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How do you clutch?

  • Leg extension/retraction only

    Votes: 5 17.2%
  • Leg extension and foot movement

    Votes: 14 48.3%
  • Foot only

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Something else entirely (explain below)

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • Twi's a jerk, why do I have to answer this?

    Votes: 6 20.7%
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a question to all you stickers out there:

What kind of leg motion do you use to let the clutch out? Do you draw your leg back gradually? Use foot/ankle motion? Something else?

Personally I extend my leg all the way and point my toe to hold the clutch in, then tilt my foot back and let the pedal slide against my shoe to let it out. Gives me a lot of control over clutch engagement.

How do you do it and how did you learn it? I'm going to be teaching my wife to drive stick sometime in the future and I'm curious about the different approaches to clutching.



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Can I vote for two things???;-)

My clutching is very much along the lines as you described without the sliding part.
 

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I don't understand the options.

Never teach a spouse to drive a stick. It will truly test your relationship.

After stalling for the 4th time trying to get out of the parking lot I say "ease the clutch out and ease into the gas pedal at the same time". She says " I AM easing off the clutch.... " in a tone that says this is going to be a long ride.
To anwser your poll I will have to pay attention the next time I drive.
 

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Although my E is not a manual transmission, how you described working the clutch is how I was taught to drive a stick shift (in my dad's 1988 Honda Accord, of course) and how I continued to drive my 1996 Honda Civic (my first car, and the vehicle I had before the E), and how I still drive when I get the chance in my wife's 2008 Nissan Altima (a 6-speed with tons of power, no less). How's that? :D
 

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okay just got back from the store. foot only.
I question I wanted to ask this forum is "am I damaging the clutch by not pressing it all the way in and shifting". I have found that there is a sweet spot to shift, where the clutch barely needs to be depressed or not at all. Does this harm anything? Should I be pushing it to the floor with a leg extension?
 

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Depends on the vehicle. Cars with a light clutch can be easily driven in the way Twi describes (I do it without the sliding either) as long as the clutch is adjusted properly and doesn't engage too far off the floor.

Some trucks, on the other hand, particularly older models without a power assist, need full leg extension in and out to control the pressure.

If you don't have to push the clutch in all the way it is not adjusted properly IMO.
 

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ooh, good question...

I don't always go all the way to the floor with the clutch either. Always at a standing start though.

I think the biggest thing is not riding the clutch or letting it slip for any length of time. As I was always taught, it is better to stall it than let the clutch slip.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Let me clarify: when I'm tilting my foot back to let the clutch out, my heel is firmly planted on the floor as my foot shifts back toward me and the pedal slides on the sole of my shoe until the clutch is engaged, then I retract my whole leg to let the pedal out all the way.

To those of you who have taught spouses (or others), did you ever explain the motion of letting the clutch out or just let them figure it out themselves?



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Let me clarify: when I'm tilting my foot back to let the clutch out, my heel is firmly planted on the floor as my foot shifts back toward me and the pedal slides on the sole of my shoe until the clutch is engaged, then I retract my whole leg to let the pedal out all the way.

To those of you who have taught spouses (or others), did you ever explain the motion of letting the clutch out or just let them figure it out themselves?
Not my spouse but I taught my son the procedure by getting him to "feel" the engagement of the clutch as he lets it out.
 

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My clutching style depends on the shoes I'm wearing. If the shoe is really grippy, then it is more leg action. Otherwise, it is probably somewhere in between.

Never driven a manual E. Ours is an auto, but it's also the wife's daily driver. All of my daily drivers have been manual, including my current '07 Fit.
 

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To those of you who have taught spouses (or others), did you ever explain the motion of letting the clutch out or just let them figure it out themselves?
Whatever they are comfortable with. I have taught two wives and two sons how to drive a standard transmission car and every one of ours cars is a standard. The key is getting them used to easing out on the clutch and this is best done in an area where there is no traffic and no distractions. My first lesson is usually in a huge parking lot at an office building that is closed on weekends. We spend some time on a Saturday or Sunday easing out the clutch in first gear without putting the right foot on the gas. We learn to stop by pushing down on the clutch with the left foot and pressing on the brake pedal with the right foot. We start, drive a few feet and then stop having never gotten out of first gear. Except when pressing on the brake the right foot is to remain flat on the floor and at no time should it be on the accelerator pedal. Starting and stopping like this gets them used to how the "friction point" of the clutch feels and we don't get into shifting until the next lesson the following day or weekend.

Do not try to teach them on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Twi, that is exactly how my dad taught me once upon a time in Idaho Falls, ID. I learned how to work the transmission in the parking lot at my high school (which also doubled as the driver's ed closed-course during the summer). I got comfortable with handling the car there. Then, when winter came, he took me out there again and had me get used to starting and stopping the car in the snow, taught me the finer points of starting in second gear on really slick roads, and had me get up to speed and then hit the brakes and turn the wheel and try to recover. That training actually saved me from more than one potentially bad situation since then on winter roads across Idaho (and Iowa, actually).

It is an excellent way to teach, and when we have kids, I'll do the same thing (assuming there are still manual transmissions out there, since the world is apparently getting too lazy to drive with them). :-x
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Depress the clutch all the way to the floor, tack the engine up to 3,000 RPM, slide foot off of clutch pedal all at once, quickly ease throttle the rest of the way to the floor and shift at 6,000 RPM. Quickly depress clutch while slamming shifter into second----repeat. Let off accelerator after 1/4 mile marker---trap. Pick up time slip, go back to pits and wait for next run. ;-)
 

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on my accord its a foot motion it shifts so smoothly its nuts and on my jeep its a leg and foot its a tank and my mom and girlfriend hate it and i love it its just im used to it and they are not
 

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Thanks Twi for the last option! ;-)
 

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I have size 14E feet-so I can generally use foot motion only to control the clutch in a car or SUV. My former E had a very short sweet spot of engagement about 2 to 3.5 inches off the floor. Grabby at first- which required a "throttle blipping' style of engagement to avoid riding/slipping the clutch. I got really good at this and drove it very smoothly.

The new Forester I have has a smooth long clutch take-up-which I'm still not fully used to- plus if I wear wide soled shoes- my foot drags on the side of the huge dead pedal causing some grief.(Can't believe the dead pedal is too big-after 40K in an E with none!)

On older pick-up trucks, I've had to used the leg extension clutch method- which is annoying if the clutch grabs at the top of travel- a common problem with Ford hydraulic clutches.

My wife can't drive a stick-and she says "How do you gas-brake and clutch all at the same time??" -Anybody want to volunteer THEIR clutch to give her some lessons? Anybody?? Didn't think so.
 

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I sort of combine both leg and foot into one motion. As I'm extending my leg, I'm also extending the ball of my foot forward while depressing the clutch. I reverse this as I'm engaging the clutch. Lately I have to use my toes more because of the fixator frame on my leg, but it works out the same.

Twi, you might seriously consider teaching her clutch engagement before you ever even mention the gas pedal. Without an idea of clutch engagement, the rest of the lesson is useless. Go to a vacant parking lot and have her ease very very slowly off the clutch until the car starts to engage. It is possible to launch the E without the gas if you do it right, and knowing where the clutch engages and what that means will be valuable for the rest of the lessons.
 
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