Hello Everyone! If there is a more appropriate place for this to be posted, please forgive me and advise as to how and where to post it.
I have a 2012 king cab v6 6mt. I am having a difficult time getting a smooth 1 - 2 shift. The truck has 1000 miles on it. I am very curious as to how others operate their shifts. RPM shift point, speed of throw, speed of clutch release, application of gas (timing and amount) etc...
This is my 3rd manual transmission vehicle. Every manual car I have driven seems to have a completely different personality. My first manual car was an 08 Mercedes C300 6mt. I had very little time behind the wheel of a manual trans car before I bought this car, and I basically taught myself how to drive it (hopefully correctly). I drove it smoothly and without reservation, but I would never say that I fully mastered the car. I then leased a 2010 Acura tsx 6mt and immediately noticed a huge difference. Clutch engagement was much smoother and more predictable with this car. It was very easy to launch quickly and smoothly and the throws seemed smoother (not as crisp as the mercedes though) A few months ago I leased a 2012 Frontier.
The frontier is much more comparable to the TSX. It is an easy car to launch, both fast and slow, from a stop. The clutch travel is also similar to the tsx. The issue for me comes from smoothing out the shift from 1st to 2nd. I am a bit of a fanatic, and am looking for a seamless shift with little to no lag in acceleration. I tend to shift around 3k. (when do others shift? are you noticing a more appropriate place to shift to maximize smoothness?)
Shift process as follows:
1st gear to 3k rpm
Shift to 2nd
Release clutch while simultaneously applying slight gas
Fully release clutch
Apply more gas to accelerate
2nd gear I ride out to around 3k rmp as well and get a virtually seamless shift to 3rd.
I know this all sounds quite elementary for those who are well experienced driving stick. It also likely sounds strange coming from a person who has owned 2 other manual trans cars with little to no issues. For this reason, I have hesitated to post this question, but my eagerness to fix this problem has encouraged me to pick the brains of all other 6mt owners as to how they approach these shifts.
I have a cousin and a friend who both own manual cars as well. (Acura RSX and Subaru WRX respectively) I have always been impressed by my cousins' ability to smoothly and quickly shift his RSX. He accomplishes shifts with little to no lag in acceleration. I had him drive my frontier and he experienced very rough shifts as well from 1st to 2nd. As he became more familiar with the truck his best shifts were comparable to mine which I achieve consistently. (but again, nothing to write home about) I then drove his RSX and found myself making those perfect, seemless shifts instantly. There was no effort in engaging the gear and then accelerating, as I seem to do in the frontier. It was all one simple motion. (I used the same exact procedure I use to shift my truck.) After discussing the situation, my cousin and I recognize that the RSX total clutch movement is much shorter then the frontiers. RSX 4 inches or so Frontier seems like 6 or 7 (let me know if that sounds about right) My friends' WRX is a whole different animal. (Maybe 1 1/2 inches of total clutch movement and extremely hard to press down) I also drove his car with seamless shifts. The WRX you kind of just pop on and off the clutch when shifting and it is smooth (no real attention must be given to engage the next higher gear)
I am able to create a smooth shift from 1st to 2nd, but at the expense of acceleration. (meaning the shift will be smooth, but time is lost engaging the clutch more slowly and slipping the clutch to engage the gear, vs. an instant switch and engagement of 2nd gear and back to accelerating. (this causes an issue when attempting to accelerate quickly because so much time is wasted shifting, that the truck loses speed and continued forward acceleration.
Sooooooo, to make a long story short (that was a joke.. lol) I would love to know how other 6mt owners are shifting, in detail, and there feelings on the shifts. Its been driving me crazy, and after getting in an unfamiliar car last night and shifting it perfectly, it aggravates me even more that I cant do the same in my truck.
What RPM do you take 1st gear up to typically? So you are telling me you hold the clutch down as the RPMs drop 1000 before engaging the next gear? Are you applying gas as you are releasing the clutch through the engagement of 2nd gear, or are you fully off the clutch before you apply throttle? Also, how quickly are you letting the clutch come up.
I feel like i have allowed the rpms do drop with not much success in the past as I tested different approaches. Also, do you notice that pausing for the rmps to drop slows down your acceleration? I suppose that some might say my shifts are fine, but I am looking for them to be VERY smooth and quick (which I was easily able to do in the RSX)
How would you compare the RSX shifting procedure to the Frontiers?
Are you able to create an equally smooth shift in the frontier as you were in the rsx?
At what point are you noticing the lack of smoothness? When you let the clutch out and it engages?
I found the clutch in this truck to take some time to get used to, and the 1-2 shift was by far the hardest. My 1-2 shifts are smooth now, so have faith. I normally shift at about 3K rpms. It's hard to describe but I have found that the smoothest shifts occur when everything is done in one smooth fluid motion rather than a sequence of events. The shifter goes into gear almost as soon as the clutch pedal hits the floor. Likewise, as the pedal hits the floor, it starts coming back up right away. When the pedal comes back up, I hesitate *very* slightly *right* when the clutch engages and start giving it gas at that moment. That's the only part in the sequence where there is a pause. I can now get smoother shifts out of my truck than I can out of my other car, and I've had that one for 7 years (and the other car felt much easier than the truck in the beginning).
I found it helpful to practice the sequence at a lower rpm in the beginning... Try practicing at 1500 rpm. Once that feels easy, try doing the same thing at 2000 rpm. Then 3000.
If the clutch throw bothers you, you could try adjusting the clutch pedal: Clutch throw adjustment *how to* (6 speed). My dealership did this adjustment for me on my original clutch. It was only that way for about a month, but it seemed easier to get a smoother shift when the pedal throw was shorter.
It's not a silly question at all since I noticed the same thing when my truck was brand new. But I was afraid to ask the question.
It is a bit abrupt when the clutch is fully engaged. Either a bumping forward, or a bogging backwards (which I understand is a matter of too much or not enough throttle upon engaging of the clutch) I can smooth it out, but it must take an overbearing amount of care to engage the clutch very carefully, and more slowly before letting off fully on the clutch.
What you described is exactly what I do, nearly word for word.
The shifter goes into gear almost as soon as the clutch pedal hits the floor. Likewise, as the pedal hits the floor, it starts coming back up right away. When the pedal comes back up, I hesitate *very* slightly *right* when the clutch engages and start giving it gas at that moment. That's the only part in the sequence where there is a pause.
Your suggestion to reduce the amount of clutch play is EXACTLY what I was thinking could improve the situation. As stated before, it seems like a good 6 or 7 inches of play. Huge departure from the 4 or so from my cousin's RSX which is cake to drive.
I will definitely look into that more.
Yeah, it takes a lot to admit a problem shifting, especially on my 3rd stick car, but I have to figure this out if I'm leasing the thing for 3 years. hahah!! I am not blaming the truck either. It's just that I have to figure out exactly how to get along with it.
Any other info from anyone is greatly appreciated!
Thanks everyone for your help and patience!!
I think you are doing it correctly then - you just need to spend more time driving the truck until you get a feel for it. I believe your issue is that you aren't yet able to find that spot on the pedal where the clutch engages without having to think about it. So you aren't always starting to give it gas at the appropriate moment and/or your hesitation as the clutch engages might be a little too slow/quick/early/late.
It took me MONTHS to get comfortable with the clutch, but my truck isn't my daily driver - I only drive it about once a week. So in the beginning, I would drive my other car for four days in a row, spend a day trying to learn/adjust to the clutch pedal in the truck, and then get back in the other car for another four days before I drove the truck again. If you are driving this truck everyday, I think you will get the hang of it quicker.
I really do think the pedal adjustment would help a bunch though.
I just did the clutch adjustment this morning. Thank you very much for the advice!!! I do notice it much easier to launch the car from a stop with the new set up, but this was never really an issue for me from the beginning. The 1 to 2 shifts are a bit better now as well. Not exactly right, but better.
I am looking forward to spending some more time behind the wheel with the new setup to get it all sorted out.
To anyone who has the 6mt, I would highly reccomend making this adjustment!!!!
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