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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

2001 ZX3 5speed. New owner here, but not my first MT. I used to DD a Dodge truck with a 4 speed and a Protege with a 5 speed, so this is probably just a matter of getting used to the new car.

How do you guys actually make the 1-2 shift smoothly? The only way I could do it smooth was to wait for the engine to drop 1500ish RPMs from the shift point before letting out the clutch, but it just seems to drop so slowly. Letting the clutch out really slow also seems to work, but both methods just feel like the 1-2 shift takes forever to complete. Any other method just seems to be jerky, no matter what RPM I shift at, and I don't run into the jerkyness in any other gear, up or down. What's the secret handshake?

Also, does anyone know the exact logic the shift light uses? I usually do it by feel anyways, but I'm curious what the actual logic it is using consists of. It seems so odd for it to tell me to shift, but then go off before I shift even though I'm holding constant throttle position.
 

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More time driving it and you'll get it.

Shift light if like others is simply to shift at the supposed best time to save fuel. It is supposed to have engine rpm around the torque peak to maximize efficiency.
 

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I've owned 22 cars in my lifetime, with 16 of them having manual transmission. No two have required the same left and right foot coordination to execute a smooth shift.

It's something your brain-foot coordination will have to get used to and learn to accomodate for. My '86 and '91 Civics lost rpms quickly after throttle release, where the later models hang onto revs, making it necessary to release the gas a split second earlier before disengaging the clutch.

Your feet will learn and adapt. Mine are still working on dealing with the power cliff my Titanium's engine falls off of during the 1-2 and 2-3 shift. Another reason I miss my ST. :)
 

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It's getting cold up there, isn't it?

Second gear is a total bitch in these cars when the weather gets colder. After a few minutes 1-2 will be much smoother, but for the first five or so (depending on how cold it is) it'll be crappy. I usually rev out 1st to 3500 or so and just skip 2nd the first few times.
 

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where the later models hang onto revs, making it necessary to release the gas a split second earlier before disengaging the clutch.
Sounds like idle speed control valve problem? Have you sometimes experienced rpm drop very low when releasing gas pedal while stopping?
 

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Everything works fine, I think it's normal. Very similar to the way my '10 Forte Koup and '04 Mazda 3 responded to throttle release. I've read that the behavior is emissions related. Very different driving experience than cable-actuated throttles.
 

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well... this happens regardless of throttle actuating type. With or without cable, does not matter. If iscv gets dirty it manifests "also" in this way (slow rpm droping).
iscv-idle speed control, also called iac-idle air control. "Leerlauf ventil"

Here's a short video on "how to" clean it:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've got about a week in the car so far, and am getting better at the 1-2 shift, but it still feels like the revs drop so slowly. Even shifting at 2krpm, we're still looking at waiting 1-2 seconds for the revs to drop enough that the shift won't be jerky. Reading up here, it sounds like this is normal emissions-related behavior.

I have some time to work on the car this weekend, so I can check out the IAC and see if it's full of crap, maybe I have an unusually bad case.
 

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Click, Click

Shift to neutral, then shift to second.

Check the actual RPM difference between the gears to know how long to wait (don't have to wait 'till the tach shows the whole difference).

It's usually only a problem when folks try to clutch/shift/release without any time inbetween.
 

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It's about timing. Matching engine speed to wheel speed. I'm known for being the master of rev matching to my friends lol.
 

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Click, Click

Shift to neutral, then shift to second.

Check the actual RPM difference between the gears to know how long to wait (don't have to wait 'till the tach shows the whole difference).

It's usually only a problem when folks try to clutch/shift/release without any time inbetween.


This. I have the ib5 transmission and the spi so I bet they act completely different. But you get used to it after a while. I noticed that I have to hang out on the clutch a bit longer to get going. You would think with double synchros is the mtx-75 that it would shift smoother...
 

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I'm also a new Focus owner, and I thought the exact same thing. I tried to shift it like I shift every other manual car I've ever owned, and it feels like I'm dumping the clutch in 2nd. I'm definitely not a fan of that. The car needs work, so I haven't put any miles on it except for driving it home, so I'll play around with it some more later. Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. [thumb]
 
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