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Old 02-07-2006, 05:32 AM   #1
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Gear Shifting 101

This may sound silly but I taught myself how to drive stick in 2000 on a 3 series but still have a few questions as I don't want to hurt this car:

Is it OK to start the car (2005 non S boxster) in 2nd gear for most circumstances (as long as it is not up hill)?
The manual says not to "lug" the engine. What does it mean to "lug" the engine?
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Old 02-07-2006, 05:38 AM   #2
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I am by no means an expert, but I think the Boxster gearing is not conducive to 2nd gear starts unless you are drifting down hill.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:08 AM   #3
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Hi,

You lug the engine when you try to accelerate in too high a gear . You make the Engine work harder than it's supposed to. Just like you would work harder if you rode a bicycle up a steep hill in 12th gear as opposed to first gear.

When the engine is over-worked, it overheats. The way it overheats is that the temperature inside the cylinders gets too high. When that happens, the Air/Fuel mixture which is supposed to combust as the spark plug fires, detonates unpredictably before the Spark occurs. That's called pinging , when those detonations make a sound like marbles rolling around.

And, under the worst of circumstances, you can also get piston slap, which is a clunky noise. Because you are getting uneven combustion inside the cylinder (the detonation doesn't necessarily happen at the right time or in the right spot), the explosion can force the piston off to one side when it descends during the power stroke. When that happens repeatedly, the cylinder walls get all scraped up, and over time, your Engine becomes less powerful, more noisey and will start to burn Oil prematurely.

It's important when Starting from a Stop to Rev the Engine sufficiently to match the Load imposed on it. From a Stop, the Engine is not aided by Inertia or Momentum (it has no stored Energy to draw on), it has to do all the work itself (unlike a Gear Change while moving).

You need to select the gear which gives the Engine the Greatest Mechanical Advantage (which happens to be 1st) and give it sufficient Throttle that is, RPMs, to create enough Power to do the Work you're calling on it to do. Then Feather the Clutch until the Car starts to move, then as quickly as you can smoothly, release the Clutch entirely, all the while adding Throttle.

You can start out in 2nd Gear, if you give it enough Throttle, but this has the drawback of prematurely wearing the Clutch Disc as it will slip more until it can seat properly. Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 02-07-2006 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:12 AM   #4
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You can start in 2nd but your clutch won't last as long. 2nd gear starts require more slippage thus more clutch wear. Lugging the engine means using too high of a gear. Keep the rpms above 1,500 when driving around.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:17 AM   #5
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Luxury1, did you ask that question because you're experiencing occasional/frustrating/potentially dangerous lock-out in first gear of your 987 5-speed?

If so, there are some workarounds for that....
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD987
Luxury1, did you ask that question because you're experiencing occasional/frustrating/potentially dangerous lock-out in first gear of your 987 5-speed?

If so, there are some workarounds for that....
Actually I haven't experienced this just yet. Just learning the ropes with the transmission.
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD987
Luxury1, did you ask that question because you're experiencing occasional/frustrating/potentially dangerous lock-out in first gear of your 987 5-speed?

If so, there are some workarounds for that....

What is lock-out in first gear?
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:42 AM   #8
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The inability to push the shifter into first gear at inopportune moments, reported by myself and a couple of other over at ppbb.

Fortunately, this lock-out seems to be a rare flaw found in certain 5-speeds installed on 2005 987s (obviously, not the S model). There is a Porsche TSB where they realign the shifter for you, with mixed results. My guess is that the problem will go down in history as an isolated problem with the new Japanese tranny in the 987, that was "worked out" in subsequent builds and could be characterized as one of those minor glitches that frequently materialize in the early years of "new" models.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNBoxster
Hi, You lug the engine when ...
I do love your long, exhaustive, and teaching-oriented threads!

Luxury, the cliffnotes version is "Nope. Don't do it."
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Old 02-07-2006, 02:42 PM   #10
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I do love your long, exhaustive, and teaching-oriented threads!
Hey,

I don't have to do it... but for many years, a lot of Great People, a LOT Smarter than I took the time, and patience, to teach me.

I just feel like it's a form of repayment to them to pass it along, maybe lessen someone else's Learning Curve, and perhaps help people enjoy their experience more...

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Old 02-07-2006, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD987
The inability to push the shifter into first gear at inopportune moments, reported by myself and a couple of other over at ppbb.

Fortunately, this lock-out seems to be a rare flaw found in certain 5-speeds installed on 2005 987s (obviously, not the S model). There is a Porsche TSB where they realign the shifter for you, with mixed results. My guess is that the problem will go down in history as an isolated problem with the new Japanese tranny in the 987, that was "worked out" in subsequent builds and could be characterized as one of those minor glitches that frequently materialize in the early years of "new" models.
wow, I hadn't heard of that. Bummer.
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Old 02-08-2006, 05:03 AM   #12
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Thanks for all of the feedback! One more question, when you park you are supposed to leave it in gear but does it matter what gear?
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:58 AM   #13
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luxury1, there was some good (heated too!) discussions about this a few weeks ago. Maybe do a search. In general, park with the car in gear (1st.) and the parking brake set. Also adhear to up-hill & down-hill parking rules by turing the wheel direction into the curb (downhill) or away from the curb (uphill).
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:15 AM   #14
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how about this you are approaching a toll booth and its one of those where you don't have to stop just slow down long enough for the lazer to read your toll pass and you slow down almost to a stop but not quiet. I slip it into 2nd gear and roll on accelrating to 40 mph where I go into 3rd.
Is this wearing on the clutch or should I stop completely and start out of first gear?
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:54 PM   #15
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this is strange, I know that the gearing is different but on a tiptronic it always start in 2nd when automatic is chosen, and i know that on my S 2nd is no problem to start with
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Old 02-09-2006, 12:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by olly986
this is strange, I know that the gearing is different but on a tiptronic it always start in 2nd when automatic is chosen, and i know that on my S 2nd is no problem to start with
it's no problem if you're only cruising. if you're planning to "mash" on it, or just want a faster take off, i suggest clicking the "-" to downshift to 1st before taking off. that's what i do.
if you have a habit of putting the pedal to the medal in 2nd gear during take off, it might cause a problem in the long run.
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Old 02-09-2006, 06:35 AM   #17
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Perfectlap, I hope your scenario isn't hard on the clutch because I do it all the time. Rolling up to lights that are about to change is another case. You know that you probably won't have to come to a complete stop, but you'll be pretty close. I'll put it in neutral and roll in and if I don't have to come to a complete stop I just put it in the appropriate gear for the speed I am rolling at, blip the throttle to get the revs up and feather out the clutch. Correct me if I am wrong, but if you match the revs correctly it shouldn't have any impact on the clutch.

I know there is a contingent that says to downshift your way to a complete stop. That way you will always be in gear and able to react if necessary and will also be in the correct gear if you don't need to come to a complete stop. I do that sometimes but prefer to just put it in neutral (lazy, I guess). The worst case scenario is my wife, who puts it in neutral but keeps the clutch in. If she comes to a complete stop she keeps the clutch in, puts it in first and waits for the light to change. This is why the only time she drives my car is if we have been out and I have had a couple of drinks.

Btw, I am a "self-taught" shifter who learned in my 40's on my first boxster (may she rest in peace). In fact, my two boxsters (and a couple I test drove when looking for the second) are the only manual trannys I have ever driven. I guess I am spoiled. Anyway, I am sure I have many bad shifting habits and am always looking for advice to do it better, smoother and with less stress on the car. I really enjoy these periodic "shifting" threads and have actually learned quite alot from them.
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Old 02-09-2006, 06:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVOL
it's no problem if you're only cruising. if you're planning to "mash" on it, or just want a faster take off, i suggest clicking the "-" to downshift to 1st before taking off. that's what i do.
if you have a habit of putting the pedal to the medal in 2nd gear during take off, it might cause a problem in the long run.
Hi,

The Tiptronic S will shift into 1st gear while in Auto Mode (without selecting 'M' and then '-') if you want it to. When you depress the Accelerator fully, and quickly (Foot on Brake), you activate the Kick-Down Switch which will shift the tranny into 1st while still in Auto Select Mode.

It normally starts in 2nd because with the Torque Converter (which is also a Torque Multiplier) you won't Lug the Engine, so don't really need 1st gear for a normal start, and it gives the Tip S better MPG...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 02-10-2006, 07:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SD987
The inability to push the shifter into first gear at inopportune moments, reported by myself and a couple of other over at ppbb.

Fortunately, this lock-out seems to be a rare flaw found in certain 5-speeds installed on 2005 987s (obviously, not the S model).
I have this problem in my 987S 6 speed where I cannot shift from neutral into first gear when rolling (in neutral) above 4 or 5 mph. This is a problem because sometimes selecting second gear isn't an appropriate starting gear when rolling between 5-10mph (especially up hill). Whenever this happens, I have to stop the car, shift to first, then drive on - often pissing off those who are following. If I select 2nd, I have to slip the clutch and bog the engine.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rickhuizinga
I have this problem in my 987S 6 speed where I cannot shift from neutral into first gear when rolling (in neutral) above 4 or 5 mph. This is a problem because sometimes selecting second gear isn't an appropriate starting gear when rolling between 5-10mph (especially up hill). Whenever this happens, I have to stop the car, shift to first, then drive on - often pissing off those who are following. If I select 2nd, I have to slip the clutch and bog the engine.

Any suggestions?

Hi,

Even with Baulk Rings (Synchromesh) there has to be a certain relationship between the Speed of the Crank and the Input Shaft to the Tranny. This is most noticable in the Lower Gears. Try giving the Throttle a Blip and see if that doesn't cure the issue.

I don't know the answer to this, but could the DME (Drive-by-Wire and such) be preventing this? Some Cars do have a Lock-Out to prevent over-revving the Motor, does the Porsche have this too?

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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