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sanman
sanman Reader
5/3/11 2:42 p.m.

So, I have a friend who wants to learn stick and I'm willing to teach him. Only problem is that I have no car to teach him on. I sold my car and am currently saving up for a pristine sw20. I'm driving my dad's old Camry at the moment as he no longer really drives it. I learned on a friend's old '88 Celica beater when we were 16. However, my friends won't want a noob piloting either the WRX or the RSX to learn on. They like their clutches. So, as the topic asks, what is the easiest way to do this. I have contemplated co-owning a beater with him and turning it into a challenge project, but that will just take a way from the sw20 fund. Any other ideas on how to get a stick car on a budget?

mtn
mtn SuperDork
5/3/11 2:47 p.m.

Rental.

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
5/3/11 2:57 p.m.

Hell yeah. Rental is the answer. I learned on a rental mustang when I was 12. Best excercise: Find an empty parking lot that's got a section with a severe incline. Let him figure out how to gently roll the car back and forth by feathering the clutch/throttle. This is how my wife finally "got it."

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Dork
5/3/11 2:59 p.m.

This is probably why it is hard to find a rental car with a manual transmission...

sanman
sanman Reader
5/3/11 3:06 p.m.

Yeah, I had thought about the rental idea. Does anyone know if any of the agencies even keep manual rentals anymore? I haven't seen one in forever.

mw
mw HalfDork
5/3/11 3:30 p.m.

If your friend is the type who easily gets discouraged, start them off in the snow.

HunterJP
HunterJP Reader
5/3/11 3:36 p.m.

When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.

scardeal
scardeal HalfDork
5/3/11 3:39 p.m.

Easiest way to learn stick is to sell any automatic vehicles you own and buy a manual car... you learn pretty fast that way.

Raze
Raze Dork
5/3/11 3:50 p.m.
scardeal wrote: Easiest way to learn stick is to sell any automatic vehicles you own and buy a manual car... you learn pretty fast that way.

How I did it...

procainestart
procainestart Dork
5/3/11 4:02 p.m.
HunterJP wrote: When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.

+1. This is a fool-proof way to teach someone how to operate a clutch.

Also, depending on the person you're teaching, it is sometimes helpful to explain how a clutch works. If they know that all they're doing is controlling power between the engine and transmission by squeezing a spinning friction disk with a spring-loaded spinning plate, it might help them a bit. Other people look at you like, WTF, who cares, I just want to get to Point B.

RossD
RossD SuperDork
5/3/11 4:07 p.m.

I like to explain the clutch like a disc brake but instead of stopping things from rotating its stops things from standing still... ya'll get the idea...

ZOO
ZOO SuperDork
5/3/11 6:05 p.m.
HunterJP wrote: When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.

This. Just make sure YOU can do it before explaining it to them. I've taught at least fifteen people using this method, on my own cars, with no problems whatsoever.

Ian F
Ian F SuperDork
5/3/11 6:09 p.m.
HunterJP wrote: When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.

Yep. It's stupid-easy in a TDI if you can get access to one. By far the easiest manual car I've ever driven.

I also learned through the "trial by fire" method - buying a stick and driving it through NE Philly.

mmosbey
mmosbey New Reader
5/3/11 6:34 p.m.

If they've had past failures with this, try to get them out of your student's mind. I find that when people get pretty confident that they can't do something, it's a lost cause.

turboswede
turboswede SuperDork
5/3/11 6:41 p.m.

The other thing I've found is that the emotional baggage between a parent or significant other and the student will shut down the listening process in a big hurry.

So if possible, find a way around this issue ahead of time by either breaking this wall down or finding someone else to do the teaching.

There's a reason most DE's don't allow S.O.s to instruct each other.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/3/11 6:45 p.m.
ZOO wrote:
HunterJP wrote: When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.
This. Just make sure YOU can do it before explaining it to them. I've taught at least fifteen people using this method, on my own cars, with no problems whatsoever.

Ditto and ditto

Vigo
Vigo Dork
5/3/11 6:56 p.m.
When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle.

This is why i wont teach my fiancee on my Insight. You just CANT do that.

dj06482
dj06482 Reader
5/3/11 7:08 p.m.

One of the easiest 5spds I've ever driven was a Jeep Wrangler with the 4cyl/5spd. It had low gearing and was very easy to get going without using the throttle. My wife learned on my Foxbody Mustang, plenty of low-end torque is your friend and saves your clutch!

novaderrik
novaderrik HalfDork
5/3/11 7:28 p.m.

the first manual trans i ever drove was a 66 Chevelle 4 door with an inline 6 backed by a 3 on the tree. in the winter. i think i was 13 or 14 at the time. my only instruction was to slowly let out the clutch and use the gas to keep it from dying when starting out. figuring out how to upshift and downshift was up to me. that was fun. after that, i got to drive my mom's 4 cylinder/4 speed 86 mustang on back roads.

Vigo
Vigo Dork
5/3/11 7:34 p.m.

All manuals are not created equal. Some are vastly easier to drive than others.

My 90 caravan 5spd was easy in every way. A 4.0 cherokee is easy to get rolling but the shifter requires firm effort. My insight has the lightest shifter in the world but takes tremendous effort to get rolling. A 2.2/5spd cavalier i drove yesterday was easy to get rolling but also easy to pick 3rd instead of 1st. on and on.

I mean, you can learn on anything. Some cars are just easier than others.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
5/3/11 9:12 p.m.

My wife learned in our 87 Supra ;)

worst thing she did was Upshift (Her words, thought she was in a lower gear) into 3rd.....from 5th....at 60mph... without touching the gas pedal.

Car turned sideways, slid. at which point she stopped. got out and switched vehicles with me.

donalson
donalson SuperDork
5/3/11 9:20 p.m.
Raze wrote:
scardeal wrote: Easiest way to learn stick is to sell any automatic vehicles you own and buy a manual car... you learn pretty fast that way.
How I did it...

pretty much me 2... although I was 14... and no one else was in the car... dad said I could pull the car up at church... after the 1st clutch drop (no throttle) I figured out the clutch wasn't an on/off switch lol...

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
5/3/11 9:24 p.m.

My boy learned in the S10 Challenger, lincoln locker, lotsa horses and a button clutch. After that you can drive anything.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte Reader
5/3/11 9:26 p.m.

"Granny Low" 4 speed diesel, 10 acre field and a 12 pack.

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
5/3/11 9:34 p.m.
HunterJP wrote: When starting out, don't let them touch the gas. At all. Flat surface, only clutch. Get them to feel the pickup, and get the car going from idle. Then, let them add gas. Doing this saves the clutch, and people usually pick up on driving one quicker.

Truer words have not been spoken.

I have taught 4 people now. All of them "got it" and were driving on streets fairly well in about an hour each. Used the technique above and explaining what was actually happening in simple terms.

I enjoy teaching people haha

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