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'[OT] Sideways bike'
2007\02\20@064153 by Jinx

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"An inventor has made a bike that travels sideways. How
does it work ?"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6375259.stm

"150 years of development of the current bike has given us ultra
lightweight, fast, full suspension bikes made from steel, aluminium
and even carbon fibre. These bikes work brilliantly, hence making
this sideways bike a totally pointless exercise. This story will the
first and last time we ever hear about this ridiculous machine"

2007\02\21@054301 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
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> "An inventor has made a bike that travels sideways. How
> does it work ?"
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6375259.stm
>
> "150 years of development of the current bike has given us ultra
> lightweight, fast, full suspension bikes made from steel, aluminium
> and even carbon fibre. These bikes work brilliantly, hence making
> this sideways bike a totally pointless exercise. This story will the
> first and last time we ever hear about this ridiculous machine"

Indeed.
But also:

   "It's a shame that all of the responses so far to this invention
are negative. It is true that much practical detail remains to be
solved and that modern traffic situations, tricky for any cyclist,
would be more dangerous for the sideways bike - as it stands. It is
also not clear how well the sideways bike would cope with steep hills.
But not all cycling is about city transportation. Much of it is for
health and for pleasure. The conventional diamond-framed bike, however
evolved, remains uncomfortable for many (in particular causing lumbar
problems in many). If the sensation of riding one of these machines
really is as pleasurable as is described - affording 'grace and
motion', being 'dance-like' - then this is surely a valid contribution
to the world of two-wheeled transport. And to attract people to green
transport requires a degree of enchantment and attraction! Loosen up a
bit, everyone! OK, don't try it round the Arc de Triomphe like Mr
Killian did. And at £150 even I could afford one - more than can be
said for a decent conventional bike. "
Robin Thomson, Hawick, Scottish Borders, UK


       R

2007\02\21@061756 by Tony Smith

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> tricky for any cyclist, would be more dangerous for the
> sideways bike - as it stands. It is also not clear how well
> the sideways bike would cope with steep hills.


...the article makes mention of a scar...

One of these days* I might try putting a split pulley system on a bike.  

You don't see these all that much on machinery, just the occasional drill
press.  Hmmm.  You've no doubt seen normal stepped pulleys, two sets of
pulleys and the belt is moved around to get different ratios, the same
concept as most bike gears these days.

On a split pulley, you slice a perfectly normal v-groove pulley down the
middle.  You then control how far apart the two halves go, wider means the
belt slips further down, thus the diameter of the pulley effectively gets
small, and closing the gap does the reverse.  I think I could get it to
work, a rubber belt does have a few advantages over a chain (which doesn't
really explain why Harley Davidson does it, I guess the chain flicks too
much crud onto the chrome).

Only a few minor quibbles to overcome, of course.

Tony


* - i.e. Never

2007\02\21@062959 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Variable ratio V belt pulley systems are quite lossy though, especialy compared to a chain and sprockets which is one of the most efficient drive systems.  Also having a drive system on a pushbike that would be prone to slipping if not tenisoned exactly right could be interesting.

Regards

Mike

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2007\02\21@080803 by Tony Smith

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> >I could get it to work, a rubber belt does have a few
> advantages over a
> >chain (which doesn't really explain why Harley Davidson does it, I
> >guess the chain flicks too much crud onto the chrome).
> >
> >Only a few minor quibbles to overcome, of course.
>
> Variable ratio V belt pulley systems are quite lossy though,
> especialy compared to a chain and sprockets which is one of
> the most efficient drive systems.  Also having a drive system
> on a pushbike that would be prone to slipping if not
> tenisoned exactly right could be interesting.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike


If they're less efficient that might explain the 'you don't see them much'
bit.  Why would they be worse than a regular v-belt?  Where's my book, oh,
that's right, the problem with moving house is you lose (sight of) your
books.

Yeah, tension is a bit of a problem, not insurmountable though.

Minor quibbles!  No sideways unfortunately, but I do have a totally
impractical system with grooved belts.

Tony

2007\02\21@152652 by Jinx

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> I could get it to work, a rubber belt does have a few
> advantages over a chain

There's CVT too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuously_variable_transmission

A neighbour had an old DAF (remember DAFs ?). A ride in that
was.......odd

2007\02\21@170245 by John Ferrell

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My John Deere Gator uses that kind of reduction in the drive line. It seems
to be trouble free in spite of the abuse it gets. It is a tough little work
vehicle that is very popular.

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2007\02\22@170310 by M. Adam Davis

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An engineer friend that works at ford told me (ie, grain of salt, but
who knows) that they have a model or two out (or coming out? or merely
concept testing?  I don't recall...) with CVT.

The computer that controls it revs the engine at preconfigured "shift
points"  to reduce the odd feeling all their study participants felt
while driving or merely riding in it.  The constant acceleration force
is a _very_ different feeling from a normal ATX which has a ramping
low acceleration to high, then a sort of free-fall, then a jolt back
into the low to high acceleration.

So we've been programmed, apparently, to need that shifting feeling.
(cue song - "You've lost ... that shifting feeling... woah that
shifting feeling...")

I asked if one could turn it off and he indicated that he wasn't aware
of whether it was meant to be user adjustable.

Ah -
http://media.ford.com/newsroom/release_display.cfm?release=18343

They released 3 of their 2005 models with chain and cone pulley CVTs.
The transmissions are also said to be 8% more efficient than a normal
ATX.

-Adam

On 2/21/07, Jinx <joecolquittspamKILLspamclear.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\02\22@171405 by Marcel duchamp

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M. Adam Davis wrote:
>
> So we've been programmed, apparently, to need that shifting feeling.
> (cue song - "You've lost ... that shifting feeling... woah that
> shifting feeling...")

Oh! So you are *that* Adam Davis from Motown Records...

2007\02\23@062330 by Lee Jones

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>> There's CVT too

> An engineer friend that works at ford told me [...] model with CVT
>
> The computer that controls it revs the engine at preconfigured "shift
> points"  to reduce the odd feeling all their study participants felt
> while driving or merely riding in it.  The constant acceleration force
> is a _very_ different feeling from a normal ATX which has a ramping
>
> So we've been programmed, apparently, to need that shifting feeling.

Another example of building a product to match user programming...

I used to commute with a friend in his Prius hybrid car.  I have
driven it.  [This is the US version with automatic transmission.]

When the vehicle is halted (e.g. stopped at a red light), computer
shuts down the gasoline engine.  If you ease your foot off of the
brake pedel, the computer uses the electric motor to cause the car
to creep forward ... since that's what a gasoline engine powered
car with an automatic transmission does.

                                               Lee Jones

2007\02\23@093641 by Tony Smith

picon face

> An engineer friend that works at ford told me (ie, grain of
> salt, but who knows) that they have a model or two out (or
> coming out? or merely concept testing?  I don't recall...) with CVT.
>
> The computer that controls it revs the engine at
> preconfigured "shift points"  to reduce the odd feeling all
> their study participants felt while driving or merely riding
> in it.  The constant acceleration force is a _very_ different
> feeling from a normal ATX which has a ramping low
> acceleration to high, then a sort of free-fall, then a jolt
> back into the low to high acceleration.


Years & years ago, you could get bicycles with automatic gear changes
(derailleur type).  It worked on the tension of the the chain, high tension
means it shifted down, low tension shifted up.

I've no idea how it actually worked, but I guess 'not very well' as it has
vanished.

Tony

2007\02\23@102136 by Jonathan Hallameyer

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That would bug me a bit... I like sitting at intersections with my foot off
the brake in my manual... It would be nice if stuff like that was
configurable, even if it was with something you had to go to the dealership
for, or use something like an OBDII scanner.

On 2/23/07, Lee Jones <.....leeKILLspamspam.....frumble.claremont.edu> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\02\23@112308 by Walter Banks

picon face
They worked quite well when they did. Too many adjustments.
Modern high tolerance manufacturing would have made quite
a difference. They were a little weird to ride. They changed
the way you rode any hard acceleration wound up downshifting.



w..

Tony Smith wrote:

>
> Years & years ago, you could get bicycles with automatic gear changes
> (derailleur type).  It worked on the tension of the the chain, high tension
> means it shifted down, low tension shifted up.
>
> I've no idea how it actually worked, but I guess 'not very well' as it has
> vanished.


2007\02\23@113936 by Martin Klingensmith

picon face
There were types with weights on the rear wheel as well. The free-wheel was
in the bottom bracket so that it would shift for you even if you were
coasting. Interesting idea but people who ride bikes often enough to
purchase them are usually more interested in reliability and weight.
--
Martin

On 2/23/07, Walter Banks <EraseMEwalterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbytecraft.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\02\23@164603 by Jinx

face picon face
> Years & years ago, you could get bicycles with automatic gear
> changes (derailleur type).  It worked on the tension of the the
> chain, high tension means it shifted down, low tension shifted up

I saw those bikes, but they didn't do what I wanted. More useful
than an automatic gearbox is one that knows what front and rear
sprockets are in use, and what is the next combination if you want
to go up or down a ratio. I haven't the tables I did to hand, but if
you're familiar with say a 21-speed, the sequence from granny
to top gear isn't front1-back[1234567] front2-back[1234567]
front3-back[1234567]. Up/down by one ratio is often a change
to both front and rear. I did figure out how to do it with a couple
of solenoids or steppers and a micro, but didn't (yet)

2007\02\23@164623 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 23, 2007, at 3:24 AM, Lee Jones wrote:

>  If you ease your foot off of the
> brake pedel, the computer uses the electric motor to cause the car
> to creep forward ... since that's what a gasoline engine powered
> car with an automatic transmission does.
>
I just got a new prius hybrid myself.  I thought this particular
behavior was due at least partially to this being a particularly
INEFFICIENT (as per Gerhard) operation point for a gas motor.  It's
also useful when you're stopped going uphill; people used to automatic
transmissions are NOT used to having to take special precautions to
keep from rolling backward...

BillW

2007\02\24@032843 by Jake Anderson

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Feb 23, 2007, at 3:24 AM, Lee Jones wrote:
>
>  
>>  If you ease your foot off of the
>> brake pedel, the computer uses the electric motor to cause the car
>> to creep forward ... since that's what a gasoline engine powered
>> car with an automatic transmission does.
>>
>>    
> I just got a new prius hybrid myself.  I thought this particular
> behavior was due at least partially to this being a particularly
> INEFFICIENT (as per Gerhard) operation point for a gas motor.  It's
> also useful when you're stopped going uphill; people used to automatic
> transmissions are NOT used to having to take special precautions to
> keep from rolling backward...
>
> BillW
>  
So when they get into a manual??
special precautions being... if you want the car not to move. Apply the
brake.
....mmmm tricky.


Using the electric motor to hold the car still when going up hill would
be even more inefficient than using the petrol motor I'd think. An
electric motor at stall uses loads of power and does no work.

2007\02\24@211219 by Martin Klingensmith

picon face
On 2/24/07, Jake Anderson <jakespamspam_OUTvapourforge.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> Using the electric motor to hold the car still when going up hill would
> be even more inefficient than using the petrol motor I'd think. An
> electric motor at stall uses loads of power and does no work.
>
> -

2007\02\25@014738 by Jake Anderson

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Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> On 2/24/07, Jake Anderson <@spam@jakeKILLspamspamvapourforge.com> wrote:
>  
>>
>> Using the electric motor to hold the car still when going up hill would
>> be even more inefficient than using the petrol motor I'd think. An
>> electric motor at stall uses loads of power and does no work.
>>
>> --

2007\02\25@022415 by William Chops Westfield
face picon face

On Feb 24, 2007, at 12:29 AM, Jake Anderson wrote:

> if you want the car not to move. Apply the brake.

Y'all have never driven a manual in San Francisco, have you?

The point is that people used to an automatic transmission expect
the "transmission drag" to prevent them from having to worry about
slipping backward as they move their foot from the brake to the gas.
For a hybrid to lose that "feature" because it was so smart that
all the motors were off when the car was stopped would be unacceptable.

Hybrids in the US seem to be a bit of a ... cheat.  Even the Prius
is not a small "efficiency" car, and many of the other hybrid
offerings seem to tack an electric motor onto a V6 just so that
buyers can feel a little better about fuel efficiency.  Where's
the "major effort" toward a highly efficient "seats 4 if 2 are
children" commuter vehicle?

In the two weeks I've had it, the prius has been delivering about
47mpg in "real" driving, compared to the mid to high 20s for my
old saturn SW1 (also a 4cylinder car.)  In another week and a half,
I'll need to buy some more gas...  I'm pretty happy with that.

BillW

2007\02\25@043636 by Jake Anderson

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> Y'all have never driven a manual in San Francisco, have you?
>
>  
No but i'll give paramatta road in sydney a go for stop-start and living
in the blue mountains a go for hills ;-P

Its not hard to go from break > clutch without rolling.

> The point is that people used to an automatic transmission expect
> the "transmission drag" to prevent them from having to worry about
> slipping backward as they move their foot from the brake to the gas.
> For a hybrid to lose that "feature" because it was so smart that
> all the motors were off when the car was stopped would be unacceptable.
>
>  
Its driver training, when you get into a new car you drive the car the
way it needs to be driven.
What happens when an auto driver gets into a manual?
> Hybrids in the US seem to be a bit of a ... cheat.  Even the Prius
> is not a small "efficiency" car, and many of the other hybrid
> offerings seem to tack an electric motor onto a V6 just so that
> buyers can feel a little better about fuel efficiency.  Where's
> the "major effort" toward a highly efficient "seats 4 if 2 are
> children" commuter vehicle?
>  
I am getting a new car soon, I looked at the prius It seems to get ~4.9
L to the 100KM for ~$50k
A Mitsubishi Colt with CVT seems to get 5.4 in the same test, for ~$17k

The average car in Australia does 20000Km per year.

cost for prius fuel per year = 980L = $1225 (@1.25 $/L)
cost for colt   fuel per year = 1080L = $1350 (@1.25 $/L)

difference being $125 per year.
Payback period = 264 years.


My 1985 Telstar gets 7.9K/100 in real driving (the test used in the
Australian standard is reputedly low by ~30%)

I am undecided on the best way of achieving high fuel efficiency without
sacrificing performance.
Electric is the way to go, an electric Wheel motor attached to a petrol
motor would be more efficient than current mechanical transmissions.
The question is do you aim for a "plug in hybrid" with ~100km range.
Or a small efficient petrol motor with batteries/ultracapacitors for
peak power demands.
Concept cars have been made that apparently get 1L/100km with no
electrical assistance, If you combine that with electrics, you should
get the same efficiency with as much performance as you want to pay for.


> In the two weeks I've had it, the prius has been delivering about
> 47mpg in "real" driving, compared to the mid to high 20s for my
> old saturn SW1 (also a 4cylinder car.)  In another week and a half,
> I'll need to buy some more gas...  I'm pretty happy with that.
>
> BillW
>
>  
I can go a month between filling my car up, But then thats probably
because most of my commuting consists of getting out of bed and walking
to the office ;->

2007\02\25@060628 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 25, 2007, at 1:37 AM, Jake Anderson wrote:

> I am getting a new car soon, I looked at the prius It seems to get ~4.9
> L to the 100KM for ~$50k
> A Mitsubishi Colt with CVT seems to get 5.4 in the same test, for ~$17k
>
That's quite a price difference!  My prius was $26k on the bottom line,
whereas I don't know anything you could buy new in the US for $9k!
The prius apparent counts as a "midsized" car vs "supermini/subcompact"
for the colt, so it's not JUST the hybrid technology you're paying
for...  (though with car pricing the way it seems to be, I've never
been very sure WHAT one pays for when buying a car.)

BillW


2007\02\25@070806 by Jake Anderson

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Feb 25, 2007, at 1:37 AM, Jake Anderson wrote:
>
>  
>> I am getting a new car soon, I looked at the prius It seems to get ~4.9
>> L to the 100KM for ~$50k
>> A Mitsubishi Colt with CVT seems to get 5.4 in the same test, for ~$17k
>>
>>    
> That's quite a price difference!  My prius was $26k on the bottom line,
> whereas I don't know anything you could buy new in the US for $9k!
> The prius apparent counts as a "midsized" car vs "supermini/subcompact"
> for the colt, so it's not JUST the hybrid technology you're paying
> for...  (though with car pricing the way it seems to be, I've never
> been very sure WHAT one pays for when buying a car.)
>
> BillW
>
>  
That was in $Aus
prius.toyota.com.au/toyota/vehicle/FreeText/0,4665,2382_842,00.html
says a new base model prius is $38000
new one with the extras is $47000

I am looking for something thats the opposite to the Jeep grand
cherrokee which is the other car in the family.
(In use consumption is ~14L/100Km. So the colt looks pretty good, except
when towing a trailer load of crud up the hill ;->)

2007\02\25@132040 by Denny Esterline

picon face


> > I am getting a new car soon, I looked at the prius It seems to get ~4.9
> > L to the 100KM for ~$50k
> > A Mitsubishi Colt with CVT seems to get 5.4 in the same test, for ~$17k
> >
> That's quite a price difference!  My prius was $26k on the bottom line,
> whereas I don't know anything you could buy new in the US for $9k!

I'll bet thier is some some confusion between US$ and NZ$ / Aus$ in there
somewhere.

But I bought my Hyudai Accent for under 10K$ (US) last year and that gets
35mpg every day.

-Denny

2007\02\25@171012 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 25, 2007, at 10:20 AM, Denny Esterline wrote:

> I'll bet thier is some some confusion between US$ and
>  NZ$ / Aus$ in there

Well, I assumed an exchange rate issue, but I couldn't come up
with one that matched my expectations for a low-price car...

BillW

2007\02\25@172059 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
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On 2/25/07, William Chops Westfield <KILLspamwestfwKILLspamspammac.com> wrote:
> In the two weeks I've had it, the prius has been delivering about
> 47mpg in "real" driving, compared to the mid to high 20s for my
> old saturn SW1 (also a 4cylinder car.)  In another week and a half,
> I'll need to buy some more gas...  I'm pretty happy with that.

So since I don't know their "plan"...

When will you need to buy batteries for it, Bill?  How long will they
last?  How will you dispose of the originals?

I've not looked lately, but originally there were questions about
this, and no one seemed to ever answer them... just a hollow no
response...

Nate

2007\02\26@050925 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>cost for prius fuel per year = 980L = $1225 (@1.25 $/L)
>cost for colt   fuel per year = 1080L = $1350 (@1.25 $/L)
>
>difference being $125 per year.
>Payback period = 264 years.

However in 5 years from now, what will their resale values be ??? That would
make a difference to the short term payback.

2007\02\26@094332 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Jake Anderson wrote:

> Its driver training, when you get into a new car you drive the car the
> way it needs to be driven. What happens when an auto driver gets into a
> manual?

That can be a problem :)  

In Germany, you are (or used to be?) allowed to drive only automatic
transmission cars if you made your driver license test in an automatic car.
For a general license, you have (or had?) to do the test in a car with a
manual transmission.

Gerhard

2007\02\26@101601 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>In Germany, you are (or used to be?) allowed to drive only
>automatic transmission cars if you made your driver license
>test in an automatic car. For a general license, you have
>(or had?) to do the test in a car with a manual transmission.

I believe this is the case in other countries too, certainly New Zealand.

2007\02\26@223252 by Martin Klingensmith

picon face
In the US, people who only drive automatic cars do not drive manual
transmissions. I believe it is much more common that a person in the US have
an automatic transmission though this may be changing (for other countries)
--
Martin K

On 2/26/07, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> >In Germany, you are (or used to be?) allowed to drive only
> >automatic transmission cars if you made your driver license
> >test in an automatic car. For a general license, you have
> >(or had?) to do the test in a car with a manual transmission.
>
> I believe this is the case in other countries too, certainly New Zealand.
> -

2007\02\27@020133 by Jake Anderson

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>> cost for prius fuel per year = 980L = $1225 (@1.25 $/L)
>> cost for colt   fuel per year = 1080L = $1350 (@1.25 $/L)
>>
>> difference being $125 per year.
>> Payback period = 264 years.
>>    
>
> However in 5 years from now, what will their resale values be ??? That would
> make a difference to the short term payback.
>
>  
well i would imagine the prius would depreciate much faster than the colt.
especially as in 5 years it would be up for a battery change.

I am all for electric cars. The prius just isn't one.

2007\02\27@091129 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Martin Klingensmith wrote:

>>> In Germany, you are (or used to be?) allowed to drive only automatic
>>> transmission cars if you made your driver license test in an automatic
>>> car. For a general license, you have (or had?) to do the test in a car
>>> with a manual transmission.
>>
>> I believe this is the case in other countries too, certainly New
>> Zealand.
>
> In the US, people who only drive automatic cars do not drive manual
> transmissions.

This is pretty much universally valid (talking about tautologies :)

But I don't think that people who only want to drive automatic cars never
drive manuals (think about driving a friend's car in a special situation,
for example). In any case, people who never showed that they are able to
drive a manual are allowed to go on the road with it in the USA -- which
seems to be different in other countries.

Gerhard

2007\02\27@110721 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-02-27 at 11:11 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Well, I can tell you in North America that having a manual car means the
chances you car will be stolen are FAR less (assuming it's not a car
KNOWN for having a manual, i.e. a Vette).

People don't drive stick here. Almost every car you get here comes in
automatic (and the few that don't are for a reason, i.e. the Subaru
Impreza STI only comes in stick, because it's a drivers car and putting
an automatic in it would be a sin). MANY cars don't even give you the
choice of stick (especially domestic, many of the imports at least give
the option on some/most models). The only ones that do on a common scale
are the REALLY cheap ones (choose stick to save money), the REALLY
expensive ones (because an auto in a performance car is a sin), or some
of the "niche" ones.

Of the people I know very few have ever driven stick. I myself hadn't
even seen a car with manual transmission until I bought one with it (I
specifically WANTED a car with stick).

On the flip side, in the parts of Europe I've been in almost nobody
drives automatics. Aside from the power loss through the torque
converter (important because people actual look for cars with reasonable
horse power numbers in Europe), and the less control an auto gives you,
the auto's they DO have in Europe SUCK. They are rough shifting and FAR
less refined then the autos in North America. One thing the North
America manufacturers are superior to everyone else is building
automatic trannys, especially GM.

TTYL

2007\02\27@132514 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> On the flip side, in the parts of Europe I've been in almost nobody
> drives automatics. Aside from the power loss through the torque
> converter (important because people actual look for cars with reasonable
> horse power numbers in Europe), and the less control an auto gives you,

I think it's more about the mileage (see gas prices over there) and the
price (automatics seem to be more expensive than traditional manuals).

Regarding power: the modern converters aren't that bad. When you need high
power, they are mostly locked and don't have much loss. But when you need
high torque at low speeds (where you would slip the clutch), they can
actually provide more torque than a clutch AFAIK.


> the auto's they DO have in Europe SUCK. They are rough shifting and FAR
> less refined then the autos in North America.

I think this may have been true for the conventional hydraulic automatics
common in the USA, but this seems to be changing. European manufacturers
are looking at automatic shifting from a different angle and are coming out
with solutions that combine advantages from manual and automatic
transmissions (often electronically controlled dual-clutch designs). For
now that's mostly in the more expensive cars (BMW etc.), but I think the
technology will trickle down, and since it has a potential to be as
fuel-economic (if not more so) than a conventional manual, it's probably
only a matter of price for it to replace the conventional manual gearbox.

Gerhard

2007\02\27@144132 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Tue, 2007-02-27 at 15:24 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> > On the flip side, in the parts of Europe I've been in almost nobody
> > drives automatics. Aside from the power loss through the torque
> > converter (important because people actual look for cars with reasonable
> > horse power numbers in Europe), and the less control an auto gives you,
>
> I think it's more about the mileage (see gas prices over there)

Mileage is a non issue. Almost all cars sold recently give mileage
figures for autos pretty much the same as standards. Try
http://www.fueleconomy.gov for some examples:

2007 Subaru Impreza:
Manual 10.7 city, 8.1 highway, 9.4 combined
Auto 10.2 city, 8.4 highway, 9.4 combined

2007 Honda Civic:
Manual 7.8 city, 6.2 highway, 7.1 combined
Auto 7.8 city, 5.9 highway, 7.1 combined

As for gas prices, everybody always says how much more gas costs in
Europe, and I just don't see it.

First off, you can't just take the exchange rate. Sure, if you just take
the exchange rate gas is much more expensive, but exchange rates do NOT
necessarily reflect the actual purchasing power.

Please note that what I'm saying is based on my experience in Canada and
Austria. If you compare prices for "common" things between those two
countries it quickly becomes apparent that the exchange rate doesn't
tell the whole story (i.e. a loaf of bread can be had for LESS in
Austria after exchange rate then in Canada).

On top of that, another thing MANY people miss is octane. In Austria the
minimum octane at most pumps is 91. In Canada 87. Therefore, you can't
compare our 87 octane prices with their 91 octane prices. For diesel
it's a similar story since our diesel is "dirtier", hence cheaper.

After that, many people don't realize that the gas prices they see may
be the lowest in their country. For example I live in southern Ontario
in Canada. We have nearly the cheapest gas prices in the country (only
Alberta is lower, mostly because they are an oil rich area), so you
can't take the price at your local pump, you should take the national
average. People in eastern Canada can pay 10-20% more for gas.

I drove 3500kms last summer in Austria, so I filled up quite a few
times. After doing the math I figured that yes, gas is more expensive in
Austria then in Canada, but not really by much. By my numbers I came out
to it being about 10% more expensive (taking into account a more
realistic exchange rate, and an average of gas prices on my trip),
that's something, but consider how much more fuel efficient cars are
over there, and how much less they have to drive to get somewhere, that
easily negates the higher apparent price.

>  and the
> price (automatics seem to be more expensive than traditional manuals).

That is certainly true, but I don't understand why that matters. They
cost more here too (for example, on a Subaru Impreza an auto adds about
$1300 to the base price), yet they are MUCH more popular.

> Regarding power: the modern converters aren't that bad. When you need high
> power, they are mostly locked and don't have much loss.

Every torque converter in a car I've investigated either had no lock, or
a lock designed only to be activated when little power was needed, i.e.
cruising on the highway. The moment you step on the gas a little the
lock up disengages. Number vary, but a good average loss is between 5
and 10hp. That doesn't sound like much, but when your car only has 70hp
to begin with that's unacceptable. In NA small cars regularly have hp in
the mid to upper 100s, so a loss of 10hp doesn't make as much
difference.

> But when you need
> high torque at low speeds (where you would slip the clutch), they can
> actually provide more torque than a clutch AFAIK.

Absolutely true. However, in a car there are very few times you need
high torque at low speeds. Only time I can think of off hand is when
towing, and VERY FEW people tow with cars here. Most people who tow buy
SUVs or trucks. That's another thing that's weird to me, most cars can
tow a usable amount (i.e. mine will tow 2000lbs with trailer brakes),
yet nobody here does it. In Europe you regularly see small cars towing
trailers, it's normal.

TTYL



2007\02\28@042740 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> But when you need high torque at low speeds (where you would
> slip the clutch), they can actually provide more torque than
> a clutch AFAIK.

There is a reason they are called torque converters, as distinct to a
hydraulic clutch (which I believe some Mercedes models used to have).

2007\02\28@091620 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

>>> On the flip side, in the parts of Europe I've been in almost nobody
>>> drives automatics. Aside from the power loss through the torque
>>> converter (important because people actual look for cars with
>>> reasonable horse power numbers in Europe), and the less control an
>>> auto gives you,
>>
>> I think it's more about the mileage (see gas prices over there)
>
> Mileage is a non issue. Almost all cars sold recently give mileage
> figures for autos pretty much the same as standards. Try
> http://www.fueleconomy.gov for some examples:
>
> 2007 Subaru Impreza:
> Manual 10.7 city, 8.1 highway, 9.4 combined
> Auto 10.2 city, 8.4 highway, 9.4 combined
>
> 2007 Honda Civic:
> Manual 7.8 city, 6.2 highway, 7.1 combined
> Auto 7.8 city, 5.9 highway, 7.1 combined

For the few I tried (2006 Chevy Colorado, VW Golf), the consumption of the
automatic was a little higher. I agree it's not that much of an issue
anymore, but these habits have been created a few decades ago, when things
were quite different (I maybe should have written "it used to be about the
mileage"). The standard numbers also probably don't reflect the higher
degree of freedom you have with a manual, for driving styles both consuming
much more than the average and much less.


> As for gas prices, everybody always says how much more gas costs in
> Europe, and I just don't see it.
>
> First off, you can't just take the exchange rate. Sure, if you just take
> the exchange rate gas is much more expensive, but exchange rates do NOT
> necessarily reflect the actual purchasing power.

(I don't know what the gas costs in Canada and neither in Austria, so I
used the USA and Germany for a comparison.)

Average price in the US: 2.38 USD/ga = 0.63 USD/l
Average price in Germany: 1.22 EUR/l (= 1.61 USD/l)

GDP per capita US: 43k8 USD
GDP per capita Germany: 27k5 EUR (= 36k2 USD)

liter gasoline per capita that can be bought with the GDP per capita:
US: 43k8 USD / (0.63 USD/l) = 69k5 l
Germany: 27k5 EUR / (1.22 EUR/l) = 22k5 l

That's more than 3 times as expensive, at least in my eyes, considering GDP
per capita as comparison. (There are other means of comparing prices, but
they probably won't diverge much from this between the USA and Germany.)


> (i.e. a loaf of bread can be had for LESS in Austria after exchange rate
> then in Canada).

Yes, probably, but still, gas is more expensive. If the loaf of bread costs
less, this could mean that the price and possibly income level is lower,
which increases the relative price difference of gas, not lowers it.


> On top of that, another thing MANY people miss is octane. In Austria the
> minimum octane at most pumps is 91. In Canada 87. Therefore, you can't
> compare our 87 octane prices with their 91 octane prices. For diesel
> it's a similar story since our diesel is "dirtier", hence cheaper.

That's probably true. It seems that after a brief period in the 80ies, when
European motors tended to lower octane rates, the trend has reversed some
time ago towards high-octane motors.


>> and the price (automatics seem to be more expensive than traditional
>> manuals).
>
> That is certainly true, but I don't understand why that matters. They
> cost more here too (for example, on a Subaru Impreza an auto adds about
> $1300 to the base price), yet they are MUCH more popular.

I'm not sure what you don't understand about $1300 making a difference --
I'd rather say I don't quite understand why it does /not/ matter for some
:)

Seriously, for me this only shows that there are other features (eg.
familiarity, convenience) that offset the higher price in Canada, but not
in most parts of Europe. Maybe because the cost difference and other
disadvantages are more significant for the average European, or maybe
because the offsetting features are less significant for them.


> Every torque converter in a car I've investigated either had no lock, or
> a lock designed only to be activated when little power was needed, i.e.
> cruising on the highway. The moment you step on the gas a little the
> lock up disengages. Number vary, but a good average loss is between 5
> and 10hp. That doesn't sound like much, but when your car only has 70hp
> to begin with that's unacceptable. In NA small cars regularly have hp in
> the mid to upper 100s, so a loss of 10hp doesn't make as much
> difference.

That's probably true, but that goes back to the mileage argument. Earlier,
you compared same car manual to same car automatic, but here you state that
the average European car has less power than the average NA car. Which
probably is true, but probably also means that the average NA car has a
higher consumption. Which in turn comes back as argument that consumption
is more important in Europe, and that the automatic transmission has a
higher consumption (if you consider that you need a higher powered motor to
offset the transmission losses).

Gerhard

2007\02\28@093826 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> Absolutely true. However, in a car there are very few times you need
> high torque at low speeds.


Ice and snow. I really like the ability of the automatic to "creep".
But I miss the ability of a stick to rock nicely.

2007\02\28@095642 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Gerhard,

On Mon, 26 Feb 2007 11:42:46 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

This is true in the UK too - has been for ten or fifteen years.  I presume in the USA most tests are done on automatics - does that also allow you to
drive a manual?

It's only just occurred to me that I don't know how you do a "hill-start" in an automatic - I drive them very rarely and I can't remember if I've ever
had to do one.  The hill-start is a part of the UK driving test, and one that a lot of people find tricky (clutch control seems to be a dying art) - you'll
fail the test if you roll back doing it.  I had to do hand-signals as well when I did mine, but that was in a Galaxy far, far away!  :-)

Incidentally, someone mentioned an automatic creeping forwards when you release the brake - I thought they had a feature called "anti-creep" that
was supposed to stop that?  At least the Borg-Warner DG had it in the late 60's!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\02\28@103025 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Herbert,

On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 14:41:24 -0500, Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I don't know about the USA, but the last time I was looking at new car figures (Saab, now part of GM) any given car/engine combination used about
10% more fuel as an automatic, and gave out about 15% more CO2 compared to a manual box.  The latter was particularly important as it was going
to be a company car, and over here you pay tax on company cars based on their CO2 emissions.

I never did get the car - they suspended the company car scheme the day I was going to put in my order, and I was made redundant 6 months later...
Life's a laugh, isn't it?  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\02\28@104550 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 11:15 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> > (i.e. a loaf of bread can be had for LESS in Austria after exchange rate
> > then in Canada).
>
> Yes, probably, but still, gas is more expensive. If the loaf of bread costs
> less, this could mean that the price and possibly income level is lower,
> which increases the relative price difference of gas, not lowers it.

But that's the thing, income levels are equal, or sometimes even higher
in Austria, if you take the exchange rate only into account.

My point is exchange rates are pretty useless for comparing prices, yet
everyone does it all the time.

{Quote hidden}

That's my point. The fact that autos cost more, yet don't seem to have
an effect mean the point doesn't matter.

{Quote hidden}

Not really. I'm not talking about mileage here, I'm talking about
"peppiness". In Austria (much of Europe has similar structures) you are
"taxed" on a car purchase based on the fuel the car uses (a diesel car
is taxed less then petrol), and how many hp it has. As a result, people
buy cars much more based on the hp numbers then other attributes, and
end up with cars on average with MUCH lower hp numbers. Mileage is
related to this effect, but for most I've spoken too it's the hp number
that really matters.

In North America it's quite rare to see any car with less then ~120hp,
and many cars are in the upper 100s, even in the 200s of hp. Many people
don't even KNOW how many hp their car has, all they know is it was
"peppier" then the other cars they tried.

My point is, because of this, the loss of 5 to 10hp hurts the average
car in Europe alot more. On a 70hp car you WILL notice a large
difference between a manual and a standard, and you'll feel ripped off
because you're being taxed for a 70hp car, yet you're only getting say
60hp. On top of that you're paying more for the automatic, so it's like
a double whammy.

In North America there is no similar "punishment" for getting a car with
more hp, so on a car with 150hp the 10hp difference isn't really noticed
as much.

> you compared same car manual to same car automatic, but here you state that
> the average European car has less power than the average NA car. Which
> probably is true, but probably also means that the average NA car has a
> higher consumption. Which in turn comes back as argument that consumption
> is more important in Europe, and that the automatic transmission has a
> higher consumption (if you consider that you need a higher powered motor to
> offset the transmission losses).

Consumption is just a consequence of hp numbers, it's indirectly
related.

That said, the relation between hp and consumption isn't very
straightforward. Two cars can have the same hp numbers, and yet get
quite different consumption numbers.

TTYL

2007\02\28@104950 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 14:56 +0000, Howard Winter wrote:
> This is true in the UK too - has been for ten or fifteen years.  I presume in the USA most tests are done on automatics - does that also allow you to
> drive a manual?

There is no distinction. A driver's license lets you drive either, no
matter what you tested on. Since so few who aren't real drivers drive
stick, it's pretty much a non issue.

> It's only just occurred to me that I don't know how you do a "hill-start" in an automatic - I drive them very rarely and I can't remember if I've ever
> had to do one.  The hill-start is a part of the UK driving test, and one that a lot of people find tricky (clutch control seems to be a dying art) - you'll
> fail the test if you roll back doing it.  I had to do hand-signals as well when I did mine, but that was in a Galaxy far, far away!  :-)

Yes, learning to do that on a manual was pretty "fun". As for an
automatic, if the hill isn't very steep then you just go from brake to
gas, the torque converter slip will hold you enough that roll back isn't
much of an issue.

On a REALLY steep hill you'd simply use both feet.

> Incidentally, someone mentioned an automatic creeping forwards when you release the brake - I thought they had a feature called "anti-creep" that
> was supposed to stop that?  At least the Borg-Warner DG had it in the late 60's!

Every automatic I've driven will roll if you release the brake in gear.
Another thing that gets alot of Europeans is taking your foot off the
gas while driving doesn't usually drop you into "neutral", you'll still
have the engine pushing you forward a little. That takes a little
getting used to for someone used to a standard.

TTYL

2007\02\28@111906 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>There is no distinction. A driver's license lets you drive either,
>no matter what you tested on. Since so few who aren't real drivers
>drive stick, it's pretty much a non issue.

I seem to remember an article many years ago, or maybe I got told the story,
of some bank robbers, on exiting the place of the crime, commandeered a car
as their getaway car. They got caught because it was a manual, and the guy
attempting to drive it had only ever driven automatics.

>Another thing that gets alot of Europeans is taking your foot off the
>gas while driving doesn't usually drop you into "neutral", you'll still
>have the engine pushing you forward a little. That takes a little
>getting used to for someone used to a standard.

I take it you mean the lack of engine braking when you take your foot off
the gas. IIRC most torque converters have a "silent ratchet" arrangement so
that if the engine is going slower than the back feed through the
transmission, the "ratchet" slips, effectively disengaging the engine. Don't
ever remember consciously thinking about it or noticing it when I have
driven an auto.

I do remember my Dad driving a friends car, which was auto, and then getting
back into ours, and doing clutchless gear changes before he remembered there
was another peddle he needed to use.

2007\02\28@112631 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 09:38 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:
> >
> > Absolutely true. However, in a car there are very few times you need
> > high torque at low speeds.
>
>
> Ice and snow.

Why do you need high torque in ice and snow? Grip levels are very low,
high torque will just get your wheels spinning faster.

Turning the wheels slowly on the other hand I can see, and that's where
an auto would have an advantage (especially with left foot braking).

That said, I drive an AWD car with winters, so traction is always quite
nice for me!

> I really like the ability of the automatic to "creep".

Really? I hated that feature, I'd regularly put the car in neutral at
stop lights just to avoid it.

> But I miss the ability of a stick to rock nicely.

Oh, you can do that on an auto, it's just REALLY hard on the tranny! :)

TTYL

2007\02\28@114319 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> I really like the ability of the automatic to "creep".

I like the ability of a nice beefy engine to manoeuvre in bottom gear on a
manual without using any accelerator. Nice for backing out of drives and the
like.

2007\02\28@114349 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>My point is exchange rates are pretty useless for comparing
>prices, yet everyone does it all the time.

Isn't that why someone came up with the scheme for using the price of a
MacDonald's burger as a comparison? It supposedly evened out the exchange
rate and relative income figures IIRC.

2007\02\28@115633 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>>My point is exchange rates are pretty useless for comparing
>>prices, yet everyone does it all the time.
>
> Isn't that why someone came up with the scheme for using the price of a
> MacDonald's burger as a comparison? It supposedly evened out the exchange
> rate and relative income figures IIRC.

I'm doing that since 1988 :-)


--
Ciao, Dario il Grande (522-485 a.C.)
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino
--
http://www.adpm.tk

2007\02\28@133746 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 16:10 +0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >My point is exchange rates are pretty useless for comparing
> >prices, yet everyone does it all the time.
>
> Isn't that why someone came up with the scheme for using the price of a
> MacDonald's burger as a comparison? It supposedly evened out the exchange
> rate and relative income figures IIRC.

Never heard that, it's a pretty good idea. Certainly the numbers you'd
get would be much closer to reality then just taking the exchange rate.

TTYL

2007\02\28@133820 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 16:18 +0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >There is no distinction. A driver's license lets you drive either,
> >no matter what you tested on. Since so few who aren't real drivers
> >drive stick, it's pretty much a non issue.
>
> I seem to remember an article many years ago, or maybe I got told the story,
> of some bank robbers, on exiting the place of the crime, commandeered a car
> as their getaway car. They got caught because it was a manual, and the guy
> attempting to drive it had only ever driven automatics.

Yes, yet another reason to drive stick in North America! :)

{Quote hidden}

It does bug some drivers. A person my brother worked with who was
originally from Germany was looking at buying an Audi. He tried out an
automatic version and HATED it, he said it felt like the car was trying
to run away every time he let off the gas! :)

> I do remember my Dad driving a friends car, which was auto, and then getting
> back into ours, and doing clutchless gear changes before he remembered there
> was another peddle he needed to use.

Pretty good! I've tried shifting without the clutch, it's not to
difficult to do, especially with practice. Only issue I have is you are
wearing out the synchros by doing it (no matter what, you can never
exactly match your engine speed). On the whole, a bad idea to do it too
much! :) TTYL

2007\02\28@160244 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Herbert Graf wrote:

> On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 16:10 +0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>>>My point is exchange rates are pretty useless for comparing
>>>prices, yet everyone does it all the time.
>>
>> Isn't that why someone came up with the scheme for using the price of a
>> MacDonald's burger as a comparison? It supposedly evened out the exchange
>> rate and relative income figures IIRC.
>
> Never heard that, it's a pretty good idea. Certainly the numbers you'd
> get would be much closer to reality then just taking the exchange rate.

Search for "purchase power parity"
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity> of which the "Big
Mac Index" is one measure <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac_index>.

However, that's not a good measure to compare prices; it's a better measure
to compare incomes and what they can buy.

Just because a region has higher prices than the USA (in PPP terms, Euro
areas have an overvaluation against the US dollar, meaning that the prices
of goods are higher than in the USA when using straight currency
conversion) doesn't necessarily mean it has higher incomes.

When you want to relate the price of an item to something better than the
exchange rate, the first basis you have is the average income. Which is
what I used, and that resulted in a gas price that's in Germany 3 times of
what it is in the USA.

Gerhard

2007\02\28@161854 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:


> When you want to relate the price of an item to something better than the
> exchange rate, the first basis you have is the average income. Which is
> what I used, and that resulted in a gas price that's in Germany 3 times of
> what it is in the USA.

You're right Gerhard, of course.
I can say that "comparing McDonalds prices" was a way to see if that
country was cheaper or more expensive compared to MY INCOME :)
Your approach adds a variable and leads to a more complete solution.

--
Ciao, Dario
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino

2007\02\28@172329 by Jinx

face picon face
> The hill-start is a part of the UK driving test, and one that a lot
> of people find tricky (clutch control seems to be a dying art)

I didn't see a lot of "Britain's Worst Driver" but I did see the part
where they had to do a hill start. I think from memory the production
crew actually ran out of clutches and had to pack up for the day !!


'[OT] Sideways bike'
2007\03\01@100047 by Martin Klingensmith
picon face
You see, I prefer my manual transmission in the ice and snow because having
"jumpy" torque makes you [me] lose traction quicker. I know exactly how my
clutch and transmission will act.
--
MK

On 2/28/07, David VanHorn <spamBeGonedvanhornspamBeGonespammicrobrix.com> wrote:
>
> >
> > Absolutely true. However, in a car there are very few times you need
> > high torque at low speeds.
>
>
> Ice and snow. I really like the ability of the automatic to "creep".
> But I miss the ability of a stick to rock nicely.
> -

2007\03\01@112119 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 1, 2007, at 7:00 AM, Martin Klingensmith wrote:

> I prefer my manual transmission in the ice and snow because having
> "jumpy" torque makes you [me] lose traction quicker. I know exactly
> how my clutch and transmission will act.

I'm told that the manual 1st and 2nd gear (especially the later)
on most automatics (in the US) exist at least partially for
starting in snow and ice...

BillW

2007\03\01@123646 by Orin Eman

picon face
On 3/1/07, William Chops Westfield <TakeThisOuTwestfwEraseMEspamspam_OUTmac.com> wrote:
>
> On Mar 1, 2007, at 7:00 AM, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
>
> > I prefer my manual transmission in the ice and snow because having
> > "jumpy" torque makes you [me] lose traction quicker. I know exactly
> > how my clutch and transmission will act.
>
> I'm told that the manual 1st and 2nd gear (especially the later)
> on most automatics (in the US) exist at least partially for
> starting in snow and ice...

Usually they limit the transmission to no higher than the gear
selected rather than force the gear selected.  Used more for engine
braking down long/steep hills (a transmission cooler is a really good
idea if you do it with any sort of load) and for towing/large loads.
Dropping down a gear can also stop the transmission 'hunting' going up
some hills.

Orin.

2007\03\01@132244 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 10:00:36 -0500, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> You see, I prefer my manual transmission in the ice and snow because
> having "jumpy" torque makes you [me] lose traction quicker. I know
> exactly how my clutch and transmission will act. -- MK

Of course that implies you have some driving skill (which I'm sure you
do)...

* Sadly, it seems most drivers here in the U.S. consider *driving* a
secondary task while they're in their cars.

I'm not sure I'd want to venture onto the public streets if manual
transmission vehicles were required here!

Matt Pobursky

(Mini-Rant)
* I'm not for bans on things like cell phones, smoking, eating etc. while
in or operating a vehicle. I am however, for enforcing the existing laws
concerning unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. If someone can operate a
vehicle safely while talking on the cell phone, eating, etc. then let them
-- but hammer them if they are unsafe (weaving, speed problems, etc.) or
cause accidents. There are plenty of laws on the books already which cover
these kinds of things.

It seems traffic law enforcement here in the U.S. is now almost exclusively
"revenue enhancement" rather than public safety for anything less than an
accident involving a fatality. I wish the traffic cops would spend a little
more time enforcing driving laws than sitting in speed traps, maybe we
would actually have better drivers and fewer accidents. But then again,
that's actually hard work and doesn't make the local government nearly as
much money ;-)


2007\03\01@133720 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Thu, 2007-03-01 at 08:21 -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Mar 1, 2007, at 7:00 AM, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
>
> > I prefer my manual transmission in the ice and snow because having
> > "jumpy" torque makes you [me] lose traction quicker. I know exactly
> > how my clutch and transmission will act.
>
> I'm told that the manual 1st and 2nd gear (especially the later)
> on most automatics (in the US) exist at least partially for
> starting in snow and ice...

I don't know about that, however the manually selected 1st and 2nd gears
are VERY useful in areas where you need engine braking. Going down a
long, steep twisty road with just your brakes is NEVER a good idea. TTYL

2007\03\02@052703 by Howard Winter

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Alan,

On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:18:58 -0000, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>...
> I do remember my Dad driving a friends car, which was auto, and then getting
> back into ours, and doing clutchless gear changes before he remembered there
> was another peddle he needed to use.

LOL!  I had the opposite problem when I first drove an automatic - I had to tuck my left foot underneath the seat, or I'd keep hitting the brake hard
every time the car was about to stop!  :-)

I can drive a manual with clutchless changes though - every now and then I practice driving with something missing, simulating its failure, and in the
case of the clutch  it has come in handy as on at least four occasions when I've had to drive cars with a failed clutch release.  Pulling away from a
stop is the most challenging part, and worth avoiding if at all possible (slowing down from a long way back when there's stopped traffic ahead is a
Good Thing!).

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\02@053331 by Howard Winter

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Jinx,

On Thu, 01 Mar 2007 11:22:19 +1300, Jinx wrote:

> > The hill-start is a part of the UK driving test, and one that a lot
> > of people find tricky (clutch control seems to be a dying art)
>
> I didn't see a lot of "Britain's Worst Driver" but I did see the part
> where they had to do a hill start. I think from memory the production
> crew actually ran out of clutches and had to pack up for the day !!

:-)  Yes, at least two of the "contestants" had zero clutch-control, and didn't understand what they were doing.  Similar to David Soul (formerly
Starsky) who wrecked two clutches on Top Gear in his participation in the "Star in a reasonably priced car" item!  When I learned to drive my father
got me to move the car forward and backwards a foot at a time, then six inches, then three, then one... it really teaches you to feel the clutch and
treat it gently.  I've always thought that the way driving should be taught is to have a big empty area where you can learn and practice the physical
aspects of car control, so you have them all under your belt before you ever go on a road and have to worry about things like clearance from kerbs,
traffic and so on.  But in this country a lot of peoples' first driving lesson is on roads - stupid!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\02@053747 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 08:21:17 -0800, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Actually I'm not sure how that would work, because an automatic will start in 1st anyway (even if you put it in 2nd).  I use them for engine braking
when I'm driving an automatic - it puzzles my (American) girlfriend somewhat!  :-)

In fact a good way to get moving in snow in a manual is to use 2nd or 3rd, because they have less torque which is what you want to avoid wheelspin.  
Not for the novice, though, because it's easy to cook the clutch.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\02@054935 by Howard Winter

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Matt,

On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 12:22:30 -0600, Matt Pobursky wrote:

{Quote hidden}

You've got it easy!  :-)  Over here there are more speed cameras than you can shake a stick at - I pass 4 just going to my local supermarket.  The
only Good Thing is that they are marked in reflective yellow, so you have a sporting chance of seeing them.  As for use of a handheld phone while
driving, they have just increased the fine to UK£60 (say US£110 at the current exchange rate) *plus* 3 points on your licence (the same as for
speeding - you lose your licence if you get 12 points within 3 years).  While I'm against stupid laws, I'm even more against stupid people.  Having had
more than one close call with someone who's been on the phone (the most dramatic was someone who just didn't see traffic lights and sailed through
them at red doing about 50mph - luckily one of us was paying attention!) I think it had to be done.  Some people treat driving as something you do
while doing something else, and only a law like that will change their mind, because nobody thinks *they* drive dangerously...  What is doesn't
address is people who aren't paying attention for all the other reasons, but it's hard to deal with this other than after the accident.

As for eating while driving, nobody here does that because we always use a knife and fork together (unlike the American habit of using a fork alone)
so there isn't a hand free for the steering wheel ;-)))

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\02@062601 by Jinx

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> As for eating while driving, nobody here does that because we
> always use a knife and fork together (unlike the American habit
> of using a fork alone) so there isn't a hand free for the steering
> wheel ;-)))

You remember this though ?

January 25, 2005

How police used £10,000 to stalk route of an apple-eating driver

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article506183.ece

Made the TV news down here

2007\03\02@070307 by Tony Smith

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>> (Mini-Rant)
>> * I'm not for bans on things like cell phones, smoking, eating etc.
>> while
>> in or operating a vehicle. I am however, for enforcing the existing laws
>> concerning unsafe operation of a motor vehicle. If someone can operate a
>> vehicle safely while talking on the cell phone, eating, etc. then let
>> them
>> -- but hammer them if they are unsafe (weaving, speed problems, etc.) or
>> cause accidents. There are plenty of laws on the books already which
>> cover
>> these kinds of things.
>
>
> As for eating while driving, nobody here does that because we always use a
> knife and fork together (unlike the American habit of using a fork alone)
> so there isn't a hand free for the steering wheel ;-)))


That's what knees are for!  (I haven't seen eating, but I've seem phone
inone hand, cigarette in the other).

Tony

2007\03\02@091309 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2007-03-02 at 10:26 +0000, Howard Winter wrote:
> I can drive a manual with clutchless changes though - every now and then I practice driving with something missing, simulating its failure, and in the
> case of the clutch  it has come in handy as on at least four occasions when I've had to drive cars with a failed clutch release.  Pulling away from a
> stop is the most challenging part, and worth avoiding if at all possible (slowing down from a long way back when there's stopped traffic ahead is a
> Good Thing!).

My boss used to have an old Volvo. One day the clutch cable broke. It
was on a "bad weather" day, so tow trucks were a LONG wait. After about
an hour he decided to forget waiting for the tow truck. He put it in
first, and started the engine, the starter motor getting the car
going! :) He then crawled along until he reached the garage.

His story does make me wonder: what percentage of manual cars still use
a cable for the clutch? Recent cars I've been in all were hydraulic (you
can tell by the tiny "master" cylinder on the firewall).

TTYL

2007\03\02@092520 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Howard Winter wrote:

> In fact a good way to get moving in snow in a manual is to use 2nd or
> 3rd, because they have less torque which is what you want to avoid
> wheelspin. Not for the novice, though, because it's easy to cook the
> clutch.

I never understood that line of reasoning. Too much torque is not a problem
at all in snow or ice, the problem is if you change the wheel rpm abruptly.
Driving with a careful gas foot does the same thing, and does it in a more
controlled way. I rather control the rpm with the gas than with the clutch
and/or the motor being at its limit... :)

Gerhard

2007\03\02@231245 by Martin Klingensmith

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Gerhard,
I believe you're essentially saying the same thing - more available torque
means you can change the wheel speed faster.
--
Martin

On 3/2/07, Gerhard Fiedler <RemoveMElistsspamTakeThisOuTconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\05@160242 by Howard Winter

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Herbert,

On Fri, 02 Mar 2007 09:13:07 -0500, Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I don't think it's necessarily an age thing - every car I've owned, starting with a 1963 Ford Corsair, has had a hydraulic clutch, but I believe in the
1970s and 80s Ford were using cable clutches.  The first time I had to drive without the clutch release was when a clutch hydraulic pipe (which was
plastic) somehow moved and touched the exhaust manifold, melting it and letting the fluid out.  I was driving a hundred miles to a client's, and
contined the journey doing clutchless changes, and while at the client's place got a local garage to replace the pipe, so by the end of the meeting I
could drive home normally!  More recently I had a clutch release arm shift from its fulcrum, stopping it from releasing the clutch.  I was 120 miles from
home, and had to drive for the best part of a day doing clutchless changes.

I don't think I'm particularly hard on clutches (I've never worn one out), but having driven over 3/4million miles (that's to the Moon and back, then ten
laps of the equator :-) you're bound to have things like this happen.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\05@174235 by Howard Winter

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Gerhard,

On Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:20:58 -0300, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Howard Winter wrote:
>
> > In fact a good way to get moving in snow in a manual is to use 2nd or
> > 3rd, because they have less torque which is what you want to avoid
> > wheelspin. Not for the novice, though, because it's easy to cook the
> > clutch.
>
> I never understood that line of reasoning. Too much torque is not a problem
> at all in snow or ice, the problem is if you change the wheel rpm abruptly.

Well when you're trying to move off from stopped, it's a question of not getting the wheel to slip on the ground - RPM is zero to start with and not
much more afterwards!  I'm not sure *why* it works, but it does - I've used it a number of times when the car would do nothing but sit still with a
wheel or two spinning in 1st gear, but would move off in 2nd.  If it ever happens to you, try it and see!

> Driving with a careful gas foot does the same thing, and does it in a more
> controlled way. I rather control the rpm with the gas than with the clutch
> and/or the motor being at its limit... :)

But moving off from stopped you can't control the wheel RPM with the throttle, because it's zero - if you engage the clutch completely it will either
spin the wheels or stall the engine - that's why you need the clutch in the first place...  I don't know what you mean by "the motor being at its limit".  

I'm not talking the car when it's moving, then obviously you do fully engage the clutch, but moving off from standing on a slippery surface.

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\03\05@203100 by Jake Anderson

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Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I think what it does is make it easier to use the accelerator and clutch
to get things to work.
The torque your car can make in 1st is say 2x the torque it can make in
2nd. (random numbers used)

Thus if your problem is too much torque making the wheels spin putting
it in 2nd makes it twice as hard to spin the wheels, ie doubling the
range of accelerator travel needed to cause the wheels to spin.

If you don't like your clutch and are having a problem getting fine
enough accelerator control put the thing in top gear and try it ;->
Personally i want an AWD electric car with an IMU and traction control
maximum wheel slippage would be measured in mm ;->

2007\03\05@215915 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Howard Winter wrote:

> If it ever happens to you, try it and see!

I've spent the first few decades of my life near and often in the Alps, so
I had my share of snow and ice and steep roads :)

>> Driving with a careful gas foot does the same thing, and does it in a
>> more controlled way. I rather control the rpm with the gas than with
>> the clutch and/or the motor being at its limit... :)
>
> But moving off from stopped you can't control the wheel RPM with the
> throttle, because it's zero - if you engage the clutch completely it
> will either spin the wheels or stall the engine - that's why you need
> the clutch in the first place...  I don't know what you mean by "the
> motor being at its limit".

I didn't really write what I meant :)  I'd rather have excess torque and
don't use it (by working the clutch) than have limited torque and run short
of it. With the gas and the clutch I always felt that I had enough control
so that I didn't have to give up control by going a gear higher than the
wheel rpm warranted. You can turn it as you want -- there's nothing you can
do in 2nd gear that you can't do in 1st gear, but there are some things you
can do in 1st gear you can't do in 2nd gear (I'm talking about low, "1st
gear" speeds).

Gerhard

2007\03\06@061736 by Lee Jones

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>>> My boss used to have an old Volvo. One day the clutch cable broke.

>> His story does make me wonder: what percentage of manual cars still use
>> a cable for the clutch? Recent cars I've been in all were hydraulic (you
>> can tell by the tiny "master" cylinder on the firewall).

> I don't think it's necessarily an age thing - every car I've owned,
> starting with a 1963 Ford Corsair, has had a hydraulic clutch, but I
> believe in the 1970s and 80s Ford were using cable clutches.

General Motors, specifically mid-size Pontiac, Chevrolet, & Oldsmobile,
used a linkage clutch system from early 1960's through mid-1970's.  It
was neither a cable nor a hydraulic release.  I owned several & worked
on several more (friends' cars).

If I remember, I'll see what clutch release mechanism is used on my
brother-in-law's new Corvette next time we get together.

                                               Lee Jones

2007\03\06@075747 by Tamas Rudnai

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I was in the city centre in Dublin yesterday and saw the 'young brother' of
this bike (as the article mention it). The guy did not ride too fast and it
seems to me that it was so unstable after all, lots of side movements etc. I
think you can't win the Tour de France with one of those :-)

Tamas



On 3/6/07, Gerhard Fiedler <listsEraseMEspam.....connectionbrazil.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\07@055059 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Herbert Graf wrote:

> His story does make me wonder: what percentage of manual cars still use
> a cable for the clutch? Recent cars I've been in all were hydraulic (you
> can tell by the tiny "master" cylinder on the firewall).

Don't know a percentage, but mine has a clutch cable (Chevrolet Corsa).

Gerhard

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