The Nissan Club banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the Road Test Reports said that the Altima SE 2002's stick shift gearbox was not smooth, sticky, not refine and grind gear easily. Reports recommended automatic transmission with traction control for Altima SE 2002 instead of manual transmission. My preference is to buy a stick shift car. Owners of Altima SE 2002 with manual transmission, please advise your experience on your daily driving exprience. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Large Clutch Travel

I have no problems with the shifter but the clutch travel is equal to a 1968 Renault.(I had 4 once) It takes about half the travel before it even starts to engauge.
Has anyone else experianced this or is my car defective?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Re: Large Clutch Travel

00030453 said:
I have no problems with the shifter but the clutch travel is equal to a 1968 Renault.(I had 4 once) It takes about half the travel before it even starts to engauge.
Has anyone else experianced this or is my car defective?
No your car is not defective, and 'yes' a long throw
clutch is the norm on all the 3.5 standards. In fact,
I've posted about it on another thread. It really
only bothers me while at a red light sitting on the upside
of a hill. Other than that, I've gotten use to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I have no problems with this clutch. The clutch reminds me of the one on the first manual car I drove, a 71 SuperBeetle Convertible. In fact, it's better than the clutch on my contour was, mainly cause that clutch tended to allow it's engagement point to move ... you know .. when you first start out, it's about midpoint, then after a couple of stop lights, it's almost right off the floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Clutch:Mind of its own!

Redbird99 said:
I have no problems with this clutch. The clutch reminds me of the one on the first manual car I drove, a 71 SuperBeetle Convertible. In fact, it's better than the clutch on my contour was, mainly cause that clutch tended to allow it's engagement point to move ... you know .. when you first start out, it's about midpoint, then after a couple of stop lights, it's almost right off the floor.
Man, that's INSANE!!! :eek:
How did you get use to that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
The shifter is not that bad, I have owned hondas that were significantly smoother. I have ground second gear on occasion but the more I drive this car the more I am glad I bought the 5 Speed than the automagic.
 

·
Man with Car
Joined
·
228 Posts
The problem, eci, is that the Altima's cable-actuated shifter is inherently less tactile than the rod-actuated mechanisms that Nissan has used for years. The shifter is in fact the biggest complaint I have with the car, because Nissan took a step backward from its gearboxes in previous cars.

The shifter in my '91 Sentra SE-R was a joy. Throws were precise, short and crisp, with a mechanical smoothness that you just can't get from a cable mechanism. Even the gearbox in my wife's '98 Altima SE -- that car hardly being an example of Japanese engineering at its best -- had a solid, clean throw and clearly defined gates that are lacking in my '02.

I don't think the mechanism in my 3.5 is godawful, but it's muddy by comparison and I've missed a few shifts because of it. It's kinda like rowing in molasses when compared to the above gearboxes, and reminds me substantially of the shifter in my '88 Olds Calais Quad 4, which won exactly zero friends among shift-it-yourselfers like me. The word I'd use is "disconnected." And, well, "disappointing." But it wasn't a deal-breaker.

Jarrod K. Wright
'02 3.5SE 5-speed
'98 SE 5-speed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jkwright said:
The problem, eci, is that the Altima's cable-actuated shifter is inherently less tactile than the rod-actuated mechanisms that Nissan has used for years. The shifter is in fact the biggest complaint I have with the car, because Nissan took a step backward from its gearboxes in previous cars.

The shifter in my '91 Sentra SE-R was a joy. Throws were precise, short and crisp, with a mechanical smoothness that you just can't get from a cable mechanism. Even the gearbox in my wife's '98 Altima SE -- that car hardly being an example of Japanese engineering at its best -- had a solid, clean throw and clearly defined gates that are lacking in my '02.

I don't think the mechanism in my 3.5 is godawful, but it's muddy by comparison and I've missed a few shifts because of it. It's kinda like rowing in molasses when compared to the above gearboxes, and reminds me substantially of the shifter in my '88 Olds Calais Quad 4, which won exactly zero friends among shift-it-yourselfers like me. The word I'd use is "disconnected." And, well, "disappointing." But it wasn't a deal-breaker.

Jarrod K. Wright
'02 3.5SE 5-speed
'98 SE 5-speed

JK,

Thank you and the other Alt SE owners for the valuable advice. With your experience on the manual, will you consider buying the auto instead. I have tried several times to book the test drive of the Alt. SE, but the car is so hot in Toronto that all Alt. SE are sold and no demo is availiable for test drive. I may consider the auto transmission with traction controls. Your comments will help me to make my decision.

TF
'01 Celica GT 5-speed
'89 Civic CX 5-speed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
This is my first manual tranny car, so take my comments for what they are worth, but i've found that shifter isn't always smooth, especially 1st and 2nd... the 'notchiness' that's been mentioned in some car mags seems an appropriate description.

On the other hand....

I wouldn't trade the 5-speed for anything. :D

And really, it seems to be less and less of an 'issue' (I use quotes, cause it really is nitpicking) the more I drive it.


BigT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am in Vancouver and had the same problem as you but I managed to get a test drive in an SE 5spd on a brand new car with the plastic still on the body!!

I too felt the notchiness of the 1st to 2nd and was very concerned, so I posted this thread

http://www.altimas.net/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20194

which aleviated my fears.

Cheers


eci said:
Most of the Road Test Reports said that the Altima SE 2002's stick shift gearbox was not smooth, sticky, not refine and grind gear easily. Reports recommended automatic transmission with traction control for Altima SE 2002 instead of manual transmission. My preference is to buy a stick shift car. Owners of Altima SE 2002 with manual transmission, please advise your experience on your daily driving exprience. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
eci said:



JK,

Thank you and the other Alt SE owners for the valuable advice. With your experience on the manual, will you consider buying the auto instead. I have tried several times to book the test drive of the Alt. SE, but the car is so hot in Toronto that all Alt. SE are sold and no demo is availiable for test drive. I may consider the auto transmission with traction controls. Your comments will help me to make my decision.

TF
'01 Celica GT 5-speed
'89 Civic CX 5-speed
If you prefer the stick then thats what you should get, you will get used to it and you will regret it if you go for the auto. I am pretty sure the wait on the 5 speed up here in Ontario is going to be at least until March though.:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,323 Posts
Civic to Alty said:


If you prefer the stick then thats what you should get, you will get used to it and you will regret it if you go for the auto.
I was gonna say the same thing. I hated the look of 5th gen Maximas till my bro bought one...now I love it.
As for the shifter, I test drove Greg V's catback equiped Alty. The shifter sucked...I can't even think of a comparison. It was stiff, strange notchiness, imprecise, and lotsa other complaints. The clutch travel is very very long too, but I don't think that can be changed. I did grind 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, all on diff occasions during the test drive.
I'm still gonna get a 3.5 se 5sp. I love the engine and the roominess, though fit and finish, it's lacking.
Jay
 

·
Man with Car
Joined
·
228 Posts
Eci,

Here's my take on manual transmissions:

The worst stick ever made -- perhaps in a Trabant, I don't know -- is better than the best automatic Mercedes, BMW or (gasp!) GM has to offer.

Now, that may change as I get older and my right arm and left foot get arthritic and begin to wither away, but as long as I'm nimble enough to row my own gears, that's exactly what I'll be doing. My wife and I both drove an automatic 3.5 when we bought the '02, but neither of us was impressed. Had Nissan equipped the car as automatic-only, we wouldn't have purchased the vehicle.

That being said, the automatic transmission worked well, shifted smoothly and was generally unobtrusive. And no offense to you slushboxers out there, but if I wanted unobtrusive, I'd have bought a Camry. ;)

Jarrod
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
If I wanted a lame car without a shifter it would have been a Camery or Accord. To be in total control of those 240 ponies you gotta have a shifter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
No doubt about that you guys are the big fans of stick shifter (including me). Why Nissan has to use the Renault clutch? Why not the original Nissan clutch? Why has to leave out this weakest link for a almost perfect reasonably priced sport sedan. I wonder if Nissan will improve Alt. SE manual clutch (at least a little closer to Hondas/Toyota) in Year 2003 model. Nissan, please provide a better clutch for Year 2003. I can wait!

TF

01 Celica GT 5-sp
89 Civic CX 5-sp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Re: Clutch:Mind of its own!

SE-Rious said:


Man, that's INSANE!!! :eek:
How did you get use to that?
I found that I could return the engagement point to the original spot by pulling the clutch off the floor with the edge of my shoe ... it's that resourcefulness that one must resort to when driving a ford. (oh sh*t, here come the ford boys to the rescue).

b4 the flames start, I reiterate that I enjoyed my contour... it just had some idiosynchrasies ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Has anyone noticed the delay between the accelerator and the engine RPMs while shifting through the first 2 gears under moderately RPMs (2500- 3500). On my SE, I notice the RPMs increasing while releasing the clutch and the accelerator simultaneously. For the record, I have had sticks for over 20 years and there is definitely a delay in response between the engine speed and when I let off the gas pedal under the conditions above. It's no big deal, but interesting to note.
 

·
Man with Car
Joined
·
228 Posts
00030453 said:
I have had sticks for over 20 years and there is definitely a delay in response between the engine speed and when I let off the gas pedal under the conditions above.
003,

I'm not clear on what you mean exactly, but if you're referring to the the rpm hang that occurs when clutching between shifts -- that is, depressing the clutch pedal doesn't result in immediate rpm drop toward idle speed -- it's normal. This phenomenon appeared in the mid-90s with OBD-II emissions systems, and pretty much all manual-shifted automobiles in the U.S. built since then present this "feature." It exists to decrease emissions.

Snapping the throttle shut often leaves a little unburned fuel that'll make its way to the tailpipe as unburned HC if the revs fall immediately. Keeping the rpms up via computer for a split second allows any excess fuel in the cylinders to burn off.

It's annoying, but I've noticed that the system has gotten better over the years. My wife had a '95 Neon SC that would hang for a second or more between upshifts and downshifts, making it difficult to heel-and-toe properly. It was nearly impossible to match revs without looking at the tach, which was dangerous. So I adopted the alternative method in that car, which was to provide passengers with the shift quality of a 16-year-old boy learning how to drive a stick. ;)

Jarrod K. Wright
'02 3.5SE 5-speed
'98 SE 5-speed

PS - While both the '02 the '98 exhibit this behavior, it's not too offensive. But it's definitely there.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top