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Discussion Starter #1
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:eek: I appreciate all the time you give to the new guys:cheers
 

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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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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.....:party:
 

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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 :lol:.

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. :cheers
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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!!!!!:cheers Eric
 

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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:cheers 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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that cam does not come on strong til around 2500 - up to 6500rpm (which is a waste because if you take a 455 w/stock rods there your in for trouble) and especially with that rear gear winding you up. with that set up 4MPG is not out of the question on back roads. it is set up to do the 1/4 mile and thats about it, i would seriously consider a new cam choice if you will be driving it a lot. with the right gear and cam you can get 20MPG freeway at 2000rpm and still roast those new tires down to the rim if you so choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just want to learn to drive it for now. Manual don't seem to bad so far, so I think I'll keep it a manual. Do you know what rear gear I can pull without switching the entire thing? I think it is a 10 bolt with 3.73 gears.

Here is the rods he put in it:
COMP Cams 7263-1 - COMP Cams Magnum Pushrods - Overview - SummitRacing.com

I haven't taken it much past 3500 RPM so far. Mainly trying to get the shifting thing down first. I will say at low RPM my G8 would eat this thing alive.
 

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i am talking piston rods and your good up to 5500 on the RPM, milder cam will put the power down where you will use it 1500-5500 and a 3:3x rear gear would let you get on the freeway under 3000 RPM and help with gas mileage. judging from it's manors, driven right and if you can get it to hook in a 1/4 mile with a good launch that car should take your G8 no sweat. Now from a roll up to 140 the G8 would eat it.
 

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The lugging coming out of the hole is because you are at too low RPMs, that is what I was talking about it being too radical, you have to slip the clutch and give it more RPMs to get it to launch nice. And yes, that hurts the clutch, but to have it drive nice you have to.
My old 67 Chevelle SS 396 solid cam w/dual fours and 4 speed got 3 MPG, I put a 750 Holley on it and got 10, or 6, lol.. It had 4.88 gears, fast car. That was in 90. It was at 3200 RPMs in 4th at 45 MPH!! So, I had a car like yours, quickest car I ever owned, just not a lot of fun to drive in a parade or heavy traffic.
There is nothing that will stop you from engaging the clutch at any RPM, WARNING!! The only thing it can be is something is binding. Keep that in mind when you are driving it til you figure out what is up..
I'm with G8ter, connecting rods and pushrods dont' relate to each other. Keep it around or under 5k.. That car will KILL the G8. My 3.55 geared cars redlined at 105 MPH, just enough to get through the quarter mile. So, 3.73s are about 105 at 5,500. That's why OD is so great..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys. While it is far to early for me to judge the car, it seems like I need to change things up to get what I thought I was buying. I will never go to the strip, I'd do allot of cruising the back roads and the occasional freeway runs. I guess I can live with slipping the clutch if that is what is needed. I was just trying to drive it properly based on the videos I watched, which they did not look to slip the clutch. But those videos were with mini coopers.

It seemed like if I was over 3K when I tried to shift that was when it wouldn't let me put the clutch in.

Can you guys give me a little more detail into what all needs to be changed on the motor (sorry Brian, I can't seem to find the link to that cam you sent)? It's too late in the season to change things up this year as I just want to get some seat time, but over the winter I can get all the necessary work done and not worry about how long it is taking.

Oh, one last thing. What is the proper way to start this thing? Its a PITA to start. I know to keep the clutch pushed in, but it takes several attempts to get it to fire. I can hear the pump going. I've tried all lengths of time before turning it over (1-10 seconds) and it still seems I need a good 6-7 tried to get it going. I've tired exactly as the PO said to start it, but don't work for me.
 

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The PO knows how to start the car. Waiting for the fuel pump to fill the bowls is fine, but if they aren't dumping out, gas should be there. On my BBC w/electric pump, I let it run for a sec, pump the gas twice and it fires up everytime. Try that. This isn't a FI car, and you need to learn the car, and we can't answer that question, because we don't know the car, they're all different.
For the cam, look at something in the 268-280 duration, nice street cam, and you may need lghter springs, but it may be OK with just a cam swap. Cam swap will make that car fun to drive, and streetable, but still fast.
 

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just a guess here but if it was set for the strip the choke might be disabled or even removed.....i give two pumps and hold it to the floor let up as soon as it fires, usually within a few turns. takes a bit of gas to fire a motor that you can stick your fist in the bores w/o touching the sides...:)
 

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Hey Batman,
Best thing you can do is practice. This is the sort of thing that just comes with time.

Couple tips: Sit in your driveway, engine off, on a level surface if you can so the car won't roll - and play with it. You can generally tell when you're in neutral because the shifter will be more or less in "the middle" and you'll be able to wiggle the handle side to side, forward and backward, around in a circle by "quite a bit" without feeling much resistance to the movement. When it's in any gear, you won't be able to move it nearly as much without "feeling it". So, sit there. find neutral, then push it straight towards the passenger side door until it won't move any more, then straight towards the dash. That's 3rd. Go back to neutral, over to the passenger door again, then straight back. That's 4th. Back to neutral, then over towards you until you begin to feel some resistance/spring pressure, but not so far that you feel a "hard stop". Straight forward - that's 1st. (If you do go as far as it will go to the left then forward, that's reverse.) Straight back from 1st is 2nd. The "gates" on a good shifter are going to be fairly close together so visually it's going to be hard to distinguish between Reverse,1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th just by looking at the position of the shifter handle. I don't even try, and I've driven manuals for a very long time. I always "find neutral" first then work it out from there by feel.

Anohter trick for starting out from a stop on a hill without rolling backwards. Set your parking brake so that it will hold the car. Go to 1st, start easing out on the clutch while feeding in some power until you can feel it starting to pull, then release the parking brake. Eventually you'll get to the point where you don't have to do that, but again - it does take time and practice to get there.

Bear
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The cam I have has a 294 duration. Is there really that much difference between 280 and 294? Can I simply swap the cam and try it? How would I know if the springs are too stiff?

And thanks for all the advise. I now have the shifting part down pretty good, I just need to work on take offs and timing my shifts. I did video my entire run from yesterday so I could maybe pick up on anything I did wrong. Unfortunately the video make it look allot smoother than it really was.

If my buddy can find it in his heart to make 1 hour for me I really just need to have someone ride with me and tell me what I'm doing wrong. He is 40 minutes away so I need to figure out the gas mileage thing first, lol.

I want to take it to the drive in, but it is gravel and I'm a little scared I'd spin the tires on take off and throw rocks all over peoples rides.
 

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There is a huge dif between a 294 and 280. 280 is HP street, 294 is strong Pro street, limited street use, as you are finding. 268 is nice street car stuff, and sounds good. Duration is how long the valves stay open, thus open together just dumping raw fuel intake to exhaust, waisting gas. But at high RPM you need the duration. If it had a 256 duration cam, you could dump the clutch at idle, and it would just drive out of the hole without issue, maybe a little gas. Small cam is much easier to drive than your monster.. Somebody else may really love the car, may want to think about selling it and getting yourself a stock automatic, it will still be fun and much more plesurable to drive.
 
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