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Old 03-22-2001, 07:19 AM   #1
webkris
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Question Heel Toe Shifting - with big feet? Need help.

The smoothness I got from the auto is gone. I learned how to drive on a standard, and also had a pickup truck. But I never learned how to drive fast with a standard.

I know I let the clutch out too fast when I want to go fast. I'm working on that. I also know how to rev-match downshift. Coast - clutch in - blip throttle - downshift - clutch out. (much to slow for racing )

But heel toe?! It ends up being more like side of foot toe. I can't get my size 12's up enough to push down the gas while breaking... Even with my shoes off i'm still twisting around to do it. It should hurt at first right?

Plus I'm starting to practice double clutching... I just can't coax my foot off the clucth while on the brake in neutral. I was taught to cluth in & brake at the same time. It's like keeping on the gas in a corner when you want to slow down.

"You must unlearn - what you have learned." What's with me and the Star Wars refferences these days
Thanks,
Kris
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Old 03-22-2001, 07:28 AM   #2
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Dude
With big feet nothing works. I have tried it for so long, but what I have discovered to work is the left side of my foot for the clutch and the right side for the brake. I usually just role my foot left or right according to the situation. Having big feet in thsi cercumstances S**k's really bad.

Joe
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Old 03-22-2001, 07:46 AM   #3
ttoversteer
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HPI: HUH? You use your left foot for the clutch and the brake?

Heel-toe is kind of a misnomer.

Kris, you are correct; mostly it is done with the side of your foot. I apply pressure to the brake pedal with my big toe/ball of foot and flex the right side of my right foot onto the gas pedal. But I have flexible feet (Size 9.5), so it's not too dificult for me. Other people have to twist their foot a bit so as to get the proper modulation. I suspect this is the case with you and your 12's. Try rotating your foot in such a way that your big toe is angled up toward the left a bit.

Remember, braking is key in this manouver, so be sure you have your foot securely on the brake pedal. (Believe me, there's nothing worse, or scarier, than having your foot slip off the brake pedal at the wrong time!) All you need to blip the throttle is a small part of your foot, like the area under your pinky toe.

Of course, it should not hurt. It may feel akward(sp?) at first, but practice will make it feel more natual.

As with the Double D, that too is just practice. I do it now without even thinking. LOL --> If I try to shift without a Double D, sometimes it throws off my timing!

Practice makes perfect!

-Tom
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Old 03-22-2001, 08:02 AM   #4
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If you cut your toes off you might be down to a size 11 1/2 ?



Paul G.
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Old 03-22-2001, 08:59 AM   #5
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i agree with paul on this one cut them off, off with his feet hehe .
hell lets just cut him off at the shinn then he wont be bigger then us.


Chad N
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Old 03-22-2001, 09:13 AM   #6
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Yeh Im in the same boat Kris with my 12's. Still havent been able to get a really good technique down yet.

Hey where can I go to get my toes cut off You dont really need them anyway right???

Jeremy
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Old 03-22-2001, 10:15 AM   #7
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Smile

Actually - If you where to add a big pinkie toe, you could probably use that to blip the throttle.

I've done it succesfully a couple of times using the side of my foot, but when I mess it up - I rev the engine too much, or clomp on the brakes... Practice, practice, practice.

Should I consider moving the gas pedal out a bit? Or just get used to it - so I can drive any car like that. hrmmm.
- Kris

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Old 03-22-2001, 10:45 AM   #8
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Kris-

Personally I only double clutch if I didn't rev-match properly... I would have to say the most important of the 3 you mentioned is the fast start.

1) Fast Start:

Let the clutch break in a bit more before trying to jump the gun. I had timing problems until about 3-5k miles on the clutch. After that you need to be able to match gas with slipping pressure from the clutch. I still don't think you get the best starts if you rev to 5-6k and dump it. I think about 3-4k and clutch slip A LITTLE will yield better results. About halfway thru the start you will feel a settling of the car (very slight "yeah feel" to it but I have faith that you will learn every subtle nuance to your car in no time) and that is when you can dump the clutch all the way and mash the gas. Remember: the car is still new, practice will yield results.

Patience, Daniel-san.... wax on, wax off....

or in your case:

Patience, Kris-san.... WRX on, WRX off...

2) Heel-Toe:

I'm with you on this one. Size 11's. Kudos to ttoversteer with this line:

Remember, braking is key in this maneuver, so be sure you have your foot securely on the brake pedal.

100%. Don't forget that!

I wind up using my upper leg muscles to lift my whole leg up and put my foot a little more on the brake than normal. This way I can swing my heel a bit more to the right and on the gas pedal. It requires more effort, but then I don't have to roll my foot to accomplish the act, just to control the throttle which I think is the key that most people don't get. The foot roll is to control the throttle, not to actually accomplish the act of heel-toe.

There is a video somewhere with the camera watching the feet of an Audi driver. His feet are NOT resting on the floor at all. They are both in the air and the pedals. Really hard to do and tough on the leg muscles (for an entire rally race would be tough for ANY of us...) but it gives you better heel-toe usage. This way, use big foot people have an advantage, more surface area.

3) Double-clutch:

I rarely double clutch unless I can't match the revs. When I downshift, as I push in the clutch, I blip the throttle. This allows the main shaft in the tranny to spin up because it is still partially connected to the flywheel hence allowing you hit put the tranny into the lesser gear without burning out your synchros. I know it adds a little more wear to the clutch (since I am technically slipping the clutch ON THE WAY OUT) but it works great and as I get better, I wear the clutch less and less.

Also, you don't necessarily have to put the clutch pedal all the way out to blip the throttle. Your body (after a time) will remember where the clutch begins to engage the flywheel. That's as far as you have to put the clutch out in order to blip to spin up the main shaft. And since you are not in gear (ie very little resistance) you're not going to be doing any major wear on your clutch if you don't put the clutch out all the way.

Did any of this make sense?

-Rez
<IMG SRC="http://www.reverberations.com/images/scrambles.gif" border=0>
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Old 03-22-2001, 11:37 AM   #9
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And kudos to REZ:
Quote:
I still don't think you get the best starts if you rev to 5-6k and dump it. I think about 3-4k and clutch slip A LITTLE will yield better results.
You are absolutely correct regarding the Impreza. If you dump it, you'll just burn clutch and not get anywhere. I've seen autox times improve by as much as two seconds when launches were done at lower rpms, waiting for the grippy feel before releasing the clutch, vs reving high and dropping it from the top.

Hmmmm... Autox... Sunday.

Drive smooth,
-Tom
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Old 03-22-2001, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
plus it looks cooler than ultra smooth faster than everyone KC techniques...


Bill, you made my day.

How do you think I get that smoothness? The RS was unforgiving if you let up on the gas too fast while braking.

With the sneakers I have (Size 11 Rebook Walking shoes) the foot is big enough where I use the whole right side of the sneaker to blip the throttle while braking.

Get most of your braking done before the turn, and you'll be much smoother.

--kC
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Old 03-22-2001, 02:06 PM   #11
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Talking

The peddles are just too far away from each other. Is there a way that I can bring my gas peddle up so it is at th same level as my brake? How about closer?

BTW: Cool Topic!

Later,
Seth E.
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Old 03-22-2001, 02:37 PM   #12
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Actually, they're really good pedal placement compared to many other cars out there. The whole idea is you're not going to have the gas all the wayt o the floor to do your shifting, just a tap and shift.

With the brakes down a little bit.. your foot meets the pedal evenly. slide the heel of your foot over (or just roll your foot tot he side) blip, shift done.

It takes a bit of practice.

Another Auto-x tip... you're either on the gas, or your're on the brakes. There is no coasting.

"If Road Racing were any easier they'd call it auto-crossing".

--kC

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Old 03-22-2001, 03:01 PM   #13
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So KC, when do your "Heel Toe" classes start?

Korey

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Old 03-22-2001, 03:05 PM   #14
webkris
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Cool

Yes this is becoming a cool thread!
If you want to be brought up to speed on how to heel-toe downshift - here are some of the best articles I found on the web for learning.
1. http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving..._heeltoe.lasso
2. http://www.triumphspitfire.com/Healtoe.html

Now - next question... Do you have to match revs if you double clutch?? Still need to blip the throttle? I'm a little confused about this technical part.

<IMG SRC="http://24.147.94.96/misc/heeltoe.gif" border=0>
This is the diagram that makes it look so easy...

BTW - Thanks for the input guys!
This is why I love the message board,
Kris
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Old 03-22-2001, 03:37 PM   #15
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YES! This is a great topic.

If you are shifting, it is necessary to match revs with a double-D. You should be matching revs all the time anyway. If not, you will be sloppy.

-T
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Old 03-22-2001, 03:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Actually, they're really good pedal placement compared to many other cars out there.
Sure, but that damn brake booster throws me right off. In my Nissan, the brake pedal is so nice and firm that I don't have to worry about the pedal sinking in too much and throwing off my throttle blip.

Kris' diagram above works very well with my Nissan. But TTO's edge-of-the-foot technique works much better in the Subaru.

Quote:
Another Auto-x tip... you're either on the gas, or your're on the brakes.
Or both. Although left-foot braking isn't entirely necessary, it's handy for taming a tail-happy car.

-WaC
Wayne
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Old 03-22-2001, 03:58 PM   #17
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Forgive me for exposing my ignorance:

Isn't heel & Toe down-shifting/Braking intended for those who want to be smooth at relatively high speeds ?

I have always thought that with a FWD or AWD car, you can approach a tight corner flat-out, pitch the car sideways on entry into the corner (usually with the handbrake), and then just before you hit the apex, gently roll back on the throttle ?
In snow or on dirt, that has always worked best for me. I have never really tried "hero driving" techniques above say 45 mph, though.

I must admit I haven't ever taken the time to learn heal-toe driving...
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Old 03-22-2001, 04:08 PM   #18
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Some of these concepts seem very difficult and require a lot of practice (from what I can tell and have heard). I certainly know very little about what is involved. I always engine brake, but I've never "rev-matched", which sounds like you quickly blip the gas up to the rev which it would be at when the clutch comes up. That's not to say I just let go of the clutch and let the car nose-in = ). I just let off of the clutch slowly. I do watch the revs, they generally never top 3k, but this is in everyday scenarios, not racing. I have no idea what double-clutching is, but it sounds complicated. I've always had great respect for people who know how to coax a car, and the skills they show in daily driving. Hopefully I will be among their ranks someday. Meanwhile, who's opening up a school to teach this sort of thing? Or where are there existing ones that aren't too expensive (hopefully)?

Good luck Kris, we all know you're a good driver, now you have new things to experiment with.

Marc
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Old 03-22-2001, 05:49 PM   #19
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Lightbulb

Jonathan - You should be able to heel-toe, and be smooth at ALL speeds. The process sounds long, and is complex - but should take less then a second to perform.

As far as pitching it into a corner - if you are "Richard Burns" sidways at an autocross: It looks cool as all hell - but it's not the fastest way around the course. (as Bill mentioned) If you learn to "pitch" the car correctly - you don't need the e-brake, as demonstrated by some of the ice racing videos... You can use the handbrake for REALLY tight corners, or to get a stubborn car to come around. But - performing a pendulum turn will do the same. Say you want to go right 90 degrees in 50 yards on snow. Power up to the corner turn slightly left - lift off the throttle turn wheel hard right - slowly get back on the gas to countersteer the turn. It sounds a lot eaiser then it is. Consider a day at Tim O'Neil's school.

Marc - you are correct - rev matching is done so the car doesn't nose down (engine brake) when downshifting. The braking should be done with the brakes - not the transmission.
- Kris
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Old 03-22-2001, 06:27 PM   #20
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Kris, just to add to your engine brake statement & rev matching:
I think a key point of rev matching is to keep the suspension "settled" when entering a turn. If you upset the suspension with sudden weight transfer (by not revmatching), the cars handling can become unpredictable when entering the turn. Rev Matching is a way of preventing that situation.
Don't mis-read this, you want weigth to transfer, but smooth.
When not preformed correctly, you will end up sliding backwards at a high rate of speed for an extended amount of time. Take it from me..

Paul G.
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Old 03-22-2001, 08:20 PM   #21
Jonathan
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Very well said, Kris.
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Old 03-22-2001, 08:33 PM   #22
Pilot
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I feel compelled to post here.

The only purpose for anyone to downshift while braking is to be in the right gear for the upcoming corner OR to practice for this situation.

Now the reason for heel & toe downshifting AND clutchless downshifting with left foot braking AND matching the revs whe you downshift is to make sure that you do nto upset the balance of the car as PTG said above.

Also reread what Kris said, which is essentially; Brakes stop the car, the drivetrain makes it go.

For all you would be racing drivers out there I am slowly compiling a list of must read books that I will post at a later date.

BTW this is a VERY good topic, anyone who doesn't know how to make their car "dance" should learn how. The world (and your world) will be a safer more enjoyable place if you do.
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Old 03-22-2001, 09:04 PM   #23
Jonathan
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Yes this is a very good topic.

Perhaps this belongs in a more general forum ? Heal/toe braking & clutchless gear changes, and smooth transitions and the like are not unique to New England !
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Old 03-22-2001, 10:22 PM   #24
Marc Sawaya
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Lightbulb

First things first, and I'm just being nitpicky, but your foot has a heel, not a heal. Don't think I'm singling you out, Jonathan, I've seen this soooo many times! = )

Ok, now down to the good stuff. I'm going to try to imagine a heel-toe downshift and write it out dramatically, and somebody tell me how accurate it is:

So you're racing down the track on a long straightaway, coming upon a sweeping turn to the left which juts in and gets sharp right at the end. You keep a steady pace, moving in towards the apex of the turn, then at a reasonable distance, start threshold braking with the left side of your foot, keeping your heel mainly under the gas pedal. As the turn sharpens, and you can feel the weight of the car get distributed more outwards, you start to brake harder, and then really push the pedal in as you hit the sharp curve. Simultaneously, as the car shifts forward and to the right, you throw the clutch in and bang the knob down into third. You reach the apex of the turn, the nose is almost pointed towards the direction you want to go, and your right foot is still braking. You quickly rotate your ankle to the right, "blipping" the throttle to bring the revs up to 3k, then come off of the clutch as you mash the gas in, having caught 3rd gear perfectly so that you don't slow down or rev the engine too high, and you're flying towards the next turn.

Ok, I hope that's what it's supposed to be like, because it sounded really good.

Marc
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Old 03-23-2001, 12:00 AM   #25
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that's how I take off...when I'm trying to go hard. Rev about 4, then let the clutch out not-so-quickly. There's some burning of the clutch going on, but it's a much more controlled take-off, and it seems to go rather quick
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