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Old 10-27-2013, 11:38 PM   #1
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Tips for driving stick...

So, I just bought a 2014 JKU Sahara with 6speed manual. I've never driven stick before and need some tips. For just 2 days on I think I'm doing well, but I'm still having some trouble between first and second. Does any one have any tips for that, or just in general.

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Old 10-27-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Just take it out in an open parking lot or field if you're feeling adventurous and practice. If you already have the main idea, it just takes practice. Good luck and enjoy the new Jeep!!

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Old 10-27-2013, 11:46 PM   #3
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Don't hit the gas if your shifting between gears until the clutch is fully engaged (up)
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2JeepsThatRun View Post
Don't hit the gas if your shifting between gears until the clutch is fully engaged (up)
I think that may be my problem getting in to second 3-6 has been a piece of cake.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:22 AM   #5
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Don't hit the gas if your shifting between gears until the clutch is fully engaged (up)
If not done properly it'll be jerky and rough. Go somewhere away from other vehicles and practice easing out of the clutch and easing into the gas at the same time.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:52 AM   #6
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My tip. tell the wife you need to buy a big heavy motorcycle to practice gear changes and clutching.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
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Pay attention to your tach!!! Its your BEST friend when learning to drive a manual transmission vehicle!!!

Keeping that in mind....As earlier, practice the clutch out/gas movement/ratio (apply this ONLY to getting going in 1st though, unless you plan on driving your jeep around like a race car) you done "NEED" to apply gas when shifting from 1st to 2nd on... Watch your RPMs as you make shifts and listen to the engine. If you shift in the "sweet spot" you wont need to give gas to make a clean/smooth shift. Play with the RPMs to see what your Jeep likes best... for example, my YJ (I6) likes shifting around 1600-1800 from 1st to 2nd but then usually likes to shift close to it around 2k for the rest of the gears, all smooth shifting with applying gas smoothly after the shift... not giving gas as letting out the clutch... they're jeeps, no need for speed, just take her slow and go with the flow...
My J-truck (V8) is about the same, actually... and my car with an I4 I dont have a tach, so its hard to tell on RPMs, but you can listen for the tone of the engine (comes with experience) to know when you need to shift.

Make sure you get a decent amount of practice starting off on hills before you try it in traffic... hills are the TOUGHEST to learn how to disengage the clutch while applying the gas to keep her going. Once again, just watch your RPMs And keep them as close to "idle" as you can and apply a little gas as you let out a little on the clutch... usually this will end up being clutch about half way out with minimal pressure on the gas, almost as if you are resting your foot on the pedal, letting the weight of your foot keep your RPMs where they need to be. If I remember right, my dads JK took a little more pressure at the pedal to get her going - but thats with an auto... not sure on the pedal response of the manual JKs... anyway, you'll want to increase the gas as your RPMs drop until you reach "idle" as you fully release the pedal, then increase the gas as you want to start to roll... a lot of times, on hills, I will try to "play" the lights and start letting out on the clutch and give the slightest amount of gas to keep me "still" but ready to engage or take off when it turns green. this also helps and takes a lot of pressure off you with gauging your "roll back" so that you don't "roll back" on the vehicle behind you quickly when trying to get going right away when the light turns green.

Maybe try going out and driving around "in town" late at night /early in the morning... then you can get the feel for the take offs while not having to deal with traffic. Trust me, traffic makes a HUGE difference in driving there things. I about had a panic attack my first time driving in the city - was also having carb problems, so that didn't make it any better... on another note, I was teaching my ex-GF how to drive a stick and she did AMAZING until we got into traffic... its seriously a totally different experience..

Ive been driving manuals my entire life.. owned 7 vehicles - all but one being manual transmissions. My Dad took my out to a hilly field with my jeep when I first got it and thats how I learned. Made me start on hills, and in q freshly tilled field that can be a tough endeavour.. It takes experience and a lot of attention in the beginning to get everything down... but soon enough it will become natural and you may not even have to look at the tech anymore and just drive by sound... you'll learn to and will love it!!! I never want to own an automatic again! I HATE driving automatics now!
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:52 AM   #8
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I should also add, my YJ(I6) is a 5speed, j-truck(V8) is a 4-speed and my I4 cars is a 5speed, so shift points my vary for you...
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:05 AM   #9
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Been driving over 40 years and never really noticed I drive by sound until I got the jeep.
With the top off, I will occasionally mess up my shifting if there is loud music or a big truck nearby that drowns out my throttle.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the tips guys. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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I also say thank you for buying the manual. Somebody has to keep the manual trans alive. My wife and I have all manual trans vehicles. even her 2014 outback is a 6 speed manual.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:37 PM   #12
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i was taught and have been teaching my sons to drive in a pasture on terraces. stop and go while half way up on a terrace.............. so if you know a farmer or can get out of town on some hills.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #13
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just remember, its a jeep not a sports car. Make your shifts slow and smooth. As with your 1-2 shift, make sure you are running first gear enough and not short shifting it into second. Try running first a little longer and that will probably smooth you out. I see noobies making that mistaske all the time.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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I'm 62 and have been driving a stick since I was 14. Driving with a stick and knowing when to shift is something you learn by the sounds and effort the vehicle is making. Many of the cars and trucks I've driven didn't have a tach so even today when all my vehicles have a tach I don't use it for shifting. You will learn by driving and getting the feel for Jeep.

I will say that 1st to 2nd when my 01 is cold has be done slowly as stated above it's not a sports car.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:35 AM   #15
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Excluding first. Is my foot off the has while on the clutch
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:19 AM   #16
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When I was 16, I was terrible at learning stick. Was nervous about traffic, and when relatives rode along and tried to instruct me it made it worse.
So one day I took my dad's pickup with a 5-speed stick (and no tach) out onto a remote dirt farm road where there was no traffic and one good steep hill. It allowed me to relax, and after an hour or so I had it nailed. Been second nature ever since.
I go by sound and feel of the engine because different conditions warrant shifting at different times. Also, I pause a split second in neutral when shifting. It's easier on the synchros in the long run. Think of it as a two step process: pull out of first, 'pause', pull into second. Etc.
It will be like clockwork before you know it.

PS: I second that "thanks" for buying a manual. It's actually hard to find a manual Jeep on a dealer lot these days which blows my mind. To me, a Jeep is a vehicle that should have a stick shift.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:40 AM   #17
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I usually shift from 1st to 2nd at 1000-2000 rpm. 2nd to 3rd gear you can shift at higher rpm and3rd to 4th gear at higher rpm and so forth. Just listen to your engine and you'll get to learn the "feel" of the Jeep.
That's my take. Kinda like the "Zen of Jeep".
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #18
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I've been driving a stick for longer than I want to admit.

And no, I didn't forget my blinker was on....
I'M GOING AROUND THE WORLD TO THE LEFT!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:11 PM   #19
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Excluding first. Is my foot off the has while on the clutch
Your foot should always be off the gas when the clutch is in. When I say off I mean not applying pressure you can rest your foot on it so when the shift is completed your ready to give it some gas.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:15 PM   #20
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By the way a bad habit many people new to stick do is they rest their foot on the clutch when they are not shifting. This is very bad for the throw out bearing, keep your foot off the clutch unless your shifting.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #21
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By the way a bad habit many people new to stick do is they rest their foot on the clutch when they are not shifting. This is very bad for the throw out bearing, keep your foot off the clutch unless your shifting.
Another bad habit which alot of people do is when they are coming up to a stop, they just stab in the clutch and hold it while they brake to a stop. Thats not driving a stick. Oh, i always blip the throttle a smidge when i down shift
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:09 PM   #22
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For the first few weeks, keep your radio at a low volume and listen to your engine - pay attention to what it sounds like at different shift points, in different gears.

I just bought a manual for the first time, too. I learned to drive on a stick, but have never owned one. Everyone tried to talk me into ordering an automatic and told me that shifting will get old - it hasn't, and I would order a manual again if I could do it over.

Congrats on the new rig!
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:17 PM   #23
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It takes time, but try and learn to match engine speed to wheel speed when up AND down shifting. I always double clutch up shifts and blip the throttle on down shifts. Googling those terms will explain it better than I have the patience to.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:21 PM   #24
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My wife got me into sticks because her parents let her take the '97 Ford Ranger to college (4 cyl, no tach, 176k with possibly original clutch though), and we still have it. My TJ is the second vehicle I've owned with a standard (first being an '06 Suzuki Aerio, loved that car, got totaled for bumper damage...), and that is on purpose. I've been driving my parents automatic sedan lately while it was in the shop and it nearly puts me to sleep. Standard trannies keep you engaged in the driving. City traffic can suck for it, but so be it. Also the low RPM needed to shift my Jeep helps me to take it easy, and believe it or not I got 18.7 MPG city the week after I bought it (highway est is 17 MPG), so you can milk it a little for gas, but it still eats gas... Most nations still drive stick, autos are for the handicapped.

The reason for the shop work was the clutch going out, so I have some tips on that. GET IT FIXED (Luk clutches recommended) within a week, or two in my case, don't drive more than an hour at a time if you can help it and not on highways. I did get myself stranded and towed, and needlessly burned up a sensor too. When shifting on a bad clutch definitely get the tach where you want it before you shift and let off the gas so what's left of the clutch can catch before you accelerate again. Obviously not going to be an issue for our new owner for a while, but used owners definitely need to worry about this around 150,000 miles. Didn't know that about resting your foot on the clutch (city makes it hard not to), but I was already thinking about getting a dead pedal. Being able to put it in neutral is definitely better for breaks and wear, typically not done in automatics.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #25
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Wow, I haven't double clutch a vehicle since driving a deuce and a half in the Army in the 70's.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:20 PM   #26
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I'm doing a Magnum V8 swap next summer and I can't decide wether to go auto or manual..I'm leaning towards manual honestly right now but I appreciate my auto off-road not gonna lie..ill figure it out lol.

But to stay relevant to the topic I ride a motorcycle and when I'm shifting I don't even look at my tack at all. I go by the feel and sound of the motor. Also coming up to a stop ill downshift and use my engines compression to help slow me down as opposed to just pulling the clutch in and using the brakes alone to stop me. I'm sure it's the same concept with a standard jeep. Good luck friend.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:06 PM   #27
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I learned stick on a 55 dodge with no tach. I'm glad because it have me a chance to learn a tough vehicle without relying on a tach for shift points.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:14 AM   #28
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It takes time, but try and learn to match engine speed to wheel speed when up AND down shifting. I always double clutch up shifts and blip the throttle on down shifts. Googling those terms will explain it better than I have the patience to.
I have never found the need to double clutch or blip the throttle when down shifting. I'm not sure what's the need.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:34 PM   #29
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I have never found the need to double clutch or blip the throttle when down shifting. I'm not sure what's the need.
Just a smoother way to drive a manual. Also, the less time spent dragging the clutch on the flywheel, the less wear and tear. My last car had 210K miles on the original clutch, all rev matched downshifting.
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #30
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Their isn't a "need" probably, but it's easier on the syncros and is good practice on slick roads

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