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Drive your manual stick car smoothly as an automatic

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by slikdial, Oct 5, 2008.

    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

    Post Count: 14
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    Folks,

    After I got my 2007 335i 6-speed, I struggled to make smooth shifting. So I designed something to make the shift easy to master.

    Follow the slikdial and impress your passenger.

    [IMG]

    Up Shift

    UP shift is when you shift from a lower numbered gear to a higher numbered gear. This is typically done when you are picking up speed.

    * Take a quick look at the SilkDial for the current RPM A
    * Depress the clutch
    * Wait until the engine drops to RPM B
    * Release the clutch

    Down Shift
    Down shift is when you shift from a higher numbered gear to a lower numbered gear. This is typically done to get more torque to either accelate or to slow down the car when descending a hill.

    * Take a quick look at the SilkDial for the current RPM C. and visually follow the Archimedean curve to RPM B
    * Depress the clutch
    * Briefly tap the gas panel to increase the engine to RPM B
    * Release the clutch

    Reengage From Neutral
    When going downhill, it is often advantageous to shift to Neutral to reduce the drag from the engine to improve fuel efficiency. Engine RPM will fall while the gears are not engaged and the vehicle speed remains high. At the end of the downhill, you will need to put the vehicle back in a gear, the vehicle may lurch back a bit due to mismatching engine RPM. Using the SlikDial, it is easy to get a smooth re-engagement.

    * Take note of the vehicle speed from the speedometer and locate the Archimedean spiral for that speed
    * Depress the clutch, and then put the stick in the desired gear
    * Depress the throttle to increase the engine RPM to the value indicated by the Archimedean spiral for the desired gear
    * Release the clutch

    Drive With Shifting Paths
    SlikDial can include a number of predetermined shift paths for most common ways of driving: green, aggressive, racing etc.

    * Pick the highlighted shift path that you like and start from the 1st gear ring, depress the gas pedal until the RPM reaches the beginning of the shift path
    * Depress the clutch, and let the RPM falls to the value indicated by the shift path on the 2nd gear
    * Shift to the 2nd gear, release the clutch and then depress the gas pedal and so on.


    More at http://slikdial.com
    • Member

    kkratoch

    Post Count: 129
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    Excellent work. I made a little spreadsheet for my car as well but never thought of the graph/picture idea. One thing though; I don't think it is wise to shift into N going downhill. It seems to me I get better mileage (at least on the little gauge) when letting the engine brake/drag as opposed to letting the engine idle.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
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    If you leave the car in gear, then it (if it's a modern engine) uses no fuel, but if you put it in Neutral, it uses some fuel, just enough to keep it from stalling. The difference really isn't all that noticeable though.


    I honestly think that website is rubbish. Sure, the data may be accurate, but there is a statement on the home page that just makes me want to say bullsh*t:


    I'm sorry, but that's an outright lie. You can't learn to drive a car better than driving it and getting used to it. What they're saying is that "if you read a book about how to shoot a weapon then you'll always be accurate". That's just not true. If it was, then tell all those people who can drive a car perfectly smoothly without any kind of instruction, be it from a web site, video, or book.



    And then there are those cars that are just impossible to drive smoothly, like my car. It's old, so shifting is not going to be perfectly smooth all the time. And, sometimes my throttle pedal sticks (hard to push without the car jerking when acccelerating), making it really hard to launch smoothly and shift properly. That website assumes all cars drive the same, be it 2 or 20 years old. :rolleyes:
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

    Post Count: 14
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    Thanks.

    There were quite some debates regarding coasting downhill. See http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/how_to/4230705.html.

    The bottom line is that unless one needs the engine brake's help when coming down a steep hill, shifting to N to reduce the engine drag will enable longer coasting which definitely yields better overall gas mileage. My 335i averages 25 MPG on local road when I shift to N as much as possible versus 22 mpg when not.


    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

    Post Count: 14
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    See the reference in my last post. The difference is quite huge for hilly routes. I have hard numbers to prove.

    Slikdial is not a driving instruction for folks who learn to drive manual stick for the first time. It is for people who change cars often and for people like me who have no patience to try and error. Even for people who have been driving the same car for a long time, they still might not be able to shift smoothly at a new RPM say 5800 which is out of their normal shifting RPM say 2500 etc.

    As for the cars that are "impossible" to drive smoothly, fix the mechanics. Jog down the gear ratios. Then I will show you how to drive it perfectly smooth with Slikdial. The law of physics don't lie.



    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
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    Or, you could just learn to drive the car and not spend all your time staring at the tach waiting to figure out when to shift. I drive several different cars a day when I am at the shop. No problems. Just gotta know how to drive.

    Coasting in gear shuts down the injectors, while coasting in neutral is ILLEGAL IN MOST STATES!

    Some cars are actually hard to drive smoothly. Any BMW with a CDV, for instance.

    Arash2002tii guest

    Post Count: 235
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    I kind of just drove a manual enough to where my upshift/downshifts are as close to an automatic as possible. Both in the 2002 and in the M3. Personally I don't think anythign can teach you as well as hands on experience. Practice makes perfect 100% of the time.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Waitaminnit ... you didn't want to lose a half second shifting, so you cooked this up? Seems like a pointless waste of time to me. Having worked on patentable materials (and having a wife who holds two), I will be stunned if one ever issues on this. I mean, I've done simple visual speed-in-gears reminders when my speedo crapped out and I had to drive by the tach. I've also learned to do what your 'system' says shifting without the clutch when I had either an actual or imminent failure of the mechanicals.

    Anyone with a lick of sense can learn to shift smoothly. Release the accelerator slightly before declutching on upshifts and that first lurch goes away. Apply it moderately just as you engage after an upshift and it will be smooth. Not only that, you won't be crashing into stuff (eliminating one helluva lurch) because you were spending time looking at a two-dimensional pinwheel taped to your dash.

    Arash2002tii guest

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    He just said everything I was too tired to type. :rolleyes:

    Jeron guest

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    I wouldn't have bothered saying it but I sure was thinking it.
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    Apparently the US Patent Office disagrees with you. A patent 8,055,419 has indeed been issued. http://www.slikdial.com.

    I have no doubt that one can drive smoothly after enough practice. The purpose of the visual guide is to shorten the learning curve and reduce wear on the clutch while trying to figure out the matching RPM. Just image that you can smoothly shift at any RPM with no wear on the clutch on day one when you get a new car.

    drummerfc guest

    Post Count: 479
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    Wait a minute, "slik"...I'm confused! :eek:

    On the dial, which one is RPM A, RPM B, RPM C, RPM D?? There's no A/B/C/D on the dial.

    Sorry :rolleyes: - it's Friday and...awww, heck with it, I just don't understand the darned thing!!
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Interesting - kudos to anyone for an entrepreneurial pursuit and best regards for full success; The potential downside I see to this is it takes one's eyes off the road momentarily. I would hope there's a comprehensive legal disclaimer, I could envision a lawsuit due to someone using this and rear-ending somebody else, claiming the product caused them to be distracted. Otherwise, I could see potential for some perceiving it to be of some benefit.
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    tacho_shiftpath_manual.jpg Sorry that my site was being updated. I just made a quick image to illustrate up shift:

    UP shift is when you shift from a lower numbered gear to a higher numbered gear. This is typically done when you are picking up speed.
    • Take a quick look at the SilkDial for the current RPM A
    • Depress the clutch
    • Wait until the engine drops to RPM B
    • Release the clutch
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I certainly appreciate the reminder of the legal disclaimer. The original design motivation was to make the picture worth a thousand words. Therefore, I resorted to curves that is similar to nautilus shells. It is easier to remember things made of familiar shapes than abstract numbers. Hopefully, Slikdial will not distract the user.

    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I think you should devise a chart that indicates the exact point and procedure for a fast downshift from fifth to fourth that goes into second instead. . . ka-BLAMMO!

    drummerfc guest

    Post Count: 479
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    Ahhh...I get it now!! :p

    An update...been driving like this the past week and wow...it really works! I can actually shift without the "bucking". Thanks for the tips...
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Well! The second one certainly explains the lack of shoes with bulls-eyes on their toes!

    Certainly must have been an embarrassing day at the archery contest for the target-trained males!
    • Member

    slikdial Slikdial

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    Great! Thanks for trying! Here is a customized SlikDial for your 2002 525i with factory given gear ratios:

    $gears = 5 ;
    @ratios = (4.23, 2.52, 1.66, 1.22, 1.00);
    $final_drive_ratio = 3.15;
    $tire="225/60R-15" ;
    Enjoy!

    Attached Files:

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