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Old 06-19-2005, 07:18 PM   #1
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Heel & Toe

I'm about to try to learn how to heel & toe downshift in my 987, and have a quick question:

Do I (A) put the front right of my foot on the brake and use the heel to hit the accelerator peddle, or (B) use the left of my foot on the brake and the front right to hit the accelerator peddle.

(B) feels more comfortable in this car, but I've been told to use method (A). Which is the correct method?

Thanks

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Old 06-19-2005, 09:31 PM   #2
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I believe method A is the correct way. Ball of foot on brake and heel on accelerater but I just can't do it. Just to hard to do for me and it feels awkward. I can't seem to have any control of the gas. I do rev match while coasting to a stop which is halfway there I guess but I can't brake and rev match....I wish I could. I do alot of slowing/braking with the engine so rev matching is definately benefical for my clutch but it would be nice to do the heal/toe thing. It must take gobs of practice to do smoothly and seamlessly.
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:48 PM   #3
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Back in the day when pedal placement was a litle bit more...awkward (to be polite), heel-toeing involved actually using the ball of your foot on the brake and blipping the throttle with your heel.

Nowadays it's almost physically impossible to do that. You'll almost always use the left part of your foot on the brake and blip with the right part. Luckily for us, the Boxster's pedals need no modification to enable this. Well, unless maybe you wear a size 6-slim or smaller.
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Just to hard to do for me and it feels awkward.
Also, actual heel-toe technique also made more sense back in the day when stopping a car meant basically standing on the pedal as hard as you could. You'd easily be able to lever over to the throttle with your heel because you'd be jamming the brake all the way down as hard as it would go to get your crappy-ass brakes to somehow stop your racecar.

You'd have to have superhuman abilities to hold your foot in place without any sort of anchor. With modern brakes being more than just basically an on/off switch, youd never be able to keep your braking pressure constant if you didn't keep your heel on the floor.
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Old 06-20-2005, 12:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eslai
youd never be able to keep your braking pressure constant if you didn't keep your heel on the floor.
Hmmm, that's good to hear, since I've been having that exact problem whilst practising the heel-and-toe. It's really hard to keep a constant brake pressure, especially at low speeds where the influence of the brakes is so much greater.
Has anyone found that heel-and-toeing at low speeds is a lot harder than heel-and-toeing at higher speeds (i.e. track speeds)? I suspect it may be due to 1) it's harder to downshift at lower gears and 2) it's harder to keep a constant brake pressure at lower speeds (i.e. normal driving speeds). At least, those are what seem to be problematic for me.
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Old 06-20-2005, 06:36 AM   #6
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This is how i learnt how to heel toe.

I would everyday on the day to uni, try and heel toe three conrners in the side streets near my house. On the way home i would practice on the three again.

At first I found the same problem, it was difficult to get constant brake pressure and accelerate the right amount

2 weeks later that was no longer a problem, rev matching was now the arduous task, sometimes i would throttle too much giving a bit of a jolt, or too little resulting in engine brake

Another three weeks and I was able to rev match ok, but not 100% everytime

It took maybe another 3 months until heel-toe was spot on pretty much everytime

As you get better you'll be able to practice more, around on your daily drive

Its not impossible, nor does it take a TON of practice. Just keep at it and you'll get there
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Old 06-20-2005, 07:40 AM   #7
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Method A follows the definition but method B is also acceptable. I use method B myself.

Heel/toe is not easy to do on the Boxster if you're casually braking as the pedal travel needs to travel quite a bit before your foot lines up with the gas. My M3, on the other hand, had really overboosted brakes so a little travel stopped the car a lot. This allowed the gas pedal to be more lined up with the gas pedal from the get go, which in turn made heel/toe very easy. However, overboosted brakes means less brake pedal feel.

If I'm casually driving where I know I'm not going to be getting on the brakes hard, I'll just blip the throttle to match revs, do the downshift, then brake before the turn. If I'm driving pretty hard, then I'll do heel/toe.


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Old 06-20-2005, 08:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux
Method A follows the definition but method B is also acceptable. I use method B myself.

Heel/toe is not easy to do on the Boxster if you're casually braking as the pedal travel needs to travel quite a bit before your foot lines up with the gas.

If I'm casually driving where I know I'm not going to be getting on the brakes hard, I'll just blip the throttle to match revs, do the downshift, then brake before the turn. If I'm driving pretty hard, then I'll do heel/toe.


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Exactly. The brake pedal is pretty uneven with the gas so that is why it feels so awkward for me. I see what you mean about it being easier to do under full on braking because the brake would be more "aligned" with the gas. Like you though I do like blipping the throttle to match a downshift because it is reduces clutch wear and it feels cool when you execute it just right. I find myself trying to memorize engne speeds in particular gears so I blip it just right. Hopefully with enough practice I will just be able to be spot on by feel and sound and not have to look at the tach.
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Old 06-20-2005, 08:48 AM   #9
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You'll get used to it--I was able to heel-toe the boxster just fine even during the test drive.

One thing--at low speeds you'll find it hard to heel-toe primarily because you don't need the revs so you'll overshoot most of the time. Don't bother. It's only useful if you're hard on the brakes heading into a corner.
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Old 06-20-2005, 04:15 PM   #10
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Blip the throttle?

Amatuer question: What do you guys mean when you "match revs" and "blip the throttle"?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-20-2005, 04:46 PM   #11
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Matching Revs:

When downshifting, the idea is to match your engine's RPMs with the tranny's, so to speak. This avoids the situation where you downshift and get a bunch of engine braking, which upsets the car's balance, which is not good when you're on the limits of tire adhesion and/or setting up for a turn.

It also puts less wear on your tranny if you do it right.

In order to do this, you have to give the car some gas while you're downshifting. This is done by tapping, or "blipping" the throttle.

When you're first starting to learn how to heel-toe downshift, you should first practice rev-matched downshifts. This keeps the brake pedal out of the whole equation. Basically, you'd be coasting along in a high gear, you'd take it into neutral, leave your foot on the clutch and immediately blip the throttle to get the engine RPMs up to speed, then put it into the lower gear and release the clutch.

Eventually you get that all smooth and quick, then you can start worrying about doing it under braking.

A couple of resources I found on the web just now:

http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/45792/article.html
http://www.ferrariclub.com/faq/heeltoe.html


You want to be careful when doing this as you don't want to over-rev the engine, of course. if you're just dorking around and don't really need to race the car, be gentle while learning. Well, be gentle regardless, I guess what I mean is don't go all crazy thinking you have to learn this stuff and get into second gear at 70 MPH or anything.

Learn as best as you can what RPM equates to what speed in each gear. For instance, on my 987 six-speed, second-gear is pretty easy to work out--the most significant digit is the same for RPM and MPH, pretty much. At 40 MPH, I know I need to be around 4000 RPM when I downshift, etc.


Last edited by eslai; 06-20-2005 at 04:48 PM.
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