the clutch; waiting sucks and choosing the wrong gear sucks.

I can't really say for sure what direction I'm being jerked because it does feel minor in the movement sense. It could be the brain overload but this is by no means a "movement" jerk where I'm going through the windshield or into the back of my seat. The best way I could describe it is- it "pops" and lets me know that I'm into 2nd gear. If I had to make an educated assumption based on what I know- I think, its related to the revs dropping to idle and shooting back up when I go into the lower gear- relative to speed.

That won't be necessary. You could consider it temporarily as part of the learning process, but once you're more proficient it won't be an issue. If anything you may find that you're able to (in a racing situation, not anything on public roads) squeeze out just a little more speed by having better control of traction through the better connection between engine and wheels (not only need you never fear an unexpected shift, but also there is no torque converter) allowing you to fine-tune traction.

Interesting to me because I feel like I got my original advice from "racing mentality". It's why I really thought I should be in 2nd (or a low gear) before I even started turning so I can have maximum power going out of it. To me the whole idea of staying in the high gear or neutral and selecting the low gear after the turn is foreign to me and maybe it shouldn't be. After all, I'm not trying to set a time attack record going around 90 degree turns.

So, as I suggested in another part of my earlier post, instead of a discrete blip, merely advance the timing of your right foot; you were going to step on the go-pedal just after your left foot finishes with the clutch but instead do it a little earlier while your left foot is still doing stuff.

This advice has already aided me yesterday. I did it for the 4>5 upshift and smoothed that bad boy out. I don't have any doubt the same can be applied.

Yes, for a while this will plague you and stymie your attempts at executing every technique we discuss.

...But this is ultimately why I haven't been giving a blip when going into 2nd in a turning scenario. My feet are tripping over each other and my brain is melting. Naturally if I was to type it out now I'm staying in the high gear, bleeding speed with my brake, and right before the turn I am clutching down and shifting to 2nd. If I were to blip I would need to either brake harder and slow down to the point where I don't need it anymore, earlier.. or heel and toe which is something I can't do. I think in typing that, that's the big difference between how I handled these same turns in automatic or manual- with the automatic I could modulate the brake only even while in the turn. Here may come the reply that tells me why I should choose the gear after.

This would be a major difference between your tall gears/low torque at idle and my 2008 Rabbit's short gears/high torque at idle. 3rd was a cakewalk for those turns, I always used 3rd at 15mph anyway, and I could try 4th the way you tried 3rd. With the very tall gears in my Buick I might slip 2nd or DC into 1st for the same turn...

I only did a few times pretty late at night but I do remember carrying more speed into the turn initially but basically feeling gutless coming out of it straight (in relation to 2nd). It was noticeable to me at least and I definitely had to contribute more throttle input to not even get the same (but acceptable) movement.

On my roads with my personality, lethargic is acceptable and even relaxing. On your roads I can easily enough imagine myself (let alone someone less relaxed) feeling impatient with that result.

Collateral damage that I might not even be aware of. I live on Long Island about 45 minute train ride to the city but it's still the same aggressive/careless drivers. If someone is following me into a turn they are typically right on my rear bumper so efficiency and swiftness is almost always required- same goes to when I'm waiting on rev hang to 2nd from 1st. I know I'm in motion but I can see that rear view mirror an object is getting closer.

I ran the ratios through my gear calculator but I couldn't believe the results; that was totally not VW's modus operandi. I figured I screwed up the dual final drive ratios. Turns out I did it right. That's excellent, I wished my Rabbit was geared like that. That type of highway loafer high gear was one of my main goals when I put the T5 in my Buick and I succeeded with that, so with this car I do get a relaxed engine and an excuse to downshift on the highway sometimes. I bet if you got away from NYC so your car could stretch its legs on a nice highway ride you'd have excellent fuel economy.

Yeah the only ratio that I find kind of odd is 2nd since I can't drop below double digits with juddering and possibly stalling. I like where I'm at with 6th... even at 60 mph I have to be around 1800 rpms. On the top end (on a closed course of course) at 85-86 mph I was just under 3k. I don't have much manual car experience to know if this is decent or average but it's good for me. Getting onto the highway I usually go straight from 4th gear to 6th and skip right over 5th.

You're missing the critical step of slipping the clutch (just as described above for avoiding judder in 2nd in the parking lot, except your right foot has no role since the damnfool smartass computer is holding that throttle open anyway). You know the same stuff you do for a no-gas launch from a stop in first gear? Do exactly that, except you're at speed and in a higher gear. The clutch absorbs the shock so your butt (and your CV joints) won't.

Excellent. I will definitely be working on this now that I know what I need to be working on. What I'm unsure of is how much of a jerk is acceptable and good on the vehicle versus being "automatic" like smooth. I was thunking into 2nd with some of the worst jerks when I first started and it made me cringe. It's a good thing I got my timing down and such.

EDIT: There is really only one issue/scenario that I've been dodging since I started driving a manual transmission vehicle. In NY it's pretty much being thrown into the fire, covered in gasoline at some points but I've been dodging this entrance apron at one of my jobs for months now. The best way I can describe it is I have to make a left turn across 3 lanes which is fine.. but the problem is the apron is on a steep incline and the bottom of it is broken pavement (welcome to NY). So in theory I have to get across the 3 lanes and slow down to 4-5 and then creep up the hill in what I'm assuming has to be 1st gear. 0 room for error or I most likely be t-boned or pissing off a ton of people. I can't approach it too fast or I will lose my front bumper and plastic (yes plastic) oil pan. So I'm thinking that I should be really good at slipping the clutch when in gear before trying to tackle this. I'm also guessing 2nd gear wouldn't be ideal in this situation either... I can't describe what kind of angle the hill is at but when it's snowing- even with automatics they roll backwards at an alarming rate.

Other then that I feel like I'm on a steady progression of improvements and more relaxed overall!

IMBoring25
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Re: Refining Technique & Scenario Based Q's

Postby IMBoring25 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:06 pm

Neutral as a fuel-saving measure does work but the effect is tiny. Even if you have a vehicle that does DFCO, the engine will still be driven by the wheels, producing a very significant engine braking effect. Allowing DFCO to happen will typically only beat neutral overall in cases where you have to apply brakes. If you can coast down the hill or up to what will become a green light, your car will coast for a great distance consuming very little fuel and neutral will be (slightly) better because of the speed you otherwise would have lost to engine braking that you don't have to regain.

I don't buy the "in gear for safety" argument either. I would go so far as to say most hazardous situations out of which you might need to accelerate would be better ameliorated by a double-clutch into the correct gear than by applying throttle in a cruising gear (and if you see the potential situation developing and do your shift in anticipation, the point is entirely moot).

Descending a hill in neutral is technically illegal in most states, but that is primarily due to brake fade down long, steep grades (which is not nearly as likely in a modern passenger car as it once was) and, again, if you're having to apply the brakes, you're defeating the purpose.


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