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View Full Version : Braking and Downshifting


tgentry
10-15-2002, 11:41 AM
When you're in 4th and you brake for a 2nd gear corner, do you shift into 3rd in between? I realize this is necessary in a crash-box trans, but with syncros it isn't.

I don't, but have had two instructors tell me I should. Personally I think they're all wet, but I'd like to hear some lucid opinions on this.

johnbasf
10-15-2002, 11:57 AM
All of the classes I've gone to say eliminate shifts. I say go to second gear. Ok Mr. Shugg, am I right?

Mystic_Cobra
10-15-2002, 11:58 AM
I don't know that I'd think too hard about doing it either way, I'd just do whatever felt right at the time.
Not helpful but....

tgentry
10-15-2002, 12:04 PM
Wow, looks like the Mystic community is all in agreement!:thumbsup:

kevin
10-15-2002, 12:07 PM
tom, i may not be of much help either, but here goes.

i tend to skip shifts if full braking is enough to get me to the lowest gear befor the turn. this is what i tend to do when racing. it's less unsettling to the car as well and allows you to focus on the turn and braking rather than another shift.

during open tracking i tend to do the down shift cause i'm lazy

thomasmoran1
10-15-2002, 12:32 PM
At Road Atlanta were I was using 5th gear, on the back straight and then braking for the chicane I would hit 4th on my way to 3rd. There is no particular reason for this, its just what I felt comfortable doing. If anything you get to practice heel and toe twice as much LOL.

I to have asked instructors about this and they seem to say to do what ever you fell comfortable with.

Thomas

98banana
10-15-2002, 12:55 PM
I used to hit every gear until the NASA classroom instructor said not to. I tried it a few times and had a hard time getting used to it. But, I got used to it and now feel it's much better to skip the gear because it gives you less to think about, like Kevin said.

thomasmoran1
10-15-2002, 12:59 PM
Tom the only thing that I can say is better about going through all the gears is that you stand less of a chance of back peddling the motor if you screw up. But besides that I think it is personal choice.

Thomas

98banana
10-15-2002, 01:04 PM
Good point Thomas. I guess patience will need to be used as well.

thomasmoran1
10-15-2002, 01:09 PM
Thinking about it more, with hitting every gear you stand more of a chance of locking wheels if you really blow it and then the back of the car trys to beat the front of the car to the apex. Maybe someone should start a poll LOL.

Thomas

tgentry
10-15-2002, 01:09 PM
Thanks guys. I just wanted some confirmation, and I trust you more than I do some "instructors".

b_tone
10-15-2002, 01:32 PM
I am going to disagree here, I usually hit the gear and use the motor as a brake when coming down from high speeds. I know that most instructors say not to, engine builders say not to but I find that it helps me preserve my brakes for a little bit longer. It has to be done with a very keen watch on the rear end as you don't want to induce wheel hop. When I was in karts and formula cars this was no no, but with our cars being so heavy and having comparitavely small brake this is how i have learned to be fast.

Since the total braking force is transmitted only through the tires they are the weak link in how hard you can brake. I just have the opinion that I can let the motor help some and keep just a little of the abuse off of the pads/rotors.

Again this is only implemented during heavy braking like turns 5&12 at Road american and 10a at Road atlanta and everywhere at CMP. Just a little different perspective, but what do I know I'm a slow driver that can't seem to win an AIX race ;)

Brian

98banana
10-15-2002, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by b_tone
... and everywhere at CMP. ...

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

b_tone
10-15-2002, 01:49 PM
How do you think i was able to make it through the whole race at CMP after glazing my pads over (mental note: never again put pads in different boxes, you may confuse the compound and install the wrong one resulting in severe brake fade....)

brian

svt_coupe
10-15-2002, 03:42 PM
I too run through every gear while downshifting. It helps to slow the car and ensures you don't over-rev the engine, like Thomas was saying. I've also experienced a slowed shift going into 2nd because 2nd didn't want to go. Going from 4 to 3 to 2 seems to keep the gears in line, giving it the synchros an easier job.

justagt
10-15-2002, 04:52 PM
I agree with Bryan and Brian. I use all the gears downshifting. Helps slow the car down. Also, factory rev limiters do NOT work when downshifting. So if you jam it into a lower gear while still going to fast, you could do some damage. KABOOM. :D

98banana
10-15-2002, 05:46 PM
I have to think that excess use of the motor to slow the car down can't be good for it. I learned from my motocross days that it wasn't good to coast on the motor with a 2 stroke because the fuel is much leaner which makes for less lubrication. Of course, with 4 strokes there's no oil mix, but can that create an issue with a lean condition? Just wondering...

Cobra-R
10-15-2002, 06:15 PM
I skip gears because it's alot cheaper to replace brakes then synchronizers and clutches. :D :D

I use all the gears downshifting. Helps slow the car down.

I am not trying to start anything here, so please don't take this out of context. If I am understanding what you are saying right, you feel that the car is going to slow down faster downshifting then if you just used the brakes, or am I missing the point?

Brian

cobragb
10-15-2002, 10:12 PM
I would have to agree with Bryan and Brian. I have seen guys go through several tranny's in a race season and I have seen guys go through several seasons with the same tranny all for the way they went up and down through the gears. Anything that is easier on the equipment - is good.

Glen

kevin
10-15-2002, 10:57 PM
another thot on this. i've noticed some folks us less brake in hard braking when the are down shifting at the same time. i would rather use brake than tranny for this purpose.

however, as some can atest to, i had a tendency to downshift way to early and over rev the engine. i now pay more attention at the revs when downshifting which i think is the main reason i now skip gear.

for my experience, i'll skip gears and stand on the brake full hard. the pedal travel in my race car is about a qurter of an inch so i don't have to move very far.

kevin
10-15-2002, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by kevin
another thot on this. i've noticed some folks us less brake in hard braking when the are down shifting at the same time. i would rather use brake than tranny for this purpose.

however, as some can atest to, i had a tendency to downshift way to early and over rev the engine. i now pay more attention at the revs when downshifting which i think is the main reason i now skip gear.

for my experience, i'll skip gears and stand on the brake full hard. the pedal travel in my race car is about a qurter of an inch so i don't have to move very far.


a little more clarification. if you're braking only, you can brake very hard. if your feet are doing both the braking and the shifting, then you're probably not braking full hard

sfuller
10-16-2002, 12:40 AM
I see that I'll have something else to work on at MAM. I personally have downshifted through every gear at every event I've been at. No one has told me otherwise, probably because I have bigger things to worry about :D I find that for me, it helps me make sure I'm in the gear that I want to be in and it helps me make sure that I don't over rev the engine.

sn8kbit
10-16-2002, 09:27 AM
my couple o' pennies.

i use all the gears. i'm more comfortable with that personally. brian rode with me at RA, and while easier to concentrate more on the turn (5 and 12), but i noticed as i got faster, the rear tended to hop. downshifting into 14, i actually made the backend walk out (as dean'll remember i'm sure...LOL).

another thought, i usually blip the throttle to try and 'guesstimate' where i'll end up RPMwise on the downshift. it's easier to me to hit the next gear down, than guess RPMs while skipping a gear. you're still going to get some engine braking at say 4500, just not as much as at 7000, and in the long run, i think that'll be easier on the tranny personally.....

of course, most of that was ingrained in me while driving OTR....

Cobra-R
10-16-2002, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by sfuller
I see that I'll have something else to work on at MAM. I personally have downshifted through every gear at every event I've been at. No one has told me otherwise, probably because I have bigger things to worry about :D I find that for me, it helps me make sure I'm in the gear that I want to be in and it helps me make sure that I don't over rev the engine.

I think I got weaned from down shifting every gear at Road America. I do not like the feeling of the back end of the car dancing around (turn 5 & 12), and again it's the mechanical issue to me. Sometimes I get obsessed at doing things that are easier on the car, mainly because I hate fixing a broken parts. :mad: :mad:

It certainly looks like the majority of the people in here downshift each gear. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

tgentry
10-16-2002, 09:52 AM
Looks like I started a good discussion!

My personal practice is to do only one downshift, skipping gears if necessary, just before turn in. Less to think about, less chances to screw up, and as Kevin pointed out it's tough to brake full hard while heel and toeing.

If the brakes are properly biased and you add engine braking, doesn't that give you too much rear braking? My feeling is that if the car is slowing faster with engine braking you need to work on the brakes.

Cobra-R
10-16-2002, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by tgentry
Looks like I started a good discussion!

My feeling is that if the car is slowing faster with engine braking you need to
work on the brakes.


That is exactly the point I was making above, I didn't understand how you could gain anything (braking) by downshifting each gear.

kevin
10-16-2002, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by sfuller
I see that I'll have something else to work on at MAM. I personally have downshifted through every gear at every event I've been at. No one has told me otherwise, probably because I have bigger things to worry about :D I find that for me, it helps me make sure I'm in the gear that I want to be in and it helps me make sure that I don't over rev the engine.

depending on the gearing of your car, you may not have to worry about this much at mam.

in my race car i could leave it in third just about all the time because the lowest the revs got were around 3k. i have plenty of tq there so it was never an issue of power out of the turn. when i first got on the track i shited down to 2nd, but it was a needless waste of fuel and wera/tear on car parts. the mustang will be a different story i'm sure.

kevin
10-16-2002, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by kevin
depending on the gearing of your car, you may not have to worry about this much at mam.

in my race car i could leave it in third just about all the time because the lowest the revs got were around 3k. i have plenty of tq there so it was never an issue of power out of the turn. when i first got on the track i shited down to 2nd, but it was a needless waste of fuel and wera/tear on car parts. the mustang will be a different story i'm sure.

this being said. at road america it's not unusal to go from 4th to a turn the requires 2nd. so at a track like that (and vir) i'll skip gears on the race car (the mustang doesn't seem to have as crisp a box to make this as easy)

spittincobra01
10-16-2002, 01:44 PM
Me personally, I down shift one gear at a time. I do not push it hard like some people do/can, at the end of the day I have to be able to drive mine home... for now