Shifting advise please :) - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Shifting advise please :)

Hi all, as most know my 66 is the first manual car I have ever even sat in. So I am in need of a little help here.

I just got back from taking the 66 on a road where I could try to shift for the first time. While shifting so far seems easy, I am lost as to how to shift to 1,3 or 2,4. I just can't tell the difference. Several times I was sure I was pushing to the right as I was going for 3rd but it went to first. Even sitting in the parking lot I am not sure if I am in 1st or 3rd same with 2nd or 4th.

I think I may have been driving in 3rd my first 2 drives.

Another thing I had trouble with was getting going if the car wants to roll backwards. I was at a stop and when going from brake to gas it rolls backwards. I had a hell of a time not stalling trying to go forward.

Last, when I think I was in 4th it runs at 2K RPM at 45mph and looked to be around 2800 RPM at 60mph. Will it run OK down the expressway at say 3500 RPM at 70 MPH?

Sorry for the rookie questions I appreciate all the time you give to the new guys
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 06:29 PM
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It will line up with first if you pull the shifter towards your lap and put it in 2nd gear and then push the shifter straight ahead into first. For the 2-3 shift, with the palm of your hand on the ball, just shove the shifter at the passenger side wing window/corner of the windhield diagonally. It will go right in. As for starting out on a hill, you need to be fast and learn to finesse it. Let out the clutch while applying the throttle at the same time. takes practice, but you'll get it. Do not burn or slip the clutch too much. If you think you may be in 3rd gear at a stop light, just pull the shifter into neutral, pull it back into second gear, and push it straight into 1st.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:36 PM
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Batman once you learn it you will trade in your G8 for a M6 GTO, nothing funner than a stick in a performance car. Like GeeTee said don't ride your clutch up to lights, remember you have neutral use it. the older linkages can be tight from 2-3 if you shift it there w/o enough revs its hard to get in. The revs in 4th are because of the gearing what is your rear end gear? Sounds like your getting a feel for it, you will learn what the car wants. Have fun and be safe.....
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:47 PM
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Sounds like you've got too much gear in your rear, I'm guessing 4:11 or maybe you mentioned that. Steep gears will get you moving quick off the line but are a pain on the highway unless you have an overdrive. I'm a "cough" Chevy guy, but I would'nt want to run 3500 continuous at 70. That's why I stashed my four speed in the basement next to my original motor and went 5 speed.

The third gear starts are the key here, betcha were surprised when you could'nt find third .

Do you know what axle ratio you have? Do you know what type of rear axle you have, if it is original or not? Quite a few no A/C cars had 3:90 gears stock. For a 455 with a stick I would say 3:36 or 3:55 at the most. Many guys run ratios up to 2:56. The Pontiacs torque makes that feasable.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 07:57 PM
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When your shifting you just have to slow down and feel the the shift. I had that problem when i first got my car going from 4th to 5th id always go to Third. My solution was to put my palm on the left side of the shifter handle and push at an angle and it goes in every time.

And if your at a really, really steep grade while stopped keep your foot on the brake and let the clutch out until right before it starts to engage. give it a little more gas than usual and let the clutch out normally and calmly youll be fine.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:17 PM
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I like manuals the best. I have more manuals the autos in my collection of cars. My 350 sm465 granny gear 4x4 87 gmc truck is almost my favorite of any car. The 87 CRX Si 5spd is a fun one also for a daily driver. I miss the 99 T/A 6 speed tho.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helps guys. The PO said it had a 3.73 gear, however I don't know if it is original.

So you say at stops and coming to a stop I should be in neutral? I was just holding the clutch in all the way.

A few more nights out and I might be able to get down and meet with ya Brian If no rain tomorrow I'll try one more session on the back roads before I hit the highway. I want to get the shifting thing down a little more.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 09:31 PM
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Technically, the transmission should only be in neutral when the car is stopped. Wether or not you down shift to a lower gear, or not, depends on driving conditions. As you slow down, and feel the engine approach idle (about 1000 rpm) you should have one foot on the brake, and the other on the clutch. Smoothly and quickly depress the clutch and continue to brake until the car stops......hard to explain, it is a matter of getting used to the car. You shouldn't put it in neutral while moving, because if you suddenly need power, you will have to hunt for the proper gear.....Just go and drive it, your ears and azz will tell you what to do!!!!! Eric

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 08:23 AM
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Get after it Batman!!
Your shifter linkage may be sloppy. I usually put it in neutral, then go back and forth so you know 1st from 3rd. Pull left, go straight up for first. For third, like others said, act like your punching the passenger side windshield, and it should always go in third. Again, go rent a new car so you know what a new shifter feels like, and it's way easier than trying to learn in your car. A bushing set may help your shifter feel better, dive under there and look for slop in the linkage.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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I found a few pretty decent videos of youtube, so I have a pretty good understanding of what I "should" be doing lol.

Thanks to you guys I can now easily find all the gears I wrongly assumed that straight up from neutral would be 1st. And thought moving to the left would put it in reverse.

I took it out for a spin tonight and last night. Yesterday was cut short due to rain and me not having working wipers. So far by far the hardest part for me is taking off from first. Oddly enough reverse is easy, first, not so much

When the car is jumping on the start does that mean the clutch is slipping? Here is what I am doing, I let the clutch out slowly until I feel it wants to grab, then I start to give it some gas while I continue to let the clutch out. Most the time it jumps 2-3 times when I do this. Does this mean I'm letting it out to fast? I find its easier to take off if I rev it to 2k or so before I let the clutch out, but isn't that slipping the clutch?

One other thing, is there any time when the clutch can't be depressed? There was 2 times I went to shift from 2-3 and it felt as if I couldn't push the clutch in. I didn't try to force it, but was like a brick was under it. Is there any restriction to the RPM that I can shift at?

Tonight I drove it for 30 minutes and no stalls and 2 real bad starts. Still on the back roads, but I think I can do the freeway now.

One last thing, what kind of gas mileage should I expect? Unless the gauge is wrong it appears to be something like 4 MPG. Or that gas leaks while under power. I never see anything under the car.

So far it looks like my car don't make power until 3K rpm or so. I need to someone dive this thing hard so I can see what it will really do.

Thanks all
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