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Manual Transmission Downshifting

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by dingchavez24, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM
    #1
    dingchavez24

    dingchavez24 [OP] Active Member

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    So this is more of a "feeler"/poll for how everyone else is driving their 2nd Gen 6 spd manual's... As i'm a seasoned veteran of driving multiple manual trucks in the past, i've noticed that finding a good downshifting point between 3rd and 2nd gear when approaching a stop sign/red-light (on a flat road) is a bit tricky... I end up with either too low of an engine RPM to provide any "transmission breaking", or too high of an RPM that may be detrimental to the transmission... So, if you have a manual transmission, please provide some thoughts on the following for when you're approaching a stop sign or red-light on a flat road at 45 mph:
    1. do you downshift?
    2. have you found the "sweet-spot" in either your speed or on the tac that provides applicable engine breaking?
    3. at what estimated distance prior to the stop sign/red light do you perform your downshift and in what gear?
    etc...

    any other thoughts would be welcome!
     
  2. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:18 AM
    #2
    81shark

    81shark Well-Known Member

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    i've got a 5 speed....but i leave it in 5th until it's about to stall out, then toss it in N.

    if i know i will be speeding up without coming to a stop, i leave it in whatever gear i'm in, until it's time to go, and then grab the right gear for the speed
     
  3. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    #3
    jester156

    jester156 Well-Known Member

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    still searching for a sweet spot myself. most times the RMPs are too high to feel a good engine brake.
    at times I may ride the clutch a bit to get a good brake then release it all the way.
    I used to downshift in my Gen1 all the time but this G2 6spd is still driving me nuts
     
  4. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:25 AM
    #4
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    Dude, brake pads are MUCH cheaper than a clutch.
    Just leave it in the gear your in until about 1k rpm then put it in neutral and use the brakes. On my first gen, it will go into neutral right at 1k rpm with out the clutch since there is no load on the trannsmission at that point.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2010 at 11:34 AM
    #5
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    That is true, if you can rev match it on the downshift than it is okay, but I have yet to ride with someone else who actually does that and it makes me cringe every time.
    I just like to save the wear and tear on the drive train and use the brakes when coming to a complete stop.
     
  6. Apr 8, 2010 at 12:03 PM
    #6
    importeater

    importeater Member

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    I was half and half on my old 05 tacoma. From what I can remember I didn't really engine brake much. I probably wouldn't downshift to 2nd until I was around 30 mph.
     
  7. Apr 8, 2010 at 12:07 PM
    #7
    papabear050

    papabear050 Well-Known Member

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    If I down shift, usually I do not, I tend to throw it in 3rd. The gears are geared to low to drop it into second unless you blip the gas pedal to match the RPMS.... too much work, I just drive "normally" and not Indy 500 style.
     
  8. Apr 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM
    #8
    MurphyZ

    MurphyZ Well-Known Member

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    boom! i agree you can buy ceramic pads turn rotors and drums for
    150-200

    clutch by itself is like 400-600...
     
  9. Apr 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM
    #9
    Dan893

    Dan893 Well-Known Member

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    I just used my brakes and left it in watever gear I was in and then went into neutral before I stopped brake pads are much cheaper than a tranny rebuild I.e. Syncros, clutch and wear on the backside of the gears you guys can do what you want but I've always been told downshifting was not the right way to slow a vehicle down
     
  10. Apr 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM
    #10
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    :thumbsup:
     
  11. Apr 8, 2010 at 2:27 PM
    #11
    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    Watch your rpms when you upshift, that's what your rpms are going to be when you downshift at a particular speed. When downshifting, you can probably figure the rpm is going to go up about 500 rpm higher than the gear you're currently in for the same speed. If your foot is off the gas when it's at the higher rev, that's going to be more abrupt than the upshift was. Give the engine a rev in neutral before downshifting and it'll be much smoother. I do that as well if I'm coasting on the freeway. I'll give it a quick rev before putting it back in 6th so I don't get that jerk when letting off the clutch. You don't have to be super fast for it to make a difference.

    For the most part, I just shift to neutral and brake.
     
  12. Apr 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM
    #12
    LawP

    LawP Well-Known Member

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    I always used to use the brakes and shift into neutral. I have never driven this truck in the manual configuration so I can't comment per say (I can no longer put weight on my left lower leg/foot due to a 45ft fall in the military), it is pretty nice driving an automatic, to just drive, and relax. I remember sitting in traffic driving up a mountain in MN and my leg would be dying it hurt so bad.
     
  13. Apr 8, 2010 at 2:51 PM
    #13
    skunk

    skunk what did I miss?

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    I used to downshift until today!:wink:
     
  14. Apr 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM
    #14
    Tacofanatic05'

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    I know exactly what your talking about! It took me a few months to master the "sweetspot". And even know im still not perfect at it!
     
  15. Apr 8, 2010 at 3:56 PM
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    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    I'm 50/50. But when I tow my travel trailer I use more engine breaking
     
  16. Apr 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM
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    beetlejuice2275

    beetlejuice2275 Well-Known Member

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    heel toe off the off ramps!
     
  17. Apr 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM
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    beetlejuice2275

    beetlejuice2275 Well-Known Member

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    if you don't, get an automatic!!!! aahhahahaaahha
     
  18. Apr 8, 2010 at 4:13 PM
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    Taco Guapo

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    I've been downshifting every manual shift vehicle I've ever owned for 40 years and only had one transmission failure, in a Ford (never again). My Jeep with manual trans had 126,000 miles when I sold it and still had original clutch AND brakes. OTOH, every automatic I've ever had went through front pads every 25 to 35,000 miles.
     
  19. Apr 8, 2010 at 4:18 PM
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    PA452

    PA452 Well-Known Member

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    I downshift quite a bit to slow down. That said, I do it sensibly.

    As for the OP's question, I don't really have a set of rules for downshifting that I could explain. Everything is situational dependent.

    I almost never downshift to 2nd to slow down. I've found the drop to 2nd is too low. I use 5th, 4th, and 3rd at various times to slow down, but usually from third I go to neutral and exclusively use the brakes if I'm coming to a stop. If I do downshift to 2nd, it's simply because I've slowed down to that speed and figure that's the gear I'll need to continue forward.
     
  20. Apr 8, 2010 at 4:19 PM
    #20
    MGRS

    MGRS Well-Known Member

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    I generally leave it in gear and let the drivetrain slow the truck down until it is about to stall, and then throw it in neutral and use the brakes.

    I do downshift some when towing to achieve more control over the truck and trailer.

    On a daily basis, I see no point to it. I can do brakes easily and cheap. On a clutch I am not so confident.
     
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