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Old 05-27-07, 04:26 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Any other way besides let the clutch slip?

I've been getting pretty good with shifting my little Honda around town. I feel confident that the DMV officer will not have any issue. THe only thing is reverse...
Reversing as a maneuver is easy for me, with an automatic. Getting into reverse gear is fine as well, no bucks or jack rabbits. It just seems that my car (not sure if this is MY car, my kind of car, or stickshifts in general) is either on or off when it comes to reverse. If I release the clutch and give no gas, the car will go but most likely stall at even the tinniest incline. Then, if I give enough gas to not stall, the car reverses very quickly. I don't feel at all comfortable backing into a parking space at that speed, and I don't think a DMV officer would be pleased either!
The only way I've been able to obtain a slow reverse is by letting the clutch slip a little bit. I hate to let it slip, but it seems like the only way to get a parking lot worthy speed. Is there any technique out there that might assist me? Or maybe some adjustment to my vehicle?
I know with all the automatic's that I've driven, I can just put it into Reverse and give no gas, and the car will still creep backwards (though at a snails pace).
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Old 05-27-07, 05:16 PM   #2
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You'll get better with it in time.

I doubt the DMV guy will care about a little clutch slip, so long as you don't scare him by flying into reverse or annoy him by stalling it.

They expect people new to a clutch to make some snafus, those go away in time. I'm willing to bet it's a matter of throttle control, something that most people who use autos neve really learn...just hang in there, and you'll get that nice smooth shift in due time.
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Old 05-27-07, 07:19 PM   #3
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You're fine. The DMV shouldn't care. But your mechanic will love you a little earlier. Just keep practicing.
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Old 05-27-07, 08:40 PM   #4
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Check your car's throttle-plate positioning and TPS-throttle position sensor. You SHOULD be able to let it idle in reserve and creep along. Then, you should also be able to give it microscopic amounts of throttle and move along at 2-5mph easily. Incorrectly adjusted throttle-plates and TPS-sensors can result in bucking and temperamental operation at small throttle openings.
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Old 05-27-07, 09:37 PM   #5
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Then, you should also be able to give it microscopic amounts of throttle and move along at 2-5mph easily.
I know my car you can't. Reverse is slightly higher than first, and regular idle (about 750) is probably about 5-7 mph...more than I'd want to be parallel parking at.

PC, the clutch is designed to slip for brief durations. That's basically its purpose...to slip and transfer partial energy while the two sides of the transmission match speed.

When I'm reversing slowly, like for parallel parking, I engage it partially (slipping) for just long enough to start creeping then press it back in and let the car coast slowly. Repeat as necessary.
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Old 05-28-07, 06:54 AM   #6
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I guess I'll just let the clutch slip a little. It's not like I am constantly going into reverse, so I doubt it's a major contributor of wear. Also, I don't rev the engine when I'm doing this either. It's probably going at 1000RPM, give or take 100.
The TPS and throttle plate is something I will look into though, since that potentially can give me exactly what I want.
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Old 05-28-07, 07:08 AM   #7
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Why not just take the test in an automatic?
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Old 05-28-07, 07:25 AM   #8
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Why not just take the test in an automatic?
Because I will have to park this car or go into reverse with my stickshift even after the test.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:43 PM   #9
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Because I will have to park this car or go into reverse with my stickshift even after the test.
I understand that, but in a testing situation, why not remove complications? Just a thought!

If you are taking a math test, do you prefer a relatively simple Linear Equation or a combination of Integral Calculus and Laguerre polynomials in a 15 page long Hamiltonian Equation to determine a variable G Field if you have a time limit.....same kind of deal! Go the simplest route and still enjoy that stick!
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Old 05-28-07, 12:48 PM   #10
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Slipping the clutch for a short period as you are describing at low RPMS will not cause damage. The purpose of the clutch is to slip - Popping a clutch for example can cause serious damage to the clutch unless you have one specially designed for that.

Just don't ride around with your foot partially on the clutch and it won't be an issue. By the way, I have never replaced a clutch even though I have had vehicles that I personally have put over 200,000 miles on.
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Old 05-28-07, 12:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2
I guess I'll just let the clutch slip a little. It's not like I am constantly going into reverse, so I doubt it's a major contributor of wear. Also, I don't rev the engine when I'm doing this either. It's probably going at 1000RPM, give or take 100.
The TPS and throttle plate is something I will look into though, since that potentially can give me exactly what I want.

With advanced synchro-mesh gears, I doubt you will destroy your clutch that way.

Just don't try that trick with an older Ferrari!
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Old 05-28-07, 12:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by crtreedude
Slipping the clutch for a short period as you are describing at low RPMS will not cause damage. The purpose of the clutch is to slip - Popping a clutch for example can cause serious damage to the clutch unless you have one specially designed for that.

Just don't ride around with your foot partially on the clutch and it won't be an issue. By the way, I have never replaced a clutch even though I have had vehicles that I personally have put over 200,000 miles on.
+ 1000 RPM's
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Old 05-28-07, 02:00 PM   #13
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By the way, not sure you should do this on a test but someday you might thank me for knowing this trick. Lets say you are parked on a incline that you could barely ride a bike up. Now, some clown has parked directly behind you. You have to start your car and move forward without moving backward at all.

How to do it? The issue is that you have to manage the clutch, add gas while preventing rolling back. Use your emergency brake. The steps are like this.

1. You already have your foot on the brake (or you are rolling back and already in trouble)
2. Press in on the clutch
3. Left the emergency brake handle, pressing the release button and holding it.
4. Move your foot off the brake, making sure the emergency brake is holding you.
5. Increase the RPM with the gas and slowly release the the clutch until it starts to engage - you can feel it. Take your time, no hurry since the emergency brake is holding you.
6. Start slowly releasing the emergency brake while letting the clutch and the gas take more of the load of the vehicle - eventually fully releasing the emergency brake and smoothly accelerating away.

It might sound complicated, but it is really easy because you can take all the time you want since you aren't going anywhere.
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Old 05-28-07, 02:11 PM   #14
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crtreedude,
that is exactly how I manage myself when I am at any incline. I know my parents (both long time shifters) hardly ever use the E brake, but I use it whenever I am at a really steep stoplight. I haven't hit anybody behind me yet!
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Old 05-28-07, 02:16 PM   #15
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We have grades here that look like a 45 degree angle, I kid you not. Just getting going without shifting into 4 wheel drive low is a challenge. There is steep, and there is insane what in the world was the road builder thinking!?
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