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I have an '06 Speed 6 with about 3,000 miles. This is my second manual transmission car, so I wasn't sure if this was normal or not...

Whenever I slowly decelerate, it seems that the car won't let me shift into first gear until I'm at a complete stop, or very close to it (2-3mph) . But whenever I brake a little harder, it'll let me downshift closer to the 10-15mph mark. This is especially annoying in traffic, where it won't let me shift into first, but I'm going 5mph. The engine boggs pretty heavily in 2nd gear at that speed.

Is this normal? Has anyone else experienced it? I've tried rev matching, double clutching, everything I can think of. But the only way I can get it to downshift is by breaking a bit more heavily than normal.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that is by design. There are stabilizers in there which prevent you from doing so, and that is a good thing. You definetly don't want to be pushing it into first too soon, and it's such a narrow band that it's best to wait until a complete stop.
 

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Is this normal? Has anyone else experienced it? I've tried rev matching, double clutching, everything I can think of.
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Either something is wrong with your transmission, or your technique. I can smoothly and easily downshift my MS6 into 1st gear at speeds up to 20mph, but I always double-clutch.

Are you sure you are properly synchronizing the transmission when you double-clutch?
 

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my speed6 is the second hardest car I have driven to get into first when rolling. The hardest is my Healey Bugeye sprite. No synchros on first. Not sure why its like this on the speed6. Its supposed to have tripple cone synchros. Double clutching helps, but shouldnt be neccessary on daily bases, like pulling up to a stop sign.
 

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Yes, if you rev-match the gear, it would make the shifting easier. Give it a try first.
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Rev-matching won't do anything to affect the shifting. As long as the clutch is disengaged, the engine speed has no control over the transmission. Shifting into 1st gear will rely completely on the synchromesh to speed up the layshaft to match the transmission output speed.

To manually synchronize the transmission, the clutch must be ENGAGED while the transmission is in neutral. This allows the engine to control the layshaft speed. Once the correct transmission speed is achieved, the clutch can be disengaged and the transmission shifted into 1st gear with minimal need for the synchromesh.

Rev-matching minimizes clutch wear and prevents drivetrain "shock", but requires the synchromesh to do all the work to synchronize the transmission during a downshift. By utilizing a double-cluch operation, the engine can be used to synchronize the transmission and eliminate the need for the synchromesh. This can result in smoother, faster downshifts, and also reduces wear and tear on the synchromesh.
 

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For what it's worth, I tried this today... Was gearing down, in 2nd gear around 1500rpm (20kph), shifted into 1st gear: smooth as a hot knife going through butter. No grinding, binding, or resistance to the shift.
 

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I don't know what I'm feeling but I feel a little bit of resistance going straight into second after 4k RPM. However, (since I'm fairly new to manual) if I attempt to double clutch, it goes in smoother, although not all the time. Is that a better way?
 

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Double-clutching is the best possible way to drive these cars as far as I know... UNLESS you have some special setup like the GLI's or GTI's or whatever.... VW has some DOUBLE CLUTCH setup.. a car that has 2 clutches... don't ask me how it works .. just something i remember reading...

ANYWAY... I double clutch always.. ALWAYS when drag racing.. or anything that isn't granny shifting and down-town crusing.... Better on the engine.. clutch.. tranny.. everything...

Practice it.. become good at it.. eventually it will be second nature... and you won't even think about it...
 

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ANYWAY... I double clutch always.. ALWAYS when drag racing.. or anything that isn't granny shifting and down-town crusing.... Better on the engine.. clutch.. tranny.. everything...
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I definately agree with you on double-clutching for downshifts-- much nicer on the synchromesh. Plus, you get the benefits of rev-matching, which will reduce wear on the clutch and drivetrain.

I'm surprised you are getting any benefit on upshifts, however. The OEM flywheel seems pretty heavy to me (based on the time required for the engine speed to drop). I personally find the synchromesh will work much faster than waiting for the engine speed to fall to the correct rate.

Now, an upgraded (lighter) flywheel could make a world of difference. If the engine speed can drop fast enough, then I would totally expect that utilizing a double-clutch on an upshift would synchronize the transmission quicker than the synchromesh can work.
 
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