Do you use first gear? - - Home of Canadian Ford Truck Enthusiasts

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 52
Do you use first gear?

I bought a 2010 Ford Ranger with the 2.3 standard.

Back in the day (60's and 70's) Fords with 4 speed transmissions were always driven starting in 2nd gear. 1st was way too low except for climbing walls and going across ceilings.

With my 2010 I've found that 1st gear seems almost as low. As a result I use first only if I'm looking for a spot in the parking lot, or starting off on an incline. For the most part I start off in 2nd, something for which the 2.3 is no powerhouse. That said, when its hot out, the fuel mapping is such that pulling out infront of someone when starting off in 2nd is not a real good idea.

What say you? What does everybody else do? The Owners Manual provides no guidance in this regard.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 01:07 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 13
I'm no expert Spring, but here's my two cents from someone who has only driven manuals. I think you should start in first. Starting in second will lug your engine, use more fuel, and you will have to play with the clutch a bit more, letting it out more slowly. This is bad for the clutch, the engine, and maybe second gear.

It is, IMHO, OK to start in second if you are on an incline or if you are on ice. On ice, starting in second changes the amount of torque to the wheels and gives you a much safer start.

Let's see what others think...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 01:10 AM
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Location: Stoney Creek, Ontario
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For that truck first gear is a must, lest ye wish premature clutch failure. The F-550 at work requires 1st gear starts just because of the weight of the truck. I've got the heavy 5 speed in the F-150 and use 2nd gear starts unless loaded, slow traffic, or Tim Horton's drive throughs

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 02:36 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northeastern BC
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Well, I'm sure starting in 2nd will buff the friction plates of your clutch to a nice glazed shiney polish, eventually ... if you're into that sort of thing.

My truck has the 4.0 with a 4.10 LS diff. It's only in 1st for about 10', until it gets rolling, and then I shift to 2nd. Nice and smoove. What's hard about that? I suppose I *could* start in 2nd, or even 3rd -- but I'd rather not. Tires are easier to replace than a clutch. And I want my clutch and connecting rod bearings to last a long time, so I try not to be mean to them.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2010, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Riverview, NB, Canada
Posts: 122
For life of your clutch, use 1st gear always. Have a spare clutch and a deep desire to change one, keep starting off in 2nd.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 52
Thanks for your input.

I'm not so much worried about the clutch. Not a whole lot of difference clutch-wise starting off in second.

b4000's comment about bottom end caught my attention. Big difference between the engines of today, and those back in the day. This thing is a small 4. Back in the day they were big sixes.

Also back in the day an engine did well if it went 160,000 km before it was worn out. Many didn't get that far.

Thank you for pointing out the downside. No more starting off in second.

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