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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! I'm getting a 2.3L GT sedan (manual transmission). I just wanted people opinion on the clutch. I'm used to a clutch with a higher friction point (about halfway up or even higher) and I'm wondering what the common impression was with the low near the floor friction point of the Mazda3.

In my opinion its easier to learn with the friction point so low but for high speed shifting, it adds extra delay. Currently, I press the clutch in fast and as soon as it hits the floor, I can take it out because I have shifted during the lower half of the clutch throw. With the friction point on the floor, its press the clutch THEN shift THEN let go because the friction point is so near the floor. Currently its press the clutch WHILE shifting THEN let it out WHILE shifting still causing a faster overall shift.

I'm thinking of trying to get my friction point moved higher. Is this possible?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
any replies on this one? please.
 

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Civic

I had a Civic, it took me about a year to learn the higher release. It's the same as on the MZ3.

Believe me, when you drive in traffic and have the release at the top, you start thanking the devine. You'll get used to peddling with a higher point, no worries, read below:

I was told by a Honda mechanic, assumingly it's the same on the MZ3, that you can release and push in at half! Now that's sweetness.
 

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the clutch on my M3 seems to have a higher friction point near the end of the clutch. my 1990 Protege had a really low friction point. so it's kinda hard trying to get used to the different friction points.
 

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Also the clutch on my 1990 Protege Was really stiff. it made the car feel like it had lots of torque which it did anyway because the first gear ratio was set really high, I think like 3.23:1. The clutch on my M3 has a soft clutch it's not as agressive accelerating as my protege was. but still the M3 is pretty freakin fast. I guess 160HP makes up for the loss of torque off the line because it picks up later on in the RPM Range.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The car I bought had a higher friction point than the car I test drove. Its about halfway up on the car I bought. I'm happy with it. I dunno what was up with the Mazda3 Hatch I test drove.
 

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I'm personally used to releasing the clutch early on, I used to drive a Saturn coupe, and my brother's A4 works similarly. The few times that I drove a MT Honda Civic ('96 model, my brother-in-law's) I stalled on more occasions and I believe the friction point came fairly late (or that the clutch was extremely sensitive). From the impressions I'm getting, the Mazda3's MT operates more closely to the Civic... It'll take a bit of time to adjust for me.

But hey, as long as you're happy with the car that's all that matters. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The higher friction point lets you shift faster. If the friction point is at the floor, you gotta press all the way THEN shift, then let go. If the friction point is higher, you can start pressing and shift BEFORE the clutch is all the way in (gotta be careful)... Then finish the shifting while you are letting out the clutch. It can save a few fractions of seconds.
 

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Potentially less tiring (with experience). I could live with that :)

Something I didn't mention is that the Audi's clutch has a short travel distance unlike the Saturn, which is about 50-75% longer. So, I guess you could consider the A4's friction point to be somewhere near the middle.
 

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Re-opening the topic.

I wanted to ask about clutch wear. Someone mentioned that fully engaged clutches (pushing it all the way down), and fully disengaged clutches do not cause wear no matter how long it remains in this state. What does cause wear is maintaining the friction point. And what causes added wear is the friction point on incline with gas skill.

Is that true?
 

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I wanted to ask about clutch wear. Someone mentioned that fully engaged clutches (pushing it all the way down), and fully disengaged clutches do not cause wear no matter how long it remains in this state.
That's wrong: the clutch pressure-bearing subject to wear.

What does cause wear is maintaining the friction point. And what causes added wear is the friction point on incline with gas skill.
The clutch plate will wear greatly in this case (like you drive the car with parking brake on). It's not recommended to "ride the clutch".

I don't understand your sentense about gas skill.
 

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Additionally, the clutch is engaged when the pedal is released and disengaged when the pedal is depressed. The terms refer to the clutch plate, not the pedal. By friction point on a hill I think he meant using the clutch plus a little bit of gas to keep the car still when on a hill instead of just using the brake.
 

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Oh, OK I get rpc180 sentense now. Thanks.

Always put in the neutral when your car stops (incline or not.) Use the handbrake to start on the incline if can't find instantly the friction point.
 

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Cool, only asking cause I want to refine my clutch usage. I learned on a 87 Camaro on its last legs.

I'd like some critique:
Reverse:
Accomplish by "riding the clutch" (friction point and slight gas to keep it slow and controlled.

Stop.
Neutral all the way, even on an incline.

Stop to 1st.
Ride clutch for a split second to allow car to engage smoothly.

1st to second, etc...
Slight rev while releasing clutch. Only way to get it to go smoothly between gears in my Camaro.
I found that the car will also engage without the slight rev between gears - which way causes more wear and tear?
 

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Stop to 1st.
Ride clutch for a split second to allow car to engage smoothly.
1st to second, etc...
Slight rev while releasing clutch. Only way to get it to go smoothly between gears in my Camaro.
I found that the car will also engage without the slight rev between gears - which way causes more wear and tear?
I meant going from Stop and engaging 1st gear. Would this clutch riding be bad? Am I doing alright for the remaining gears?
 

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Oh sorry, my bad.

I don't think you even need to ride the clutch from stop to first: when you get use to the cluch and throttle, you will coordinate the two such that they match their speed so that the friction point can be pass as quick as possible, here is how it works:

step1- hold the throttle firmly with the right feet.
step2 - release the clutch quick until the friction point.
step3- then release slowly the clutch while giving more throttle at the same time.

The last step is performed slow or fast depending on how quick you want to accelerate. But at any speed, the left and right foot must be perfectly coordinated.

I don't know if the explanation is clear or not. Someone please helps me.

The best way to practice is find some empty place with a little bit incline. Try to start the car without the handbrake. You will master the foot coordination when you can (i) start the car without letting it going backward, and (ii) the engine doesn't roar before the car is moving, (iii) going without jerking.

- If the car goes backward then you don't catch up the friction point in time. (step 2 is not perfectly performed)
- If the car roars mean then you give too much throttle than necessary, and this will wear the clutch plate. (step 3 is not perfectly performed)
- If the car jerks mean then you release the clutch too quickly. (step 3 is not perfectly performed, but other way around)

I'm sure an afternoon is enough to understand how it works. Hope it helps.
 

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The likey reason you had to rev your camaro is that quite often in cars of that age you had to get the synchro's in the tranny spinning right. I know in my 89 GT adn 86 GT a slight rev would ensure no missed gears. It was particularly prevalent when going into Reverse. Reving the car a bit before shifting generally helps keep the RPM's up when you shift gears which leads to a smoother uptake into the next gear, generally considered good practice by most.

I don't think either method would generate any largely noticable wear over the other method.

As far as coming to a stop, I just drop the car out of gear and come to a stop, no need to shift into first unless you need some more slow down, this is probably more of a reduce the strain/wear on the motor technique more than anything else.

You have to realize that like any mechanical or hydralic solution there will be wear and tear that occurs naturally as time goes on, changing certain bad habits like not riding the clutch at a stop light certainly help reduce wear but you will at some point have to service that system. Thankfully in today's vehicles they tend to be better and more resilient compared to our 80's cars of olde. ;)
 

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Alright! Thanks guys for the comments. So as far I can read, just get past friction point as quickly as possible. In first this takes a little longer if you want a smooth start - but its not terribly bad on the system.

I feel a lot better about my clutch-shift-throttle methods now!
 
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