Hi guys and gals. As you can tell I'm a rookie on this forum. It's such a great forum by the way--so many car experts on here! I got a new '04 all-black GT premium convertible a couple weeks ago with upgraded rims (5-spoke bright wheels), upgraded interior, and of course manual tranny. I've been wanting a Mustang for many years and it seemed that now was the right time to purchase one with all the incentives available and the slightly-below-invoice price i was being given. Last year I had decided to wait for the '05 model after seeing pictures of the concept car but changed my mind once I saw the production model (not that I don't like it, I simply prefer the current look). My Stang was $26.7k off the lot, tax, tags, etc included. I couldn't be more happy with or more proud of this car. I LOVE MY CAR! I actually miss it when I'm not driving it! Is that normal?? Besides being a rookie on this forum I'm also a rookie on the stick. I had driven stick before but I am by no means an expert. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I want to make sure that I'm doing this right. My biggest problem thus far has been shifting SMOOTHLY into 1st gear. Sometimes it's really smooth and sometimes not so smooth and sometimes it's just crap (car would "hiccup"). Consistency is so hard to come by. Anyway, to my questions. For normal driving, what is the best RPM range to engage the clutch for 1st gear? 1.0 - 1.5k RPM seems ok. But tonight I was experimenting and found that around 700 - 1000 RPM is also "doable" if I gas it and engage the clutch just right. What has been your experience? What about clutch wear? Are there any rules regarding how to minimize clutch wear? Also, why does the car "hiccup" sometimes? I've been told that that occurs when the clutch is engaged too quickly. Can anyone explain this? It boggles me immensely why the engine would behave this way when the clutch has already been engaged. My brother (who owns a 2002 Trans Am WS6) keeps telling me that I have to simply drive a lot to get used to it. Frankly, I don't want to be burning up my clutch unknowingly while I'm "getting used to it". I know I have more questions but can't think of them right now. I'm sure I'll remember as I read the replies. Thanks!