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Old 01-18-2009, 09:53 PM   #1
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Learning to rev match downshift .. any tips?

Trying to learn some better driving technique to turn faster, and help make my clutch last longer .. and honestly just having more fun driving. LOL.

Rev match downshift (without braking ) is the first one I'm practicing? Not sure if this is even a good starting place.

Here's what I learned is the proper procedure:

1. Clutch in
2. Foot down on gas to quickly blip throttle to proper rpm .. learn by experience to hear when engine is at proper rpm
3. Shift to new gear
4. Lift foot off gas to end blip
5. With clutch in, and gas off, then start normal shifting procedure of lift off clutch and modulating gas again

I cant really do this right now, my mind is set to declutch when I put gas down, so I'm mis-shifting a lot.

So I'm trying to learn by breaking it down to granny shifting .. this is basically what I'm doing ..

1. Clutch in
2. Shift to neutral
3. De clutch so car is just coasting.

Then ..

4. Blip throttle
5. Clutch in again
6. Shift.

Any tip for a beginner trying to learn? Its my first day and I feel like such a failure. I havent even tried to heel and toe on a turn yet. LOL.


Last edited by nefarious986; 01-18-2009 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:46 AM   #2
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Don't feel bad, it takes MUCH longer than a day to get down. Your "granny shifting" is actually the classic double clutch downshift. Clutch in, neutral, clutch out, blip, clutch in, select new gear, clutch out. The classic method actually results in smoother shift than the first tecnique you described, which I call a Pseudo double clutch downshift. But when braking hard you don't always have time to double clutch (unless you skip gears).

I most often use the pseudo tecnique, clutch in, blip, select new gear, clutch out.

I find it's actually harder to do on the street than on the race track. On track your always braking hard, so the shift points are consistant. On the street there's so many combinations of speed, RPM, and gear selection, it's hard to always get the "proper" blip.

Keep at it, it just takes time. I find nothing more exciting than a properly executed downshift that just falls perfectly in place!

Steve
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:53 AM   #3
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The difference in revs between gears is about 1200rpm. When downshifting from 3500rpm I will blip to about 5000 and select the gear. When I get it right the shift is seamless. When I get it wrong it's uh... awkward.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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Somthing that I have learned

One thing that I have picked up from driving my car all over the place is that you have to do a lot more tap dancing on the pedals if you don't have sport pedals installed. The art of "heel toe" is just about impossible for stock pedals, so that is my next up grade. To rev match downshift isn't too tough, but I do agree it definately takes longer than a day.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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Besides practice, having the right pedals helps. But what is often overlooked is having the right shoes. A good pair of driving shoes will help tremendously. the flat bottom and rounded heel and soft sole give you good feel, grip and modulation.

It took me about 2 years to go from noob to natural as breathing, keep practicing.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:13 AM   #6
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Here are some suggestions:

Start your practice when downshifting form 4th to 3rd. The higher gears are easier to shift between because the greater rotational inertia of the wheels when traveling at faster speeds tends to smooth out RPM differences during shifting.

Before you go right into your practicing do this.
1) In 4th gear do a steady 40 mph
2) Look at the tach and note the RPM in 4th at 40
3) Shift to 3rd and bring your speed back to 40 mph
4) Look at the tach and note the RPM in 3rd at 40

Now you are ready for a little practice

1) Get up to 40 in 4th
2) With your foot steady on the gas push in the clutch
3) Put the tranny in 3rd (clutch still in, foot still steady on the gas)
4) Look at the tach and bring the revs up to the RPM you noted in step 4 abive
5) Smoothly release the clutch

The key is that you DO NOT BLIP the throttle but squeeze it to increase revs from a steady amount in 4th to a steady amount in 3rd.

Practice this until you can do it instinctively and quickly. Once you have the confidence of doing a steady speed downshift work on doing it while slowing down by coasting.

By the way - each pair of gears has a different RPM difference, not the 1200 RPM you mention. In general the lower gears have bigger gaps than the higher gears and this varies from car to car.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:41 AM   #7
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watching the pros

I like the "squeezing" the throttle technique suggestion but around Laguna Seca (my kind of driving) you really do not have all the time in the world to down shift. However, watching a real pro drive a car at an extremely high speed on a winding road with a camera on his feet, I noticed that he blips with every rev match he does. You can see it for yourself on any Best Motoring video and his name is Keiichi Tsuchiya. He's the kinda old guy not he older than dirt guy.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:17 AM   #8
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Blipping is imho done after selecting the next gear and before the clutch goes up. In practice I do it in parallel, i.e clutch in, selectnext gear AND blip, clutch up.

When you have mastered that, then try braking at the same time.
1. Brake hard with the top of your foot before a corner in high revs
2. Clutch in (during braking)
3. Blip the throttle with the bottom/heel of your feet AND select down gear with your hand - (still braking and clutch in)
4. Clutch up
5. Brake up
6. Steer into corner

Then for the fun part extend this to:
1 till 4 above
Steer quickly in opposite direction of corner
Steer into corner hard
Release break
Catch slide by opposite lock / steering
Put the throtle down hard and balance slide with steer and throtle




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Old 01-19-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk
Blipping is imho done after selecting the next gear and before the clutch goes up. In practice I do it in parallel, i.e clutch in, selectnext gear AND blip, clutch up.

When you have mastered that, then try braking at the same time.
1. Brake hard with the top of your foot before a corner in high revs
2. Clutch in (during braking)
3. Blip the throttle with the bottom/heel of your feet AND select down gear with your hand - (still braking and clutch in)
4. Clutch up
5. Brake up
6. Steer into corner
this is pretty much the technique i use, except that i use the side of my foot to blip the throttle rather than my heel.

one thing to practice that leads to the above technique: while coasting in gear, give the throttle a SLIGHT blip while simultaneously pulling the shifter into neutral WITHOUT the clutch. if you do this right, the lever will easily slide out of gear.

for me, necessity was the mother of invention: when i was a teenager, i had a car that would stall out unless i stayed on the gas. to keep the motor alive, i learned to work the brake and gas with one foot. this lead to heel & toe; i do this ALWAYS, track or not.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the good words and advices friends. I just need a lot more practice. My head right now seems to want to declutch when my foot is on the gas to bleep. LOL.

Its so much fun and makes downshift so smooth when you get it right though, I cant imagine not doing it with every single downshift if I can do it properly.

Insite: Wouldn't your technique of blipping the throttle then shifting without clutch harm the tranny ?

Last edited by nefarious986; 01-19-2009 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:20 PM   #11
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I think it just takes practice because to me it's just by feel/sound, but I couldn't specifically explain it. My mom went over it a lot with me when I was learning to drive so I guess I should consider myself lucky to have had the benefit of getting the hang of it in her Volvo.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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If you are interested, search "downshift heal toe" on youtube.com. There is even one video of Senna in a white NSX with a camera showing his feet.

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Old 01-20-2009, 12:43 AM   #13
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Yeah, youtube is a good resource to watch, although there's also 5 min videos of some random guy showing you how to downshift .. just a regular downshift .. and him practicing it. LOL.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Shifting into neutral without the clutch won't hurt anything as long as there's no load on the transmission from either acceleration or deceleration. You actually don't need to blip at all for the 1st downshift. For example: cruising in 4th with light throttle, lightly "preload" the shifter towards neutral with your hand, lift off of the gas, and the shifter will pop into neutral when the load is released from the engine/transmission.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #15
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As others have suggested, the best way in the beginning to learn these techniques is to find an open, straight, safe road, and learn how to smoothly move from 4th to 3rd. Once you've gotten comfortable with this, you now work on other transitions, and at different speeds.

You'll find quickly that in "real life" situations, such as approaching a corner that requires braking while shifting, that you'll need to add in heel-and-toe technique to your downshifting. You'll need to experiement with what kind of foot placement works best for you (depends on your feet, flexibility, pedal configuration, etc. ). As your comfort level and ability grow, you can progress to using these techniques under more and more difficult situations, including on the track.

Learning the basics won't take long - becoming proficient will take longer - real mastery can take years. I'm still working on improving my techniques and I've had cars with manual boxes for 30 years.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by nefarious986
Thanks for all the good words and advices friends. I just need a lot more practice. My head right now seems to want to declutch when my foot is on the gas to bleep. LOL.

Its so much fun and makes downshift so smooth when you get it right though, I cant imagine not doing it with every single downshift if I can do it properly.

Insite: Wouldn't your technique of blipping the throttle then shifting without clutch harm the tranny ?



One thing is certain, these are expensive learning vehicles, thank god growing up we had throw down VW's , Fiat 600's , 850's and 124's to speed shift and tear apart before they went to the junkyard. Much easier to learn when it doesn't matter if you blow her up! Having said that, I agree with the other poster who noted it's a lifelong refinement and different with different cars, maybe someday when I'm working again, I'l acquire the PDK and the search for the perfect shift will be over Johnny!!!

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Old 01-20-2009, 12:09 PM   #17
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Another tip to note here is how you actually use the lever to engage the gear you're downshifting to. For the smoothest and lowest effort engagement, try the following (4-3 downshift example):

1. Lift and declutch, push lever out of 4th into neutral (fingertips or open palm, easy movement, hand stays on lever)
2. Blip throttle (blip should bring engine speed above matching speed for 3rd engagement - you figure this out by sound, feel, experience, etc.)
3. Push lever towards 3rd until you feel synchro engagement (fingertips or open palm)
4. Increase pressure until revs match and the lever slips into gear (heel of your palm)
5. Release clutch smoothly (a subject in itself) to complete the shift.

This method is in opposition to simply pushing the lever straight through from neutral into 3rd. The brief pause against the synchro assures the speeds are matched and wear is minimized, as well as smooth engagement.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:16 PM   #18
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Like EERacing says, most of us "old timers" learned on cheap cars. Me, it was a Honda Accord. You just need to take it easy and build up your skills if you're starting with your new Porsche.

One of my girlfriends had a VW Bug with a 4-speed manual that I used to drive. The synchros were completely shot so I had to learn how to double-clutch to downshift without grinding. The clutch would also come out of adjustment regularly, so I also learned how to upshift without using the clutch, and eventually, how to downshift without the clutch, too. I also had to learn how to get it home when the clutch wouldn't declutch at all, which is exciting at stoplights (stall it at the light, put it in gear, release the clutch, and turn the key when the light turns green).
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:40 PM   #19
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Like EERacing says, most of us "old timers" learned on cheap cars. Me, it was a Honda Accord. You just need to take it easy and build up your skills if you're starting with your new Porsche.

One of my girlfriends had a VW Bug with a 4-speed manual that I used to drive. The synchros were completely shot so I had to learn how to double-clutch to downshift without grinding. The clutch would also come out of adjustment regularly, so I also learned how to upshift without using the clutch, and eventually, how to downshift without the clutch, too. I also had to learn how to get it home when the clutch wouldn't declutch at all, which is exciting at stoplights (stall it at the light, put it in gear, release the clutch, and turn the key when the light turns green).

Hey PB, are you old enough to remember rolling clutch starts? Great for sneaking away for whatever reason you might need to sneak away...
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:44 PM   #20
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When my father taught me how to drive, he took me to quiet hilly roads and we did things you wouldn't normally do in everyday driving but really got me moving forward in leaps and bounds with the manual concepts. The best was to hold the car with the clutch [instead of brakes] on an incline. Then he would say, OK move forward [more gas, slowly letting clutch out/engaging] then hold it, then go backwards x feet [disengage clutch], then throttle and engage, hold, etc. Working up and down gears and learning good throttle and clutch management, on an incline, is brilliant training.

Great comments here on down shifting. I didn't realize it was such an art, or a ballet if you will. Now I will be mentally grading myself to see if I am actually doing it in the steps described.

I especially think heel/toe training at the onset is smart. I forget to do it, until I need it. NOT a ballet on my part.

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