Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Reverse gear on manual transmission cars

  1. Jun 23, 2010 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    When I was younger I drove stick shift cars. Reverse gear was always all the way over to the right and down in the cars I drove (MGB and Jetta).

    I'm car shopping now and thinking about getting a car with manual transmission again. I noticed that some have reverse gear down and right, but others have reverse gear all the way to the left and up. What makes the difference? Is it the country where the car is manufactured?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2010 #2
    No idea... in my Chevy Cobalt, it's all the way down and right. It's:

    1 3 5
    2 4 R
     
  4. Jun 23, 2010 #3
  5. Jun 23, 2010 #4
    My understanding, having it top left rather than bottom right is an additional safety against inadvertently switching from 5 at high speed to reverse :surprised

    We had the Dog-leg first shift pattern when I learnt back in France.
    [URL]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/40/Manual_Dogleg.svg[/URL]
    image from wikipedia
    I was surprised when I first drove the so called "common" pattern later.
    Now I am still trying to get used to automatic. My left leg wanders around...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Jun 23, 2010 #5

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    My Subaru is down-right
    All the British cars I had had an extra safety feature, you had to press in a button or lift a collar under the knob to get reverse.
     
  7. Jun 23, 2010 #6

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I've wondered if the gears are mirror reverse in othe countries, but you just onfirmed it not to be the case, as reverse is right then down, here in Australia with most vehicles, where we drive on the left hand side of the road, in the front right seat.

    But to answer your question - I think it depends on the maker. I recently hired a medium sized van to move some stuff, and reverse was before 1st. And 1st was bottom left. Gee, I really did some gear chrunching with that !
     
  8. Jun 23, 2010 #7

    S_Happens

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    In my 6 speed, reverse is to the right and "up" (forward).

    1 3 5 R
    2 4 6

    I vaguely remember driving a friend's vehicle once (could have sworn it was a newer Jetta) and I believe I had to push the shifter "in" (towards the floorboard) and up-left.
     
  9. Jun 23, 2010 #8
    The gear sequence order depends on the transmission type (no. of gears) and the manufacturer. But internally, all manual transmission systems are almost same.
     
  10. Jun 24, 2010 #9

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I didn't realize that there were so many variations. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manual_transmission#Gear_shift_types" article shows that manufacturers have arranged them in almost every possible way. I didn't see any given reason for the differences. I would hate to have one with reverse right across from first though.

    Floor mounts:
    125px-Manual_Layout4d.svg.png 125px-Manual_Layout.svg.png 125px-Manual_Layout_2.svg.png 125px-Manual_Dogleg.svg.png 125px-Manual_Layout6.svg.png

    Column mounts:
    125px-Manual_Layout_3.svg.png 125px-Column4MT.svg.png

    There are probably others.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  11. Jun 24, 2010 #10

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Lol .. the fourth one in the top row is the one I referred to earlier that was in a moving van I hired.

    A very dangerous configuration if you think about it, particularly if you are used to the 1st and 2nd type, those being by far the most common. You would be (I certainly was) thinking you were taking off, but then taking off backwards .. and more ..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  12. Jun 24, 2010 #11

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    An ancillary issue;

    Here in Aus we have right hand drive cars. The clutch is on the left, operated by left foot, and the brake is on the right, operated by right foot.

    I note from the above diagrams that the gear shift patterns are not reversed - anywhere in the world, presumably.

    Is the brake / clutch reversed, say in USA, or is it the same as above.

    (I have driven a lot in Europe, but only automatic cars - and that was hard enough)
     
  13. Jun 24, 2010 #12

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The ones I know from my own experience:

    125px-Manual_Layout4d.svg.png

    That was Fiat 126p, although not exactly - R was under 4, you just had to press the lever into the floor.

    125px-Manual_Layout.svg.png

    Polonez Caro and Panda (still used by Marzena).

    125px-Manual_Layout_2.svg.png

    Opel Astra Classic, again - R is in fact in the same position as 1, there is an additional ring on the lever than you have to pull up when you want reverse.

    As far as I know there is no rule. I once thought it depends on the make, as all Fiat cars I remember had the same setup, but I was told in the case of Opel it is not necessarily true.
     
  14. Jun 24, 2010 #13
    In the USA, it goes clutch / brake / gas.

    Clutch is operated by left foot, brake and gas operated by right.
     
  15. Jun 24, 2010 #14

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Haven't noticed it before. I didn't know Aussies don't accelerate their cars.
     
  16. Jun 24, 2010 #15

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So in US (left hand drive) gas is on the inside, near the drive shaft. In Aus (right hand drive) it's on the outside, near the door.

    So it looks like neither the gear shift pattern, nor the pedals are mirror reversed.

    Edit to add for clarification for Borek; by outside, I don't mean it's actually outside the car itself :-)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  17. Jun 24, 2010 #16

    alt

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    And sometimes they don't decelerate them, either !
     
  18. Jun 24, 2010 #17

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yep the pedals remain the same so you don't get confused.

    There are a couple of classic British sports cars where the brake was right of the accelerator - I think it's still done that way in some F1 cars, the idea was to be able to hold the accelerator and brake at the same time while having the clutch down with the other foot then release the clutch and brake together for a quick start.

    Not sure which is better left/right hand drive.
    In UK/Aus you keep your right (presumably stronger) hand on the steering wheel while you change gear, but in the US/Canada you have your right hand free to drink coffee, play with the satnav and answer the phone.
     
  19. Jun 24, 2010 #18

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I have a six speed with the R to the right and down.

    1 2 3
    4 5 6 R

    More important are the ratios:

    1 - 4.46
    2 - 2.61
    3 - 1.72
    4 - 1.20
    5 - 1.00
    6 - 0.84
    R - 4.06

    With a 4:1 ratio for the transfer case in 4 LO and 4.1:1 ratio for axles.
     
  20. Jun 24, 2010 #19

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's the first time I've heard of a lower gear ratio on R than on 1. What do you drive?
     
  21. Jun 24, 2010 #20

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    A Jeep Wrangler. Your good off road vehicles usually have a very high ratio for first gear. 4.06 is actually pretty high for reverse.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Reverse gear on manual transmission cars
  1. Cars (Replies: 15)

  2. Question on Gears (Replies: 12)

Loading...