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Discussion Starter #1
I realize that first gear is quite low, seen the comments from some folks that they very easily start out in second.


Being there's a few times when I just want to creep along nice and slow (bad traffic, usually), I'm curious... when you let it drop to idle in first gear, what's your ground speed?


And from a stop, how do you finagle the thing to get the clutch to fully engage and just idle along? Will it then stay engaged at idle unless you tap the brake? At what point does it "push in" the clutch when you're moving slow?
 

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Being there's a few times when I just want to creep along nice and slow (bad traffic, usually), I'm curious... when you let it drop to idle in first gear, what's your ground speed?

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Published gearing for diesel works out to 4.4 MPH per 1,000 RPM in first gear.

If your engine can idle in first at around 800 RPM (a rough guess on my part), then ground speed would be about 3.5 MPH, or an average walking speed.

Not being a PM owner yet can't address other questions.
 

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I don't usually drive that slow but earlier today I tested 1st gear idle speed. On a flat surface my unloaded diesel van would idle with 1st gear engaged without difficulty. My speedo showed about 5mph. The truck would drop into neutral only when the brake was pushed.

Frank
Decatur, AL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Published gearing for diesel works out to 4.4 MPH per 1,000 RPM in first gear.

If your engine can idle in first at around 800 RPM (a rough guess on my part), then ground speed would be about 3.5 MPH, or an average walking speed.
That would be nice if its at or just under 4mph.


One of the likely uses for the van will be crew support for ultracycling races. This means many, many miles driving behind the cyclist while on course, and required to do so at night. Thus, if the cyclist is riding slow up a climb, you're driving slow behind them. Minivans are the most common support vehicles, good combination of size and utility, and automatic transmissions. Its gonna be a darn steep climb to get a cyclist down to 4mph, so I'm hoping it'll work fine, and should have enough torque to idle its way up a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now that I've had the van a few days I got to try this out over the weekend. Our short street has a good dip in the middle (at our house), culdesac at the end. Put in manual, 1st gear, and drove up to turn around. Let it idle in 1st going down and up. Had the GPS going on the phone, was coming up with a steady 3.9mph.
 
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