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NOOB to Stick

Shadowtuy

Ready to race!
Location
NY
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
SO! My first manual car and I'm just having some hick ups.

1st thing 2nd gear is so stubborn to shift into. I ether get a jerk and become aware that transmission mounts are there or sometimes it will pop out. Any advice ????


2nd, I cant seem to take off very quickly and this makes my first sports car feel like the slowest car I've driven. I think its mostly because its hard to find the bite point in a hurry since I cant really "feel" it unless I jerk or stall. I'm open to mods or a correction on ability.

3rd, I feel like 1st gear is very short because I shift out around 2-3k around like 15 MPH. I'm not sure if its ok to shift later say if its 7 out and the motor is still cold.

I've been driving this car for around a month and panicking more then enjoying it. I've done a clutch spring delete and I'm thinking I need an alignment on the shifter for my 2nd gear troubles.

I'm so appreciative of any advice! Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

Raguvian

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
2019 GSW 4MO 6MT
1. Slow down your 1st to 2nd shift and focus on being smoother with the shift.
2. For the bite point get rid of the clutch delay valve. That thing nukes clutch feel and the pedal will feel much more responsive without it.
3. If the engine is cold, I would shift around 2-2.5k max. Once the coolant is at operating temp I will shift around 3-3.5k, and once the oil is at operating temp then I will wring it out if I want.
 

PowerDemon

Autocross Champion
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Car(s)
Mk7 GTI
The 1-2 shift is tough on these cars. I have driven mine for over 40,000 miles and most of those with multiple modifications to improve the shifting. I STILL have trouble with it from time to time so don't feel badly it just takes time, trial and error, and muscle memory. That being said I try to pause just a bit longer than usual on the 1-2 and give the revs some time to come down and it tends to be a bit smoother. But every car is different so you just have to play with it some. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Long story short it isn’t you and the 1-2 can be quite challenging to get right.

I almost never use 2nd gear to take off so I can't help you there.

I think third gear is quite tall actually considering if you rev it out it goes all the way to 105mph. If your car is totally stock just shift wherever you feel comfortable. I tend to stay in the lower rpms and shift at 2000-2500 but that's just my preference. However I do agree with you when its cold out try to keep it under at least 3000. At least that's what I try to do.

I see you have already dove down the rabbit hole of clutch modifications! My #1 recommendation is a clutch stop and #2 is the delay valve delete. Dollar for dollar the best modifications I’ve done to my car ever. If you want to find out more about clutch/trans modifications see this thread.
 

El_bigote_AJ

Autocross Champion
Location
Las Vegas
Car(s)
2019 GTI bunny
The 1-2 shift is tough on these cars. I have driven mine for over 40,000 miles and most of those with multiple modifications to improve the shifting. I STILL have trouble with it from time to time so don't feel badly it just takes time, trial and error, and muscle memory. That being said I try to pause just a bit longer than usual on the 1-2 and give the revs some time to come down and it tends to be a bit smoother. But every car is different so you just have to play with it some. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Long story short it isn’t you and the 1-2 can be quite challenging to get right.

I almost never use 2nd gear to take off so I can't help you there.


Yup, 1-2 is always just annoying on even the older 02Ms LOL.

Also, He meant

-2nd, I can’t take off fast. -
 

Shadowtuy

Ready to race!
Location
NY
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
The 1-2 shift is tough on these cars. I have driven mine for over 40,000 miles and most of those with multiple modifications to improve the shifting. I STILL have trouble with it from time to time so don't feel badly it just takes time, trial and error, and muscle memory. That being said I try to pause just a bit longer than usual on the 1-2 and give the revs some time to come down and it tends to be a bit smoother. But every car is different so you just have to play with it some. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Long story short it isn’t you and the 1-2 can be quite challenging to get right.

I almost never use 2nd gear to take off so I can't help you there.

I think third gear is quite tall actually considering if you rev it out it goes all the way to 105mph. If your car is totally stock just shift wherever you feel comfortable. I tend to stay in the lower rpms and shift at 2000-2500 but that's just my preference. However I do agree with you when its cold out try to keep it under at least 3000. At least that's what I try to do.

I see you have already dove down the rabbit hole of clutch modifications! My #1 recommendation is a clutch stop and #2 is the delay valve delete. Dollar for dollar the best modifications I’ve done to my car ever. If you want to find out more about clutch/trans modifications see this thread.
I saw a very long winded post about keeping the clutch delay valve "race car drivers add them in" and "the delay helps save the powertrain live and longevity." I'm not looking to like launch the car just look normal and keep up with traffic.

Also is it normal to get like overly tense when driving manual? like my heart rate at 107 from going to autozone lol
 

randomhobo130

Go Kart Champion
Location
Niagara falls NY
I saw a very long winded post about keeping the clutch delay valve "race car drivers add them in" and "the delay helps save the powertrain live and longevity." I'm not looking to like launch the car just look normal and keep up with traffic.

Also is it normal to get like overly tense when driving manual? like my heart rate at 107 from going to autozone lol
Absolutely it's normal to be tense when you're learning. One thing that helped me with the 1-2 shift was letting the Rpms draw out a bit in 1 before shifting. I'm not saying heavy throttle input though. Just let the RPMs casually climb to like 3500 then shift. It took some of the jerkyness out for me but as previously stated every car is a bit different. Mostly it's just about learning and muscle memory. You'll start recognizing when you make a really clean shift and get really pumped about it lol. Opposite of that is once you drive it long enough, you'll find yourself realizing you've gone ⅔ of your drive without even thinking about shifting at all bc it's now second nature. Just remember to get the muscle memory down with smooth and consistent shifting before you try the F&F shifting lol
 

El_bigote_AJ

Autocross Champion
Location
Las Vegas
Car(s)
2019 GTI bunny
That’s called anxiety, lol.

So in one aspect yeah it’s normal.


What’s in a race car is an adjustable flow control, it’s not the same as what’s on our cars as nanny of sorts to keep people from fully dumping the clutch on a shift.


But regardless the delay isn’t really related to your issues.

1. As said above 1/2 is just different and you need to change the shift and clutch pattern for the shift.

2. Just gotta work on finding the perfect bite point of the stock clutch to take off quicker


And yes first is an extremely short gear really just to get the car moving from a stop. It’s sucks but that’s what it is... imaging how short it Becomes when you’ve modded them car to Mid 400 levels 😂
 

Shadowtuy

Ready to race!
Location
NY
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
Absolutely it's normal to be tense when you're learning. One thing that helped me with the 1-2 shift was letting the Rpms draw out a bit in 1 before shifting. I'm not saying heavy throttle input though. Just let the RPMs casually climb to like 3500 then shift. It took some of the jerkyness out for me but as previously stated every car is a bit different. Mostly it's just about learning and muscle memory. You'll start recognizing when you make a really clean shift and get really pumped about it lol. Opposite of that is once you drive it long enough, you'll find yourself realizing you've gone ⅔ of your drive without even thinking about shifting at all bc it's now second nature. Just remember to get the muscle memory down with smooth and consistent shifting before you try the F&F shifting lol
thank you good sir :D
 

PowerDemon

Autocross Champion
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Car(s)
Mk7 GTI
I saw a very long winded post about keeping the clutch delay valve "race car drivers add them in" and "the delay helps save the powertrain live and longevity." I'm not looking to like launch the car just look normal and keep up with traffic.

Also is it normal to get like overly tense when driving manual? like my heart rate at 107 from going to autozone lol

The delay valve is why it’s hard for you to find the slip point. It numbs the whole system because it’s slowing down that fluid as you actuate the clutch to try and make you smoother and the car harder to stall. In most instances it actually wears the clutch MORE because it’s slipping the clutch more.

If you remove the clutch actually follows your foot and you’ll be able to find the engagement or “slip point” much easier. The clutch feels much more direct.

Eh it is for a little while. You just gotta get used to it and that means driving it. Gotta get that muscle memory going. The sooner that happens the more comfortable you’ll be.
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
watch a YouTube video on how to drive stick
 

95b14

Ready to race!
Location
845 NY
Get yourself a clutch pedal stop. There’s a ton of dead space at the bottom of the pedal travel. Less space to move your foot through will make finding the engagement point easier. IMO removing the clutch spring and adding the stop are the most critical to making casual driving easier.

The delay valve really just aids quick shifts: upshifts when flooring it and improves rev match downshifting. Neither of these scenarios seem to be your issue at the moment.
 

Desslok

Autocross Champion
Location
PA
Car(s)
2019 Rabbit
I still have trouble with the 1-2 shift. Unless winding out 1st, the shift to 2nd is balky and much slower than any other gear change.
Even with an aftermarket clutch, stainless line, delay valve and swirl valve delete, etc.
Maybe part of it is that 1st gear is short and 2nd is tall and the inherent rev hang in the car, as if by design, to prevent boy-racers from breaking transmissions.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
I've driven manual probably 80 % of the time in my life. This is my first VW and after reading all the threads about the GTI 's manual trans I'm sure glad that I bought a DSG. I never needed to do the things to a manual that's necessary to the GTI' s manual.
 

Shadowtuy

Ready to race!
Location
NY
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
I still have trouble with the 1-2 shift. Unless winding out 1st, the shift to 2nd is balky and much slower than any other gear change.
Even with an aftermarket clutch, stainless line, delay valve and swirl valve delete, etc.
Maybe part of it is that 1st gear is short and 2nd is tall and the inherent rev hang in the car, as if by design, to prevent boy-racers from breaking transmissions.
What's a swirl valve and how does it help in a day to day?
 
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