: shifting suggestions



beve
05-20-05, 05:41 PM
Been lurking in the forums for a while and have enjoyed all the information that you guys provide. I've gone through the entire forum and haven't found an answer to my question, so here it goes.

I've driven trucks all my life (just traded a '02 2500HD 4x4 Crew Cab for my V) and am not used to the manual shifter in the V. I've had my V for a little over a month and am still trying to figure out the ins and outs of the smooth shift. From reading I saw that a lot of you have driven performance cars and so I thought I'd throw out a line and see if anyone has some tips/tricks on shifting correctly.

If this has been covered before, could someone point me to the link?

Dave's V
05-20-05, 05:57 PM
The shifting quality is one of the criticisms of this car. Some call it too rubbery, not precise, hard to engage at times. I would say they are longer than they should be.

Mine is still stock and I find it pretty easy. I just remember that third and 4th are in the center and require zero force side to side. 1/2 is to the left, 5/6 to the right. So as I shift from 2/3 I know I have to put very little pressure on the shifter to the right because it'll naturally fall under third.

It is better than my old 96 TA and 100 times better than a lot of other cars I have driven including Mercedes, VWs, BMWs, Range Rovers plus other cars that aren't close to performance (Lada, Trabant).

beve
05-20-05, 08:06 PM
Thanks, Dave, I appreciate the reply. I know these questions are kind of basic, but I'm new to the manual shifting game. Do you have any suggestions on correct clutch input? From a standstill do you usually throttle up and then release the clutch? Is there a "sweet spot" for each gear or do you just rely on your ears to tell you when? I took a look at Ghost-V's post on powershifting and it helped out.

Thanks again.

Dave's V
05-21-05, 02:27 PM
My last manual car before the V was a 96 TA that I sold in 1997 , although I have driven a few since then. With the V in traffic, I wouldn't recommend giving it much gas at all. If I want to accelerate briskly, I usually build up RPMs to around 2000 rpm and let the clutch out. Not the way to achieve quickest launch times (I'm in Utah at 4300 feet anyway) but it will be quick. I heard the quickest is achieved with dropping the clutch at around 4000 rpm but the clutch will wear out faster. First shift will be after 40. If you go too far, the rev limiter will kick in. 2nd is around 65 and third is around 90-95.

Around town you can skip shift. The engine will easily pull in 6th from 40mph or 10 mph in 3rd.

I would highly recommend a skip shift eliminator. I have SteathV's and highly recommend it. It gives you total freedom since skip shift likes to work when you are under low throttle conditions (usually turning right behind another car at a stop light would do it). The engine will still pull away in 4th (thank you LS6) but slowly.

This car is so powerful, anyone should be able to get to 60 constantly in under 6 seconds with very little practice.

This engine pulls like crazy so even on these hills out west I rarely have to shift down cruising at 75mph.

Starting on hills requires a little more thought. The V is different because the parking brake is on your left side. When I stop on a hill, I place the tranny in neutral, hold the regular brake with the right foot and apply the parking brake with my left. When I want to move, I'll release the parking brake with my left hand and release the clutch slowly while giving it some gas. You are on your way then. That is the main difference I find driving the V compared to other manual tranny cars besides the tons of power.:2thumbs:

The V isn't the best car to learn how to drive a manual again on but since the engine pulls like crazy, you can screw up and still accelerate briskly.

Dennisscars
05-21-05, 03:51 PM
beve,
here's my .02 cents worth..
This car shifted completely different than my í65 vette, so I too had some ďnot smoothĒ shifts between gears, even though I have driven all kinds of vehicles including 18-wheelers. I have found that in general driving if you loiter just for an instant in neutral between gears instead of cramming it into the next gear I have found that my passengers necks donít do that back and forth motion. Iím finding the more finesse you give this car the more you get. If you do nothing else get StealthVís skip shift eliminator. Sometimes when Iím lazy I shift 1-3-5. Just wind up the gears a bit more as not to lug it.



I guess since Iíve never had an import or a car with a hand brake and only driven on moderate hills, I can negotiate the brake and clutch without the hand/footbrake with a bit more gas. I sat in a new Moosestang and what an ugly hand brake in the center console. Iím glad mine doesnít have one. I only use mine for parking.



Try some practice at the loading dock around back at your local supermarket on the weekends. Mine has a pretty steep ramp for the trucks to unload, thatís how I taught my kids to drive a stick. I also taught my kids, on flat surface, to first start out without using any gas at all. If you can start your car out without gas and burning up the clutch you will have no problem giving it just enough gas to compensate for the load and will have a smooth start. (please no flames on this issue till you try it) I have emphasized finesse over brute actions mainly because Iím the one who has to replace and pay for parts so you quickly learn. I was taught to fully depress the clutch and fully engage the clutch and then stand on it.



Flame disclaimer: To each his/her own and everybody drives and was taught/learned differently.

CVP33
05-21-05, 05:17 PM
The V is less than forgiving for the novice. I've driven 100's of 1,000's of miles with manuals and the V can easily make you look stupid.

CLUTCH
The clutch pick up is very tricky, nothing for about 1/4th then all of sudden it's full grab from 1/2 way to 3/4ths and then nothing. Takes awhile to master just that part.

SHIFTER
Then the shifter itself. If your really trying to run through the gears the 2/3 shift will get you everytime. Finding reverse is laughable especially when your executing a 3 point turn with on lookers.

ENGINE
The engine rev's so freely, especially with aftermarket goodies. You'll bang the rev limiter and go studdering 1st through 3rd like a moron.

If I have the misses in the car I short shift and keep the rpm's low. It keeps the motor, BB x-pipe and her quiet. It's all good.

Vrocks
05-22-05, 01:04 AM
For normal around town driving I've found that the shifter doesn't like to move quickly. I'll fully depress the clutch pedal, then I start to move the shifter to the next gear. Once I'm in gear I start to let the pedal out, which tends to result in a consistently smooth shift with minimal clunking... The gears disengage and reengage a lot better if I'm patient, when I rush, the shifter definitely has more resistance.

If I'm trying to go quickly I'll start to shift before the pedal is on the floor. For me, this only works well under full acceleration . When I do this under normal driving conditions I've found the shifting to be unsmooth.

Basically my main key is to be patient, and to keep the clutch pedal fully depressed while changing gears under normal driving.

Hope that helps, Vrocks

ace996
05-22-05, 01:32 AM
Thank you all for this post...I was starting to think that it was only me. I'm used to shifting through the gears a little faster than what is called for on the V. I also have found that when I am deliberate and patient with the shifter, that smooth shifting is possible. I may be writing out of my ass, as I've been known to do, but I think that the VERY heavy flywheel calls for us to allow the engine to drop revs somewhat to have a smooth engagement of the next gear. I notice some lurching when trying to shift quickly.

I also am having a challenging time rev matching on heel-toe downshifts. Anyone with a lightweight flywheel find any difference with the shifting??

I wonder....
ace996

StealthV
05-22-05, 01:56 AM
A good tune done by someone with 11,000+ miles of behind the wheel V experience will help with the shifting as well. Burned through an entire tank of gas during validation today. :sneaky:

Forget about the lightweight flywheel; it isn't necessary. Patience is a virture. :)

Dave's V
05-22-05, 02:06 AM
Speaking of flywheels, why did Cadillac go with a dual mass flywheel? What are its advantages over a regular flywheel? Sorry if I hijacked the thread but it does deal with shifting at least.

ntechnic
05-22-05, 02:25 AM
I've never been a fan of hydraulic clutches, I prefer the feel of mechanical linkages. The V clutch seems to have all the standard aspects of hydraulic clutches, very light effort (yes, I know you can design any effort you want in a hydraulic system, but they always make them light), and a fairly narrow range of engagement. All of the major engagement/diengagement occurs in a fairly narrow portion of the total clutch pedal travel, mine is practically still fully engaged at about 50% depressed, and then by the 75% depressed point, it's about completely disengaged.

One thing you can do is learn the engagement point of your clutch. A great to do this is to find a quiet street that is absolutely flat. Idle in first gear, clutch pedal to the floor. VERY SLOWLY begin to ease the clutch out, right to wear the car just starts to move as the engine revs drop, then push the pedal back to the floor. Do this over and over, until your leg begins to know by "memory" where the engagement point is. Do this more than one time, do it several times over a week. I bet you'll notice that you get better at shifting the more you gain confidence in knowing where to place the pedal.

As you gain experience, you'll begin to vary your pedal 'throw' speed, letting you foot move quickly through the "useless" parts of the range, and slowing down in the critical engagement zone.

Don't feel bad, I've got 38 years of shifting experience (starting with my first shifter mini-bike), when I've never been without a manual bike/car/and-or race bike/car, and this car's combination of low gear ratio, sloppy long throw shifter, and bundles of low-end torque is always waiting to punish me for the slightest shifting timing error. I think the UUC shifter will help me a lot, but a hydraulic clutch is a hydraulic clutch.

Oh, and practice, practice, practice! :)

CVP33
05-22-05, 04:10 AM
I agree with the above but.......

With spirited driving the clutch will not stay consistent. I've had this on both my V's (04 and 05). The pick up point becomes a moving target. I, along with others have also experience the clutch pedal sticking to the floor. It's as if the clutch is "locked" in place. Like Stealth I've put considerable mileage on my V's, over 30,000 to date. I'm still learning.

ntechnic
05-22-05, 03:00 PM
OK, I experienced that weird sticking to floor thing last night. It felt like one of my old Camaro's when I used to use those Centerforce counterweighted clutches. At very high revs, those clutches "helped" you so much you had a moment when the clutch wanted to stay disengaged.

Any one know what the clutch is like in our V's? I'd love to see a photo, or even the sketch from the Helms manual.

StealthV
05-22-05, 03:16 PM
:)

StealthV
05-22-05, 03:22 PM
If the clutch sticks to the floor, the recommended fix in the service manual is to replace the clutch pedal return spring.

beve
05-23-05, 05:25 PM
Was out of town for the weekend, so I just got back to the thread. Many thanks for all the suggestions. I thought I was the only one who couldn't get the shift perfectly smooth!:banghead:

I'm going to order the skip shift this week because it has been driving me nuts.

Other than the tricky shifting, this car is a blast! Nothing like a little "horsepower therapy" after working all day.

Vrocks
05-23-05, 07:58 PM
I agree with the above but.......

With spirited driving the clutch will not stay consistent. I've had this on both my V's (04 and 05). The pick up point becomes a moving target. I, along with others have also experience the clutch pedal sticking to the floor. It's as if the clutch is "locked" in place. Like Stealth I've put considerable mileage on my V's, over 30,000 to date. I'm still learning.

I've experienced the varying engagement points as well. It hasn't stuck to the floor yet, but the effort required to push the pedal in has varied.

Rich H
05-24-05, 12:39 AM
This car is the only one I have ever owned where you have to consciously think about making every shift or you screw up. You shouldn't have to be this deliberate - it should come natural after a while. But it never does. I think Caddy made the shifter for our Grand Daddy - just to keep him wide awake.

And I don't think it's just the shifter. I think it's a combination of the long linkage from the shifter to the tranny, all the rubber isolation, and the dual mass flywheel. GM can and should do better.

Dave's V
05-24-05, 12:50 AM
What are the advantages for a dual mass flywheel. I'm just wondering why Cadillac chosed to go this route.

ntechnic
05-24-05, 06:19 AM
My understanding is that a dual mass flywheel acts as a kind of harmonic balancer for the aft end of the engine. It is used mostly to dampen the huge power pulses of diesel engines.

Down side is ungainly weight, they weigh 30 pounds more than traditional steel flywheels (80 vs. 50) and they weigh 40 pounds more than the 11" aluminum flywheel setup in my 2003 Cobra. This massive weight makes our engines rev up much slower than normal, and also decelrate much slower than a normal engine.

Up side is that they protect the trans, u-joints, and rear end gears from shock much better than a traditional "spring hub" clutch disk.

I'd be hesitant to change it out, as much as I'd love this car to rev and downshift like my Cobra. If they discover it, GM will have a fairly easy timing avoiding any warranty responsibility for engine bottom end failure, trans failure, and rear end failure.

Of course, once the warranty is nearly done, who cares?

Dave's V
05-24-05, 08:24 PM
My understanding is that a dual mass flywheel acts as a kind of harmonic balancer for the aft end of the engine. It is used mostly to dampen the huge power pulses of diesel engines.

Down side is ungainly weight, they weigh 30 pounds more than traditional steel flywheels (80 vs. 50) and they weigh 40 pounds more than the 11" aluminum flywheel setup in my 2003 Cobra. This massive weight makes our engines rev up much slower than normal, and also decelrate much slower than a normal engine.

Up side is that they protect the trans, u-joints, and rear end gears from shock much better than a traditional "spring hub" clutch disk.

I'd be hesitant to change it out, as much as I'd love this car to rev and downshift like my Cobra. If they discover it, GM will have a fairly easy timing avoiding any warranty responsibility for engine bottom end failure, trans failure, and rear end failure.

Of course, once the warranty is nearly done, who cares?

I decided I'll wait once you mentioned "rear end gears from shock". Somehow I don't think the rear end needs any more shock.

sti convert
05-25-05, 02:32 AM
(I'm in Utah at 4300 feet anyway)

And I thought that I had the only V in Utah.