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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I have been lurking this forum for about a year since I bought my 2014 Blacktop R/T. It is an amazing car, but after seeing the refresh of 2015 I just have to get one and am fortunate enough to be able to. I am looking to upgrade to a 392 Scat Pack Shaker. Here's the dilemma. Being a young man I have never owned a manual car, but I am really thinking about getting my Scat Pack with a manual transmission.

Am I biting off more than I can chew? All of my friends are big car guys so they of course are saying go for it! But I am a little hesitant and want to make sure I am not making a foolish decision. So is the 392 too much power for a first manual? What do you guys think?

Throughout all of the time I have lurked here I have never had the need to post a thread until now. Any advice or insight is appreciated!
 

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My highly uneducated and inexperienced opinion would be that if you don't know how to drive a manual, I wouldn't risk learning on a 392. Friend of mine wanted a manual trans car and ended up getting automatic just because he was more comfortable. Learn to drive a manual with a beater/cheaper car, then get into a nice(and sweet!) manual car.

For the record, I drive automatics because I'm terrible with manual.
 

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If you have never owned a manual before, I would not start with a 392. Not necessarily because of the power, because whether or not the power is too much is a matter of how much throttle you give it.

My question for you is: what if you spend $40K+ on a manual Scat Pack and the first time you get in to stop and go traffic you realize you made a mistake? I agree with Firehead, you should drive a beater for awhile to see if you really want a stick shift.

Personally I love driving manual vehicles, but I have been doing it since I was 12 years old.
 

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I was in your same position. I ended up ordering the manual.

Check around your area to see if any local driving schools offer lessons for driving a manual. I took a few lessons with a local school until I was comfortable.

You can also check craigslist for some $500 piece of junk to practice on. I'm planning on doing that too, if I get a chance.

Edit: The guys above me make a good point about actually wanting one. Another reason to take some lessons first.
 

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My first car at the age of 16 was a manual. Been driving manuals for 26 years now. But when I got my 392, it took a little getting used to in the beginning. It's a torque monster. But a lot of fun. If you can get some lessons beforehand or if you have a friend that has a manual teach you. I'd say go for it. It's not that big of a deal. Especially if you're a quick learner. It's also very addictive. Good luck.


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Hi everyone,
I have been lurking this forum for about a year since I bought my 2014 Blacktop R/T. It is an amazing car, but after seeing the refresh of 2015 I just have to get one and am fortunate enough to be able to. I am looking to upgrade to a 392 Scat Pack Shaker. Here's the dilemma. Being a young man I have never owned a manual car, but I am really thinking about getting my Scat Pack with a manual transmission.

Am I biting off more than I can chew? All of my friends are big car guys so they of course are saying go for it! But I am a little hesitant and want to make sure I am not making a foolish decision. So is the 392 too much power for a first manual? What do you guys think?

Throughout all of the time I have lurked here I have never had the need to post a thread until now. Any advice or insight is appreciated!
I'm equally comfortable driving manual or automatic (I think most of us old guys are). For me, a manual is a blast to play with on the highway or the strip, but daily driving in a big city with bumper to bumper traffic gets old quick for me. After maybe a lesson, and a day or two of practice, you won't be a Hole Shot Master, but I'd bet you'll be reasonably proficient - certainly good enough to have some fun. Just avoid traffic signals on steep hills until you've had some practice! :thumbsup:
 

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I'd be real tempted by the new 8A over my current 6M.
 

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When I bought my 392 in April it was my first manual ever. The only other time I ever touched a clutch was for about 10 minutes in my brothers first car when I was 10. Considering this is my only car I had to learn quick lol

The dealer was kind enough to teach me some quick basics, and despite stalling out a few times on the way home I drove back myself. They hardest part is learning the engagement point, and realizing that because that car has some much torque it doesn't require so much throttle. I read some online tips that are pretty helpful, such as not resting your foot on, or using the clutch only when you need to use it, Hands off shifter, etc.

Overall I wanted a more intimate driving experience, and it doesn't hurt that I live away from the city and work so I have 90% Highway driving. If I had to deal with constant stop and go, it'll probably get old quick, Unless you got another vehicle. If I didn't have so much money invested, I'd trade up to the newer models and be highly tempted by the 8spd.

All in all this is a solid hard clutch and should be able to take some abuse. But if I was you, I'd put away a $1800 clutch replacement fund for peace of mind ;-)
 

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The one thing I found is that with the manual on one of these cars makes me feel like I am in total control and I am DRIVING IT around, it's not driving me. Also, I think it is fun to shift gears, and also believe a muscle car should be a manual. Get the 6M and after a very short time you will love it.
One last thing, if you have played sports, basketball, baseball, football, ect. then you have good hand, eye, foot coordination. You will have no problem after a short time working the clutch, the gas and the break and keeping your eye on the road.
 

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I learned to drive a manual when I was 16 but had not driven one regularly until I got my 6.1L over twenty years later. In doing so I pissed off my wife who can't drive a stick and refuses to learn. In any case, I love having a manual 95% of the time. The 5% of the time when you are sitting in stop & go traffic (or more if you are in a larger city) you will regret having a stick. If you don't have to worry about traffic then a manual transmission is definitely more fun to drive on the street although the autos are faster at the strip. You can pick up the basics of driving a manual in a few hours of practice but if it were me I would want to practice on a rental car or an old beater rather than a new Challenger.
 

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I think it depends on how "adept" you are in that sort of thing. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle, dirtbike, ATV, or anything like that in a manual? Believe it or not, even though those setups are completely different (and bikes tend to teach you a bad habit of slipping the clutch too much), you kind of get the "idea" from riding those how to operate a manual transmission. I drove manuals for about 20 years before switching over to automatics about 6 years ago and I remember having no trouble at all the very first time I drove a manual car. But I suppose everyone is different. Do you have a friend or family member that would let you drive around in a manual "beater" for a while? That'd be my suggestion. I don't think you necessarily need lessons; you just need to be comfortable on how to operate them and an old beater like a Honda Accord might be the best place to get into the rhythm. You don't need to be thinking about operating a manual going into a 392: it needs to be second nature as these cars can already be a handful to drive.

Mike
 

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I learned to drive a stick when I was 12 but I didn't get my first V8 muscle car (stick) until I was 30. If you're really leaning towards a stick, try to learn on a beater (or rental) before you get the 392. Without learning on something else, it would suck if you got the 392 and your stick work sucked, right?

All that said, if you're like me, confident in your motor skills, quick to learn, and no one will let you learn stick on a beater, I say, f*ck it, get the 392 stick. You'll have a blast!
 

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Find a manual rental car and learn, you'll regret not getting a manual as you are considering it. Manuals are more fun.
 

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I'm "that guy" who learned how to drive a stick valet parking your BMW, Mercedes and even a handful of Porches. And I bring this up because its the shorter, precise maneuvers that are the trickier part to master: inching along in traffic, parallel parking, pulling into a tight garage/parking spot, etc. A lurch by releasing the clutch too fast or giving too much throttle in any of these kinds of scenarios with a torque monster is where you are going to need to take care. If you stall on a start off, ok. It's embarrassing but unless the guy behind you isn't paying attention, no big deal. And BTW these cars / clutches are very forgiving from a dead stop.

I'd say get some experience under your belt before committing to a manual transmission in one of the more powerful cars money can buy. Good ideas above, borrow a beater, rent a stick, or take a few lessons. Then maybe as a stepping stone, take an RT or 2 for a test drive and see how confident you are before stepping into a 392.
 

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Definitely learn first before buying the car. You don't want to learn with your brand new car and warp the clutch or transmission in the process.
Learning can be rough with riding the clutch a lot and stalling out.
 

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There's a guy in Canton that does stick shift training. STICK SHIFT DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL - Home

I was also considering moving to a manual Challenger. I never had anyone to teach me when I was a kid so I took this guy's training class. We did it in Kennesaw where you live. You will drive in afternoon traffic in Kennesaw and you will get a good feel of what it's like to drive a stick in Atlanta traffic.

I'm glad I took it because it showed me 2 things: 1- how to drive a manual & 2- I don't want to drive a stick in Atlanta. I bought an automatic 2015 about a week later.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I guess I should have clarified this in the post, but this is the first manual I will own, not drive. My roommate has a 2000 jeep jt that is manual and he has taught me how to drive it. I plan on getting in a lot more practice driving it before I make the final decision since shaker orders probably won't open until January. I consider myself to be a pretty fast learner and have always had great hand eye coordination. The first time I drove his jeep I never stalled either. His transmission also has some problems which makes it even harder to learn on, but it's still a good bit of fun to learn on and drive.

I know that the experience of driving a manual jeep and driving a manual 392 are a bit different, but do you guys think if I keep driving that every chance I get over the next few months it would prepare me enough?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Also I forgot to add that I've grown up riding dirt bikes and atvs and such that are manual. Even though that is a lot different from a car it counts for something. Thanks for all of the advice too!
 

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. . . do you guys think if I keep driving that every chance I get over the next few months it would prepare me enough?
Yes. The question for you is do you really want a manual car. If yes, you should have no problem learning on the 392 (or the Hellcat). It is a manually shifted car, not rocket science.

I like driving a manual car and have no problems in traffic or otherwise. You have to want to drive with the stick shift in traffic, on the highway, parking, starting on hills, etc. If not, then get the automatic.
 

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It isn't so much what you do with the transmission. It is what you do with the gas pedal that makes the difference in my opinion. I love shifting my six speed. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Learn how to drive a manual on something a lot more tame before you get your Challenger. As said earlier, it isn't rocket science.













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