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Shifting in V6 manual

RyanGphoto

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Not sure where to ask this.. But I was wondering how everyone shifts in their cars.. Meaning downshifting when coming to a stop light or a stop in general.

When I am in 4th or higher, I downshift to the next lower gear until I hit third.. Then I shift out of third into Neutral. Is that the proper way? Is there actually a proper way? Do you guys shift into 2nd gear from 3rd and then in to Neutral?

Just curious if there is a right or wrong way as I haven't had a manual car in 28 years.

Thanks
Ryan G
 
"Ditto" to the responses of LuckysDad and Eagle7. By downshifting at speed, you increase your RPM's and wear your engine, which is the most expensive component of your vehicle, so far more expensive than a set of brake pads. You're also using your clutch more and this being my first mid-engine with a clutch, I'm somewhat concerned about wearing it out prematurely, knowing the entire engine must be removed to fix or replace the clutch (an expensive proposition). I'm just finishing my break-in period, but generally see my RPM's between 2,000 to 3,000 when in gear, and shifting to the next gear up, when I hit/exceed 3,000 RPM. This is all for normal street use when in "tour mode". I've not yet tried "sport" or "track" modes and I'm chomping at the bit to experiment with those, once I've achieved the required 1,500 km for the break-in. I suspect, just like my Corvette C8's, at that point I'll routinely drive the Emira in sport mode.

My engine normally idles at about 750 RPM but lately, it's now up around 850 RPM and I"m not sure why. What is everyone else seeing for the "RPM idle speed"? Does this go lower over increased time/usage?

On a different topic, I wonder if you'll be able to buy a "throttle controller" or "throttle body" and if the "throttle body" is even possible with a supercharged engine. I had the "Solar brand" throttle controller on my last C8 and really enjoyed the more responsive/immediate acceleration. Anyone know if these were ever made by any of the aftermarket crowd, for a Lotus?
 
I learned to drive in Brazil at a time when 99% of cars were manual. Only drove manuals for the first decade of my driving life.

I shift down in situations in which the engine brake would help. So, yes, typically down to 3rd. Reducing to 2nd is a bit of a hassle given the more distant gear ratio. And usually when you are already that slow, the engine brake is not as needed.

It is also a good habit to shift down according to speed because, if a situation arises that requires a quick acceleration, you are already in a good gear for power (i.e., not doing 30 mph in 6th gear)

Braking while at lower gears/ higher rpm also keeps the vehicle more grounded and stable in my perception.

I also shift down because it is fun and part of driving a manual.

If you are concerned about clutch wear by shifting down under normal driving speeds and braking, you probably need to practice your clutch work and rev matching more. It should put very little strain in the system if done properly. After thousands of shifts, you can learn to feel exactly the relations between gears and how much to rev up or down.

When I was in Brazil driving cheap cars, my friends and I would even practice changing gears without pressing the clutch. If the engine is slight breaking the car or in neutral acceleration, you can take the car out of gear without the clutch. And if you get the rpms right, the transmission will pop into gear without the clutch too. I am not suggesting you learn to do this with an Emira, but just saying: you don’t need to be afraid of using the transmission to save your clutch! Just need to practice. That is all the fun and additional control of owning a manual car!
 
A coupe more thoughts: people don’t burn their clutches reducing to 3rd while coming to a traffic light. The big errors are 1/ when launching from a stop, sending the rpms too high and dragging the clutch too long, 2/ resting the left foot on the clutch in between gear changes, even if you think you are not putting any weight on it. The foot must only touch the clutch if you are pressing it.
 
Are you guys serious that you avoid downshifting to 2nd to save the clutch?

I've put more than a hundred thousand miles on more than one clutch, doing aggressive downshifts daily coming into every corner and while decelerating for every stop. I had a Forester XT that I put 170k on that was modded to almost double its original output, and I drove it like I stole it almost every day, and the stock clutch was still in good shape when I sold it (to my mechanic, who begged to buy it). I've never worn out a clutch in any car I've ever owned.

In short: it isn't the downshift to 2nd that's going to wear out your clutch. It's riding the clutch and/or slipping it when you shouldn't.
 
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Thanks everyone for the input.. I was just curious what people do.. I AM trying to avoid wearing out the clutch since it's such an EXPENSIVE replacement (removing the entire engine to do it).

Thanks again for the responses.. Glad I got a decent discussion on proper operation!

Thanks
Ryan G
 
Agree with a few posters above. Long time manual driver. I always downshift when decelerating because it’s fun, because it keeps you in the right powerband should you need to accelerate again and because engine braking is good for the brakes. You are not introducing any wear on your car parts unless you are not rev matching well. If you are, no downsides at all. My clutches last forever.

As a practical matter I usually downshift to 3rd, brake then engage the clutch to neutral right before stopping. I don’t like to be in neutral much at all. Downshifting to 2nd can seem a bit aggresive for Street driving but I do it sometimes anyways 😎
 
Cheaper and easier to replace brakes than a clutch.
This is the practical answer (and not wrong).

But i'll provide another answer: a well executed downshift where you blip the throttle isn't too tough on the transmission/clutch. The "rip" of the engine just elicits something primal in me that makes it worth whatever small added wear it causes. Plus, you get all this emotion without (likely) breaking any speed laws - win/win!

But, but… that downshift from 3rd to 2nd sounds so good when you rev match
@silent cilantro gets it. :)
 
I fully agree with Porter.

I’ve owned tons of manuals and have never had a clutch wear out, even on my track cars.

Take the time to learn to rev match well and down shifting through every gear will become a really enjoyable part of the whole experience. If you rev match there is no wear on the clutch and won’t hurt your engine. I only go to neutral if I’m at a long light, otherwise just second to first and hold the clutch in.
 
Glad to hear the comments of others, that downshifting and increasing RPM's (admittedly "fun") won't really hurt the engine. My fear that it will, stems from my first time on a track almost 20 years ago. I was in my then-BMW M3 and had an actual race car driver in my passenger seat, as my instructor. It was the last afternoon and the only day the track was dry (it rained the previous 2 days and the early morning of the third), so I couldn't resist downshifting half way through the straight-away, then accelerating quickly and shifting back into 6th gear. I wanted to achieve my fastest speed on the track, before reaching the chicane. My instructor GAVE ME SH*T (!!), saying I should NEVER abuse an engine like that. Now I suppose that's NOT what people are saying...since my misadventure involved downshifting at speed and revving the hell out of my engine before shifting to top gear.
 
Glad to hear the comments of others, that downshifting and increasing RPM's (admittedly "fun") won't really hurt the engine. My fear that it will, stems from my first time on a track almost 20 years ago. I was in my then-BMW M3 and had an actual race car driver in my passenger seat, as my instructor. It was the last afternoon and the only day the track was dry (it rained the previous 2 days and the early morning of the third), so I couldn't resist downshifting half way through the straight-away, then accelerating quickly and shifting back into 6th gear. I wanted to achieve my fastest speed on the track, before reaching the chicane. My instructor GAVE ME SH*T (!!), saying I should NEVER abuse an engine like that. Now I suppose that's NOT what people are saying...since my misadventure involved downshifting at speed and revving the hell out of my engine before shifting to top gear.
That’s strange. Unless you overrevved your engine and/or misshifted (which it doesn’t sound like) you did exactly what you’re supposed to do. M3 engines in particular are built to take this kind of load under track conditions. That’s the whole point of the original M formula. Wasn’t just M badges back in the old days:
 
That’s strange. Unless you overrevved your engine and/or misshifted (which it doesn’t sound like) you did exactly what you’re supposed to do. M3 engines in particular are built to take this kind of load under track conditions. That’s the whole point of the original M formula. Wasn’t just M badges back in the old days:
Agreed. Perhaps you inadvertently hit the rev limiter. Or maybe the instructor was just being too precious about the engine.
 
I got to say it... This is one helpful thread. I am no stranger to manuals, but this has been very informative. Driving is a passion of mine, as is learning. I think I found my tag line "Student of the Emira".
 
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I got to say it... This is one helpful thread. I am no stranger to manuals, but this has been very informative. Driving is a passion of mine, as is learning. I think I found my tag line "Student of the Emira".
I was thinking the same thing before I posted.. hoping I wouldn't get flamed for asking a "stupid" question.. but I just wanted to learn and honestly this is my dream car and I want to keep it a long time and enjoy it, but also maintain it.. hence the question.

Thanks for all the answers and dialogue. It is much appreciate everyone!!

Thanks
Ryan G
 
I only put it into neutral when I'm coming to a stop, as in a stop sign or traffic light. There are plenty of opportunities to downshift and enjoy that fun otherwise. Being an old guy, my first car was a 1964 Triumph Spitfire, and I have had clutch issues, as well as trans issues on some of those older cars. I developed the habit of taking it out of gear when coming to a stop back then, and it's just an old habit. I'm sure today's cars are built with much better components, so the clutches and transmissions are probably not as they used to be.

Heel and toeing and rev matching are one of the fun things about manual transmission cars, I agree, but I personally enjoy that the most when cornering, not if I'm just coming to a stop. However to each their own. It's your car; drive it the way you want to.
 
I only put it into neutral when I'm coming to a stop, as in a stop sign or traffic light. There are plenty of opportunities to downshift and enjoy that fun otherwise. Being an old guy, my first car was a 1964 Triumph Spitfire, and I have had clutch issues, as well as trans issues on some of those older cars. I developed the habit of taking it out of gear when coming to a stop back then, and it's just an old habit. I'm sure today's cars are built with much better components, so the clutches and transmissions are probably not as they used to be.

Heel and toeing and rev matching are one of the fun things about manual transmission cars, I agree, but I personally enjoy that the most when cornering, not if I'm just coming to a stop. However to each their own. It's your car; drive it the way you want to.
I put the car in neutral even in stop-and-go traffic. Any time I stop for more than 2-3 seconds. For me, it is less tiring on the left leg this way.

QUESTION FOR Y’ALL: Do you also skip gears a lot? I often go from 3rd to 5th if I am done accelerating. Sometimes 1st to 3rd in slow traffic. Shifting down from 6th to 4th or 3rd to overtake. Etc etc.

What about double clutching? I got the habit from driving old tractors and trucks in Brazil. Not needed for modern cars, but I still do it when down shifting for no reason
 
On a different topic, I wonder if you'll be able to buy a "throttle controller" or "throttle body" and if the "throttle body" is even possible with a supercharged engine. I had the "Solar brand" throttle controller on my last C8 and really enjoyed the more responsive/immediate acceleration. Anyone know if these were ever made by any of the aftermarket crowd, for a Lotus?
Try sport and track mode. You'll forget your own question... ;)
 

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