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When will then be now?
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bls said:
...In a new manual transmission car, I find it helpful to turn off the radio (and, if your climate permits it, open the windows) so you can hear the engine. If you can't feel the engagement point through the pedal, you can at least hear it as the engine gets loaded. Actually, cheap poorly-insulated cars with lots of engine noise in the cabin make this easier.
This is exactly what I did before my 325 arrived. One weekend, I spent some time behind the wheel of a Geo Metro hatchback (13" wheels, 3-cylinder engine yet, surprisingly, five speeds) to gain some experience driving in traffic. Talk about poor insulation. No A/C, too.

My very first experience driving a stick was a real kicker; it involved a late-model VW Golf TDI, nightfall, fresh snow, a foreign country, and an autobahn. You learn real quick that way.

Practice, practice, practice!
 

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a few words of encouragement ...

I remember these words of encouragement from my older brother when I was learning a stick:

"If you can't find 'em, grind 'em."

Any others?
 

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Try moving the car with only the clutch ...

I learned to drive stick on a 1962 MGA. Got pedal feel? :yikes: Anything after that is a total cinch.

My first real car with stickshift is my e36. In any event learning to move the car with only the clutch has helped me learn to drive somewhat.

Put the car in gear and s-l-o-w-l-y let out the clutch until you can hear the car dip in revs (can look at the tach if you want.) This is finding the engagement point without having to fiddle with the gas.

Also you might want to use the handbrake (e-brake) to support the car on hills. Simply brake at the top of a hill, put the car in neutral, and engage your handbrake. sit there, play with the radio, whatever -- not going anywhere. When you want to set off, put in gear, find your engagement point with enough gas to move forward, and undo the handbrake. With practice you should eliminate rolling back while having some time to master the clutch.

Jordan
 

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Re: a few words of encouragement ...

mwette said:
I remember these words of encouragement from my older brother when I was learning a stick:

"If you can't find 'em, grind 'em."

Any others?
"The clutch is your friend"
 

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pps-325xit said:
About a week. Clutch is very similar to my former Mazda 626. Only had problems with reverse. Oh, and getting it into reverse was difficult at first (need to use a little more muscle).
Exactly my experience, coming from a Mazda MX-6 (coupe version of 626, basically).

Stalled it twice the first week... by day 8 it was old hat.
 

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Speaking of letting the clutch out slowly, I've noticed that when launching will very little throttle I get what I can only describe as a "crunchy" feeling from the clutch. It only does this when let out very slowly. Any ideas what I'm feeling? Clutch is fine doing normal launches.
 

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Natural optical phenomena
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5-speed clutch

I found the clutch easy to master. But I have driven manuals exclusivly for 40 years. I can bounce back and forth between my accura integra and my 325i and not even have to think about the clutch difference. Yes, it is different, but I adjust to the difference unconciously.

I do kill the engine on the 325i on occasion; only when parking and when I am paying attention to not bumping my car. I think it is because the car is so quiet at idle that I can not hear the engine on the 325 where I can easily hear it on the accura and thus can judge how much power to apply more easily on the much noisier accura.

The first-second shift is a bit long so at first I needed to concentrate to make it a smoth shift. It took about a week to master it. Also, with a year and a half of driving the gear changer is smoother and easier to shift.
:) :thumbup:
 

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Just got mine

Havent driven a Stick in a few years so BAM right out of the gate i stalled it. took another couple tries to get it going. The clutch has very little feel to it. And is like an on/off. Cant ride it a bit like Jap Cars. Hopefully i wont embarass too much longer. Its the worse feeling stalling in an intersection :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Stalling in traffic.. Done that many times now!! But after about 600 miles with my car now, I am nearly not stalling at all while going forward. Might not be making the smoothest launch/shift, but not stalling, and I am usually pretty slow from 1st to 2nd gear still.

But going reverse is another thing, sometimes I stall a couple times while backing up into my garage. :banghead:
 

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The first-second shift is a bit long so at first I needed to concentrate to make it a smoth shift. It took about a week to master it. Also, with a year and a half of driving the gear changer is smoother and easier to shift.
Yeah, I have the same feeling. Keeps getting better with age :)



I just did the Home Depot clutch stop mod(22 cents). Works great and REALLY changes the way you can drive your car. No more 3 inches of travel before the clutch starts to engage. It's almost instaneous. And no problems starting it either.

Chip-
 
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