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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't seen much talk about this (thought admittedly, I haven't bothered to pop in to see a standard Focus' pedal setup either), but does the ST pedal layout allow for easy heel-toe shifting? Or some other contorted version of accomplishing the same? :)
 

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I read a review (don't remember which one) that said it was. Maybe, one day I will learn this technique. :)

Check out the review thread. I know it was one that was posted fairly recently.
 

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I'm pretty sure one of the YouTube videos showed someone in a PP ST doing heel-toe, and it seemed to be fine. However, as the seat discussion thread pointed out, the typical America may be wider than the typical European and thus a few reviewers have brought up concern about the seat bolsters. That may mean the typical American foot is wider too, but I hope Ford does not make any regional adjustment for this to put the pedals further apart, and thus diminish the sport aspect by making heel-toe more difficult for people without large feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.

DreaminPixels - I found that it's not hard to learn, BUT you need to have a car with pedals that make it easy, or else, you're making weird contortions to hit both the brake and accelerator (which is then even harder to precisely control braking/blipping). As my screen-name suggests, I have a Z28 (1999) and the pedals are awful. But I have an accelerator pedal extension plate the nearly cuts the distance in half between the brake and accelerator. It's not pretty, but allows for heel-toe (in reality, it's an ankle-roll in this particular case).

Unreal - thanks. I'm not a big guy (5'8"/150) so I'm hoping the same as you. I'm not looking to make heavy mods to the car, but it's the simple stuff like this that really contributes to the driving experience that I'm looking for.
 

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My VW is spaced well for it. From the pictures the ST spacing looks to be similar.

I wear a 10 wide so my feet aren't small. In the VW I can bridge the gap and basically just roll my foot to the right to blip the throttle.


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Wear isn't the reason to do it. It helps vehicle stability exiting the corner as you don't get the jolt from the downshift due to the engine compression as the rpms are pulled up. This of course if executed correctly.....


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Wear isn't the reason to do it. It helps vehicle stability exiting the corner as you don't get the jolt from the downshift due to the engine compression as the rpms are pulled up. This of course if executed correctly.....


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While I agree. There should be no "jolt" unless you're stabbing at the clutch and jamming it to the floor and then dropping it.

Heel to toeing allows the driver to rev match which is primarily for vehicles with straight cut gears and/or a non synchromesh transmission. With a tranny that has a synchro and helical gears there should be no need.
 

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Heel toeing in a car with a syncro tranny isn't going to reduce transmission wear very much if at all.
No. But as jthj mentions, it isn't for the wear that you heel/toe.

Wear isn't the reason to do it. It helps vehicle stability exiting the corner as you don't get the jolt from the downshift due to the engine compression as the rpms are pulled up. This of course if executed correctly.....
You don't want to be downshifting when you *exit* the corner, but when you enter it. As in, you want to brake and shift in a straight line and find your gear prior to exiting the corner (actually, prior to entering it in almost all situations unless you're a pro driver), at which time you should be on the throttle.

While I agree. There should be no "jolt" unless you're stabbing at the clutch and jamming it to the floor and then dropping it.

Heel to toeing allows the driver to rev match which is primarily for vehicles with straight cut gears and/or a non synchromesh transmission. With a tranny that has a synchro and helical gears there should be no need.
No. Its for anyone that wants to rev match more quickly and more accurately while applying the brake and throttle at the same time. It allows you to brake while shifting, obviously, which makes a huge difference in timing.
And in performance applications, unless you're in a sequential gearbox vehicle, you not only want to heel/toe, but need to in order to save time, maintain smoothness, and be able to keep up!
 

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I read a review (don't remember which one) that said it was. Maybe, one day I will learn this technique. :)

Check out the review thread. I know it was one that was posted fairly recently.
I too read this review, and want to say that its one of the more recent Canadian reviews from a writer who also seems to be a driver. In the review thread, its the one with the black car.
 

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Yeah I didnt describe it well. You're correct that you should downshift entering.


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While I agree. There should be no "jolt" unless you're stabbing at the clutch and jamming it to the floor and then dropping it.

Heel to toeing allows the driver to rev match which is primarily for vehicles with straight cut gears and/or a non synchromesh transmission. With a tranny that has a synchro and helical gears there should be no need.
You are more thinking of double clutching, heel and toe is to have the engine assist in braking while settling the vehicle and readying it for exit.
 

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rev matching also aides in reducing wear to the clutch. if the engine is spinning at an rpm close to the rpm of the drivetrain when the clutch is engaged, the friction and shock to the drivetrain is significantly lessened.. heel-toe is a bit of a different story, but rev matching has become natural to me in daily driving on a manual car.
 

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Openly admit this is a technique I don't know how to do....
Heel and Toe Downshift - Edmunds.com

This is a little wordy, but not bad. Ignore them talking about how difficult it is. It isn't any more difficult than learning to do anything that requires muscle memory and a little (very little) brain power. This technique is all about repetition and familiarity with the vehicle. In particular what it should look (Tachometer), sound (hearing the proper RPM range), and feel like (smooth transitions between gearshifts).

I learned and like to suggest doing this on the street, as the garage method they mention is only good for the actual muscle memory part, but completely separates it from the audio and visual aspects of the process. The best place, IME, is approaching a lighted intersection with light traffic and at a stop light (that is actually red). You can see the traffic (preferable to have as little as possible) out in front of you with much better visibility.

Normally, a regular driver might pop the car in neutral and coast down the hill, applying the brakes as needed. Here, though, try the heel/toe technique instead while braking. Its a great way to practice downshifting 2-4 gears each time you stop (with ample visibility) and really start to understand the entire package together. Worked well for me and others, anyway.
 

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I can do it but I'm not good at it yet. I think it's like driving stick. It just takes practice to master.


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I thought that heel-toe'ing is mostly obsolete now thanks to synchromesh trannies? The only reason you would need to do it is when you want your downshift to be smoother then an automatic, such as during cornering under high performance driving or trying to convince your date to drop her panties for you.
 

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I thought that heel-toe'ing is mostly obsolete now thanks to synchromesh trannies? The only reason you would need to do it is when you want your downshift to be smoother then an automatic, such as during cornering under high performance driving or trying to convince your date to drop her panties for you.
Why would it be obsolete? I mean its far from necessary in daily driving. But if you want to get the most out of your car safely in aggressive cornering, whether on the street or track, then it is still very much relevant.

That is, if you're working with a traditional foot-clutched car. Dual clutch auto/mannies and sequential boxes are clearly out due to not having to deal with the extra left pedal.
 

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I thought that heel-toe'ing is mostly obsolete now thanks to synchromesh trannies? The only reason you would need to do it is when you want your downshift to be smoother then an automatic, such as during cornering under high performance driving or trying to convince your date to drop her panties for you.
It pretty much is... I suppose if your at the track everyday it might be useful but to 99.9999999999% of drivers they will never do it let alone need to.

And I am not confusing this with double clutching. That's what heel toe is for. To be able to work the brake and throttle while using the clutch.
 
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