How to shift with AWD or a Manual Transmission.

What about starting off on hills? For advanced users, this is no problem. For first time or novice users, this can be a frightening and stressful experience. Until you can successfully master the art of a hill start, this is what you do:

1. Pull up the handbrake.
2. Attempt to take off as normal.
3. When you feel the car working against the brake, slowly release the brake.
Using this technique you will have a rollback free and safe start on a hill situation.

When I shift from 1st to 2nd, there is a thump sound coming from the rear end of the car. What causes this? The thump is the rear differential hitting either the cross member or the bottom of your car. This is caused by driveline shock due to aggressive driving and shifting. This type of driveline shock is a direct result of maximum acceleration. A thump from the rear end can occur with any shift, but most commonly occurs during the 1-2 shift due to it having the greatest internal transmission.

How to I remove the thump sound? Many people have experienced a reduction in rear differential noise by the installation of stiffer STi transmission mounts and/or differential mounts. The wisdom of this method is highly debated though. Common sense thought processes indicate that the stiffer mounts only transfer the shock to internal transmission and differential components. The ultimate cure is to modify the shifting technique where the driveline shock occurs.

How do I shift without the thump? You should wait until the point where you are no longer pressed into the back of your seat to let the clutch out on your second gear shift. As to the actual application of this technique:

1. You are in first gear, taking it to your favorite shift RPM.
2. Once you reach this RPM, let off the gas pedal and depress the clutch.
3. Shift into second. (Items 2 & 3 can be done quickly)
4. “The wait”. Judge it based on your body’s movement. Visualize your pelvis as the axis….when the rearward pressure of acceleration leaves your body and you feel as if you can naturally lean forward at the waist…..this is the shift point.
5. Release the clutch.

This is a shifting technique that requires some practice due to variances from car to car. Yes, it’s slower, but better for your rear differential and transmission in the long run.