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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Friends,

I recently got myself a manual white brz and am loving it so far. I did drive manuals before but after looking at lot of forum posts I am conflicted with a lot of questions, hopefully someone here can help me with the answers.
1) I am very slow at shifting it seems, since everytime I try to shift I drop a lot of rpms before the shift happens and it is not a smooth shift. Any tips for improving this?
2) I read somewhere that you should push the clutch in all the way when you shift but in some forums I read posts about brz having a high clutch and you do not need to go in all the way? Is this true or will I cause damage if I dont go all the way in?
3) When you shift up or down, how quick do you let go of the clutch? Is it a slow ease out of clutch or a quick let go. When we do a slow ease out does the clutch slip? Is it a bad practice to do a slow ease out of clutch?
4) When I drive in city traffic, I need to use the clutch a lot to modulate my speed and provide a smooth ride in the 1st and 2nd gear. Will this cause a lot of slippage and cause lot of wear to my clutch.
5) I live in the Seattle area, and would love it if anyone can offer me a small session on good practices with driving stick shifts. This is the first time I am trying to be more involved in driving and I am afraid I might have picked up a lot of bad habits when I drove stick shifts without knowing all these things.

Thanks,
Ravi
 

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Hi Friends,

I recently got myself a manual white brz and am loving it so far. I did drive manuals before but after looking at lot of forum posts I am conflicted with a lot of questions, hopefully someone here can help me with the answers.
1) I am very slow at shifting it seems, since everytime I try to shift I drop a lot of rpms before the shift happens and it is not a smooth shift. Any tips for improving this?
2) I read somewhere that you should push the clutch in all the way when you shift but in some forums I read posts about brz having a high clutch and you do not need to go in all the way? Is this true or will I cause damage if I dont go all the way in?
3) When you shift up or down, how quick do you let go of the clutch? Is it a slow ease out of clutch or a quick let go. When we do a slow ease out does the clutch slip? Is it a bad practice to do a slow ease out of clutch?
4) When I drive in city traffic, I need to use the clutch a lot to modulate my speed and provide a smooth ride in the 1st and 2nd gear. Will this cause a lot of slippage and cause lot of wear to my clutch.
5) I live in the Seattle area, and would love it if anyone can offer me a small session on good practices with driving stick shifts. This is the first time I am trying to be more involved in driving and I am afraid I might have picked up a lot of bad habits when I drove stick shifts without knowing all these things.

Thanks,
Ravi
Ravi,

I'm sure I'm not the best driver here, but I'm not bad and will try to answer some of your questions from my point of view:

The shifter is a short stroke model (which is good) and it's not made of plastic, so it's not going to break off if you push/pull it quickly (but that said, you also don't need to use all your strength to shift - a quick flick of the wrist is all you really need most times with this shifter.)

I push the clutch all the way in (I'd rather not risk grinding gears,) and then make the shift in about half-a-second - I then take my foot off the clutch quickly but smoothly (don't let it snap back.) Add a little throttle when you re-engage the clutch (taking your foot pressure off the pedal) so your RPMs are not at idle. Somewhere around 3 thousand RPMs is good when re-engaging the clutch so you don't get that lurch when lifting your foot pressure off the clutch (the RPMs going from idle [700 RPM] to 3,000.) You might not be smooth at first, but it just takes practice, so stick with it.

Also, a good habit in shifting any car is: for gears 1 and 2, slightly pull the shifter towards you while you shift (while pulling the shifter back into 2nd, or pushing it into 1st.) For gears 3 and 4, just push the shifter straight forward or backward, with no side pressure. And for gears 5 and 6, push the shifter slightly away from you while also pushing it forward into 5 or pulling it backward into 6. This makes shifting smoother.

This may sound a bit confusing, but sit in the car and do this with the engine off (shifting while putting the clutch pedal in and letting it out.) I think you'll see what I mean with a little practice.

It just takes practice to start doing it smoother and smoother, so just work with it and I'm sure you'll get better in a very short time.

As for city driving... it's ALWAYS going to be harder on a clutch than long distance driving, but if you learn to shift smoothly you'll reduce the wear and tear on the clutch significantly.

I'm sure there will be others here who can explain all this to you better (and more technically) than I can, but now you have a few basics to practice.

Keep working on it and RELAX, and I'm sure you'll do fine.

Buzz
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Buzz for the help,
some more questions :D

What is the break in period for this car? I have been careful not to take rpms above 4000 for this car till now and I am 500 miles on the ODO, should I wait for 1000 miles before going harder?
Also could you explain what you meant by pushing and pulling for the gears. I usually shift by taking by gear by pulling all the way horizontally first and then go vertical for the 1st gear and similar.
Also my upshift to third gear is sometimes very smooth and sometimes I meet a bit of resistance travelling the last part of shift to third, should I be worried about my transmission?

Thanks
Ravi
 

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1,000 miles.

He's talking about "steering" the shifter. The shift lever is spring loaded to return to the 3/4 slot so a little side pressure is desirable if selecting 1/2 (pull a little left) or 5/6 (push a little right).

Not much pressure is required to get the lever to slide through the correct "gate". There isn't really a gate the shifter is just set up to give you the feel of a gate.
 

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Thanks Buzz for the help,
some more questions :D

What is the break in period for this car? I have been careful not to take rpms above 4000 for this car till now and I am 500 miles on the ODO, should I wait for 1000 miles before going harder?
Also could you explain what you meant by pushing and pulling for the gears. I usually shift by taking by gear by pulling all the way horizontally first and then go vertical for the 1st gear and similar.
Also my upshift to third gear is sometimes very smooth and sometimes I meet a bit of resistance travelling the last part of shift to third, should I be worried about my transmission?

Thanks
Ravi

Ravi,

As Subie says - 1,000 miles. That's factory recommendation and that's what I did, and my BRZ is running smooth as silk and getting 30 MPG (when I'm not redlining it all the time, anyway.) (wink!)

I know some believe 500 miles (or less) is enough - but why take chances? So nurse her another 500 and then you can start REALLY having fun! Patience my boy!

As for third gear, I occasionally have a bit of resistance getting it in gear, but I "believe" this is normal with many stick shift cars. If I'm wrong here I hope Subie or someone will correct me, but I don't "think" either one of us has anything to worry about. It's just the nature of the beast!

So you practice shifting and I'm sure you'll be better and smoother in no time.

Buzz
 

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I agree with Buzz. Practice your shifting. Get out there and drive, drive, drive. . . .

Waitaminute! That sounds like fun, not practice. . . .
 
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