Trouble with new manual

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SirMathias007
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Trouble with new manual

Postby SirMathias007 » Fri May 20, 2016 6:44 pm

Ive been driving a Ford Ranger manual for about 8 years. Driving it was like second nature, other people said it was one of the easiest standards they have driven. The truck got up to 304,000 miles and I was ready for a new vehicle. It had been breaking down more often.

I saved my money and bought a car, 2016 Kia Forte, wanted another truck but cars were cheaper. Also, the manual was cheaper than the automatic. I thought Id mess with it a couple days and be good. I was WRONG. This manual is completly different than my truck. I test drove it fine, but once I started driving it to work I had many issues. I rolled back on hills, stalled in intersections, jerked on take offs, revved to high on take offs. Ive been all over the place.

My dad says that its different because its not a hydrolic clutch, its a cable clutch. Also the friction point is practically at the top, it was lower on my truck. I have to almost take my foot off the pedal before I hit it. I love this car, but Im getting so frustrated. I found a way to smoothly take off, but told it was really bad for my clutch. I was holding it at the friction point, slipping the clutch. So back to square one. I try not to slip it too much but that causes jerky starts or I rev it too high. Though Im not sure what too high is.

I can take off smooth in a parking lot, but its VERY slow. In traffic I cant go that slow, sometimes I need to get going. Also Im having the most trouble when slowing down, not stopping but close. It jerks so badly when I slow down and have to get going again.

Last thing is the fact I was never fully taught how to drive one. My dad told me the basics and had me practice in a parking lot. I was bad. He about gave up when my grandfather stepped in. He got me in the truck and told me to drive somewhere. I did, from that point I could drive it. No idea how. So I dont know the order of pedals. Do i take foot off break, gas it a bit while releasing the clutch? Do I release the clutch a bit, take foot off break and gas it? How do I quickly let off the clutch without a jerk? Also my truck had no rpm meter, so I have no idea how to use it.

This has got me quite upset, and Im embarrassed to drive people in my new car because Im so bad at it. I just want to at least have it somewhat smooth. Any tips would help here. Thanks.

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InlinePaul
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby InlinePaul » Fri May 20, 2016 11:08 pm

Seems the clutch must not be properly adjusted. A new vehicle should have an engagement point closer to the floor. It should be an adjustment to the cable and could fix you up. Take it to the dealer and have them adjust it. Hopefully that is the problem, but its under warranty so keep at them until it is right, even if they have to replace the clutch disk and/or pressure plate. The other thing would be to test drive a different one of the same model and see if the clutch works better.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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theholycow
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby theholycow » Sat May 21, 2016 10:50 am

It is highly unlikely that any recent car has a cable clutch. A 2013 Forte has a hydraulic clutch (or AutoZone wants to sell clutch slave cylinders for a car that wouldn't have one). I didn't easily find the owner's manual for the 2016 Forte on the US Kia site but the Canada site has it and it's hydraulic.

Every modern car I've driven has had clutch engagement near the top, or at least more than halfway up. There's an engineering reason for that regarding hydraulic clutch self-adjustment design that Rope-Pusher can explain best.

That Ranger was probably one of the easiest manual transmission vehicles to drive. It seems that compact pickups, especially base models from the 1980s and 1990s, are ultra-easy. Their clutches have a very wide and gentle engagement range, their throttles are very predictable, and they just plain work. (They're similarly great in a bunch of other ways too!)

A late model sedan/coupe/etc often has a clutch that is engineered to handle a lot more power, and therefore engages suddenly over a short range of pedal travel at the low power level of a normal launch. The throttle is drive-by-wire and probably not programmed with manual transmissions in mind, but rather for selling automatics by exciting people on test drives when they barely touch it and it zooms off at maximum acceleration.

How long are you holding it at the friction point, slipping the clutch?

If it's bucking when you slow down and have to get going again then you probably need to downshift. If you did downshift then you probably need practice with your downshift technique to tweak your clutch and accelerator timing just right.

So I dont know the order of pedals. Do i take foot off break, gas it a bit while releasing the clutch? Do I release the clutch a bit, take foot off break and gas it?

Can you tell us more about what you currently do? Are you downshifting? If not, it sounds like you are unnecessarily declutching. You don't need to step on the clutch pedal while slowing down until the engine is approximately down to idle RPM.

How do I quickly let off the clutch without a jerk?

You make sure your RPM is matched perfectly.

There are three things whose speed must match if you want to engage the clutch (let the clutch pedal up) in a hurry:
1. Engine/flywheel (indicated on the tachometer)
2. Clutch disc/input shaft (there is no gauge for this, you must infer/predict it)
3. Output shaft/wheels/road speed (indicated on speedometer)

Power flows in that order, from the engine to the road.
- When you step on the clutch pedal to declutch you disconnect the flywheel from the clutch disc.
- When your foot is off of the clutch pedal, clutch disc and input shaft spin at the same speed as the engine (as indicated on tachometer).
- When you shift to neutral you disconnect the input shaft from the output shaft. If you still have that clutch pedal floored, the input shaft and clutch disc are now spinning freely, not attached to anything.
- When you move the shifter from one gear to the next you change the speed of the input shaft. For example, shifting from 2nd to 1st might make the input shaft go from 1000rpm to 2500rpm.
- When your road speed changes the output shaft speed changes.

For launching from a stop, there is no way to match RPM of everything. Road speed is zero. Input shaft speed is zero. Engine speed is ~1000rpm. The clutch's job is to absorb the energy difference and accelerate the car until the clutch can be fully engaged. You'll have to feed it a little bit of accelerator pedal while doing your clutch work, and you may need to pause your clutch foot when it's starting to grab but still slipping a bit, until everything syncs up and you're at a steady speed.

I had a similar problem to yours. Driving easy manual transmissions came pretty naturally to me, and I never needed instruction to drive something like a compact pickup. Then I got a modern car and had a hell of a time getting a decent launch; I stalled a lot and made the car buck a lot. In my sig there is a link to my meta-sig where there are some exercises you can do (no-gas launching, targeted free-revving, etc) to help.

For an upshift you generally don't have to worry about it. If your car has rev hang (RPM doesn't drop for a few seconds after you declutch and step off of the accelerator pedal) then there's no way to get everything matched up (other than unreasonably waiting) and you just need to learn to ease the clutch through the friction zone while still moving it fast through dead zones. Even with rev hang you'll need to be sure to get back on the accelerator pedal at the right time, which may be earlier than you think.

For a downshift you need to blip the accelerator pedal to rev-match. Just before you start to let the clutch pedal up (or just as you're getting started), give that go-pedal a little stab motion. Learning to get this just right so that you don't overdo it takes practice. Then be ready to ease into the pedal again a moment later as your clutch foot rises into the friction zone.
Also my truck had no rpm meter, so I have no idea how to use it.

Many will tell you not to use it. That is mainly an exaggeration built on the idea that some people tend to stare at it too much while learning. It is a useful tool, but it is good to be able to drive without it too.

It can help troubleshoot jerking. Sometimes it's hard to say which direction the jerk pushes your body and easier to say "the tachometer needle jumped up and then down" or something.

During that rev-matched downshift I just described, you'll want to see the needle jump to the target gear's RPM and stay there. For example, you're shifting from 3rd to 2nd at 20mph. Maybe in your car 3rd at 20mph is 2000rpm and 2nd at 20mph is 3000rpm. You declutch, move the shifter to 2, and just before you start to move the clutch pedal you stab the accelerator to make that tachometer needle jump to 3000rpm. Then as the clutch starts to grab, you have to get back on the accelerator...otherwise you'll be in-gear with the clutch connecting the engine to the transmission and the throttle closed, causing engine braking when you actually intend to accelerate.

A lot of that is simplified because this post is getting very long and, really, some reading of existing posts will provide all the detail that you need...but do feel free to ask questions for more detail/clarification.
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tankinbeans
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby tankinbeans » Sat May 21, 2016 11:28 am

First, welcome to the forum.

One site that might be helpful for you, with your specifc vehicle is forteforums.com. There are some good guys out there, or at least there were when I was going semi-regularly. Your clutch is definitely hydraulic as they've designed a clutch delay valve to prevent one from dumping it (at least in the 2011 I had there was a clutch delay valve).

I just had flashbacks. Cow, this was me 4 years ago as I'm sure you'll remember.
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sat May 21, 2016 12:55 pm

I would say that target for clutch engagement would be a pedal position of 35 mm up from the downstop position.

There will be some variance of this position due to component dimensional tolerances, but as you get significantly higher than this position, you risk over-stroking the clutch release bearing when the pedal is at the downstop and that can produce negative issues.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

SirMathias007
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby SirMathias007 » Sun May 22, 2016 7:22 pm

This is a lot of great information. Im getting better, just slowly.

The way I do the pedals at the moment is like this.
1. Let up on clutch slightly
2. Take foot off break and lightly press the gas.
3. Let foot off clutch more. Sometimes its smooth sometimes its not. But when it is smooth Im inching out of the intersection real slow.

Before when I was slipping the clutch it was like this.
1. 2 cars behind a light.
2. Light change.
3. Let out clutch to friction point.
4. Hold it till its my turn to move.
5. Let foot off break and lightly press the gas.
This was the smoothest method, although I stalled it some. Yet, Im sure I was holding it at the friction point too long. I was told it should only be at the friction point for a second or two. This was a few more seconds than that, long enough till I had to move.

Yes my truck was super easy. Once I got the basics down, I didnt even have to think about it. The engagment point may have been lower due to the fact it was a '95 with 304,000 miles. Original clutch. Was probably worn down.

As far as an update, still jerk on take offs and slow downs. BUT they are not as violent anymore. Softer jerks. Stalls are not happening nearly as much.

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theholycow
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Re: Trouble with new manual

Postby theholycow » Mon May 23, 2016 9:53 am

If I'm reading your procedures correctly, it sounds like the only difference between them is the length of time that you spend in the friction zone while remaining stopped. If so, you could allow yourself to go partially back to the old way temporarily and then work on continuing to reduce that duration.
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