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January 08, 2007

auto mechanics and little miss sunshine

i finally saw this movie the other night. i downloaded the soundtrack while the end credits were rolling, and i can't stop listening to it. i loved the movie itself; the humor is dark, but not bleak, and in the end it's sweet and heartwarming in a completely non-gross way.

but here's a question for any car nerds who may be reading this: if a manual transmission vehicle-- a vw bus, for instance-- loses first and second, would you really need to be rolling to start it? i mean, you could start it, and you could probably get moving in third if you really tried. i know, because i couldn't find first in my van when first got it, and i started in third several times.

i mean the whole device of having everyone push the van is great for the story and provides a very charming visual, but methinks the, er, physics of the situation is a little inaccurate.

Posted by lisa at January 08, 2007 12:57 AM


Strangely enough, I was reading a blurb about the movie in a magazine last night, and the "traveling cross country in a clutch-less microbus" is supposed to be drawn from one of the writer's real-life childhood experiences... although I'm sure the details were quite fudged.

Posted by: Steph Mineart on January 8, 2007 03:59 PM

you don't need a clutch, if you rev-match properly you can do it, though down shifting is tricky. Now in the movie they imply they can't find 1/2 which probably means selector/linkage/slider is broken. The trick to starting in 3rd would be to get the car moving and perhaps the gear is to tall to have the low end torque to get moving thus the push might be needed...

Posted by: britt on January 9, 2007 02:30 PM

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