How to launch a manual on the street?

Manual Transmission & Clutch Discussions

  1. MopaR&D

    MopaR&D Nerd Member

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    I dream of some day having a manual transmission in my Duster, mostly because my family has always had automatics and I have yet to experience rowing a 4-speed (sniffle). I've seen and read plenty of stuff on launching and shifting strip-oriented cars but what about if you're not running slicks and race gearing? Do you dump the clutch and let the wheels spin until they grab, or do you feather it until you get going, or somewhere in between?

    Also in the future I intend to set up the suspension for handling, can you still run drag-race suspension components like traction bars, pinion snubber, etc. and not mess up cornering ability? I'm guessing particular parts can or can't work in both road-race and drag-race setups.
     
  2. BoredandStroked

    BoredandStroked Well-Known Member

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    Your right about the suspension. Some types of parts can be used in both and some can not. As far as the how to work the clutch on the street, well, all depends on the vehicle and driver. Need to get to know how the vehicle will react with a certain parts added, powerband of engine, lots of variables.

    Little story, I was visting my best friend in Florida while he was at school. Second night there we talked about playing around in his 99 Mustang w/ California emissions that we have worked on for a little more then a year at the time. Abandoned parking lot was the playground. We tried air pressure, "warming" up the tires, etc etc. Only thing that worked was slipping/feathering the clutch off the line with pedal to the metal or launch at 2500 and roll into the throttle easy. Doing the second with just driving the car and learning what the car liked, 160,000 miles it would ran constant 14.30 at the track. 10 years before, Ford tested the car at 14.10 not to shabby.
     
  3. SpeedThrills

    SpeedThrills FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I've always had the best results by "hating" my clutch. Hold it about 3 grand and slip the clutch while giving it more throttle. This works better on a sticky starting line than the street.
    When done correctly, you'll almost feel the heat from the clutch in your left foot!
     
  4. goldfish65

    goldfish65 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Just know that the whole time your clutch is letting the engine spin faster than the transmission, you are causing wear to the clutch. Keep that in mind for everyday street driving. For racing you want to keep your revs into the engine's power band as you let out the clutch. Am I correct, anyone?
     
  5. caferacerx

    caferacerx BAND MEMBER

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    the way I used do do it (back when I used to do things like this) get the engine up to its peak power band and when the light turns green start slipping the clutch looking for that point of maximum traction and power (when the tires start slipping in a car or when the front wheel starts floating on a bike) keep your RPM's up when the clutch is all the way out SHIFT and do it again (you will beat faster vehicles burn out a lot of clutches and break things)
     
  6. cudaspaz

    cudaspaz Well-Known Member

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    Pinion snubber, SS springs, softer compound tires like M/T sportsman or E/T streets will get you to hook nicely.
    If you are running a 4 spd, you will definitely want to tie the drivers side of the engine down with a torque strap like Mancini's carries because the 4 spd puts alot of strain on the motor mounts if not.

    I am running all of this with 3.23 gears and it hooks like mad although I am mini tubbed and have 12 in tire tread width.

    I do have some trouble with my clutch handling the horsepower and i get some slippage when I really romp on it hard, but I usually have zero issues out of the hole although I am not drag racing the car.

    It handles pretty good for skinnies in front, no sway bars, but I have large diameter torsion bars which really helps immensely.
     
  7. thanson_mopar

    thanson_mopar Well-Known Member

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    Its just getting to know your car and what It can do. I like to drop the clutch at 2700 RPM on the street because if I let it get above 2700 RPM and try drop the clutch then my car's tires just spin....your not going anywhere if you don't have traction. Basicly I like to put as much power as I can to the ground without losing traction.
     
  8. Burntorange70

    Burntorange70 Well-Known Member

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    Thats what I do. I bring it up to 2500 then give it as much gas as quickly as it ill take it with out getting tire spin. It just takes a little practice getting the gas down and the clutch out with out getting tire spin.
     
  9. cudaspaz

    cudaspaz Well-Known Member

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    Just don't do it around a bend.
     
  10. Outsider

    Outsider Well-Known Member

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  11. Brad4406

    Brad4406 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I don't personally understand why you would want to do this on the street any way. I used to be young and loved displaying how much power my car or motorcycle had on the street. Then after acquiring 14 pts and I don't remember how many $ in tickets in one year, I decided I'd leave my speed for the track. I can tell you from experience that unsafe start, reckless display of speed, and other such tickets will definately help to raise your insurance rates and put a serious strain on finances to go towards your car.
     
  12. Outsider

    Outsider Well-Known Member

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    He didn't say he was going to do anything on the street. I said that is where I did it. In my defense, it was a different time... One of our Sheriffs rolled a '55 on it's side on mainstreet when he was a kid.
     
  13. Brad4406

    Brad4406 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The title of the thread is "How to launch a manual on the street?"

    I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, just pointing it out.
     
  14. rumblefish360

    rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

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    This is not a battle feild thread on saftey and racing the street.
     
  15. MopaR&D

    MopaR&D Nerd Member

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    Guys I'm not street racing here, and I'm not stupid. I've had my license for three years now and haven't gotten a single traffic violation because I don't try to show off in places where I know there are cops (cops around here are DICKS). To tell you the truth I probably will "street" race sometime in my life but only if it's in a place FAR from pedestrians and traffic and whatnot. I will try to take it to the track as much as possible but that ain't exactly free or easy to get to.

    Back on topic thanks for the info guys, all that stuff makes sense. When I do put in a 408 Magnum (~500 horse), 5-speed McLeod (if it's good when it comes out), and 3.91:1 SG 8-3/4" rear I'll have to figure out what works best for the car. That's several years in the future though so for now I'll try to work with my 904 the best I can...:sad8:
     
  16. 95teetee

    95teetee Well-Known Member

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    don't feel bad about having an auto- I loved the built 727/2500 stall in my 340 Duster because it launched perfectly every time (and I can't say the same thing about my 6spd AWD Stealth lol )
     
  17. HemiMark

    HemiMark Well-Known Member

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    Mash the gas and side step the clutch!
     
  18. mshred

    mshred The Green Manalishi

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    every car is different...gonna have to figure out what it likes...and "hooking" on the street so to speak doesnt really happen
     
  19. highwaystar

    highwaystar Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Mshred, Hooking hard, I don't believe I have ever experienced on the street. Too many things working against you. gravel, slick roads(oily), shit sticking to your tires. Best thing I have found thru costly expense is rolling out 2 about 16-1800 r.p.m.'s and pedaling or feathering the gas pedal while maintaining as much traction as possible. dropping the clutch at 25-3500 will only break shit or roast your tires,and that doesn't win races. just thru experience, it works for me. This takes alot of experience and practise. some guys are really good at it, I am still learning about racing 4 spd's after 5 years. Automatics were fun and easy, takes a real man to bracket race 4 spd.'s.......... lol....
     
  20. demon seed

    demon seed The Original Demon Seed

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    Drove and street raced, ya I said it, BB B bodies over the years all with 4 speeds and it was trail and error to figure out how much gas was too much and how much was just right. Racing at the track was simple since you knew the asphalt, traction compound and temp. so you could repeat yourself. On the street I'd usually snap her up to 2500-3000 (heavy cars) and drop her then play touchy feely with the throttle till you felt the ladder bars make her hook, the front end come up ,then foot in the carb and start grabbing more gears. This is my first A body and automatic, got a soft spot for BB's, and she's a far simpler launch once ya got the engine/converter/tranny/gears matched so one ain't overpowering the other.
     
  21. ElFin

    ElFin Well-Known Member

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    If you want to learn how to drive with a clutch, the Car Talk guys had a good suggestion. Go to a parking lot and try to start moving without using the gas pedal, just slipping the clutch. Also practice starting uphill in a place where people won't drive right up behind you, like they do around here while texting and putting on makeup. Unless you like replacing clutches; then rev and dump.
     
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