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Old 06-24-2004, 09:58 PM   #1
ILdriver
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american and stick shifts ... good one

i always hold thet thought thet most of the cars in the U.S are automatic

would you help me get to another way of thinking about it.

i know most od the american drivers rather automatic on stick because the roads and the drives at there are long and mostly open , you cant enjoy stick shift like this .

so , how often do you (i mean the americans here) get to see a stick shift car driven by a regular guy , i mean people who doesnt really care about the performence .

i have a friend from USA says he saw lots of stick shifts cars , mostly jap's.
like honda civics and corollas .

im not talking about sport cars , i refer to those big american cars .

to me it seems in mind thet no americans with cars like this will buy the menual model of a car like thet .

this is a big "megila" thenks for reading .
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:43 PM   #2
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my dad drives a stick every day...hell, my car is a stick. and most American roads are NOT just straight...there are some excellent roads out there.

and kinda off-topic...where do you live in Israel?
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:56 PM   #3
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over here in Puerto Rico (commonwealth of the USA, also known as the 51st unofficial state), we have VERY few open roads. the only ones are actually the highways, and the really open ones are the long ass ones to get from one corner of the island to another, like from Guaynabo (where i live, in the north east) to places like Ponce (souht) or Mayaguez (north west). still, quite a few people use stick cars. the problem here is that we have our nice share of bad roads (ask any Puerto Rican about Bayamon), and well, it gets a bit annoying to also be in an island that has one of the highest population density levels in the whole world (reaching 5 million inhabitants quickly, and i think Manhattan is bigger than the entire island).

but well, my car is stick, my mom's corolla isnt cuz she learned how to drive after dad passed away, so she kinda had to learn how to drive and being at her age was hard for her to learn stick quickly, so she chose automatics. still, i see my large share of stick cars here, ofc, most are people from the mountains that need to really push the car up the steep hills, or young guys that like racing, but there are also others that dont fit in the above categories.

i guess some people are just lazy, or some never learned and dont want to learn how to drive stick. traffic jams and stick = not good at all, and we get alot of those here
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Old 06-25-2004, 01:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Inygknok
over here in Puerto Rico (commonwealth of the USA, also known as the 51st unofficial state), we have VERY few open roads. the only ones are actually the highways, and the really open ones are the long ass ones to get from one corner of the island to another, like from Guaynabo (where i live, in the north east) to places like Ponce (souht) or Mayaguez (north west). still, quite a few people use stick cars. the problem here is that we have our nice share of bad roads (ask any Puerto Rican about Bayamon), and well, it gets a bit annoying to also be in an island that has one of the highest population density levels in the whole world (reaching 5 million inhabitants quickly, and i think Manhattan is bigger than the entire island).

but well, my car is stick, my mom's corolla isnt cuz she learned how to drive after dad passed away, so she kinda had to learn how to drive and being at her age was hard for her to learn stick quickly, so she chose automatics. still, i see my large share of stick cars here, ofc, most are people from the mountains that need to really push the car up the steep hills, or young guys that like racing, but there are also others that dont fit in the above categories.

i guess some people are just lazy, or some never learned and dont want to learn how to drive stick. traffic jams and stick = not good at all, and we get alot of those here

may be you should borrow north dakota you only have cows to share it with
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Old 06-25-2004, 02:49 AM   #5
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this one goes to superjew

superjew

i live right at the middle of israel not far from tel aviv or jerusalem .

damn nothing here is far from you you can get from one end of israel to the other far end in 9 hours of driving .

lets compare it

israel is a bit larger then new york city

here in israel most of the comunity is driving automatic too and this is because most of the drivers doesnt really care about performance or things like thet they wanna reach A to B , but there are lots of lots of cars thet are menual .

off topic - how is my english writing ?

and wish me luck i finished high school with graduation yesterday and im totaly free , im joining the army in 6 monthes !!
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Old 06-25-2004, 03:22 AM   #6
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Inygknok...i know what you mean...i was in Rincon over my december break and there were some interesting roads there...major twisties and hills...our rental Buick did a pretty good job of it.

ILdriver...yeah, congrats on graduating! now you get to be a part of the greatest army in the world...and your english isnt too bad for an israeli...i had some israeli teachers in my jewish day school who had horrid english.
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Old 06-25-2004, 06:50 AM   #7
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Hey, I'm part of the Jewish club too! It seems like theres surprisingly quite a few Jew's on this site

Anyway, I live in Nevada, USA, and I drive a Geo Prizm that is a manual transmission, and I promise you, with 105 horsepower and a 1.6L engine, my car is no powerful car. It is not a big car either, but it is definitely not a sports car. My parents perfer to drive an automatic because it is easier, less to think about... I myself much perfer to drive a stick shift, even though it is not a powerful car, because you have so much more control of the car in a stick shift. It gives you something to do besides just press the gas, press the brake, and turn the wheel. I love having the control of the car that a stick shift gives you. So yes, I am just a regular American guy who just enjoys driving a stick shift, and it is not a powerful car at all

My car:
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http://memimage.cardomain.com/member...072_6_full.jpg

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Old 06-25-2004, 07:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperJew
Inygknok...i know what you mean...i was in Rincon over my december break and there were some interesting roads there...major twisties and hills...our rental Buick did a pretty good job of it.

ILdriver...yeah, congrats on graduating! now you get to be a part of the greatest army in the world...and your english isnt too bad for an israeli...i had some israeli teachers in my jewish day school who had horrid english.



ummm greatest army now which one is that?
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Old 06-25-2004, 08:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinqyg
ummm greatest army now which one is that?

The Soviet Union post-WWII and pre-implosion of the U.S.S.R.

About transmission American cars do come in a fair share of different kinds of transmissions. The Grand Prix GT I believe has paddle shifters. While I know the Dodge SRT-4, Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 and Ford Focus Ztec 2.0 are cars you commonly see in manual. Also, Corevette, Firebirds, Camaros, Mustangs, many trucks. The more I think about it there are a damn good fair share of American cars that come in manual transmission, and it's not rare to see them around. I think manual is becoming the preference among my generation.

Also, most cars around the price range I can afford would definately be manual...

...But if I was a rich man, I wouldn't drive stick that often. I'd be too busy using my thumbs to shift with the F1 style paddle shifters on my Vanquish.

Bah, I know it's ludicrous, but we can all wish.
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Old 06-25-2004, 05:17 PM   #10
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I drive a stick and I live in the US, but my car is an Acura so it is Japanese car. I guess it is true that there aren't too many twisty roads which is good and bad. It is good because when you want to get from point A to B, it is the easy to drive. It is bad because its no fun to drive. I have to go all the way to the mountain paths to get any good driving (about 15mins away from my house). It's true that most people in the US drive automatics, it's kinda sad.
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Old 06-26-2004, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILdriver
i always hold thet thought thet most of the cars in the U.S are automatic

would you help me get to another way of thinking about it.

i know most od the american drivers rather automatic on stick because the roads and the drives at there are long and mostly open , you cant enjoy stick shift like this .

so , how often do you (i mean the americans here) get to see a stick shift car driven by a regular guy , i mean people who doesnt really care about the performence .

i have a friend from USA says he saw lots of stick shifts cars , mostly jap's.
like honda civics and corollas .

im not talking about sport cars , i refer to those big american cars .

to me it seems in mind thet no americans with cars like this will buy the menual model of a car like thet .

this is a big "megila" thenks for reading .

Alot of Americans are just plain lazy, and because of that car manufactuers make them in Automatic. I mean its hard to by a damn camaro in a 5 or 6 Speed, and thats a damn sport car. Its not like Japan where the average sedan comes in manual transmission. I'd have to say that 1 out of every 50 cars you see on an american road are Manual.

I have no idea why straight roads are bad for manual I like just gunning 10-80mph. But I always see guys in nice lil cars that think they have speed but their cars are automatic and automatic cars usually posess less power than the manual version of that car.

Hell I don't even think you can get a manual Grand Am nowadays. Shoot prolly not even the GrandPrix. I would own a domestic if it came in 5-speed. Although I have known people crazy enough to put a manual tranny in a blown(forced induction) Malibu. Hella fast, prolly kill all civics out there.
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Old 06-26-2004, 10:52 AM   #12
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What do you think of volvo's?
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Old 06-26-2004, 11:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by cinqyg
What do you think of volvo's?
Volvo in general?....Or have I missed somthing important in this thread lol. Anyways, I think Volvo used to be rubbish, but now they are really prooving their potential, I do think the T5 would be better as a RWD though
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Old 06-26-2004, 03:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DSMer
Alot of Americans are just plain lazy, and because of that car manufactuers make them in Automatic. I mean its hard to by a damn camaro in a 5 or 6 Speed, and thats a damn sport car. Its not like Japan where the average sedan comes in manual transmission. I'd have to say that 1 out of every 50 cars you see on an american road are Manual.

I have no idea why straight roads are bad for manual I like just gunning 10-80mph. But I always see guys in nice lil cars that think they have speed but their cars are automatic and automatic cars usually posess less power than the manual version of that car.

Hell I don't even think you can get a manual Grand Am nowadays. Shoot prolly not even the GrandPrix. I would own a domestic if it came in 5-speed. Although I have known people crazy enough to put a manual tranny in a blown(forced induction) Malibu. Hella fast, prolly kill all civics out there.

Hey, I resent that remark about Americans being lazy, although it is true.. Most of the manuals are owned by car enthusiasts (like ppl on this board ). The regular ppl prefer auto which is obviously much more convinient. Lazy? yes, but easier and most likely less accident from ppl not knowing how to use manual properly.

And according to ChrisV, manual isn't always faster than automatic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV
Actually, that's not always true.

Stock automatics are tuned for smooth shifts, as they are considered a luxury item. Most buyers of stock automatics would complain about harsh shifts if the manufacturers sold them in the same form drag racers use.

But if you go to B&M, TCI, Art carr and others, you can get valve body kits that increase pressures on the bands, change shift points, etc, to make shifts happen faster and firmer. These shift improver kits can make a HUGE difference in how the automatic transmission works, giving you shifting that happens when you want it, instantly. This makes them shift faster than you could ever shift a manual, and allow the engine to make power during the shift (you can do that by "speed shifting" a manual, too, but you run the very real risk of missing the shift and/or damaging your transmission). Combined with a performance torque converter and you end up with an automatic transmission that slips less than you do when slipping the clutch to take off with a manual, and shifts faster than you do at gearchanges, and yet only shifts when you want it to by moving the lever.

Why is it so easy for people to think of all the things they can do to make a car faster or handle better but ignore the transmissions? How much power the car makes stock is only a starting point. How well it handles and stops is only a starting point. But then you think that how an automatic transmission works stock is the only way it can ever work... ?

This is why so many drag racers use built automatics: they shift faster, more consistently, and are actually very often quicker overall than their manual counterparts. We aren't talking new computer controlled transmissions, but such stalwarts of the racing scene as the Powerglide, the TH350 and TH400, C4 and C6, and Torqueflite 727. These are pretty common in cars that are running 7 and 8 second quarter mile times. When Arthur was talking the "big boys" he means cars runing in the fastest Street car Shootout series, like Nick Scavo's 7 second Camaro and the like. Yeah, faster classes, like Pro Stock, have used Lenco transmissions, but that's as far removed from a street manual as anything could be.

Now, why don't road racers use automatics? Pretty simple. In the early days, that's really all there was to choose from. As sports cars tended to become small and light, small engines were preferred. Small engines need to rev to make power, and they end up with fairly narrow powerbands. In order to have teh engine in it's powerband over teh course of a road racing circuit, you needed a lot of gears, matched to the ecxact powerband and weight of the car. Manual transmissions provided this in a relatively compact package. And what's more, it was easy to change gear ratios depending on the exact circuit you were racing on. Considering a transmission manufacturer like ZF, hewland, Getrag, or Coletti could have one case and hundreds of eaasily swapped gear ratios, that became very important. It's VERY hard to have multiple gear ratios that are easy to change with an automatic. Withut that ability, it's useless. Add to that the way an automatic does use more power to run, and you can see that a sub 1 liter racing engine making under 100 hp simply had to have the flexibility that a manual transmission offered.

But a large car wth a large displacement, high horsepower, torquey engine had more flexibility, and didn't need all those gear ratios. Changing the final drive ratio was enough to retain performance. AND it's easier to use than the rather stiff clutch necessary to handle all that torque.

that's why on dual purpose track/street cars that have high torque figures, I rpefer a built automatic. on the track I gain all the benefits of lightning quick shifts, and less chance of missed shifts and breakage, while on the street, there is increased comfort of not dealing with heavy clutch pedals in stop and go traffic.

On small engine cars, I only use manuals. All the cars I've bought new have had manuals. All my small engine race cars have been manuals, and I've gotten a number of trophies in them. I'm not as good as some of the national champions I race with, but I tend to be better than average at shifting. All my Porsches and VWs have been manuals. But my V8 RX7 autocross car had a built AOD, and the BMW in my sig now has a C6 that is getting the full B&M treatment to handle the hp of the big block V8 in it. It will also be an autocross and track day car, as well as a street monster.

I have no problem with car control, and I would like someone to come and point out where I didn't have enough control with my RX7 to win. I certainly had fun with it and will with the BMW, and I'd like someone to come and point out in my commute where shifting is ever done for fun in my manual transmission commuter car. In fact, I'd like to see where my RX7 was less fun than say, a stock 5 speed Civic DX or VW Bug. if a manual is always fun, and an automatic always not, that shouldn't be true.

Not to say a good manual transmission isn't a great thing at the right time. I do prefer a good sports car with a slick manual trans. But 90% of the time, I'm not shifting while driving even in a manual transmision car. FUN comes in not slowing down for a corner, or having a bunch of power slamming you back in your seat. It doesn't come from saying, "look at me, I shifted!. Oh, look! I did it again!" And control comes more from brakes and steering. I don't have ABS and yaw control for that very reason.

Sorry, been racing for a couple decades, and this is a pet peeve of mine: the unfounded hatred of automatic transmissions and the "automatic" labeling of people with automatics as "non drivers" and automatic equipped performance cars as a waste. It simply isn't true.

Can't argue with that.
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Old 06-27-2004, 03:18 AM   #15
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I drive stick. Im from the US. 1 out of 50 cars are stick? hell no. Close to 50-50 nearly! I live on a 1 mile street with about 16 houses on it and including me there are atleast 5 sticks in the hood.
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