Clutch, how can i prolong its life? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 06-14-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
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Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

This is my first manual, i learned in a friends 03 tiburon 3 weeks after i ordered my stang....i didnt really learn though i was a natural according to him as i never stalled it lol. Anyways im still a newbie though. Ive got just under 4,000kms on my '12 and theyve been a blast, but im curious, what should be a decent life for these clutches, and average cost for parts and labour?

I know how the clutch works but im curious on commom errors new manual drivers make that are bad. One that i did the first week was always have my foot hovering over the clutch just barely pressed...duh. Bad habit that i corrected. I know the true sign of bad driving is the smell of burning clutch....well i dont think i know this smell!?

When i pull into my garage i drive up a slight incline, i dont want to go too fast as its a tight opening, i feather the clutch to gain some momentum, engage it, coast, slowly get some momentum again, then repeat until i am parked. I dont ride the clutch a ton but i have to a little to an extent to get in there. When in the garage i can smell a little bit of a weird smell, it smells more like hot engine than something burning. Ive also been experimenting downshifting on the highway from 6th to 5th to pass, i always keep the exchsnge between 500rpm. In the city i can also downshift in same range but its very rare that i downshift in city.

My main question is, if i dont smell burning from inside the car, and my shifts are smooth...i cant be doing any harm right?

Lastly....what is the best way to do a burnout if i decided to, doing least damage to the car?

Oh..and is there any way to know when your clutch is going out besides slipping...i hear the clutch is hydraulic self adjusting in these, since it always grabs mid way on pedal.
,thanks everyone
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
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the burn out. the best time to practice is on wet pavement. go to dead stop rev it up and dump the clutch . but not to much or the car will try to get away from you. you and i both know its not good on the car but most guys our age are going to try it some time.

fyi
i was in the same boat as you with the manual . i bought mine to learn how to drive one. with that being said ,i bought the car and had to figure out how to get it home. its fun once i learned though. < --(shift w/o thinking about it)

---------- Post added at 10:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:30 PM ----------

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the burn out. the best time to practice is on wet pavement. go to dead stop rev it up and dump the clutch . but not to much or the car will try to get away from you. you and i both know its not good on the car but most guys our age are going to try it some time.

fyi
i was in the same boat as you with the manual . i bought mine to learn how to drive one. with that being said ,i bought the car and had to figure out how to get it home. its fun once i learned though. < --(shift w/o thinking about it)
im sure other ppl may have a better burn out method . but they all work lol . oh and turn off the t.c.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

sigh...once mine is broken in I might have to try the 'wet method' might be fun in a large empty parking lot with a lot of room in case it tries to get away..LOL
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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Just get it rolling and rpms high. Brake then smash the gas in first. I never smelled burnt clutch just tires. That how I did it in mine. But now with the auto it's a button press and hold the two pedals
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

do you guys feel like the car shifts the smoothest between 2 & 3000rpms? or is it just me ?
whats the best shift points when trying to shift so that you almost dont feel the gears change .
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

2500...I can tell the sound without looking at the cluster..nice and smooth. for full performance...run it to 3000 then shift. Once broken in...going to try 3k, then at 3500, and again at 4000..see if I get a difference. No pwershifting here...its a total waste...I get better running it thru all the gears, and always have...
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

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2500...I can tell the sound without looking at the cluster..nice and smooth. for full performance...run it to 3000 then shift. Once broken in...going to try 3k, then at 3500, and again at 4000..see if I get a difference. No pwershifting here...its a total waste...I get better running it thru all the gears, and always have...
anything at 3 and above you can tell you are in the power band. thats when it comes alive
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:32 PM   #8
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

regardless of how you drive it, you're technically doing "damage" to the clutch every time you press the pedal and the engines running. The key is, if you want to maximize its life, engadge it as little as possible. Now obviously you need to use it, and sometimes more than others (like inclines), but unless you want to really take off try to keep the rpms on the low side of what's necessary. There really isn't any magic number to shift at, it's about feel and that comes with experience. You already know the best tip a new manual driver can get, keeping your foot off it until you need it, but best tip #2- Do NOT downshift and use the engine as a brake to slow the car down. Brake pads are a lot cheaper to replace than clutches.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #9
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

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best tip #2- Do NOT downshift and use the engine as a brake to slow the car down. Brake pads are a lot cheaper to replace than clutches.
Bingo. That's your big saver right there. Let the engine slow the car down in its current gear as you brake, but then just slap it in neutral. Also, at traffic lights or extended stops, put it in neutral and don't hold the clutch in. The longer you hold the clutch in, the more wear you're putting on the throw out bearing, another important component.

I learned to drive stick on a '01 Stratus Coupe I owned. As stated, you'll be shifting based on hearing the rpms opposed to looking, it just takes time. It's been around 2 years since I've driven a manual for an extended period. It's going to be interesting when I get to drive my new Mustang off the lot (hopefully next month).
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

Sanguin...you finally get a VIN? I see your projected build date?
and both you and JS are right....just let it wind down in current gear...never liked downshifting and considering what the ford dealer told me a new clutch cost (1300 est.), brake pads ARE cheaper than that!
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:17 AM   #11
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Best tip I can give is the same suggestion about not downshifting and just dropping it in neutral most of the time. Instead of sitting at a light with the clutch engaged, just leave her in neutral.

Also, in my Honda, the master and slave cylinders were the only parts I had to replace (around 120,000 miles), and I learned to drive a stick on that car... I would like to think the Stang will hold up just fine, but then again these manual trannies have had their share of problems.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #12
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Funny thing about not downshifting when coming to a stop- I failed my first road test because I was coasting in neutral to the stop sign. I didn't even understand what the tester was telling me not to do until I had basically failed. I was just so used to not downshifting. Had to sorta "learn" how to do that for the retest but that was probably the last time I ever did.

Another good tip is to avoid using a partial clutch + gas to keep you from rolling back on an incline. You'll be anxious when you start moving from a stop, at a light for example, out of fear of rolling into a car behind you but don't do this as a solution. You just have to get used to getting the car in gear in those situations and some roll backwards is expected. If the driver behind you is dumb enough to ride your ***, then they're deserving of you rolling into them. Just be ready for them to blame you.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #13
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I always ran through my gears just so no gear got more wear than the other. But when I hit 1/4 tank, I would use 1,3,5 to keep rpm down to make that tank go a little longer. I never put my shifter in neutral because the idiots where I live can't even drive autos correctly. So you may need to move at a moments notice or something. That's just me. I never downshifted when I cam to a stop. I would stop and press the clutch or right before it stalled, go to 1st or whatever I needed and go.

---------- Post added at 09:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:17 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gtzzoom
2500...I can tell the sound without looking at the cluster..nice and smooth. for full performance...run it to 3000 then shift. Once broken in...going to try 3k, then at 3500, and again at 4000..see if I get a difference. No pwershifting here...its a total waste...I get better running it thru all the gears, and always have...
4k is when the power boost similar to a v-tec kicks in. Or so I've felt. Even my auto shifts smoother in 2,500-3000. Maybe it is telling me it wants more power
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I always ran through my gears just so no gear got more wear than the other. But when I hit 1/4 tank, I would use 1,3,5 to keep rpm down to make that tank go a little longer. I never put my shifter in neutral because the idiots where I live can't even drive autos correctly. So you may need to move at a moments notice or something. That's just me. I never downshifted when I cam to a stop. I would stop and press the clutch or right before it stalled, go to 1st or whatever I needed and go.

---------- Post added at 09:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:17 AM ----------



4k is when the power boost similar to a v-tec kicks in. Or so I've felt. Even my auto shifts smoother in 2,500-3000. Maybe it is telling me it wants more power
I don't mean to be a jerk but I think there's some misconception here, although I'm not an engineer so I could be wrong. I understand the reasoning behind 1,3,5 shifts, but just shift into all gears sooner if you're trying to improve fuel mileage. By going from 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 5th you could be either going into a higher gear too soon and bogging down the engine, thus requiring more throttle to recover or revving the lower gear too high for efficiency. Just shift sooner if you want to save gas. And stay away from high RPMs.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #15
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

bingo JS...just what I was getting at...powershifting or 135 step never does any good either in racing or gas savings. i work thru all the gears...if in heavy traffic...sooner, if room to run, later 2500 or higher.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

dont sit at red lights with the clutch in, dont use the clutch to slow down (by down shifting into a lower gear....)

when you are going to have to stop up ahead put it into neutral and coast~ then dont push in the clutch until you are ready to put it back in gear and go.

do not rest your foot on the clutch

in stop and go traffic leave enough distance between you and the car in front so you can put it in first and ease out and coast so you dont have to constantly start/stop with the clutch and ride it. I can even hold the brake a little bit in 1st slowly coasting if needed.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:03 AM   #17
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**** the clutch! It's designed to wear out. I can't wait till I kill my clutch, so that I can buy a better one! 32K miles of burnouts, shift locks, power shifting and red lining at 7,800 rpms. And that bastard clutch still hasn't started slipping yet. Lol, jk. I don't drive that hard all the time but I am looking forward to replacing the clutch and the driveshaft.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:07 AM   #18
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

^^ dont give up, keep beating the crap out of your car and before you know it you will have plenty of upgrades ready to be done!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:10 AM   #19
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I'm going to upgrade it as well when the time comes. I'm just not looking forward to it since its the most expensive wear and tear item i will have to deal with.

On a related note- are better clutches just designed for more power and/or aggressive shifting or do they also last longer in a non-race application?
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:14 AM   #20
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

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I'm going to upgrade it as well when the time comes. I'm just not looking forward to it since its the most expensive wear and tear item i will have to deal with.

On a related note- are better clutches just designed for more power and/or aggressive shifting or do they also last longer in a non-race application?
if you are going to stay close to OEM power level and dont drag race etc no need to upgrade the clutch. You really dont get much out of it other than a potentially stiffer clutch with less play when it grabs.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:19 AM   #21
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Thank you. I had a feeling this was the case but I've never used anything but OEM level clutches. Does the more aggressive feel amount to much in spirited daily driving? I don't mind paying a bit more if the feel is there and more noticeable than stock.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:20 AM   #22
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Quote:
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^^ dont give up, keep beating the crap out of your car and before you know it you will have plenty of upgrades ready to be done!
I'm trying but it's not making it easy! Lol. One day, it'll be broken and I'll be kicking dirt walking to work, saying to myself, Stupid car, always breaking down n ****. What did I ever do to deserve this? Haha, ya'll can kick me then.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:29 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchu22

I don't mean to be a jerk but I think there's some misconception here, although I'm not an engineer so I could be wrong. I understand the reasoning behind 1,3,5 shifts, but just shift into all gears sooner if you're trying to improve fuel mileage. By going from 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 5th you could be either going into a higher gear too soon and bogging down the engine, thus requiring more throttle to recover or revving the lower gear too high for efficiency. Just shift sooner if you want to save gas. And stay away from high RPMs.
None taken. I was 15-16 and had it through high school. And it bogged some but I never was concerned. It's good to learn new things an how to correct mistakes for the future. These cars can take a beating
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #24
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

This is true...but you dont want to wear anything out prematurely.....
sure, it all can be replaced with better performance parts......but if you dont have to spend the money, then dont speed up the process. I've come to accept that the clutch will wear out long after the warranty is kaput...but ill have found the best performance replacement and be saving for it in the long scheme plan....
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 PM   #25
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

Very good responses thanks guys! Ive been doing everything you guys suggested already so i think im in good shape. I drive real smooth my girlfriend forgets im driving a manual lol

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**** the clutch! It's designed to wear out. I can't wait till I kill my clutch, so that I can buy a better one! 32K miles of burnouts, shift locks, power shifting and red lining at 7,800 rpms. And that bastard clutch still hasn't started slipping yet. Lol, jk. I don't drive that hard all the time but I am looking forward to replacing the clutch and the driveshaft.
Lmao! You are hilarious!
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:46 PM   #26
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

BTW, abuse the clutch enough and you'll be replacing the flywheel too. Bet that's spendy on these new motors too since the aftermarket is still thin... I don't know if you can resurface a dual mass. I'm going to treat mine like a baby when I'm not racing her or going for a spirited drive.

JS: The clutch is rougher at grabbing in race forms. You can't slip it as much and get smooth engagement, so the whole feeling is jerky I guess you'd say. Same thing for a heavier clutch pedal if you go with a pressure plate with higher clamping load.

Zoom: Yep. Got the VIN and it should be built 6/30.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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Re: Clutch, how can i prolong its life?

Sweet Sanguin. You're getting closer to getting to see it in person.
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