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Old 05-29-2010, 04:08 AM   #1
|Turbo|
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Default Hardest Porsche to drive? (In terms of Clutch)

What in your opinion is the hardest P-car to drive? Clutch wise.

To give a little background, I'm still fairly young, but have been daily driving a manual car (M3) for the past 3-4 years, and understand how to rev match (single clutch only, I don't bother to double clutch), etc. I've never really had trouble driving any other manual car, Skip Barber cars included, but I guess I just have never driven an aggressive clutch with a small amount of slip.

Anyways, I was given the opportunity to drive an old 911 recently, and man that thing really kicked my ***. The pedal started off soft, but as you started to let the clutch out, at a certain point (which was easy to identify), the pedal seemed to turn into a 9,000lb spring (not ideal when you weigh 150lbs). I stalled it a couple times and just called it quits. It really just seemed to have no slip whatsoever.

Perhaps it was because I did not give it enough revs, but I'd rather stall it than burn up my friends clutch. But really, what is the trick to it? I understand that if a clutch is like an on/off button then you can't really slip it and take off super slow, but I see Porsche drivers in ALMS loading up cars onto the trailer and they seem to be able to move the car slowly even when the clutch is virtually a button. How? I don't think I could have gotten that car moving without dropping the clutch and lighting up the tires.

It really kind of frustrated me which leads me to my main question, which is the hardest p-car to drive? I assume it'd be a pre-87 911, like this car was. Hopefully something affordable. I plan to buy one for the sole purpose of mastering it's clutch. I've never stalled a car more than once and I figure if I can drive that, I can drive anything.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:13 AM   #2
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Unless you're strictly limiting this to stock clutch components with all settings/adjustments untouched from the factory...then it doesn't matter what model it is. Any Porsche can be set up with a stiffer or heavier clutch and a greater or lesser degree of slip. Even the stock clutches can be adjusted for weight, if not slip.

My car has had a racing clutch (heavy pedal and VERY little slip) for years, I can't even remember what manufacturer (gotta call Bob Varela and ask some time). On top of that it has a lightweight flywheel, which makes the whole thing even more difficult. I doubt it's as bad as those GT3 Cups in ALMS, but it can't be THAT far off...

My car is probably FAR worse than that 911 you tried to drive...and I daily drive it. And I don't just mean through a few stoplights...I got caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic on SR-836 last weekend and I was trapped for miles LITERALLY clutching in and out every 30 seconds every time the cars around me inched forward.

You just have to do two things.

First, get an appropriate pair of shoes. Do not try to drive a difficult clutch in your huge loose unlaced Vans skate shoes, or in your jump boots. Go look at a pair of racing shoes, get an idea of how they're designed, and then find a pair of "normal" shoes that feels similar. I actually have a pair of Porsche Design Adidas that I LOVE, I can actually heel-and-toe on the street with them, but all you need is something with relatively thin soles which fit tightly and don't have a very compressible tread.

Second...now that you can feel the clutch...get used to it. Go really slowly. Instead of preemptively giving it too many revs before you even start releasing the clutch, work on releasing the clutch more slowly and smoothly. Every clutch will slip, even if it's 0.1% as much as your M3. Practice as much as you can. If you can, drive that one car everywhere and refuse to drive any other car, for as long as it takes. You can't "figure out" what you're doing wrong because this isn't an intellectual skill, it's a motor skill. Once you've done it a thousand or ten thousand or a hundred thousand or a million times, you'll be able to slip any clutch, including that Cup car.

The easiest clutch I've ever tried (probably the easiest of any car ever made) is the MazdaSpeed MX-5 Miata. Through some combination of light weight, low gearing (I'm not kidding, it must be geared for drag racing or something), and a very easy clutch, I discovered one day that you can start the car rolling, from a dead stop, by clutching in, putting the car in first gear, and then slowly clutching out...without ever touching the throttle pedal. All you have to do is slip the clutch slowly and carefully.

And then, because I'm a lunatic (the same one who willingly daily drives a car with a race clutch in heavy Miami traffic), I tried it in all of the other gears. I was absolutely shocked to discover that you can do it in sixth gear. From a dead stop. With no throttle.

If you can find a friend with a MazdaSpeed Miata, borrow it for a day and just try putting it in 6th gear and getting the car rolling without using the throttle. Just remember to release the clutch very, very, very slowly.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:36 PM   #3
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Put your heel on the carpet. Rock your ankle back until you feel some grab. Gas it, then pull your whole leg back.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:17 AM   #4
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you can start the car rolling, from a dead stop, by clutching in, putting the car in first gear, and then slowly clutching out...without ever touching the throttle pedal. All you have to do is slip the clutch slowly and carefully.
This is how I learned to drive. V8 Pontiac Firebird with M22 4 Speed.

If you get on a flat surface, u can learn the 'engagement point' of any car this way, and quickly master shifting the gears..
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:32 AM   #5
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I don't have trouble finding the engagement point in a normal car. I've driven Boxsters and they are extremely easy to engage the clutch on.

My problem is driving performance or "race" clutches. Letting the clutch out slowly with no throttle is a great technique to find the engagement point of a clutch, and I use it often when driving new cars, but I'd imagine it would be impossible to take off in something like GT3 cup car using only the clutch and no throttle.

Lets say for example you were driving a car with a difficult clutch such as a Carrera GT (and actually doing the throttle yourself instead of letting the computer do it for you). What would be the best way to go about it? Releasing the clutch slowly up until it barely grabs, adding and holding some revs, then letting the clutch the rest of the way out quickly so as to not slip it much? Would you do the same for a Cup Car?

I was only able to find one video of a Carrera GT take off without using auto throttle assist, but it is unclear to me exactly how the driver is using the clutch. Maybe someone here can give some insight.

Basically what I'm wondering is, how do you take off slowly and smoothly in a car with a race clutch, while avoiding slipping the clutch as much as possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPTSPxRN0H4

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Old 06-02-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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I'd imagine it would be impossible to take off in something like GT3 cup car using only the clutch and no throttle.
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by |Turbo|
Lets say for example you were driving a car with a difficult clutch such as a Carrera GT (and actually doing the throttle yourself instead of letting the computer do it for you). What would be the best way to go about it? Releasing the clutch slowly up until it barely grabs, adding and holding some revs, then letting the clutch the rest of the way out quickly so as to not slip it much? Would you do the same for a Cup Car?
All of those blend together...but that's vaguely the idea. I've never driven a 911 Cup or Carrera GT, of course, but I think this applies to a Cup car, and more so for performance clutches in "normal" cars.. If you want to start from a light or something, rather than start it aggressively, you would hold fewer revs from the beginning, let the clutch out more slowly, and add the revs as you let it out. If you want to start more aggressively, you'd do it pretty much as you described. I think you're too worried about damaging the clutch by slipping it. Performance clutches are pretty tough, they need to be, so they can usually stand up to a lot of slip.

A Carrera GT has the magic ceramic clutch, so none of this applies. You kinda just dump the clutch, and instead of blowing up like a normal clutch, it engages safely and off you go. It's based on F1 clutches, so it's tiny, lightweight, and indestructible if you drive it correctly. Which I've never tried and probably would StrekStrekStrekStrek up the first few times...
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Lets say for example you were driving a car with a difficult clutch such as a Carrera GT
The CGT does NOT have a difficult clutch. It has a DIFFERENT clutch, but once you learn how to drive it, there's nothing difficult about it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:32 PM   #8
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A Carrera GT has the magic ceramic clutch, so none of this applies. You kinda just dump the clutch, and instead of blowing up like a normal clutch, it engages safely and off you go. It's based on F1 clutches, so it's tiny, lightweight, and indestructible if you drive it correctly. Which I've never tried and probably would StrekStrekStrekStrek up the first few times...
Well, I don't know if I'd call it dumping the clutch, but you've got the right idea. Let it out, let the auto throttle take over and off you go. Do it just like that and no strek-ing up at all.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:36 PM   #9
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Well, I don't know if I'd call it dumping the clutch
I know, but easier to explain that way...that's why I said "kinda".

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Do it just like that and no strek-ing up at all.
I dunno. I might find a way. Either that, or I'd forget the first time, and instinctively start to slip it and grind it to dust
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:36 PM
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