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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellas,

So i wanna autocross and eventually track my 04 1.8t jetta a few times, therefore i've been trying to learn to heel-toe cause i know its extremely important in racing.
However i'm having trouble hitting the gas enough and keeping the right amount of pressure on the brake at the same time. It feels as if the throttle pedal is too far behind the brake pedal to do it correctly.
Anyone else find this is a problem? Did/How'd you fix it?

The guys in the mk4 jetta subforum weren't to helpful, maybe it'll be better here

Thanks
 

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You will have a good bit of trouble heel toeing on a vw pedal box lol. But know how to heel toe is basically not necessary for autocross. And for track day racing just practice rev matching your down shifts. That will help keep your car balanced.


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You will have a good bit of trouble heel toeing on a vw pedal box lol. But know how to heel toe is basically not necessary for autocross. And for track day racing just practice rev matching your down shifts. That will help keep your car balanced.


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To add, left foot braking in these cars will be more beneficial to you while autocrossing, since you usually tend to stay in 2nd gear. It will help with rotating the vehicle while still staying slightly in boost to help you on your exit.

Like he said, heel toeing in a MK4 is damn near impossible because of the small gas pedal and how it is recessed. You are better of learning to revmatch your downshifts by bliping the throttle prior to getting on the brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ive gotten pretty good at rev matching because i play around with it all the time when im driving and get bored.
The thing i dont understand with that technique instead of heel toe'ing is what if you have to go from say 4th to 2nd or 1st? Youd have to get off the brakes multiple times before entry wouldnt you?
Also, what if your near the top of a gear and have to downshift?

Thanks guys, already 100x more helpful than the immature responses in the jetta subforum
 

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Lol well to be honest and my experience is mostly autox and hill climbs and some time attack but you tend to get so amped up your first couple times out you kind just ram it in and out of gear. Lol. After that if you like track days you should think of modifying your peddle box I have done it to a few cars now and basically just a riser for the gas pedal. Or as most people I know have gone the route of purchasing a track day car. And then you can put a set of wildwood pedals in and have all the adjustability and heel toe ability you will ever need.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ahahah i'm sure that'll be me, i get nervous starting out new things

Unfortunately i'm young, just bought this car couple months ago. Cant afford the trailer/insurance of a dedicated track day car to use 6 times a year, and dont have a truck to toe with.

I was thinking of making a pedal riser but was unsure what to use, either block of wood with a clamp attached to the back or a sheet metal box with a clamp.
What did you use?
 

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Well you have to be cairful with what you do because it must pass safety. What I have had the most luck with is taking a bolt on pedal cover and making spacers out of thin gauge aluminum tubbing and then using the proper length bolt to hold it together. So basically of you need an inch cut your tube to 1 inch drill holes in your oem peddle where the holes on the cover correspond and then use 1 1/4 bolts to hold it all together. But from looking at my car looks like you would want about 2-3 inch and I would think that would become a bit unsafe at that point.


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I never had much trouble with heel/toe in my mk4. I had a nice divot worn in the floor mat from keeping my foot in one ideal position for heel/toe.

Before looking at mechanical solutions start with the simplest potential solutions:

What's your seating position derived from?
What shoes are you wearing? Are your feet skinny or wide etc?
Are you having issues with the pedal height difference at 10/10ths braking or at a lesser street use?

Heel/toe does take a ton of practice to do well in my opinion. Every red light and stop sign is an opportunity to get better...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
based on that^ im just assuming im **** at it and am gonna continue trying to do it with stock setup before modifying
 

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Like others have stated above, most autocross courses are designed around 2nd gear and you rarely need to go back to 1st.
With that said, heel-toe definitely is possible on mk4s. I use my big toe on the brake pedal, with the right edge of my heel on the gas pedal, size 10 shoe.
 

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Surprised no one mentioned sooner besides poster above me.

Mk4 can't be heel toed. It's more of a ball foot rotation. Blip the gas with the side of your foot and not the heel.

You can practice on the street but I do find it easier on tracks or harder braking. Normal street driving you're not hard enough on the brakes which creates more distance for you to blip the gas.
 

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I agree with the above. I've only found a few corners on the street that I can do with reasonable safety and "heel-toe" somewhat consistently. Even with a TDI, the speeds get into the "not safe for street driving" area.

It's pretty much impossible to left-foot brake in a Mk IV due to how the ECU cuts fuel when the brake is applied. Likewise, doing a heel-toe only works when you get off the gas, brake, and then re-apply the gas while braking. The ECU will let you do that.
 

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VaughanVDub

based on that^ im just assuming im **** at it and am gonna continue trying to do it with stock setup before modifying
Something I touched on in my previous post is the importance of seating position in performance driving. A "correct" seating position will enable anyone to go faster, and possibly make working the pedals a bit easier. A quick web search on "performance driving seating position" yields a good amount of results. There are definitely different takes on what is "correct" but finding something that enables smooth precise inputs to the vehicle is key.

My basic approach:

With the clutch to the floor, the left leg should be slightly bent and able to lift your butt out of the seat a bit when pressure is applied.
Once the leg distance is set, I adjust the seat back until my wrist can touch the top of the steering wheel without stretching and my shoulders relaxed against the seat back. This makes the arms somewhat bent when at the 10/2 or 9/3 position.

Most "regular" drivers think I sit too close to the wheel, but if I sit farther back I feel like I have less control of the vehicle. Also, it can take a bit to get used to a seating position which gives maximum control. I found it a bit uncomfortable at first, but now I cant sit any other way.
 

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It's pretty much impossible to left-foot brake in a Mk IV due to how the ECU cuts fuel when the brake ...
It can easily be coded out in the ECU by setting NWPMBBR to 7,500 rpm or something you'll never reach. A simple reflash with this implementation and you're good to go for left foot braking without the brake/throttle overlap cut. ;)
 

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It can easily be coded out in the ECU by setting NWPMBBR to 7,500 rpm or something you'll never reach. A simple reflash with this implementation and you're good to go for left foot braking without the brake/throttle overlap cut. ;)
Or just disconnect the plug on top of the brake pedal... brake lights won't work, but the ECU will also be unaware that you are on the brakes and the throttle at the same time.
 

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Or just disconnect the plug on top of the brake pedal... brake lights won't work, but the ECU will also be unaware that you are on the brakes and the throttle at the same time.
Nope, the system goes into a limp mode if you do that and every sequence with brake/throttle overlap gives throttle cut for a second or two. That's the first thing that was tried! ;)
 

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It can easily be coded out in the ECU by setting NWPMBBR to 7,500 rpm or something you'll never reach. A simple reflash with this implementation and you're good to go for left foot braking without the brake/throttle overlap cut. ;)
You got a how to for that? I've always pulled the ABS fuse which made it easier to brake later and Left Foot Brake, but also made it impossible to control the rear brake bias since the car uses the ABS to set the rear brake bias.
 

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As some people said, the "Heel-Toe" is a bit of a misnomer. Most people position the big toe/left side ball of foot of their right foot on the brake pedal while rolling their foot to the outside and hitting the gas pedal with the pinky toe/right side of ball of foot. You'll see most driving shoes have extra rubber on the outside of the foot in order to accommodate this move.

I know that some people have pedal setups in other cars that allow a heel on one of the pedals, while the toes on the other, but I'm not flexible enough to manage that move in any car I've ever been in.

My MK1 had a tight pedal cluster so the roll method works well there. My MK4 is harder because the distance between the pedals seems farther apart (ie: wider apart).
I have a BMW Z4 M Coupe that I track and the problem I had there was the pedals weren't too far apart in width, but the heights of the pedals were too different. When I was hard on the brake, the brake pedal was below the level of the gas pedal, so i couldn't get my foot there without lifting up on the brake.

The solution I chose was not to spend hundreds of dollars on pedal pads that you bolt on to your existing pedals, but to buy a new brake pedal arm. I then cut the metal 'pad' off the arm.
I'm talking about the part the rubber pedal cover fits onto. I then clamped the new pedal pad onto the old pedal pad and drilled 4 holes in each corner. I then removed the new one, countersunk the holes, and placed 4 flat head machine screws in to the new pedal pad. I then used washers to dial the height of the brake pedal higher by installing them between the new pedal pad and the existing pedal pad.
Slip the bolts through the 4 holes in the old/existing pedal pad and install nuts on the end of the bolts. Then reinstall the pedal pad and the look will be stock, but now you've got an adjustable height brake pedal.

From what your original post said, I think your problem is the gas pedal is too low. I am guessing you could apply the same technique here.

I bought my brake pedal arm new, from BMW for $35, but I would guess you could get either pedals you need from the junk yard for a few bucks.

But if your problem is the distance between the brake and gas is too wide, you might want to buy a gas pedal pad which extends the gas pedal closer to the brake, or conversely, a brake pedal cover that extends closer to the gas pedal.


As an additional comment, the left foot braking is an advanced method. One that is hard for a person who is familiar with driving manual to master because you tend to treat the brake pedal the same as the clutch and push it all the way into the floor. And if you pulled your ABS fuse like another poster recommended, you'll be locking up you're front and understeering.
If you're new to Autocrossing, spend more time learning the car and how long it takes to take a 'set'. A set is the time between your applying an input and the car responding. Learn to drive ahead of the cones and you'll have greater results than left foot braking at this point. Just my opinion of course.
But if you do track days, definitely master the heel toe downshift. You'll be driving at your personal limit, so you want the operations of the car to be second nature so you can use your brain's processing power to process your track in/out and apex points, while listening to your instructor, while listening to the feedback through your butt and hands.
Hope some of this helps. Good luck!
 
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