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      02-25-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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heel & toe

ok, before i get blasted on here.. im not like some of you out there that are track experts and all that. although i would love to have some fun at the track something always comes up when i try to go so i just give up lol.

i think its some real bs i test drove a dct m3 and those downshifts sound soo nice & i cant no matter how much i try get the whole heel & toe downshift going on.

ive seen videos on youtube and still cant figure it out.

either the car brakes or stalls when in low speeds.

i tried doing it at faster speeds around 60 (before you law abiding citizens get crazy, it was a closed private road).. and still cant get it.. any tips / ideas?
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      02-25-2013, 12:12 AM   #2
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Please note that I am not a pro; in fact I would call myself lower than an amateur. So all the stuff below could be incorrect. Other guys on here will be able to give you better advice. But here are my thoughts:

Are you trying this in a DCT? If so, I'm pretty sure it does it for you.

If not:

1) It's harder to achieve precisely at low speeds and RPMs

2) First make sure you have the whole movement down right. Do it in neutral and try to achieve some different RPM values. Take note that the flywheel is not as light as the race cars that you see in videos, so it might not take a quick stab at the throttle, but a firm depress.

3) I find that I'm less jerky if I pay more attention to the toe part (i.e. the brake).
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      02-25-2013, 12:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emanresu View Post
Please note that I am not a pro; in fact I would call myself lower than an amateur. So all the stuff below could be incorrect. Other guys on here will be able to give you better advice. But here are my thoughts:

Are you trying this in a DCT? If so, I'm pretty sure it does it for you.

If not:

1) It's harder to achieve precisely at low speeds and RPMs

2) First make sure you have the whole movement down right. Do it in neutral and try to achieve some different RPM values. Take note that the flywheel is not as light as the race cars that you see in videos, so it might not take a quick stab at the throttle, but a firm depress.

3) I find that I'm less jerky if I pay more attention to the toe part (i.e. the brake).
Well no, its not a dct.. im going to go try your tips out, ill be back in 30 minutes a heel & toe champ & let u know if it worked for me.
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      02-25-2013, 01:55 AM   #4
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You know downshifting and rev matching is completely different from heel & toe, right? You can downshift and rev match (press the clutch, blip the throttle, downshift) without heel & toe, actually your 6MT makes nicer sound this way that the DCT, plus it is all your work so you enjoy it more.
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      02-25-2013, 06:41 AM   #5
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Coordination. You've got 3 things going on, brake, clutch, throttle. Try eliminating the brake part and just practice blipping the throttle while gradually slowing down to a lower gear. As you are letting out the clutch try to get a feeling for when you should blip the throttle to get a smooth transition into gear. Do that every day for 10 minutes, for a week. Once you feel comfortable and understand the throttle/clutch timing then move on to applying the brakes. Everyone places their feet relative to the brake and throttle a little differently, its about being comfprtable and responsive. I place the ball of my foot at the outer right side of the brake pedal and pivot toward the gas pedal, so that the center of my foor (between my heel and balls of feet) strike the gas pedal. If you dont get it right the first time, dont get discouraged. Practice, practice. Hope this was helpful.
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      02-25-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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once you start racing on the track the car is gonna force you to heel&toe.
why?
because when you're braking hard the weight "moves" to the front axle.
now - when you downshift without heel&toe you rear wheels will lock for a short moment which can cause the car to move out of the line.

here's a fast lap where I heel&toe.
It's not 100% perfect but there's no locking of the rear wheels in front of a corner so I'd say - mission accomplished.

you don't learn heel&toe for show but you learn it because you don't want to loose your car while hard braking and downshifting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIMs0w7jnV0&hd=1

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      02-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
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      02-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #8
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Practice rev matching first at every corner ,stop light everytime on your dialy drive, that is clutch in,breaking ,downshift and blip throttle to match engine speed and then clutch out.the car should be smooth,no jerking or bucking of drive train.
then as you become perfect with coordination this ,you move on to practice heel toeing,its the same thing this time to are breaking and bliping the throttle at the same time ,you don't need a tract to practice this.
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      02-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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The hardest part that I've found is keeping steady pressure on the brake pedal while blipping the throttle. Too often, I'll grab additional brake when trying to add some throttle.

Practice makes smooth, I guess...
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      02-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
For what its worth, this is a tricky car to heel/toe shift in because of the huge rev range and strong engine in both throttle and overrun. 4th to 3rd is the best shift to practice on.
+1. I too had a VERY difficult time heel-toeing for quite a while, and ironically it wasn't until I actually decided to work on it at the track that it actually clicked, then I practiced it more on the street. That said, I hardly ever heel-toe on the street. Maybe it's laziness, but I just brake for a bit, let off the brake to blip a downshift if needed, and then get back to braking or just rely on the extra engine braking. But if you really want to learn on the street, here's my advice:

1. Don't expect your car's downshifts ever to sound exactly like DCT. Humans just can't blip that precisely or that quickly. Just setting expectations here.

2. Heel-toe is a bit of a misnomer for this car. Using your heel to blip the throttle is intended for cars with throttle pedals that are mounted from the top (like your brake and clutch). For floor-mounted throttle pedals like the M3's, you'll want to be braking with just the left edge of your right foot and blipping the throttle by pushing the remainder of that foot forward into the throttle, i.e. when blipping, your foot will be at an angle such that the right part of your foot is closer to the floor than the left, if that makes sense. How far you have to "roll" the right part of your foot into the throttle depends on how hard you're braking; the harder you're braking, the easier it is to blip the throttle since harder braking puts your foot closer to the floor to begin with. This is another reason why learning on the track is helpful, since most street scenarios don't have you braking anywhere near hard enough to make this easy to do, certainly not easy to learn. But if you know you're going to be heel-toeing, you have to get used to braking with only the left edge of your foot; yes, you can still brake plenty hard that way once you get used to it. The one thing you have to watch out for when you start doing that though is the risk of pressing the throttle and brake at the same time before clutching in. When I first practiced this at the track, I heard my rear brakes squealing briefly in braking zones and eventually figured out it was from me accidentally pressing the throttle while I was braking but before I was ready to downshift. The way you counter that is to actually roll your foot OUTWARD so that the right part of your foot is FARTHER from the floor than your left, which allows you to keep braking plenty hard but keeps your foot off the throttle. Of course on the street you may not have this issue since you hopefully won't be braking hard enough to push the brake pedal flush with the throttle.

3. Unless you feel that it completely messes up your throttle blip precision, start by keeping the throttle in Sport mode, i.e. Power button on. That will mean you won't have to press the throttle quite as far. I use Sport on the street and Normal on the track, but heel-toeing in Normal is definitely harder.

4. As the poster I quoted mentioned, practice on 4>3 shifts; I would say that 5>4 is probably the next easiest shift since it requires a very tiny blip. 3>2 is tough enough to get right WITHOUT heel-toe, so I'd just put that one on hold for a while because if you mess that one up you can upset your car by locking up the wheels. But practice at speeds of ~60 MPH when you've got an open STRAIGHT road with no cars behind you so they won't be bothered by your apparently pointless braking. The last thing you want is to mess up a heel-toe, get yourself and potentially your car all out of sorts, and mentally freeze up while heading into a corner. Braking with nothing but straight road in front of you and nobody around means that if you mess up, no worries. If you're wondering why I'm giving this advice given that I first practiced on the track, I started braking significantly earlier when I started this, and somehow it all just came to me pretty quickly there even though I'd never gotten it on the street -- and actually even after that track experience, getting it right on the street took some extra work given the lighter braking.

5. The shoes you wear can make a big difference. Big shoes can definitely help your foot cover the gap between the brake and throttle more effectively, but it also makes it harder to blip precisely. I bought a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes because they're fun to walk around in, and I later discovered that they make a great driving shoe. They've got a really thin sole and have that Vibram stuff but without the individual toe setup most Vibram shoes have that grosses me out.

And on a related note, I'd strongly recommend getting to the track. It sounds like you're at least partially committed to going, but I can't recommend it highly enough. Not only do you learn a lot and have a TON of fun, but you get a true understanding for why this car exists that just can't ever be discerned by M3 owners who only drive their cars on the street. Everyone talks about how different an M3 is from a 335i. Well an M3 on the track is at LEAST that big a difference from an M3 on the street -- seriously. Just decide that you're going to go and won't let anything get in your way, and it'll happen.
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Last edited by jphughan; 02-25-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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      02-25-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesaddiction View Post
The hardest part that I've found is keeping steady pressure on the brake pedal while blipping the throttle. Too often, I'll grab additional brake when trying to add some throttle.

Practice makes smooth, I guess...
Yep, that's definitely an issue when starting out, and also something that goes away with practice. I've gotten pretty consistent on the track, but on the street I still have issues; I find I'll either add more braking than intended or screw up the blip, though it's gotten much better. And the few times I get it perfectly on the street, I feel like a hero.
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      02-25-2013, 11:22 AM   #12
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I would recommend a HPDE or racing school to help you. A few years back I attended Spring Mountain in Vegas for 3 days and it was truly a fantastic experience. Heel/Toe was a major focus of the school, and everyday started with a series of drills before any track time. Highly recommended....
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      02-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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<ot>

I could watch vids like this all day

</ot>
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      02-25-2013, 01:52 PM   #14
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Have you tried just rolling your foot while on the brake and letting the top of your foot blip the throttle? I find I brake more consistently when I roll than when I heel/toe.
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      02-25-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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jphughan got it right, albeit long winded (j/k). I was used to heel-toe in mostly Japanese cars where the pedal is hinged at the top. I didn't get the hang of the BMW until I kept my heel on throttle pedal on the floor. Then everything fell into place. Of course, I had been doing heel-toe for years. Putting the throttle into sport mode helps but after you get the hang of it, shouldn't be necessary.

In any case, practice. Going to an HPDE and having an instructor with you can help. Even better, go to one of the "racing" schools and they will drill it into you, so I've heard. Don't expect all your shifts to go perfect. But when it does, it's like sex.


Good luck.
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      02-25-2013, 05:48 PM   #16
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To make it more confusing for you, there are two ways to do this:
1) you shift into neutral and RELEASE THE CLUTCH; hit the throttle, shift to the desired gear
2) you press the clutch, hit the throttle, shift to the desired gear, release the clutch.

From what I have read and heard, the first version is the correct one as it is said to be more gentle to the transmission and if you use it on the street, it should even prolong life of your transmission. It has something to do with "synchrons". Since English isn't my first language and I'm not good at technical stuff, I don't have much data to back this up, maybe someone with more knowledge on this could provide some technical information. I have read most of the stuff on local forums.

Also, as jphughan says, forget heel & toe, my leg ached from trying that and I could never manage to do it correctly. Toe & toe is the correct way here :-)
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      02-25-2013, 06:53 PM   #17
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Ultimate makes pedals for rolling the foot, they may be something to consider. Here are a couple of shapes/samples:
Attached Images
  
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      02-25-2013, 09:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elldon View Post
To make it more confusing for you, there are two ways to do this:
1) you shift into neutral and RELEASE THE CLUTCH; hit the throttle, shift to the desired gear
2) you press the clutch, hit the throttle, shift to the desired gear, release the clutch.

From what I have read and heard, the first version is the correct one as it is said to be more gentle to the transmission and if you use it on the street, it should even prolong life of your transmission. It has something to do with "synchrons". Since English isn't my first language and I'm not good at technical stuff, I don't have much data to back this up, maybe someone with more knowledge on this could provide some technical information. I have read most of the stuff on local forums.

Also, as jphughan says, forget heel & toe, my leg ached from trying that and I could never manage to do it correctly. Toe & toe is the correct way here :-)
What you've said is accurate, but Method #1 is called double-clutching and Method #2 is just regular rev-matching. You're recalling correctly that #1 preserves the synchros because blipping the throttle while in Neutral with the clutch out allows the gearbox to be spun up when the engine is revved, meaning the synchros don't have to make up the rev difference. But neither of the methods you describe is heel-toe, which is the ability to execute a rev-matched downshift (via either of your methods, but usually #2) while ALSO braking.
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      02-25-2013, 09:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
+1. I too had a VERY difficult time heel-toeing for quite a while, and ironically it wasn't until I actually decided to work on it at the track that it actually clicked, then I practiced it more on the street. That said, I hardly ever heel-toe on the street. Maybe it's laziness, but I just brake for a bit, let off the brake to blip a downshift if needed, and then get back to braking or just rely on the extra engine braking. But if you really want to learn on the street, here's my advice:

1. Don't expect your car's downshifts ever to sound exactly like DCT. Humans just can't blip that precisely or that quickly. Just setting expectations here.

2. Heel-toe is a bit of a misnomer for this car. Using your heel to blip the throttle is intended for cars with throttle pedals that are mounted from the top (like your brake and clutch). For floor-mounted throttle pedals like the M3's, you'll want to be braking with just the left edge of your right foot and blipping the throttle by pushing the remainder of that foot forward into the throttle, i.e. when blipping, your foot will be at an angle such that the right part of your foot is closer to the floor than the left, if that makes sense. How far you have to "roll" the right part of your foot into the throttle depends on how hard you're braking; the harder you're braking, the easier it is to blip the throttle since harder braking puts your foot closer to the floor to begin with. This is another reason why learning on the track is helpful, since most street scenarios don't have you braking anywhere near hard enough to make this easy to do, certainly not easy to learn. But if you know you're going to be heel-toeing, you have to get used to braking with only the left edge of your foot; yes, you can still brake plenty hard that way once you get used to it. The one thing you have to watch out for when you start doing that though is the risk of pressing the throttle and brake at the same time before clutching in. When I first practiced this at the track, I heard my rear brakes squealing briefly in braking zones and eventually figured out it was from me accidentally pressing the throttle while I was braking but before I was ready to downshift. The way you counter that is to actually roll your foot OUTWARD so that the right part of your foot is FARTHER from the floor than your left, which allows you to keep braking plenty hard but keeps your foot off the throttle. Of course on the street you may not have this issue since you hopefully won't be braking hard enough to push the brake pedal flush with the throttle.

3. Unless you feel that it completely messes up your throttle blip precision, start by keeping the throttle in Sport mode, i.e. Power button on. That will mean you won't have to press the throttle quite as far. I use Sport on the street and Normal on the track, but heel-toeing in Normal is definitely harder.

4. As the poster I quoted mentioned, practice on 4>3 shifts; I would say that 5>4 is probably the next easiest shift since it requires a very tiny blip. 3>2 is tough enough to get right WITHOUT heel-toe, so I'd just put that one on hold for a while because if you mess that one up you can upset your car by locking up the wheels. But practice at speeds of ~60 MPH when you've got an open STRAIGHT road with no cars behind you so they won't be bothered by your apparently pointless braking. The last thing you want is to mess up a heel-toe, get yourself and potentially your car all out of sorts, and mentally freeze up while heading into a corner. Braking with nothing but straight road in front of you and nobody around means that if you mess up, no worries. If you're wondering why I'm giving this advice given that I first practiced on the track, I started braking significantly earlier when I started this, and somehow it all just came to me pretty quickly there even though I'd never gotten it on the street -- and actually even after that track experience, getting it right on the street took some extra work given the lighter braking.

5. The shoes you wear can make a big difference. Big shoes can definitely help your foot cover the gap between the brake and throttle more effectively, but it also makes it harder to blip precisely. I bought a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes because they're fun to walk around in, and I later discovered that they make a great driving shoe. They've got a really thin sole and have that Vibram stuff but without the individual toe setup most Vibram shoes have that grosses me out.

And on a related note, I'd strongly recommend getting to the track. It sounds like you're at least partially committed to going, but I can't recommend it highly enough. Not only do you learn a lot and have a TON of fun, but you get a true understanding for why this car exists that just can't ever be discerned by M3 owners who only drive their cars on the street. Everyone talks about how different an M3 is from a 335i. Well an M3 on the track is at LEAST that big a difference from an M3 on the street -- seriously. Just decide that you're going to go and won't let anything get in your way, and it'll happen.

Thanks for the extensive explanation... Im going to try to follow everyone's advice here and give it another go tomorrow. I got home last night after going out to practice more discouraged than ever.. But im going to give it another go this weekend and practice for a few hours.. im not hoping to be perfect just want to hear that sweet sound and of course i can imagine it feels smooth...
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      02-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Derple View Post
For what its worth, this is a tricky car to heel/toe shift in because of the huge rev range and strong engine in both throttle and overrun. 4th to 3rd is the best shift to practice on.
Im going to give 4th to 3rd a go tomorrow.. keep you guys posted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davesaddiction View Post
The hardest part that I've found is keeping steady pressure on the brake pedal while blipping the throttle. Too often, I'll grab additional brake when trying to add some throttle.

Practice makes smooth, I guess...
YES!!! I feel like an idiot lol, I told my wife today trying to look all cool babe check this out.. and BOOOMM freaking felt like a brake test !!! FAIL to say the least..
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      02-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
What you've said is accurate, but Method #1 is called double-clutching and Method #2 is just regular rev-matching. You're recalling correctly that #1 preserves the synchros because blipping the throttle while in Neutral with the clutch out allows the gearbox to be spun up when the engine is revved, meaning the synchros don't have to make up the rev difference. But neither of the methods you describe is heel-toe, which is the ability to execute a rev-matched downshift (via either of your methods, but usually #2) while ALSO braking.
Thanks for the info and confirmation/explanation. OP did not specify which part of heel&toe exactly is problematic for him, since you already explained the foot work, I just wanted to shed some light on the whole process. Because if he is just learning, he better learns it properly since changing your habits later is much more difficult.

Also, why would heel-toe be usually used with method #2? I toe-toe with method #1 and it works perfectly (in theory, still need to practice a lot :-) ). When using heel&toe/toe&toe, I believe one should always use method #1.
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      02-26-2013, 10:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elldon View Post
Thanks for the info and confirmation/explanation. OP did not specify which part of heel&toe exactly is problematic for him, since you already explained the foot work, I just wanted to shed some light on the whole process. Because if he is just learning, he better learns it properly since changing your habits later is much more difficult.

Also, why would heel-toe be usually used with method #2? I toe-toe with method #1 and it works perfectly (in theory, still need to practice a lot :-) ). When using heel&toe/toe&toe, I believe one should always use method #1.
Heel-toe (or toe-toe) doesn't have any influence by itself on whether you'd use Method #1 or #2 since whether or not you double-clutch doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you're braking while trying to execute a downshift. The reasons I said that most people who heel-toe DON'T double-clutch are:

- Heel-toe is executed more frequently on the track where you want things to happen more quickly, so spending extra time on a shift just to avoid a little wear and tear on synchros isn't worth it in that setting, especially since on a track you wouldn't be skipping gears, which means you're already keeping wear and tear on synchros pretty low.

- Most people don't double-clutch at all, whether or not they're on the track or heel-toeing at the same time. I personally only do it when skipping more than one gear, e.g. 6>3, because otherwise it can be tough to impossible to get the shifter through the gate. The ONLY other time I skip gears is occasionally going from 4>6, and I've never felt the need to double-clutch there since the synchros always seem perfectly up to the task. Every other shift I do is between adjacent gears where it's just never seemed worth it to double-clutch. Maybe I would on a gearbox with ratios farther apart, but not on my car.
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Last edited by jphughan; 02-26-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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