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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all...I have a 94 XE 4x4 KA24E with a 5speed. It's the first and only vehicle that i've ever driven that's manual transmission. I've been driving it for roughly a year now...I'm "ok" driving it. I don't stall and i haven't burned out the clutch but I'm not a pro yet either.

It seems like the more i drive the truck to work instead of my car, the worse my clutch technique gets. I don't know if i get cocky and start letting up the clutch too fast or what but I need some advice from the pros.

I see a lot of you have over 200,000 miles on a single clutch so maybe you can teach me some tricks...

Here's the questions i have...I know they're very "subjective" and people may have varying opinions and techniques but i'd like to hear them all....

I'm terrified of letting the clutch slip too much and because of that, as soon as the truck starts moving, i let off of clutch very quickly yielding a pretty jerky ride. How much slippage is normal from a complete stop?

Do you bring the clutch up until it grabs and THEN add gas? Do you add gas first to a certain RPM and then bring the clutch out?

What part of your foot do you use on the clutch? Your toes? The ball of your foot? The arch of your foot?

How do you slowly back out of a parking space? Do you get the truck barely moving and then step on the clutch and let it roll? Do you "ride" the clutch?

This may seem like a silly question but how close do you sit? Right now, my seat is adjusted so that I have to stretch my leg a little bit to bring the clutch to the floor. If i sit much closer, my knee hits the steering wheel when i let the clutch out so i have to twist my leg to the left a bit.
 

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Hi all...I have a 94 XE 4x4 KA24E with a 5speed. It's the first and only vehicle that i've ever driven that's manual transmission. I've been driving it for roughly a year now...I'm "ok" driving it. I don't stall and i haven't burned out the clutch but I'm not a pro yet either.

It seems like the more i drive the truck to work instead of my car, the worse my clutch technique gets. I don't know if i get cocky and start letting up the clutch too fast or what but I need some advice from the pros.

I see a lot of you have over 200,000 miles on a single clutch so maybe you can teach me some tricks...

Here's the questions i have...I know they're very "subjective" and people may have varying opinions and techniques but i'd like to hear them all....

I'm terrified of letting the clutch slip too much and because of that, as soon as the truck starts moving, i let off of clutch very quickly yielding a pretty jerky ride. How much slippage is normal from a complete stop?

Do you bring the clutch up until it grabs and THEN add gas? Do you add gas first to a certain RPM and then bring the clutch out?

What part of your foot do you use on the clutch? Your toes? The ball of your foot? The arch of your foot?

How do you slowly back out of a parking space? Do you get the truck barely moving and then step on the clutch and let it roll? Do you "ride" the clutch?

This may seem like a silly question but how close do you sit? Right now, my seat is adjusted so that I have to stretch my leg a little bit to bring the clutch to the floor. If i sit much closer, my knee hits the steering wheel when i let the clutch out so i have to twist my leg to the left a bit.

wow lots of questions lol, as far as slippage depends on your terrain and the type of take off you want to do, like if your on a hill you may have to slip the clutch more to prevent rolling back and or stalling. but on flat basically when you feel your clutch engage then you want to try and match the speed your rolling forward by releasing the clutch more and applying the gas, if that makes sense. good thing to try is taking off as smooth as possible without slipping the clutch, one technique I did was put a cup on the dash and tried driving so the cup wont fall over.
 

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wow, I've never thought about it... my feet just do it.
lets try this.. stick out two fingers.. now rotate your hand to the right then left.. one finger is the gas, the other is the clutch.. your pressing on the gas as the other one is coming off the clutch and vise versa.. make sense?? all you have to do is make your feet do it without thinking about it. As far as where you sit or what part of your foot you use, do whats comfortable for you! Backing up has multipal situations but for the most part just ease out the clutch with a little gas (if at all) to suit you situation, when you get to where you want to be, push in the clutch and hit the brake.
 

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Im like you speedo, I've never thought about it either. Kinda like a natural instict sorta.

When your at a stop, you definitely want to give it gas as you let off the clutch. I would say you'd want your RPM's at around 2500 when you start to release the clutch pedal. But as you get better you wont need to know or look at your RPM's whatsoever. You'll be able to do everything just by the way your motor sounds at different RPM's. I wouldnt worry about the slippage as its normal until it fully grabs and your moving forward. I would say normal slippage on take off is about 1 to 2 seconds. By then you should be moving along through the gears.
Now if your sitting on a hill you definitely want to give the car more gas and higher rpms as you let out the clutch to compensate for the gravity trying to pull your car down the hill. Some people even use the parking brake on steep hills and slowly disengage the parking brake while raising RPM's and engaging the clutch.
As far as what part of foot to use, like speedo said use whats most comfortable for you! I use the the ball of my foot.(right below the toes). You dont want to sit too far away to where you have trouble depressing the clutch and you dont want to sit too close to where your knees are hitting things... you have to find a medium thats comfortable for you.
As far as backing out of a parking space. I always keep my foot on the clutch and engage and disengage the clutch as needed while giving it gas as needed to back out at the desired speed (keeping foot on the clutch and being readily prepared to disengage it and apply the brakes if necessary.) Thats pretty much it. . .
Oh and if you wanna make your tires sing just push in clutch, increase RPM's to somewhere around 5-6k and release clutch quickly!!! LOL J/k

good luck,

Mike
 

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I taught my (wife now) fiancee how to drive her stick car about 3 years ago. She asked a lot of those questions and she learned the most from riding with me and i made her listen to the car. The nissan i drive is what I learned to drive stick on.

Im going to say you want to achive a "smooth" feeling, a "roll" from not moving to moving. A jerky ride isnt worth the life you may or may not give your clutch.

I ALWAYS goose the gas before letting the clutch out - the faster i want to shoot off from where im at, the harder i feather the pedal and faster i release the clutch.

I am most comfortable with my knees close to the dash, but not hitting the dash, you will have a ton more control if you're pushing the clutch "downward" rather than "forward" based on your position. your legs naturally have an easier time that way.... you dont want to fatigue your clutch foot!!!! Use the ball of your foot.... it provides a better reference for feeling where you're at in the clutches play.

when backing up i tend to hold my clutch in to just before the point the truck will begin to move and switch my other pedal from feathering the gas to the brake in case someone shows up behid me while im moving. If you go slow enough letting the clutch out from that point you'll need very little gas and wont slip the clutch to back up smoothly.

any other time i shift once moving (as in from 1st to second ) its clutch in fast, shift, clutch out less fast than it was put in but still relatively fast.

Good luck champ, you can drive like a pro with everyone's tips here.
 

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I am a little different I think.

I'm not that old, but I mostly have driven stick since I started driving.

I have it down where as I shift, I usually am off the clutch and on the clutch at almost the same exact time, I hate any slipping there, I actually aim for none. I do also shift fast and do other stuff.

For starting off, I try for almost the same thing, maybe just a little delay on the clutch so it has slightly more power. For hills, I do play with the clutch more, and do a little slipping, but only if a car is really close behind me (like they always are). I can get it though even on a hill with pretty much not slipping it at all.

For backing up, I play with the clutch usually, just because to have the clutch fully out is a little faster than I want to be going backing up out of a spot or something. If its more than a short backing up, I won't play with the clutch, I just let it out fully and run it at low rpms (just like 1k or slightly over).

This all does vary by the situation, like hills, how fast I can go, etc.

Also, I have had the practice (although I still need more), as I said, I barely drove automatic, and I do understand how cars for the most part work. I'm not trying to drag, just tell you how I do it, and I'm sure there are people much better than me (like I never tried double clutching before)

Note: the following is just something fun and can cause damage to your vehicle. Therefore this is a try at your own risk thing. I don’t take any responsibility from what may arise from this.

A nice trick, that I use to be lazy, is when switching gears, if you do it properly, you don't have to use the clutch. Truck drivers use this a lot I think, and I learned it from my grandfather who drove a truck (he just said about it, and I tried it one day). All that is happening is that as you shift gears, you are rolling on the road so the trans is going at its set speed there (depending on what gear you are going into to), and you try to match that speed with how fast the engine is going. Say you take it out of 3rd to go into 4th, as you left off the gas, it should slip right out of 3rd, the bring it down to 4th but just apply a little pressure, enough to feel but not anywhere close to grinding the gears. It will start to go right into gear. Really you are matching the mps of the engine to the rpms of the trans of the gear you are putting it into for your speed. If that makes sense. If done properly, it won't grind and it will be extremely smooth. To down shift is a little harder, you have to raise the rmps (step on the gas) up to the point the trans is going then.
 

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OOOOooooohhhh....!!!! Dry shifting! Uh-oh, now we're getting to the crazy stuff, haha. Dry shifting is easier on your foot, but you'll bulk up that shifting arm in no time!

Double clutching on a separate note is very very hard, but an awesome technique to know. double clutching is mainly used to slow down from very very high speeds in a fashion that is easy on your clutch/transmission. Its used in track racing.

If doing 100mph and approaching a corner, you would hold your right heel on the brake and apply pressure to slow down while also using the toe of that same foot to raise rpms on the gas pedal after you push in the clutch with your left foot and then downshift. It makes it so you can rpm match your transmission to keep it from jerking you around while you slow down for a corner - all the while braking. This technique is done very fast and takes years to master. any funny business while shifting at high speeds can destroy components and throw a vehicle of course.
 

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I won't atempt thedouble clutching yet because I know I would mess it up, and if I was going to atempt it I would do it at slow speeds anyway. Its just not worth it to me. I don't drive anything fast enough. The pathfinder has a hard enough time on the highway as it is.

I never knew it was called dry shifting, ty, and I have no problem for my arm on it, but thats me, I shift a lot anyway, I won't push the engine more than I have to.
 

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HI,

In the manuals I've driven, if you let up on the clutch slowly w/out applying any gas pedal, you will accelerate into a "coast" (assuming you're in 1st gear). This is useful when you're behind several cars at a red light that turns green and traffic creeps along until everyone gets going. Otherwise, it's a combination of letting up on the clutch and pressing the accelerator simultaneously. You just do it by feel and by knowing how your car will respond. If you're at a stoplight on an incline facing uphill, I always apply more gas pedal than I otherwise would.
 

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Note: the following is just something fun and can cause damage to your vehicle. Therefore this is a try at your own risk thing. I don’t take any responsibility from what may arise from this.

A nice trick, that I use to be lazy, is when switching gears, if you do it properly, you don't have to use the clutch. Truck drivers use this a lot I think, and I learned it from my grandfather who drove a truck (he just said about it, and I tried it one day). All that is happening is that as you shift gears, you are rolling on the road so the trans is going at its set speed there (depending on what gear you are going into to), and you try to match that speed with how fast the engine is going. Say you take it out of 3rd to go into 4th, as you left off the gas, it should slip right out of 3rd, the bring it down to 4th but just apply a little pressure, enough to feel but not anywhere close to grinding the gears. It will start to go right into gear. Really you are matching the mps of the engine to the rpms of the trans of the gear you are putting it into for your speed. If that makes sense. If done properly, it won't grind and it will be extremely smooth. To down shift is a little harder, you have to raise the rmps (step on the gas) up to the point the trans is going then.
Your talking about "Floating Gears" as they call it in the trucking industry. I drive one of those tandem axels and I always float the gears because its a heck of alot easier than double clutching all the time. . . Now someone correct me if I'm wrong because I'm not 100% positive, But isnt floating the gears in a regular vehicle bad for the transmission? I used to do it in my 5 spd until someone said it was bad and that the transmissions werent designed for it. They said its only supposed to be used on big riggs and such because their transmissions are stronger or something.

Thats just what I've always heard anyways. Anyones welcome to add to this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the help guys. I think i know how to do exactly what i need to do but I choose/am afraid not to do it because I feel like the clutch is slipping and i don't want to wear it out. If someone were to tell me "nope, what you're doing will not cause any excessive wear to your clutch...it'll be fine" then i would drive better because i'd be less afraid of wearing it out. What i'm doing now is getting off of the clutch very fast so that it doesn't slip and it causes a very jerky ride.

So tell me if this is excessive or normal. At a level complete stop...if i hold the clutch at the friction point for about 2 seconds (one onethousand, two onethousand). Does that seem excessive?

If there's an incline it seems to be about 3 seconds. (one onethousand, two onethousand, three onethousand). Does that seem excessive?

They both seem like an eternity to me so what i've been doing is getting my foot off of the clutch completely once the truck shows any sign of movement.
 

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I would say you'd want your RPM's at around 2500 when you start to release the clutch pedal.
OK> first I'd like to retract that statement as it was only a guesstiment... Its more like around 1600 to 2k RPMs.
That being clarified, ... At those RPM's at take off, You want to SLOWLY let your foot off the clutch, And as its "slipping" it will slowly be making your vehicle move forward. (THIS IS NORMAL!!!) You should let it slip for about 1 to 2 secs ( vehicle should be gaining slight momentum) before fully releasing the cluch. It really does make it difficult if you think too much about it. If you lived near me I would show you but it would help you if you knew someone you could ride with and watch.
I WILL ADD THIS>>> If you bought your truck used and think its slipping more than its supposed to or think its already worn out. . . I'd suggest going ahead and replacing the clutch with a new one and then you wouldnt have so many worry's about wearing it out. It might give you the extra comfort to learn and figure it out for yourself without worring about it so much. Just a thought.
 

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Whenever I start off with my '86 d21 I just let out on the clutch untill it starts to grab then add gas after, depending on if I just got done watching fast and furious I might dry shift and drive crazy. After I get it rolling though for the most part I dont add gas untill the clutch is grabbing. I dont know if that's bad or not but it seems to work thus far. (original clutch for 115,000) new clutch is getting close to 45,000.

which brings another question about, anyone know what the redline is for a z24i? ( I dont have a tach)
 

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Here is another voice in the crowd, my shifting got a lot smoother when I got my truck running better. The better she runs, the more skilled I look. Just something to consider.
 

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never thought about it but i uassually get the rpms to 15k before letting out on the clutch and as for the backing up i get the truck movine and press the clutch back in it lets you control how fast you go with out all the sliping on hills i tend to use the clutch to sit in place ill play with the clutch and the gas until i dont move at all then when i take off i just give it more gas before i let off the clucth.
 

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Very old post here, but 2 cents.
If you want clutch to last then minimize the time you are using it and minimize the amount it spins.
On downhills you can skip gears. shift 1-2-4-5, or 1-3-5, or 1-2-3-5. Roll up to lights slowly and hope it turns green before you have to completely stop, so you can continue in a gear higher than 1st - don't just race to the stop light. Shifting into gear moving is easier on clutch than from a stop. Park in the parking lot so you can drive forward instead of backing out then driving forward.
When starting from a stop use the lowest rpm you can to get the truck moving then let off the gas and let off the clutch (foot off clutch) at the same time so there is no jerking, then you can get on the gas pedal as hard as you want for your acceleration. (this should happen very quickly, and might take a few practice runs)
When shifting in drive let the rpms drop a little so you can shift at lower rpm. it is ideal to match the engine speed with the tranny speed at the moment you make the shift. This will just take experience to know what that rpm is in your truck. Do not get on the gas hard when the clutch is spinning, rather, like mentioned from a stop, use minimal gas pedal until the clutch pedal is let off.
In general, make shifts very delicately, and when clutch is let off then you can be that race car driver.
I have 160,000 miles on my clutch personally and since it was bought used I am not sure how many more were on it before me. Still runs great.
Vehicles wear out, baby them and they will last a little longer.
 
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