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Old 11-07-2006, 04:35 PM
steelo steelo is offline
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Drifting explained

Basically, drifting is getting your car sideways down a road. It doesn't sound very hard does it? Sounds a lot like power sliding huh? Well it isn't. It's much more complex. Instead of a drifter causing a drift and then countering to straighten out, he will instead over-counter so his car goes into another drift. That is the reason many drifters do it in the mountains, because there are many sharp turns strung together. So in essence a good drifter has the ability to take five or six opposing turns without having traction at any point in time.

How it's done!

There are two primary techniques that drivers use to initiate a drift: clutching and braking. Drifting almost always requires a rear-wheel-drive car; it's possible to drift using a front-wheel-drive car, but it's relatively rare. In a common clutch-initiated drift, as the driver gets near a turn they will push in the clutch and drop to second gear. They will then rev the engine up to about 4,500 rpm. When they release the clutch, there's a huge surge in power to the wheels because the engine is spinning so quickly. The sudden power dump makes the back wheels spin so fast they lose traction, and the back end swings into the turn. In a basic braking technique, the driver pulls the emergency brake as they enter a turn, causing the back wheels to lock up and lose traction, initiating a drift. This type of brake-initiated drift is one of the only techniques you can use with a front-wheel-drive car. In a rear-wheel-drive car, there are at least a dozen possible drifting techniques, and pro drifters often use several in a single run.

Once a drift is initiated, the really hard part of the sport begins. Holding a drift instead of spinning out requires a lot of practice. Expert drifters use a combination of throttle (accelerator) control and steering motions to control a drift, not allowing the car to straighten out, regain traction or slow down through the turn. The best drifters can maintain a drift through several turns in a row. That's a pretty high level of drifting skill - those drivers can expertly execute multiple techniques one after the other to maintain extended control of a drift.

How the cars are set up:

The suspension in a drift car is very tight and unforgiveing even the chassis is tightened with a roll cage and strut brace. The die hard followers of drift also alter the geometry of the suspenion. This is to allow the the car to slide alot better. The differentials aren't your standard limited slip type. They are semi lockers to ensure there is more wheel spin.

The cars quite often have different wheels front and back because one afternoon of drifting can destroy a set of tires. As a rule the good tires and I mean very good tires go on the front. On the back they fit hard compund tires. Quite often second hand tires as they tend to end up in a cloud of smoke. Also they stretch the tires over a wide rim i.e. fitting 205 50 16 tires to an 18" rim or 235 45 17 to a 19" rim. This reduces the chance of the tire rolling off the rim and enables the car to slide better.

The clutches on these cars tend to be very tough ceramic brass button or multiple plate varieties. Why? Well alot of drifters use their clutch to commence wheel spin and hence the slide by either using compression lock or a clutch dump at high revs.

Clutch-based techniques:

Clutch-kick drift - Approaching the turn, the driver holds in the clutch, increases rpm and downshifts. They then release the clutch, causing a power surge that makes the back wheels lose traction. This is a basic drifting technique.

Shift-lock drift - Approaching the turn, the driver downshifts and drops the rpm to slow down the drivetrain. They then release the clutch, causing the back wheels to immediately slow down and lock up so they lose traction.

Brake-based techniques:

E-brake drift - The driver enters the turn and pulls the emergency brake to lock the back wheels. She steers into the turn, and the back end swings out into a drift. This is a basic drifting technique.

Braking drift - The driver enters the turn and applies the brakes to push the car's weight to the front wheels, causing the back wheels to rise and lose traction. She then uses a combination of braking and shifting to hold the drift without the back wheels locking up.

Long-slide drift - On a long straightaway approaching a turn, at high speed (up to 100 mph / 161 kph), the driver pulls the emergency brake to initiate a long drift and maintains it into the turn.

Other techniques:

Power-over drift - The driver accelerates into and through the entire turn to make the back end swing out as the weight shifts on exit. This technique requires a lot of horsepower.

Feint drift - The driver steers the car to the outside of the turn on the approach, pushing the car's weight to outside wheels. She then quickly steers back into the turn. When the car's suspension kicks back, the weight shifts so quickly that the back end flicks out to initiate a drift.

Jump drift - Entering a turn, the driver bounces the inside rear tire over the inner curb to shift the car's weight to the outside wheels and induce traction loss, initiating a drift.

Dynamic drift (Kansei drift) - Entering a turn at high speed, the driver suddenly releases the gas pedal to shift the weight to the front wheels, initiating a drift as the rear tires lose traction.

Swaying drift - A swaying drift is a lot like a feint drift except that it begins on a long straightaway approach to a turn. Once the car starts drifting, the driver uses steering to maintain the drift in the form of a side-to-side swaying of the car's back end.

Dirt-drop drift - The driver drops the rear tires off the race course into the dirt. This technique helps initiate a drift, maintain speed to hold a drift through multiple turns or increase the drift angle.

When considering a good drifting car, you're basically looking for a rear-wheel drive, lightweight car. Other qualities that make a nice drifter include a high front-to-rear weight ratio, good horsepower and a light flywheel so the engine revs easier. Some of the more popular drifting cars include the Toyota Corolla AE86 GTS, the Nissan Silvia S13 or S14, the Nissan 180SX, the Nissan Skyline GTS-T, the Nissan Sil-Eighty and the Mazda RX-7 (Japanese cars tend to be lighter in the rear than others).

You'll actually find a pretty wide range of cars at drifting events, including European and American models. Most pros will tell you that with the right level of skill, you can make any car a drifter, and in addition to the common drift cars, you'll see everything from Ford Mustangs to BMWs at competitions.

I hope this helps anyone that was/is confused as to what drifting actually is.
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Last edited by steelo; 11-07-2006 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:50 PM
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thanx for the insight on drifting. but could you tell me how to drift an Xmod?
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:07 PM
steelo steelo is offline
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I don't have an X-mod sorry. Maybe someone else can could jump in here for that.

Read the priniciples and try to figure it out how you think it could be done. It is amazing how a little research can give you a ton of ideas.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:15 AM
steelo steelo is offline
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One of the biggest problems of trying to drift a scale vehicle is that the weight proportions are not scaled. A 2200 lb vehicle would have to weigh 34.375 lbs to accurately represent the vehicles weight in 1/64 scale. At this size it would be rediculous to expect the weight to be properly scaled.

So what we really need to figure out is how the weight is displaced across the vehicle when it's not in motion. This would give us an idea of where to add weight to a ZZSE to allow the proper weight displacement to control a drift.

Using this information I have been doing some serious thinking about how this can be done at ZZSE scale without serious modding.

Please keep in mind that this is all theory. I came into this game late so I don't have everything that would be needed to do extensive testing.

When you drift you are transfering the weight of the vehicle to the front wheels to provide more traction in the front and less traction in the rear. This isn't difficult with a 1:1 vehicle because the engine is usually (but not always the case) in the front of the vehicle.

If we can figure out what the amount of weight we need to add to the front of a ZZSE is to allow the proper amount of weight transfer we can use the following technique to control the drift.

Lift throttle, or Taking In - By closing the accelerator while cornering at very high speeds, cars with relatively neutral handling will begin to slide, simply from the weight transfer resulting from engine braking. The drift is controlled afterwards by steering inputs from the driver and light pedal work, similar to the Braking drift.

Now you will need extremely hard tires in the rear to allow the rear wheels to slide and extremely soft tires in the front to allow for more traction. You may even want to go the extra step of "Trueing" the rear tires so you will have little to no tread.

Depending on the amount of weight added to the front of the ZZSE we may need to stiffen the springs as well.

Some of my concerns are will drifting be possible without a limited slip differential? Is a ZZSE proportional enough to control a drift without a PCB swap? Since PCB swapping is a somewhat common mod around here this doesn't concern me as much.

A stock motor/gear setup should be perfect power/torque wise. Remember it's not how fast you can go when you drift. It's more about being able to start the drift and control it for as long as possible.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:19 PM
anticasper86 anticasper86 is offline
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do you still want to learn how to drift an xmod? im the guy to tell ya or drewdown

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Old 07-14-2007, 08:35 AM
McgJosh McgJosh is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7
Nice thread. I would love to see a video of a drifting zip zap se. The problem with weight transfer is, it doesn't really happen. There is no suspension in the back, so the back never really gets loaded, thus it never really unloads to the front allowing traction loss.

I think for real drifting at any scale you need full suspension. The zip zap does not have that.

You shouldn't worry about not having a limited slip differential because 1:1 drift cars sometimes use locked differentials, which is equivilant to what a zip zap has.
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