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Shifting questions for 5-speed SC300 owners

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Old 05-24-16, 03:42 PM   #1
Chattanoah
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Default Shifting questions for 5-speed SC300 owners

Though I'm decent enough at driving standard (still new to it), I'm pretty OCD about MPG, vehicle longevity, and good form. So here's a list of questions I've got regarding my 1992 SC300.


At what RPM do you like to shift while going through the gears (for normal and hard acceleration)?

Where is the power band in the rev range?

Are the synchros in the W58 decent enough to not require double-clutching for downshifts?


Just want to be money conscious and take good care of JDM Bertha (my truck before was called Bertha, so... had to keep it going lol ).


Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-24-16, 03:55 PM   #2
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Don't need to double clutch.
Power band begins right at 4k RPM's, max HP is at 5800 max torque is from 3800-4800, but you'll still get decent pull from 2k-4k.
Normal acceleration I tend to shift before I hit 4k, usually around 3k, hard acceleration I shift at the redline
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Old 05-24-16, 04:07 PM   #3
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Dude,


Just shift as smoothly as you can, whatever the gear you're entering. Any jerking of the car body is to be avoided. From 2nd to 1st you have to come to a complete or near stop for smooth action. It will resist otherwise; this is normal.



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Old 05-24-16, 04:08 PM   #4
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I meant to ask this as well: what are the normal speed ranges for each gear?
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Old 05-24-16, 05:26 PM   #5
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go out and drive the car and it will all become clear in about 30 minutes of practice.
do not go by speed, go by rpm and the sound of your motor. you should be able to shift by sound really has nothing to do with speed unless you are deciding to cruise in 4th or 5th then I glance at how fast I am going. under 40 cruise in 4th over that 5th there you go.

you mentioned mpg's so I will note that this is a close ratio setup on these cars.. meaning its supossed to be revved up cause its an inline motor, so lets say on a v8 you get great gas economy at 1400rpm's, well on a inline 6 you get better economy closer to 1800-2200k rpm's cause its closer to the motors powerband. I have noticed keeping the rpm's too low is not ideal like in other cars, these inlines like to run a little higher for good economy. YMMV

stock sc300 manual for regular driving shift under 4k and its pretty smooth.
if going fast then these engines are meant to be revved out, to get into the power band take each gear to redline, when you hit the speed you want you go then drop it in 4th or 5th and cruise.

when having fun I often do a 1, 2, 4 for city driving or a 1, 2, 5... if you rev out 2nd you will be going over 40mph in these cars. if accelerating slowly I go through all the gears like a any normal person does.. 1, 2, 3, and you guessed it ... 4 and sometimes 5

unless you are driving like a 30's ford I don't think you will be double clutching very much. the w58 has good synchros except reverse sometimes is tricky on toyota transmissions if you can't get into it let off the brake and let the car roll a hair and it will probably work... just learnt to hit reverse without the brakes and it isn't even a problem once you get some more practice in. I never stop the car fully when I go into reverse I always catch it on the roll =)

for fun you can try and rev match on downshifts, if you feel a jerk then you missed it. once you start doing that often you will learn when the car sort of wants to shift, remember that whole sound thing... but it'll cost you some mpg's shifting all the time but I said fun not inexpensive. it takes some drive time but you'll get there its pretty easy as far as transmissions to learn on goes.

Last edited by Ali SC3; 05-24-16 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 05-24-16, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali SC3 View Post
go out and drive the car and it will all become clear in about 30 minutes of practice.
do not go by speed, go by rpm and the sound of your motor. you should be able to shift by sound ....................
it'll cost you some mpg's shifting all the time but I said fun not inexpensive. it takes some drive time but you'll get there its pretty easy as far as transmissions to learn on goes.
Fantastic post, thank you!
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Old 05-24-16, 09:01 PM   #7
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i just hold redline and clutch drop it

you have to get a feel of the car, no one can tell you how to drive it, what I do usually is how the car feels if it jerks you back or not, it has to feel like your costing while in gear and I kid about dropping my clutch btw.

Last edited by mikef; 05-24-16 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 05-24-16, 09:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali SC3 View Post
go out and drive the car and it will all become clear in about 30 minutes of practice.
do not go by speed, go by rpm and the sound of your motor. you should be able to shift by sound really has nothing to do with speed unless you are deciding to cruise in 4th or 5th then I glance at how fast I am going. under 40 cruise in 4th over that 5th there you go.

you mentioned mpg's so I will note that this is a close ratio setup on these cars.. meaning its supossed to be revved up cause its an inline motor, so lets say on a v8 you get great gas economy at 1400rpm's, well on a inline 6 you get better economy closer to 1800-2200k rpm's cause its closer to the motors powerband. I have noticed keeping the rpm's too low is not ideal like in other cars, these inlines like to run a little higher for good economy. YMMV

stock sc300 manual for regular driving shift under 4k and its pretty smooth.
if going fast then these engines are meant to be revved out, to get into the power band take each gear to redline, when you hit the speed you want you go then drop it in 4th or 5th and cruise.

when having fun I often do a 1, 2, 4 for city driving or a 1, 2, 5... if you rev out 2nd you will be going over 40mph in these cars. if accelerating slowly I go through all the gears like a any normal person does.. 1, 2, 3, and you guessed it ... 4 and sometimes 5

unless you are driving like a 30's ford I don't think you will be double clutching very much. the w58 has good synchros except reverse sometimes is tricky on toyota transmissions if you can't get into it let off the brake and let the car roll a hair and it will probably work... just learnt to hit reverse without the brakes and it isn't even a problem once you get some more practice in. I never stop the car fully when I go into reverse I always catch it on the roll =)

for fun you can try and rev match on downshifts, if you feel a jerk then you missed it. once you start doing that often you will learn when the car sort of wants to shift, remember that whole sound thing... but it'll cost you some mpg's shifting all the time but I said fun not inexpensive. it takes some drive time but you'll get there its pretty easy as far as transmissions to learn on goes.

Like he said don't be afraid to bring your revs up and skip a gear if it would fit the situation better. I often time go 1,3,4,5 or even 1,3,5 if you need to hit a hole in first then can chill in 3rd n 5th.


Personally i like to rev to about 3 or 4 thousand in first before shifting but later gears 3000 or even 2500 isn't that bad. I honestly think as long as your not lugging the engine you can run it at 1500 rpm. Like if your trying to just maintain your speed i keep it at 1400 or 1500 not 2000.
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Old 05-25-16, 12:38 AM   #9
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Usually 1st gear I shift before 4000 rpm, 2nd before 4000rpm, 3rd is around 3k, 4th is probably around 2500, and then 5th.

My rule of thumb if you don't know where to shift at is shift to 2nd at 20mph, 3rd at 30, 4th at 40mph, and 5th at 45-50mph.

The key is to listen to the engine really, you'll know if the gears are working too hard before you shift.
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Old 05-25-16, 01:17 AM   #10
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If I'm in a hurry a lot of times I'll kind of wind it out in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, then shift to 5th when I'm up to speed. Also I've noticed that with this engine being so smooth and quiet, if I have the radio up and I am not paying attention, I'll have it in the wrong gear, something like 4th at 65mph because I forgot to shift again.

Luckily the gearbox in these cars is pretty good, you can speed shift/slam shift and it won't complain. My truck, if you try and hurry a shift you'll miss the gate or it won't want to go into gear. Just make sure you have a good amount of seat time before you really start trying to hustle it through the gears.

Perhaps the best newb tip I can give is pay attention to how you grip the **** depending on which gear you are shifting into. IE 1-2 shift grab towards 12 o'clock on the ****, 2-3 shift palm of hand at 7-8 o'clock, 3-4 hand again at 12, 4-5 hand at 7-8. 5-4 hand at 1-2 oclock, 4-3 hand at 6, 3-2 hand at 1-2 oclock, 1-2 downshift hand at 6 again. Make a conscious effort to do this, it will become second nature and you won't miss shifts if you are speed shifting it. Also if you are shifting from 5 to 3, go to 4th then 3rd, this will keep you from accidentially going to 1st.
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Old 05-25-16, 02:05 AM   #11
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^^^ Very well said by Ali. It really is best to get used to the car and very quickly you'll understand.

No, double-clutching is not needed. The W58 has very good synchros. Even my rebuilt R154 has good syncros and it is not considered as smooth as the W58. It may be a heavily updated 1980's transmission design but it's very good when in good shape. Smooth gearbox.

When at very low speeds I generally shift around 1800-2000 rpm and get the engine into 2nd or maybe third if there if I am going fast enough. Very low speeds don't call for more than 1500-2200rpm.

When accelerating very normally and slowly I usually go up to 3000 or 3500 rpm before shifting. Cruising around town I use 4th or 5th unless I'm at an exceptionally low speed on a non-residential road... which calls for 3rd. Usually that means I anticipate needing the rpm holding to accelerate again soon and eventually shift into 4th. It depends on the speed, really.

Now for faster acceleration and getting off the line with moderate gusto I rev up to 4000 RPM before shifting. If I really want to get off the line I'll rev to 5000 RPM before shifting and quickly begin shifting into lower and lower revs once I'm up to speed.

If I want to accelerate flat out to just MOVE then I just take it to 6000-6300 or thereabouts and shift from there. By the time third gear is reached it's generally time to get into fourth and fifth with less throttle. I do not, however, ever drop the clutch and launch the car abusively.

My car is geared a bit different from stock but there will only be so much difference other than the maximum speed in each gear (my R154 & 4.272:1 axle car with requires 1st, 2nd and 3rd to reach 60mph... while, if I recall correctly, stock original 4.083:1 axle W58 SC300's do not. The factory stock gearing from transmission to rear axle ratio is a happy medium between rev-machine sporty and "not too aggressive".).

It's generally the same with 2JZ NA manual cars. They are meant to be revved and the powerband does really kick in beginning at 4,000 RPM up through 6,800 RPM (but please don't try to hit the rev limiter). There is, however, plenty of useable normal power and torque below 4,000 RPM.

Fuel economy I've found is best on the highway at the stock 2,800 RPM in 5th at 70 mph but 3,000 RPM is also fine. Generally even 3,500 RPM cruising is fine. Once you veer above 3,500 RPM in 5th on the highway, however, your fuel economy will begin to dip. Most of these 5-speed cars get about 21-22mpg highway and around 15mpg city.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 05-25-16 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 05-25-16, 06:07 AM   #12
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I shift by rpm. 2500rpm+.

I agree with most of what is said above.

RTFM - If you look in the owners manual it will tell you the ideal and safe speed ranges. Such as <10mph in 1st, up to 25mph 2nd, 35 - 3rd, 45/50 - 4th, etc. It will tell you the safe range as well, such as 45mph in 2nd. These numbers are just a rough recollection, but it you look it is in there. This is my first manual car so I did a bit of reading on it. Call it naive, but it gave me that warm fuzzy feeling I wanted for no reason lmao.
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