Originally Posted by DaveC
Seems strange listening to people who can already drive learning to drive again, over here everyone learns in a manual (stick) and continues with one - if you take your driving test in an automatic you are not allowed to drive anything other than an automatic without taking another test. In 25 years of driving I think I've only met one person who learnt in an automatic.
There seems to be some concern over the synchro's in this thread - unless you are a lunatic dont worry about the damn things, they'll still be doing their job in 200,000 miles. Double declutching is a pointless complexity - synchromesh gears were invented to avoid the need to double declutch just like brakes were invented to avoid having holes in the footwell for you to stick your feet through to rub on the tarmac - use them dont 'save' them.
EDIT: Forgot to add - no, they arent the same thing, if you blip during a normal (single press of the clutch) gearchange you are altering the engine speed only - its a good thing to do to smooth out changes but it has no affect on the internals of the gearbox - its disconnected by the clutch. When you blip during a double declutch you are actually spinning up the engine side of the gearbox internals to to try to get the correct rotational speed so that it will be turning at the right speed to engage with the road side of the new gear pairing. Completely different things.
1st to 2nd changes are, by nature of the gearing involved, the most difficult while driving gently. One thing to remember is that its way easier to change up from 1st to 2nd early i.e. if you accelerate gently in first to 3500rpm then try to gently engage second its hard - much harder than if you attempted the same shift at 2000rpm. So unless you need the acceleration keep the revs down in low gears - you'll be much smoother.
Here is what you are trying to achieve:
1. As you approach the point you want to change up then gently ease off the throttle a bit.
2. As you are backing off gently (dont stamp on it) depress the clutch.
3. Properly back of the throttle.
4. Wait for it....
5. Grab second gently not slamming the lever about is a great way to be kind to those beloved synchros.
5. Wait a bit longer...
6 Bring the clutch up and start to reapply power just as the engine revs match the revs you need to be doing your current speed in second.
Sounds simple but the reason you are getting a jerk is that when you bring the clutch back up the engine speed is different to the road speed for the gear you've selected. Try a little test - drive along at 30mph in first and note the rpm, pop it into second and keeping it at 30 note the new rpm - theres quite a difference. Now find a quiet bit of road, drive up to 30 in first, depress the clutch and freewheel a bit while watching the tacho - takes a while to get back down to the rpm you need for second doesn't it? its all timing. If you bring the clutch back up and start to reapply power just at the time when the engine is spinning at the rpm you need for the next gear you'll have no jerk at all.
That jerk works both ways, bring the clutch up too soon and the engine will be spinning too fast and the car will give a little lurch of acceleration as the inertia of the fast spinning engine accelerates the car. Bring the clutch up too late and you've now got an engine which is spinning too slowly - again you get a jerk but its a jerk of deceleration as the engine slows the car down. Time it just right and you'll not get a jerk and you wont need to feather the clutch at all - in fact if you match road speed and engine speed perfectly you can just dump the clutch instantly and noone would feel a thing - trouble is thats pretty impossible to do.
Unfortunately nobody can teach you to be smooth, everyone who ever learns to drive a manual (stick) drives like a complete jerky idiot at first until their body learns to time the changes without thinking about it. Some people learn to do it 'OK' but never, ever get smooth but if you care about it you'll probably get it nailed - don't expect it to come that quickly, its not a brain thing its teaching your body to do something like learning to walk or ride a bike - you'll still be improving years from now.
Oh and expect to look a fool going from one manual to another! just when you think you've got it sorted you drive a different car and its all different and all your changes are rough again - fortunately it seems the more different cars you drive the less you notice the differences.
nice reading. I am sitting here picturing myself as I read your post. I do agreed with alot of things you are saying and have done alot of them to learn about my MT and to improve my shifting.