Stupid question, how to properly drive paddle shifters/manual Hellcat?

Discussion in 'SRT Hellcat General Discussions' started by srt.charger, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. srt.charger

    srt.charger Senior Hellcat Member

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    Well after searching the web and Youtube, there are absolutely no tutorials on how to do this. I feel a bit embarrassed to ask but I've only driven automatics. I've recently started to have an interest in learning how to properly drive manual. I have driven manual just to learn on and it was straight forward but that was only granny driving, not aggressive shifting for 0-60 times.

    When I attempt to use the paddle shifters or the console shifter, I don't feel that push that you would get when you drive manual. How do you effectively shift and how do you learn the right RPMS without blowing your engine? The thing I worry about is blowing up or damaging the engine so I feel that I'm not able to practice on it because of this fear. Are you also supposed to take your foot off the gas when you shift?

    And on the highway, I click the ( - ) paddle shifters to downshift and then step on the gas. Am I supposed to use the paddle shift up (+) (and when?) or my foot on the gas is OK? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  2. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    Why don't you set the shift light to 5500 RPM and follow that?
     
  3. Link

    Link Silver Member

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    your car has a rev limiter, you will know real quick what max is. make your adjustments from that. Like Solo said you will be shifting around 5500. keep the gas mashed and haul azz
     
  4. Senderofan

    Senderofan Track in, Apex, Track out and Repeat! Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member HCC Charter Member

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    Depending on what settings you have the transmission in....ie Street, Sport, Track.....your transmission will downshift for you. If you research threads on methods for quickest 1/4 mile and 0-60.....I think you'll find that letting the transmission handle the shifting will give you the best results. When I had my Cat at the drag strip.....I started in second gear and shortly after leaving the line, I flicked the shifter over to auto mode. The A 8 is an amazing bit of technology for our vehicles and shifts quickly on its own.

    Guess on the street, if you want to feel more in control, you can mess around with manual shifting. But know you won't be as efficient or necessarily shift at the best time for the entire package. Yes, in manual mode you will also use the (+) paddle to shift into the next higher gear(s).
     
  5. 4510

    4510 SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I am not sure what question is being asked here by the OP.
    Are you asking how to drive a Manual well or how to drive the Automatic in manual mode?
    Since I don't have an A8 I'm not able to comment fully on the A8. However I suspect... that once you command a downshift the car is then in the manual mode and you would have to command an upshift. But that is just comparing to the manual/auto logic of other cars.

    I would also suspect that you cannot use the manual mode of the A8 and downshift to a lower gear that would harm the car. That the car would register your request but would not actually shift until the speed was low enough to allow the lower gear.

    Now with an M6 and the rev limiters on modern engines they are practically bullet proof with one exception. If you are downshifting and cram it into 2nd gear at 140mph and let the clutch out... you are going to hurt something....
    No rev limiter (fuel cutoff or spark/ignition cut off) can protect the engine from inertia.
    But on acceleration if you rev too high or miss a shift the rev limiter will protect the engine.
     
  6. MABBRYFL30

    MABBRYFL30 NYS President Hellcat Car Club Gold Supporting Member

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    The shift light is destined for this very reason. Very good posts prior to mine. Good ideas and good information!!!!!
     
  7. Snappycat

    Snappycat SRT Hellcat Moderator Staff Member

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    When using the paddles in sport trans mode, I usually don't go too much over 4-4.5Krpms between upshifts. The car responds with a kick and growl, but is still very manageable. This is coming from an old guy who has yet to floor it or do a burnout.:p. Should I seek professional psychiatric help?:rolleyes:...oh and the brake dust is really bogus.:mad:
     
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  8. David Neibert

    David Neibert SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I think the transmission shifts better by itself that I could do, especially in race mode. It's never going to feel like a manual transmission.
     
  9. clickr

    clickr Silver Member

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    Any car, any hp, any torque, proper place to shift if you want maximum acceleration (provided you have the grip to transmit torque to "go fast".

    Any engine based on it's design has a torque curve and a hp curve. The objective is to shift after the rpm's pass the torque curve high point but not too far up the hp curve that when the car goes into the higher gear the rpm's drop below the torque curve high point and there is enough left in the engine to continue to gain rpm. Too high a shift you waste torque time because you will have to shift too soon on the next shift. Shift too soon and the torque curve band will take too long to gain to the point of maximum torque. Torque is what drives the car down the road, not rpm (unless you are driving an F1 or a 4cyl turbo). The point is maximum time accelerating within the highest torque band of the engine through all of the gears will get you the quickest down the road.

    Yes, automatics of the current age (based on brand) are more reliable and accurate to determine the proper shift point than most people can do manually at WOT.

    Cheers.
     
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  10. Cerino2000

    Cerino2000 Gold Member

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    Gotta give them credit for having the balls to ask.

    To the original poster, the paddles just allow you to shift your automatic trans manually (but no clutch like a true manual). You are expected to know when to shift when using them but that is the point of them is some people want to be able to tell the car when to shift instead of it doing it when it is programmed to do it.

    In my experience...the car accellerates so damn fast in first up to the redline my brain isnt fast enough to tap the paddle on time and the first time I tried it, it bounced the rev limiter before I hit the paddle! It was one of the moments when I realized just how powerful the hellcat is.

    If you dont hit the paddle quick enough you'll bounce the rev limiter which is there to keep you from blowing up the engine but its still not wise to rev it so high too often in my opinion.

    For some the paddles are kinda a gimmeck. Fact is the car does one hell of a job shifting itself properly and this car in sport mode doing its own shifting is a blast. Advice? If you are not comfortable with a full understanding of how the paddles work may be best to allow the car to do it for you. Play with them n a wide open space under light driving conditions to experiment with what they do.
     
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  11. Jungle Cat

    Jungle Cat Silver Member

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    I agree with having car set in Auto it will beat shifting manually with paddles every time. In the past I drove Olds 442's with 455 engines and the great Hurst dual gate shifter on Turbo hydro 400's . With car left in drive I could beat my manual shift attempts by 2 tents everytime no matter how hard I tried. I just gave up and went full auto and concentrated on my launch.
     
  12. solo7777

    solo7777 SRT Terminator Hellcat Car Club Western Regional President HCC Charter Member

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    Snappy, 3 Things:
    1. Burnout(s) right before you change your tires. (don't forget to have somebody vid. it)
    2. PAM is your best friend prior to the burnout.
    3. Powerstop brake pads are also your best friend in regards to the brake dust.:D:D:D
     
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  13. FLEX

    FLEX Gold Member

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    I think that might be OK for racing but hardly desirable for every day driving.

    OP; if you don't know how to drive standard you may not want to manually shift, but I prefer it because in automatic mode the car seems to always want to be in the highest gear it can be.

    I prefer to cruise around in more of the powerband and take advantage of engine braking. I use the console shifter instead of the steering wheel paddles.

    If you've never driven standard it might take a lot of getting used to. For me I've had lots of manual cars so I don't even think about it.

    Normal driving you probably want to shift around 2500-3000 rpms.

    As said above watch that first gear; you'll run the our of RPMS real quick! :D
     
  14. Hemibuck

    Hemibuck Gold Member

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    All I can say is make sure you take it out of manual mode before you try launching it or you will bounce it off the Rev limiter and it will shut down. Don't ask how I know......
     
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  15. pawnxing

    pawnxing Hellcat Member

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    For me the best usage for manual transmission mode is while cruising. I like allowing the engine to assist with braking, and the exhaust crackling that come with it is divine.
     

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