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Old 12-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
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HELP! Need clutch tips/ techniques

I am still learning to feather the clutch properly. I feel like the travel is rather long and it catches last second at the top around the 90% mark. It's still rather jerky for me, sometimes I can hear and feel the transmission clanking. I'm obviously doing it wrong. Do you have any tips/ techniques to share to make it a smoother ride? I find that if I drag my feet on the floor towards the top it helps to smooth the engagement. Any help is much appreciated!

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Old 12-03-2013, 06:55 AM   #2
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Are you having issues in all gears or just at take off. If just at take off, have you disabled the hill assist?

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Old 12-03-2013, 07:05 AM   #3
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+1 on disabling hill assist. I too had trouble with our 2013. I've driven a stick for years and it really made me feel like a noob. Once I disabled hill assist it was a lot easier. Be sure to shift in kind of a 2 step motion pausing briefly in neutral before going to the next gear. The clutch does get a bit smoother after a few thousand miles. Ours got a lot better somewhere between 4000-4500k.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Are you having issues in all gears or just at take off. If just at take off, have you disabled the hill assist?
It's jerky and bucks mostly on take off. I don't understand how it could be hill assist that is making it difficult to take off smoothly. I don't think I'm letting off the clutch smoothly. Do you drag your foot or just lift straight up? I notice I have to drag mine to smooth it out.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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Don't drag your foot. That is slipping the clutch and bad for it. You just have to get used to the timing. One foot come up and the other goes down. Try giving it more gas. HSA will only give you issues if you mash the brake. It's a great tool, especially offroad if you know what you are doing.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Lots of bucking and I already put her in reverse from 5th attempting for 6th. Just breaking her in. All a part of the experience I need to get better at this.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Dont drag your foot but dont just pop it either. Slipping a clutch is utilizing it correctly (on take off and when down shifting) its just the amount of time one spends slipping it is where you can have problems. Dont slip it for more than 1-2 ssecond. Its a timing thing. Youll get it.

Edit: and turn that HSA off its pure junk
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 80sforlife View Post
I am still learning to feather the clutch properly. I feel like the travel is rather long and it catches last second at the top around the 90% mark. It's still rather jerky for me, sometimes I can hear and feel the transmission clanking. I'm obviously doing it wrong. Do you have any tips/ techniques to share to make it a smoother ride? I find that if I drag my feet on the floor towards the top it helps to smooth the engagement. Any help is much appreciated!
Are you saying the clutch pedal is actuating early on (when you lightly step on the pedal) or late (when you bury your foot)?

I've been teaching people how to get surgical with manuals for a while now, and here is my top tip...

Go to a large FLAT parking lot....empty of course.....

1) Make sure you have plenty of room in FRONT of the jeep.
2) Clutch in, put it in 1st...DO NOT TOUCH THE GAS.
3) Slowly release the clutch until the Jeep begins to creep forward.
4) Keep releasing the clutch until you have a 100% engagement and the jeep is rolling on its own. If it stutters, jerks, etc, you are doing it too quickly.

Clutch in, stop, repeat 100 times until you get surgical with the clutch engagement and can do a smooth roll quickly. Once you master that, you will be able to drive extremely smoothly (transparent like an auto) and without grinding. Any questions, just holler.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
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2) Clutch in, put it in 1st...DO NOT TOUCH THE GAS. 3) Slowly release the clutch until the Jeep begins to creep forward. 4) Keep releasing the clutch until you have a 100% engagement and the jeep is rolling on its own. If it stutters, jerks, etc, you are doing it too quickly. Clutch in, stop, repeat 100 times until you get surgical with the clutch engagement and can do a smooth roll quickly. Once you master that, you will be able to drive extremely smoothly (transparent like an auto) and without grinding. Any questions, just holler.
Golden advice!
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC View Post
Are you saying the clutch pedal is actuating early on (when you lightly step on the pedal) or late (when you bury your foot)?

I've been teaching people how to get surgical with manuals for a while now, and here is my top tip...

Go to a large FLAT parking lot....empty of course.....

1) Make sure you have plenty of room in FRONT of the jeep.
2) Clutch in, put it in 1st...DO NOT TOUCH THE GAS.
3) Slowly release the clutch until the Jeep begins to creep forward.
4) Keep releasing the clutch until you have a 100% engagement and the jeep is rolling on its own. If it stutters, jerks, etc, you are doing it too quickly.

Clutch in, stop, repeat 100 times until you get surgical with the clutch engagement and can do a smooth roll quickly. Once you master that, you will be able to drive extremely smoothly (transparent like an auto) and without grinding. Any questions, just holler.
+1000 on this advice. Was going to say something similar. Finding and getting familiar with the sweet spot (point at which clutch starts to engage/cause the jeep to start rolling) on the clutch release is the key.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #11
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I had trouble teaching my son to drive a stick at first until I realized exactly how I was using the clutch. I was letting it out until it started to catch then I would hold it at that spot for a moment while giving it a little gas until the rpm's increased and I let the clutch out a little more until the there was no slippage and then mash the gas.

It was that momentary hesitation that I didn't even realize I did that makes all the difference. Once I taught that to my son he picked it up real quick and will only drive a stick now.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC View Post
Are you saying the clutch pedal is actuating early on (when you lightly step on the pedal) or late (when you bury your foot)?

I've been teaching people how to get surgical with manuals for a while now, and here is my top tip...

Go to a large FLAT parking lot....empty of course.....

1) Make sure you have plenty of room in FRONT of the jeep.
2) Clutch in, put it in 1st...DO NOT TOUCH THE GAS.
3) Slowly release the clutch until the Jeep begins to creep forward.
4) Keep releasing the clutch until you have a 100% engagement and the jeep is rolling on its own. If it stutters, jerks, etc, you are doing it too quickly.

Clutch in, stop, repeat 100 times until you get surgical with the clutch engagement and can do a smooth roll quickly. Once you master that, you will be able to drive extremely smoothly (transparent like an auto) and without grinding. Any questions, just holler.
Take it one step further and put it in 4L. There will be less clutch wear during the learning process.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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I have another question since I'm still learning. When the engine starts to lug down (Jeep shakes and putts) for example in a parking lot is ok to just cruise around or should I stop being lazy and down shift to prevent this? Does it hurt the tranny, engine, mechanics when it lugs down/ putts in too high a gear?
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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I have another question since I'm still learning. When the engine starts to lug down (Jeep shakes and putts) for example in a parking lot is ok to just cruise around or should I stop being lazy and down shift to prevent this? Does it hurt the tranny, engine, mechanics when it lugs down/ putts in too high a gear?
Yes, lugging the engine puts unnecessary strain on the motor and transmission. It also eats a ton more fuel. Downshift.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:16 PM   #15
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Take it one step further and put it in 4L. There will be less clutch wear during the learning process.
4L would make the above "too easy" as the engine wouldn't stall and you aren't getting the true feel for the clutch. Agreed on the wear though, but it comes with the terriroty. As long as he keeps of the gas pedal there won't be any significant wear. The wear on the clutch from a manual driven improperly is far worse.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #16
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I didn't believe it at first but it's true the hill assist is the culprit for my subpar clutch and shifting. Once I turned it off I'm able to feather the clutch naturally and get smoother take offs. TURN OFF HILL ASSIST! So apparently it holds the brake even on the flats which explains why I was having such a hard time.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:37 PM   #17
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Our brain learns by repetition and feedback. It just takes time. If you live in an area with hills just engage the parking brake till you get good at the stick. Turn off that hill assist it is an abomination to standards.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:37 PM   #18
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I didn't believe it at first but it's true the hill assist is the culprit for my subpar clutch and shifting. Once I turned it off I'm able to feather the clutch naturally and get smoother take offs. TURN OFF HILL ASSIST! So apparently it holds the brake even on the flats which explains why I was having such a hard time.
It doesn't hold it on flat ground. I think it has to be a 3% grade for the manual. You're probably just getting used to driving.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #19
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Lots of great advice here... One thing I'd like to add, and that is not to be hard on yourself about the process. I've been driving manual transmission vehicles for years, and the JK was still a learning process.

I had some real clunker shifts, particularly the 1-2 upshift due to all the driveline slop. Everything smooths out considerably, you and the transmission (lol), after a couple thousand miles.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:32 PM   #20
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Good practical thread. NYC's parking lot practice advice above is dead on. My last couple of 4-wheelers were automatics; I plan on taking time to get my feel for foot clutching and hand shifting back. A reversal from bikes!

Jeep's ZF 6-speed is a wonderful transmission, and it's good to see people with previous automatic experience going for it. I would also suggest the 3.73 final drive with the 6-speed. Much easier to get a smooth no-gas takeoff compared to the 3.21 gears. Especially for people sticking big heavy tires on.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #21
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I have a 6sp and I get a clunk between gears almost every single time. The ONLY way I have found to avoid it is to give it a little throttle between gears and letting the clutch out.

It leaves a lot to be desired IMO.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:36 PM   #22
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So even if you've driven manuals your whole life, me driving them for over 45 years, you have to learn how to drive a manual Jeep? I guess its a Jeep Thing.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:45 PM   #23
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So even if you've driven manuals your whole life, me driving them for over 45 years, you have to learn how to drive a manual Jeep? I guess its a Jeep Thing.
You're probably a super-smooth driver of a regular manual transmission... The throttle by wire, driveline slop and long throws of the JK will all conspire to make you look like an amateur for a little while.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:14 PM   #24
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Lots of bucking and I already put her in reverse from 5th attempting for 6th. Just breaking her in. All a part of the experience I need to get better at this.
OMG! I have done that a total of 3 times by mistake. So gut wrenching. Apparently I was not thinking.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:37 PM   #25
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Ive never been close to going from 5th to reverse, instead of 6th. In fact, a couple of times, Ive actually been in 6th instead of reverse. Caught myself before stalling, but nonetheless, I have a good gate blocking reverse. Maybe they upgraded that part on the '14s?
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #26
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Trade it in for a Automatic...
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:24 PM   #27
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Are you guys telling me that the Jeep manual doesn't have an automatic reverse lockout?
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #28
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Are you guys telling me that the Jeep manual doesn't have an automatic reverse lockout?
I havent tried forcing mine through the gate while in fifth, but there's a definite pressure gate there. People have to be pushing fairly hard while shifting to push through it. Like I said before, a few times I've been in sixth instead of reverse while trying to back out of my driveway, so I dont understand where the issue is coming from.
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #29
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Ive never been close to going from 5th to reverse, instead of 6th. In fact, a couple of times, Ive actually been in 6th instead of reverse. Caught myself before stalling, but nonetheless, I have a good gate blocking reverse. Maybe they upgraded that part on the '14s?
maybe they did. there have been a few occasions in my '10 when I threw from 5th to reverse on the highway

you only have to do it a few times before you learn never to do it again, the sound of grinding haunts me in my dreams.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #30
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Are you guys telling me that the Jeep manual doesn't have an automatic reverse lockout?
There is one, but apparently people shift like hulk or have that part worn out. I've heard of this problem when jumping from 4th to 6th as you have to go through the center then right and may push through if put too much pressure in the shifting, but from 5th to 6th is a smooth shift, don't understand how much excessive right pressure someone would want to exert when going downwards. Its like trying to go from 3rd to 4th and ending up in 6th. They could also have that part of the transmission damaged or worn out, because on my 2012 and like 3 2013s I've driven, no matter how hard I pushed right while going down, I couldn't put it in reverse coming from 5th. So there is something different in those who have problems with reverse engaging when it shouldn't.

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