The Deep End
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This is a discussion on The Deep End within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey all, I am new to the WRX as a car and Subaru as a company. I just got my ...

  1. #1
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    The Deep End

    Hey all,

    I am new to the WRX as a car and Subaru as a company. I just got my hands on my 2011 WRX Hatch in the deepest of blacks with a short-throw shifter and am closing in on my first 1000 miles, in Philadelphia.

    (Obligatory Crappy Pic for Rule#1)



    I will be the first to admit that I'm not the best driver. This is partially because I've been stuck with an auto transmission in the main vehicle for the last 8 years, and haven't gotten to drive the manuals as much. It's also partly because I'm such a baby with new things. I still pick the tiny leaf pieces out of the all-weather floor mats, for example. So I don't drive it hard enough to learn how to drive it hard.

    That said, the clutch-to-gas pedal engagement process seems a bit light and floaty compared to other cars i've driven (most German, but a few Japanese.) In particular I always have trouble over-revving this engine during first and second gear engagements. Anyone else have these tendencies when first sitting down in this vehicle? It would help me to know what is an acceptable rev range to be in when you attempt to engage in first. Generally the clutch just seems uncommunicative.

    Other than that, I'm just here to learn as much about the car and how to get the most out of it as possible, as I've been out of the loop automotively for a while now.

    Cheers

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  3. #2
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    i am new to the WRX and Subaru too. Last car i had with a stick was a 89 SHO and a 03 focus. its good to here that i am not the only one having a problem getting use to the clutch. i only seam to have the problem with first at tack off. i did come out of a f150 with a auto so maybe its just that.

  4. #3
    Registered User stringbean's Avatar
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    if i had a nickel for every time i cursed the tranny in subies...don't feel bad - i'm on my third wrx ('02, '06, '11) so i estimate i shifted at least 25,000 times, and it's still a challenge to smoothly get rolling. however, once you're in 2nd, things get better. so just do the best u can, and don't worry, it's not you, it's the darn clutch/tranny setup. enjoy 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th gears!!

  5. #4
    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    I've had trouble with that throttle-clutch balance in my car - although I think my issue is more to do with having a throttle cable. Getting that balance just wrong got me up into a guardrail.

    Aim for 2k or slightly above with your throttle, then clutch out slowly near the engagement point.
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  6. #5
    Moderator   Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Greetings and welcome to the Club!

    Give the clutch some time ... before you know it you will never want to go back to a slush box automatic. Practice, practice, practice.

    All of the cars I've owned in the past 24 years has had 3 pedals in the footwell.
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    I really do love manuals, it's just taking some getting used to. I train athletes for a living and some of the running shoes I have to drive in are downright too cushiony I think. Barefoot, FTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seauxthern_dead View Post
    I really do love manuals, it's just taking some getting used to. I train athletes for a living and some of the running shoes I have to drive in are downright too cushiony I think. Barefoot, FTW.
    I am a barefoot guy too. Running shoes don't quite cut it. I autocross in wrestling shoes. Narrow, thin flexible soles are best.
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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    I am a barefoot guy too. Running shoes don't quite cut it. I autocross in wrestling shoes. Narrow, thin flexible soles are best.
    man, I should try this - the few times I've tried barefoot, it's nice. I can't find size 17 racing shoes, so I should try taking my shoes off to drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    man, I should try this - the few times I've tried barefoot, it's nice. I can't find size 17 racing shoes, so I should try taking my shoes off to drive.
    Size 17?!? 15 here. Go find some wrestling shoes. Should be fairly easy in 17.
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  11. #10
    Registered User stringbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poly_poly-man View Post
    I've had trouble with that throttle-clutch balance in my car - although I think my issue is more to do with having a throttle cable. Getting that balance just wrong got me up into a guardrail.

    Aim for 2k or slightly above with your throttle, then clutch out slowly near the engagement point.
    that's weird, because i found it easier in my '02 with the throttle cable than in the '06 and '11 with drive-by-wire. i'm not complainine, mind you, i still prefer the balky 5 speed to any slush box, any day! plus, i've never had to replace a clutch in any of my subies, so i guess their pretty strong (of course, i don't mod the $#*& out of my rides!)

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    I just picked up a 2011 hatch myself, congrats. Don't sweat it, I'm 49 and have been driving for 23yrs. I've stalled it a couple times, little embarassing. Each car is different, you'll find the sweet spot in no time.

    I used to have a Geo Tracker five speed. A buddy of mine has quite a bit of land and I let my son drive it when he was twelve. Probably not too smart or legal. He had a ball and never once stalled it. Fast forward four years, he's on his learners permit, I'm teaching him to drive stick on my brothers Saab. He jerked the car so violently, he dropped the exhaust on the ground. I split the cost of the exhaust with my brother.

    Then I picked up a 99 Contour SVT, stopped by my son's house. The linkage broke on the shifter while he was driving. He was snake bit. He now drives a Mazda 6 V6 manual.

  13. #12
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    I picked up my first subie about 4 months ago now, it was way trickier than most cars out of 1st gear. You have to feel the clutch engagement much more than most other cars, but you'll get the hang of it...eventually.

  14. #13
    Registered User hunter20ga's Avatar
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    Are you perhaps experiencing the "automatic revving" that is built into the computer program controlling your engine? I hate that feature and have no idea why Subaru put it in, but the engine automatically revs to about 2000 rpm when your shifting between neutral and first or first and second. Very annoying when you're parking or doing other slow speed maneuvers. I think there's some way to "turn that off"...I'm sure a search of the forum would find that information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seauxthern_dead View Post
    That said, the clutch-to-gas pedal engagement process seems a bit light and floaty compared to other cars i've driven (most German, but a few Japanese.) In particular I always have trouble over-revving this engine during first and second gear engagements. Anyone else have these tendencies when first sitting down in this vehicle?
    Having come from a 5-speed manual 626 to my first test drive of the 2011 wrx this is EXACTLY what I was thinking pulling out of the parking lot. The first thing I noticed was how much further off the floor the clutch pedal seems to engage at (seems to have a lot more play than my 626). For this reason, I overreved the car like crazy getting it into first...I looked over the the dealer riding with me to apologize and he said that everyone who drives one of these does the same thing...it's much different than most other cars. Hopefully it won't take me too long to get used to it (if my car ever comes in...)

  16. #15
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    Im glad to know I am not the only one with some of these problems. I havn't driven a manual since high school. I drove a 1985 toyota corolla.

    I figured it would take me a bit to get used to the manual again. For the most part it hasn't been a problem, but like some of you over revving in 1st seems to be my biggest problem. I have gotten a lot better in the first week of owning the car.

    Got of love my WRX.
    -Mitigate

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