North American Turbocoupe Organization



Clutch habits
RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#1
I'm trying to get out of the habit of feathering the clutch because I think it's changed the way it engages over the years. Clutch as an OE/NAPA. I also like to hold the clutch in at stop lights (replaced the dog-bone once at 70k miles, at 82k now).

It seems like people have problems with the fork breaking or hydraulic system failing on the hydraulic clutch TCs. Do the cable clutch TCs actually age any better?

Do you feather for smooth take off, or do you release fast for a more jerky shift?

At a stop, do you hold the clutch pedal in or do you take it out of gear and idle in neutral?

What are the best habits to ensure longevity?
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
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Nicks86 Offline
Junior Member
#2
I'm in neutral when I'm not moving, it's easier on your thrust bearing. And to me less slipping = longer clutch life.
86 5.0 e303 cam, 1970 ported 351 heads, roller rockers, shorty headers, T5
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DR1Pilot Offline
Member
#3
My tbird is an auto but I drove a 5spd mustang for 6 years. Put in a new clutch when new and clutch is still good despite tons of daily driving. I usually put it in neutral as opposed the holding the clutch at a stop. It's easier on the cable and your foot if the clutch is heavier.
When shifting I would give a second or two before letting off the clutch to let the engine Rpm to slow to the speed the transmission was rotating. Not sure if that made it any easier of the clutch but I got smoother shifts that way.
Project 88 T-Bird 74k original miles
and a Loud Moped
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#4
When I started driving a 5 speed many years ago (1978 Honda Civic CVCC) I downshifted into red lights, stop signs, etc. I soon learned that it's far cheaper and easier to replace brake linings than clutches, so I don't downshift as much as I used to--disengage, brake, shift into a lower gear as I begin to slow to a stop.

I keep my clutch disengaged while stopped in traffic, but maybe I should take a cue from y'all and just keep it engaged and in neutral.
There's few things as satisfying as aggressive shifting on the on-ramp entering the freeway, though. :racing:
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#5
I think it is better to leave it in neutral at stops and let the pedal out. I may just push in the pedal for a short stops. I think that holding the clutch in for all stops puts added stress on the hydraulics (87-88) or the cabling including dog bone on the earlier cars

I try to feather for smooth take offs in 1st gear. I think lurching it off the line is harder on other components, including passengers.

I don't do downshifts as a matter of habit anymore. I think that puts unneeded wear of certain parts that are more expensive than break pads.
Pete Dunham


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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#6
Unless its a very short stop, like a light I know is just about to turn green, I always put in in neutral. I only downshift from, say 5th to 4th if going down long, steep hills in the mountains, and then I try to match RPMs before letting the clutch out.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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BirdJunkie Offline
Senior Member
#7
Same here, I always go to neutral with clutch out. Even in my auto cars I shift to neutral if I know it going to be a wait. Just need to remember to put it in gear before trying to take off. lol. I have seen people do a "neutral drop" because they forgot.
88 TC 5SPD BLACK MY BABY ORIG.OWNER(garage queen)/06 GTO 6SPD RED WIFES CAR(cop magnet...lol)/2011 TAHOE WHITE (wifes daily driver a.k.a Fifty Cent)/2016 SUPER DUTY RED(my daily driver a.k.a BIG red)/06 HAYABUSA (SEXY BITCH)..STATEFARM LUVS ME. ----N.A.T.O Bad Boy Division President----
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RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#8
I guess I'm the only one who holds the pedal in at a stop. I'll give it a try driving the way the rest of you guys do Wink
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
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bkaser90 Offline
Junior Member
#9
If I see a red light ahead, I'll usually pop the shifter into neutral w/o using the clutch and coast up to the stop, then I'll leave it in neutral w clutch out. I feel its easier on the cable/throw out bearing/clutch and prob the thrust bearing in the engine.
'85 turbo coupe Essy head + adj cam sprocket, RR cam, 3" Stinger dp. MM coilovers and Camber plates up front
'83 turbo coupe current AI build
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rokatanski Offline
Member
#10
I am horrible to clutches.

I sometimes ride with my foot on the pedal, Hold the car on a hill with it, and dump it quite often.

/confession
1988 Turbo Coupe (in surgery)
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