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driving without clutch, good or bad?

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08 May 2011, 03:44 pm
ProDigit's Avatar
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Question driving without clutch, good or bad?

I've noted on my PT cruiser, there's a small window when the RPM of the engine is about right with the speed of the transmission ax towards the wheels, the gearstick goes into gear. Too soon and it'll not go in there, too late and the stick will get rejected, worst case the cogwheels will start cracking.

I presume it's a safety system within the gearbox preventing from abusing it, but I don't know if it's safe to rely on it for your average driving.?

So I wanted to know if it's good or bad to drive without clutch, provided you do it the right way?

That is, for all gears except the first where you need to use the clutch pedal to get into gear; and assuming the car does not jolt or make any cracking sound every time you get into gear.?

Thanks!
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Last edited by ProDigit; 08 May 2011 at 03:46 pm.
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Old 08 May 2011, 05:18 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

Driving a manual without the clutch can be done, however it is not advised. Professional big rig drivers do it all the time, it's called floating the gear.

Unless you are quite experienced, with hundreds of hours behind the wheel of your particular vehicle, I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 08 May 2011, 06:24 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

heh!
And yet it's a technique so simple you can learn it after 1 or 2 hours driving!
I don't think you need 100's of hours of 'experience', perhaps 100's of hours of experience driving regular, but most people have that before they start this technique!
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Old 08 May 2011, 07:05 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

The issue here is that you're relying on your ability to match the speed of the engine to the speed of the trans. If you aren't dead perfect every time, you'll toast your synchros in a flash.

I understand the need to 'powershift' when racing, but this technique should only be used in an emergency (stuck on a railroad) or if your clutch fails..

And yet again, I don't understand why you ask a question and then criticize people when they answer your questions.

In this case, the previous poster is correct. To touch on your assertion, you can LEARN the process in an hour or two, but to be able to EFFECTIVELY perform the task without damaging your vehicle and subsequently coming on here, posting a thread on how to rebuild your trans, can take quite a long time to learn. Don't be ignorant, please. You come on a forum asking for advice, and people are providing it to you. Say thank you, or don't say anything at all, and move along.
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Old 08 May 2011, 08:25 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

I used to do it all the time in a couple of old dogs I was driving. If you can get the timing right and not grind, you're a-okay. Doesn't hurt a thing.
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Old 08 May 2011, 09:39 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

2x on what Chrome said.
Been doing it for years. Except for starting from a stop and down shifting to slow down, 80% of the time I "slap shift". I won't own a automatic car, I like to drive it! Never owned one in my life. Funny how in the US bout' 85% of cars are automatics and overseas it's the exact opposite.
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Old 08 May 2011, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris15 View Post
I understand the need to 'powershift' when racing,
If anything, this is NOT for racing.
It takes time for the engine to rev down; and even if you're good, it's much quicker with a clutch pedal on a PT cruizer!
The only benefit is to save the clutch while driving.

Quote:
but this technique should only be used in an emergency (stuck on a railroad) or if your clutch fails..
Those are moments NOT to use them!
You can't start a car without a clutch, only shift in to another gear when in motion.

Quote:
And yet again, I don't understand why you ask a question and then criticize people when they answer your questions.
I want the truth, not opinions.

Quote:
In this case, the previous poster is correct. To touch on your assertion, you can LEARN the process in an hour or two, but to be able to EFFECTIVELY perform the task without damaging your vehicle and subsequently coming on here, posting a thread on how to rebuild your trans, can take quite a long time to learn. Don't be ignorant, please. You come on a forum asking for advice, and people are providing it to you. Say thank you, or don't say anything at all, and move along.
Other people don't think he was correct though.
I think it's ok to disagree! I'm sorry if you find it's not.

I'm not really concerned about using the technique 100% correctly, there is sufficient protection in the gearbox to only shift at the right speeds (plus or minus 5-10%). I'm more concerned about the reliability of that safety system, than about the use of the technique.
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Old 09 May 2011, 01:58 am
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
If anything, this is NOT for racing.
It takes time for the engine to rev down; and even if you're good, it's much quicker with a clutch pedal on a PT cruizer!
The only benefit is to save the clutch while driving.
And like I said, the clutch is there to save your synchros while driving.


Quote:
Those are moments NOT to use them!
You can't start a car without a clutch, only shift in to another gear when in motion.
You can start the car 'without a clutch' (*), but that wasn't what I was referring to. This same method can be used if the car refuses to go into gear when in an emergency situation-- but you're right, DON'T do this, and just sit on the tracks. Definitely the better option of the two.

(* Newer cars have a safety switch that simply requires the PEDAL to be actuated in order to start the car.. you CAN start a car with the clutch engaged if necessary [not safe at all], so long as you depress the clutch pedal.)

Quote:
I want the truth, not opinions.
You got the truth. You can learn the method in an hour or two but to be able to properly perform the task, it takes time.


Quote:
Other people don't think he was correct though.
I think it's ok to disagree! I'm sorry if you find it's not.
Nobody else had posted yet! I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with anything on a board-- it's the WAY you disagree with people. Don't make a thread and act like an expert on the subject. The point of a forum is to be open to opinions and suggestions.

Quote:
I'm not really concerned about using the technique 100% correctly, there is sufficient protection in the gearbox to only shift at the right speeds (plus or minus 5-10%). I'm more concerned about the reliability of that safety system, than about the use of the technique.
Protection in the gearbox? It's the SYNCHROS that grind when you either: a) aren't at the right speed, or b) force the car into gear.. the PROTECTION lies in a brass ring that you're beating the shit out of if not performing it properly. That's a fact.
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Old 09 May 2011, 07:08 am
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

going back to the original question.

yes it's possible to do it, no I wouldn't recommend doing so during normal driving conditions...

I say this mainly because it's not necessary. Truthfully, how much time does it take to depress the clutch, make your gear change, then release the clutch? Now compare the amount of time it takes to get the engine and tranny up to the proper speed..

personal opinion. I wouldn't do it, I'd use the clutch... unfortunately in my PT I've got the automatic, so it's not an issue...

Exco
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Old 09 May 2011, 07:35 am
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Default Re: driving without clutch, good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris15 View Post
Don't make a thread and act like an expert on the subject. The point of a forum is to be open to opinions and suggestions.
Actually, the feeling is mutual!
If you want to be an expert, abide by your own rules, and let people have their opinions without bitching about them having to change their lives just because their answer don't suit your perfect policy on a forum member!
No one said you had to respond this thread, and your advise on how I supposedly need to act is even less appreciated!
Thank you!

I never said I was an 'expert' in this, nor acting like one. That's from your own opinion. However I'm the one trying the system, and I'm the one reading up on tens (if not hundreds) of posts of people who do this on their own vehicles. I know many would try to give untried opinions, and I'm just wading through them, testing them with counter arguments.

When I started this thread, I did not know much of the answer. While it takes time for people to respond I was searching online, as well as driving around using this method, and from the hundreds of responses I've read, it seems a kind of 'safe' practice to do on this particular car. 80% of responses seem to indicate it.

At the moment it's a bit hard for me to see how a "brass ring" could be the only thing holding this transmission together from this style of use!

You see, that's the problem with theorists; they theorize about a whole bunch of things, thinking they're the expert, and if they find someone with an other opinion they start accusing them (like acting like an expert) just because people don't take their answer as from the almighty!

Well I don't care, I'm merely writing my findings on the subject!

I've tested this system and practice shows there's very little to fear, as long as the car does not jolt, or the cogwheels do not start grinding.
Jolting basically from pushing the gearstick in too hard. Grinding from pushing the gearstick too soft.
The jolt experienced by pushing the stick too hard, is lower than the jolt a slow rolling car gets on it's transmission when putting it into park.

The more prominent problem lies not with any 'brass ring' but with the cogwheels grinding. Even at little speed difference it seems the cogwheels still grind once or twice. Doing that over a million of shifts, one may end up with chipped off, or worn off cogwheels; which are more expensive to replace than changing the clutch!

Now that would have been valuable information to have included in an answer!

So basically I found one answer to part of my own question.



The other part, still not answered on this thread is, if the safety system that prevents me going into gear when having a wrong RPM, if it's a secure system, to be relied upon, or if it's prone to failing after a while.
I remember with old cars (cars from the 50's and 60's) you could grind the transmission because there was no safety. You could be driving at 40mph in fourth gear, and shift to first or second (and never get the correct engine rpms) and still push the shift trying to get into gear, grinding like crazy!

It's that system I actually want to know more about!
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