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Manual Trans vs Noob

Discussion in '2013-14 Shelby GT500' started by !!!PainTrain!!!, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. !!!PainTrain!!!

    !!!PainTrain!!! Mattis for POTUS Established Member

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    Alright, I'm sure most of you will laugh at and/or make fun of me for posting this but I truly value all of your opinions and experience. And I need help.

    I have a 14 GT500 with all options but the glass roof. I took delivery of the car 29 June and have put just under 90 miles on the car. I would love to be out enjoying the car but feel embarrassed and frankly scared to drive the car for any distance because I am not comfortable driving stick.

    I have experience driving manual vehicles in the past but never on a consistent basis or for any length of time. These vehicles however are limited to a 1980s Duece and a Half and diesel F-Series work trucks, that's it. My DD is an 05 F-250 Powerstroke with an auto. I've tinkered around in my brother's 03 Mach but needless to say, I've never drove anything with the type of power the Shelby has.

    My problems are not up shifting while driving, pretty much, if I'm moving I feel alright. My issue is starting out. The engagement of this clutch is so vastly different than anything I have experienced in the past. Starting out in first results in severe bucking, burn outs, or stalling 90% of the time. I have better luck starting in second gear but still find it difficult to take off smoothly.

    I'm not looking to power shift or drive like Ken Block but I would like to be confident cruising around town or to car shows. Nothing is more embarrassing than owning a new vehicle and not being able to feel comfortable driving it, let alone giving other Shelby/Ford owners a bad image.

    I guess what I'm looking for is tips from others on this board. The top heavy/high engagement of the clutch mixed with the forced bounce back or pressure seems to be throwing me for loops. Should I remove the assist spring? Or should I learn to drive the car as is? Should I sell it and buy a Prius?

    My brother has offered to allow me to drive/learn on his Mach but I feel like I should learn/practice on the vehicle I intend to drive.

    I apologize for this long thread but appreciate any feedback you all can provide.
     
  2. OaktownACE

    OaktownACE Member Established Member

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    You can take lessons from a driving school

    There are some around which I found out after my wife said she was going to take classes so she could drive the Shelby which is a horrifying thought to me. You are setting yourself up for failure trying to learn on a tough car.
     
  3. Bobbyblaze

    Bobbyblaze Member Established Member

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    To get a feel for the clutch, try taking off from a dead stop with out using the gas pedal. If you slowly release the clutch with out any gas you'll feel the car pull forward slowly. Then you can get a idea of how much left pedal to give after some time behind the wheel..
     
  4. !!!PainTrain!!!

    !!!PainTrain!!! Mattis for POTUS Established Member

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    It's not so much that I don't know how to drive stick because I do and I have. I guess it's more about feeling comfortable with how this clutch is setup. In all the other vehicles I have driven, the engagement is either a few inches from the floor or towards the lower middle of the travel. This car just has the engagement point so much higher than what I'm used to. That coupled with the forced back pressure make it more difficult to smoothly take off for me personally.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
  5. !!!PainTrain!!!

    !!!PainTrain!!! Mattis for POTUS Established Member

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    That's pretty much the point I'm at now. If I slowly release the clutch allowing the car to creep and then match with the gas I'm usually fine. It's just the transition from having to do that to smoothly operating the clutch has been difficult for me.

    I know that I need more seat time in the car but at the same time I don't want to be either causing harm to the car or looking like a dummy.
     
  6. JAJ

    JAJ Active Member Established Member

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    Go practice on your brother's car first. Driving a standard is about rhythm and timing, and you're absolutely right that the 2014 is hard to get rolling gracefully. I've been driving standards for 40+ years and I haven't daily-driven an automatic for the last ten years, but even with all that experience, I have to focus carefully to achieve smooth standing starts. If you're not current on standard gearboxes, go practice on something easier first, then come back and master the GT500. Once you've "got it" it's easy, but it takes practice.
     
  7. !!!PainTrain!!!

    !!!PainTrain!!! Mattis for POTUS Established Member

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    I guess that does make the most sense. It's just hard to see the car and not want to jump in it and go.

    I've stalled the car a handful of times. Most of them the first day I drove it and then once or twice while getting stuck on a hill. When I first drove it, I did the old empty parking lot driving school with my brother lol.
     
  8. mustangc

    mustangc Debt Free but the House!! Established Member

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    The first thing you have to do is forget about what others may think. If you're worried about being embarrassed, you're not focusing on the right thing. After that, you just need seat time to become one with the car. The empty parking lot thing is the best idea. Just keep practicing. Muscle memory will eventually kick in.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  9. 09Troublemaker

    09Troublemaker " That don't sound stock" Established Member

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    I would just practice-practice and some more practice on this car. It makes no sense to me for you to work on your brothers car. As you're dealing with a higher release point. As others have said, don't use the throttle at first. Once your mind understands were she grabs, you can then work on the throttle.

    FWIW- When leaving the dealer I only used the clutch to move. Did that a few times and I was off and running;-)

    g/l
     
  10. railroad

    railroad Well-Known Member Established Member

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    After getting comfortable with the clutch, I have found there is no need to press the pedal to the floor. A little over half way down disengages everything and the travel to engagement does not seem like a journey. If you do start from the floor, don't even bother with applying throttle until the clutch is half way up. If you can or have someone that will, read the directions to removing the override assist spring, do it, put it in a zip lock bag in the trunk. You are not going to do anything that cannot be restored completely and the results are what the pedal feel should be.
    good luck,
     
  11. Kapy

    Kapy Active Member Established Member

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    If you cannot drive this vehicle without stalling, torching the tires etc., sorry but you do not know how to drive a stick then.

    As others have offered the proper advice, learn on a much different less powerful car.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Devious_Snake

    Devious_Snake PSR Major! Established Member

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    My advice right now, remove the clutch assist spring. The more linear feel and predictability will help you immensely to learn to work the clutch in unison with the gas. This car does not like low revs, so you gotta be above 2K rpm to really take off comfortably. Practice like everyone said is paramount.
     
  13. 13COBRA

    13COBRA Resident Ford Dealer Premium Member Established Member

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    +1 to Devious. You really should be around 2k rpm to make for a smooth take off. It just takes practice.
     
  14. Snoopy49

    Snoopy49 Well-Known Member Established Member

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    I had the same problem with my 2013, my daily driver was a 1995 F-250 PS diesel with a 5 speed manual transmission. Talk about stepping into an alien environment, the trucks clutch engages just off the floor and it take quite a bit of throttle pedal movement to get the truck rolling. The GT500's clutch doesn't engage until the the last 40% of pedal travel and the throttle pedal is super touchy and requires very little movement. I have driven manual transmission cars and trucks all my driving life and this car required a bit of time to get use to.
    I removed the clutch assist spring and that made a major difference in driveability. The clutch engagement point is now totally predictable and the engagement is smooth. The clutch is a little grabby until it gets broken in. In my case it took about 300 miles of in town stop and go traffic before it smoothed out.

    Good luck with your car.
     
  15. Husky44

    Husky44 New Member Established Member

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    Another recommend for spring removal.

    Also, another recommend for parking lot practice. Your issue is lack of muscle memory; you develop that with practice. Unless you want to develop muscle memory for a Mach, go do it in your car.

    Don't worry about the invalid opinions of the self-righteous who might judge you, either from what they see, or what you post.

    Go enjoy your car.
     
  16. F8L SN8K

    F8L SN8K Active Member Established Member

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    Go drive your car in an empty parking lot or back road alone. Get comfortable with it. IMO the 03-04 cars are harder to drive for those without muscle behind their leg. I've driven manuals my entire life. I taught my wife how to drive a stick. But if you don't practice and get the muscle memory you will never be comfortable driving it because you'll be thinking too much. I don't think in the least little bit just hop in and drive. I think the 05 and later cars are dead simple to drive including the Shelby's. In fact I was really surprised how easy the Shelby's are to drive. I'd turn my wife loose in the Shelby before anything else honestly.
     
  17. Lethalchem

    Lethalchem Sigmund Frod Established Member

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    Get a feel for the grab point (which is indeed high, just like I like it. I don't know why so many people have issues with it), raise your initial rev point (since you predominantly stall it), pause/hold the gas as you let off the clutch until you've started rolling THEN SLOWLY SQUEEZE in more throttle before holding throttle position again. The car seems to like a 2 stage approach to moving out. First stage to get rolling, then a little more for stage 2 to "arrive" in first gear smoothly. I had to adopt the same approach on my '03 Cobra when I put in a SPEC 3+ clutch and steel flywheel. Too much or too little resulted in bucking or spin. You'll get the hang of it, but not if you don't get out there and practice.

    On a side note, make sure your Hill Assist is selected and working. It will help you get started but I've heard of a couple guys who had accidentally shut it off.
     
  18. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho Who cares... Established Member

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    +2
     
  19. Kapy

    Kapy Active Member Established Member

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    Exactly. +1
     
  20. mikerob

    mikerob Member Established Member

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    I could offer some advice as I am a fairly new manual driver. I don't have a Shelby but I do have experience with a tr6060. From my experience what I was afraid of the most burning the clutch taking off or stalling. What helped me the most was clutch engagement in a empty parking lot. That itself takes away from being embarrassed at a stop light. Once I bought my 5.0 I already had a year experience. Something that helps me take off smoothly is giving the gas a light tap before even lifting the clutch. Essentially what i'm doing is disengaging the clutch at about 1100 rpms instead of starting at 600. So when I give it a light tap, once my foot is ready to give it gas again i'm already letting up the clutch. I can take off smoothly the traditional way, but this method prevents you from getting nervous and having to rev the car to 2000 rpm and possibly giving it to much gas. The best lesson I learned driving a manual was letting go of the fear that I wasn't going to burn the clutch.
     

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