Driving a Manual (Stick)

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by IndySpeed, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    I remember the days trying to learn stick. Bought a 2001 Scion tC and stalled it more times than I remember XD.

    Some areas around LA, despite the freeways having heavy traffic, have fantastic driving roads to stretch out the car's legs. Took my Vette out there recently and had a blast (girlfriend was not amused though).
     
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  2. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    We are a spoilt generation (or two). Ever tried to drive a non-syncromesh gearbox? It actually takes skill!

    Both my parents could have done so. They could double-de-clutch without a thought. I just never had to learn that knack, and the only time I tried I failed dismally. Oh, and my dad was so good at rev-matching that he could drive without using the clutch. Rural hills, corners, and not a single grrrnch.
     
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  3. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    There was a time in my younger life when I drove a truck for a living - not highway tractors but mostly sand spreaders and plows. No syncros there when I started, but they are pretty much all automatics now. Many people drive their syncro gearboxes without using the clutch. If you are good at rev matching it's perfectly fine. If you are bad at rev matching you still won't get any grinding, you just wear out your syncros really fast. Then you have a non syncro gearbox.
     
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  4. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    The first time I ever drove a stick, (really first time driving ever) I was about 11 on my uncles farm and drove some mid 60's Dodge pickup. I had to about jump on the clutch to get it to go in. I figured it out pretty fast though.
    Then when I actually had a learners permit a 1979 Ford F-150 was a lot easier. I probably weighed twice as much too, so pressing the clutch wasn't an issue.
    Later I bought an '85 VW GTi. That was cake to drive. After not driving a stick for about 6 years, I got in and drove it like I'd been driving it for years. I never killed it or over rev'd it even once.
     
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  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Yes, I recall that non-synchro gearboxes existed on commercial vehicles for quite a while after they had more-or-less ceased for private cars. Maybe some of that stuff is still around today?

    The half hour I spent trying to change down with a non-synchromesh (changing up is easy) was around '69 or '70. A college friend had an MG-B. I wasn't even a learner then, but he let me try driving it on some private ground. Thirty years later, my last manager did MG-B restoration as a hobby.
     
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  6. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    I have never had the experience of driving a car without a synchromesh gearbox. Guess I'm spoiled haha.

    TBH, I was really pants at driving a manual for a while. Then I actually buckled down and took some lessons with a pro driver around a track, and later for rallying. I still don't think I'm amazing at it or anything, but man, those lessons were both well worth the money, and made me really appreciate the skill it takes to drive a stick really well.

    Also, thrashing cars around a track is so much more fun with a manual! I just don't get that same sensation with any kind of automatic (no BMW, pulling a paddle is not an emotionally engaging experience). Track days highly recommended to all members who've never been!
     
  7. winders

    winders Know-it-all boomer, prob racist

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  8. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    No synchros in a Hewland Mk8, Dog rings for the win.
     
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  9. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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  10. luckybaer

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    I liked driving a stick when I was younger, but now that I'm an older lard butt (figuratively, not literally), I appreciate the ol' "slush box." Automatics are sooooo much better than they were when I was in my 20's and 30's. Remember when standard transmission used to rate around a couple MPG better than autos? I don't think they do any more, right?
     
  11. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Being in a country where people are more likely to wonder WTF D, N, P and R (let alone S) mean, that made me guffaw!
     
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  12. TheloniuSnoop

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    I also learned to drive a manual on my dads '64 Dodge pickup. Slant six, three on the tree, and yes the clutch felt like it
    belonged in a top fuel dragster, not a slant six. I also had a GTI; and '84. In between I had a '62 Corvair (no, I didn't die),
    and a '69 Datsun 510. I wish I'd never gotten rid of the 510. Mine had a full factory racing suspension, twin Webers,
    five speed, etc.
     
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  13. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    My buddy swapped a new process 4 speed into his 66 Charger and that thing is so fun to drive with a center console shifter. I learned in an 88 Dakota with a carbureted 2.2 and a new process 5 speed and a hydraulic clutch, which was super nice. It was a fun little truck and I drove it daily until I bought my 300C.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  14. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

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    Ah yes, three on the tree. I fondly remember jumping out in the freezing cold and popping the hood to give the linkages a tap when they would bind up.

    Well, maybe not fondly...
     
  15. TheloniuSnoop

    TheloniuSnoop Facebook Friend

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    Methinks we be giving away our age.
     
  16. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    No joke. I learned to drive stick in an OG Vega.
     
  17. Slaphead

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    Yep, I frequently drove a post war Land Rover back in the 80's where you had to DDC - boy would it complain if you didn't get it right. And yep my first car developed a dodgy clutch - it wouldn't fully disengage, and the cost to repair it was more than the car was worth, so I learnt the hard way how to change gear without the clutch. Drove it like that for 6 months before I got the money together to get another car. Those skills stayed with me.
     
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  18. luckybaer

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    While overseas I drove a Dodge Power Ram with 3 on the tree. Don’t know much more about it. It was a big ol’ white pick-up.

    Also overseas, I drove a Mitsubishi tiny minivan thing. It was a 4 or 5 speed column shifter.

    Back stateside at the time, I had a 1976 (I think) VW Scirocco, which was a 4 on the floor.

    I got “stuck” driving the Dodge and Mitsubishi because, shockingly, there weren’t many who could drive a manual transmission (this was in the military back in the early 90’s). I was fine with it. I don’t know any of the technical stuff behind those transmissions, but the Dodge wasn’t bad once you got a feel for it, and the Mitsubishi was forgiving.

    The VW had some long-ass throws. That shifter just felt loose and it had a lot of play in it.

    I also had a 1997 Integra with a 5-speed. That was an awesome set-up.

    I don’t drive manual anymore, and I probably never will again. Too hard to be driving, seeing who is texting, drinking a Diet Coke, and eating a Sausage, Egg and Cheese McMuffin all at once without worrying about making the right shift or just engaging the brake and clutch because my hands are full.
     
  19. Thad E Ginathom

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