Advice on Heel Toe Wanted - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on Heel Toe Wanted

Obviously professional instuction is ideal. However, I was hoping somone might be able to give me some pointers on technique and how best to practice. I try often but, haven't found any comfortability with it. My ability to just sense appropriate pedal pressure sucks, and I think practice could help. Anyway, thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndCS
Obviously professional instuction is ideal. However, I was hoping somone might be able to give me some pointers on technique and how best to practice. I try often but, haven't found any comfortability with it. My ability to just sense appropriate pedal pressure sucks, and I think practice could help. Anyway, thanks in advance.

2ndCS - I feel your pain. Google and you'll find a ton of good information.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=heel+toe

Last make sure you have suitable shoes for driving.

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:16 PM
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You didn't say where you want to HT (street vs. track), but practice on the street before you try it at the track. Some people prefer to use the sides of their feet (left side of right foot to brake, right side of right foot to blip throttle), while others prefer a proper heel-toe (toe on brake, heel on gas, as you need more feeling for the brake and your toe is better at that). I prefer the sides of the feet method.

You may find that if you've not adjusted your throttle and brake pedals that the stock 05 setup is very poor for HT. There are many threads on how to improve this, and once adjusted the pedal setup if great.

As for practice, find a place where you can practice without having to worry about other traffic. You need a stretch of road where you can drive in at least 3rd gear, then brake, depress the clutch, blip the throttle while continuing to brake, and downshift into 2nd, then release the clutch. You can try other gears as well, but going from 2nd to 1st is sometime more difficult to learn as 1st gear seems more difficult to properly rev match to me. After some practice you will know how much throttle you need to match revs when you let out the clutch.

Once you can do this in practice, do this ALL the time while driving and you will get better.

Hope this helps.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 05:44 PM
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with this car first get the Heel N toe pad from sector 111, otherwise its a tough reach

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 06:00 PM
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The Elise is probably one of the toughest cars to learn how to heel-toe in - spongy brake pedal at the wrong height with respect to the gas pedal. Also, it's harder to learn on the street where one very rarely brakes hard (pedal pressed all the way).

Find a car with the right pedal setup, take it to the track or auto-x. I think anyone can learn how to heal-toe in one day. Obviously, like learning how to ride a bicycle, it will take practice to be really good at it.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 06:04 PM
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You can first try adjusting the brake and gas pedals to help HT. If that is not enough, then the Sector111 pad will help. Also check/change the brake fluid - that will sometimes firm up the pedal feel.

If you can find a safe place on the roads where you can go fast enough, you may want to try the HT from 4th to 3rd gear. I find that combination a little easier when you are learning instead of 3rd to 2nd.


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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 06:20 PM
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perhaps you could ask Fred, he is an old expert on heel and toe'ing when it comes to "driving"
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 07:26 PM
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Pedals

Unfortunately in the brilliance that produced the Elise the Lotus engineers over looked the fact that the only contact the driver will have with the car, under favorable conditions, is with his seat, feet and hands. As everyone is aware the pedals are a mess, the brakes are over boosted, the shifters have been recalled and the seats, for many, are like sitting on plywood. Even with these over sights the car is wonderful to drive.

Lotus did address the shifter with a recall (although the replacement did nothing for feel) and redesigned the pedal box for 06. With no cruise control I found that the gas pedal was cutting into the bottom of my foot after about 5 hours of highway driving. After some thought and measurement of several sports cars that are easy to heel-toe/double clutch I made the following modification.



Decreasing the amount of brake pedal and gas pedal free-play is also very helpful. The height of both pedals can be adjusted. Not that anyone would advocate such action, but a tiny amount of pre-load on the brake booster has an appreciable effect but is not safe to do according to the Lotus service instructions . As an aside FTE does not make a smaller vacuum servo or a larger diameter brake master cylinder. With the sensitive brake pedal a little speed provides more time to execute the double clutching.

You might enjoy watching the old movie Grand Prix. That's how I taught myself to double clutch when I was 16 y/o. Proves what a bad influence TV has on teenagers. Once you master the technique you will never go back to "coasting." Listen to the engine as the throttle is blipped (short jab of the throttle) on down shifts. There is no time to look at the tach. Might try the following: The engine is at 4500 rpm in 4th, apply the brake lightly and keep your foot on the brake the whole time, put in the clutch, push the shifter into neutral, let the clutch out while the transmission is in neutral, internally rotate your right leg so that your heel is now over the gas pedal and with your heel blip the gas pedal hard enough that the engine sounds like it revs to 4000 rpm, put in the clutch, push the shifter into 3rd, blip the gas pedal hard enough with your heel that the engine revs to 4000 rpm, let the clutch out, release the brake. If done correctly the car will not jerk and the engine will smoothly decelerate from 4000 rpm Sounds complicated but can be done in less than 1/2 second. During spirited driving double clutching down shifts to utilize engine braking tends to stabilize the car. When near the limit of adhesion double clutching prevents the car from spinning due to the sudden application of engine drag to the rear wheels when the clutch is let out. Plus the engine is in the power band with the correct gear selected for the exit of the corner.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 07:28 PM
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I would agree, 4th to 2nd is easier to learn at first but 3rd to 2nd is more useful on the street. I think that you can do it around 90 degree turn on the street, I do. I learned while decelerating on the street. I would brake, blip/shift, brake more and blip/shift again. thats how I learned.
(all this said, I am no pro.)
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 07:54 PM
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i dont see how it matters what gears your going from/into, its all the SAME technique. going from forth to second IMO is not a good idea, a good way to mis rev matching, and lock up the rear end, or something. engines are not to be used as brakes, thats not a good way to treat your valve train.
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 08:10 PM
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My advice is to watch these Japanese drivers do it. From watching these "best motoring" series from the net I'm convinced that Japanese drivers are born with the ability to heel-toe.


http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...7597089&q=cars


John
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 08:47 PM
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Do you have an '05 or '06? '05 - you need to adjust the pedals or get the Sector 111 H 'n' T Pad. '06 - pedals are aligned perfectly for heel & toe. Forget a lot of what you read - heel and toe is a term from the past when pedals were attached to the floor of the car via a hinge. With the Elise, you are basically going to roll the right side of your foot off the brake and onto the gas. This happens quickly - get your foot onto the gas pedal, stab it to get the revs up and then complete the shift.

Also, it is very difficult to learn on the street b/c conditions are completely different. Heel and toe on the track is performed when you are threshhold braking. Get on the track, get reasonably comfortable with the line, etc. and then start experimenting. It's like learning to ride a bike. One minute you can't figure it out for the life of you, and the next it's second nature.

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguyAZ
i dont see how it matters what gears your going from/into, its all the SAME technique. going from forth to second IMO is not a good idea, a good way to mis rev matching, and lock up the rear end, or something. engines are not to be used as brakes, thats not a good way to treat your valve train.
my $.02
ooo, just kidding. I ment 4th to 3rd. I think that I am more than a little dislexic. and I think that it is easier because its jsut straight down and you dont have to worry about the over involved in 3rd to second. okay, I think this is all correct.
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 08-31-2006, 09:46 PM
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Having adjusted the pedals on my '05, I can vouch for the fact that it's possible to reposition the brake pedal height and distance from brake pedal to throttle in a way that fully eliminates the problems with the stock pedal. The Sector111 pad might be easier (I've not driven a car with one, so I can't really say if it generates a better outcome), but it's certainly NOT necessary in my experience.

Also, for what it's worth, while practicing on the street is really helpful, I agree with MattWhite. I actually find it easier to heel-toe on the track where you're really working the brakes. Under street use, you're using a lot less pressure on the brake pedal, so I find it harder to get a good throttle blib without also varying the amount of pressure I'm putting on the brakes, which makes it harder to be smoother on the street than the track. That said, I'd agree that you want to work on this on the street first, then try it at the track.

In any event, good luck. It *is* like riding a bike. At some point, it'll all make sense and you'll find yourself doing it properly without much thought.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 04:55 AM
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323: Not yet a Lotus owner, but just wondering - why do you double clutch when you heel-toe? Should not need to w/synchros, no?

With my Ferrari I usually keep the clutch in and blip as I pass through neutral. Exceptions are (a) upshifting 1-2 or 1-3 when the car is cold - always at low speed and never on track - and (b) downshifting more than one gear.
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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 05:51 AM
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I'm not claiming to be GOOD at it at all. I'm not. I suck. But I would like to address something mentioned in post #1.

I find that it has nothing to do with PRESSURE on the gas peddle. I don't waste time trying to carefully get the engine to the right RPM and holding it there while I slide the shifter in place.

For me it's much more about timing. It's all about TIMING. Just give the throttle a quick blip, and learn how long it takes for the revs to match from different conditions. You just learn the feel of how many hundredths of a second it takes between BLIP and SHIFT.

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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtn
I'm not claiming to be GOOD at it at all. I'm not. I suck. But I would like to address something mentioned in post #1.

I find that it has nothing to do with PRESSURE on the gas peddle. I don't waste time trying to carefully get the engine to the right RPM and holding it there while I slide the shifter in place.

For me it's much more about timing. It's all about TIMING. Just give the throttle a quick blip, and learn how long it takes for the revs to match from different conditions. You just learn the feel of how many hundredths of a second it takes between BLIP and SHIFT.

xtn
+1 timing, your concentration should be focused elsewhere, like on the upcoming turn entry, that should be quicly approaching if you doing this stuff correctly.

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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguyAZ
+1 timing, your concentration should be focused elsewhere, like on the upcoming turn entry, that should be quicly approaching if you doing this stuff correctly.
+2 Timing is extremly important. There are mulitple benifits to heel toe
1) enables you to downshift the trans before turning to achieve a higher exit speed (obviously) while also allowing you to better control the balance while in the turn by using the throttle, instead of the brake or neither
2) shifting the car under full braking power enables you let your engine and trans match without upsetting the balance (weight shifting)of the car while preparing to enter the turn
3) lessons the wear on your transmission by using things for what they were designed for, brakes stop or slow the car, transmission should always be used for furthering forward motion, not slowing the car (this is on a race track, doesn't apply to every application)
Done right, you shouldn't really even feel the shift because your brakes are slowing the car, therefore, when you let out the clutch there should be no load on the transmission (that means no jerky jerky when the trans is reengaged). When I was learning, I found it easier to pick it up on a track because to go full speed onto an entrance ramp on the highway, without much experience shifting like this, might not be the safest way to do it. It could very possibly lead to a spin or other accident. I would reccommend going to a track and getting professional instruction. That is assuming you value your car and your life. Not to sound melodramatic, but tracks are much safer than public roads for these things. Good luck!
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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 07:32 AM
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First and formost is your physique. Style and feel will depend drastically on how long and wide your feet/shoes are, and possibly how thick and flexible your right leg is. Also, as others have noted, it will depend on the pedal setup. Obviously, if you alter the pedal distances, then that will subsequently alter your technique. So there's no hard and fast tips that will work. I do recommend getting some driving shoes (or shoes with a similar style to driving shoes) for better feel and consistancy. And finally -- practice practice practice!!

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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 07:33 AM
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Forgot to add that I was taught that when you blip the throttle, while heel toe, all your trying to do is raise your RPMs to a higher rate than your trans is turning. That being said you can punch you accelerator to the floor (then let off) while the clutch is in. As long as you let out the clutch before the RPMs come below the match point you'll have a smooth shift, while under full braking. Hope this stuff helps.
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