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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Everyone with pedals please chime in



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      11-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #1
D_o_S
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Everyone with pedals please chime in

Hi,

we'll, I am now convinced that I must learn heel and toe. It is possible on the E90, but since I've never done it, I'm having a hard time. I think the main problem for me is the fact that the gas pedal is lower than the brake, and so I can't blip the throttle well while braking.

I am considering getting an aftermarket gas pedal. I don't know if I should go for an extended one, or a normal one (which will just compensate the height difference slightly).

I wear shoes size 9, narrow ones (racing).

I am afraid of 2 things:
Hitting both the brake and the and the gas during an emergency brake
Making the situation better for street driving, but worse for track driving, since you brake harder at the track

However, I do most of my driving on the street, and since I'd like to learn heel and toe, I feel it is a better decision at this moment in time to perhaps sacrifice some of the track performance for learning how to heel-toe properly.

However, safety comes first at all costs.

Thanks for any input.
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      11-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #2
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I was going to type a long post on this...but really, it just takes a lot of practice. I track with the stock pedals and also have a fairly narrow foot, it doesn't matter anymore. I do it all the time, on the street, on the track, everywhere. The more you practice, the more seamless it will be. I personally don't think you need to change pedals; you could and it might make it easier, but it can be done very well with the stock pedals.

Just keep at it and practice everywhere.
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      11-23-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWsky View Post
I was going to type a long post on this...but really, it just takes a lot of practice. I track with the stock pedals and also have a fairly narrow foot, it doesn't matter anymore. I do it all the time, on the street, on the track, everywhere. The more you practice, the more seamless it will be. I personally don't think you need to change pedals; you could and it might make it easier, but it can be done very well with the stock pedals.

Just keep at it and practice everywhere.
Yeah, well the thing is, I'd like to use the aftermarket pedal as an aid... like you have wheels on your bicycle before you learn to keep your balance... then, I can maybe take it off when I learn what to do exactly.
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      11-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_o_S View Post
Yeah, well the thing is, I'd like to use the aftermarket pedal as an aid... like you have wheels on your bicycle before you learn to keep your balance... then, I can maybe take it off when I learn what to do exactly.


Makes sense. The biggest aid to it (at first) is the CDV, which in time becomes the biggest detractor. I pulled it and am much happier now. It's a little easier to do on the track because you're really on the brakes hard, at least I find it to be.
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      11-23-2011, 04:54 PM   #5
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Well there are pedals with extensions like the Ultimate Pedal, but I don't really see how that would help, since BMW pedals are already so close together. I know some tiny women who can heel-toe in BMWs without any trouble.

Anyway, I agree with BMWsky that it takes a lot of practice, especially if you're learning threshold braking at the same time, but I also advise getting an instructor or experienced track driver to help you. You probably need one or two little tips on the technique, and then practice will make it perfect.
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      12-30-2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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Guys, I've been thinking about this...

I refrained from getting a gas pedal, since I thought the height difference may be of some benefit, but I've looked at racing pedal boxes, and they have all the pedals at the same height?

So what is the benefit to having the gas pedal lower? I think it will be easier to heel toe no matter when the closer height-wise the pedals are... or am I wrong?
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      12-30-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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The height difference is because it's a street car. They don't want an imbecile to accidentally hit the gas while braking. Either lower the brake pedal or raise the gas pedal. Take it apart and do some custom work; that's the way you'll only ever be happy.
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      12-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #8
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Just wanted to add to this. There's a reason the gas is lower than the brake. It's that way to make heal-toeing easier. During heavy braking, the brake pedal will go down and meet the gas pedal. I had the opposite problem in my car. The brake travel was too long so the gas was actually above the brake on the track. I've got 135i calipers and Turner Motorsport pedals. The pedals don't really do much except help prevent your foot from slipping off the brake or clutch and looking cool. The solid calipers from the 135i really help keep the travel down. Racing pads and rotors also help on the track with pedal travel.

In a race car, brake pedal travel is almost nothing so there is no reason to have the gas pedal lower than the brake.
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      01-16-2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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does anyone have any tips on how to heel and toe correctly?
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      01-16-2012, 02:47 AM   #10
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Why yes. I taught myself to heel-toe this way: Frist you need to find out where your feet need to be. Practice the motion while the car is stopped and in neutral. There are two positions for your feet. This first is the traditional or Japanese style. Keep the ball of your foot in the middle of brake pedal. Pivot around the ball of your foot and place your heel on the gas pedal and rev the engine. You should be able to rev it all the way to redline while applying normal brake pressure.

The second position (the one I use) is more for people who can't comfortably swing their heel out or for small pedal boxes like in small open-wheel formula cars. Place half of the ball of your foot on the brake and let the other half hang over the gas pedal. Apply normal brake pressure then roll your foot to the side and rev the engine. Again you should be able to rev it to redline. With this style, it's important not to press the gas and brake at the same time (other than when you want to rev the engine). You might have to move your right knee over to the left as far as possible.

Keep practicing either meathod while the car is stopped so you know where to place your feet. Also practice moving from the gas to the brake to get the motion down. You can also practice pressing the clutch as well. Brake - clutch in - rev - clutch out. Don't worry about shifting just yet.

Next, you need to get used to rev matching without heel-toeing. While coasting in a high gear (3rd for example) downshift to the next gear as you normally would but as you move the shifter through neutral give the engine a rev. Your goal is to figure out how much to rev the engine. Remember, the lower the revs are in the higher gear the smaller the rev gap is to the next lower gear. Practice this several times until you can do it smoothly and quickly withough thinking about it in any gear. (Don't do it into first gear often, it's really hard on the syncro)

Once you get both the foot position and rev matching mastered separately, put the two together. It's way easier to do it this way I think. Keeps the number of things you have to think about to a minimum.
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      01-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #11
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Thanks... I can rev match without heel/toe. In the past I have tried to just kick my heel out and do it the way but I feel like my foots too big and I have trouble turning it. I'll just have to practice the second method. I want to start practicing now because I'd like to take my car on the track in the summer and I feel like heel and toe is the only way to down shift before a curve.
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      02-17-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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one cheap way i've learned to do it is heel on the brake and toe on gas, it's dangerous though, and takes more practice than ever i don't recommend it either
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      02-19-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90pilot View Post
Why yes. I taught myself to heel-toe this way: Frist you need to find out where your feet need to be. Practice the motion while the car is stopped and in neutral. There are two positions for your feet. This first is the traditional or Japanese style. Keep the ball of your foot in the middle of brake pedal. Pivot around the ball of your foot and place your heel on the gas pedal and rev the engine. You should be able to rev it all the way to redline while applying normal brake pressure.

The second position (the one I use) is more for people who can't comfortably swing their heel out or for small pedal boxes like in small open-wheel formula cars. Place half of the ball of your foot on the brake and let the other half hang over the gas pedal. Apply normal brake pressure then roll your foot to the side and rev the engine. Again you should be able to rev it to redline. With this style, it's important not to press the gas and brake at the same time (other than when you want to rev the engine). You might have to move your right knee over to the left as far as possible.

Keep practicing either meathod while the car is stopped so you know where to place your feet. Also practice moving from the gas to the brake to get the motion down. You can also practice pressing the clutch as well. Brake - clutch in - rev - clutch out. Don't worry about shifting just yet.

Next, you need to get used to rev matching without heel-toeing. While coasting in a high gear (3rd for example) downshift to the next gear as you normally would but as you move the shifter through neutral give the engine a rev. Your goal is to figure out how much to rev the engine. Remember, the lower the revs are in the higher gear the smaller the rev gap is to the next lower gear. Practice this several times until you can do it smoothly and quickly withough thinking about it in any gear. (Don't do it into first gear often, it's really hard on the syncro)

Once you get both the foot position and rev matching mastered separately, put the two together. It's way easier to do it this way I think. Keeps the number of things you have to think about to a minimum.
The second method is the exact way I do it as well. I have very narrow feet too, but a size 12 so I can't swivel my foot like the Japanese style without hitting the tunnel.
Practice, practice and practice. Do it while sitting still first. Push the brake pedal down all the way and you'll be able to role your foot over and hit the gas pedal. As you get used to it, you'll be able to do it under less than full braking on the street. The first time I did it with my wife in the car, she said "What the hell was that!?" I laughed!

I taught one of my buddies how to do it the same way. He has it down pat already without any issues.

Also, start to learn how to left foot brake. It helps you balance the car in quick transition areas of the track where you needn't down/up shift.
Swing your left heel over and hit your right foot so you know it's over the brake (otherwise you'll hit the clutch). DO NOT ATTEMPT FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH SOMEONE FOLLOWING YOU ON THE STREET!!!! More than likely you'll go into full braking until your muscles get used to modulating the brakes.

Oh, yes, a pedal extension will help greatly. I do not have it, but a buddy of mine has it and he said heel-toe is MUCH easier. I've been thinking about it myself.
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