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Need tips for driving manual 370z

Hey guys, I've owned my 09 6MT 370z for close to a year now but I still have a few questions on how to "properly" drive it, or at least

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Old 09-13-2018, 12:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need tips for driving manual 370z

Hey guys, I've owned my 09 6MT 370z for close to a year now but I still have a few questions on how to "properly" drive it, or at least drive it while putting the least amount of stress on the clutch etc. This is my first manual car in my 33 years.

For regular city driving, when cruising in 6th gear at say 45-70 MPH, if I see a red light or stop sign in the distance, what is the best way to slow the car down? I usually just start braking until I slow down reasonably and then take the car out of 6th and put it into neutral until I come to a stop. When I first got the car for the first couple months I would go down through each gear until I got to first and then slide it into neutral. It occurred to me this was a pain in the *** and was probably putting unnecessary wear on my drivetrain. Which is why I go from 6th to neutral now. Is this "correct"?

Now, for high performance driving, say I'm going 80mph or hell 120mph in 5th or 6th gear and am coming up on a pretty slow 2nd gear corner. Is it best to brake and row down through each gear or is it best to brake until I'm at the speed I need to be and then "block shift" from 6th straight into 2nd?

I'm extremely thankful for the synchro rev matching as I have a hard time heel toeing in this car. I also have big *** feet and don't have anything close to a thin soled driving shoe but I still have a hard time with it. Which is why I leave my car in "S-mode" all the time. Do any of you more experienced drivers have problems with heel toeing in the 370z? Thanks.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In 6th gear, recommended low speed according to the owner's manual is around 35 mph. I would say no problems slowing down to that speed and then coasting/braking to a stop in neutral. But downshifting through the gears isn't going to put that much wear on them provided you do it properly.

In race car mode I believe best practice is to row through the gears when downshifting. But I'm no expect.

Heel-toe is a bit awkward because of the bottom fulcrum on the gas pedal. I find it easier to heel-toe when the gas pedal hangs down like the brake pedal does. The pros don't have any issues.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Now, for high performance driving, say I'm going 80mph or hell 120mph in 5th or 6th gear and am coming up on a pretty slow 2nd gear corner. Is it best to brake and row down through each gear or is it best to brake until I'm at the speed I need to be and then "block shift" from 6th straight into 2nd?

What I have recently learned from that speed is to brake HARD, like being thrown forward in your seat. It actually delays the heat build cycle in the brakes

But make sure all braking is done in a straight line and working through the gears for the turn.

End of August I did track days at NCM Motorsport, and only used 3rd 4th and a tad of 5th gear. I think (so much going on) I got down to 3rd going through the gears. And heel-toe, what's that, was too busy learning everything else.
Most turns were 3rd gear.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A lot of it is personal preference. Down-shifting through the gears is not going to cause enough extra wear and tear to worry about. When coming to a stop, I try to lose the majority of my speed early and more-or-less coast to a stop. When I'm driving a manual, I'll usually down-shift through each gear - not for braking purposes, but just because I think it's fun. YMMV
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There was a meme of 3 pics. Up shift. Down shift. Oh shift based on circumstances lol


Regarding coming to a stop. The people that taught me always said keep it in gear in case you need to make maneuver. So i always shift down to 2nd then when rpms start rumbling the car i pop to neutral and stop. I rarely go 2nd to 1st. Only in stop and go traffic.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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... Regarding coming to a stop. The people that taught me always said keep it in gear in case you need to make maneuver. ...
That makes a lot of sense.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You will get better fuel economy using engine braking as you slow down instead of neutral coasting. Unless I'm lazy I shift down through the gears, just because I think it's fun. I like to see how smooth I can make fast rev matched downshifts. I can't heel-toe very well in this car... The pedal position feels strange for my big feet. I'm working on getting good with the left and right sides of my right foot going across both pedals.

No one has said it yet, but don't try to downshift into first unless you're at or very near full stop

When I'm on the highway, if there is a decent amount of traffic, I don't let my rpms drop below 3k. If traffic is very heavy, I try to keep it above 3.5k.

Just my personal driving style
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with mishuko, that by downshifting in each gear you always have the instant option of pounding the gas to accelerate out of trouble should something make it necessary.

By coasting all the way down out of gear, the extra time it'll take for you to find the right gear and then accelerate may be too late to save an impact.

Personally, I always shift down through the gears to a stop, usually missing 1st. Its the reason I bought the 6 speed in the first place.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I never downshift to 1st. If Iím in 6th, Iíll usually downshift to 3rd at about 35 mph, and then neutral. There is nothing wrong with skipping gears downshifting. Theoretically, there would be slight wear on the clutch each time the pedal is pressed (as opposed to not pressing at all), but on a very minor level if done properly.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Excellent replies everyone thanks!

One more thing...for now..

Has anyone mastered the art of being both smooth AND fast on your 1-2 shift in your 370Z? In my short experience you have to pick one haha. It just seems the 1-2 requires the utmost patience when compared to all the other gears. If you're not patient the car will jerk forward almost every time for me. So I find myself just watching the tac until the needle stops dropping and even then I have to let out my clutch slowly in order to not make the car jerk.

With 10 months of practice, I've certainly mastered smooth 1-2 upshifts in my Z, but is it even possible to be smooth AND quick?
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Excellent replies everyone thanks!

One more thing...for now..

Has anyone mastered the art of being both smooth AND fast on your 1-2 shift in your 370Z? In my short experience you have to pick one haha. It just seems the 1-2 requires the utmost patience when compared to all the other gears. If you're not patient the car will jerk forward almost every time for me. So I find myself just watching the tac until the needle stops dropping and even then I have to let out my clutch slowly in order to not make the car jerk.

With 10 months of practice, I've certainly mastered smooth 1-2 upshifts in my Z, but is it even possible to be smooth AND quick?
Install one of these.
370Z & G37 AFP Clutch Pedal Assemblies
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Old 09-13-2018, 10:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
After reading that product page that thing looks literally like a dream come true and is probably a must have for performance driving in the 370. $300 ain't too bad either! Probably another $300 in labor and it's still not too bad!

The clutch feel has always been my least favorite thing about my car and it made it a little harder than it needed to be for me to learn a manual transmission in a car. I hated how high up the engagement point was on the clutch pedal. And how stiff the pedal is. And how it seems like such a tiny engagement window for the difference between not moving and stalling the engine lol. I haven't stalled this car in probably 8 months but it was a rough couple of first months.

But I take it that means that smooth and fast 1-2 isn't possible with the factory assembly? Haha

EDIT: after a little more reading it seems the install is fairly easy. Is this true? Is it easy even for a disaster with a wrench like me? I installed my short ram intakes myself...
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Last edited by Cory Gillmore; 09-13-2018 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 11:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It's a night and day difference. Everyone on here that has installed one (and there are a lot) will verify how good it is. There are multiple reviews on here also. It was my first mod, I absolutely hated how my car drove before I made the change.

This pedal will solve all the issues you mentioned.

It can be kind of a pain (literally) to install only because of the position you have to be in to do the work and you're working in tight quarters under the dash.If you don't feel comfortable in your mechanical ability then I would pay someone to do it. If you get stuck and end up not being able to complete it and need a mechanic to finish it, you won't be able to drive it to the shop.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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After reading that product page that thing looks literally like a dream come true and is probably a must have for performance driving in the 370. $300 ain't too bad either! Probably another $300 in labor and it's still not too bad!
.
$300 in labor is quite a bit more than it should cost, I would think. Someone that can turn wrenches decently can have the new style pedal installed in an hour, tops.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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$300 in labor is quite a bit more than it should cost, I would think. Someone that can turn wrenches decently can have the new style pedal installed in an hour, tops.
I can turn wrenches and it took me several hours, but mostly because I'm 6'3 big guy, and had to take multiple breaks from the awful position you have to work in.
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