Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

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revsin
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Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby revsin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:16 am

I bought a 2013 Scion TC about a month ago and it is my first manual car, a little present to myself for turning 40. I've been riding motorcycles for many years so I figured it'd be easy for me to adopt. Hasn't been the case.

My launches into first gear are giving me the most grief. The drive by wire throttle this car has is making it harder than I feel it needs to be. Very touchy, has a bit of a dead spot. Once past the dead spot you've got about 1-2mm of travel between idle 800RPM to north of 1.5K RPM. Course it's also only a hair away from spiking to 2K RPM.

In short, it's difficult to keep the revs under 2k in this car. Possible of course, but very difficult.

What I've been trying:

1) No gas, let clutch out to when it starts to bite, hold it there, attempt to apply gentle throttle, as it starts to roll more freely let the clutch out.
(This works, but since the throttle is so touchy and the dead area makes this a bit inconsistent. Either I miss anticipate the dead spots travel and stall, or I exceed the point of gentle throttle and it spikes to 2k rpm where I feel like I'm doing undo clutch stress )

2) Throttle to 1.5k before the clutch engages, catch engagement point and fade out.
(This launches in the most reliable manner for me, but is 1.5k too high to launch regularly with? Ideally lower than 1.5k would make sense, but the throttle simply doesn't allow this to happen. It's just too touchy)

My goal here is to learn good habits sooner than later, get the fundamentals down so I can spare myself a premature clutch repair and start enjoying what I've purchased. Every bodged shift takes it's toll on me and my stress level is compounding. Every sound and smell is adding to my anxiety.

Getting a manual car is like having your first child, you don't know what you're doing, you want to take care of it the best you can, mistakes can be expensive and you never want to smell anything burning!

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tankinbeans
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:31 am

Welcome to the board.

I definitely feel your pain. My first manual was the very same way, touchy and inconsistent. You've been practicing all the right things and doing what most here would suggest; it just takes time and patience.

Have you looked for a vehicle specific forum to see if there are others with the same issue? This might be a maladjusted throttle and there may be a way to correct it and make it more responsive. For my original car there was, but I was always worried that I would bungle it up.
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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!

revsin
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby revsin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:45 am

tankinbeans wrote:Welcome to the board.

I definitely feel your pain. My first manual was the very same way, touchy and inconsistent. You've been practicing all the right things and doing what most here would suggest; it just takes time and patience.

Have you looked for a vehicle specific forum to see if there are others with the same issue? This might be a maladjusted throttle and there may be a way to correct it and make it more responsive. For my original car there was, but I was always worried that I would bungle it up.


That I have, the profile of the owner of this car tends to be that of 'boy racer'. So most of the forums responses have been in the vain of "L2DRIVE STICK LAWL". Which is fine, I was young and dumb once (honestly, I was dumb way more than once!). It seems to be a consistent 'feature' of the car and the only viable solution is a rather expensive aftermarket mod that allows you to tune the pedal's response. That seems a bit overkill.

If, in your opinion, the methods I've been experimenting with are on the right track. Does one method favor a better practice than the other? Am I doing more harm than good revving to around 1.5k before the clutch's engagement point?

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tankinbeans
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:04 am

I'd practice the no-throttle launch most because it gives you a greater control over the situation and will allow you to more intimately understand what the car is doing. This is especially important during the winter when a sudden spike in tire speed can cause problems.

Also, if the throttle can't be adjusted by adjusting some screws, with the use of a voltmeter, you could probably practicing revving to various engine speeds. It might help you overcome your deadzone.

You may find it helpful to google "the best throttle mod ever." It will bring you to a Kia Forte website, but my guess is that the setup is similar. Obviously it would be at your discretion if you wanted to try to adjust the pedal, but it might be worth a look. I looked and seriously considered it, but for the warranty induced paranoia.
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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!

Teamwork
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby Teamwork » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:11 am

Hey man- welcome here. I'm going to try and weigh in on a few things and such.

First, I've never experienced your car first hand in manual form but I know the 2nd generation of the TC (I think yours is 2nd gen?) is regarded one of the best and most user friendly cars to learn stick on by some of the major publications. What I would do if I was you is just roll around a parking lot for at least 20-30 minutes. Work on moving the car forward in a no stress environment and if you get really pushy- start simulating common traffic situations. Don't use any gas and just work on clutch control and ultimately getting used to where the biting point is. If you have another passenger in the car even, and again wide open area- you can physically watch your foot movement and where the "pedal is" when it's engaging the gear. Obviously don't do that in anything but wide open vacant lots but I've done it a few times just to have an idea.

From what you've been stating is happening to you in bullet points 1) & 2) I would suspect that you're moving your clutch foot too fast. Try pausing in the friction point for an elongated pause (probably around 2 seconds) and then slowly, progressively lifting off the clutch for the rest of the travel. That was a sticking point for me in the beginning.. I would basically have a continuous slow movement through the friction point but I realized if I paused within it- things felt smoother and overall just better.

To each their own in regards to no gas launches and gas simultaneously. I 90% of the time will add gas at the same exact point where I'm lifting into the friction point. Nothing too drastic in rpms probably around 1,300-1,400 rpms (mind you relatively level ground). I would go about it first with no gas launches to gain experience with clutch control though for sure. Speed will come later after you get the basics down.

As for being frustrated, nervous, and stressed- I'd say just to be patient in the learning process and realize that it won't happen overnight. You'll feel like you've made milestone moments, you'll feel some days after that you've regressed, but just like anything new- stick with it and you'll be golden.

revsin
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby revsin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:10 pm

Teamwork wrote:Hey man- welcome here. I'm going to try and weigh in on a few things and such.

First, I've never experienced your car first hand in manual form but I know the 2nd generation of the TC (I think yours is 2nd gen?) is regarded one of the best and most user friendly cars to learn stick on by some of the major publications.


I'm gonna transmute that line into the complete opposite, merely to boost my confidence on what little progress I have achieved. "Most difficult car in the world, only Steve McQueen was able to get out of neutral. Be wary!" There, now I feel like a badass!

I do go and practice on the regular, mornings are the worst shifting for me. Like my feet forgot everything that happened the day before. I happen to live at the top of a small hill and park facing downhill. So each day I try to get her moving by only using the clutch as a way to 'calibrate' my left foot for the rest of the morning journey. Which has made for decent practice.

I also appreciate the insight someone had mentioned about the no-gas-till-engagement point regarding foul weather. So I will focus more energy adapting towards that where applicable. Tho if facing a hill I feel that gassing beforehand a bit would appear to be appropriate for normal conditions.

I do appreciate the thoughtful and consideration of my meager issue and not being patronized for asking, nice lot here.

Tho still looking for clarification, is launching at 1.5k too high? Not that I intend on making this a habit, but there are some scenarios where getting a consistent quick launch into traffic would be reassuring. As well as some assurance that I'm not going to cook the clutch in short order doing so with enough regularity.

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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby Teamwork » Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:18 pm

Tho still looking for clarification, is launching at 1.5k too high? Not that I intend on making this a habit, but there are some scenarios where getting a consistent quick launch into traffic would be reassuring. As well as some assurance that I'm not going to cook the clutch in short order doing so with enough regularity.

I'm going to have to go with no. I typically keep my revs right above idle so 1200-1500 rpm when I'm engaging 1st gear on level ground. Now if you were dropping the hammer in 1st gear at like 3k-4k I'd be worried about cooking the clutch but yeah just above idle rpm's for me.

It's hard to explain but you will kind of feel it hook up and it'll let you know when it wasn't ready and you didn't give it enough time. It's going to be a trial and error type of process to obtain feeling.

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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby revsin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:57 pm

Well after reading all the helpful comments today while at work, started off for my journey home aided with a new sense of confidence I didn't have this morning. Hit some heavy stop and go traffic in the hillier part of town thanks to an accident. Every shift was perfect and smooth, downshift or two coulda have been better but no dragging the engine down. If my Father were still alive and riding shotgun with me, he wouldn't have been yelling about my driving. He would have been yelling about something else tho.

I think what really clicked for me today was realizing that the engagement point was probably a bit earlier in the release than I had been previously accepting it to be.

For any other new manual drivers who may stumble across this post:
Release your clutch till you feel the engine's RPM drop, memorize that point and assume that the engagement point is actually a little bit before that point. Apply a wee bit of throttle and hold the RPM the best you can. Release your clutch pedal till the car starts to roll, hold that spot for a Mississippi (American style) once you move a few feet, continue to release the clutch smoothly till the pedal is all the way up and then resume acceleration.

Those with more experience feel free to comment on the above paragraph as my wish is not to dispell poor advice

Thank you guys so much for your kind advice, input, and empowering words. I hate to admit this, but the internet has turned into such a dark place full of insulting elitist trolling douchebags that it becomes remarkable when you find a place on the net that's not! It almost feels like everyone on here appears to have a real constructive purpose for being a part of this website, so weird?

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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:17 pm

Downshifts are another animal entirely. I'm getting better at them, but I still overcorrect on the throttle once in awhile. It's expected. Teamwork is a great contributor because he's one of the more recent additions to the site who had very similar difficulties, in New York no less.

I'm happy to hear you're doing well and feeling better.

As to your paragraph for new drivers, it's bang on.
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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: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby Teamwork » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:58 pm

Thank you guys so much for your kind advice, input, and empowering words. I hate to admit this, but the internet has turned into such a dark place full of insulting elitist trolling douchebags that it becomes remarkable when you find a place on the net that's not! It almost feels like everyone on here appears to have a real constructive purpose for being a part of this website, so weird?

This forum is a hidden gem for sure. I feel really connected to most of the regulars here and it's really a nice close knit family. I'm sure at some point this forum was booming and a lot more active then it is today but nonetheless it's filled with great information, and great people. You made reference to "car club" forums and getting lack luster or flamed advice. It happens all the time and it's sad. There are times on the vortex that I am ashamed to be a member and that's really one of the better enthusiast...

Overall, I'd say just give it some time and don't be discouraged no matter what happens really. I'm only starting on year 2 for myself and I'm still far from perfect. It was definitely a process for me and in the beginning I even felt discouraged from driving at points because I didn't feel like I had the confidence or competencies to do so. Experience is a lot of it and learning from mistakes.

And thanks for the kind words tankin- means a lot to me.

revsin
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby revsin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:12 pm

Overall, I'd say just give it some time and don't be discouraged no matter what happens really. I'm only starting on year 2 for myself and I'm still far from perfect. It was definitely a process for me and in the beginning I even felt discouraged from driving at points because I didn't feel like I had the confidence or competencies to do so. Experience is a lot of it and learning from mistakes.


Man, was feeling that a few days ago. It was raining hard out and I almost just took the motorcycle to work just to not have to face more personal failure. Had to play some mind games with myself, "Would a pussy ride in a thunderstorm? No. Then why is that same dude backing down to a car powered by an engine from a Camry?" Id, ego, superego... all motivated by machismo!

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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby six » Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:54 pm

Your paragraph for new manual drivers is good, kudos.

As for your point #2 in your original post, 1.5k is a little high, but not too high for someone starting out like you. And I know what I'm about to say might sound like Greek to you initially, you'll learn to do this naturally as time moves on: Instead of throttling to 1.5k RPM > then > engage the clutch... the ideal would be to eventually get to the point where you would theoretically throttle to the 1.5k RPM point, but, do it while engaging the clutch. In essence, you are using the clutch to prevent the engine from getting up to 1.5k RPM, and instead translate that to forward movement. In relation to your feet, this will translate to a see-saw motion that so many other people talk about. Don't worry about it now, and don't try to aim for this. This will happen naturally as your body adapts to your car.
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby theholycow » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:49 am

I arrived in 2008 and there was more traffic here but it's never been booming like a larger forum. Maybe small size has helped keep us close-knit and constructive.

Right now I think everyone who posts regularly is quite friendly, but we've had some less-friendly folks here regularly in the past (who have managed to rile some of us up, sometimes)...still, as a whole this has been a nice oasis in an internet full of bullshit. Please do stay here even after you no longer need help; stay and add to the friendly atmosphere, stay and help noobs. Let's all pat ourselves on the back and try to keep it up!
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tankinbeans
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Re: Frustration and stress and this isn't even a marriage issue

Postby tankinbeans » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:55 am

Me gusta los contrapcion.
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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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