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Old 04-03-2003, 11:13 PM   #1
Rally Punx
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Arrow Shift from 2nd to 1st on tight turn. How??

I competed in my first autox a couple of weeks ago (after participating in a novice school) and was wondering how WRX guys are shifting from 2nd gear to 1st?? They had a pretty tight turn on the course and the car bogged coming out in 2nd gear. I tried to downshift into 1st, but it just spitted it right back out. I asked another scooby driver that was competing on the same heat and he said that the way to do it was to heel and toe. You'll have to excuse me, but I'm pretty new to all this and really don't know what heel and toe is. Can somebody just explain to me in simple terms how can I downshift from 2nd to 1st. I'll be competing again this weekend and would like to improve my times. I was 1.5 seconds behind the guy who won my class. I lost more than that just coming out of that particular turn. I will really appreciate it.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:17 PM   #2
supermarkus
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maybe left foot brake in 2nd to keep the revs somewhat up? I haven't tried it in an autocross situation but, it works pretty well on tight on ramps and empty parking lots.

Also try rev matching and shifting before the turn instead of mid. Heel/toeing can be pretty hectic in the heat of battle, practice it lots before you release the hounds.

Do a search on the technique, there's lots of info on heel/toe shifting.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:48 PM   #3
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Unless you have a large foot, heel & toe is pretty hard in the WRX. But the principle is very important to understand, and you can improvise.

The purpose is to match your engine rev's when you downshift. For example, if you want to downshift from 2nd to 1st at 20mph, you want to blip the throttle so that when you release the clutch in 1st gear, the RPM's are the same as if you were already going that speed in 1st gear. However, anytime you downshift to a very steep gear like 1st gear, you will find that the car is very touchy. It is such a torquey gear that it will be very hard to downshift, even if you match the rev's by blipping the throttle.

To experiment, try it on the street in a 3rd to 2nd downshift. See what 35mph is in 2nd gear on the tach (sorry, I don't remember offhand). So, be at 35 mph in 3rd gear. You will see you are at a far lower RPM. So, if you want to smoothly be in 2nd gear, and at a much sweeter spot in the RPM band, you need to blip the throttle when downshifting from 3rd to 2nd when downshifting, and get the engine rev's to match. Basically, you want to cause the revs to be what they should/would be when you release the clutch in 2nd gear. Not only will you get a much smoother downshift (imagine an egg sitting on the passenger floor) but you will be at the right spot in the rev band to accelerate in 2nd gear and get a quick blast. If you just downshift without the blip, the car will urch forward. I bet you know what I mean. Do the blip with your right foot for now. Understand the principle, and later learn heel & toe.

(FYI, heel & toe is using one foot (the right one) on both the brake & gas pedal simultaneously. There are different techniques, but basically you have the ball of the foot on the brake pedal when braking/slowing, and 'blip' the throttle with the heel of the foot. Your foot gets pretty sideways, but it is an important technique to learn. Every car is different due to the pedal setup, not just ther spacing but also their verticle 'height' differential. Personally, I think the WRX has bad pedals to heel & toe. I have bought new (larger) pedals, but have not yet installed them.)

Hope this made some sense. Just got back from a wine tasting, and am a little buzzed. But this is a VERY important thing to learn about driving a manual transmission car. It is much easier on the transmission (and smoother driving), but more importantly it allows you to maximize the car's power band when you want to.

MSG
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:54 AM   #4
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thought you can rev match and maybe get it in

the truth is youll probably eat up what little first gear synchro there is fast if you do this regularly.

just left foot brake to keep the boost up, or deal with the bogging.


if you must shift to first, prolly the best way to pull it off is MUSCLE it in there fast.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:55 AM   #5
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The way I've done it in rallyx'es locally which seem to have tighter turns that the autox'es I've done locally is this:

I generally brake for the turn early, then heel-toe (rev match) and try to get the shifter in 1st while still applying braking. At this point I'm usually at the apex of the turn and can get onto the gas as I'm letting the clutch out. Sometimes its faster to downshift, but sometimes it isn't.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:05 AM   #6
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left foot braking in 2nd is probably better off for your car's mechanics than forcing it into 1st (even with rev matching). brake pads and rotors are definitely cheaper to replace than transmissions if you are planning on racing in this fashion. Also, not everyone races their daily driver.

chris
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:08 AM   #7
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JMott (hello) is right. You will probably need to slam it in there. I virtually never downshift to first, as it is pretty hard on the synchro's.

However, going back to my original post, practice the heel & toe for 3rd/2nd downshifts. It is much smoother, easier on the gearbox, and will keep you in the right place in the powerband.
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:14 AM   #8
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Can someone explain left foot braking. How does it keep you from bogging in a tight turn in second gear?
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:21 AM   #9
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Left-foot braking lets you stay on the gas to keep the revs up, and on the brake to slow the car down. Tough on the brakes, but sometimes its necessary for success. Many turbo cars use this technique to avoid the bog out of tight turns.

mark
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:33 AM   #10
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So, if you're on the gas and the brakes at the same time, something's got to slip. What is it? The clutch, the tires, the diff?
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:36 AM   #11
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You must get out of gear, let the clutch out, rev the motor to some RPM higher or equal to what it would be at in first, then push the clutch in and put it in first. It'll pop right in. The syncros don't seem to like spinning the clutch up, but they'll easily slow it down to match the speed it needs to be at.
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:37 AM   #12
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In other words, you'll have to double-clutch. It works like a charm.
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Old 04-04-2003, 09:36 AM   #13
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what I have done in the past for very slow corners is just slip the clutch in 2nd gear

1) brake for the corner
2) mid corner push the clutch in and slip the clutch with WOT coming out

works pretty well and done right not really that abusive to be honest
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:06 AM   #14
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As you can see, there's many differnet opinions... here's mine:

Don't downshift into 1st. Period.

Slow in - fast out.

Brake earlier with left foot (you're not shifting so you have a free foot doing nothing) but modulate the gas too (not too hard, not too soft)... it'll help keep boost up.

As soon as you're about 1/4 through the turn, use the brakes to balance the car (not on them hard) and gradually increase throttle, by the time you're near the apex, boost should be up and the car pointing where it needs to go.

You will lose more time shifting into 1st then back to second than you will just by keeping it in 2nd and modulating the throttle/brakes, not to mention unsettling the car in a turn when the weight transfers suddenly... BAD. It may SEEM like an eternity, but it really isn't. You just have to get used to it. Your tranny will thank you too.

I used to down shift on all tight turns until someone mentioned this to me after a 1st run and I FOUND a full second by doing this.

--kC
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:13 AM   #15
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haha I'm trying to left foot brake.....I nearly put my head through the windshield....it's touchy
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by thrdeye
haha I'm trying to left foot brake.....I nearly put my head through the windshield....it's touchy
UH huh. Takes practice. QUite a bit. But what better place to try it than in a safe environment where all you'll hit is cones and not cars or lamp posts.

You'll get the hang of it. Just don't give up. If you can do it with your right foot easily, it can be done with your left too.
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Old 04-04-2003, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by spidey02wrx
Left-foot braking lets you stay on the gas to keep the revs up
It's not going to change your revs, they are only determined by the gear ratio and speed. As others have said, it lets you keep the boost up.

Not that I'm an example of how to drive fast , but I never shift into 1st. After my first few events, I thought that it might be helpful. Then I took Evolution school, and watched John Thomas drive my car. That course had a couple of very tight corners right after the start. He threw it into 2nd almost out of the gate. When I asked him why he didn't stay in 1st through the first turns, he said something like "You don't need much power if you drive a smooth line." If it works for him, it can't be all wrong...
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Old 04-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #18
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i agree with KC .. don't shift into first

things to try
smaller diamater tires
reduced rotating mass lighter rims/uderdrive pully/fly wheel
catless uppipe
slip the clutch .. in second
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Old 04-04-2003, 12:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by ITWRX4ME
So, if you're on the gas and the brakes at the same time, something's got to slip. What is it? The clutch, the tires, the diff?
Still don't see an explanation for ^^^^
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:04 PM   #20
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I have a similar problem at Rally-Cross, but being able to do it is important if you want to be competitive. I learned to heel toe rev match it into first at stop signs, but since I don't blow stop signs that only teachs you to get it into first. The sequence is this:
1) brake with foot sideways
2) clutch in
3) shift out of 2nd
4) clutch out
5) rev up to speed w/ side of foot (and keep it there!)
6) clutch in
7) shift into first
8) clutch out (still with revs at right level)

Do that all in a fraction of the time it took you to read it and you are all set. It works for me on the street every time, but for some reason it doesn't work as well in competition, especially in rally-x. When the speed of your wheels has no direct link to the speed of your car (spinning on a slippery surface, locked up in braking) it's really hard to rev match properly. Next time in dirt I'm going to try a new method - skip the rev matching in favor of full brake lock up! In theory that would be like shifting into first at a stand still - I hope!

I used the above double clutch / rev match sequence when driving a friends WRX at auto-x and it went in like butter (thank god!). But in my car I don't generally bother with getting back to first at Auto-X, KC is right about slow in fast out - fast in causes you to slow more which creates the bog when you are trying to get out.

Anyone have ideas on the rally-x shift to 1st?

Alex

PS. Left foot braking has nothing to do with this problem - LFB should only be used when you have to go from the brake to the gas a lot and need to save the fractions of a second where your right foot would usually be moving between pedals. NEVER brake and accelerate at the same time, it's completely pointless!
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:15 PM   #21
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I agree with KC....Last season I tried everything to get my WRX through the tight corners and the quickest way was always leave it in second and use LFBing. 1st feels faster, but the clock doesn't seem to take this into account


BTW- Car 187: LFBing might not help your RS as much, but does work when you have major turbo lag because it loads the engine and gives the turbo more energy to spool. If you do it correctly in a car that "needs" it you can drop times significantly...trust me.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by ITWRX4ME


Still don't see an explanation for ^^^^
nothing's slipping.. you're just burning brake pads. the gear is fully engaged so the clutch and the diff are out.

and you're still going the same speed so tires are out too.

The diff would be no more affected by LFB into a turn than not LFB. The wheel speed differences would still be the same.

edit- .. hmm I was thinking, and yeah maybe the diff would take some stress, but I don't think it's "damaging"

Last edited by Rebellion; 04-04-2003 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:42 PM   #23
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Since you are a new autocrosser, I wouldn't worry about shifting into first or left foot braking to keep the boost up.

Focus on braking early and getting on the gas as soon as you can. On the tight turns it is easy to enter them too fast, forcing you to scrub off speed in the corner when you should be straightening the wheel and getting on the throttle.

I'm not saying that what has been said in this thread is bad advice, but you need to walk before you can run, right?

I am a firm believer in the concept of spending your first couple seasons as an autocrosser working on the basics before you get fancy. It will pay off later.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ITWRX4ME
So, if you're on the gas and the brakes at the same time, something's got to slip. What is it? The clutch, the tires, the diff?
You're not trying to lock up the brakes, just load the engine while you're slowing down. The biggest loser is your brake pads in this game.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:01 PM   #25
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Here's a good thread over on honda-tech
LFB

I learned alot from this thread and the one over there as well.
I had the (wrong) perception that this would help keep the 'revs up' . I just heard that LFB is good for turbo cars, and I planned on doing some of it this year.

mark
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