Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,275 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I know it sounds stupid, but I am having a little problem getting use to starting in 1st gear.
Normal aspirated engine, no problem but with the Turbo, it's like not enough gas or too much and car stalls.(Imbarassing):eek::( thank God the windows are tinted. LOL

So I ask you guys for advice, how do you go about not too stall on 1st gear also on a slop. TIA
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Going from an MX5 RF to an Abarth 124 and back regularly highlights the problem. The RF has a lovely linear clutch action. The Abarth is comparatively tricky and it's lack of torque just off idle exacerbates the issue. I find it embarrassingly easy to stall after getting out of the RF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
The emergency brake on a hill is your friend ...learn to use it, gradually letting it down as you are lifting your clutch foot.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,099 Posts
To avoid stalling, use either a little more throttle, a slower clutch pedal release or a bit of both. In other words, one or both of the two pedals involved needs to be closer to the floor.

Steve's parking brake trick works quite well, especially when you are at a red light on a hill and need to make a fast getaway.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
To avoid stalling, use either a little more throttle, a slower clutch pedal release or a bit of both. In other words, one or both of the two pedals involved needs to be closer to the floor.



Greg
^This.


But really you just need to drive more. You have my permission to take the day off ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
To avoid stalling, use either a little more throttle, a slower clutch pedal release or a bit of both. In other words, one or both of the two pedals involved needs to be closer to the floor.

Steve's parking brake trick works quite well, especially when you are at a red light on a hill and need to make a fast getaway.

Greg
Having an automatic I don't have experience in the 124's manual....doesn't the 124 manual have a hill assist built in? I thought I had read that.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
The parking brake trick isn't even needed for the Abarth as it has hill assist.

As noted earlier, we have several things working against us. There isn't much torque to get started off the line, but the flywheel is also quite light, so there isn't much inertia to keep the engine turning once you start letting back on the clutch. You really just need to hold the clutch for a little longer to get moving. I've stalled the 124 Spider Abarth a couple of times, particularly after switching between my Cruze.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
I stall it in first gear occasionally, too. The throttle response off of idle is maddeningly slow sometimes. I consciously have to get my right foot moving sooner than I'm used to when starting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
To me, the clutch is very light (not necessarily a bad thing) and doesn't have a lot of feel compared to, say, a cable clutch. The exhaust/engine sound is quiet, so can be difficult to gauge where you are in the revs.

I would concur that it just takes a bit of practice - and experimentation. I have trouble with 1st to 2nd, myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
There is not a lot of flywheel momentum, and the torquey motor doesn't show its juice until the revs are up. So a lot of feathering between throttle and clutch release is needed. But if you'd ever driven a 1600 twin cam 124, you'd say, "Gee, this new 124 is way better!" That drivetrain wouldn't stall as much as buck - wildly!; smooth launches took a lot of touch. And I agree, getting a smooth 1st to 2nd shift in the 1.4 L takes the same kind of finesse.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
948 Posts
We have a "hill holder" feature on this car. You don't need to do the handbrake trick.
As far as stalling, give it throttle!
best regards
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Three things you need: practice, practice, practice.

My first car was a German Ford Taunus with three on the tree. My second was a Triumph TR3 with four on the floor. My third was an MGA, also four on the floor. All had higher gearing and lower power than the Fiat. With a little practice, you will get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
More throttle and caressing the clutch is what I do.

The good thing perhaps for me, is that coming out of a Giulietta QV, where the clutch bite is so high - the 124 is relatively easier to launch. But still, compared to the MX-5, she needs a bit more involvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,150 Posts
I'll also add that this is part of the fun about owning a manual car. A lot of the new automatics, CVTs, semi-auto, sequential gearboxes, etc. can most likely shift faster and smoother than a manual.

Learning the car, trying to finesse gear changes, searching for the sweet spot, messing up [more than] a few times, keeps you engaged in the activity of driving. Some people will be better at it than others, but the objective is to get the best experience for you. Changing gears, as simple as it may sound, is fun in a car like this.

That's not no knock those who buy an auto; we all want something different from the experience. If any of you have flown a small aircraft, you will understand what 'physical and mental workload' really is when taking off and landing (with everything covering over the fact that if you mess it up you will likely die).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,275 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
It's when I press the gas pedal that I don't have that rev to synch with the releasing of the clutch.

Maybe the idle needs to rev a little more, I know when I start the car and go, No Problem cause car is reving highter.

But very embarrassing when stalling, I am afraid some idiot will just run into my back on the start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
rev to 5000 rpm and release the clutch by sliding your foot quickly to the left....and go full throttle....you will never stall :)......>:)..(disclamer this is a joke!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Just takes a little practice, you'll get the touch for it. I had about 250,000 miles and almost 15 years of manual transmissions on cars and on occasion I'd goof and stall. Killed it once, on a downward slope of all places, on my Spider test drive, but the rest of the test drive was like riding a bicycle, even after 14 years of automatics. 65,000 motorcycle miles over 12 seasons and once or twice a season I kill it, that's where it can test your nerves.

It's easy to say and maybe harder to do, but relax and don't think about it, let muscle memory do the job of remembering how to get it moving. Your ears and feet will start playing nicely together soon enough.

Steve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Having had tons of manual cars, I find this to be perhaps the easiest stick car to drive and not stall. I am even thinking about teaching my wife in the Abarth. On the other hand, my 2009 Subaru WRX was awful. I hated getting going in first gear so much I sold the car after a year. I just wish I could turn off the hill hold. It really sucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I will double tap the gas pedal.. the first tap is to get the motor going and then the second is when I left the clutch. I have not stalled the car.. only reversing once when I got distracted.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top