When you are in a high-speed drag race, and you are keener on increasing your acceleration without losing time on the track, you must apply what is referred to as power shifting. Power shifting is to increase your car’s acceleration when the vehicle car is at full throttle without letting go of the accelerator; this is done the moment the car engine reaches its power peak. You quickly press the clutch, and move into the next gear and release the clutch pedal quickly in one smooth transition.
Powershifting may save a lot of time when in a speed race, but it puts a lot of pressure in the whole transmission system because of the jerking effect during a power shift. In some cases, it may not prove to be worth the effort because you may still lose time during traction.
In a Nutshell
Powershifting will only work on the manual transmission. Therefore anyone with experience on race driving can make an attempt to execute a powershift. The article has made an assumption that you are very experienced in how a manual transmission works. Now that you know what powershifting is, how about learning some of the basic things you need to know before you become a professional powershifter.
To get a smooth transition when powershifting, your sitting or driving position should be comfortable and able to move from one control to the next without so much of a struggle. Make sure you are in the normal upright seat position to get the best view of the road and most importantly the dashboard. This is the best position of executing the power shift.
You may also need to have an adjustable clutch cable which should help you in adjusting the sitting position.
Let’s Solve the Non-precise Gear Shifts
Power shifting is a high-intensity exercise that if done over time, it will have some adverse effects on the rubber bushes found on the gear box. The rubber bushing prevents noise and heat from ever reaching the driver but also contributes to not so precise gear shifts. To solve this problem, you will need a shifter, which protects the transmission shifting forks.
Invest in a Reliable Tachometer
If your car has a factory build tachometer, you may not have the accurate readings of the RPM’s especially if put the vehicle in a revving mode. If you want to know exactly when is the appropriate time to power shift, get a tachometer.
How do You Control Engine Flare
A flare will occur when you release the clutch and while your foot is firmly pressed on the accelerator. This will, in turn, cause the wear and tear of the clutch disks and will generate heat that will eventually slow down your car. To keep your car in good condition, you need to have a pinpoint accuracy during the entire powershifting experience.
To get the powershifting right and in the correct sequence, I have compiled a few steps that may take you to the next level.
Step by Step Powershifting
Changing from the lower gears is the most daunting task you will experience as a person who is keen on powershifting. The reason behind this because of the low revs associated with low gears.
When the car is in motion (Preferably in neutral gear), press on the clutch pedal to disengage the clutch. Move into the first gear with your foot still pressed on the clutch pedal.
Release the clutch pedal as you swiftly move your other leg to press on the accelerator, this should be accomplished in one smooth move.
Keep accelerating up to that point where your tachometer reaches its peak, do not lift your foot off the gas pedal as your other leg presses on the clutch pedal swiftly.
Move into the second gear while gas pedal is fully pressed as you dramatically release the clutch pedal.
There you now get the drift? Keep doing this until you reach your desired speed and move it the next gears. Make sure that every time you are pressing the clutch pedal, it is not just a matter of pressing and releasing it. You need to take your foot off the pedal in a downward motion so that it appears as although the clutch was not instantaneously released; this makes it easier for gear transition to take place. This is the most difficult step to execute, and some prefer to sidestep the clutch lightly on release instead of the up-down motion.
Powershifting is not to be done for fun. You have to understand the implications your car has to go through for it to achieve such a move. But if you are willing to visit your mechanic now and then because of a broken main shaft, broken clutch, chewed up gears, or even a damaged differential, then take the risk.
To the motor race enthusiast, powershifting is an art, and you should never attempt to do this with a vehicle that is seemingly in bad condition. But there may be an alternative and more efficient method that will transmit power without putting so much demand on your car. Before you reach the desired RPM level, push the shifter towards the next gear as you release the accelerator, this will put the vehicle into a neutral gear without engaging the clutch. Then keep shifting towards neutral as you press on the clutch pedal and put the car into the desired gear in one smooth motion.
Many of us have different experiences when trying to do a powershift, please share your story with us and tell us whether you succeeded or ended up in the garage.
A manual transmission powershifting video: