A guide to smooth shifting for your Si, Sports, or other Civic manual

  1. OP
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    amirza786

    amirza786 Senior Member

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    No I didn't, but that being said, Rev hang doesn't bother me at all, I got used to it and now actually like it
     
  2. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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    In my experience so far, the single greatest factor is temperature. I have Amsoil, but 1-2 on a chilly morning is always dicey (chilly here being 50-60 degrees) no matter what the technique, whereas after a half hour on the freeway, or even heading to lunch after the car has been baking in 80-90 degree temps for a few hours, that shift is much more solid and stress-free, even if rushed.

    For those morning shifts I also notice a little better engagement if I work the lever from neutral into second a couple of times while stationary (eg, at a red light) before selecting first and accelerating.

    Agree that the little pause in neutral helps, but it's a very subtle technique. Too long a pause by even a split second and Yarises and bicyclists start to pass you. A little too much premature pressure on the shifter waiting for the synchros to line up and suck the lever from neutral into second and you can get some ugly-sounding scratch. (This is one reason why, for now, I've gone back to the light stock knob after trying some heavy ones. The heavy knobs carry more momentum from 1-2 and sometimes interfere with that pause.)

    Fast and decisive clutch footwork also seems to help a little. Get lazy with the left foot and (because of the CDV?) the synchros have more work to do and thus need more time.

    I know the theory that says rev hang makes no difference, but subjectively it sure seems like eliminating it in favor of medium throttle padding has made life a little easier for the synchros, too.

    I'd like to get the Acuity rocker, but I'm also wondering about the CTR shifter, since it makes sense to do them together. Anybody have experience with it beyond the couple of posts out there?

    All of this, of course, underscores what a weak spot the Si shifter is -- dating back a long while, and for other Hondas too. Just mindblowing that with all of Honda's engineering resources they can't just make a consistently solid-feeling, long-term-reliable manual shifter.
     
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    amirza786

    amirza786 Senior Member

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    A cold manual transmission is always clunky, any car. Once it warms, which is usually a few blocks it should be fine
     
  4. FLOPPER

    FLOPPER Senior Member

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    Get it, shifting is a pleasure after installing the CTR shifter with all of the Acuity upgrades.

    I got everything in the Stage 2 Bundle for FK8, except for the cable bushing. The rocker, centering spring, and CTR shifter itself are probably the biggest upgrades. The bushings are nice but probably don't contribute much to the whole upgrade.

    I installed the cable bushing at a later date and to be honest, didn't feel a difference.

    If you have to prioritize, I'd go CTR shifter, rocker, centering spring, then base and cable bushings.
     
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  5. COOL COUPE

    COOL COUPE Senior Member

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    I have had some good luck "blipping" the throttle between shifts. Almost like rev match ...it definitely defies logic. I was born in 1966 so the rev hang is a nasty problem due to my classic training in shifting a manual transmission. Think of steps ... Instead of grabbing second gear at a Lower rpm ( wait wait wait wait for rev hang to disipate) blip the throttle up and grab second at a HIGHER rpm than where you left off! It's like the moonwalk ... It's totally an illusion. Grab third up higher than second. Once you get into fourth you can level it out a bit ...
     
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  6. lhobbs

    lhobbs Member

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    I'm much more inexperienced with driving MT but have issues shifting smoothly occasionally--can you explain this further? Is this different than NOT waiting for the rev hang to dissipate and shifting while the revs are already high?
     
  7. COOL COUPE

    COOL COUPE Senior Member

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    Best advice is to ... Not think and ... Just push the throttle a tad ... and shift ... You will get the feel for it quickly. Reminds me of the movie blind fold or whatever with Sandra Bullick. Just like the moon walk it's totally not conventional. Best explanation is that revving up to say 5000 rpms in first gear causes the rev hang big time ... Pushing ever so softly on the throttle as a rev match interrupts the process and allows a quick move avoiding wait wait wait wait for rev hang to dissipate out.
     
  8. Cornercarver

    Cornercarver Senior Member

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    You are correct of course. I noticed early on if I took a beat in neutral before putting it in the next gear it went way more smoothly than if I tried to go from one gear to another without that fractional pause. it actually saves you time on the shift since it goes in to the next gear smoothly.
    Haven't done the Amsoil or Acuity kit, but also haven't had much issue shifting. As I have owned and driven numerous manual cars over the last 44 years, it is about being in tune with your car, not forcing it to do your will. Every clutch and shift mechanism, let alone the engine, is different.
    One technique does not work for all manuals. Some cars - very few - were actually designed for you to slam the gears because they inew their buyers would speed shift. I am thinking of some early American muscle cars.
     
  9. yyalb

    yyalb Member

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    I just changed the MTF at 29k, but Honda OEM fluid. The shifting feel has not improve much, and the nochiness is still there. I'm tempted to try Amsoil synchromesh, but the viscosity is different from what the user manual suggests. Please mind that the MTF is not only for trans, but also the LSD. I'm afraid that the Amsoil may cause excessive wear on the LSD.
     
  10. firesyde424

    firesyde424 Member

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    This was my experience as well. I've had my SI about 5 months with 4,600 miles on it. My previous cars were an '06 Sentra, '97 200SX, '91 Grand Prix, and an '84 GTI. It took quite a while to get used to the difference in clutch feel and rev hang but once I did, I found it to be the best manual transmission I've used over the years.
     
  11. Neps18Si

    Neps18Si Senior Member

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    #26 Neps18Si, Aug 5, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
    And finished with the Type R shifter and other Acuity goodies shifting gears is so much better.
    78FDC87C-3191-415B-8053-5ECB2FC8CB25.jpeg 47F54DC6-9FB9-46EE-AFF7-243632A3332B.jpeg
     
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  12. James3spearchucker

    James3spearchucker Senior Member

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    To do list:
    1. Get it out of your head that everything Honda is 24k gold. It isn't!
    2. Especially when shopping lubricants, look at the actual viscosity numbers and base stock formulas.

    Everyone here has had good results with Amsoil. Thats great. I have had good results with Motul 300V 75-90. I do not have an LSD but the Motul has the friction modifiers for one. The Honda fluid was thin and did not let me feel and know where I was. Now, there is a thicker film on the metal parts and I can feel what is happening. When people get shifted(no pun intended) from the older rod linkages to the new cable types, you lose a lot of your feel and precision. Now, I have more feel and protection. I have not had a single grind or miss-shift like before. The trade-off is time, as things are slightly slower now. There is a Joe Gibbs Racing Driven gear oil that is 70-80(thinner) and I had wanted to try at some point, but I like what I have now. I'm not drag-racing my Civic. I simply want it to last forever and shift great each time. In the future I plan on reducing the rev hang and clutch delay because they take away valuable seconds of my life!!

    The Acuity rocker and spring were explained to me by the fine people there but since changing out the Honda fluid, I can feel where the shifter is and the protection for shifting has been superb. I could still use the spring for spirited driving, when my body is moving around, but it's on the back-burner for now. Also, on driving the SI Civic on test drive once, I felt its shifter is shorter and more accurate than the HB Sport.
     
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  13. Ron R

    Ron R Senior Member

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    That is a great write up and on future interior mod list. I do like the factory shifter, and the feel of it. But I am curious if it will smooth out my shifting.

    The family and I just got back from Monterey few days ago. On the ride home my little 6 year got nauseated. The wife said it could have been from my shifting? She had the same issue when she was little, and her parents had the manual Datsun 510.

    I have no problems with the shifter, but like taking the SI on family trips. And the wifey can drive stick shift too. Just wondering if the mods will smooth out the shifting?? Yes driving skills matter, but I know I can get bit sloppy if exhausted lol.
     
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  14. Ron R

    Ron R Senior Member

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    How do you like the Acuity Gear Knob? I am eying that Red one :)
     
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  15. OP
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    amirza786

    amirza786 Senior Member

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    For sure the Amsoil Synchromesh will really make things smooth. The Acuity shifter Rocker upgrade is an added benefit making the shifter tighter
     
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