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Old 08-27-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Advanced Shifting

Hi All- I've had my new JK for ~2 months now and its a 2 door manual Sport...

I've been driving standard cars for ~7 years, but i'm writing to ask a question about "advanced shifting" as I'm not a mechanic and don't know much about the BEST way to drive standard...

I want this new transmission/clutch to last as long as possible- What is the best style to drive in certain situations, ie...

Approaching a red light at ~40mph in 4th gear:
Should I downshift up to a red light, (ie shift into second), keep it in a higher gear (say if i'm going 40 in 4th gear, slow down to a stop and shift out of it at the last min), or drive up to a light in neutral and put all the stress on my brakes?

Do I put stress on my clutch with the number of times I press it, or the style that I shift into gears (ie. higher RPMS,)

How about trolling around side streets and stop signs...I usually just roll with a brief stop in 2nd gear....should I shift down into neutral and take off at every stop sign?

How about starting from stop in second gear? I need much more clutch to do this, I imagine this wears the clutch faster...

Sorry for what might seem like basic questions to the motor heads, but i have not been able to find a good read on advanced shifting.

-moose

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Old 08-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hi Moose,

I've been driving a standard for most of my driving experience of 35 years. I keep my vehicles for an average of 120,000 miles. I have only had one clutch changed out at about 120,000 if memory serves me correctly and only because I had problems with the fly wheel ring gear. Since they had the transmission down already, I had them change out the clutch. I also am very thrifty on a set of brakes. They usually last between 60 to 120,000 miles for me. I accomplish long brake life by allowing the engine to do braking that a lot of folks usually use the brakes for. Down steep inclines I down shift and allow the engine to slow the vehicle. Coming up to a stop I am off of the accelerator early and down shifting as I approach. In order to preserve my synchro in first gear, I usually never shift into first unless I'm at a complete stop. If I'm approaching a stop situation and don't come to a complete stop I start out in second and sometimes while moving real slow, I may slip the clutch a little to get going but in second not first gear. This usually provides a smooth start-up from an almost stop and doesn't wear the clutch too much. If I'm coming off of the highway and want the engine to brake the vehicle hard, I may downshift from 6th to 4th but while coming up on the clutch will goose the gas a little to help smooth the transition a little. This keeps the passengers from lunging forward and makes it feel more like I just applied the brake smoothly. I guess that is my main focus while driving is to try and keep the ride smooth whether braking or shifting while also trying to keep wear and tare to a minimum.

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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hey good question , when approaching a stop light I brake until around 15mph then shift into nuetral. keeping it in gear saves your brakes a bit. I dont see any need to downshift when coming to a stop. when Im coming to a stop sign I usually dont stop completely so I can stay in second unless theres a cop then I have to use first. only time you really need to downshift is when your in 5th and you hit a hill on the freeway and have to power my 2cents
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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jk'n hit it on the head, best way to save your clutch and be nicer to your engine is to tap the gas before you let the clutch out. If before you let the clutch out your engine RPMs are close to what they are after you let the clutch out, you're doing good. That just takes practice. It results in less lurching of the vehicle and less torquing of the two clutch plates as they otherwise slip until the engine side of the clutch is spinning at the same speed of the transmission side of the clutch.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:19 PM   #5
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yes everytime you downshift op , alsoways let the clutch out and tap the gas to get the rpms where they need to be. But I wouldnt ever downshift just to lose speed, you downshift so you can have more torque and gain speed, ie while going up hills
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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yes everytime you downshift op , alsoways let the clutch out and tap the gas to get the rpms where they need to be. But I wouldnt ever downshift just to lose speed, you downshift so you can have more torque and gain speed, ie while going up hills
And IMO you have lost half of the useful function of having control over a transmission. Slowing down a vehicle is just as important a function for a transmission as speeding it up. Regardless of whether it is an automatic or standard.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #7
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And IMO you have lost half of the useful function of having control over a transmission. Slowing down a vehicle is just as important a function for a transmission as speeding it up. Regardless of whether it is an automatic or standard.
I do engine brake at lights but not to the extent that I downshift, imo it uses the least gas keeping the rpms low and also helps me avoid using the brakes too much. as for downshifting and popping the rpms up a 1000 to avoid wearing out brakes your going to pay more in gas over those 60k then you did on a set of pads. But hey driving a stick is about having control over more of the car so props to you
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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These are two different ideas with different applications. Economy is about never having to apply the brakes because you always anticipate well enough that coasting always works. In the real world, the vehicle will have to be slowed quickly because of unanticipated behavior of other drivers.

Driving down a steep grade has less to do with economy and more to do with wear as to how one decides to traverse. Applying the brakes all the way down the incline will prematurely wear the brakes. Downshifting the transmission will cause the engine to slow the vehicle and save on the brakes. That is why I downshift in these situations even when driving an automatic.

Case in point: When my wife drives her PT Cruiser (automatic) to work over the mountain, she applies the brake all the way down on the downhill side. I've been changing her brakes every 25,000 miles approximately. When I helped her to understand the power of the engine to slow the vehicle and save on the brakes, she now sometimes downshifts and as a result we now get about 35,000 miles out of a set of brakes.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:51 PM   #9
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Not to mention that if you overheat your brakes on a hill or mountain, its game over.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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I once went 110,000 on one set of brakes in a standard mercury tracer. The dealer didn't believe me that it was the first time the brakes were changed out. They were the only place that the vehicle had been taken for service. I challenged them to find a brake change in its service history. They couldn't.
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:24 PM   #11
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I haven't owned a stick in years. but slowing down I didn't do anything unless it was from 45 to 30 maybe. I always waited till I knew what my new cruising speed would be then shift to the correct gear. so 45 in 4th, I'd apply the brakes, hit 30, saw I needed to accelerate, then shift to 3rd.

stopping same deal only I'd go straight to No Gear. if the light changed before I stopped I'd go to 2nd or 3rd depending on speed.

stop signs through residentials I left it in 2nd and just clutched while braking. i think thats what you folks call "riding the clutch" and is frowned upon lol! regular driving I'd brake, clutch and shift at once while slowing down if I came to a sign.

who knows if any of that is correct though. I'm lazy so I never shifted unless I had to hills I just let it go lol! if it's hilly terrain I would leave her around 3rd and be a little low to avoid downshifts. even in my automatic, if there's some sh*thead riding the brakes I get mad and downshift but I'm a foot off the bumper usually
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Old 08-27-2010, 03:43 PM   #12
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To the point, clutch wear is minimal when either fully engaged or disengaged. 'Tis the between stuff that can kill it. Minimal slipping when up or down shifting (meaning don't make a habit of starting from a stop in second).

Gentleness and trying to match engine speed to transmission speed go a long way towards longevity. Of couse the later at stop is impossible (unless you stall the engine) ;0)
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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I have ridden motorcycles for over 15 years and thus I have been "trained" to use the engine to slow me down and also "trained" to keep shifts smooth. I drive my standard the same way. You can't even tell I drive a stick becasue unless I am trying to haul ass to merge or something you never see or feel the lurch. Smooth shifts save a lot of things like gears, clutches, brakes....everything.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #14
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You could save your clutch from excessive wear buy NOT using it when shifting. Just gotta get your RPMs right and find that sweet spot. Should slide right into gears if done correctly.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:49 PM   #15
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Shifting without using the clutch does not wear your clutch at all if thats what you're asking Brandon. You just have to be careful because if the rpm isnt close you'll grind gears and transmission are a bit more expensive to replace than clutches.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:57 AM   #16
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Have you guys noticed that engine braking is almost non-existent in JKs? It barely has any effect at all.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:04 AM   #17
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I engine brake all the time. It depends on what gear you are using. For example. If I am cruising on a street where the speed limit is 45 and I am coming up to a red light, I will shift from fourth to second to slow me down significantly if I need to slow down quickly, if not I will just coast shifting from 4th to 3rd to second. If you are downshifting thru each gear it wont make that much of a difference. But say I am getting off a highway exit and I am in 6th going 65 I will down shift to 4th to slow me don significantly then depending on how fast I need to be going for the new speed limit adjust. I usuaaly keep the RPMs around 2000 when driving smoothly, unless I am trying to merge and not get killed I will run the RPM's up to 3k to get the JK moving.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:28 AM   #18
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unless I am trying to merge and not get killed I will run the RPM's up to 3k to get the JK moving.
The JK makes almost all of its power between 3-5k....you would be surprised at how it pulls once you get the RPMs up there.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:00 PM   #19
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I usually let my jeep downshift once I hit 2000rpm, I let it coast, then downshift from 4th to 3rd at 2000rpm, then again from 3rd to 2nd. I'm a new manual driver, so I researched a bit and this seems like a pretty smooth thing.

Haha, and this is in my TJ, forgot this was the JK forum
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:07 PM   #20
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I rarely look at the tach or speedometer when shifting. I usually go by sound and performance. Sluggish, downshift...high RPMs up shift...need to pass with vigor...down shift...on a flat surface and up to speed....up shift...you get the idea. Once you can hear what it sounds like you will just know when to shift.

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