T Nation

Racing Start W/ Manual Transmission

I’ve never owned a manual transmission car before, but I just bought a WRX sport wagon after my Cherokee was totaled two weeks ago. I’m making an effort to learn the finer points of driving with a MT, but I’m still slow with the shifts.

So, how do I get a good start when I want to race the tuner boy in the car next to me, or merge quickly from a dead stop? They really don’t cover this well in the manual! Preferably without burning up my clutch or screwing up the trans. FYI it redlines at about 6.5K.

Why are you asking this on a bodybuilding[lifting forum? There ae plenty of Subie sites you could hit up. Are you looking to total your WRX as well? Street-racing is a quick way to do it.

It’s an all wheel drive car, rev it up to around 5k, then dump the clutch. It’s not the nicest thing you can do for your car, but it will get you off the line quick.

Practice practice practice! Try launching at about 2500 RPM. Do not just dump the clutch. Rev the motor to about 2500 and let out on the clutch smoothly while pushing on the gas at an equal pace. Kind of like an old scale.
Wheel spin is going to happen. Are you turbo charged?

Plus, you’re not going to do “racing starts” and not burn up clutch. Hard use equals early replacement or repair.

Well you didn’t pick the easiest to learn with. It has a stiff clutch and needs to be revved significantly to launch.

Dumping the clutch is pretty much all you can do if you’re talking about racing or lighting up the tires from a stand still. Rev it up to about 4 or 5 grand…Then drop the clutch real quick while hitting the gas.

Just make sure if you dump the clutch, you figure out at what RPM you’ll spin tires. You dont want to do this while youre sitting on a ramp waiting to merge. If you’re going to be racing, light them up first, then drop the clutch.

PS… Why do you stop on the ramp trying to merge?

  1. Invest in performance driving school.

  2. Spend some time on the WRX forums. There are a few good ones out there. Clubwrx.net, nasioc.com, etc.

  3. DO NOT REV UP AND DROP THE CLUTCH IN A WRX. THE TRANSMISSION WILL BREAK.

  4. One more thing. Don’t street race. It is an immature act that kills people every year. I consider it as dumb as drunk driving. Keep in mind that a car is as dangerous as a loaded gun.

Congrats on purchasing a fine automobile. It is truly one of my dream cars. Please treat her well.

Chris

I don’t know exactly about the scooby clutch, but I used to have an eclipse gsx (another awd car). The eclips clutch had a damper on it so it would not just slam shut. When you stepped off the clutch, you got just enough slip to keep from breaking transmission/axle/transfer case parts. I would get my best launches by revving that thing up to 5 or 6k, and dumping the clutch. You’d get a little tire chirp and a whiff of clutch, then you’d be gone as soon as the turbo spooled up. I suprised more than a few v8’s with that thing.

Yeah. I own a WRX. Don’t do any drop clutch starts unless you’re willing to shell out the $$$ for clutch/tranny damage. The AWD makes it very difficult to achieve any slip, so you may throw a rod.

That said, I wouldn’t push it above 4 or 5k if you really feel the urge.

Thanks for the tips on preserving my clutch and trans, it is probably something I’m just thinking too much about, since in the past day or so I’ve become a lot more comfortable with the clutch. Not into street racing, but I just want to know how to beat somebody off the line pretty good, you know my wagon has got that ‘stealth’ factor which makes it more fun!

I did check out naisoc.com, but those guys seemed to be seriously into rallying, talking about heel/toe, and left foot braking, I would have felt stupid with such a noob question, figured this was as good a place as any to ask. BTW, the rex wagon is an awesome car and great value, I would recommend it to anyone!

[quote]andytipton wrote:
Thanks for the tips on preserving my clutch and trans, it is probably something I’m just thinking too much about, since in the past day or so I’ve become a lot more comfortable with the clutch. Not into street racing, but I just want to know how to beat somebody off the line pretty good, you know my wagon has got that ‘stealth’ factor which makes it more fun!

I did check out naisoc.com, but those guys seemed to be seriously into rallying, talking about heel/toe, and left foot braking, I would have felt stupid with such a noob question, figured this was as good a place as any to ask. BTW, the rex wagon is an awesome car and great value, I would recommend it to anyone![/quote]

This may not apply to you, but I’ve noticed that alot of people never really learn to “feel” what’s going on through their clutch peddle. Like when I first started driving I’d watch the tach while letting the clutch out because I needed that visual cue to keep 'er going. After a while you getter a better feel, literally, through your foot and you can work the clutch and throttle in concert with that feedback alone. Seems like alot of people I’ve seen never learn to do that and they use too many rpm’s and too much clutch slippage on all their starts and gear changes.

Course, I grew up driving a beater Ford with an in-line 6, so driving anything smaller then a Caddy feels like a gokart to me… so what do I know.

rrjc…Well I hope I didn’t give the image that I was stopping on on-ramps, which is one of my pet peaves. But I was trying to say, in traffic there are situations where a very quick start is necessary.

Kratos, no I’m not looking to total my new car, thanks for asking, as an 86 year old lady running a red light did that to my very nice 5.9 Grand Cherokee, not me.

[quote]andytipton wrote:
rrjc…Well I hope I didn’t give the image that I was stopping on on-ramps, which is one of my pet peaves. But I was trying to say, in traffic there are situations where a very quick start is necessary.

Kratos, no I’m not looking to total my new car, thanks for asking, as an 86 year old lady running a red light did that to my very nice 5.9 Grand Cherokee, not me.

[/quote]

I see. That’s good,man(not the old bag, the fact that you have some sense). Turbo cars are kind of tricky to launch. You can power-brake to spool up the turbo and launch as well. It’s a bit tricky with a MT, though, but it can be done. Also, it’s not great for the driveline either, but not much fun stuff is.