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Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
5/9/16 9:00 p.m.

No-clutch shifting a synchro box is easy if you're gentle and have a good sense of timing. That used to be the only way I drove my Subaru. It was good practice for when the clutch cable broke, too.

Well, sometimes easy. I had no problems driving the Subaru, any RX-7, or an 020-trans Golf without the clutch. I could never get the hang of it in my 016-trans Quantum, though. And, like every other manual trans car I had with hydraulics, the clutch master cylinder failed on it. I got it home and in to work the next day but it was not pretty.

(Not to rag on hydraulic systems. I'm 2 for 2 for clutch cable failures, as well)

outasite
outasite Reader
5/9/16 9:06 p.m.

I learned heel and toe driving cars that had manual chokes, rough idles and possible stalling conditions back in the days of carburetors before fuel injection and computers took control.

Nick (LUCAS) Comstock
Nick (LUCAS) Comstock UltimaDork
5/9/16 9:08 p.m.
Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
5/9/16 9:12 p.m.

Irony: I'm far superior at heal-toe in a 450,000mi, worn out 4Runner, than I am in a fresh FR-S.

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo UltimaDork
5/9/16 9:21 p.m.

I widened the gas pedal in my 1ZZ Prizm so I could do it, though it's better described as toe-toe in anything with a hung gas pedal.

Appleseed wrote: Irony: I'm far superior at heal-toe in a 450,000mi, worn out 4Runner, than I am in a fresh FR-S.

Blame drive by wire.

maj75
maj75 Reader
5/10/16 7:08 a.m.

I always had a hard time because with my long legs, my heel ends up under the brake pedal and the ball of my foot on the gas pedal. I obsessed about my "inability" to heel and toe.

Then I read that Danny Sulivan said that he could never heel and toe. He was pretty successful IIRC, so I stopped worrying about it :)

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Reader
5/10/16 7:26 a.m.

When I wanted to learn to heel-toe in the E30, I made myself do it for every single downshift to practice. That eventually became double clutching since the G240 trans has weak 2nd gear synchros and the 3>2 shift was a challenge. Now, I can't downshift at all without double clutching because I screw the timing up so bad. The Caprice took some massaging to get the pedals in the right place since it was an automatic and the gas and brake were a mile apart, but that's all fixed now. The only issues I have with it now are in cars where the brake pedal is much higher than the accelerator. It took a long time to learn, but I also have exclusively manual-transmission cars, which helped.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
5/10/16 7:57 a.m.
maj75 wrote: I always had a hard time because with my long legs, my heel ends up under the brake pedal and the ball of my foot on the gas pedal. I obsessed about my "inability" to heel and toe. Then I read that Danny Sulivan said that he could never heel and toe. He was pretty successful IIRC, so I stopped worrying about it :)

I wasn't able to do it in my '00 Audi A6, but once I got my '91 Miata it because way easier. I too had to keep my heel under the brake pedal for my size 12/13 feet. That's why I would use the ball of my foot on the corner of the brake and use my little(r) toe(s) to modulate the gas. I think if you've never learned how to heel toe, it's hard to figure out if the pedals are ideal or are working against you. That and thin soled, floppy shoes. [cough -or bare foot -cough]

Desmond
Desmond HalfDork
5/10/16 11:05 a.m.

Thin soled, floppy shoes are the best for performance driving, IMO.

paranoid_android74
paranoid_android74 SuperDork
5/10/16 12:14 p.m.
Turboeric
Turboeric Reader
5/10/16 12:35 p.m.

I may lose the skill I've honed over the past 45 years. My 15 WRX won't allow brake and throttle at the same time - nannies to protect me from myself. This is touted as a 'feature'. Bah!

92dxman
92dxman SuperDork
5/10/16 12:55 p.m.

What is the best thing to watch to learn how to heel toe from?

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
5/10/16 1:03 p.m.
Streetwiseguy wrote: My huge feet lend themselves to rolling the side of my foot onto the gas pedal.

Yep, me too - been doing it that way forever, both street and autocross.

The pedal relationship isn't as good in the Fiesta as it was in the Sentra, so it took me a bit to get used to it. But I'm back to heel-and-toeing for every aggressively driven corner. I just like the control of having the clutch fully engaged as I reach the apex.

Desmond
Desmond HalfDork
5/10/16 1:32 p.m.
92dxman wrote: What is the best thing to watch to learn how to heel toe from?

I learned from watching Hot Version and Best Motoring, honestly. I'm sure there are all sorts of youtube videos on it now though.

Also TurboEric, there is usually some wire you can cut or something to get stop the car from knowing you are left foot braking.

trigun7469
trigun7469 Dork
5/10/16 1:56 p.m.

One of those skills with all the new fangled technology that will become a lost art, sadly when my daughter is 16 in 16 years, I doubt they will have manuals available to even teach her.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
5/10/16 1:59 p.m.
92dxman wrote: What is the best thing to watch to learn how to heel toe from?

I learned by reading about the technique and then trying it.

These skills will indeed become obsolete as H-pattern gearboxes are phased out. In the future performance drivers will just keep their left foot on the brake pedal and right foot on the gas, go-kart style.

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
5/10/16 2:06 p.m.

mine sucks

BrokenYugo
BrokenYugo UltimaDork
5/10/16 4:10 p.m.
92dxman wrote: What is the best thing to watch to learn how to heel toe from?

Watch? Do. Sit in the idling car, figure out how to blip the throttle while applying the brakes (some cars have wide pedal spacing or high brake pedals that make this difficult without gas pedal modification), this will probably involve big toe on the brake and pinky on the gas (heel on the floor or floating) unless it has a floor hinge throttle. Then blip it when you downshift, like clutch in, blip (requires practice to get the right amount for a proper rev match) and shift, clutch out. This should be easy to pick up if you already rev match your downshifts on the street when you need passing power or come into a lower speed limit area.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
5/10/16 4:13 p.m.

Yeah, practice at every stop sign and traffic light as possible.

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Dork
5/11/16 2:06 p.m.

The challenge with practicing in my car on the street is at normal speeds I just don't have to press the brake hard enough or long enough to get meaningful practice in. Maybe I'm wrong. Highway speed from 6th gear to 2nd for a tight turn on my route to work is the only chance I get for a good heel-toe. I have sharper billet machined clutch and brake pedal covers plus a gas pedal cover that closes the gap between throttle and brake. I like them a lot. One of my favorite mods to the car.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
5/11/16 2:48 p.m.

Good driving shoes make a huge difference. If you can't find good driving shoes, wrestling shoes are a decent substitution. The less sole, the better.

I'm having a hell of a time finding pics or evidence, but I remember hearing a story about F1 drivers ~60+ years ago cutting the front off their shoes so they could have better pedal control.

Shaun
Shaun HalfDork
5/11/16 2:55 p.m.

I have found at 6'4" with size 13 shoes that toe and heel vs heel and toe to be car dependent on both physical constraints and the power of the brake assist. Some cars would not be hauled down with toe pressure. I think slow cheap cars slow on empty dirt roads is the bomb digitty for practicing- everything to do with car piloting.. second only to freshly plowed below freezing roads in the middle of the night.

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
5/11/16 3:21 p.m.

My '01 Mustang could use some better pedal placement, and possibly some grippier pedals. Although I have a feeling my technique is holding me back much more than the pedals are

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
5/11/16 3:32 p.m.
92dxman wrote: What is the best thing to watch to learn how to heel toe from?

The scenery unfolding through the windshield of a car that you have very little love for....

Tyler H
Tyler H SuperDork
5/11/16 3:39 p.m.

My heel toe is more like toe-toe as others have mentioned. Second nature...I do it every time. I also double-clutch down to second just as a habit from previous well-used beaters.

Left foot brake is a skill set that I still need to hone. The brake pedal will still be around after the clutch pedal is relegated to historic events.

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