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Old 06-08-2014, 10:11 AM   #1
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Heel Toe problems

I guess this is the right place to post this... So yesterday I got ambitious and decided to learn how to heel toe brake. Obviously I'm not exactly good at it yet. I'm very slow and only about half of my downshifts are smooth and rev matched well. My question is: How bad are rough downshifts on the synchros and drivetrain/transmission? Also, my clutch seemed to bite a little higher than usual, but I might be worried too much. Is this technique bad on the clutch? While I am learning I am not just dropping the clutch, but am still releasing it rather quickly to try and smooth the driving out some while trying to reduce some wear on the clutch. Will I damage anything while I learn how to perform this technique?


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Old 06-08-2014, 12:33 PM   #2
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The technique is supposed to save the syncros, lol. If you fail with the rev match, the syncros should work as per normal and prevent gear crunch. It'll be harder on them but shouldn't reduce their life drastically if you get better at it quickly. Pause ever so slightly between shifts to give them a chance to do their job.
I'm not sure if the stock pedals in the Focus are properly set up to help. Usually you have to get the pedals set up first and they have to be adjustable. Car makers these days are more interested in setting up pedals so that women can drive while wearing high heels. Ugh.
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Old 06-08-2014, 12:40 PM   #3
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Not sure about your 08 but my 04 its very difficult to heel toe.

Near impossible with my footwear choice.

I just rev match normally.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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Peddles on my 01 allowed me to heal toe a bit differantly. Basicly my big toe half of foot on brake and little toe half of foot on gas. Kinda side to side pivot of foot. Not a true heal toe method.

I test drove a 12 focus and peddle setup would not allow me tie this method I tout myself. 12 fiesta I test drove did allow me to use my method.

Not sure if that htelps any.
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:26 PM   #5
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Moved to General Racing Chat.

Man that's cool. I drive my car like its some sort of truck. I probably don't know what I'm talking about, but I do have 170k miles on a factory clutch that's almost 10 years old. It all depends on what's important to you.

I am going to have to move this to General Racing Chat as General Technical Chat is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls. I believe that one of the racing chat sections will better serve to answer your question or you'll have dopes like me weighing in on things that don't matter to racers like friction disc life. My friction disc has outlasted my pressure plate I think.... whoa....either that or the DMF is finally crapping out.

Enjoy the forum!
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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It's not always the easiest, and figuring out what foot movements can get the right results varies with pedal placement & footwear.

Starting out by practicing rev match shifting will help a lot, get that figured out first so you're familiar with what you want the pedals to do when means you're only trying to learn one thing at a time.

I've often used the side of the foot to hit the throttle, most aren't set up so you could contort a heel to hit it.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your answers and the guy who moved this to a more suitable forum! I can't truly do heel toe. It is more of a big toe half, little toe half of foot (but same concept as heel toe). I'll just keep practicing and I'm sure I'll pick it up soon enough. Thanks again! You guys are always nice and helpful (and you relieve some of my nervousness. It's my first car and I had to pay half for it, so I have some money invested in it and it needs to make it through college for me, so 4 more years and then some while I'm searching for a job). Anyway, I'll shut up now.
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Old 06-09-2014, 02:01 AM   #8
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Chat as long as you like, that's what these forums are for.

Heel/Toe routine is more for fun than practical use these days. It was developed when brakes were poor & engine braking was important to use to reduce the load on them (drum brakes). A lot more important with unsynchronized gearboxes as well, which were still used for racing long after disc brakes made an appearance. (Still around, and normal for Trucks)

After hard braking to a target speed, it's still useful to rev. match at times to help ease into the right gear smoothly so the transition to power on isn't jerky. Smooth is nice all the time, not just when it's needed, so learning that helps everyday driving.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:55 AM   #9
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The pedals on my '07 Civic Si and my '12 Mustang were perfect for heel and toe. I've found it's near impossible on my '09 Focus. Just found these though which seem to promise better heel and toe since the gas pedal has a little extension on the left side: http://www.performancepedals.com/for...cuspedals.html
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