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Learning stick in my Tacoma... giant learning curve?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by BarefootBandit, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Jul 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM
    #1
    BarefootBandit

    BarefootBandit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2006 Tacoma double-cab 6 speed that I bought this weekend.

    I learned how to drive stick in a older wrangler and for some reason, this truck feels a lot different.

    Is it normal how shifting into 2nd is such a horrible experience? it seems as if I can never get a smooth shift.

    I always shift into 2nd at 15mph, and I TRY to keep the engine at 1500RPM.

    The problem is that it's really hard for me to get the motor to sit at 1500RPM. Sometimes I hit the gas the same way twice, and the littlest deviation on how fast I press or how hard either makes it jump to 2500rpm or drop to 1000.

    Is THAT normal?

    My other problem is that the clutch push is very long. Everybody who drives stick keeps telling me not to "rest my foot on the clutch" and to straight drop it when launching. Never go half way.

    Is that normal or are they wrong?

    My dad tells me it's because it's a big heavy pickup truck. I think it's just because the manual transmission in the Tacoma's are, as I heard quoted here... "garbage"

    Is this just a really long learning curve?
     
  2. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:01 PM
    #2
    SCFirefighter

    SCFirefighter on idiot patrol ;)

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    The throttle and RPM responses are all computer controlled. It's not like a true manual used to be. There are a lot of complaints on here about the manual; or at least that's how it seems.
     
  3. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:06 PM
    #3
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    Any time the clutch is in even a little bit, the throwout bearing is spinning/wearing out. That is why you never want to rest your foot on the pedal. As for dropping the clutch. They are somewhat right. The clutch disk is wearing out any time there is slippage which is when the clutch is in the middle of engagement. Try to either have it all the way in or all the way out, not in between.
     
  4. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:07 PM
    #4
    Black Taco

    Black Taco Well-Known Member

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    I'm no driving instructor but...

    Yeah, don't rest your foot on the clutch.

    With your vehicle running, depress the clutch slowly until you feel it grabbing and you start moving. If you accelerate at that point, your shift will be smoother and your rpm's won't jump. Every vehicle is different.

    It also sounds like you need more rpms. 1500 sounds low to shift. You don't have to shift at 3000 either, it would depend on the ground being level or hilly.

    You'll get it, but you don't want to ride the clutch or you'll be replacing it soon.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM
    #5
    zznalg

    zznalg Active Member

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    I have a 2010 6 speed manual 4.0 double cab and I find it incredibly easy and smooth to operate. It's one of the easiest I've ever driven -and that includes tons of vehicles.
    The Tacoma is not so big and heavy. It's quite adequately powered for its weight. I find second and all other gears non-issues as far as shifting smoothness.
    Here's some suggestions: don't have firm rules about when and how to shift. I.e., there's nothing magical about 15 mph or 1500 rpm's. Don't worry about the numbers too much. Focus on the feel, sound and desired results. If you need more power and acceleration bring it to higher rpm's. If you don't need power in a situation but prefer economy and less wear on the drivetrain, shift at lower rpm's. Don't run it often near red line. Try not to let the motor go below 1000 rpms. The 4.0 seems to be working relatively hard and making a lot of noise above 3000 -even though it is very strong above 3000. 2000-3000 seems to be the motor's sweet spot. 1500-2000 is nice too. Just get the feel. And always try to match motor rpms with the speed of the part of the drivetrain connected to the wheels. That way, clutch wear is minimized and smoothness is maximized.

    Also, it's always possible there is something wrong with your transmission or clutch if shifting to second is a problem.

    Have fun. It takes some time to learn.
     
  6. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:15 PM
    #6
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    there is a learning curve, but i consistently hit 2nd gear smoothly. You just gotta be one with your truck. NEVER ride the clutch
     
  7. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:26 PM
    #7
    BarefootBandit

    BarefootBandit [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I never "depress the clutch slowly until you feel it grabbing"
    I thought that's what everybody meant by "don't ride the clutch". I spent the last 2 days dropping the clutch in 1st gear at every launch.

    Now my only problem is the electric throttle. Soo annoying.
     
  8. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM
    #8
    wlmuncy

    wlmuncy Well-Known Member

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    ridding the clutch, is where you let your foot rest on the clutch when you have no intention of changing the gears. Just a small amount of pressure on it, not a good thing.
     
  9. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:35 PM
    #9
    blackhawke88

    blackhawke88 wo ai ni bao bei ^_^

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    riding the clutch means resting your foot on the clutch when you are driving in gear...a lot of ppl do that for some reason and its not good
     
  10. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:37 PM
    #10
    84Hilux

    84Hilux Well-Known Member

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    I had a 2007 six speed. I understand what you are saying about first to second shift being a little difficult. The only time I ever missed a shift was going from first to second.

    Make sure to have the gears fully engaged before starting to release the clutch (Give a little time for the synchros to do their thing). Also, make sure you are pushing the clutch in completely- if it is not fully pushed in, it will be difficult to mesh the gears. With practice it will become easier.

    Beside that, Tacoma was the easiest vehicle I have ever driven when coming from a dead stop or on an uphill incline.
     
  11. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM
    #11
    NWtacoma

    NWtacoma Well-Known Member

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    took me like a month before i was able to drive my truck smoothly. totally different than any other clutch ive drove before.
     
  12. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:51 PM
    #12
    Asgard

    Asgard Well-Known Member

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    I've owned a few manual transmission vehicles and all of them are different, it's trial and error, with practice you will start shifting smoothly. Forget about always shifting at 15mph and 1500rpm, experiment at different speeds and rpm until you get a smooth shift. Personally I just listen to the revs.
     
  13. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:51 PM
    #13
    xxaarraa

    xxaarraa Well-Known Member

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    RPM hang does not help either. Id love to meet the guy who came up with that and the guy who approved the idea.
     
  14. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:57 PM
    #14
    george3

    george3 Well-Known Member

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    X2 on you. What he said and in a month or two you won't even think about it. In prehistoric times I had a job delivering bread door to door. The truck was a step van. You stood up while driving and it was a stick. I thought that was a challenge but after a while there was nothing to it. You'll be fine.
     
  15. Jul 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM
    #15
    wolfeye

    wolfeye Well-Known Member

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    It takes me a bit of time to get acclimated when driving different vehicles, every clutch is different. In order to get a smoother shift I would recommend you gain a bit more speed, let the revs rise a bit more before you go into 2nd. When you are ready to shift push the clutch down all the way and release slow, then step on the gas. I'm in the good habit of pressing the clutch all the way down to the floor, not necessary if you have a limited slip clutch however.
     
  16. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:07 PM
    #16
    RainDodger

    RainDodger YGWYPF

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    Patience will eventually pay off. I've been driving longer than most of you here have been alive, and I've always had manual transmissions. My '09 6 speed has been very, very frustrating. It took me maybe 2 months to get used to the way the throttle likes to do its own thing. Very hard to get a smooth shift if you're used to driving a manual, in my opinion.

    When you let off on the gas when you're up-shifting, the rpm actually goes UP about 500 rpm before it goes down like you expect it to. You just gotta learn to anticipate it. You'll get there. Like I said... a good 2 months.

    Only problem is, once you're used to driving your Tacoma, you won't be used to driving a manual shift that actually operates the way it ought to. I jumped in my '69 MGB, which only comes out in the summer, and just about drove through the garage wall. Took me day to get back in the swing of driving that one, after the Tacoma. Sheesh.
     
  17. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:19 PM
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    bigsur

    bigsur Well-Known Member

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    I test drove a manual transmission 2010 before buying the automatic (too many complaints on the board about the manuals....).

    I found it to be very easy to drive and not a problem shifting smoothly at all. I was in the car about 20 minutes, no learning curve necessary and my experience with standard transmissions is entirely with older vehicles (98 Jeep, 84 Ferrari, 78 Porche).
     
  18. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:38 PM
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    zznalg

    zznalg Active Member

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    I agree. I find it extremely simple and I have been driving all kinds of manuals (American, Japanese, German, Swedish) for decades. I do agree that the rpm's do surge after stepping on the clutch but, I don't find that it interferes; it's just a bit noisy and wasteful of revs/gas.

    My last vehicle was a 2006 BMW X5 manual. Talk about a difficult manual setup. That was the only manual I have ever driven extensively that truly sucked. Lots of reasons for it. No need to get into it here. Most BMW manuals are fine. But not that one. To me, the Tacoma is a breath of fresh air in terms of its manual's operation.
     
  19. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:39 PM
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    zznalg

    zznalg Active Member

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    For the record, I have the TRD Quickshifter setup. So, my truck may behave differently than those without it.
     
  20. Jul 26, 2010 at 6:46 PM
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    larryde09

    larryde09 Well-Known Member

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    If the truck is new, the clutch will be stiff until it wears in a little. This was my first manual and I was very frusturated at first, but now that it's worked in and I'm better at it, I love it!!

    Riding the clutch (resting your foot on pedal): bad. Depressing the clutch partly do get a smooth launch...good. If I want to floor it off the line, I get the truck rolling with a little clutch slip, then I'll slam through 2nd and 3rd...but it is normal to let the clutch slip a little for a smoother ride, although this will wear out the clutch sooner...it's a trade-off.
     
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