Originally Posted by AttackHelicopter
So I’ve noticed the gearing in my RT is a lot longer than my mustang was. I could cruise around town in 35mph zone in 5th without the RPM’s getting below 1500 and having to downshift. I have a general rule that if you get over 2000 shift, if you get below 1500, shift. So I’ve been riding around town around 35-40 in 4th. What gear do you all use for city traffic? Never had V8 before this car and I’m learning it’s very different mechanically than all my other cars, which were all boosted 4’s.
Years ago when I was first learning to drive a car equipped with a manual -- my prior experience was with automatic equipped cars and manual transmission equipped motorcycles so I was just having to master the clutch operation and manual transmission aspect of the car -- I asked my brother in law (from whom I had bought the car with the manual transmission) and he said what he used was: 1st gear for speeds 10 mpg and below; 2nd gear for speeds in the 20mph range; 3rd gear for 30mph speeds; 4th gear for 40mph; 5th for 60mph; and 6th for higher speeds.
Really since most often one is having to drive at a posted limit and the limits are (generally) 10mpg, 15mph, 20mph, 25mph, 30mph, 35mph, 40mph, 45mph and so on 1st gear for any speed between 1mph and 19mph, 2nd for any speed that starts with a 2, 3rd for any speed that starts with a 3, and so on.
Or another way of looking at this is under "normal" operation I prefer to keep the RPMs between around 1500 to 3000. In lower gears I might even let the RPMs dip below 1500 (but not much below; really if the engine gets operated much below 1500 it only sees this low of an RPM in 1st gear) and under acceleration I often take the engine RPMs above 3K.
To 1) avoid possibly lugging the engine; and 2) to have some margin of acceleration available; I prefer to use a gear that at the desired speed means the engine is not at the very bottom of its usable RPM band but a bit above it, so I don't have to downshift if I need to accelerate any. I'm not talking about an emergency acceleration event just the normal acceleration that is very common when operating a vehicle in normal traffic with the normal variation of speed one experiences as one strives to keep up with traffic or avoid getting too close to the vehicle ahead when other vehicles slow down a bit.