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Unread 05-09-2015, 12:00 AM   #1
lemon_head51
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Clutch question

Hi I'm 16 and I just started driving stick. I have a 1988 yj and I was wondering if it is better for the clutch to be in neutral at stop lights and stop signs? Also when shifting into 1st from a stop, does your shifter ever slip back into neutral?

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Unread 05-09-2015, 12:22 PM   #2
Mike Romain
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It is against the law most places to be in neutral at an intersection or to coast in neutral because it isn't safe. It can take too long to react and get you moving or under control when you are in neutral if an emergency happens. I had a nice policeman explain that to me back when I was your age when he caught me coasting out my driveway and down a hill to a stop sign. He said it was obvious to him the floating action that happens when coasting with no load on the suspension. As mentioned, he was nice enough to just explain it to a kid rather than give me a ticket.
Popping out of first normally means you have a worn or broken engine or tranny mount which allows the boot to push on the shifter.
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Unread 05-09-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
frenchy206
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When at a stoplight, holding the clutch down causes added stress to the pressure plate and throwout bearing. I always leave it in neutral when stopped. I wouldn't worry about the legal aspect as no cop with half a brain would attempt to ticket anyone for this.
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Unread 05-09-2015, 02:48 PM   #4
216yj
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I keep it in gear. If you get rear ended and your foot pops off the clutch from the impact and stall at least you won't roll into traffic.
Just your foot on the brake probably won't be enough in an event to offset the forces. (unless maybe you see it coming)

Screw the motor if the bearings are that worn a rebuild isn't too far off anyway.


1st hand experience at least I was in a turning lane or I would have been hit twice.
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Unread 05-14-2015, 07:54 AM   #5
bogleparsons
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It wears on your throw out bearing to stay on the clutch at red lights. Since I hate replacing clutches I always go to neutral.
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Unread 05-14-2015, 12:08 PM   #6
HELMET
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I am always in gear. If bad things are about to happen, I can move now, not in a second or two. I watch my mirrors for the person looking down texting and not slowing down for the light, if there is cross traffic I can go for the side walk, or another lane. I have lived and worked in some bad places, gun fire always means go and go now, not in a second or two, right now. This also means that you can not pull up to close to the vehicle in front of you, you must leave enough room for you to turn out with out hitting them.
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Unread 05-20-2015, 08:06 PM   #7
CoachDad
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I'm in a bit of disbelief that so many people say they stay in gear and on the clutch at traffic lights. I've been an officer for nearly 20 years, and have investigated thousands of crashes. I've also driven a stick for upwards of 20 years. I have not ever, in all this time, witnessed anyone having been involved, and having been put in more danger, for having been in neutral. And I have always approached stops in neutral, and remained out of gear until it was time to move.

The stress on vehicle components in vastly greater when remaining in gear with the clutch disengaged. The practice of coasting and resting in neutral is, in my personal and professional opinion, completely safe. Like everything else, it is dependent upon the driver being fully aware of their surroundings, and maintaining safe distances in 360 degrees while driving, and particularly involving intersections. I suppose if we all want to drive as safe as possible, we can simply wait until about 4 AM, and drive when no other vehicles are on the roadway. Ralph Nader would be proud.
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Unread 05-20-2015, 08:24 PM   #8
Acidhouse
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I'm 45, I've been driving stick since I was 15. I always stay in gear. I've replaced one clutch and no throw out bearings. The clutch was on 160k when it was replaced and my TJ's clutch was still solid and original at 200k when I sold it. I've heard about all of this wear and tear that a manual suffers from having the clutch engaged and I'm not arguing it but I've also never experienced it.
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Unread 05-20-2015, 08:59 PM   #9
ravenworks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acidhouse View Post
I'm 45, I've been driving stick since I was 15. I always stay in gear. I've replaced one clutch and no throw out bearings. The clutch was on 160k when it was replaced and my TJ's clutch was still solid and original at 200k when I sold it. I've heard about all of this wear and tear that a manual suffers from having the clutch engaged and I'm not arguing it but I've also never experienced it.
^^ this,it also helps if they actually know how to drive a stick.
Do you guys really believe your going to wear out your clutch and T/O?
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Unread 05-20-2015, 10:03 PM   #10
Drednot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenworks View Post

Do you guys really believe your going to wear out your clutch and T/O?
Ive seen it twice where the throwout bearing was wasted and the fingers damaged but there was no sign that anything else was bad. No mud or water contamination. Both cases they held the clutch at stops always.

My first dead throwout bearing would start squawking if i held it in for a minute.
There were contamination factors in that case but i was able to nurse it by idling in neutral at stops. To this day, if I anticipate more than a 15 second wait, ill shift to neutral.

Its not really a big deal, unless your junk is starting to signal distress, or you get alot of mud and water up in there
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Unread 05-20-2015, 10:36 PM   #11
baritone_mike
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Anything above 10mph my Jeep is in gear, below that speed unless I am accelerating or holding speed I am usually in neutral. The Jeep is in neutral before I even come to a complete stop for stop lights, for stop signs I usually just leave it in 1st with the clutch pushed in unless there are cars in front of me waiting to go through the stop.

Stop and go traffic gets a little questionable weather to leave it in gear or neutral, usually I just try to idle in 1st gear without ever coming to a complete stop but that is sometimes unreasonable at which point I will push the clutch in and either leave it in gear or throw it into neutral depending on how long I will be stopped.

I even park my Jeep in neutral, and never push in the clutch when I start it.

Offroad is a completely different story, and my Jeep is always in gear if I am moving. Usually that gear is 4low and 1st.

My other manual car and any manual I drive I treat the same way. I even went so far as to disable the clutch safety switch on my other car, so I don't have to push the clutch in when I start the engine. Not that you asked but I also engine brake on every stop and rev match every downshift.
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Unread 05-21-2015, 12:13 AM   #12
AlbertaJeeper
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I've always found the argument that it is dangerous to be in neutral at a light in case you are rear ended to be pretty strange. If the "issue" is that your feet slip off everything and the collision rolls you into the intersection, wouldn't the problem be significantly worse in an auto as it will move forward itself? (and no one has this concern with an auto...) As mentioned before though, I don't think it is a real issue.

I leave mine in neutral if I am stopped for more than a couple seconds, just because I don't want to continue holding the clutch.
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Unread 05-21-2015, 12:27 AM   #13
Maverickxeo
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If Im stopping for a short time, I keep it in gear, and foot on the clutch. If its a long light, or a train, etc, I put it in neutral. Not because of wear, but because it gets hard to hold the clutch to the floor for a longer time.
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Unread 05-21-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
CoachDad
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[QUOTE=Mike Romain;29955057]It is against the law most places to be in neutral at an intersection or to coast in neutral because it isn't safe. It can take too long to react and get you moving or under control when you are in neutral if an emergency happens. I had a nice policeman explain that to me back when I was your age when he caught me coasting out my driveway and down a hill to a stop sign. He said it was obvious to him the floating action that happens when coasting with no load on the suspension. As mentioned, he was nice enough to just explain it to a kid rather than give me a ticket.

I can't speak for anywhere but my state, which is Michigan. It is not illegal to be in neutral at a stop, near an intersection, or particularly in a driveway or on any private property. Where it is illegal, is to coast on downhill sections of roadway. That is not to say that you can not coast to a stop at the bottom of a hill, but rather that you can not coast along down a long and winding mountain road.
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Unread 05-21-2015, 06:36 PM   #15
arbakken
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If it's going to be longer than 10-15 seconds, neutral it is. Otherwise I stay in gear
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