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550 owners: heel & toe ?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by ze_shark, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Can't get used to heel & toe on my 550.
    I am more used to what i'd call toe & toe (brake with the inside of the right foot, gas with the tip), but all my attemps with the 550 remain very awkward. Is some pedal ajustment possible ?
     
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  3. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,836
    Texas!
    Shark, I have been told that the pedals are adjustable, but I haven't tried it in mine because my legs are too long and my arms are too short. That is, when I move the seat up to get a comfortable position for my arms, the top of my legs will hit the steering wheel if I try to heel and toe. And, yes, the steerting wheel is already fully extended <sigh>

    Besides, heel and toe is for sissies who drive Dinos, right Frank?

    Take Care, DrTax
     
  4. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
    Full Name:
    Wayne
    As far as I know, pedal left right distance is not adjustable. Brake pedal height is slightly adjustable.

    I also don't find 550's pedal position to be optimal for my foot size to H&T. Have to turn my right foot sharply to the left as you have drawn.

    In the Formula Renault I race with, the pedals are closer together and the pedal heights are adjusted such that I only have to turn my foot slightly to the left, so in essence brake with left side of my right foot and blip the throttle with right side of my right foot.

    In comparison, I find 355 pedal left right distance OK but brake pedal height is too low. During heavy braking in trackday events, it's very difficult to brake hard without accidentally touching the throttle while attemping H&T.

    One possible solution is to replace OEM pedal pads with aftermarket ones of the desired size and thickness to alter effective pedal height and left right distance.

    Oh, by the way I put the Tubi sound file on my site at the bottom of the 550 Maranello page as I stated in my e-mail reply to you.
     
  5. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    the pedals are quite adjustable.

    you can shift them around with the bolts that screw through each of the visible holes.

    doody.
     
  6. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,836
    Texas!
    BTW Shark, you may have a future in writing for Ferrari manuals. I like your drawings much better than the ones currently in the book!

    DrTax
     
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  8. Steve Darrah

    Steve Darrah Rookie

    Nov 5, 2003
    35
    Midlothian, Virginia
    Full Name:
    Stephen C. Darrah
    Shark
    I have the same difficulty in my 550.I understand the principles of h&t, been to several schools{Roos 5 day race series etc}, tracked the 550 extensively for 3 years, and still have a problem doing this consistently well. I think one of the problems in the 550 is the fact that the brake and gas pedals are not positioned optimally. The gas pedal needs to be lowered and moved slightly closer to the brake pedal or just widened.This would allow us to start the braking action before "blipping" the gas and downshifting. I have found on the race cars that by placing the left half of my right foot on the brake pedal and rolling the right half of my right foot onto the gas pedal by pushing my knee to the right as I am depressing the brake pedal that this works fine every time. The pedals, however, on these cars are positioned as I described above. Of course the 550 has enough power for us amateurs that 3rd and 4th gears with 2nd once in a while is all we need-start braking,double clutch to match up engine/car speed smoothly and get the shift out of the way,slow in/fast out etc. I would appreciate any other ideas/thoughts anyone has on this.We should also remember that our 550's are NOT race cars!
     
  9. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Good point, had not thought about the possibility to shift them laterally using the drilled holes. Not too sure however if my biggest problem is depth.
    Given the pace this thing accumulates in straights, proper braking and downshifting without upsetting the balance of the car sounds like a must, but i am glad to know I am not the only to struggle ...
     
  10. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
    Full Name:
    Wayne
    My understanding is that the pedal themselves are not movable (ie. at the support base), but you are very correct that pedal pads can be moved. I have a size 8-1/2 foot so moving the OEM pedal pad by one hole to the right still will not bring the brake pedal close enough to the throttle.

    Personally I have not intalled a aftermarket brake pedal pad yet, because I have not found one that match OEM's look.
     
  11. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
    1,098
    Kent - UK
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    Paul Hill
    #9 348paul, Feb 7, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    We have made a 550 heel toe pedal in the past - It is about 1/2" (12.7mm) wider to the left. It basically looks like the top part of the heel toe pedal in the picture below. The hole positions for the 550 "Heel toe" pedal are identical to the OEM part. I have also found that under heavy braking there is a possibility of catching the accelerator pedal. The throttle linkage can be altered to allow the pedal to move towards the firewall slightly - this helped immensely for me.

    Paul

    Hill Engineering - Ferrari Chat Sponsor
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  13. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
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    Paul Hill
    #10 348paul, Feb 7, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  14. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Looked up on your site, you don't seem to have a set specific to the 550 ?
    What is the benefit of half an inch of extra width on the left vs shifting the clutch pedal towards the right ?
    When you talk about throttle linkage, do you mean changing the left/right position or the depth ?
     
  15. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
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    Wayne
    #12 cwwhk, Feb 8, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here is a picture of my OEM brake pedal pad as far right as possible, but as you can see moving it by only one hole still leaves a substantial gap to the throttle.

    Paul, I would be very interested in your 1/2" wider thottle pedal pad, but the picture you show has a curved top lip as well as a cutout on the lower left corner. Is your 550 thottle pad same as OEM but wider? A picture of your actual 550 throttle pedal would be nice. Also how much is it for just the thottle? I don't think I need your version of the brake and clutch pedal, since I can't see a visual difference to the OEM.

    Oh, by the way I am still waiting to hear if you have started making the slick shift gate for the 360 and 550.

    Thanks.
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  16. redcar1

    redcar1 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    625
    austin, tx
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    Mark
    The way I received my car, the brake pedal, when depressed, was too low for effective heel & toeing, but the pedals ARE adjustable for height. Now that the brake pedal has been raised relative to the accelerator, it is very comfortable, and I heel & toe regularly.

    It made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the car.

    Mark McKenzie
     
  17. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Thanks. Did you adjust it yourself or ask your dealer ?
    It's likely to be an iterative process of slight adjustments (lateral and depth), I'd rather do it myself if possible.
     
  18. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest


    I echo Mark's experience. I had to raise my brake pedal slightly, so that when it is depressed firmly, it is on a plane wiht the gas pedal. The car is VERY easy to H&T, even with my size 12 clodhoppers.

    Mark, by the way, I just realized that I need ot come by & pick up that resonator we removed. Sorry, I had done a brain f@rt on it and forgotten...

    -Dave
     
  19. TOM B

    TOM B Formula 3

    Jul 24, 2003
    1,038
    Orange County, NY
    Full Name:
    Thomas Buckley
    Hill Engineering makes an aluminum pedal set with the accelerator pedal an extra 1/2" wider. This gets it closer to the brake pedal and facilitates the "blip" for your downshift. I've got them in my Mondial and they work great.

    Hill Engineering is one of our sponsors.

    Good Luck,

    Tom
     
  20. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    I took a look under the dash and the actuator of the brake pedal seems linked through a fillet/nut assy. Should be adjustable. Did anyone tweak this without dealer assistance ?
     
  21. 348paul

    348paul Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2002
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    Paul Hill
    #18 348paul, Feb 12, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Sorry for the delay in responding - the thread got lost on the second page!

    The picture shows the 550/456 Heel Toe pedal that we made as a special - I will be running a few more off in the next week.

    (Ze Shark - Throttle linkage – to make the gas pedal sit closer to the bulkhead – to avoid accidentally pressing it when braking)

    Thanks

    Paul

    www.hill-engineering.co.uk
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  22. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Sorry for my limited command of english, but what is the bulkhead ? is that the transmission tunnel on the right or the firewall in front ? (LHD here).
    After some more testing, raising the gas pedal makes a lot of sense, goes way too deep vs throttle when braking.

    Guess it's another thing like sound which is optional on the 550 ...
     
  23. Bart

    Bart Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,488
    Orange County, Calif
    Full Name:
    Bart
    I am but a rookie. If I were racing, than either the gas pedal is floored or the brakes are at maximum. In any other case, I am losing time.

    Why toe-heal?
     
  24. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    ... then how do you downshift without blocking rear wheels or loosing time while depressing the clutch and waiting for the revs to rise to match the loower gear ?
    Heel and toe is about double-clutching & blipping the throttle to match the lower gear revs WHILE braking.
     
  25. jakermc

    jakermc Formula 3
    Owner

    Jan 17, 2004
    1,778
    Palm Beach, FL
    Full Name:
    Rob

    To keep yourself from spinning into a wall.

    Imagine you are at the end of a straight and preparing for a turn. You will want to brake - downshift - and turn. If you heal/toe, you are able to brake and downshift without upsetting the balance of the car by increasing the rpms of the engine at the time of the shift. If you downshift while the engine rpms are too low, you will cause the rear wheels to lock up momentarily. If you do not know how to heal/toe, you will end up over braking waiting for the engine speed and road speed to get synched up. If you can heel/toe, you can downshift quickly and at a higher speed allowing you to carry more speed into the corner.
     
  26. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
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    Wayne
    #23 cwwhk, Mar 7, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I just installed a new pedal set from Hill Engineering with the wider heel & toe thottle pedal option. Took only 20 minutes. See attached before and after picture. Took the car out for a quick spin and found much improvement in heel & toe action.

    Before I had to angle my foot to blip the throttle. Now the two pedals are close enough so I just need to step on the brake with foot more or less vertical and simply roll my foot to the right to blip the throttle. Normally either way should have been easy, but as per previous dicussions 550's throttle is too high relative to the brake pedal so under hard braking it was difficult not to accidentally depress the throttle at the same time.

    While I was installing the new pedal set, I had a good look at the thottle linkage under the dash to see if I can adjust in any way the thottle pedal height. Confirmed my previous assertion that it's not possible. The only adjustments are the front and back stopper of the pedal assembly. The cable linkage itself is not adjustable. No point adjusting the stoppers to lower pedal height, as it will only result in the thottle being engaged all the time (ie. high idle speed).

    Bottom line is that although the pedal heights are still not optimal, but for me at least the new wider throttle pedal now makes it easier to heel & toe the 550.
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  27. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,273
    Switzerland (NW)
    Thanks, very accurate and useful, as usual :)
    So you actually 'heel' the throttle ? I am more used to the opposite way i.e. blipping with the upper right part of my foot. Anyhow, I'll gladly re-train myself if it's the only way.

    If it's impossible to raise the gas pedal, is it possible to reduce the travel of the brake pedal (purging the brake lines or something) ?

    Finally did you change only the throttle pedal ? Brake and clutch look identical right ? Is it the 456 pedal that you purchased ?

    NiHao from Taiwan ... I am spending a few days across the strait
     
  28. cwwhk

    cwwhk Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,535
    Hong Kong, Tokyo
    Full Name:
    Wayne
    Not quite "heel" the thottle. As my foot is more or less vertical, when I roll my foot to the right, the area just below my small toe will blip the throttle. I only tried this on the street, so not really race condition heel & toe. Perhaps under track situation, I may angle my foot a little more to "heel" the throttle.

    Paul updated his web site a few days ago, I got the PS05HT set. Yes, you are right the brake and clutch pedals are identical to the OEM, but the price is very reasonable so I got the whole set instead of just the wide throttle pedal. I figured I may want to modify the brake pedal later to make it thicker so an aftermaket one to play with is worth while.

    When I have time I am going to remove and send in my OEM brake hoses to Goodridge at UK and have them custom make a set of SS braided hoses to match. Hopefully, that will reduce pedal travel enough to make "heel & toe" easier. I think it will help a little, but doubt it will solve the problem completely. My 360 spider's brake pedal with OEM hoses feels much firmer and the thottle height is correct for easy "heel & toe". I guess they just didn't get it right on the 550 for some of us.

    Enjoy your time in Taiwan. It can be interesting if you know where to go.
     

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