MR2 SpyderChat banner
21 - 40 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
I don't think that it was ever about the experience. There was a time when the manual was the only option for performance and efficiency. The automatics got the advantage through two angles. The mechanical efficiency improved to the point where the torque converter could give a better combined torque curve than a typical manual, and with the faster shifting time, an automatic could provide comparable performance. Where the autos really beat out the manuals was in overall efficiency. With the advent of electronic controllers and electronic throttles, it is possible to fit an automatic with a set of super overdrive gears that a human driver would never use. That is why we have pretty much ordinary cars that get 40+ MPG. They do this by cruising at 1000 RPM when conditions are right.
Manual gearboxes have the best pure-mechanical efficiency of any transmission type. DCT's, CVT's and conventional automatics all have direct-driven oil pumps inside that yield extra parasitic losses compared to just gears. Also manual geaboxes weigh less than the alternatives. It is a shame that you can't get as tall of a top-gear ratio (or as many gears) with manual transmission as you can with a modern automatic, and that certainly helps with measured fuel mileage. One of the biggest reasons why manual gearboxes in modern vehicles usually have poorer EPA rated fuel mileage than the automatics is the way the regulations prescribe that way a manual transmission has to be shifted for the tests. They have to be shifted at certain speeds without regard for shifting at the most efficient speed and load. That is why it is easy for a skilled driver to beat the EPA rated MPG in a manual transmission vehicle by 20%.
 

·
Registered
2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Find a street with parking that's mostly flat but also has a mild incline
Pull up to the curb right before the incline, stop, and put it in first gear
Slowly let out the clutch until it starts to grab and moves the car forward (no gas!)
Immediately put in the clutch, and let the car roll back to the starting position
Repeat until the engagement point is muscle memory
I am going to do that today. Several YouTube stress the point about muscle memory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
Rather striking (and telling) the comments about automatics. The SMT is nót an automatic. It is a manual with an automatic clutch. Same gearbox, same clutch so technically the same as the MT. It even has a stick to shift up and down with. It is but a detail.
Automatic, CVT, PDK...all the same functionally from a driver perspective compared to a manual trans. Don't miss the forest for the trees.

When teaching ppl to drive manual I usually use at least 1/4 tank of gas just getting then to hold the revs at 1500 - 2k. It helps teach right foot pedal control& is needed for hill starts. Then on level ground move onto 1 foot starting from a stop (obviously using just clutch). Lastly, combine all of those & actual shifting. It takes longer & ppl 'just want to do it already' but IME ppl drive much smoother far quicker when they focus on 1 pedal/foot at a time then combine that with the shifter.

Just jumping in seems to eat up clutches much quicker as you tend to instantly do all the bad habits to just get the car moving (excessive revving, clutch slipping/dumping, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
Beejeezus :rolleyes: That is not a view but a blindness.
Blindness is not understanding the difference between HAVING a manual transmission & DRIVING one...aka forest & trees. I would guess you have an SMT as only someone with one would even bring up such a misguided point in a thread like this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
You state that all non MT are the same from the driver´s point of view.
Apart from SMT being an MT, yours is an ignorant opinion ´based´ on bias, not experience nor practical understanding:
Not mý problem; tant pis.

The mind is like a parachute; works best when open.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
For those with SMT and missing a ´launch´, find yourself a nice gravel road. Rev it to 3K in neutral at standstill and flick the stick into drive. Without LSD best a wider gravel stretch.
The inconsiderate load on the clutch/drive train is the same as ´dropping´ the clutch by foot operation. Box and clutch are the same. It is just that the ECU is more sensitive at clutch operation than the human lower limb.
Works on tarmac too. Just makes little/no sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I got my 2003 MR2 with the SMT back from DD Performance Research a few days ago. My car now has a manual tranny. I will never talk crap about people who drive a manual tranny! I know how hard it is to find parts for the SMT, so I decided to go with the manual tranny. I'm 57 years old and I had a crash course on driving a manual 19 years ago when I started selling cars. The old guy that taught me gave me 10 mins to figure it out or walk back to the dealership. I got the jest of it, so I didn't have to walk.

In those 19 years, I could count the times I drove a manual car. Other salespeople would ask who could drive a manual car and I would jump at the opportunity to do so. Driving around a parking lot is NOT the same as driving on the street. I've watched several YouTube videos on driving a manual car like 100 times to refresh my memory. Took my car out for a late-night drive, I missed the last few inns of the Astros game, hoping the traffic would be light. I forgot I live in Houston, home of the 2022 World Series Champions, where there is always traffic. I didn't stall but several short-tempered people blew at me and gave me the finger for taking too long to pull away at the light. I really need to work on the pulling away from a stop and 2nd to 3rd shifting. Not smooth at all. Down shifting at the right time needs work too.

It was a little overwhelming at first. There's a lot going on all at once and my simple brain was overloaded. Overtime I will get the hang of it or blow something up on the car. If you see an old man in a 2003 Silver MR2 driving like a noob, it's me. Be gentle and this is why I will never talk crap about people who drive a manual tranny!
You should not learn on major streets with traffic lights, that adds too many other things into the mix.

Large empty parking lots are ideal. Let the car idle and slowly let the clutch out until you can smoothly get the car moving. That may take 10-100 times to get right. Once you do, then go through the gears. Rinse and repeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
For those with SMT and missing a ´launch´, find yourself a nice gravel road. Rev it to 3K in neutral at standstill and flick the stick into drive. Without LSD best a wider gravel stretch.
The inconsiderate load on the clutch/drive train is the same as ´dropping´ the clutch by foot operation. Box and clutch are the same. It is just that the ECU is more sensitive at clutch operation than the human lower limb.
Works on tarmac too. Just makes little/no sense.


You state that all non MT are the same from the driver´s point of view.
Apart from SMT being an MT, yours is an ignorant opinion ´based´ on bias, not experience nor practical understanding:
Not mý problem; tant pis.

The mind is like a parachute; works best when open.
That is a hell of a lot to say "Yes, I do in fact have an SMT & take it personally when someone tells me I don't drive a manual car"

It is what it is.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: RedstoneGarage

·
Registered
2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I didn't mean to start a SMT/MT battle here. They both have pros and cons. If my SMT won't have failed, I would be a little less stressed driving. Can we all just get along.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,951 Posts
You should not learn on major streets with traffic lights, that adds too many other things into the mix.

Large empty parking lots are ideal. Let the car idle and slowly let the clutch out until you can smoothly get the car moving. That may take 10-100 times to get right. Once you do, then go through the gears. Rinse and repeat.
I agree; learning to get going in first gear without touching the gas pedal is a great way to get an initial feel for the clutch without burning up the clutch. Do it in an empty parking lot.
 

·
Registered
2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I took a drive last night and I was able to down shift properly, no stalls but went for 5th to 2nd. Luckly, I was slowing down. Otherwise, I would be looking for a motor. Time to go to the empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice! My resting heart rate is around 78. After driving it was 119. Either I'm stressed or excited!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
5th -->2nd is my favorite downshift for sure. Be aware of your speed because its easy to over-rev. I'd stick to 1 gear downshift, then 2 & so on. You should work on getting to know how each speed corresponds to rpm in each gear & what the max speed for each gear is. Most ppl only get lucky once when dropping into too low of a gear

3rd gear is always the easiest to find so going 4th or 5th -->3rd is easy & reliable when you absolutely need a downshift asap (unless you're already hauling ass on the highway).
 

·
Registered
2003 MR2 with the SMT. Front: 205/45/16, Rear 215/40/17. Sport Tuning T9-2 Black Mach Lip Wheels
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Is there a gated shift plate for the MR2? Asking for a friend.
 

·
Registered
2002 MR2 Spyder 1zz
Joined
·
130 Posts
Good on you for going for it! I've been watching the process of your Spyder on Instagram for ages and was hoping you'd have a good experience diving into driving stick.

The Spyder is a lovely car to drive stick, even without much practice. The clutch isn't too heavy, gears usually find themselves pretty well, nice feeling to the shifts, too, imo. Try hanging out in the car and simply toying through the gears with the motor off to become more comfortable with where each gear is - the more elements you can let muscle memory handle, the easier it seems to be. Practice slowly letting out the clutch to get it moving without throttle; it helps with feeling the catch point. Personally, I drove barefoot back when I taught myself and still prefer it - it really gives you better feedback due to having nothing between you and the pedal.

One way or another, you'll get the hang of it!
 
21 - 40 of 53 Posts
Top