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Old 03-29-2007, 02:25 PM   #1
ShaneyH
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Questions to Manual Transmission Owners??

Hello everyone I have owned my 5spd zx3 for about 6 months now. It is the only manual tranny car ive owned so i have a few question about the mtx-75, and just a manual in general.
Here they are:

1) is it normal that in 2nd-5th gear my car makes strange noises under 2k RPM? (sort of a rattle)

2) Is it bad to drive under 2k RPM in any gear without help of clutch?

3) Is it normal to not have much accelaration until about 3-4 RPM?

4) Why is it so difficult to put it in 1st sometimes?

5) (Never done this, just wondering) Say if you're going 20mph is it bad to put it into 1st but still keep the clutch in until a complete stop. (i.e. just put the shift knob in first)

6)MOST IMPORTANT! this might be a rumor but is it true that you can find a sweet spot and shift without using the clutch? I have heard it is possible in a focus. Is It? if so what gears and what RPM?

Thankyou so much for yall's time, any tips on driving it would be great, I have mastered day to day driving and any tricks would help.

shane


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Old 03-29-2007, 02:40 PM   #2
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1.) Yes. Engine just bogs and struggles at that low of rpms

2.) No. Most ATXs will cruise at/below 2000 at low enough speeds. Just don't give the car much gas and load it up too much, or expect any power. If I'm cruising along slowly somewhere I won't have to speed up (traffic, low speed zones) I try to keep it under/around 2k

3.) Yes. If you ever see a dyno curve, you can see that our engines make very little power at lower rpms (same with nearly all engines). You have to get the revs up into the "powerband" before you feel most of the acceleration potential. If your 2003 happens to have the 2.3 engine, your peak torque is aroun 4200rpm, so your hp will really be noticable from that point and upwards.

4.) Could be a defective/worn clutch component (pressure plate, throw-out bearing etc). I had this problem also, had the clutch assy replaced, was told it was the pressure plate.

5.) Generally a good idea to stay out of 1st unless you're at a stop. Obviously sometimes at very low speeds you need the torque available in 1st, but engaging 1st, even with the clutch pedal depressed, can cause issues here and there, and can damage synchros.

6.) This is true for most cars. It's typically called power-shifting, esp if you leave your foot on the gas between gears. I'm not an expert because I don't want to break my little car, and I can shift nice and quick even with the clutch. I think it becomes easier as the trans wears. I've applied light pressure to the shifter just to see what happens with the clutch pedal out between gears and it hasn't felt like it wants to slip into gear. So I leave it alone and use the clutch.

Enjoy the stick shift! Most everyone here will agree that it's an important part of enjoying the feel of the car. Once you get the basics down you can practice speeding up your shifts to see how quickly you can get between gears. Also there's downshift rev-matching, heel-and-toeing, etc etc. Look it all up on the forums to find info. Also Carol Smith's "Drive to Win" (part of the "_____ to Win" series) contains valuable and interesting info on how to shift efficiently.
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Old 03-29-2007, 02:50 PM   #3
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Yeah i dont recomend trying number 6 untill u have alot of time with that transmission and u kno what it can and cant take
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:12 PM   #4
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I've had alot of experience with manual transmissions with and without synchros. Putting it in first at 20 mph is probably not the greatest idea, but if you hold the knob to the slot for first while under 10 mph and let the trans pull the shifter into the location, its easier on the clutch and synchros. (truckers call that 'rolling first') As far as shifting without the clutch goes, it is possible, it happens about 600-650 rpm below where you shift out in my 02 zx3, and if you miss the gear, you can royally screw up the trans. Now that I've warned you, lol, 'floating the gears' as truckers call it, is accomplished by pulling the shifter out of gear just as you take your foot off the fuel, waiting for the tach to drop the right number of rpm's, and having the shifter at the next gear slot just in time for the speed of the next gear to match the speed of the drive gear. (when done right the trans sucks the shifter right into the slot) If your timing is off, you can rip the teeth off the gears in your trans. among other things.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:23 PM   #5
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I really strongly would not recommend attempting to float gears anytime soon, especially if you want to keep your tranny. My advice about coasting with the gears in first while clutching is that if you really want to do something like this, just coast in neutral, its better on your tranny, and holding the clutch down for a long period of time can quickly wear out your throwout bearing, its 'cheap' to replace, but a pain in the ass.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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everything that your car does...my car does...I wouldn't worry about it too much, just make sure you ALWAYS use your clutch!!! I wouldn't try that sweet spot stuff imo!
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:31 PM   #7
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I only have 55,000 mi and i've only had my car 3 months soooooo, its probably just a focus thing!
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:38 PM   #8
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qucik ? not to thread jack but along same lines, when im coming to a stop, ill have it in second and when car is gonan idle o a die, like right before that point i push in clutch, roll then stop and push it to 1st, is that the best way to do it?
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:49 PM   #9
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When commuting, I usually brake the car ingear til the rpm's go under 1800, drop it in neutral, and 'roll first' just before I stop. Once you get the hang of it, its easier, lol.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:51 PM   #10
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i used to drive truck. almost all drivers on the road power shift using the right rpm's.its standard for semi trucks. but would i do the same in my st.........ummmm * no!
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