: Shifting and the clutch



ahahnu
05-12-10, 05:25 PM
This is more of a general question, but I understand if it belongs in performance.

For years I have struggled with shifting, meeting the clutch and just over all smoothness. I've discovered (early on) that this car doesn't want to go slow. When driving around neighbor hood I find it harder to get the shifting perfect evertime vs an on ramp under hard acelleration. I spoke to a guy with a Z06 recently that had the same issues. And when talking to CTSV05, he said the same, and added that not everyone gets it right everytime.

The reason I bring this up now is, I am a subscriber to Motor Trend, and in last month editorials talked about the demise of manual transmissons. One reader replying wrote this "When I learned to drive graduation was shifting gears without grind, with out jerk, and without loss of forward momentum...."

I can understand the first two, but the second, I'd like to be in a car with someone that can do that. I can't imagine not ripping out the shifter or grinding trying to move it that fast. Is this really possible?

My next question / scenerio; When shifting, (I can never do this when I want to) let's say second to third, once and a while when releasing the clutch the car tends to "pull" itself forward. This happens before I get to really step on it, almost in the in between shifts. Another way to explain it is when the car is parked and you want to creep forward a little or back out of the garage, instead of giving it gas, you just lightly release the clutch to get it to move. So when this is happening at speed am I just meeting the shifts perfectly (and getting lucky) or .....?

whisler151
05-12-10, 06:18 PM
I can say that the addition of an after market clutch make the shifts (at low and high speeds) smoother. At least it did for me.

Stepside
05-12-10, 06:41 PM
When I had a '69 Camaro ('69 thru '80), I use to be able to shift it and make it sound like it had an automatic trans in it. Takes some practice with getting the RPMs just right and a smooth clutch release. With the V, I usually shift 1 to 3 or 2 to 4 when going slow. The car seems to respond better with shifting fast when going thru all the gears. I need some more practice on this 'garage queen' to get back to that sound of an automatic, but with all that slop in the drivetrain, it makes it difficult if not nearly impossible to get the RPMs sync'd with the clutch release for that smooth feel.

bjv
05-12-10, 08:22 PM
I don't think you can drive the V fast AND smooth. With the stock flywheel anyway, it seems that the engine holds its rpm's too long while you are trying to shift. If you wait a little while longer before engaging the clutch it will be smoother, but slower. Change to a more normal flywheel and it might be different.

crankedupforit
05-12-10, 08:35 PM
Lift you foot off the throttle completely between shifts and never shift over 2500 rpm if you want to drive it smoothly. Too much torque to lollygag at higher RPMs.

PISNUOFF
05-12-10, 10:01 PM
I've only been in a V with one person that could shift where it felt like there was no loss of forward momentum while driving it slower. I can do it on occaision if I concentrate (stock or LS7 flywheel) but he does it all the time.

CadzillaTN
05-12-10, 10:18 PM
ive instinctively/subconsciously' built the slight speed up+throttle blip to my shifts so that by the time i hit the gate its at the right rpm to fall in, and provided the car is warm, i can shift it very smoothly. the only "flaw" would be the subtle sound variance but i do it a millisecond after the clutch is fully depressed so the rider feels nothing .. as others mentioned this just cant be done smoothly above or below the rpm sweetspot...
its apples and oranges really, there's a stark difference in driveability between a completly stock V vs one with all the powertrain goodies and fresh fluids!

ahahnu
05-12-10, 10:37 PM
Don't get me wrong, I'm not terrible. I'm not perfect. I had three stick cars (all VW) and could drive that perfect up and down. 107,000 stock flywheel and clutch means something. I did notice a difference when I changed the trans fluid at 100,000, then did the clutch fluid shortly after. This is a much different car, not say bit off more then I could chew, but didn't really know what I was getting into.

I do want to get an LS7 set up when this one goes, would you call that more normal?

Can you further define power train goodies?

ichpen
05-12-10, 11:19 PM
Its true. I've only owned one auto in my life. Rest have been manuals mostly in europe and this is by far the most finicky shifting car I've come across. It's just not very consistent and I get the impression I'm scribbling my name on a tablet made of forged iron and covered in sandpaper going from 1st to 2nd.

It is the tremec though.

Drove a GT3 (or GT2, can't remember) last year round the track and Porsche's are not renowned for their smooth gear shifts. But it was light years ahead. Short, a little lacking in feedback but deadly accurate. With the V (even with short shifters), I'm still occasionally missing gears, getting locked out etc etc. Just not the best feature of the car.

biiz1957
05-12-10, 11:35 PM
Don't use the clutch...smooth like an automatic

Slithering_Joe
05-13-10, 09:19 AM
I've owned six other manual trans cars and one automatic but there is just something different about the V that requires a conscience effort to drive it smoothly. The slow drop in RPMs in the V fuggs me up everytime after driving another car.

Stratman
05-13-10, 11:08 AM
Hello all. I recently purchased a 2006 CTS-V with 22000 miles and have been lurking on the site for some time. The V is the first manual I have owned (not driven but owned) and it is reassuring to see several of these posts. It's hard to know if it's just you or a combination of things. The car acts a little differently almost every time I get in it. The only thing I'm sure it wants is to be driven fast. it is a bit sketchy at slower speeds. I have had my smoothest shifts when taking the clutch pedal just past release instead of to the floor. Not good from a stop but once in motion I find it smoother.

The shifter is like selecting gears with an Atari 2600 joystick at times. Very sloppy and lacking of definite feel. Only grinded second once when I thought I was in gear and was mistaken(slipped back into neutral on engagement). CAGS sucks but I too usually start in second as 1st is only for parking lots and tire smoke. When you are getting on it though these issues pretty much go away. The car wants to be hauling ass. Which is why I bought it. No hard stop light launches yet so I can't speak to the infamous wheel hop issues. Definitely a short-throw shifter and probably a tune in my future. Any recommendations on shops in the Tampa, St. Pete, Orlando, general Central Florida area?

ahahnu
05-13-10, 12:23 PM
The shifter is like selecting gears with an Atari 2600 joystick at times. Very sloppy and lacking of definite feel. Only grinded second once when I thought I was in gear and was mistaken(slipped back into neutral on engagement). CAGS sucks but I too usually start in second as 1st is only for parking lots and tire smoke. Sounds like you have a stock shifter. Get a short shifter or atleast the UUC bushings will help with the slop. I personally hardly grind gears (although rarely do hard launches) but have found it harder to get into gear when trying to shift quick (resulted in a couple grinds).


Don't use the clutch...smooth like an automatic When driving the VWs it was so easy to pull them out of gear anytime with out a clutch. I drove my roomate 2.0t GTI the other night and wow what a night / day difference. Brought me back a few years.

-side note: I had a 4 banger Altima as a rental a week ago. Wow I missed the V. Almost jumped out into traffic where the V woulda made it, I had to slam the brakes after remembering what I was in.

PISNUOFF
05-13-10, 12:48 PM
Hello all. I recently purchased a 2006 CTS-V with 22000 miles and have been lurking on the site for some time. The V is the first manual I have owned (not driven but owned) and it is reassuring to see several of these posts. It's hard to know if it's just you or a combination of things. The car acts a little differently almost every time I get in it. The only thing I'm sure it wants is to be driven fast. it is a bit sketchy at slower speeds. I have had my smoothest shifts when taking the clutch pedal just past release instead of to the floor. Not good from a stop but once in motion I find it smoother.

The shifter is like selecting gears with an Atari 2600 joystick at times. Very sloppy and lacking of definite feel. Only grinded second once when I thought I was in gear and was mistaken(slipped back into neutral on engagement). CAGS sucks but I too usually start in second as 1st is only for parking lots and tire smoke. When you are getting on it though these issues pretty much go away. The car wants to be hauling ass. Which is why I bought it. No hard stop light launches yet so I can't speak to the infamous wheel hop issues. Definitely a short-throw shifter and probably a tune in my future. Any recommendations on shops in the Tampa, St. Pete, Orlando, general Central Florida area?


I sell a modified stock short shifter that tightens everything up. Also, give Chris a call, The Corvette Doctor, he's on Belcher Rd. just south of Ulmerton in Largo. (727)535-2427. He'll probably talk you into a heads and cam package or a maggie. Either way, HE'LL MAKE YOUR CAR HAUL A$$.

I'm heading down there next Wednesday, shoot me a PM and I'll let you drive mine to see what The Corvette Doctor did for mine.

Stratman
05-13-10, 01:29 PM
I appreciate it Pisnuoff. From what I have read about shifter swaps on the forum I already decided you were my guy. I'm still in that just bought a new car fiscal hangover, this is week 4 with the car, but shifter has quickly moved to the top of the to do list. Thanks for the heads up on the Vette Dock. I know of the shop but have never been there myself. I assumed a late model vette heavy shop would be the best bet. I'm still under warranty for a couple years so I don't want to get into the motor. Just want better function of what is already there. I keep seeing new people say they can't PM yet so I'll try and shoot you one.

And as if it could sense I was bad mouthing it a little...I stalled it on the way to lunch. First time. My real issue might be with the accelerator. There is a little deadband where it isn't really building revs but it feels like it should be to me. And for the sake of trying to leave smoothly I sometimes teeter on just giving it enough gas. Screw "smooth" I'm just given it the juice from now on.

Stratman
05-13-10, 01:43 PM
Sounds like you have a stock shifter. Get a short shifter or atleast the UUC bushings will help with the slop. I personally hardly grind gears (although rarely do hard launches) but have found it harder to get into gear when trying to shift quick (resulted in a couple grinds).

Yep, still stock as stated above. trying to decide if I will do that before tint. as it is cheaper I probably will. I actually find the shifter smoother with some quickness to it. It's probably just because my motion is more deliberate. That was the only time I grinded one. Just didn't want to go back in. I am well read on the rear end issues so I have just stayed away from hard launches all together.

ahahnu
05-13-10, 01:47 PM
When in doubt more seems to be better.

Just saw your other poast. I waited 90,000+ before doing my shifter (Brian didn't make one yet) but I would suggest it as a high ranking mod. Cags can be done on the cheap as well.

Castro
05-13-10, 01:55 PM
I've had the same issues but the clutch was brand new when I bought it so now that's it's breaking in it's gotten less grabby/jerky. I have good days and bad, sometimes it's sloppy, sometimes it's very smooth driving around town. I think the motor/trans mounts and diff bushing helped a little with the feel, the uuc shifter is nice. Around town I often skip shift 1-3 and it's a lot smoother. Going slow enough that CAGS kicks in lugs the hell out of it, can't imagine why they did that. Up shifting take your foot off the gas and shift medium quick and you'll find the zone. Downshifting try to pay attention to your speed and where the revs went each time. Just keep practicing the rev matching and the feel will come. I agree it's a lot tougher to be smooth than with the other manuals I've driven. I'm getting a lot better after 4-5 weeks.

Stratman
05-13-10, 02:06 PM
It was a couple days before I even realized the car had CAGS. Then I was back on the Camaro5 forum (I had every intention of buying a new Camaro for years. Had it all planned out down to the maiden voyage music but it wasn't financially viable. You get much more with the V), the topic came up again and the light bulb went off. Just hadn't even crossed my mind. Knowing it's there I just drive around it so I'll wait until I get a tune to deal with it.

It might seem silly to debate tint over shifter but that FL heat is serious. If I forget to crack the windows it's like a convection oven when I leave work.

Stratman
05-13-10, 02:24 PM
can't imagine why they did that

It factors into the overall stated fuel economy of the vehicle. It is annoying but skipping 2-3 really helps the mileage. I skip shift for the most part too. I have been going 2-4-6 lately mostly cause I start in 2nd anyway and 4-6 seems better on gas than 3-5. 2-4 shift is much better than 1-4. 6th sounds silly around town but if the traffic flow is good you don't notice a lack of pull and it further helps with mileage. Sounds like you have had yours about as long as me. Like you said, there are days when you are just in the spot with it.

Stratman
05-13-10, 02:28 PM
shoot me a PM

Tried but no go. Don't know how many posts it takes so shoot me one so I can at least reply for ordering.

PISNUOFF
05-13-10, 02:43 PM
I sent you one. I can tune your car for you while I'm down there next weekend, if you want. It'll eliminate the 1-4 skip shift also.

DWF0551
05-13-10, 03:12 PM
The real issue is the 3.73:1 rear end ratio, it causes the RPMs to be much higher than say a 2.70:1 ratio prior to the next gear shift. Which means there is a bigger differance when you go to the next gear. Try shifting 1-3-5 and you'll find it is smooth every time. Or if your shifting 1-2-3-4 shift sooner, at a lower RPM and it is smooth also. I don't agree with the start in 2nd gear, it does work fine, but in an almost two ton car there is more cluch slip which means heat which means wear on the clutch than if you start in 1st.

Stratman
05-13-10, 03:25 PM
Hadn't thought about clutch slip but I'll keep it in mind. While I don't want to wear the clutch prematurely, I also want to eventually upgrade that so a slight amount of extra wear won't put me out. Still experimenting with shifting tactics on the daily commute.

2manycars
05-13-10, 04:57 PM
The real issue is the 3.73:1 rear end ratio, it causes the RPMs to be much higher than say a 2.70:1 ratio prior to the next gear shift. Which means there is a bigger differance when you go to the next gear. Try shifting 1-3-5 and you'll find it is smooth every time. Or if your shifting 1-2-3-4 shift sooner, at a lower RPM and it is smooth also. I don't agree with the start in 2nd gear, it does work fine, but in an almost two ton car there is more cluch slip which means heat which means wear on the clutch than if you start in 1st.

Interesting thread guys... thanks. I have also owned my share of stick shifts, and the V was a new experiance. ;)

I have to agree with not starting in 2nd. It is also a little hard on other things besides the clutch. I do use 2nd if I have a slight roll... like a stop sign or something... but it just does not feel right for the car from a dead stop.

Have read that our car has a history of sometimes having a problem with 6th gear, and that lugging 6th is not good for it. Don't know to much about that... but maybe darkman or someone could add to that.

I like the 1-3-5 shift... that works best for me around town and stuff. Feels weird now when I shift through all the gears and don't skip anything somewhere :D Love that this motor has enough torque to let us do that!!

Have had mine for about as long as you guys have :)

bolide
05-13-10, 05:22 PM
The first car I owned was a 77 Nova with a 350 4 barrel carb and a 4 speed. I killed it a half dozen times driving it home from the dealership and didn't touch it for 3 days afterwards. I had that car for 17 years and could shift it as smooth as an auto by the time I got rid of it. I got my V 3 years ago and was shocked by how hard it was to drive smoothly. Had I forgotten that much? No. The nova had 170 hp, a 3.08 rear and a solid axle. The V has 400 hp, a 3.73 rear and one of the funkiest drivetrains around. Every little mistake is amplified a 100 times and delivered to your back and you passenger's. Sometimes you get it perfect, sometimes you don't. I just like to go out there and practice!

Gus_Mahn
05-13-10, 07:18 PM
It is a hard car to shift smoothly. It's probably the hardest car I've driven to get smooth. I believe the main factors in this are: drive-line slop caused by loose bushings and motor mounts, the engine winds down very slowly with the clutch in, and a very abrupt juice clutch. The dual mass flywheel may also be a factor. I can usually, but not every shift, perform smooth shifts. For me around town the secret is to shift more slowly than most cars to give time for rpms to match driveline speed, skip gears, and give lots of attention to clutch speed.

I think everyone should spend some time with the CAGS hooked up. It made me realize how well this car can be lugged. The only reason I took mine out is that I couldn't skip 1-3 when it was calling for 1-4. It will never go back on, but it was a good learning tool.