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Old 07-04-2013, 12:04 PM   #71
ChrisBlair
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
I'm going to add individual driving tendencies to that list. If you're the sort of driver who normally runs 1st and 2nd out further than necessary, then you would end up crowding the rest of the shifts into a small mph range (which would eventually encourage skipping one or more of them). If you're either a bit more patient or somewhat better at judging the necessary speeds in gears, you'll naturally tend to shift out of the lower gears somewhat sooner, which leaves a little more room for the rest.

I think also if you have a lot of either motorcycle or "10 speed" bicycle riding in your background, or 3-speed manual vehicle time at the beginning of your driving career that you're less likely to skip gears in a car. You're more "plugged in" to where the powerplant really wants to operate for whatever conditions exist, and what it would really rather not be forced to do. Right about here is where the specific gear spacing comes in to the picture.



Not sure I'm following this - are you trying to say that automatics skip gears? I realize that some can start up in "2nd", but I am not aware of any other gears that get skipped (even though it would not be difficult these days for a PCM to make it happen)



Bingo!!!


I see what you're trying to say here, but it could just as easily be asked "Why does an automatic not skip gears if it was really better to do so?". And I'd argue that the intent is to narrow the range of engine rpm to avoid both overrevving relative to conditions or lugging it. Same as what a good MT driver would naturally tend to do when not racing.


FWIW, I find it to be a rather clunky shift motion to go from 2nd to 4th or 1st to 3rd, and skipping two gears (such as 2nd to 5th) to be too big of a jump under virtually all conditions. Not saying I never skip ma gear, just that it's not a very common occurrence.


Norm

Norm, your reply is way too complex for me to really break down and reply to, so out of necessity I need to gloss over some things you posted. Instead I'll try to re-state.

The fact is that a manual gearbox gives the driver the flexibility to choose any gear appropriate for the situation. A driver may decide for him- or her-self that 2nd gear must follow first, followed by a shift to 3rd, up in strict numerical order to top gear. That's their choice, but it is frankly not a rule and choosing whatever gear is right for your engine speed is what the key actually is. It seems many people don't yet understand the dynamic between their gear splits, their engine speed, and lugging the engine.

But in reply to your question:

"Not sure I'm following this - are you trying to say that automatics skip gears?"

No. The context is me speaking to the idea that several people in this thread have brought up, which is summed up by 'If I wanted to skip gears, I'd choose an automatic'. The implication is that other people feel that automatics might skip gears, but it is not my thoughts on how automatic transmissions work. Instead of drifting off into automatic transmissions, I steered the subject back on topic by focusing on how they approach a manual transmission as if it were an automatic transmission; you can read some of these posts on this page.

It is an idea that is off-kilter in several ways and I'm not sure where it comes from. But suffice to say that if I were in the mood to make several people feel hurt, I'd post that people that always shift in strict numerical order are newbs to driving manuals and don't understand their gearing and engine speed, or how the two interact. The era of the 'car guy' is waning.

But that wouldn't be very fair of me, because driving a manual is becoming a lost art, and most enthusiasts have had few opportunities to own a manual trans car, let alone grow up with them.

I would still say however that the '1-2-3-4-5-6, 6-5-4-3-2-1' crowd can have a wonderful new world to explore if they take the time to understand what's going on. if they think driving a manual now is a good time, just wait until they exploit it for the flexible and adaptive transmission it is.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #72
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Hmm... Depending on traffic and if I'm on a highway I will skip gears.. But if I'm stopped at a red light i'll go through them all usually. But I like to get to 5th or 6th quickly if I can.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:18 PM   #73
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I never skip gears, and try to keep the engine, in normal traffic conditions in an "acceptable" rpm range (2k-3500 rpm, which is more then fast enough for "cruising" along).

Maybe it's not that big an issue with the Camaro to skip gears, but if the car could do everything with a 3/4 speed gearbox, I'd like to think it would have come with one, and not a 6 speed manual.

Other thing I'd like to bring up is, being European, we are probably used to drive both manuals and diesels more than Americans (no pun intended here at all, just stating). Diesels do have a pretty narrow power band compared to petrol engines, so there could be the explanation that most of us "row through all gears" instead of skipping the odd/even ones (what most people seem to do).

And lastly, it's just too much fun on downshifts to try and get absolutely smooth heel/toe and double declutching shifts, which I know is racing techniques, but helps to prevent the clutch from wearing out pretty fast... Becomes such a habit after a while that you do it automatically (which made a few friends chuckle if I was helping them move with a diesel van, and downshifted with the full monty of heel/toe, rev matching and double declutching through all 6 gears) :-)

Rev-matching on downshifting also keeps your passengers from jerking forward and back in their seats. You don't need to double clutch or heel and toe to rev-match. Your passengers will thank you. And while it's fun to engine brake dramatically, be careful of breaking your tires free doing it. They are turning at a lower speed than is good for them and possibly your driveline.

But your first sentence:

"I never skip gears, and try to keep the engine, in normal traffic conditions in an "acceptable" rpm range (2k-3500 rpm, which is more then fast enough for "cruising" along)."


is not mutually exclusive from skipping a gear. The engine is still at the 'acceptable' rpm range in both cases. Your 'acceptable' range does not "end at first gear" then gets picked up in the "acceptable range for 2nd gear". There is lots of overlap for each gear (first being a slight exception due to its nature), dependent on what you're doing and how you're doing it. Your gears are not chapters in a book which must be finished before moving on to the next chapter.

try this experiment:

Drive along in 2nd gear. Shift into 3rd and then fourth as you normally would. Note the rpms you shift at, and end up in, leading up to 4th.

Are the rpms at the 'top' of your 2nd and the 'bottom' of your 4th in the 'acceptable' range?

If so, why in bloody hell did you need to use 3rd?

In my experience, 3rd saves me 300 rpm or so, a very narrow band. This is suitable for low speed-limit areas. However in a higher speed-limit area, I'm already at the right cruisng rpm for 4th when I leave 2nd. 3rd can take a hike at that point as it is un-needed and will actually be a higher rpm than I want to cruise in.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #74
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Without the clutch, foot to the floor, grinding as many gears as possible.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:55 PM   #75
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OOOhhh, SHIFT. Okay, I got you


Really depends, but yeah if I'm getting on a long on ramp to the highway, I might punch it through first and second and go straight to sixth.

I hate the skip shift, so I won't do the first to fourth out of principle, but I'll go first to third, sometimes second to fourth just because why not
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #76
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now that I've kind of changed how I drive (revving to about 4k in 2nd to skip to 4th as an example) I've noticed an increase in my gas mileage when driving in the city. Pretty nice.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #77
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I skip first a lot. Take off in second, coming from 4 cyl and 6 cyl I find second to have plenty for most daily driving. I took off in 4th gear the other day by accident, would not recommend that, did it though without much excitement.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #78
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When I first got my v6 m6, I was still getting used to reverse being to the left of first gear. On a few occasions, I accidentally started off in third and somehow managed without stalling it or revving too high. 278 ft lbs. TQ is more than I thought lol.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:47 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBlair View Post
The fact is that a manual gearbox gives the driver the flexibility to choose any gear appropriate for the situation. A driver may decide for him- or her-self that 2nd gear must follow first, followed by a shift to 3rd, up in strict numerical order to top gear. That's their choice, but it is frankly not a rule and choosing whatever gear is right for your engine speed is what the key actually is. It seems many people don't yet understand the dynamic between their gear splits, their engine speed, and lugging the engine.
We're saying pretty much the same thing here, though we probably drive a bit differently much of the time and are coming at it from different directions.

It does come down to how any individual driver drives, or how he/she is driving at any given moment. And that is really the what the topic title is asking. There just isn't going to be a single answer that covers everybody. I wonder what OP's driving would suggest . . .


Norm

Last edited by Norm Peterson; 07-04-2013 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:21 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by PeeBee View Post
Other thing I'd like to bring up is, being European, we are probably used to drive both manuals and diesels more than Americans (no pun intended here at all, just stating).
And generally much smaller displacement engines than anything fitted to the current Camaro, so they tend to be peakier or at the very least you don't have a whole lot of low-rpm torque to play with.


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