Switching Gears

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chat and Discussion' started by mcummings182, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. wash

    wash Active Member

    Shifting isn't about when you want to shift its about how you want the car to react to the throttle.

    Try driving at 20 mph in fourth gear and see what happens when you floor the gas, then try 20 in third, then 20 in second, you can try first but you wouldn't really ever cruise at 20 in first. Do that at the common speeds you drive and then when you want to accelerate you will know which gear to go to. When you're not accelerating, use fifth and sixth for gas mileage. I am really using the cruise control on longish 60+ mile trips. I set it pretty high so I'm not sure how much gas I save but its got to be something.

    For accelerating off the line, you have to be good with the clutch and that just takes practice.

    In any car with some power, there is going to be a certain range of rpm that you can dump the clutch and accelerate well. Below that range the car will bog because the initial load slows the engine to a speed without enough power to accelerate. Above that rpm, your engine will make more power than the tires can handle and you will just spin which isn't fast.

    But knowing that rpm isn't enough, the engine's flywheel stores rotational energy so it plays a role also. I've had cars that just needed a slight blip of the throttle before dumping the clutch, then a roll in to the throttle and only a slight lift on the 1-2 shift with a good chirp of the tires when power shifting in to third.

    This car is a little tricky, the rpm range between bogging and spinning is fairly narrow and the flywheel effect isn't huge.

    If you are not starting from a stop, you can't really use any of that flywheel effect so it won't feel as fast as it really is.
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  3. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    That's how I feel too, it seems like first gear has absolutely no power whatsoever. It's as slow as my 2011 Fiesta. But once you put it in 2nd gear, you can feel it hop when the turbo kicks in. I'm not trying to floor it or race people, I just like to get going quick lol and that's how I've always been.

    I definitely still have lots more room to improve before I master it. I plan on having my friend take it for a drive next time I see him. He drives a manual, and he's the one that actually taught me to drive manual before I got this car.

    I also appreciate everyone for the great responses and not making fun of me too bad for asking such silly questions all the time! I guess I can always use my excuse that I'm a girl and I don't know any better :p
    CarefreeAZ likes this.
  4. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah, Wash brings up a lot of good points. It is really going to come down to getting the right feel for the car. It will come with time and practice, so it is a good excuse to get out and drive the car more :)
  5. brian

    brian Member

    If you're really worried about it, do this.
  6. EvoNiner

    EvoNiner Active Member

    If you have the traction control on I find the front tires get overwhelmed easy in first which could be an issue.

    But trust me, give it a month for you to really get good with manuals, find a curvy road, and it won't disappoint!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    CarefreeAZ likes this.
  7. Drumr90

    Drumr90 Member

    Yes this is true for driving manual. Feel is how i learned and also how i got pulled over for speeding. Lol i had lots of grins for that one.
  8. Steve@Tasca

    Steve@Tasca Fiesta ST Network Sponsor

    As others have said, it just take some time to get used to the manual gearbox and to learn how to maximize it's use in all situations from city traffic to freeway to backroad twisty bits.

    It'll come in time and next thing you know it'll just be natural and you won't even be thinking about it, I've driven nothing but manual transmission cars for the last 14 years. Love it.

    It's not so much about RPM as it is about getting used to the car, I kind of think of it as riding a wave of torque, you just learn to feel when it's right to shift.

    In normal driving I tend to shift between 3000-4000 rpm but that's where my car kind of has it's sweet spot.

    My SVT can go from granny docile, to 7400RPM screamer within just a couple seconds, I love my old SVT :)

  9. WScottCross

    WScottCross Well-Known Member

    According to the ST supplement, they recommend shifting:

    1st-2nd: 12MPH
    2nd-3rd: 23MPH
    3rd-4th: 32MPH
    4th-5th: 41MPH
    5th-6th: 42MPH (why bother with 5th at all?)

    This is of course "normal" driving. I find it very hard to drive this car "normally"! It's just too fun for that!
  10. mrtn

    mrtn Active Member

    There are lots of helpful tips in the supplement for someone who is new to driving stick. All basic knowledge but still helpful if you don't know. I was taught when I was 13 but I remember my dad telling me all that stuff still.
  11. WScottCross

    WScottCross Well-Known Member

    Gear RPM
    Ratio 1000 1500 1800 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500
    1 3.727 5 8 9 13 15 18 20 23 25 28 30 33
    2 2.098 9 13 16 22 27 31 36 40 45 49 54 58
    3 1.357 14 21 25 35 41 48 55 62 69 76 83 90
    4 1.03 18 27 33 46 55 64 73 82 91 100 109 118
    5 0.821 23 34 41 57 69 80 91 103 114 126 137 148
    6 0.69 27 41 49 68 82 95 109 122 136 149 163 177
    R 3.818 5 7 9 12 15 17 20 22 25 27 29 32

    This table shows the speeds (in MPH) for each gear at the engine RPMs in each column. The top end for 5th and 6th are theoretical and cannot be achieved in our cars. This may help if you really want to watch the tach. As everyone else said, you'll get the feel of it and won't need to look at the tach to figure it out.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
    Bluto and CarefreeAZ like this.
  12. brian

    brian Member

    Just found out I'm off tomorrow. I'd be happy to let you come down and take me for a spin and I'll tell you what I think lol!
  13. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    Shift Indicator
    It will illuminate to inform you
    that shifting to a higher gear may
    give better fuel economy and
    lower CO2 emissions. It will not illuminate
    during periods of high acceleration, braking
    or when the clutch pedal is pressed.
  14. reddog99

    reddog99 Active Member

    If you watch that shift indicator light, you'll see it appear a LOT sooner than the speeds listed in the manual. I've been trying to figure if that indicator is hard wired or if it's smart, that is, does the shift speed vary according to load (like going uphill)???
  15. CarefreeAZ

    CarefreeAZ Active Member

    I'm not crazy about the lowest gear either because the 1-2 shift come just too quick for me. I spend more time in 3rd and 4th around town because the power comes up quick enough to avoid frequent downshifting.
  16. CarefreeAZ

    CarefreeAZ Active Member

    Unless the roadway is damp, I switch to sport mode as soon as the tire temps come up.
  17. Noah

    Noah Member

    When I'm lazy I just use the little arrows on the shift display. This was my first car and I also learned how to drive a stick on it.
  18. Noah

    Noah Member

    Also you can really feel the power after 3000rpm in the high gears because around then is when the turbo kicks in. Do whatever feels best for you. I'm still working on what the right rpm for downshifting is though because i'm rubbish at heel-toeing.
  19. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

  20. kvetcha

    kvetcha Active Member

    More torque will make the car more difficult to launch properly, I imagine. It already has tons low in the rev range.

    Not to say it wouldn't be fun, but I don't know that it would help much with first gear. First gear is short because first gear is short.
  21. mcummings182

    mcummings182 Member

    I wish they would have just made 1st gear more powerful. That would make everything so much better.

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