Click to go to Forum Home Click to go to maXbimmer Home

Go Back   maXbimmer Forums > General > General Discussion
User Name

Welcome to!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-31-2003, 07:26 AM   #1
M3ti Compact
Fuel Efficient 318 Member
M3ti Compact's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,472
Can you "heel toe" downshift?

I was reading the Bondurant High Performance driving book I got for christmas, and it says that downshifting should not be used for the purposes of slowing down the car (engine braking)- as the downshift will upset the balance. OK.
So, to remedy this, a proper downshift should be using the heel-toe technique. Using the right foot to brake while rev-matching the throttle to the downshift.
I tried this today- and it's EXTREMELY difficult! For me, it's near impossible for me to lift my heel of the floor without my leg bumping into the steering wheel (they are non-adjustable on TI's), and I have to painfully twist my thigh to put my foot on both pedals. If I do somehow manage to get my foot on both pedals, I wouldn't be able to brake hard enough, or I would shoot the RPMs to 5000.

Anyone got some tips on how to pull it off? The photos in the book demonstrate the technique with a car that has a small top hinged gas pedal, and the person is pressing the brake with the ball of the foot, and has the side of the foot on a very small portion of the lower left of the gas pedal. BM pedals and huge, bottom hinged, and span from the floor to the dash.
M3ti Compact is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 07:55 AM   #2
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 52
I do heel toe all the time when I downshift.
How I do it? It comes naturally for me, and maybe my average Asian build (5'6") helps.
Brake with your toe, then rotate foot anti-clockwise with toe as the pivot point, tap throttle with your heel. I don't keep heel on the gas pedal, I just tap it once of twice to blip it.

Hope this helps.
E30 318i M42B18
fabianyee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 08:04 AM   #3
6th Gear Member
moerom's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Thornhill
Posts: 1,596
If your pedals are close together and your foot is big enough, you can use one foot to cover both pedals. The ball of your foot brakes and the right edge of your foot blips the throttle, while your foot is perpindular (you can adjust for comfort) to the floor.

The Mini is easy to do this in.
moerom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 08:16 AM   #4
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: potomac, MD/ Mosport,CND
Posts: 258
Send a message via AIM to elraton16
this is one skill that takes time and practice. I used to have a 318i with a magnaflow muffler and for me that made a psychological difference becuz i could hear my engine better and adjust the revs that way. most of us know our cars by heart...

anyways, the 318ti pedals are just like the normal 318i. therefore here are my .02 cents. say your cruising down the road and start to hit some traffic. your in 4th gear around 2,500rpms. if you down shift to third the revs should put you around 3,500rpms(aproxx.) so what you want to do is match the rev. To do this put your braking foot near the right edge of the brake pedal. Use your heel as a pivoting device. You want to blip the throttle so with your outer edge of your foot just pivot it to the accel pedal and blip the throttle. JUst BLIP it. As your revs quickly climb to the desired level, this is the time to simply shift.
careful not to let the revs drop after you blip the throttle.

i dont recommend using big shoes.

ayrton senna called this technique "soel/soel"
elraton16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 09:15 AM   #5
thinair's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bradford, ON
Posts: 8,811
Send a message via MSN to thinair
I can heel toe half decently now (after lots of practice) and use it all the time on the street, makes downshifting so much smoother and quicker.

That said I never actually use my heel, elraton16 explained the way I do it too. Just use the center of your foot for both pedals, keeping your heel on the floor to pivot on. The ball of your foot controls your brakes, the small toe part of your foot controls the gas. Basically your ankle is what controls the modulation of the brake and gas.

I also have size 12 feet, so I don't think using my heel is even an option. Just becareful with the heel-toe when your shoes/pedals are wet, the last thing you want to do is slip of the brake and mash the gas when you're trying to slow down (as me how I know).
"Driving is like a narcotic, an addiction that can take over lives. It ruins people, breaks families apart, and even kills. It’s habit that needs to be fueled. Time, money, rationality, sweat, knuckle skin, and anyone who disapproves are of little importance to a driver, and are often overlooked. Hi, I’m Nelson, and I’m a drivaholic."
thinair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 11:44 AM   #6
Senior Moderator/Event-Coordinator
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Mrs. Sauga
Posts: 10,210
That's all I do now... it's like 2nd nature.

You need a car with proper pedal placement to do it effectively... I couldn't do it at all in the EGG.
My YouTube video
EMPOWERD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 03:06 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: HK
Posts: 2,542
try doing it the other way... use heel to brake and toe to rev match.

some cars with lower positioned gas pedal require you to adjust your foot this way, otherwise there's noway to do it.
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
2002 996 C4S
Alezone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 03:56 PM   #8
Jon@Bimmersport's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 13,554
i am tryin to learn it...but when i press my toe down, my heel goes down ahhhhhhh

Authorized Ontario dealer for Active Autowerke|VF-Engineering|[/color]ESS TuningAFE|Bilstein Suspension|H&R Suspension|KW suspension|Brembo Brake Systems| Stoptech| - Call us for the best pricing please DO NOT PM in regards to pricing

Maintenance|Performance|Tuning & Forced Induction
Jon@Bimmersport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 06:09 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 3,285
I'm no pro at it, but my tip would be don't try to hold on to the gas with your heel... Just as some people mentioned BLIP it... Thats the way I do it.
Manimillion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 06:11 PM   #10
6th Gear Member
moerom's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Thornhill
Posts: 1,596
I used to heel and toe every gear when coming to a stop, just to hear the Mini lol.

People would be beside me and and all you would hear from the Mini would be:

6th, vroooom, 5th, vrooom, 4th, vrooom, 3rd, vrooooom, 2nd brake lol

I also do it when coming onto onramps. Its like approaching a tight turn on a track lol
moerom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 06:15 PM   #11
5th Gear Member
85eta's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Posts: 1,069
Send a message via MSN to 85eta
It comes naturally to me now, thats all I do.
85eta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 06:33 PM   #12
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chapin,SC
Posts: 4
Send a message via AIM to Clay'87IS
try doing it the other way... use heel to brake and toe to rev match.
It comes naturally to me now, thats all I do.
Same here.
Clay'87IS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 07:26 PM   #13
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Toronto
Posts: 204
Depends on the car/pedal placement.. I could do it easily in my E36, but in Audi TT its quite a bit harder as the gas pedal is too far to the right to easily tap with the toe.
Heres a question for you however.. In cars with big turbos, does heel toe shifting cause unpredictable behaviour if you rev it sufficiently high enough into power band to cause turbo lag? I assume if you did not perform the shift perfectly you could cause the turbo to spool up unnecessarily and get a little burst of power you wouldnt be expecting. I just bring this up as I noticed a little variation in power when attempting to heel toe in the Audi, but the turbo is quite small so there is not too much lag. Any ideas from experienced drivers?
GregD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 08:04 PM   #14
3rd Gear Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 352
I do not understand completely. Do you brake, clutch in, blip and THEN shift or brake, clutch in, blip + shift at the same time? Or is this not even the right things to do. hmmm...
takeshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2003, 11:34 PM   #15
Couped up
SpudBoy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Durham Region Ontario
Posts: 2,344
Send a message via ICQ to SpudBoy
"Heel & Toe" or as I like to call it "Big toe/Little toe" has no benefit on the street. But it sure is fun to do

'99 M Coupe - Imola/Imola
Signature Pictures by Alezone

original BMW parts

To mod or not to mod? That is the question
SpudBoy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:05 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Maxbimmer Copyright 2001 - 2018