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ClemSparks UltimaDork
9/22/19 10:13 p.m.

In reply to jr02518 :

That's a cool little trick.  One of those things that make sense when you hear it but I never would have come up with it on my own.

snailmont5oh Dork
9/22/19 11:05 p.m.

I was fortunate to have learned the intricacies of clutch pedal operation by using a riding mower (with gears, not hydrostatic) from age 9. I didn't know E36 M3 about shifting, but I knew how to start on a hill when the clutch and the brake were on the same pedal. That helped with the whole "find the friction point" part. 

As far as pulling out on hills/stalling goes, unless the hill is so steep that the car would move backwards if the tires are spinning or the car doesn't have the power to spin the tires, I've always subscribed to the "after the second stall, light 'em up" school of thought. It ain't pretty, but it keeps a person from "locking up" or panicking, and it clears the intersection.   

Robbie UltimaDork
9/22/19 11:52 p.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:

I will throw in this nugget of truth.  Certain relationships are too old for clutch instruction.  If you’ve been around someone for long enough that they hear what they think you’re going to say rather than what you are actually saying, it’ll be an uphill battle.

I’ve taught many new drivers how to stick but had the most trouble with my kids.  Other peoples’ kids?  No problem whatever, it’s like the professional consultant has been brought in to shake up the company.  Takes 10 minutes and they are proficient.   

Find another driver (maybe another autocrosser) to teach your youngster.

This is 100% true, it's way easier to teach someone you're (your?) not related to. I always thought it was because I had higher expectations of the person and therefore shorter patience, but your point is interesting about the "only hearing what they think you are going to say".

Robbie UltimaDork
9/22/19 11:57 p.m.

Also, pay attention to your own clutch foot. I think most people who can drive stick say they are doing something pretty different from what they do.

It's NOT smooth out on the clutch pedal for me:

Instead it is 3 phases. Quick out to friction point, hold steady on friction point for engine to catch up (or in performance launch even a bit of in and out to balance the tires), and then quick out the rest of the way.

So do your learnee a favor and try to be as honest as possible about what you actually do.

Tyler H
Tyler H UberDork
9/23/19 9:12 a.m.

Teaching my 12 year old daughter to drive my manual M3 at the local community college on the weekends.  Tell them any variant of the above suggestions, but it's like riding a bike or getting up on water skis -- it just has to click once.  

I started her off on a hill and didn't let her progress to flat ground until she could hill start consistently.  She picked it up quickly and is driving like a champ.  Much easier student than my 15yo nephew. 

P.s.  I save the handbrake trick until after they can hill start.  Once in traffic with someone right on your ass on a hill for the first time, the handbrake it a nice little security blanket.  Also, when in doubt, peel out.  Halfway joking, but quick starting is on the curriculum.



slowbird HalfDork
9/23/19 10:14 a.m.

In reply to Robbie :

This is a good point. In fact, I'm not even sure what my clutch foot is doing sometimes, to be honest. I probably need to point a camera at my pedals and try to figure out if I need to improve my technique. (Haven't burned out a clutch yet, but haven't been doing it very long either.)

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