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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone recommend a set of aftermarket pedals that can make heel-and-toe downshifting easier?

I have tried the technique, and I can't rotate my foot enough to get my heel on the gas.
I was thinking there must be a set of pedals that extend the width of the gas pedal enough to reduce the rotation. I have also read that the Passat pedals are not set up for heel-and-toe.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Mike McCaffrey)

I posted a similar question some time back but didn't end up finding anything (although it turned out to be a decent discussion on the merits of heel-and-toe). Here's the link:

http://clubb5.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=19196

I'd be totally interested in some aftermarket pedals too....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Bockster)

Thanks for the thread.

I noticed comments asking why. All I can say is, if your haven't taken you Passat out on a track you are missing a great drive. Sure it's soft for the track, but you'd be surprised at how fast it is and I love the V6 torque. This car hauls even stock. I can only image how it would feel 2" lower with stiffer shocks.

Now, I really do want to heel-and-toe. Entering turn #1 at Summit Point requires you to decelerate from terminal velocity into a 45mph 2nd gear corner. (there is a 3000 foot straight before turn #1
) Under hard braking there is little time to play with the 5-2 downshift. A healthy blip on the throttle would be real nice.

Anyone though of a throttle blip-switch mounted on the stick? Just a wacky idea.
Push a button on the stick and get a half second blip on the throttle?

<![CDATA[Thanks for the thread.

I noticed comments asking why. All I can say is, if your haven't taken you Passat out on a track you are missing a great drive. Sure it's soft for the track, but you'd be surprised at how fast it is and I love the V6 torque. This car hauls even stock. I can only image how it would feel 2" lower with stiffer shocks.

Now, I really do want to heel-and-toe. Entering turn #1 at Summit Point requires you to decelerate from terminal velocity into a 45mph 2nd gear corner. (there is a 3000 foot straight before turn #1
) Under hard braking there is little time to play with the 5-2 downshift. A healthy blip on the throttle would be real nice.

Anyone though of a throttle blip-switch mounted on the stick? Just a wacky idea.
Push a button on the stick and get a half second blip on the throttle?

[Modified by Mike McCaffrey, 8:55 PM 10/7/2002]
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Mike McCaffrey)

I didn't know how to do this before getting this car but after some trial and error I actually do it the opposite way -- I brake with my 'heel' (well, more like the arch of my foot nearest the heel than the heel proper) and blip the throttle with my 'toe' (actually more the ball of my foot than my toes themselves). I don't know whether that's 'right' or 'wrong' but it works for me. I find I need more fine motor control over the throttle to match the revs than I do with the brake, which is (somewhat) less sensitive and in any case you don't need fine brake control unless you're coming to a complete stop.

For a while I was braking more or less normally and then trying to catch the edge of the gas pedal with the outside edge of my right foot, by bending my ankle outward. I found this didin't work very well. I either couldn't quite reach the gas pedal, it would slip off, or, if it stayed, angling my ankle felt unnatural and didn't offer enough fine control over the throttle.

I then went back to trying to brake with my toes and to somehow hit the gas with my heel, but my heel was too far aft in the car to come close to the gas, otherwise getting it close required rotating my foot so far counterclockwise I almost had to shift my whole body to reach the gas with the heel.

Finally as I described in the first paragraph, it was like a Eureka! moment and suddenly I thought, there's no need to change the pedal configuration.

The 'blip' button is sort of an interesting idea, but unfortunately you need a different amount of blip each time for best results. Plus if you know you don't have it quite right before releasing the clutch, the car's going a different speed by then, so you have to sort of re-calculate for the lower speed you're then going, so you have to do this sliding calculation based on what road speed the car WILL be going when you've got it right. Matching the revs exactly takes much more practice and I can only do it well about 80% of the time.

Give both 10K miles of practice in ordinary driving and you should have it down.

Hmm...as you can see here http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_heeltoe.lasso
I'm doing it 'wrong', so maybe we do need different pedals....


<![CDATA[I didn't know how to do this before getting this car but after some trial and error I actually do it the opposite way -- I brake with my 'heel' (well, more like the arch of my foot nearest the heel than the heel proper) and blip the throttle with my 'toe' (actually more the ball of my foot than my toes themselves). I don't know whether that's 'right' or 'wrong' but it works for me. I find I need more fine motor control over the throttle to match the revs than I do with the brake, which is (somewhat) less sensitive and in any case you don't need fine brake control unless you're coming to a complete stop.

For a while I was braking more or less normally and then trying to catch the edge of the gas pedal with the outside edge of my right foot, by bending my ankle outward. I found this didin't work very well. I either couldn't quite reach the gas pedal, it would slip off, or, if it stayed, angling my ankle felt unnatural and didn't offer enough fine control over the throttle.

I then went back to trying to brake with my toes and to somehow hit the gas with my heel, but my heel was too far aft in the car to come close to the gas, otherwise getting it close required rotating my foot so far counterclockwise I almost had to shift my whole body to reach the gas with the heel.

Finally as I described in the first paragraph, it was like a Eureka! moment and suddenly I thought, there's no need to change the pedal configuration.

The 'blip' button is sort of an interesting idea, but unfortunately you need a different amount of blip each time for best results. Plus if you know you don't have it quite right before releasing the clutch, the car's going a different speed by then, so you have to sort of re-calculate for the lower speed you're then going, so you have to do this sliding calculation based on what road speed the car WILL be going when you've got it right. Matching the revs exactly takes much more practice and I can only do it well about 80% of the time.

Give both 10K miles of practice in ordinary driving and you should have it down.

Hmm...as you can see here http://www.turnfast.com/tech_driving/driving_heeltoe.lasso
I'm doing it 'wrong', so maybe we do need different pedals....


[Modified by RechtsFahren, 2:43 AM 10/8/2002]
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (RechtsFahren)

I'm with you on this one, RechtsFahren. My feet are just too big to do a proper heel and toe in most any footwell. Let alone with the Passat's sloping curves near the gas pedal.

I usually either brake with just the left edge (ball underneath the big toe) and twist the foot to press the gas, or if it's really hairy I brake with the arch of my foot and tilt the foot forward to hit the gas. It's not always perfect but better than popping the clutch in 2nd gear at 40MPH.

This is just the stuff that felt right to me when I first heard about heel and toe, but hadn't read an EXACT description of how most people do it. Honestly, it sounds like the most counterproductive thing...ROTATING your foot while braking?.... but then again, I've never had a car designed for HnT.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (nyibpass)

I think the reason it's advised that you brake w/ the ball of you foot and blip w/ the heel is that the ball of your foot has much more feeling than your heel. When you brake normally, you use the ball of your foot, right? As for blipping and matching the revs exactly, I didn't perceive it to be an "accurate" blipping, but rather blip near the correct rev range (usually only like 3-4k unless you're REALLY pushin' hard), and release the clutch at the correct time... But since I've never experienced it (my feet are too small...
), what do I know...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (stealthx32)

I agree the ball of you foot is more sensitive than your heel. I also agree I am not looking for exact revs to release the clutch, just want the rpms to be about 4K so the syncros have less work to do.

From the various comments it seems no one likes the set up in the Passat. "Proper" heel-and-toe doesn't seem to be in the cards. I do like the idea of using the ball of your big toe on the brake and catching the gas pedal with the right side of your shoe. Being of small feet (8 1/2) there is not much to work with.

Anyone know of a wider gas pedal? Perhaps I could narrow the gap between the two pedals.

Disclamer: As with any input from Club
members, I promise not to "sudden unintended acceleration" my Passat into a wall ala Audi 5000 via stepping on the gas and NOT the brake
Oh, that's right, the clutch stops the engine from doing that. Glad I have a 5sp!
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Mike McCaffrey)

Hmm, I wonder if these would help... look at the shape of the gas pedal.

sparco pedal covers

<![CDATA[Hmm, I wonder if these would help... look at the shape of the gas pedal.

sparco pedal covers

[Modified by Bockster, 6:28 PM 10/8/2002]
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Bockster)

Those pedals might be worth checking out. Oooh, check out these:

SP3783L (black 'fiber'??) looks like they have an even larger bulge at the bottom of the gas pedal.

http://sportscar-parts.com/mivastore/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=www.sportscar-parts.com&Category_Code=10

Yeah, I don't think having big feet really helps either (11.5 here)


Maybe I'm trying to match revs more closely than is really practical, but even at relatively moderate revs 3-4K it seems the car surges ahead or brakes noticeably if I don't match 'em basically dead-on.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Mike McCaffrey)

The only pedals that seem to be made for the passat are from zender, available from autotech. They look purty, but not sure they are going to help with heel & toe.
Same as others, I use the ball of foot for breaking and then roll the ankle over to use the edge of the foot over for blipping. Toes are pointed to somewhere between 10 and 11 oclock. I believe it has less to so with shoe size and more to do with ability to roll your ankle and the difference in height between brake and accelerator pedals. When brake pads are new it is tougher. A few track days takes care of that
. Adding a pedal cover ontop of the accelerator should also help reduce the height difference.
Oh and practice helps too. Make it part of your normal driving, and it will be easier when you need it.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Mike McCaffrey)

As I mentioned on my post on another thread, heel and toe is a misnomer now that modern cars' pedals are designed better. So whatever works to blip that throttle while braking is fine.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (JettaHead)

I was having a problem with heel and toe also with my '99 1.8T. Well, untill I built my own pedals. he he he ha!



The biggest problem with the hieght differencial is in the rubber pad that covers the steel brake pedal. Take that cover off and the hieght difference is now almost non-existant. Add to that a slightly wider custom brake pedal cover and a custom gas pedal cover with a big bulge on the lower left side of the pedal for the heel and "Presto," no more H&T issues. The gas pedal cover can be made it fit any size foot out there. And I haven't had any problems with slipping off the pedals when wet. I even drive with my expensive (read slick) dress shoes and have had no problems.



They were real easy to make. And I am thinking of finding a different type of "diamond plate" aluminum for a different look. Less "tool box in the bed of a pick up truck" look. Soon, real soon...
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (Chas)

I've had the same problems, but found a cheap and easy solution (not as fancy looking as Chas's but it works). I got some masking tape, 1/4" thick foam, and black rubber baseboard molding and a glue gun. Tape over the gas pedal. Glue 2 pieces of foam together and cut out into the shape of the gaspedal. You may need to cut a wedge out of the back to facilitate the bend at the bottom of the pedal. Then cut a section of the rubber baseboard to fit (mine has some small ribs to keep your foot from sliding off), and glue to the foam. Finally, glue to the tape on the pedal. Now your pedal is equal in height to the other two and heel and toeing is much easier (I use the ball of my big to on the brake and tilt my foot over to get the throttle). There was some concern that this might not be safe, but I can attest to 10,000 miles with out the pedal falling off once. Cost <$5 (except for the glue gun).
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (senraB)

Guys, Guys, Guys, life ain't that complicated. Buy any set of pedals (sparco are good because they have little pads of rubber) and drill them anywhere you want. If you have small feet like me, well screw them closer together. drop the little brackets they give with the peddals (they always get loose after a while). I recommend a pedal with a bit of rubber cause sometimes when your feet are wet it kinds of slips and you don't want that to happen. Trust me I had a set of MOMO and very bad.....

Chas I know you've probably worked hard on your set but polish checkerd plate is very slippery.....after all pedals are not just for the track but also for every day use....don't want your foot to slip in your fancy shoes while breaking in traffic coming back from work.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (CWay27)

Thread ressurection.
I found a set pretty cheap from SoundDomain.com (yeah, they're becoming the rice shop instead of the quality audio gear shop they used to be). Anywho...it doesn't have the rubber nubs, but it does have ridges that would seem to get rid of any wet slipping problems. Plus, they're $23.95...how could you go wrong?



http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/SPA03785LU

<![CDATA[Thread ressurection.
I found a set pretty cheap from SoundDomain.com (yeah, they're becoming the rice shop instead of the quality audio gear shop they used to be). Anywho...it doesn't have the rubber nubs, but it does have ridges that would seem to get rid of any wet slipping problems. Plus, they're $23.95...how could you go wrong?



http://www.sounddomain.com/sku/SPA03785LU

[Modified by stealthx32, 2:23 PM 12/9/2002]
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (stealthx32)

I'm only size 10.5, but my feet are wide enough that I can brake with the ball of my floor and blip with my little toe side. Heel stays planted on the floor board. I've actually worn a hole through the floor mat
with my heel. Works great. I've been doing it that way since I was 16, much to the chagrin of the fine instructors at Skip Barber all those years ago.
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (B12Teuton)

does anyone have the zender? is the gas raised? it looks like it in the picture? are the sparco's gas pedal curved like the zender?
 

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Re: Replacement Pedals for heel-and-toe downshifting (B12Teuton)

B12Teuton: the problem I'm having is even if I'm braking to the point where the wheels lock, I can't reach the gas pedal with either my heel or the side of my foot because the brake pedal is sooo high. I hear removing the pedal will reduce the height of the brake pedal down to normal height.
 
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