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#327344 - 04/04/10 11:50 AM Love Driving Stick
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
So guys I wanted something lighthearted to talk about here on M/S.

I drive a manual transmission. I love driving a manual transmission on my truck.

I remember learning how to drive and my Dad being so patient with me about the whole process, cause it is a learning process and I just had to take my time and get things figured out. I learned on a 1984 Saab, happened to be the same year I was born. God I miss that car so much. Such a good fucking car. Had solid bumper on front and back, it was well built car, pretty advance for the 80s, had a cell phone built in and heated seats, and this cool little icon that would light up when it was time to shift. That's another car that Government Motors has ruined.

I remember when I got my truck and I was out in town driving around stalling all over the place. I came back home and I told my sister that I was struggling, she gave me a tip that if you pushed down on the gas with the clutch still engaged, it's easier to get out of first gear. God that tip saved my life, and I didn't stall after learning that great tip.

I've gotten so addicted to driving a manual that when I've gone home to see my parents I forget how to drive an automatic, no joke, LOL. I remember one time I was driving my brother's truck and I was at my parents house, on an automatic, I came up to a four way stop and stopped, then after stopping I shifted the car into park, man, talk about programmed for shifting. Haha. I love the feel of a stick, only wanna drive sticks for the rest of my life. Hell yeah baby. I love rolling down the highway and just flying along. Woohoo.

I hope the other guys on here who can drive stick share their stories, even if you can't I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Especially looking forward to hearing from our truck driver friends here, always wondered about driving an 18 Speed, wonder if I could even do it. Hopefully those guys will share it with us.

Charlie.



Edited by Charlie24 (04/04/10 01:33 PM)

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#327350 - 04/04/10 12:27 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: Charlie24]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Charlie,

Hey, buddy! I used to drive a stick shift, and like you, I LOVED IT! Felt more in touch with the road, you know? I learned to drive on a stick shift, and always felt kind of proud of knowing this skill.

Eventually I had to get an automatic car, and also like you, it was difficult to make the transition. I sometimes still push down with my left foot on the place where the clutch is supposed to be, or keep my right hand on the gearshift like I used to when I drove a stick. Some old habits die hard. Or maybe I'm just subconsciously keeping in practice, as I hope to get another manual car someday.

I used to drive for a shipping company all across AZ. I even drove a 16-wheeler once or twice (with no rear view mirror - that was the hardest thing for me to overcome). Would you believe that on long delivery trips, I could actually drive a stick shift, handle a burger AND a drink all at the same time?!

Thank you for reminding me that I have a skill I'm proud of, and taking me down memory lane - some nice memories there. I loved the first car I bought with my own money - a stick shift - and when I had to sell it, I felt like I was giving up a friend. Oddly amusing, that, isn't it?

Your buddy,

Bobcat

_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#327358 - 04/04/10 01:58 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 734
Loc: NJ
I love driving my standard. 04 VW GTI, with some performance upgrades

My car is one of the only places I feel in total control.

I learned to dive stick later in life, but its something I will teach both my kids. (drive stick, motorcycle, fire a firearm, change a flat tire, amongst others)

The problem is the way I want to drive leads to unwanted attention from those that don't appreciate it much. Even with some friends in LE one can still get in quite a bit of trouble. Most recently I was stopped on the way to T, the back roads are so much fun. When I told the wife I was doing 53 in a 35 she says "thats it, I expected faster". Funny I thought I was going easy that morning.

Oh well.

There is a connection to the car and the road in a manual you just dont get in an auto.

_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#327359 - 04/04/10 02:05 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: Charlie24]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
i've been driving since 1969 and since 1985 i've only owned manual transmissions. i feel really awkward when i drive an automatic. my current car is a 2008 aveo 5 door. it's rather sweet if i don't say so myself.

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#327397 - 04/04/10 10:23 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: Sans Logos]
alan55 Offline


Registered: 08/19/09
Posts: 202
Loc: Seattle, WA
I learned a stick on a friends' 1971 Dodge Demon. It had a 318 that had been rebuilt, blueprinted and balanced. Deep blue with black interior. Great car, lots of fun to drive and since he and I had known one another since 1966 in the 7th grade, he felt OK teaching me how to drive a stick. Patient and easy to learn from. Just what I needed. Thanks for the GOOD memories....


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#327583 - 04/06/10 10:51 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: alan55]
atari_kid86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: Michigan
I've owned four cars. Three of them were sticks. I learned how to drive one when I was 16. My brother had a 1994 Ford Ranger with a 5 speed. I caught on pretty fast and have loved driving them ever since.

My first stick was a 1989 Honda Accord. Second was a 1992 VW Jetta (I really miss that car) and the current machine is a 2000 Saturn SL2. The Saturn manuals drive very nice.

Good idea for a thread. Thanks for posting!


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#327589 - 04/06/10 11:03 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: atari_kid86]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11183
Loc: Denver, CO
My first car was a Buick "Boat" Le Sabre, and the only automatic I've owned. Everything else was/is manual: 2nd car was an 82 Plymouth Horizon, 3rd was an 89 Tercel, 4th is a Tacoma (still got), 5th was a 94 Saturn, 6th is a 99 Saturn.

I miss the 94 Saturn. It had this nice body shape with headlights that popped up. I occasionally see another one just like it around town.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#327609 - 04/07/10 03:08 AM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: FormerTexan]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I've had so many cars that it is hard to remember them all. My 1970 Mustang Mach 1 had a 3-speed racing transmission matched to a 1971 351 Cleveland mill and 4.11 rears, 850 Holley double-pumper and headers, it would run about 12 seconds in a 1/4 mile, though I had a heck of a time trying to keep clutches in it. One time racing I twisted away the inside of a 12-spring heavy-duty racing clutch from the outside shifting from 1st to 2nd at 6,500 rpm. My current pickup is a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4-door with the 4.7 high-output V-8 though it is an automatic shift on the fly 4WD, but my previous 3 pickups were all 4 or 5 speed manual transmissions. Most of my cars and vans were automatics though.

Let's see: #1: 1971 Duster 340 V8 4v, 1973, #2, 1970 351-C Mustang Mach-1 351-C V8 4v double-pumper, 1974-75, #3, 1964 Riviera 425 V8 2-4v, 1975-1977, #4, 1972 Mercury Monterey 351-W V8 2v, 1977-78, #5, 1978 Dodge 100 Tradesman van, 318 V8 2v, (my first new car), 1978-1982, #6, 1972 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, 472 V8 4v, 1982-83, (stolen and totaled), #7, 1979 Dodge 1-ton Maxivan 440 V8 4v, 1983, #8, 1973 Satellite 318 V8 2v, 1983-1985, #9, 1977 Olds Cutlass 2-door 4.3L V-6, 1985-86, (stolen and totaled), #10, 1982 Ford Pinto 2.3L 4-cyl, 1986-88, #11, 1986 GMC S-15 pickup 2.5 4-cyl, 1988-1993, #12, 1993 GMC Sonoma 2.8L V6, (my 2nd new car), 1993-1999, #13, 1999 Dodge Dakota Extended Cab 5/8 ton 3.9L V6, (my 3rd new car), 1999-2006, and #14, my current vehicle, 2005 Dodge Dakota 4-door 4WD 3/4 ton, 4.7L V8 HO, 2006 to 2010.

In August of 1979 I leased my first semi-tractor, which was a 1976 Freightliner 86" COE (cabover) with a Cummins 855 cu in I-6 diesel rated at 290 HP with a Eaton Fuller 10-speed, and I drove it until the Spring of 1980 running mainly dry freight when I turned it back in. In August of 1981 I bought a 1979 Freightliner 96" COE (Bunk & 1/2) with a Cummins 855 cu in I-6 diesel rated at 400 HP @ 2100 rpm, turned-up to 425 HP @ 2300 rpm, with an Eaton Fuller 13-speed double-overdrive transmission and a 3.90 rear, and I hauled mainly meat between Chicago and the East Coast through the late Fall of 1982 before the 1982 recession and trucking deregulation did me in. There are period photos of me and my first truck, and a couple of my cars, on pages 38 & 39 of the Adult Me topic in the member's Art forum.

Shifting a non-synchromesh transmission is a lot easier than it sounds, as even using the clutch, you still have to match the rpm of the transmission output shaft (connected to the drive wheels), to the speed of the engine geared through the transmission, otherwise there is a lot of gear grinding. So if the gears will go right in like a knife into warm butter without using the clutch, why use the clutch to shift? Why not just match the speed of the transmission to the speed of the driveshaft and you don't need the clutch to shift a semi??? A 10-speed is a double H pattern with a high/low range selector, unless you are trying to start really heavily-loaded uphill you almost never use 1st gear, so shift 2-3-4-5, then shift the range selector to high, then shift 6-7-8-9-10 starting with the lower left position. Matching the speed of the transmission to the speed of the driveline takes a little practice, remember, you don't need the clutch to shift anything but starting from stopped.

With a 13-speed transmission there are 5 forward gears in low range, just like the 10-speed. In high range you only shift the 4 gears 7-8-9-10, but you split each of those gears with a separate high-low shift knob, all but the oldest transmissions perform the high/low range and high/low gear shifts using air pressure to make semi-automatic shifts in the transmission. On an 18-speed the high/low gear shift is made on all 9 forward gear positions, with 5 gears 1-2-3-4-5 on the low side of the range shift, and 4 gears on the high side, 6-7-8-9, all split into 18 forward gears. There is always a warning not to try to shift ranges in reverse, but it can be done only if you are really good, as you have to keep from jack-knifing while making the shift in reverse, which I think is a lot less distracting without using the clutch to make the reverse high/low shift too. In my career I once backed-up with a tandem tractor towing a 45-foot flatbed trailer for about 3 miles on a dirt road at about 30 mph in high-range reverse. (Professional Driver, Do Not Try This At Home).

Years ago it was popular to use two separate transmissions, with two separate stick shifts, on some trucks such as dump trucks and other on & off-road trucks, though I have seen 2-stick 5 x 4 transmissions in older road trucks too. There the main gearbox is a 5-speed and the auxiliary transmission is a 4-speed. You shift to 1st gear in the main box then run through the 4 gears in the aux box, then you have to shift the main box from 1 to 2 while you shift the aux box from 4 back to 1. There is a technique that I have seen published where you hook the steering wheel inside your left elbow then use both hands to make both shifts at the same time, though when I drove a 5 x 4 I would shift the aux to neutral then shift the main then finish the aux shift after the main was in gear, which seems to work almost as well except going up a steep hill where you lose too much speed if you aren't quick enough!!!

Railroad locomotives and motorcycles have multiple gear transmissions too, and many propeller-driven aircraft have adjustable-pitch props too, but we will leave those topics for another day. I have even seen large yachts and small cargo ships with geared transmissions too. In Michigan I am licensed to operate yachts and ships up to 40 feet in length too. These days I am semi-retired though, and I enjoy a little 4-wheeling in the mountains. Ask Hauser, my pickup has mud all over it from Sunday afternoon when we visited Gold Hill, Colorado for the first time, did a little high-altitude dirt road touring, then stopped for BBQ in Nederland at the Wild Mountain BBQ and Brewery before heading home.

Nothing like driving a heavily-loaded semi in heavy traffic in LA, Chicago, or NYC, running late and under lots of pressure, boss frantically cracking the whip, trying to make another on-time delivery or deadline. Retirement has so far been a lot less stressful, just me and my pickup, nowhere special to go and all day to get there!!! Nothing like a nice drive all alone in the middle of nowhere, manual or automatic transmission, it doesn't matter. I already have over 4 million miles under my belt. What keeps me coming back for more??? Seeing somewhere that I have never been on a nice lazy day makes it all worth it for me.

Mark



_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#327651 - 04/07/10 04:27 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: Trucker51]
atari_kid86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: Michigan
Whoa, Mark. You had a Pinto?

My sister had a 1979 one. It was one of those wagon models with the really cheap ugly "wood" look that was really just plastic glued onto the body panels.

She hates on that car to this day.


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#327654 - 04/07/10 04:53 PM Re: Love Driving Stick [Re: atari_kid86]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Yeah, back in Cleveland, when I was attending Cleveland State University, I bought a low-mileage used Pinto from a friend of my mom's. I drove it for maybe 18 months after my Cutlass got stolen. I got it for $900 with only about 30K miles on it, and it even had new tires when I got it. After another 35K miles of hard city driving, riding on bald tires while trailing a long cloud of blue smoke, I drove it out to some Chevy dealer that was advertising a $3000 "push, pull, or drag" sale and traded it for my first pickup, which was also low-mileage used. Halfway through owning it somebody pried-open the bottom of the rusty driver's door with a crowbar and stole my stereo out of the dash too. Those were the days (in Cleveland).

I had a friend in high school whose folks gave him a Ford Pinto Wagon when he was 16 in 1974, and he blew the engine when it only had 25,000 miles on it, then he blew the replacement engine after only 15,000 miles more!!! And I had another friend who had a Pinto that put a high-rise intake manifold on his with a 4-barrel carb and headers but it didn't last too long after that either.

Where do you think that all of those old Ford jokes came from??? Fix-Or-Repair-Daily, Found-On-Road-Dead, etc, etc??? Ford has had their fair share of diggers, that's for sure. Anyone remember the Edsel? I have the famous Life Magazine ad from 1959 that says, "Edsel is Here to Stay", which came out two weeks before production was canceled!!! They made such great cars back then, not!!!

I wonder how many Pintos are still running??? Or how many Pacers either??? Where is a VW "Thing" when you need one???

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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