Clutch TO bearing wear

Re: the 4/6/13 show question about holding the clutch pedal in at a stoplight, you guys obviously forgot that trans. gear synchros DO also wear out eventually. I distribute the wear more evenly by only shifting into neutral at very long lights, train crossings, etc. When the transmission has to come out for rebuild, most people will change the clutch & throw out bearing anyway.

I think the energy dissipated (and consequent wear) in a synchro from going into first gear at a full stop is pretty small compared with say a downshift into second (without a double-clutch.) But if it worried you could always either wait a moment for the clutch to stop spinning before entering first, or touch the third or fourth gear synchro to let those take the wear instead, then enter first.

Funny you should bring that up. I drive an old car with non-synchro low gear. I USED to shift into neutral at every light, but in order to get back into low without grinding (if I waited for the clutch to stop spinning, the light would turn red again), I would shift into second, and THEN low gear. That is how I discovered synchros DO wear out eventually! The cost/scarcity of rare NOS vintage trans. parts makes throwout bearing wear a rather moot point.

I am amazed that the second gear syncronizer failed prematurely from your using it to quieten the shift to 1st, @dynodan. It seemed that everyone used that trick in the 50s and 60s down here in the cotton fields. I knew a middle aged lady back then who would back her VW out of the driveway and while coasting backwards shifted to 2nd, then to the unsyncronized 1st, never touching the brake and pulling away accelerating at a blistering pace as only a Beetle could. Her engine was rebuilt more than once but the transmission never failed.

Yep, agree with @Rod Knox, I don’t buy that second synchro was worn out from that usage. Second gear is going to get far more wear from downshifts, significantly aggravated by the fact that it has poor mechanical advantage over the clutch inertia due to having to go back through the 2nd gear ratio. My '72 bus had a synchro on first but second synchro still wore out first causing me to have to learn precision double-clutching.

Rod Knox,
One advantage of a torquey long-stroke Detroit V-8 (as opposed to the toy-sized VW motor) is the ability to back out on fast idle, thus not spinning up the clutch much. I can then usually sneak into low without grinding.
KiwiME has a point, as 50 years of hard downshifts likely did most of the damage. All that 2nd gear synchro use at stop lights was merely the last straw.

Foot on clutch or neutral at traffic light? – random thoughts on the the show’s conversation…
Seems that the difference in bearing wear is so little that it isn’t worth debating for any other reason than the sake of arguing. And does it really add more wear to a spring to be engaged for a slightly longer period of time than for it to be engaged and disengaged twice? For the sake of a balanced argument, if at every stop you press the clutch twice rather than once doesn’t that also add to wear of the clutch plates! For the sake of driving technique or safety, isn’t it hard to argue that neutral is better for a stick, but not for an automatic?