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Old 01-10-2005, 10:32 AM   #1
artkevin
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Default Can someone please explain heel/toeing to me?

I keep trying it in my WRX and I have a hell of a time modulating the gas. I try to just blip it but I end up either flooring it or missing it all together. Any hints out there?
Kevin
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Last edited by artkevin; 01-10-2005 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:14 AM   #2
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Start here. Once you read this, then come and ask more questions.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sear...archid=1004867
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:14 AM   #3
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Practice, Practice, Practice.

Use thin soled shoes so you can feel the pedal better.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:18 AM   #4
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You sound like you're already familiar with the basic procedure, right? One thing may be how you're positioning your foot. Some people keep their foot straight, and sort of use the right edge to blip the throttle. I can't do that accurately at all. I have to do the full motion with the toe of my foot on the brakes and swinging my heel around onto the gas, so my foot is diagonal like this: "\". Using that method, I can usually get the RPMs where I want them if I'm paying attention.

I assume practice makes perfect. I learned heel/toe at the same time I learned to drive a manual transmission, so everything was a mess for a while that came together over time. It's probably even harder when you're interrupting the normal shifting patterns you've already developed. I actually don't really know how to downshift normally w/o rev matching.

Maybe you should try with the car stopped, in neutral with the parking brake up. Just try to have your foot on the brake and practice blipping the throttle while maintaining a certain brake pressure.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:30 AM   #5
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a lot of racecar drivers blip the throttle with their toes, and brake with the heel. very difficult in my opinion.
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:32 AM   #6
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Ditto to the above. It takes a lot of practice. I am able to use the right edge of my foot effectively. Some prefer to swing out their heel. It's whatever works.

My first experience doing it was with Skip Barber's 3-day racing school. The cars had to be double-clutched and heal/toed for downshifts. It was pretty comical that first day... lots of grinding noises on the track! I've been heal-toeing ever since in my street cars... for 3 years now.

Keep on practicing... and try different shoes, maybe.

Mike
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoinks
You sound like you're already familiar with the basic procedure, right?
Awfully big assumption given...
Quote:
Originally Posted by artkevin
I keep trying it in my WRX and I have a hell of a time modulating the gas. I try to just blip it but I end up either flooring it or missing it all together. Any hints out there?
Kevin
Try breaking the procedure up into smaller parts.

Because heel and toe downshifting combines braking and rev-matched downshifting, you can practice by eliminating the braking portion of the equation by just rev-matching downshifts.

Say your cruising in 4th gear at 2500 rpm and you want to pass a slower car. Instead of just shifting into 3rd and taking off, do the following:

Clutch in
Shift to neutral
Clutch out
Blip the throttle (rpms should increase to about 3500).
Clutch in while pressing the shifter gently against the 3rd gear shift gate (shifter should literally flop into 3rd)
Clutch out, gas in

I know, the purpose of the above is to accelerate and you want to use it during braking. But the principle is the same so once you can do this consistently and smoothly, you can move on to trying it while braking. It's about making sure you blip the throttle enough to match the gear revolutions in the input and output shafts of the transmission. You'll know it when it's right because the shifter will go into the lower gear with almost no resistance.

Another thing you can do is to just practice blipping the throttle while braking, without downshifting. With the clutch in (coasting), brake with the left edge of your foot and see if you can just blip the throttle a few times with the right edge of your foot. The key is to do it without affecting how much you're pressing the brake.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:02 PM   #8
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Good suggestion by itwrx4me. (practicing without the braking component) The only thing I'd throw in is the option of single-clutching instead of double clutching. Any reason to double-clutch? (given it's not a racing dog-box tranny?)

Mike
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastwrx
Good suggestion by itwrx4me. (practicing without the braking component) The only thing I'd throw in is the option of single-clutching instead of double clutching. Any reason to double-clutch? (given it's not a racing dog-box tranny?)

Mike
The true purpose of rev-matching is to match the speed of the input and output shafts of the tranny. The tranny has to be in neutral to do that.

Look at it purely from what's happening at the end of the braking zone. You need to transition from braking to cornering/acceleration. With single-clutching, at the transition point you're clutching, shifting and transitioning from braking to throttle while steering into the turn.

With double clutching, you've finished your shifting before you get to the transition point. Your foot is off the clutch and your in the right gear already. All that remains is to roll off the brake and onto the throttle as you steer into the turn.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:23 PM   #10
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Never thought of it that way, itwrx4me. I'll have to try double-clutching again!

Mike
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:31 PM   #11
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subscribing! good posts itwrx4me
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:47 PM   #12
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Thanks guys. All very good suggestions. I have been using flat, hard soled shoes to try to maximise the feel but I will try to remove the braking part of it next.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:57 PM   #13
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Some other points about positioning your foot (this is what works for me):

You want the portion of the ball of your right foot, just behind your big toe, on the brake. The top of the brake pedal should be just about where your big toe joins your foot. The right edge of the pedal should be between the bones of the big toe and the second toe (metatarsals??).

This should position your foot so that the far right edge can reach the throttle. If not, you may have to alter the pedals to get the spacing right.

When you begin your braking, your foot should be canted such that the outside of the foot is up so that it doesn't hit the throttle. You can practice this while sitting idle with the car running. Don't bother with the car off because the brake pedal won't go down as far.

Find a good foot position that allows you to press the brake while still allowing you to rock your foot over to press the throttle. Practice moving your foot from the throttle to the brake until you can get your foot in the right place every time automatically. Make sure that your foot has enough contact with the brake pedal that there isn't a risk it could slip off during hard braking.

Practice pressing really hard on the brake without touching the throttle. This is critical because your minimizing the amount of your foot on the pedal so the risk of it slipping off is increased.

Normal, everyday shoes will make the reach easier but will dampen the feel. Racing shoes increase the feel but make the reach more difficult. I usually drive around my racing shoes for a couple of days before a track day to adjust to the feel and reach.

You should make sure your shoes and pedals are dry before trying all this on the streets. Again, the risk of your foot slipping off the edge of the pedal increases.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:04 PM   #14
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ITWRX4ME, do you leave your heel on the floorboard or do you have your entire foot off the ground?
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:18 PM   #15
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My heel is off the floor board slightly. This leaves me the option, if needed, to swing my heel over to hit the throttle. I've had a couple of times when I didn't get all of the air out of the brake lines and the pedal would suddenly go to the floor. This was past the point where it was feasible to use the side of my foot so I used the heel.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:23 PM   #16
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I just remembered this video:

http://www.teamsmr.com/movies/Footbox Small.wmv

This is Gary Sheehan working the pedals and it's a great example. He uses double-clutching. He also uses his heel to blip the throttle. He has small feet so the side step thing may be an option.

Last edited by ITWRX4ME; 01-10-2005 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:31 PM   #17
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Great clip, that really does explain a lot. He is very smooth and direct in all of his inputs. I don't think I understand the purpose of double clutching. I guess its becuase most the racing I watch is either clutch-less (F1, hand operated clutch) or they rev-match so they don't use the clutch at all (Trans-am).
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:55 PM   #18
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I've got wide feet and actually use the left side of the ball of my foot for the brake, and blip the throttle with the side/lower of the right side of my foot. It's extrememly easy in an Impreza... forget about ever trying it in a Honda, though, I've never driven one with the gas pedal within reach, even during full braking.
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
I've got wide feet and actually use the left side of the ball of my foot for the brake, and blip the throttle with the side/lower of the right side of my foot. It's extrememly easy in an Impreza... forget about ever trying it in a Honda, though, I've never driven one with the gas pedal within reach, even during full braking.
Thanks for giving the big foot info. I'm a size 11 or so (maybe thats avg...i dunno) and have never found a good way of doing this. I'll practice some now that we got some good hints and stuff.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:51 PM   #20
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Grab gas pedal and bend it with your hands... if you're not burly, use channellocks. Voila, easier h/t throttle blips.

I didn't have a problem double-clutching in the Barber cars, but I single-clutch in cars with synchros since it's less footwork, less room for error and my revs are matched enough anyways to slot the gear in without being disruptive. Double-clutching provides more rope to hang yourself with, something I certainly don't need when I have synchros that work
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:40 PM   #21
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Frankly, also, its actually harder in a stock WRX than a proper race car because of the relative lack of responsiveness from the flywheel and multi-cat restricted long slow travel gas pedal...

I have found that a modified "foot roll" works best for me. The pedals could stand to be a little closer together however. Other advice, do it slow and deliberate at first. I think once one learns to time the gas blip properly it's much easier. Without modifications to the car, you won't get a "blip" so much as time delayed rev up.

I actually taught myself the fundamentals on my old CBR 600 f2 I once planned to road race.

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Old 01-10-2005, 04:42 PM   #22
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:53 PM   #23
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http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/how...2/article.html

This article says that the heel-toe blip occurs while the clutch is in (i.e. there is no double clutch involved). I'm confused about the difference between blipping the throttle with the clutch in vs. clutch out and out of gear (N) ? I thought that with the clutch out in neutral you are not only getting the engine revs up but you also get the gears spinning at the same speed for an easier shift?
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:55 PM   #24
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You guys do know that in most cars you dont actually use your heel or toe, you just use the left and right side of your foot. As far as I know then name comes from older cars where the pedals werent set up well like the WRX's.

When you blip the throttle in neutral you are controlling the imput shaft to the transmission but all the gears are disengaged (this allows you to "rev match" the interanals to lessen the wear on syncros or a dogbox style trans); when you blip with clutch pushed in its just the engine spinning.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leadfoot77
http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/how...2/article.html

This article says that the heel-toe blip occurs while the clutch is in (i.e. there is no double clutch involved). I'm confused about the difference between blipping the throttle with the clutch in vs. clutch out and out of gear (N) ? I thought that with the clutch out in neutral you are not only getting the engine revs up but you also get the gears spinning at the same speed for an easier shift?
True. Clutch-out neutral blip is double-clutching. Clutch-in blipping while the shifter is travelling to the lower gear is rev-matching.

I double-clutch for the sake of the gearbox.

Gary
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