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2014 VW Jetta SE, 4 cylinder 1.8 liter Turbo, 25k Miles, 5 speed, brand new Road Master tow bar. This car is in fantastic condition, low miles and still under factory bumper to bumper warranty. Leather Interior, heated seats, satellite radio, aluminum rims. This car has the 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo motor, it gets great fuel mileage, I easily see over 40mpg. It is still under factory VW warranty, I have all service receipts. I chose this car as my TOAD for a couple of reasons, first is it is very light weight. I have a scale ticket for the car 3050 lbs with the tow bar and base plate. It pulls beautifully even behind small RV's. It has a brand new Roadmaster Stow Master tow bar that folds down easily. It is made of Stainless Steel and is very high quality. The installation was done by Elkhart Hitch in Elkhart IN, they are probably the best shop in the country for hitch's and tow bars. The car is wired for LED brake lights, running lights, and turn signals that are installed inside the rear lights but DO NOT require any power from the car to work. Every car is different in how they can be flat towed and I chose the VW because it does not require any power to flat tow, all you do is put a key in the ignition so the steering wheel doesn't lock, put the transmission in neutral, lock the door and away you go. It uses no power from the car whatsoever, just hook up and go. You don't need to start the car every few hours or perform some complicated procedure with the transmission before you tow. The tow bar can be removed from the front of the car in about 30 seconds and stowed in the trunk. The front end remains nice and clean you can hardly see the mounting brackets tucked under the front bumper. The car is very fun to drive, the motor is very strong with the 1.8 liter turbo but still gets great gas mileage. The interior is like new with heated leather seats, 5 speed transmission, AM/FM CD with satellite radio. The car is in Vero Beach Florida, I travel often and I can deliver anywhere in the US or Canada within reason. Call or text for more info. $12,900. Sean 8o8-868-6542
Well this turned into a "Dolly Trolly" length post! (Just messing with you man, I love your posts but you might have competition now:) ). This post does go into a lot of detail. If you don't want to read all this, just give me your thoughts on the main question I posted and even better if you taught your DW to shift or not or how you learned? What's the best way to teach a newbie to shift an HDT truck? Do you teach them to float to get the timing right first only using the clutch when necessary or do you teach them to double clutch every gear (Clutch to N, Clutch to gear) even if they struggle with the timing? My wife Sarah has asked me to post this and she's agreed to go with the majority on this. We have a Volvo 610 with the Detroit Diesel and 10spd Eaton Fuller. She is eager to learn to drive it, but she doesn't think that learning to float the gears is the best option to start out. I've even sent her several YouTube vids on shifting (most of them explaining the double clutch technique) that she hasn't watched yet either, and I think that will help before we even try more lessons. Now I knew full well going into this that shifting an HDT is nothing like a car, but I really like to shift and I don't regret the decision at all. I love my truck and I love shifting it. I know Sarah is more than capable to learn too, she just needs to learn the timing since it's much more crucial to smooth shifts. For some background, Sarah and have both riden motorcycles for 15-20 years and we have both driven manual cars all our lives. We would both prefer a manual over an automatic in our cars. Sarah's daily driver is a mini cooper with a 6spd manual. Motorcycles have always been pretty easy even though you opearte the clutch with your hand and shift with your foot as the shifting is sequential and you just go up or down through the gears with N in between 1st & 2nd. Cars aren't much harder and since the transmissions are syncrohnized, you can pretty much hold the clutch in and go in any gear you want without any isuses. Here is where I think her habits are hurting her though. I've always been someone that downshifted my motorcycles or cars. You don't have to double clutch obviously, but on a bike I would rev up on a downshift to rev match the lower gear I was going to. I used to ride and teach motorcycle riding on the track and if you didn't have a slipper clutch, rev matching was something you had to do on aggressive down shifts in order not to lock up the rear. On a car I frequently do this also and rev match my downshifts when I could or at the very least downshift each gear and let the clutch out in each gear. Sarah on the other hand will frequently roll to a stop in the car or the bike with the clutch pulled in just coasting. On a bike, she might go from say 5th gear to 2nd and just hold the clutch in and bang out 3 downshifts and then hold the clutch until she needed to turn or stop. In a car, same thing, if she's coming up to a turn, she'll go from say 5th or 4th gear right to 2nd gear with the clutch in, hold it until she's making the turn, then let the clutch out to accelerate out of the turn. You obviously can't get away with this in a HDT truck. It doesn't matter if you use the clutch or not, you cannot physically force the truck into a lower gear than is adequate for that road speed you are traveling at the time you are trying to shift. I've worked with her on this on both the bikes and cars and she can downshift when she wants to, she just chooses not to. If I get her playing in the mountains or something where she's being more agressive, she will downshift as I do and does it very well. Some other things that I think helped me even before we owned the HDT, I used to try practicing floating the gears in my cars. Now this is much harder in a sequential transmission than a non sequential like an HTD, but I could pull it off sometimes. In my late teens I also owned this beater '79 Toyota Corona Station wagon with some 300k miles that the transmission was so worn, you could float the gears all day long and not miss a beat, so I've understood the concept of floating gears for a long time. Now that I actually get to practice it in in HDT truck, I've really become pretty decent at it. Now even I can't hit all the downshifts in a truck unless I start slowing down way early, but I'm getting better and learning new tricks. One of the hardest things for me to learn in the HDT truck is you slow down to downsift vs a car or bike where you can downshift to slow down. I took Sarah out on her first lesson in the HDT some time back only in a school parking lot that has a large running track you can drive on. Bascially you can just keep going in circles around the track and there is nothing to worry about except staying on the track. She was adamant that she did not want to learn how to float the gears (she considered that advanced) and so wanted to use the clutch. The first thing we had to work on was teaching her to engage the clutch brake to shift into gear not moving and then slowly engaging the clutch without any throttle to get the truck moving. We did this many times and her start off in several different gears (2-5 from a standing still to show her the difference of starting in different gears) and she got that part with ease. However, she kept wanting to start in lower gears that I never even use like 2nd where I almost always start off in 4th or 5th bobtail, but since we were in a parking lot, the lower gears didn't matter and it kept the speeds lower. The next part came to try to shift to the next gear while moving with double clutching but not pushing the clutch down so far as to engage the clutch brake when doing a double clutch. The whole concept of double clutching here is you clutch to N, and then clutch to gear. It's a quick fluid motion that takes time and practice to do it well every time you shift. However, even with double clutching, you still have to generally match the transmisison speed and road speed for the gear you want. If your speed differential between them is too great, you will still grind and miss a gear. The clutch just gives you a bit more freedom to be a little but further from actually matching precisely the transmission speed to road speed, but not by much. We had her playing around in 2-3 and 3-4, and 4-5 shifts. She would generally get the 2-3 shift, although this is pretty low in the rpm range and a pretty quick shift which I think added to the difficulty. Sometimes she would get the 2-3 shift, but then she would almost always miss 3-4 shift and would have to start over. I think in most cases when she missed a gear, she was too slow on the clutch to N, clutch to gear and the RPM's would drop so much she'd be below the range needed to engage the gear. At that point, I tried to teach her about bringing the RPM's back up to match the tractor speed so you could get in your gear, but IMOP having the clutch pushed in while doing this just leads to lots of frusteration when it won't go into gear as you would expect a normal car to do. When she'd get frusterated that it won't go into gear, she'd start pushing the clutch too far that she was engaging the clutch brake and it will never go into gear like that. So at that point it would become a lost cause and she'd have to stop again. After a few of these over and over again, any normal person becomes frusterated and it's scary to think if you were on the road and couldn't get a gear, would you have a place to pull over and start again. So this is where I feel floating the gears has the advantage. The only two things you are focussing on while floating gears on an upshift is coming out of gear with no load on the transmission, and then just timing it right to go in the next gear as the RPM's fall. If your timing is right, it's a 1-2 shift and easy as can be. If you are off a little bit you can feel the shifter bump against the gear, but with just a little pressure as your RPM's get closer, the bumping slows down and the shifter is literally sucked into the gear. If you are two slow, the bumping gets faster as you get further from the actual RPM range, you just give a quick blip to the throttle and try again as the RPM's fall. There is No clutch to N and then clutch to gear which takes time and takes your focus away from the actual shift you are trying to make in a certain RPM drop. Generally speaking, it's about a 500rpm drop between gears on a 10spd so if you shift out at say 1400, you would watch the rpms drop and start applying pressure around 1000 and by the time it falls to 900 it goes right in. Once you get the timing right, it's a smooth as can be shift. For downshifts, it's the same principle, but you add a little throttle blip in there while in N. So on a typical a downshift you let the truck slow down to say 1000rpm, you shift into N, blip the throttle to 1700 and then let ease into the shifter on the next gear and let it catch as it falls to 1500 for the next lower gear. Sometime back, I watched a youtube video that explains about recovering a gear after a missed shift. His advice was if you missed a gear to never use the clutch to recover the gear and instead focus on the RPM's and matching your transmission speed to your road speed and ever since I've started doing that I've never had to stop because I got lost in the gearbox and couldn't find a gear. I now have pretty high confidence that if i miss a gear, I know how to recover it safely and quickly and pratice this all the time. That has greatly helped my confidence knowing a missed shift is not the end of the world. As I've driven more, I've started to practice using the clutch more on shifts, but I still find I'm generally a much better shifter wihtout the clutch. Now there are times using the clutch makes sense and I've started do like a hybrid shift on downshifts. For example when coming to a stop if it catches you by surprise and you didn't get the shifter out of gear in time while the transmission was unloaded before the truck started slowing down in gear, you can just use the clutch to release the pressure and get into N, then do a rev match for the next lower gear. So generally 9 times out of 10, I'll still float remaining shift back to gear with a rev match vs using the clutch for the 2nd part. I find it's smoother and quicker and that gives me more time to do the next downshift. Now in the end, I'm not a pro or expert on shifting by anymeans and spouses teaching each other can sometimes be a challenge and we both recognize that. I've found what works for me and i'm happy with that. I originally went into learning the HDT shifting with using the clutch, but I found I got the timing and concepts much better with floating the gears. I'm not trying to convince her not to use the clutch, but I just know it helped me learn quicker. I feel like once she gets the timing down of the gear changes, then if she chooses to clutch each gear, that's fine, but at least she'll understand the timing. I keep working on being a better shifter and getting better each time I drive. I've really learned you can't rush the shift at all and when I take my time, I get butter smooth shifts that even impress myself sometimes. I still certainly have my moments of well that wasn't very good, but no more getting lost and having to stop and start over again which was the biggest confidence booster to me. BTW, here is my lovely wife Sarah and when we first got our HDT.