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Reverse gear on manual transmission cars

  1. Jun 23, 2010 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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

    alt

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    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

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

    mgb_phys

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
  22. Jun 24, 2010 #21
    Here in the Netherlands I'm pretty sure most cars are either:
    Code (Text):
    1 3 5
    2 4 R
    or
    Code (Text):
    R 1 3 5
      2 4 6
    depending on whether it has 5 or 6 gears.

    I haven't driven that many cars but I've never seen the reverse in the top-left in a 5-gear transmission, nor in the bottom-right for a 6-gear transmission.

    For the 6-gear transmission, you usually have to push some button or pull on some lever in order to distinguish between 1 and R. That system is also present in some 5-gear transmissions (with R in the bottom-right) which is probably just a safe guard so you don't get confused and think you're driving a 6-gear and accidently put it in reverse.
     
  23. Jun 24, 2010 #22

    brewnog

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    I drove this the other day:

    3 R
    2 1

    Brilliant!
     
  24. Jun 25, 2010 #23

    Moonbear

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    That's what my Dad's truck had when I was a kid. Way before I was old enough to drive, he would let me sit in his lap while he operated the clutch (I was still too short to reach the pedals) and let me try to learn to shift. I really struggled getting from 1st to 2nd and often hit reverse or 4th depending on which direction I missed it (but my Dad was ready for that and just didn't let up on the clutch until he got it into the right gear). I didn't know that wasn't the normal configuration, and it deterred me from learning to drive stick later.

    Though, the odd thing is that even though I've never really driven stick, even with those little gear shifting lessons, I seem to have developed a weird habit of reaching for the gear shift every time I'm approaching the next gear on my automatic, even though I really can't drive stick at all. People who have been passengers with me ask if I'm used to driving stick.
     
  25. Jun 26, 2010 #24

    BobG

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    A friend of mine had R opposite 1 on a column shift. Worse yet, the shift lever didn't go from 1 to 2 very well and you had to past the N level and kind of come back down to cross the neutral to 2.

    Going up a hill, I managed to shift upward towards R just a little too far and left parts of his bell housing laying in the street. Fortunately, it was a really old car and he wasn't too upset.

    The worst was him trying to console me into not feeling so bad about it. He didn't realize I was laughing almost the entire walk back to the house and then had to put on a sad face at the door before I told him about it.
     
  26. Jun 28, 2010 #25

    Integral

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    Dad made us learn on a stick, we had a '55 chevy Pu and a '51 Willys Overland (with a chevy v8). Each of them had different tranys and different reverses. At one time or another over the years I have encountered reverse in nearly every position. The one that gave me the most trouble was a VW Beetle. You had to push straight down on the stick to get in reverse, I finally gave up, got out and pushed.
     
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