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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening all,
I will start by saying that I am new to the concept of a programmer/tuner. I know the general concept behind them but don't know what advantages they offer for a 2016 Pro 4x with a 6 speed manual. I have looked through the performance section of this forum but if I'm bringing up something that has been beaten to death, please let me know and send me a link where I can continue my reading. I don't intend to waste anyone's time.

Here is where I'm at... I love my 6 speed but I have always thought it was a little off. By off I mean that it is a bit of a puzzle to get a smooth shift routinely and it always seems as if timing the clutch and the gas is a bit of a guessing game. Almost like the throttle is inconsistent. I had similar issues with my first Harley but I was able to correct that by running 93 octane. So as an experiment, I started running premium in my truck. I'm on my 4th tank of premium and the shifting has most definitely smoothed out. The throttle is consistent and doesn't seem to lag. I haven't really noticed any MPG gain and I really don't care much about that as any change will be minimal. (My truck has about 12,000 miles on it)

I live in Northern Illinois and it is almost impossible to find ethanol free fuel so the only way to get anything decent is to pay $.70 to $.80 more per gallon. (Still contains ethanol though)

So here is my conundrum/question; I could continue to run premium but that will come at quite the cost; I drive a lot. But could a programmer increase the throttle response/consistency while running 87 octane? If so, it would pay for itself pretty quickly.

I do apologize for the long post and do appreciate any guidance from those who may know something about this.
 

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I'm at ~23k miles on my '15 (bought new)...and will call this 6-sp a dance that must be learned. The nature of our dualmass flywheel contributes to the revs hanging...thus requiring deliberate shifting overall = patience. Proper modulation of the gas pedal is what I consider the key to making the whole combo a very rewarding experience. The snarling growls between shifts = music.

Now, trying to drive my gal's 5-sp manual Honda Fit is laughable for the first several stops, er, miles. The shifting & braking are sooo different...there is no music, no soul. But, after re-relearning how her lil car operates, it really is a great car...albeit with a notchy shifter...that gets double the fuel economy of my truck.

While I consider it an uber-waste of money to run Premium, I've run at least a half dozen tanks of it...and can't say I've noticed any difference in anything. No increase in power or economy...or improved shifting. Same w/ ethanol free fuel. Even if either of these fuel-types increases economy, neither will offset the increase in cost. Fwiw, I fill my tank at every refueling and hand calculate my MPGs.
YMMV - get it?

As far as using a tuner such as a Bullydog, my take is that they can improve throttle response...which might help your issue. Then again, it might not. Others will disagree with all of this. lol
.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm at ~23k miles on my '15 (bought new)...and will call this 6-sp a dance that must be learned. The nature of our dualmass flywheel contributes to the revs hanging...thus requiring deliberate shifting overall = patience. Proper modulation of the gas pedal is what I consider the key to making the whole combo a very rewarding experience. The snarling growls between shifts = music.

Now, trying to drive my gal's 5-sp manual Honda Fit is laughable for the first several stops, er, miles. The shifting & braking are sooo different...there is no music, no soul. But, after re-relearning how her lil car operates, it really is a great car...albeit with a notchy shifter...that gets double the fuel economy of my truck.

While I consider it an uber-waste of money to run Premium, I've run at least a half dozen tanks of it...and can't say I've noticed any difference in anything. No increase in power or economy...or improved shifting. Same w/ ethanol free fuel. Even if either of these fuel-types increases economy, neither will offset the increase in cost. Fwiw, I fill my tank at every refueling and hand calculate my MPGs.
YMMV - get it?

As far as using a tuner such as a Bullydog, my take is that they can improve throttle response...which might help your issue. Then again, it might not. Others will disagree with all of this. lol
.02
First, thank you for your response. I'm glad it's not just me that found this truck to be a little different. I have found that this truck likes to be revved and driven a little harder than my past manual trans vehicles. (Wrangler, 2 F150's, Toyota Carolla) When I get on it and shift at higher RPM's, it is much smoother and rewarding and that is the growl I think you are talking about. Then, shifting at low RPM's (when my 1 year old is sleeping in the carseat) also seems pretty smooth but boring as hell. It's the mid range, around 3,000 - 3500 rpm that it needs a little more finesse.

As far as a programmer goes, if I can't be sure it will make a noticeable difference, it isn't worth it. Even with a slight MPG increase, its still not worth it to me. I bought it knowing the mpg was going to suck. I'm not expecting anything to be able to change this. And I do the hand calculation thing too. Good peace of mind and a good indicator if/when something is going wrong.

So again, thank you for taking the time to respond and giving your experience with your truck. Have a great holiday.
 

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The truck is tuned to run on 87 octane. Putting in 93 octane is a waste of money. Your best bet but most expensive option is to get your truck dyno tuned. UpRev - Engine Management Store.
 
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I do not own a manual at this moment in time, but I did own a five speed Nissan hardbody.

An old girlfriend had a stage two 240sx clutch installed in it for me. (She ran the clutch company) the clutch was noticeably stiffer with more abrupt positive shifts. I learned to double clutch the truck, in a way, and that helped out some with the jerking and firmed up shifts. The hard body was a linkage style and the frontier is hydraulic so I don't know how that translates or would help at all. There are some tutorials on YouTube that you can watch.

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I also have a 6spd frontier and when I first got the truck, I was pretty nervous to drive anyone around because it was so jerky haha. I been driving stick since I started and this 6spd is the hardest to me to get used to especially after 3k rpm, so you're definitely not alone.
 

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You will adjust to the vehicle. I don't have any trouble getting smooth shifts out of mine.
Agreed. More often than not, am typically shifting between 1800-2200 rpm. Fully realizing that running 1st gear up 3k+ rpm is mesmerizingly addictive...this can easily be remedied by skipping 2nd...or even skipping 2nd & 3rd and proceeding directly to 4th. Voila.

Jen, seems like a good time to plug that PRG short shifter you installed? I might need to add one of these to my Winter mod list.

PRG Products
 

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I also have a 6m and have trouble being consistently smooth. I also have been driving stick for 12+ years and this is the toughest trans to be smooth with Ive encountered. I will say I also have 101k on the stock clutch and bought with 70k so cant comment on new. My wife thinks I've gotten worse at driving a manual but I blame it all on the truck haha
 

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I too have many years of experience driving manual transmissions (including the last 20 months on roads made of ice at the top of the world) and there are times were the SV is butter smooth and times where it isn't (although I still have less than 600 miles on my new SV over the last 3 weeks) so I just thought I was getting used to it::grin::
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry I didn't respond right away. Busy with the kids and Christmas stuff. But... After reading all of your responses, I realized that my thoughts on premium gas was the "placebo effect." I drove a lot over the past week and went back to regular gas and there was no difference. BUT... I did switch from shifting at 3200-3500 rpm to shifting at 2000-2500 rpm and that made a huge difference. Much smoother and a little better MPG as well. Thanks to all of you for your responses.
 

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She's got plenty of torque to shift around 2k as the situation deserves but on the highway rolling 70 with a semi coming at you down hill, more is required::eek::...so after rolling past 2k on this road trip, I've gotten the hang of where the power curve is::smile::
 

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Agreed. More often than not, am typically shifting between 1800-2200 rpm. Fully realizing that running 1st gear up 3k+ rpm is mesmerizingly addictive...this can easily be remedied by skipping 2nd...or even skipping 2nd & 3rd and proceeding directly to 4th. Voila.

Jen, seems like a good time to plug that PRG short shifter you installed? I might need to add one of these to my Winter mod list.

PRG Products
You will adjust to the vehicle. I don't have any trouble getting smooth shifts out of mine.

It's true, it takes some time to adjust to the nuances of a particular vehicle.

I don't have a manuel transmission, but I can say that I've just recently gotten
to where I can pull into a parking spot without having to back up and take
another shot at it. :)

Once I stopped expecting the Nissan to handle like my old Dodge and just drove
it like it drives I got used to it.
 

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My post probably could have been a little more helpful, as I did have trouble shifting smoothly above 3K rpms at first. The Frontier is more finicky than any manual transmission vehicle I drove before it. But I have been able to shift it smoothly at 3K, 4K, 5K, whateverK once I figured out how to adjust my shifting style.

It's a little hard to describe, but the Frontier seems happiest if the action of the clutch pedal is a little slower (say, 70% the speed of most other cars) and the action of the shifter is a little quicker (so close to clutch disengagement as to be *almost* simultaneous - if I'm too slow, it's herky jerky when the clutch pedal comes back up). The mental aspect of shifting is important as well - if I'm piecing out the process in my mind (clutch in, shift, clutch out) it's not nearly as smooth as if I try to think of it as a single fluid motion.

Like I said, it's tough to explain, and it does take some time to become a habit. But I don't have trouble shifting smoothly (at any rpms) unless I rush through the shift.

I've been going through a similar learning curve in the Forester I've had for 2 months. Dare I say it's even more finicky than my truck. If I shift it like the Frontier, I do OK, but it's still far too easy to revert back to the harried shifting style I got used to in the ultra forgiving smooth-no-matter-what Pontiac Vibe that I drove almost every day for 11 years. Trying to drive the Forester like that above 3K rpms makes it pretty pissy.

Some people have difficulty getting used to the engagement point on the Frontier clutch as it comes from the factory, but that can be adjusted.
 

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I just got my Frontier less than 2 weeks ago, but I have found it to be one of the easiest manuals to drive smoothly I've ever driven. Whether right off idle or near redline, shifts are extremely smooth, like CVT smooth. I do not get it perfect all the time, but for about 95% of the shifts it is perfectly smooth. Now mine is a 4x2, so maybe the 4x4 could be a little different, especially with 4wd engaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess, as with most things, it's the operator. And, I over analyze most things so if something doesn't feel how I think it should, I start to play around and tweak things.

For me, driving a manual is similar to archery or shooting handguns/rifles. I started with enough skill to enjoy it and do it "well enough" but am constantly looking for ways to improve.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Mine is an Xterra, but mostly the same...I'd agree it being one of the easiest manuals to drive. Perhaps something isn't 100% though...

This was taken from the X's FSM, but I bet it's the same procedure. Still, verify the actual #'s, to be on safe side. Regardless, may want to be sure your pedal is within spec:



Probably don't need to yet, but isn't difficult to do, just in case fluid not so good:

 

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Good evening all,
I will start by saying that I am new to the concept of a programmer/tuner. I know the general concept behind them but don't know what advantages they offer for a 2016 Pro 4x with a 6 speed manual. I have looked through the performance section of this forum but if I'm bringing up something that has been beaten to death, please let me know and send me a link where I can continue my reading. I don't intend to waste anyone's time.

Here is where I'm at... I love my 6 speed but I have always thought it was a little off. By off I mean that it is a bit of a puzzle to get a smooth shift routinely and it always seems as if timing the clutch and the gas is a bit of a guessing game. Almost like the throttle is inconsistent. I had similar issues with my first Harley but I was able to correct that by running 93 octane. So as an experiment, I started running premium in my truck. I'm on my 4th tank of premium and the shifting has most definitely smoothed out. The throttle is consistent and doesn't seem to lag. I haven't really noticed any MPG gain and I really don't care much about that as any change will be minimal. (My truck has about 12,000 miles on it)

I live in Northern Illinois and it is almost impossible to find ethanol free fuel so the only way to get anything decent is to pay $.70 to $.80 more per gallon. (Still contains ethanol though)

So here is my conundrum/question; I could continue to run premium but that will come at quite the cost; I drive a lot. But could a programmer increase the throttle response/consistency while running 87 octane? If so, it would pay for itself pretty quickly.

I do apologize for the long post and do appreciate any guidance from those who may know something about this.
to your original question of will a programmer adjust the throttle... yes. you can set it from anywhere from stock to lethargic (smooths out and really slows down your throttle inputs) to extreme (just like you have a cable from your pedal to the butterflies on a carb engine... It can also adjust the fuel trims (you can't adjust anything yourself, just 2 levels) and monitor some geeky stuff...
 
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