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question for experts in stick shift

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by predental, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:44 PM
    #1
    predental

    predental [OP] Member

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    hi guys, i just got the new tacoma and started driving stick for about 3 weeks now. i'm pretty good at going out of first and moving up the gears now but my only problem is downshifting. if i go from 3 to 2, and i just let go of the clutch after it is in 2 without giving any gas, the RPMs boost up and my car kind of lurches forward causing me to slightly bounce foward. why is downshifting so different and what should i do in order to make it smooth? or is it suppose to be like this? thank you
     
  2. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:45 PM
    #2
    FlawedXJ

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    i think your downshifting too early
     
  3. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:48 PM
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    Brunes

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    Cosign...Did you look at the book for the suggested upshift/downshift speeds?? I use sound now more than the tach....but learning your truck/transmission is a curve- Gotta drive it how it should be driven to know what you should be hearing and what not...
     
  4. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:48 PM
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    predental

    predental [OP] Member

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    what do you mean to early? i never have a smooth shift either from 4-3 or 3-2. i thought you can downshift any time? for example coming to a red light, going in a school zone(25mph), or just feel like slowing down.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:50 PM
    #5
    AUDITECH

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    I agree sounds like your to high in the rpm range. The most important thing you need to learn when driving is to be smooth. Being smooth saves drive lines. Speed comes with time. What rpm are you taking it out of 3rd and what is the rpm when you go into second.

    Just FYI i was a long haul truck driver for 9 yrs local for another 2 and have being drivein stick for 18 yrs.
     
  6. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:51 PM
    #6
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    you encounter more resistance when you downshift. thats the total function of gears in a vehicle. You up shift to operate at the same speed in a lower rpm range. if i could guess your down shifting at 2.5-3k rpms?
     
  7. Feb 17, 2009 at 3:57 PM
    #7
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

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    First of all, props for going manual in this world of auto's! +1 for sure.

    Second, downshifting will take some practice. The best way to do it is learn what RPM's are matched to speed per gear. Kind of a pain... but eventually you'll get the feel of it through engine noise, ect. I don't know on this truck (unfortunatly I ended up with an auto), but let's give an example with fake numbers. Say in 3rd gear you do 50mph at 4200 rpm. In 4th gear, you do 50mph at 3500 rpm. So, to make a smooth shift, as you depress the clutch and move to neutral, tap the gas enough to get the engine up to 4200rpm. As your'e now in 3rd, engine matched to 4200rpm, release the clutch.... and you're set.

    That said, a bit of 'riding the clutch' will also smooth it out... but it's not really a good practice. However, in poor rainy conditions and such, that's a better option than lurching the truck back and forth on corners shifting your weight significantly.

    Practice practice practice practice :D Shifting is fun, felt fairly smooth on the '09 I test drove awhile back... but I didn't do it enough to know it very well. Also for point of ref, I've driven manual most of my driving years (started out with a Dodge Ram D50 my dad had, moved to a '92 Dodge Stealth TT, and then a '05 Infiniti G35 6spd). So yea.... shifting FTW!
     
  8. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:01 PM
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    Dustin03

    Dustin03 The Cooler King

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    I'm no "trained" expert, but I know enough to get by. What you are experiencing is difference in the turning speed of the engine and the turning speed of the transmission. You can indeed downshift anytime you like, which is the greatest thing about a manual transmission. The key to illiminating the lurches that you feel is matching the rpms between the engine (more specifically the flywheel) and the transmission.

    What you will eventually become used to is how fast the engine spins at any given speed in any given gear. You'll start to notice that the needle drops about x-number of rpms between these two gears when upshifting, so when downshifting it is merely a matter of reversing that--by giving the truck some gas before letting the clutch back out.

    The smoothest way to acheive this is by a system called double-clutching, but for beginners it would be best to just stay away from that until later. When you want to downshift, kick in the clutch like you always do, bring the shifter into the desired gear and let the clutch out again. The trick is to give the gas a bit of a stab while the shifter is passing the nuetral area, before it goes into the new gear. That way you will have the engine spinning at the correct rpm when the clutch comes back out, and the transition is smooth. The bottom line is that you need to practice. Manuals take a lot more skill to drive than automatics, but they are that much more enjoyable for it.

    In sum, there is no reason you can't shift smoothly from one gear to another smoothly as long as you know what you're doing, and you've given yourself some time to get a feel for it. I'd been driving a stick for six months before I got my license, but I'm still getting better at it every day. So have fun, be patient, and practice often!
     
  9. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:02 PM
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    predental

    predental [OP] Member

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    thank you so much for the help. i was always downshifting at about 2k rpms. i never knew there was a correct range when to downshift, i always thought you can do it whenever you want. you said that i need to gas back to the original RPM? when i downshifted at 2k rpm, and put it into 2nd, the rpm show up(increased to about 2.5-3k rpm). why do i need to gas it back to the original amount for? is that the only way to make it smooth shift? thank you
     
  10. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:04 PM
    #10
    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ Well-Known Member

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    agreed. like you my trucks not a manual either but my vw gti i had before this was, your post pretty much sums up what to practice on to get smoother downshifs imo.
     
  11. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:04 PM
    #11
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    if downshifting to slow down, do not rev match with the gas(or at least thats my theory), it kinda defeats the purpose of downshifting to slow down. Instead try downshifting at 1750 rpms and drop a lil bit at a time. Trust me, you'll get a hang of it and it'll be second nature after a while.

    Now when downshifting to get up and go then you should learn to rev match so you don't loose any speed.
     
  12. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:04 PM
    #12
    Dustin03

    Dustin03 The Cooler King

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    Precisely what I was saying , but in fewer words.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:08 PM
    #13
    tacoma08MZ

    tacoma08MZ Well-Known Member

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    also good point, when doing it like this try letting out the clutch slower, it you just bam let your foot off fast its gonna catch quick and lurch forward
     
  14. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:11 PM
    #14
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    i definitely learned the hard way. I used to wait for my mom to go outta town and i'd take her rx8 around the neighborhood. Every now and then when I go home i offer to drive and she's still dumbfounded how I drive a stick so well. I'm surprised that clutch is still around being that it made it through a 16 year old who didn't have the foggiest clue as to what he was doing.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:16 PM
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    MotoTacoma

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    i use neutral and brakes a lot, for example if theres a red light at the bottom of a hill, or i'm in 3rd and i'm coming up on a stop sign, i put it in neutral and use the brakes, then if it turns green i'll toss it in the proper gear for my speed..usually to make it smooth i'll use the highest gear i can that i know isn't too high that it will bog..


    my theory on downshifting, brakes are cheaper than a tranny, and you save on gas.. (though i dont think we have to worry w/a taco about the tranny anyway)

    i do like to downshift if i'm going down a snow covered/slippery hill, it is almost like an ABS system for slowing...although we do have ABS..

    just my 2 cents, i'm sure in a little bit everything will just flow, good luck
     
  16. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:22 PM
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    predental

    predental [OP] Member

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    hey guys, thank you so much! i'm just a little confused on when the correct time to downshift is and when to rev match or not. So is there a "right" time to downshift? i remember the guy telling me above to shift if i'm at 4200 rpm, but another say wait 1750. does it matter when to downshift at? also, can you clarify downshift to slow down or to speed, what do you mean by that? finally, when should i rev match and when should i just go down without touching the gas? thank you.
     
  17. Feb 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM
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    wawireguy

    wawireguy Well-Known Member

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    It's time to down shift if it sounds like it's struggling some. Best way I can put it. I call it "lugging". Have no idea why. Going from 2nd to 1st is not smooth on my 4cyl. You have to be creeping to make that shift without double clutching. But the problem is that the engine is wanting to die from going so slow but your still above the easy first gear engagement point without double clutching. Double clutching is simple once you wrap your head around it. It's used for down shifting. Basicaly you put the truck in neutral, let the clutch back out, spin the engine up, re-clutch and apply gentle presure to engage at the lower gear. As the engine spins down it should "meet" the gear and slide in.
     
  18. Feb 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM
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    cakmakli

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    +1

    I've been driving stick shift vehicles for 26 years and that's the way I've always done it. Just the way I was taught by my dad who always done it.
     
  19. Feb 17, 2009 at 7:33 PM
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    Evil Monkey

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    I've been driving manuals for many years as well and have always used engine braking with no problems. Any time your foot is off the gas and the clutch is not in, you're engine braking. If it were bad for the car, you'd have to switch to neutral even when slowing from 75 to 60 on the freeway. The only gear I don't engine brake with is 1st. When the engine starts to lug, it's time to downshift. It's lugging when you hit the gas and not much happens. I'm not sure where the 4250 number is from but it's usually much higher than I normally shift at when accelerating. The most I ever get to is 3000 unless I'm punching it for to quickly access a freeway on a short ramp. I'd say downshift as it drops below 1750. Like others have said, you'll get used to it. The only time I downshift when I'm above 2000 rpm is when I'm getting ready to do a steep hill climb, or I'm getting ready to pass someone (fast acceleration).

    The numbers people are referring to are probably varied based on the status of the clutch (in or out). If the clutch is out and you're turning 1750-2000 rpm, it would be safe to downshift. If you tried downshifting when the rpms were are 4250 with the clutch out (the engine is really screaming for the gear you're in), you'd probably be picking your teeth out of the steering wheel when you release the clutch. You might bump it into redline too. Another good time to downshift is just before a tight corner. That way, you'll have adequate power for coming out of the corner.

    If the clutch is in and you bump the gas to increase the revs while switching gears that's called rev matching. The steps would be as follows: driving along at 2000 rpm, press clutch, move to neutral, clutch out, rev gas to 3500 rpm, clutch in, shift, release clutch. It happens pretty quickly. Here's a video showing it done:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI3cHXnGEx4&feature=related

    Here's a cool video of a racer doing the same thing. He's also heel-toeing (pressing the brake with his toe while blipping the gas with his heel):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j-3xIZK-Bk
     
  20. Feb 17, 2009 at 11:25 PM
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    predental

    predental [OP] Member

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    hey thanks a lot. i'm sort of confused on when to use which method. when do i double clutch, rev match, or just clutch in-change to lower-gear-clutch out (no gas at all)? i don't understand which method is used for which scenarios. are they all basically the same? when should each method be used?
     
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