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Old 12-28-2007, 11:43 PM   #1
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So I thought I knew how to drive stick...

I've known how to drive MTX for a long time, though I haven't even had my Focus a year yet and it's my first MTX car. There are things people talk about that I don't quite understand the reasoning behind.

1.) Downshifting as a substitution for braking. Wanna slow down, pop outta gear, stomp clutch, blip throttle, downshift. What the heck? People tell me it's to "save the brakes." Well, compared to a clutch and engine, I'd say the brakes are cheap to fix... am I not getting this?

2.) "Don't lug the engine." When I drive, if I'm going any faster than 30, and I'm not whooping on some kid in a Honda, I'm in 5th. I'll cruise along as close to 1000 RPMs (but no lower) in whatever gear will get me there. I've always thought it was saving engine wear.

Mythbusters?


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Old 12-29-2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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1. downshifting for braking destroys clutches. rav matching ie heel toe will not slow you down it simply allows you to downshift without slowing down. the only thing that will slow you down is engine braking... dont be an idiot use your brakes to slow down not your clutch.

2. i drive a SVT and it hates being lugged around, i get horrible gas milage when i short shift. it much rather perfers being revved to 4.5k from first into second then to 3.5 for ever other gear then cruising around at 2.5k - 3k
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:07 AM   #3
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I do believe your correct on both accounts.

1. Brakes are cheaper and easier to replace than a clutch.
2. As long as the engine isnt stumbling your fine and yes it saves gas.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:09 AM   #4
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I wouldn't count downshifting completely out...there are situations when its beneficial, such as bad weather (heavy rain/snow) where using just the brakes could end up in your car going out of control, or if you need to stop in a hurry you can combine the brakes and the engine. Generally I drop into neutral and ride it out on the brakes, but occassionally it makes sense to downshift.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:15 AM   #5
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1) brakes stop the car not the engine. racing 101. the dowshift as you so put it would be a rev match which shouldnt slow the car at all if done properly. people that say engine braking is the way to go are idiots. you have the corrrect reasoning - brakes are cheap, engines are not. a heal-toe downshift would be, hit the brakes - push the clutch in - roll your right foot over and blip the gas to the RPM where it would be in the gear that it would be in the gear all while keeping constant pressure on the brake - slip it into the gear you want to be in -release the clutch smoothly and quickly. done properly you shouldnt be able to feel the downshift under braking.

2) i dont see a problem with "lugging" the engine as you put it. other than the fact you have no torque and you cant accelerate but hey gas milage is gas milage. however my wrx it horridly slow outside of its powerband, i guess a 2 liter with a turbo is going to be though. but hey thats what the other gears are for. thats my opinion and unless someone corrects me thats my reasoning.

engine braking is for dumb people, those people well eventualy blow up a motor and probably are slow on the track. the focus is pretty easy to heel-toe. it was my first manual as well the first car i ever drove hard! very few engines blow up under power, most blow up in the instant you take your foot off the gas when then engine is at a high RPM, the rods strech and then snap and make extra unneeded holes in the block. but hey its your motor lol.

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Old 12-29-2007, 01:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walshka07 View Post
1) brakes stop the car not the engine. racing 101. the dowshift as you so put it would be a rev match which shouldnt slow the car at all if done properly. people that say engine braking is the way to go are idiots. you have the corrrect reasoning - brakes are cheap, engines are not. a heal-toe downshift would be, hit the brakes - push the clutch in - roll your right foot over and blip the gas to the RPM where it would be in the gear that it would be in the gear all while keeping constant pressure on the brake - slip it into the gear you want to be in -release the clutch smoothly and quickly. done properly you shouldnt be able to feel the downshift under braking.

2) i dont see a problem with "lugging" the engine as you put it. other than the fact you have no torque and you cant accelerate but hey gas milage is gas milage. however my wrx it horridly slow outside of its powerband, i guess a 2 liter with a turbo is going to be though. but hey thats what the other gears are for. thats my opinion and unless someone corrects me thats my reasoning.

engine braking is for dumb people, those people well eventualy blow up a motor and probably are slow on the track. the focus is pretty easy to heel-toe. it was my first manual as well the first car i ever drove hard! very few engines blow up under power, most blow up in the instant you take your foot off the gas when then engine is at a high RPM, the rods strech and then snap and make extra unneeded holes in the block. but hey its your motor lol.

Matt
I totally and completely disagree with you. Do you have proof that "engine braking is for dumb people"???

How would engine braking possibly destroy a clutch or a motor, unless you have no idea how a stickshift works and you shift into 1st going like 60!?!? I've been engine braking since I STARTED driving 8 years ago and I have yet to blow up an engine let alone replace a clutch (!!!). I believe it DOES save brakes because I have gone through very few pads and no rotors using this method.

And I disagree with you on the other account as well--if you are driving in a very low gear where the engine has no power and you are going up even the slightest incline, the engine will have to work harder than necessary just to make it. I believe this would cause more gas to be used and would also cause more strain on the engine. I have no proof of this but I always make sure the engine is at a place where it easily has enough power if necessary, and I don't get terrible mileage...I mean think about it, when you're cruising on the highway, you're at, on average in a 4-banger, 3,000 rpms and at that level you're still getting the best mileage you can possibly get. Don't you think they would make engines cruise on the freeway at 1,000 rpms if they could get better mileage???

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Old 12-29-2007, 01:47 AM   #7
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I wouldn't count downshifting completely out...there are situations when its beneficial, such as bad weather (heavy rain/snow) where using just the brakes could end up in your car going out of control, or if you need to stop in a hurry you can combine the brakes and the engine. Generally I drop into neutral and ride it out on the brakes, but occassionally it makes sense to downshift.
Im with u on this one
my dads a truck drive and thats the samething he told me too...
I downshift but not all the time ...

Just let it all the way out
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:58 AM   #8
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Yeah, if you know how to properly downshift/engine brake you will never ruin a clutch or a motor by doing it. It's really not that hard...
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by walshka07 View Post
engine braking is for dumb people, those people well eventualy blow up a motor and probably are slow on the track.
You've never driven in the snow, have you? Try just using the brakes when there's a good 3-4 inches of snow and slush covering the road and the wheels lock up on you. Not to mention, I've never heard of someone blowing their engine by using it to assist in braking. Maybe if you do it constantly over the life of the engine it'll pop at 280,000 instead of 300,000, but as long as you're not an idiot and downshift when you're already at redline the only thing you'll wear out any faster is the clutch.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:01 AM   #10
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^Yeah really. Here in Germany I HAVE to DS to stop. If I were to use my breaks I'd be sliding everywhere. So I would agree sometimes it's ok to use the enging to slow down, but I say use good judgement and common sense. If you abuse your car (no matter what type it is) it will break.
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