View Full Version : Best way to shift m5r2 in a drag?

02-18-2011, 08:54 PM
as the title asks...if I do hit the track this summer I don't want to limp home because I act a fool at the tack

XR7 Dave
02-18-2011, 09:02 PM
as the title asks...if I do hit the track this summer I don't want to limp home because I act a fool at the tack

Shift it like you normally do, only faster. Just remember, the hand is quicker than the foot so move your foot as fast as you possibly can and don't move the shifter until your foot is on the floor. Don't push the pedal down, STOMP IT, and THEN shift. Don't try to do both at the same time.

02-19-2011, 12:54 AM
I know what you mean cause plenty of times I ripped it faster than I can stomp it :(

XR7 Dave
02-19-2011, 09:28 AM
I know what you mean cause plenty of times I ripped it faster than I can stomp it :(Don't feel bad, a lot of people do this. However, let me me say this:

There are things you can do and things you cannot do. There are things you should do and things you should not do.

Moving the shift lever when the clutch is not fully released is something you cannot do. It is physically not possible to do this without causing irreparable damage to your transmission. This is the mistake that people make most often. They think they can do this. You cannot. You have to wait for it. That doesn't mean you have to be slow, it just means that timing is everything.

02-19-2011, 02:02 PM
Since my first outing with the S/C 5 speed at the ShootOut which was such a disaster as far as my shifting went, I have spent many hours trying to hone my skills, whether on a back street or in normal driving. Dave is corrcet, timing is everything, especially leaving the line. Wheel hop just SUCKS!!!!!! Took me a while, but I figured out that shifting normally works quite well. Miss a few shifts and you will know the heartache . Slower is better than too fast.
Good Luck.


Jimmy 2Coupes
02-19-2011, 03:47 PM
One thing to watch out for is missed shifts. I missed second gear on my first pass at Milan dragway last fall and over revved the p!ss out of my 95 breaking something in the process. At the time I thought I blew a head gasket which I posted on here after I got home but after doing a lot of research I now believe I cracked/broke a pistion because what I really see is serious blowby. The car's been sitting untouched in my garage all winter so I won't really know the extent of the damage until I start tearing it down this spring but the gist of this story is ........watch out for missed shifts.

02-19-2011, 06:10 PM
If you don't want to make a fool of yourself at the track. Go and watch other cars stage before you come up to the line. Note were the staging lights are. Then when you stage, don't drive past them.

Best thing you can do is get familiar with how your trans works when you are trying to move fast. If you find yourself bumping into gears and not sliding in when driving normally, work on finding the smooth path, as it can get harder when you're trying to do it fast.

Make sure that if you feel any wheel hop, you immediately release the gas pedal to stop it, then slowly roll back into the throttle. Wheel hop on 5 speeds only leads to broken parts, and you simply can not drive through it.

02-19-2011, 09:17 PM
I am familiar with the drag strip, but mostly in an auto so the tree doesnt scare me...I took this 5speed SC to the strip once when I was bone stock, but I remember the shifting was not fun.

I look at a manual transmission on the strip as just another challenge to overcome

Mike Puckett
02-20-2011, 12:43 PM
I'm a veteran at this and have found that the M5R2 speed shifts very well at RPMs above 5000. When I miss shifts it usually means the synchro blocker for that gear is about worn out, usually 3rd gear. I now have a '94 version with the closer ratio and I'm waiting to see how it does. Normally it speed shifts smoother than it does at low speed without any of the notchy feeling. It's all automatic, but I stomp the clutch pedal, yank back or slam forward the shifter in one motion as quickly as I can, and let the clutch out with my foot on the pedal and never let it just pop up off the side of my foot. The shift lite comes on pretty quickly on some shifts and I need to be ready to hit the pedal again. Even though it's possible to shift at low speeds without the clutch never try to speed shift it that way, it won't work.

02-20-2011, 04:12 PM
I have only driven MT cars. At this point, if I don't pay attention to shifting, it happens this way. I start to push in on the clutch and move the lever at the same time. The clutch pedal only gets pushed in till it disengages, not all the way to the floor. The clutch comes out and the gear lever lands in the next gear only just before the clutch pedal reengages. The revs for the next gear usually match by the time this process ends. I forgot to mention the gas pedal gets released at the same time.

Sometimes my timing is off and the gears grind. If I think about shifting there is an extra beat in the timing of the shift. Whenever I try to shift really fast as described elsewhere, the synchros usually can't keep up.

Part of the smoothness of the shift happens because the road and engine speed for the gear match. I think this keeps the synchros from working too hard or at all.

When the shift happens as above it feels like the clutch engagement happens just as the teeth in the gears match but are not fully engaged and the clutch is fully released by the time the teeth in the gears are fully meshed.

Learning to drive on a '66 VW Bug probably helped this process.