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#1 10-10-08 07:32:30

paulcook
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From: Edinburgh
Registered: 13-05-08
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If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

My time on this pink license is throwing up so many new questions..!!! Sorry.

I'm finding that brand new pupils find it difficult to "set the gas" first, before finding the bite.  No wonder really, because I find it difficult too, after 21 years of driving.  Hence i've never done it that way.  I'm having more success teaching pupils to do it the way I do it myself, which is:

"Cover" the gas, not touching it at all, and then raise the clutch to biting point.  The amount of revs at idle are enough to "hold" the car, and even to get it going, providing you're slow and gentle.  I only get pupils to add gas if we're on an incline, and even at that, I get them to do it AFTER the clutch is "holding" the car.

If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem?


Paul Cook, ADI, Grade 5, DIAmond Special Test

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10-10-08 07:32:30

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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)




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#2 10-10-08 08:01:45

tony adi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

To nick tim's word (very appropriate for all these things) don't stick to dogma.

Do you know the origins of setting the gas?

Simple answer (although others will follow- could even tell you what they'll say wink) it won't be a problem.


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#3 10-10-08 08:15:58

paulcook
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Good, thanks for your response.  I'm intrigued to hear what the origins of "setting the gas" are.....


Paul Cook, ADI, Grade 5, DIAmond Special Test

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#4 10-10-08 16:52:46

timmanwaringadi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

....also intrigued....?!

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#5 10-10-08 18:46:13

john55
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From: Stirling
Registered: 25-05-06
Posts: 227

Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

i would also like to know the origins of this too.  it does say in Essential Skills to set gas first, but doesn't explain why. i suppose there's a chance of stalling if the pup brings the clutch up too far too quickly. if gas is set first there's less chance of that. like Paul i've always taught find bite first.   


If you can't do it safely don't do it at all

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#6 10-10-08 18:51:12

timmanwaringadi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

One thing to be wary of on Part 3 is that any deviation from the "correct" way of doing things will encourage the examiner to make mistakes connected to the unorthodox method.

Certainly wouldn't advise against it, but beware of all of the possible problems that it could cause and head them off at the pass before the ex leads you a merry dance.

(come on then tony - still waiting.....)

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#7 10-10-08 19:49:42

tony adi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Carburettors.

When was the last time you drove a car with a carburettor? remember chokes as well?


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#8 10-10-08 20:38:28

timmanwaringadi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Could you expand for those of us who remember both carburettors and chokes, but have no real idea of how they work or how setting the gas or not could affect them?

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#9 10-10-08 20:57:09

tony adi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

When you press the gas pedal, what does it actually do?

Look up carburettor on wikipedia or such like, it will explain it better and quicker than I can.

Over simplifying it, in the days of carburettors it was best to "get the engine running" before finding bite. Since the introduction of ECU's and EMU's they do the job for you.

Gotta go on a "taxi run" for son now. Have a feeling this may get "interesting" though wink


www.selbydriving.co.uk

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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same
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~ Winston Churchill

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#10 10-10-08 21:10:27

timmanwaringadi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Have rapidly educated myself and still can't really be sure - I'm guessing that with a carb engine you're almost guaranteed to stall the thing using this technique?

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#11 10-10-08 22:28:55

tony adi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

This is probably going to get picked over, but remember we're not talking about setting off here, and I am trying to keep it simple.


With a carburettor if you found bite at idle speed there was an increased risk (depending on the system and other factors such as temperature) of either stalling the car or flooding the engine depending on the air/fuel ratio. Hence the "accepted" best practice was basically to increase engine speed before engaging clutch. Since the introduction of fuel injection systems ECU's and EMU's it's not a problem, the "system" compensates. So the question is do you need to "set the gas" before finding bite with a modern engine? Or is it just another old myth that won't go away?

Another factor that comes into play is the higher the engine speed when you engage the clutch the greater the wear on the clutch plates. I've had pupils come to me who've been taught to "set the gas" at anything from 1500 to 2500 revs, you've just got to ask why? Is it just a lazy way of teaching to compensate for poor clutch control?

Sorry if it's a bit muddled, trying to fix son's laptop as I type. Anybody want to adopt a 13 year old :evil: :evil: :evil:


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“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same
function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy
state of things.”
~ Winston Churchill

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#12 11-10-08 08:30:46

DampDog
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Not setting gas is highly dependant on the car. Big modern diesels will easily pull away with "no gas" my little Polo will happily pull-away in second on level ground with no gas set. Also modern engine management systems will do thier best to not let the engine stall "diesel surge". Modern engines dynanically alter timing and fueling in responce to load and other parameters. Older cars do none of that so gas has to be set at a level so engine is developing enough pwer to overcome the stall.

However it's a different story for petrol, my previous car was also a Vdub but a 20V petrol, on paper a 40+% more bhp. But big revvy engine, absolutely no torque at the bottom end, setting no gas or even being modest with it would always result in a stall. Modern cars have much lighter flywheels, the reason the flywhell is there is to store energy, that what smooths out the engine at low revs between each cylider firing. Engine management systems now do some of some of that smoothing for you so the clutch plate can be much lighter, downside is the energy stored in the clutch plate is less, hence you need a few more revs. to help car get away. Engine management systems are also very clever the know that exta gas is set so do their best to help, rather than simply maintaining tickover.

Recently had a pupil who was no quite getting to grips finding and setting the bite. Gave him little reminder of how the clutch works two plates coming together until they grip, etc,etc. I demonstrated to him first then let him try it. Level ground, no gas at all. Gently with the clutch first to bite then move away. Then same level ground, 1500+ revs, (1500revs will launch my Polo) gently with the clutch and still move away slowly. Idea being they grasp it's the clutch that they use for control at slow speeds , not the gas, all they need do is keep it steady until the cars is moving and has gained some momentum. Seems to work a treat, he's now grasped all he has to do is keep the gas steady and not try to balance it. So now we do it by the book set a little gas ( just enough 1000revs) and off we go.


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#13 11-10-08 08:41:43

tony adi
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Hi Damp Dog

Very good post, but do you need to set gas before finding bite with a modern engine? Not talking about setting off, just finding bite.


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~ Winston Churchill

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#14 11-10-08 09:10:54

DampDog
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From: Staffordshire.
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Hi Damp Dog

Very good post, but do you need to set gas before finding bite with a modern engine? Not talking about setting off, just finding bite.

I'd have said yes, OK here's my reasoning (twisted or wrong as it might be)

Right you set no gas, bring up the clutch a gently as you like and the engine is going to slow. It has too, your bringing the clutch plate and flywheel into contact putting load on the engine it has to slow. That extra load may be enough to stall the engine. Even if you don't stall you've got closer to that point.

OK with gas, same scenario, gently with the clutch engine slows. That little extra gas keeps the engine turning just fast enough so that you stay out of the region where the engine wants to stall. (Now that difference in gas may be only a couple of hundred revs, but that's all it need be)

That said the important bit is the finesse with the clutch, it's ultimately getting that "feel" what gets you away and that takes practise. As an experienced driver, you balance the gas and clutch without thinking about it, feeding in the gas as the bite point is reached and you move away. How you'd teach that I don't know, so I give them something they can understand and use to get them going. Does that make sense or is it typical DD drivel?


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#15 11-10-08 09:31:55

KevB
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From: Amesbury
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Nope DD.

Well worded and descriptive yet clear and concise explaination. smile

Regards, Dimmy

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#16 11-10-08 12:52:46

Luchell
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From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Someone lend me a 'Girls guide to mechanics' could they  lol lol  All i know is if you have been given a fiesta Zetec diesel whilst your car is in for repair remember to have your radio low enough to hear the fact you are over gassing the car right down the road ..........................     roll lol

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#17 11-10-08 15:54:20

tony adi
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From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Right you set no gas, bring up the clutch a gently as you like and the engine is going to slow. It has too, your bringing the clutch plate and flywheel into contact putting load on the engine it has to slow. That extra load may be enough to stall the engine.

Bringing the clutch to bite will not stall a modern engine. Bringing it above bite may.

OK with gas, same scenario, gently with the clutch engine slows. That little extra gas keeps the engine turning just fast enough so that you stay out of the region where the engine wants to stall. (Now that difference in gas may be only a couple of hundred revs, but that's all it need be)

Having the revs higher whilst finding bite could be argued to be compensating for poor clutch control.

feeding in the gas as the bite point is reached and you move away. How you'd teach that I don't know,

How about teaching it as you just said?

It's not a matter of right or wrong or my way is better than another way. It's simply that with modern engines is there actually any reason to set the gas before finding bite, with older engines there were reasons for it. Or is continuing to teach an old fashioned method actually detrimental?

This is a discussion by the way, teach whatever method you feel is best for you and your pupils. It's just food for thought. As the OP said most of his pupils find it easier to get bite without setting gas first, in my book there's nothing wrong with that.


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#18 11-10-08 16:24:37

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Bringing the clutch to bite will not stall a modern engine. Bringing it above bite may.

The type engine does make a big difference on that one, try it in a Toyota Aygo, C1 one of the 3 cylinder engines, they're much more prone to just stalling. And I'm talking about novice drivers where the difference between finding the bite and being past it is still challenging.

Having the revs higher whilst finding bite could be argued to be compensating for poor clutch control.

I sort of take your point, but balancing one against the other especially in the begining can be a mystery. Holding the gas and feeding in the clutch is much more achievable and reproducible. That said the balance starts to come with practice as confidence builds.

feeding in the gas as the bite point is reached and you move away. How you'd teach that I don't know,

How about teaching it as you just said?

As I said I'm not sure how you teach balance and finesse, that comes with confidence and practice

You're dead right about fiding a way the works and suits the pupil, what works for one won't necessarily work for another. As I still consider myself a novice I'm still finding my way so to speak so any and all methods are welcome.

Sorry didn't intend to hi-jack the thread. "I'll get me coat"


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#19 11-10-08 17:41:07

tony adi
Verified Member
From: Selby
Registered: 12-05-08
Posts: 1,233
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

You haven't hijacked anything DD, you've contributed a very valid opinion. Only by openly discussing things that are regarded by some as set in stone is there ever any advancement.

By the way practice is part of the learning process.


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#20 11-10-08 17:46:19

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

My only word of advice would be that if a customer is getting private practice in their own car it will probably be an older petrol car.

By not setting gas in your own, you could wind up with a customer who hates their own car (if you have a look at the 2pass forum you will regularly see these posts for exactly this reason).

I don't teach manual these days, but I would be tempted to teach setting the gas until they have the hang of it, then show them the difference by taking them out for a lesson in their own car and showing them how they differ.

There's no problem at all (in fact it's very instructive) to show exactly how well modern diesels (and some petrols) with engine management will pull away with no gas very early on. As you say DD - it allows them to concentrate on exactly what the clutch does, without adding in the extra variable of having gas on.

I get a lot of people on the 4x4 courses who cannot believe that a vehicle will set off with no gas (essential in some off-roaders for a variety of reasons) even on extremely steep hills when in low gear ratio. I also get a lot of people who have been driving for a long time who operate the clutch like a switch, and are completely unable to hold a bit point. Ah well!

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#21 19-10-08 17:39:31

ijmoore
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire
Registered: 25-10-06
Posts: 1,077
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Re: If I taught this on a part 3 test, would it be a problem? (Clutch control)

Very interesting thread. My opionion is that teaching both with and without us important. I appriciate some may be confused with this, but I at least explain that both methods work, ad and disadvantages in both.

My car will pull off with gentle clutch control in 1, 2 and 3rd gears on most gradients without, but that is irrelevant students are paying for you to teach them to drive, in my view most cars.

So if they got a 1.0 petrol car, they can drive it, or if they had a 3.0diesel they could drive that too!

I admit I hadn't fully explored the advantages (better control in low grip conditions for ex) as fully as I could, so its a useful learning point.


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