Jul 12, 2016 update to the Ford Mustang GT project car

Automatic Heel-Toe?

There’s a company based in Phoenix, Arizona, that makes a little magic box called Auto-Blip. Basically what it does is sense when you are downshifting and gives your car the necessary throttle blip automatically, without throttle pedal input by the driver. Purists may scoff, but this is could be a good way to trim lap times. To find out exactly how this magic box works, we hooked it up to our project Mustang GT.

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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/12/16 9:13 a.m.

We do this as an option in our reflashed Miata ECUs. Takes a lap to get used to it, but it works well. I don't think it has any real effect on lap times if you can already heel-toe, but it does force you to use a consistent rhythm when shifting.

The flat shift is pretty fun too.

RexSeven
RexSeven UberDork
7/12/16 1:47 p.m.

Didn't the 370Z come with an automatic heel-toe system from the factory?

My Evo X MR does it, but its a DCT, not a manual.

tomtomgt356
tomtomgt356 Reader
7/12/16 1:52 p.m.

I was expecting this to be a discussion on heel-toeing an automatic. I am slightly disappointed.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
7/12/16 1:52 p.m.

^^^ yeah, the 370z had a similar system. It did a pretty good job of blipping the throttle when you wanted it to. I found it kind of annoying since I regularly heal and toe without really thinking about it. Fortunately you can cancel it and turn the option off--- so no harm. Use it if you want, don't if you prefer to dance on your own.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto HalfDork
7/12/16 2:06 p.m.

I prefer to do the old heel-toe dance by myself. I could see this being useful if you cant move your foot that way though.

rslifkin
rslifkin HalfDork
7/12/16 2:17 p.m.
tomtomgt356 wrote: I was expecting this to be a discussion on heel-toeing an automatic. I am slightly disappointed.

It's totally do-able if the trans isn't too smart (the smart ones tend to get confused by a throttle blip combined with a manual downshift). But why heel and toe when you've got 2 pedals and 2 feet?

tomtomgt356
tomtomgt356 Reader
7/12/16 3:19 p.m.
rslifkin wrote: But why heel and toe when you've got 2 pedals and 2 feet?

Because you need your left foot free to control the emergency brake when you try to power slide while heel-toe downshifting in your parent's mini van with your girlfriend in the front seat (not that that ever happened nor would I ever recommend it).

rslifkin
rslifkin HalfDork
7/12/16 3:32 p.m.
tomtomgt356 wrote: emergency brake... power slide... mini van

Yeah, that's not a power slide. Power slide is RWD only, as it involves kicking the tail out under power. If you're using the e-brake, it's a drift, but specifically not a power slide.

tomtomgt356
tomtomgt356 Reader
7/12/16 3:36 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin:

My adult self knows that. My 16 year old self, not so much. Note the operative word "try".

Stampie
Stampie HalfDork
7/12/16 9:55 p.m.

In reply to tomtomgt356:

You were 16, in a mini van with your girlfriend, and you were in the front seat?

JBasham
JBasham Reader
7/13/16 8:05 a.m.

You lost me at "drive by wire." My concept of DBW is that the throttle cable is the wire. I don't need no stinking throttle servo motor; that's why God gave me a right foot.

P.S. You should be able to built this with an Arduino for about $70, either for direct application to a DBW car, or as an add-on to MicroSquirt with a stepper motor for the throttle linkage in a DBC car. That would be worth some braggin' rights.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
7/13/16 8:09 a.m.
JBasham wrote: You lost me at "drive by wire." My concept of DBW is that the throttle cable is the wire. I don't need no stinking throttle servo motor; that's why God gave me a right foot.

Then you must not be driving anything built in the 21st century.

JBasham
JBasham Reader
7/13/16 8:11 a.m.
jstein77 wrote:
JBasham wrote: You lost me at "drive by wire." My concept of DBW is that the throttle cable is the wire. I don't need no stinking throttle servo motor; that's why God gave me a right foot.

Then you must not be driving anything built in the 21st century.

Bingo, if you mean "tracking" instead of the broader "driving."

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/13/16 9:38 a.m.

Anyone who thinks that a throttle cable is superior to DBW doesn't know much about engine management. It's like the jump from carbs to EFI.

And yes, there are still people who think that sloshy toilet bowls of fuel are better than EFI as well, but they're learning...

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Reader
7/13/16 9:40 a.m.
rslifkin wrote:
tomtomgt356 wrote: emergency brake... power slide... mini van

Yeah, that's not a power slide. Power slide is RWD only, as it involves kicking the tail out under power. If you're using the e-brake, it's a drift, but specifically not a power slide.

Once upon a time, perhaps before you were even a twinkling in your mother's eye, there once existed - hold your breath - REAR WHEEL DRIVE MINIVANS!

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
7/13/16 9:52 a.m.
jfryjfry wrote:
rslifkin wrote:
tomtomgt356 wrote: emergency brake... power slide... mini van

Yeah, that's not a power slide. Power slide is RWD only, as it involves kicking the tail out under power. If you're using the e-brake, it's a drift, but specifically not a power slide.

Once upon a time, perhaps before you were even a twinkling in your mother's eye, there once existed - hold your breath - REAR WHEEL DRIVE MINIVANS!

rslifkin
rslifkin HalfDork
7/13/16 10:01 a.m.
jfryjfry wrote: Once upon a time, perhaps before you were even a twinkling in your mother's eye, there once existed - hold your breath - REAR WHEEL DRIVE MINIVANS!

Very true. But the mention of e-brake being used combined with FWD minivans being more common led me to believe that the van in question was probably not a Previa or other RWD minivan.

WildScotsRacing
WildScotsRacing HalfDork
7/13/16 10:22 a.m.
rslifkin wrote:
tomtomgt356 wrote: I was expecting this to be a discussion on heel-toeing an automatic. I am slightly disappointed.

It's totally do-able if the trans isn't too smart (the smart ones tend to get confused by a throttle blip combined with a manual downshift). But why heel and toe when you've got 2 pedals and 2 feet?

I will say it is situationally dependent. Some manual cars have truly lousy pedal placement for heel-and-toe, and it is not always the easiest thing to correct. Also, some folks have, for what ever medical reason, ankles that will no longer (or never did) rotate well enough to manage a heel-and-toe.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
7/13/16 10:24 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Anyone who thinks that a throttle cable is superior to DBW doesn't know much about engine management. It's like the jump from carbs to EFI. And yes, there are still people who think that sloshy toilet bowls of fuel are better than EFI as well, but they're learning...

Some people aren't ready for the truth.

trucke
trucke Dork
7/13/16 11:07 a.m.

This sounds like an episode of 'Mighty Car Mods'.

JBasham
JBasham Reader
7/13/16 1:43 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Anyone who thinks that a throttle cable is superior to DBW doesn't know much about engine management. It's like the jump from carbs to EFI. And yes, there are still people who think that sloshy toilet bowls of fuel are better than EFI as well, but they're learning...

No doubt, which is why I didn't say superior, Keith. For me, Ford EEC-IV/EDIS ignition V8s with a throttle cable and aluminum heads are just the cheap and easy button for a fast track car. They are not optimal automotive engineering technology. My BMW S65 V8 is a much better example of the latter, but Jesus the extra 70hp is freaking expensive.

Not that it will keep me from turning one of the Ford 302s into a DBW some day, now that the Internet of Things has gotten so damn cheap and DIY-able.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/13/16 3:39 p.m.

Fair enough, if the goal is cheap and easy the cable still rules. Engine swaps are easier when you don't have to worry about matching the pots on the throttle pedal sensor, and CAN is a whole new ball game.

The OEMs are taking big jumps in complexity, the gulf between what they're doing and what the aftermarket can do it opening up rapidly. Most of their goals are efficiency and emissions, so we can sidestep that.

I apologize for the tone of my last post, tough morning and it bled over.

kanaric
kanaric Dork
7/14/16 2:40 a.m.

IDK about the 370Z but I was reading the BMWs that have autoblip turn off when you turn off traction control. I always thought of it as a track aid like what the OP says so that kind of defeats the purpose. Is the 370Z's system like that?

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 HalfDork
7/14/16 7:07 a.m.

In reply to kanaric:

Yep, this is true. Had a rental with that feature when I was over in Germany. Since I always heel-toe anyway, I actually didn't know it had the feature until the 3rd or 4th day of driving the car when it suddenly revved itself and at a strange intersection as I went from 3rd to to second. After that, I let it do its thing for awhile, and it's pretty darn good, but I enjoy the challenge of doing it myself. Fortunately, if I was doing it myself, I really couldn't tell a difference with it on vs off, so it's really unobtrusive. I was pretty impressed with how it was programmed.

Tom1200
Tom1200 Reader
7/14/16 11:04 p.m.

Look here Tanner if you install a proper external combustion engine in your vehicle you wouldn't be saddled with carbs, throttle cable and EFI. Next you'll be advocating for pneumatic tires.................

Actual I think that's a pretty good feature; I've said it before I heel and toe in every car I have (truck too) but the whole heel and toe is brought on by cars not having a proper sequential box. Those of us weened on motorcycles don't understand why every vehicle doesn't have this arrangement. Once you get rolling its up and down through the box with out the clutch leaving you left foot free for braking.......two feet two pedals. In fact the newer models of off road bikes with the latest Rekluse clutches (centrifugal style clutch) lock up completely over about 1500rpms.

Actually I've wanted to put some sort of hand throttle on the back of the steering wheel on my Datsun vintage race car for some time but that doesn't solve the the issue of having to right foot brake.

This is a cool feature but I'd rather have a feature that allowed worked the clutch. Granted on street car I'd probably like the auto blip feature as you often have situations were you need to go down a gear unexpectedly.

Tom

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
7/15/16 1:19 a.m.

Count me among the people who think this is interesting. I am physically incapable of heel-toe due to an old injury. I'd prefer to do it myself, but I'd also like to be able to go faster, too.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
7/15/16 6:51 a.m.

I've never driven a car with this but I've ridden motorcycles with "auto-blip" downshifting and slipper clutches. It definitely gives you less to think about, although interestingly I found the features more helpful at a slow, lazy pace where you just don't want to bother with a rev match- I still wanted to blip it myself when the pace was faster.

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