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Do you heel-and-toe downshift into corners?

  • Almost every time.

    Votes: 20 27.0%
  • Only for spirited driving, auto crossing, or track events.

    Votes: 22 29.7%
  • No, but I know ho to heel-and-toe downshift.

    Votes: 10 13.5%
  • No, and I DO NOT know how to heel-and-toe downshift.

    Votes: 22 29.7%
1 - 20 of 48 Posts

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Here comes trouble!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talked to driving instructor that's part of the local BMWCCA chapter. He's a seasoned instructor that is quite involved in the BMWCCA driving events here and also works with the Street Survival program. In any case, he mentioned to me that he is so used to heel-and-toe downshifting, he does it literally every corner, every time, even when just tooling around in regular traffic.

That made me wonder how many of you do the same here. I know many have track experience, others just like to drive spirited, others just like owning BMWs. What do you do?

I have never learned to heel-and-toe and during my commute to and from work, I should probably not learn. I certainly get the concept and have played with the idea when traffic was very low (such as yesterday on July 5) but probably need to go to an empty parking lot and just work on it to get the hang of it. So my vote goes to "No, and I do not know how". :)
 

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Here comes trouble!
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I would not be able to drive a stick without my heal and toes. :dunno:

What do you use if not your foot?:dunno:
I have a goat in my footwell that does all the pedal work. It's a ******* SMG...I just run the throttle and row the gears.



BTW, HW, that is a very comprehensive article for manual transmissions. I already had it bookmarked previously. Highly recommended.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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I do it all the time but not in the E92 since that is an automatic. :D

There are a couple of reasons. On a manual car, you want your driveline to be engaged as long and as much as possible. Automatics? Nothing you can do there, but having your driveline engaged gives you a couple of options when emergencies arise and you need to take maneuvers. It lets you either POWER your way out of the problem situation or maintain enough throttle to keep the car under control. If you ever have the opportunity to take a car control clinic in the area, try this. Go into one of the exercises like braking/lane change or skid-pad, and put the car into neutral by pushing in the clutch while at speed. You will spin. Trust me on this.

The other reason is the "other" car with a clutch is a turbocharged boxer 4, so if I don't heel-toe on my downshift it basically means I will be completely out of my power-band once I'm ready to accelerate. So just about every time I touch the brakes I downshift on the WRX.

Although "track use" is one of the reasons why I learned to heel-toe, I get a lot more practical applications out of it on the street.
 

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Based on HW's article, it's about time I learn how. :thumbup:
 

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GODSPD
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I have issues heel-toe'ing around town because I find it difficult to apply only partial braking while doing so. I'll usually roll the ball of my foot over and blip the throttle on downshifts, though.
 

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I heel and toe on the street when I am driving in a spirited manner; i.e. I am entering a turn fast and want to take the turn and exit quickly. Heel and toe kinda mandates that you are braking heavily.
Normal cruising around town does not need heel and toe.
dhc3
 

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Worlds Foremost Authority
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I got in the habit of double clutching and heel and toeing and always drive a manual transmission car that way. I know that double clutching is not necessary on a modern syncro transmission but it became second nature so I always shift that way.
Heel and toeing does not mandate that you are braking heavily. Once you get the hang of it you have total control over how hard you are braking and in some cases you may only be brushing the brakes to get some weight onto the front tires.

Of course I don't have to do that on my BMW since it is an Auto-Slushie and I don't really drive it since all I have to do is steer.

CA
 

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BMWCCA Member #405750
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I know how to heel and toe but I can't master it. Perhaps I'll buy a 370z.
 

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IMO if you don't know how to heel and toe you do not really know how to propoerly drive a manual transmission. I drove MTs for a long time before I learned how. I can thank the Skip Barber Racing School for teaching me the proper technique. The school cars (Formula Skip Barber) have straight cut gears and no synchros so heel and toeing and double clutching is necessary. Once I got the hang of it it became second nature.

What The Hack said a few posts back is right on. When you are well below the limits of the car you can get away with a lot of bad techniques but as you start using 100% of the car you will find that if you get it wrong you will be looking at the cars behind you through your windshield.
Push in the clutch or lift the throttle when you are at the limits and the rear end will come right around on you.

CA
 

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Driving manual without heel-and-toe is so unthinkable on so many levels to me. When I drove manual, I also did heel-toe at every corner and also when slowing down, to always be in the optimal gear position for the speed I was going at for maximal torque. It becomes a natural habit and you don't even think about it.

335 automatic in DS mode really closely mimics how I would downshift during driving and it does it so effortlessly without drama in such quick short time that I don't regret not having gotten manual. Besides, with so much available torque and HP at such wide RPM ranges, even if I did have a manual, it would probably be a moot point to constantly downshift for one sweet gear because I can probably go faster than most car on the road at any speed at any gear.

If you have 328i though in manual, you should definitely learn how to do heel-and-toe. You really don't know how to drive manual until you've mastered it. Period.
 

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Driving manual without heel-and-toe is so unthinkable on so many levels to me. When I drove manual, I also did heel-toe at every corner and also when slowing down, to always be in the optimal gear position for the speed I was going at for maximal torque. It becomes a natural habit and you don't even think about it.

335 automatic in DS mode really closely mimics how I would downshift during driving and it does it so effortlessly without drama in such quick short time that I don't regret not having gotten manual. Besides, with so much available torque and HP at such wide RPM ranges, even if I did have a manual, it would probably be a moot point to constantly downshift for one sweet gear because I can probably go faster than most car on the road at any speed at any gear.

If you have 328i though in manual, you should definitely learn how to do heel-and-toe. You really don't know how to drive manual until you've mastered it. Period.[/quote]

Amen!

 

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BMWCCA Member #405750
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IMO if you don't know how to heel and toe you do not really know how to propoerly drive a manual transmission.
I don't think it's that succinct. I wouldn't throw all stick drivers out with the bathwater simply because they can't grasp one skill. Though an important and fun skill. My problem is simply practice. I don't do track days, I simply don't have the time. This is a skill I kinda don't wanna be practicing in city situations. It's like dancing, I can see it in my mind but I just can't get my body to follow the movements. Not to mention even though I have been driving manuals for almost 20 years I just became aware of this skill fairly recently.
 

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I don't think it's that succinct. I wouldn't throw all stick drivers out with the bathwater simply because they can't grasp one skill. Though an important and fun skill. My problem is simply practice. I don't do track days, I simply don't have the time. This is a skill I kinda don't wanna be practicing in city situations. It's like dancing, I can see it in my mind but I just can't get my body to follow the movements. Not to mention even though I have been driving manuals for almost 20 years I just became aware of this skill fairly recently.
I stand by my statement and I was not being condesceding by any stretch as I drove MTs for years before I learned how to properly drive an MT.

Heel and Toe is not Rocket Science. I would be willing to bet I could teach you how to do it perfectly in one session and I would be happy to do it.

I will extend that offer to anyone here. PM me if you are interested.

CA
 

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I stand by my statement and I was not being condesceding by any stretch as I drove MTs for years before I learned how to properly drive an MT.

Heel and Toe is not Rocket Science. I would be willing to bet I could teach you how to do it perfectly in one session and I would be happy to do it.

CA
So, how close am I to knowing how to do it, if I could start a 1970 VW bug on a steep incline from dead stop and not stall, not roll back and NOT use the emergency brake?
 

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So, how close am I to knowing how to do it, if I could start a 1970 VW bug on a steep incline from dead stop and not stall, not roll back and NOT use the emergency brake?
Not very close.

CA
 

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