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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 2018 manual boxster gts, new to me. Looking for any advice on getting smoother shifts. Not new to manuals, but new to porsche...

Getting into first, do you find it easier to rev first to a certain rpm, then let out clutch, or try to do it simultaneously?

And shifting into second, at what rpms and what foot action to make it smooth?

Also, can we really down shift into first at 30mph in these cars?

Many thanks
 

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While the feel of the clutch and gearing can take some getting used to (like any new car), the fundamentals of driving a manual transmission remain intact and you should drive it like you would any other stick shift.

Starting in first you can essentially let the clutch out slowly at idle if you have a good feel for it. But of course some gas will be required if the rpms drop too low and you feel it may stall. I generally let the clutch out until the bite point and then start to give it some gas before completely disengaging the clutch.

As for shifting 1-2, just smoothly let out the clutch while easing back onto the gas like you would for any other up shift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks... That's what I do, but have a feeling I could finesse it better

I've read some people revved to 2k before letting the clutch out, that sounds like it might be more fun, does that shorten clutch life in any way that matters?
 

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Well the more you rev it up the quicker your takeoff will be and yes, it would certainly add some wear (though 2k rpm isn’t particularly aggressive).
 

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I am not really the one to offer advice about how to shift smoothly. My first manual transmission car was a 1974 1/2 260Z and I have had a manual transmission in every daily driver since. Also, I have never considered myself a smooth shifter and never even tried to shift silky smooth. But, I never wore out a clutch. My 1988 E30 M3 had about 140K on it when I traded it with the factory clutch. I always, at least in the back of my mind, was conscious of a need to let the clutch out quickly so as not to "ride the clutch" any more than absolutely needed and give it gas as necessary to either keep it from stalling or give me the acceleration I wanted. Either nobody cared about my shifting (especially 1st & 2nd) or was too polite to comment, but I was content as I felt good clutch life was more important than smooth shifts. Enter my GF five years ago. She is vocal about wanting smooth shifting so, of course, I now shift smoothly, or at least a lot smoother than I naturally did in the past. That entails giving more throttle than previously while letting the clutch pedal out much slower. I have no illusion I will eventually have to pay a King's Ransom to replace the clutch but that is still a lot less expensive than the brain damage incurred from not shifting smoothly. Smooth up-shifts from a start rapidly became natural for me and I now even drive with smooth shifting even when by myself or just with the dog, although he seems to care less.
 

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I am not really the one to offer advice about how to shift smoothly. My first manual transmission car was a 1974 1/2 260Z and I have had a manual transmission in every daily driver since. Also, I have never considered myself a smooth shifter and never even tried to shift silky smooth. But, I never wore out a clutch. My 1988 E30 M3 had about 140K on it when I traded it with the factory clutch. I always, at least in the back of my mind, was conscious of a need to let the clutch out quickly so as not to "ride the clutch" any more than absolutely needed and give it gas as necessary to either keep it from stalling or give me the acceleration I wanted. Either nobody cared about my shifting (especially 1st & 2nd) or was too polite to comment but I was content as I felt good clutch life was more important than smooth shifts. Enter my GF five years ago. She is vocal about wanting smooth shifting so, of course, I now shift smoothly, or at least a lot smoother than I naturally did in the past. That entails giving more throttle than previously while letting the clutch pedal out much slower. I have no illusion that I will now eventually have to pay a King's Ransom to replace the clutch but that is still a lot less expensive than the brain damage incurred from not shifting smoothly. Smooth up-shifts from a start rapidly became natural for me and I now even drive with smooth shifting even when by myself or just with the dog as he seems to care less.
😂
 

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I have a manual Boxster, and I definitely find I get smoother shifts by keeping the revs up around 2,000.
 

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A jerky shift is caused by mismatching the engine rpm to the rpm of the gearbox, especially when you let out the clutch rapidly. The cure is to match the engine and transmission rpm for the upcoming gear and/or let the clutch out slowly. Of course, the worse the mismatch the more clutch wear you produce when trying to smooth out the shift by gradually (slowly) engaging the clutch, so rpm matching is the goal. From a stand-still start you have no choice. But otherwise, the more skilled the driver, the more able he/she is able to make a smooth shift by letting the clutch out when the rpm of the engine closely matches the rpm of the transmission.

My wife is a "fast shifter" which is to say, when going from one gear to the other she slams the shifter into the next gear and lets the clutch out quickly, just one step shy of what we used to call "speed shifting" back in the day. The only difference is she at least lets off on the throttle for a moment. She has never rebuilt a transmission but I have and since I have seen syncronizers up close and personal, I shift more slowly in my daily driving. I like to push the shifter toward the next gear and more or less let it ease into the next position kind of "finding it's own way" rather than just forcing it like my wife does. My technique isn't really slow per-se, but it is not as brutal as the way my wife does it.

Those of us who have been married for nearly 50 years as I have know all about balancing the cost of a clutch replacement against the cost of a divorce. Clutches are cheaper, so I just keep my mouth shut when I'm her passenger.

Of course, letting off the throttle while shifting (like we almost always do) causes the rpm to drop which is what you want on an upshift. My wife's technique of quick shifting works out OK because she's in the next gear with the clutch out almost as quickly as a PDK. But for just cruising around town, my less-insane shifts let the rpm drop too much so I compensate with a quick throttle blip as I try to match engine rpm, transmission rpm, and the precise timing of letting out the clutch. As I write this, it sounds complicated but it's really simple and works well with a little practice and a certain amount of sympathy for your syncronizers.

Of course, a more aggressive throttle blip is called for on down shifts where you need the engine rpm to increase in order to match the next lower gear unless you shift like my wife who just jams it into the next lower gear and pops the clutch, syncronizers be damned.

I want to be clear that I don't actually try to modulate the throttle in such a way that I hold the engine at the perfect rpm during a shift. In theory, that is possible, but in practice WAY too difficult. I just blip the throttle with the clutch disengaged causing the rpm to rise quickly to a point above the "perfect" rpm and then as the revs drop back down I try to catch it at just the right point in time. The peak rpm when you blip the throttle will be higher on downshifts than on upshifts. As the rpm falls I try to coordinate the timing and rate of clutch engagement to product a nice smooth transition from one gear ratio to the next. Again, I'm making this sound really complicated, but it is quite simple and with a little practice it becomes second nature for those times when you're just cruising around town taking it easy.

Naturally, when maximum acceleration is called for, my upshifts are much more aggressive without any throttle blipping; i.e. I drive like my wife. ;)

But even when driving aggressively, I blip the throttle on downshifts to produce smooth shifts and save wear and tear on both the clutch and syncronizers.

Bottom line: The better you match the engine rpm and transmission rpm the more quickly you can let out the clutch in order to produce a smooth shift and enjoy the benefits of reduced clutch wear.
 

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Hi, I have a 2018 manual boxster gts, new to me. Looking for any advice on getting smoother shifts. Not new to manuals, but new to porsche...

Getting into first, do you find it easier to rev first to a certain rpm, then let out clutch, or try to do it simultaneously?

And shifting into second, at what rpms and what foot action to make it smooth?

Also, can we really down shift into first at 30mph in these cars?

Many thanks
How do you get smoother shifts? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice! ;) Talk about a dated phrase! But, seriously, rev matching is the key. One thing that struck me with your post is asking about going down to 1st. Personally, I never go into 1st unless I'm completely stopped or very nearly stopped. Never been a fan of jamming it into 1st while still moving at 15 or 20. Heck, I hope I remember how to shift when my car arrives in 3 mo, since my last 3 cars had dual clutch trannies.
 

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How do you get smoother shifts? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice! ;) Talk about a dated phrase! But, seriously, rev matching is the key. One thing that struck me with your post is asking about going down to 1st. Personally, I never go into 1st unless I'm completely stopped or very nearly stopped. Never been a fan of jamming it into 1st while still moving at 15 or 20. Heck, I hope I remember how to shift when my car arrives in 3 mo, since my last 3 cars had dual clutch trannies.
You will be fine. I've had nothing but sticks for about 45 years before I bought a CVT Subaru about 5 years before adding my 2019 base Cayman. Didn't take long to get back into the shifting groove. But you and @cbarber should know that in first, if you put too much load on the engine under 2,000 RPMs she is going to bitch at you. You will quickly stop doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Many thanks. The technical explanations are helpful.

regarding downshifting into first, I've never done that in other cars except around 5 mph.

There seem to be lots of videos about people downshifting into first in their Porsches, do these gearboxes have really good synchros in first?
 

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For downshifting into first in a Porsche it comes up because of the long gearing. The gears are quite tall so when you are moving along at 8-10mph or so (like coming to a rolling stop) and resume acceleration in 2nd it can require a little more gas and clutch modulation than most cars. In every other manual car I have owned I have never had an issue using second to get going when crawling along. But I must say the 718 is difficult in those situations and I often do go down to first. Not at 30mph though, that’s way too fast.
 

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I always drive in Sport mode and in traffic approaching a stop, I'll often downshift into first. As @gatorfast says, the gearing is a bit tall so that's probably the reason I do it.
 

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Hi, I have a 2018 manual boxster gts, new to me. Looking for any advice on getting smoother shifts. Not new to manuals, but new to porsche...

Getting into first, do you find it easier to rev first to a certain rpm, then let out clutch, or try to do it simultaneously?

And shifting into second, at what rpms and what foot action to make it smooth?

Also, can we really down shift into first at 30mph in these cars?

Many thanks
I have personally found with our GTS that the 1-2 shift is made smoother by staying in 1st to at least 5K rpms or so, and then making a reasonably quick shift to 2nd. For me matching the revs is easier from that rpm range, and is true even when driving easy. If flogging, you'll be going a lot higher into the revs of course!

Give it a try.

MOO & FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Drove around today, downshifting into first at 15, maybe even a little higher mph was smooth once everything was warmed up.

Getting into first from a standstill is still a challenge... Thanks for the tips
 

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Agree that a smooth engagement taking off from first is a little challenging. I feel as if there is a 2-stage engagement process where the first stage gets the pendulums moving and the second is to get the vehicle in motion. If I try to engage faster (normal speed in other vehicles), I can hear what I hear as the pendulums clashing with their endstops. Just my guess.

FYI - the pendulums are part of the dual-mass flywheel (DMF).
 

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I have personally found with our GTS that the 1-2 shift is made smoother by staying in 1st to at least 5K rpms or so, and then making a reasonably quick shift to 2nd. For me matching the revs is easier from that rpm range, and is true even when driving easy. If flogging, you'll be going a lot higher into the revs of course!

Give it a try.

MOO & FWIW
Interesting that this also applies to trucks schlepping cargo. Higher RPMs are the recipe for smooth transition to the next gear. Universal I guess...
 

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Not a lot to add here other than every vehicle is unique and may take some adjustment, etc... But... I'll also say there are 2 things that I always "go to" when adapting to a new clutch / MT...

First is seating position, make sure you're properly adjusted and keep it consistent.

Second may sounds silly, but at least for me, its meaningful and that is footwear. I always prefer the right shoes for the job when doing any serious driving. I really appreciate a good pair of "minimalist" shoes for good feel to the pedals. These don't have to be "driving" shoes... Tigers are great / inexpensive. My current preference is a pair of Merrell Trail Glove 5's. Very wearable as a daily sneaker and fantastic in the car hitting the backroads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Agree that a smooth engagement taking off from first is a little challenging. I feel as if there is a 2-stage engagement process where the first stage gets the pendulums moving and the second is to get the vehicle in motion. If I try to engage faster (normal speed in other vehicles), I can hear what I hear as the pendulums clashing with their endstops. Just my guess.

FYI - the pendulums are part of the dual-mass flywheel (DMF).
That makes sense (as does footwear and other comments). I learned long ago on what must have been lighter, single flywheels. Since I've started driving a lot again, there's clearly something different and I'd bet it's these DMFs.

It definitely feels like a 2 stage process. It's the second stage that sometimes feels a bit rough.
 

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I'm kind of confused by this thread. Don't see an issue with this at all, but for what it's worth - obtaining an upshift to the next gear can also be achieved by a blip of the throttle, then allowing the rpms to fall a bit and then easing out the clutch. That can be done by reaching about 1500 - 1800 rpms. Even less. Riding the rpms to 5k and then shifting isn't what I would do leaving a traffic light or in the middle of town unless I was looking for attention.
 
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