**FR Drift Guide** - By Boundary Layer and Swift [Updated March 27, 2006]

Discussion in 'GT4 Drifting' started by Boundary Layer, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium




    1. Introduction to Drifting in GT4
    by Boundary Layer

    Okay, lets step right into this. First off, it’s a misconception of a lot of new members that you need a wheel to be a good drifter. This is completely untrue. Some of the best drifters on GTP have been using a DS2. These include Droptop_Chick, Delphic Reason, Sheron, and Forced Induction among others. Though, this is also not to say that you can’t be a successful drifter on a DF, or DFP either. Ske is quite talented on the DF, and BreakerOhio and the members of Team FBI have DFP drifts down to an exact science – just watch any of them on xlink if you get a chance. The point of this paragraph is to say that while the game experience may be different depending on the controller you use, one controller does not offer any profound advantage over the other. Each has its own benefits and shortcomings.

    As you have most likely noticed, the physics engine in Gran Turismo 4 is drastically different from the one used to model events in GT3. It has been updated to feel far more realistic. As a result, understeering in the game has become far more pronounced and this has given many people the opinion that drifting is too difficult or simply isn’t possible. Lets us set the record straight and say that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Since the suspension and tire load modelling is now more realistic, though…. not perfect, it follows naturally that a greater understanding of the vehicles available grip and the forces at work is required.

    This seems as good a time as any to move to the next section.
    Funkshen and road kill like this.
  2. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    2. Drift Dynamics: Staying In Control
    by Boundary Layer

    I am a little uncertain about where this section should actually be placed in the guide. If anything here doesn’t immediately make sense, try reading the rest of the guide first [Drift Techniques in particular] and then come back to this section. Honestly though, I don’t expect people to have too many problems.

    The basic physics involved in both exhibition and racing drifting are quite similar, the primary difference being that exhibition drifts have a greater angle at reduced speed, and may take a slightly less practical line (in terms of a racing line). This section of the drift guide will explain what should be physically happening to the car during a drift. Preparing a car to drive in such a state, and methods of attaining this condition will be covered in later sections. To be a little more reader friendly, this section has been trimmed up and simplified considerably as compared to the first version that was posted in the original Drift Reference.

    Weight transfer. This is where drifting starts. In a nutshell, braking removes a portion of the load from the rear suspension and transfers it to the front. Acceleration does the opposite. Turning left or right shifts weight laterally and in a direction opposite the steering direction. By combining these actions [the effects are additive] it is possible to increase or decrease the grip available to any given tire on the car. As a simple example, turning hard left loads the suspension on the right. Pinning the gas will transfer load to the rear. Doing both at once in a properly setup car will at increase grip on the rear right tire.

    As you may have guessed, to help initiate a drift it is desirable to use weight transfer to increase the grip of the front tires while simultaneously reducing it at the rear. It is also helpful to load the inside front tire to make turning in to the corner easier. …I leave it to you to figure out how.

    When drifting, it is important that the drift angle of the car [and the associated rotation] be an appropriate match for the sharpness and length of the corner. This is controlled by both the steering and throttle input. In exhibition drifting, the aim is to find and hold an angle that will allow you to maintain your speed while rotating the car towards the exit of the corner. The higher this angle and the faster the speed, the more impressive the drift is.

    On sharp corners it is often possible to whip the car nearly perpendicular to the corner apex and just rely on momentum to carry you to the exit of the corner. On longer corners however, things become more difficult. If your drift angle is too large your car may either come to a sudden halt or spin-out. This has occurred because you were not steering into the drift enough [countersteering] and/or you were giving the car too much throttle. On the other hand, if you lose your drift angle mid corner or encounter violent snapback at the corner exit you may be required to countersteer less and/or apply more throttle.

    Good practice is to trace your path out with your steering, keep the front wheels pointed in the direction you wish to go. Use throttle modulation to maintain velocity and angle. The smoother you can perform all of your inputs, the smoother your drift will be. It is imperative that you not countersteer more than is necessary – GT4 is extremely sensitive to steering inputs. Too much countersteer will quickly destroy a drift.

    I may bulk up this section more in the future if people find it lacking description or have questions in this area.
  3. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    3. A Step Away from the Drift Forum
    by Boundary Layer

    Before continuing on in this guide and reading about creating your own drift settings from scratch, I might recommend that you head over to the settings and tuning forum to read through Scaff’s GT4 Suspension & Brake Tuning Guide.

    He has put a lot of effort into compiling this guide, so best read it over and take advantage of it. Being familiar with Scaff’s guide, and how individual setting modifications affect the behaviour of a car outside of drifting may help you to create a much more comfortable, much more versatile drift setup. I’ll try my best not to rehash a whole lot of Scaff’s work in this guide of mine except where it is crucial to creating a drift setup.
  4. Boundary Layer

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    4. A Short Note about Driver Aids
    by Boundary Layer

    “Drifting with ASM Understeer on is like riding a bike with training wheels” ~ Boundary Layer

    Seriously, it is. The driving aids are there to allow the game to look after car balance and excess wheelspin for you. With them on your only job is to steer and accelerate, no consideration needs to be given to weight transfer and momentum. Using any driving aids in your drift setup greatly takes away from the overall gaming and drifting experience in my opinion.

    I have always viewed their use as allowing the game to do my work for me, they have the ability to take a sim game with a great physics model and dumb it down to the point of being an arcade racer. I guarantee none of the top drifters on this forum use any of the aids, they have learned exceptional car control without them.

    If you’re looking for a greater appreciation or understanding of the game physics, car setup and control, and/or weight transfer then their use will only impede your progress. TURN OFF THE AIDS, you will become a better drifter for doing so. If you choose to leave them on, well that’s your choice, but know that you would be building skill and learning technique faster without them.
  5. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    5. Settings and Tuning
    by Boundary Layer

    The general accepted definition of drifting is controlling a car in a state of oversteer which has been purposely created by the driver. To maintain control, consideration must be given to the loads imposed on each tire as you travel through a turn. The more excess stress you can remove from the front tires and place on the rear tires with settings, the better.

    In this section I will explain how car settings (suspension setup in particular) can be beneficial in creating and controlling your drifts in GT4. The types of handling changes you can expect to experience by altering a particular setting will be outlined.

    Some of the settings suggested here may not accurately reflect the types of settings that would be applied to a drift car in real life. Afterall, this is a guide for a video game, so you will find reference material for the videogame.

    I ask you to understand that just because I write one thing does not mean that something else cannot be happening in your setup. It is the combination of all your settings that will determine your car’s attitude – it is entirely possible that changing one setting may result in an unexpected change in handling due to some interaction with another portion of your setup.
    Ex. You reduce spring rate and ride height expecting an increase in grip, only to find that you have bottomed out your car.
    So please keep and open mind, assume nothing, do not be afraid to experiment outside of the beaten path, and record observations if necessary.

    Finally, please realize that the settings suggested here are simply guidelines meant to offer somewhere to begin tuning from. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible, but you should still expect a little personal bias. Some of this section is intentionally left a bit on the vague side to make it as far reaching and all-encompassing as possible. But to create a guide that is accurate for all cars is a task simply too large and extensive to be considered practical. Different cars, and also different drivers, will require different settings. Everyone has their own theories on the right way to tune a car.

    “If your drift settings do not complement your drifting technique you will never be drifting to the best of your ability” ~ Boundary Layer (and others)

    Okay, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Shut-up with all the disclaimers BL and just tell me how to tune my car!!!’ Fine, here it comes.


    A. Power Modifications:

    This is all highly subject to the vehicles weight, and are just general guidelines:
    For rear drive cars of around 1100 to 1300kg, up to 300hp is normally adequate for drifting - certainly no more than 350 is required (but more may still be used). Lighter vehicles can often do with 150-250hp. An appropriate power level is more difficult to find for heavier vehicles as they usually come with quite torquey engines.

    Of course there are those people who enjoy drifting cars with more power than designated here, just as there are those that enjoy stock power. It’s all dependent upon the individual.

    It’s worth noting that with some cars it is possible to install different upgrades resulting in the same power figure, but different torque figure. Torque is valued in GT4 drifting as it is ultimately what will keep your wheels turning as a drift slows you down. If you do come across such a situation, I suggest you take the extra torque.

    B. Tire Choice:

    It is rare on FR cars in GT4 to require the use of different tire compounds on the front and rear to get them to drift.

    • Slipperier tires require less effort to generate slip (duh), but may be more difficult to control
    • Grippier tires will require more drastic weight transfer and/or more power to initiate and maintain a drift.
    • Grippier tires are more likely to cause snapback when exiting a drift.
    N type tires, either N1, N2, or N3 depending on personal preference and the vehicle’s power. N2’s seem to be the norm.
    Same compound front and rear.​
    Other Notes:
    S type tires do not seem to fit well in drifting, they behave….oddly, as if their vertical and horizontal grip are not in proper proportion to one another.
    Only in the most extreme circumstances is staggering tires necessary on FR’s (something like the ’05 Mustang GT).

    C. Suspension Settings:

    It is recommended that you purchase either racing or original suspension if you plan to tune your suspension for drifting.

    i. Spring Rates:

    As you may have read in Scaff’s guide, spring rates directly influence how the car reacts to weight transfer. To a large degree they determine where the car’s mass is supported under neutral loading, and where it will ‘travel’ if you were to turn or brake. A general rule to keep in mind is that the stiffer you make one end of a car, the less grip will be available there (of course there are exceptions made for extreme settings, but that is not for this guide to cover).

    Stiffened front spring rate (relative to previous setting)
    • More responsive turn in. You can throw the car into the corner more aggressively.
    • Less mechanical grip may result in understeer at mid-corner (don’t necessarily view this as bad from a drifting point of view!).
    • Overstiffening can cause loss of contact with the road through bumps, etc.
    • May indirectly amplify the effects of snapback at corner exit.
    Softened front spring rate (relative to previous setting)
    • Greater front end stability at corner entry and exit.
    • Steering response is more sluggish
    • More mechanical grip, less understeer.
    Stiffened rear spring rate (relative to previous setting)
    • Easier to maintain a drift (greater oversteer mid-corner) as long as power exists to keep speed and wheelspin up. The vehicle’s rotation is more easily controlled by the throttle.
    • Less prone to snapback at corner exit.
    • Overstiffening can cause loss of contact with the road through bumps, etc.
    Softened rear spring rate (relative to previous setting)
    • Corner entry may become difficult if set overly soft.
    • Violent weight transition at rear of vehicle can be a partial cause of snapback exiting a drift.
    • More difficult to initiate drift due to increased mechanical grip (more understeer). In particular, there is less willingness to power over.
    Because these settings are dependent upon the mass and ride height of the vehicle, it is hard to set any acceptable range for it. Generally you should go by feel and tune until you have created a desirable balance. Don’t immediately go for maximum front end grip, and minimal rear end grip. A slight tendency to understeer is often helpful for maintaining control during a drift.​
    Other notes:
    I do not think it is correct to compare front and rear spring rates to each other to use as a factor in describing a car’s behaviour. Typically, the spring rates will be higher where the car is heaviest. For most FR machines, you will find they come with higher front spring rates. Instead, I would suggest it is more valid to compare the spring rates at each end of the car relative to their initial settings (or a previously observed setting), and by that guage how much oversteer or understeer you have created.
    ex) A 2004 S2000 with Racing suspension equipped has default front and rear spring rates of 6.4 and 5.8 kgf/mm respectively. This does not indicate that the car will have a preference to understeer. In fact, I find the car has a slight tendency to oversteer when driven into a corner at a reasonable pace.

    ii. Ride Height:

    Ride height is essentially the distance the car is held above the road surface by the suspension. This setting directly affects the amount of available suspension travel and how much weight is transferred under accelerations and cornering.

    Effects of lowering:
    • Less weight transferred under acceleration and cornering maneuvers –increased grip.
    • More responsive steering, greater agility.
    • Let’s face it, aesthetics do count for something here. A lower stance just plain looks better.
    Effects of raising:
    • Simply the inverse of the above.
    • Can accommodate softer springs/dampers/stabilizers allowing for greater body pitch and roll.
    • Greater weight transfer due to higher COG – reduced grip.
    • Less nimble, decrease in steering responsiveness.
    • Looks hideous :sly:
    Leave at least 5 to 10mm above the minimum possible setting allowing for some suspension travel and a reduced tendency to bottom out the car. It may be necessary to adjust this setting from track to track to account for elevation changes and/or the amount of grip available.
    Other notes:
    Adjusting the ride height is a relatively cheap and effective way to adjust the car’s over/understeer balance. Setting the rear of the car slightly higher than the front will result in a greater tendency to oversteer. For cars that do not oversteer easily and rely upon extreme methods of weight transfer, lowering it may make initiating drift more difficult.

    iii. Dampers/Shocks:

    Damper tuning affects the drift entry and exit the most. They're pretty tough to tune while you're drifting though. Scaff’s guide paints a good picture of the effects of changing damper settings.

    Don't tune your dampers with drifting being top priority. Instead, tune for consistent road contact over curbs/undulations etc. This will help you maintain control of the car if you do set the tires on the rumble strips during a drift. Also, try to remove any pitching/oscillations from the car here, if possible.
    For light FR cars of maybe 1000 to 1200kg, damper bounds of 4 or 5 usually work pretty good. Test it by running over curbs and feeling for loss of contact/control.
    After setting the front and rear bound, adjust the corresponding rebound to be 1 or 2 ticks higher than the bound setting.
    If your car understeers off-throttle, sometimes it can be helpful to increase rear rebound to assist lift-off.​

    Other Notes:
    It is customary to have lower bound settings than rebound settings. The soft bound will ensure contact is maintained contact during the initial impact to the suspension, while the stiffer rebound will dissipate the impact energy quickly thereby limiting oscillations.​

    iv. Camber Angle:

    Camber angle in GT4 is the degree to which the top of a tire is tilted inwards towards the car relative to a perfectly vertical position (all camber in GT4 is what is called negative camber in real life).

    • Increasing camber angle improves grip mid-corner/mid-drift. (only to a point).
    • Too much camber decreases grip by reducing the area of the contact patch – please avoid using this as a cheap method of creating oversteer.
    • Increasing front camber may make it easier to initiate drift by feint/dynamic type entries.
    It is typical to use some camber in the front (1.5 to 3.0) to improve front end grip during a drift.
    In the rear, less camber (if any) should be used. If you do add camber to the rear, please do so to REDUCE oversteer, not to create it.
    Few cars benefit from camber angles greater than 3.0. I’m yet to find one that benefits from anything greater than 4.0.
    Other Notes:
    As I’ve mentioned a few times already, there is such thing as too much camber. The precise value changes from car to car (and as you change the ride height, etc), but it is possible to reach a point where the tires remain in negative camber throughout the duration of a corner. This is undesirable and can make for car that is difficult to control (even from a drifting perspective).
    History lesson – when drifting was in its infancy, Japanese drifters used to use oni-kyan ("demon camber") to make it easier to maintain wheelspin in low power vehicles. I don't recommend that in GT4 though, there are better ways to create oversteer than this – ways that will still allow for the car to be driven normally if so chosen.

    v. Toe Angle:

    Toe is the degree to which tires on the same axle point inwards toward each other, or outwards away from each other as they roll forwards. In GT4 positive toe is toe in and negative toe is toe out. (this according to sucahyo’s findings on a PC emulator).

    • Front toe in (+) creates understeer at corner entry and can reduce the effectiveness of countersteering because the outside loaded tire will be pointed inwards towards the corner slightly, and not into the drift. Straight line stability is improved (whoopee….).
    • Front toe out (-) makes the car more sensitive to minute steering adjustments. Turn in response is improved, but the car as a whole becomes less stable. Countersteering is improved because the outside loaded tire is pointed slightly into the drift.
    • Rear toe in (+) causes an increase in understeer at corner entry, improves straight line stability. May improve corner exits slightly with proper LSD settings.
    • Rear toe out (-) causes a rather dramatic increase in oversteer and destabilizes the car substantially. The car may want to wander at corner exit with this setting.
    In GT4, the effects of rear toe are more apparent when drifting than changes to front toe. Toe out (-) front and rear is the most useful for drifters. But unless you are using it to correct extremely uncooperative cars or extreme handling characteristics it’s recommended that toe be left at 0 front and rear.

    vi. Stabilizers:

    Stabilizers effectively tie the right side of the car’s suspension to the left. They control to a significant degree the amount of body roll and rate of lateral weight transfer experienced.

    The effects on over/understeer balance of stiffening or softening the stabilizers are quite similar (note – not identical) to the effects of changing spring rates. The effects are most noticeable mid corner where the action of dampers is minimal.

    Stiffened Front (higher numerical value)
    • More understeer
    • Snappier steering, quicker response.
    • Less body roll.
    Softened Front (lower numerical value)
    • More mechanical grip, therefore, more oversteer
    • Less responsive steering
    • Greater body roll and more violent lateral front end weight transfer exiting a corner
    Stiffened Rear (higher numerical value)
    • More oversteer
    • Quick turn-in.
    • Less body roll.
    • Decreased tendency to snapback at corner exit due to increased rear stability (lateral weight transfer is less violent)
    Softened Rear (lower numerical value)
    • More mechanical grip, therefore, more understeer
    • Car may take on a slightly sluggish feeling through successive corners
    • Greater body roll and more violent lateral rear end weight transfer can lead to severe snapback if steering work is untidy
    I’d suggest avoiding the use of the upper and lower extreme values for this setting, as the use of those settings can often cause unexpected and undesirable handling traits. Setting the stabilizers too soft can cause you to bottom out the suspension under heavy lateral loads. This will result in an unexpected loss of traction. At the other end of the spectrum, a setting that is too stiff will partially impart vibrations felt by one side of the car onto the other side.

    If you do choose to use extreme settings here, take into careful consideration the interaction stabilizers have with other aspects of the suspension. Otherwise, just go by feel to create a desirable car balance and maybe make an effort control any snapback that is apparent.

    D. Brake Balance Settings:

    Quoting Scaff, “The Brake Balance Controller allows both the level of braking force and the ratio of front to rear braking to be controlled.”

    For example, a front setting of 3 and a rear setting of 3 applies even braking pressure front and rear. A setting of 6 – 6 also applies pressure evenly front and rear, but the amount of pressure is now doubled. Scaff goes into far greater detail in his GT4 Suspension & Brake Tuning Guide, so if interested please follow that link. But for those solely interested in drifting, this bit of knowledge is enough for us to work with.

    The aim here is to create a setup that allows us to cause the rear tires to slip by applying the brakes while the car is experiencing some lateral weight transfer. This differs slightly from pulling the e-brake because it does not necessarily lockup the rear tires, and will not kill your engine revs if done while the gas is not being applied.

    • A high front setting reduces the grip available for steering work, so maneuverability suffers and understeer may result.
    • A low front setting leaves more grip available for steering during braking maneuvers. This is conducive to oversteering, and a desirable trait as a drifter.
    • A high rear setting reduces the grip available at the rear tires to resist lateral forces. A proper setting [from a drifter’s viewpoint] permits slip to be created by applying the brakes.
    • A low rear setting leaves a large amount of grip available to the rear tires during braking thus severely impairing the vehicle’s ability to execute braking drifts.
    A low front setting and a high rear setting. [I quite often use 2-9 or 3-11, etc] Such a setting keeps the front end free to look after the steering, and loosens up the rear under braking. Because we [drifters] typically use slippery N type tires, I’d advise against anything higher than a setting of about 5 in the front. Quickly experimenting with a few values should allow you to find a comfortable setting.
    Contrary to common belief, the amount of forward weight transfer that occurs during deceleration has nothing to do with the front-rear brake balance and everything to do with the magnitude of the deceleration. [no worries, I’m not going to pull out any dynamics equations, just trust me on this] That is, greater braking force means greater forward weight transfer. So, forward weight transfer will be increased by boosting either of the front or rear brake balance settings.

    However (and this is important!), since we are severely limited in the amount of forward weight transfer we can create by the low adhesion of our tires, it is best not to pursue thoughts of increasing weight transfer by adjusting brake balance. Any advantage gained will be largely outweighed by the disadvantageous loss of steering response that will occur. The braking force of a sliding tire is less than that of a tire on the threshold of grip [coefficient of static friction > coefficient of kinetic friction].

    E. Limited Slip Differential Settings:

    It is recommended that a Full-Customize LSD be purchased, although it is still quite possible to drift on other options.

    LSD settings will make or break an otherwise good drift setup. Take your time here and make meaningful observations on several types of corners. I personally like to use TM and GVS for tuning LSD’s for the wide variety of corner radii and entry speeds available there.

    i. Initial Torque:

    Quoting rsmithdrift, “This setting determines the responsiveness of the LSD's application. A higher setting means more responsive and tighter at rest. (at rest meaning when no accel or decel force is being applied)”

    • A higher setting (relative to a prior one) will make the car less maneuverable when no slip or wheelspin is present and increases understeer. Conversely, during a drift a higher setting allows more throttle control over the vehicle’s rotation.
    • A high setting reduces the influence of the LSD Decel and Accel settings on the vehicle’s behaviour.
    A moderate setting of 10 to 20 is not uncommon and normally works quite well. I have gone as high as 30 or 35 on cars that are extremely loose handling [ie. Amuse S2000 Street Version] - but I reserve such a setting a setting for rare circumstances.

    ii. Limited-slip Acceleration:

    • A high setting allows for drifts to be controlled more easily by the throttle. During a drift the rear of the car should feel a little bit more solid, or connected [that's the best I can describe it]. But when no slip is present the car may take on a tendency to understeer.
    • Too high of a setting may make the car quite prone to spinning once slip is initiated when the gas is applied heavily. It may also make it difficult to exit a corner without the rear end trying to snake on you (note: different than snapback)
    • Drifts may be cut short by higher settings if the car does not have the power essential for spinning both tires at its current drift angle. High powered cars will likely not notice this difficulty
    • A lower setting takes some throttle control away from the drift. The car will drift towards the outside of the track a little more. While no slip is present there is less tendency for the car to understeer.
    • A setting that is too low permits the outside tire to regain grip while you roast the inside rear tire. This leads to those pesky ‘super-stalling drifts’ (particularly on hairpins).
    While drifting you want both rear wheels to be spinning. A proper accel setting will accomplish this during the drift, but you should also tweak it to find a balance that lets you exit corners effectively. A setting that is too tight (large number) might lock while you’re looking to drive out of the corner – you might start weaving to try and get the back end in line. Conversely, a low setting may leave you stranded at the corner exit spinning one tire and doing nothing with the other.

    A balanced setting will be determined by considering you tire choice, power, and initial torque settings. Settings ranging from 20 to 45 or so are not uncommon. As of just recently I’ve been gravitating slightly more towards values in the mid to high 30’s for cars in the 275-350hp range on N2’s.

    iii. Limited-slip Decel:

    • A lower setting allows a greater speed differential between left and right tires during engine braking & deceleration. This makes for a more maneuverable car and a decrease in understeer at corner entry.
    • A higher setting does exactly the inverse.
    • A setting that is too high will create excessive understeer at corner entry and seems to contribute to snapback exiting a drift.
    Low settings from 5 to 20 (rarely higher than 30) are the most useful for drifters. Long graceful corner entries become possible and it makes initiating drift by either the lift-off or braking technique much easier.

    F. Weight Reductions:

    Reducing the mass of your vehicle will make it more maneuverable, accelerate faster, and stop quicker. All of this is desirable from a drifting standpoint. The lighter you can make your car the easier it will be to control.

    Stage 3 Weight Reduction.

    G. Ballast:

    The ability to add additional weight to cars is more useful in MR applications, but for the sake of completeness I will say a few words here:

    • Moving the bias slider farther left (-) adds the specified ballast weight to the front of the vehicle. This usually results in more understeer [note: there are exceptional cases where it does not].
    • Likewise, moving the bias slider farther right (+) results in greater oversteer.
    • The amount of over/understeer created depends on how much additional weight is added, as well as the bias setting.
    Avoid adding ballast to FR cars when at all possible, additional weight decreases the car’s responsiveness. This should be used as a last resort option to correct a car’s ill-handling.
    If you do use it, add weight to either the +50 or -50 location. This will permit the largest possible change in balance with the least possible weight added.
  6. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    6. An Example Setup
    by Boundary Layer

    In this section I’m going to go through my own thought process and tuning methods when I create a drifting setup. Because this is meant as a bit of a beginner crash course through drifting in GT4 I’ve tried to make this car friendly towards new drifters, but without sacrificing any drifting performance. I wanted to make sure that anyone could come by and pick up this car and then be able to practice any of the basic methods of initiating drift with it. The car is a 2004 Honda S2000, and I was using a Logitech Driving Force Pro as my controller.

    ’04 Honda S2000 – 35 000 Cr. From Honda Dealership

    I immediately purchased N2 Tires [my personal preference], and performed Stage 3 weight reduction (1250kg ->1062kg) so the car will be easier to control in the corners. If it were necessary I would do a chassis refresh before performing the weight reductions.
    Oil Change at GT Auto -> 259 hp
    For good looks, I bought BBS 018 rims

    Other parts installed:
    • Brake Controller
    • Port & Polish (to 267hp from 259)
    • Engine Balancing (to 276hp from 267)
    • Racing Chip (to 286hp from 276)
    • Racing Exhaust (to 300hp from 286)
    • Triple Clutch, Racing Flywheel, Fully Customizable LSD, Carbon Driveshaft
    • Racing Suspension
    I thought 300hp would be a nice round number to aim for with this car [I’m surprised I could hit it exactly]. I like the extra little punch this amount of power gives. Some people might look at it is slightly overpowered for the mass of this car, and I’d probably agree a little bit. But I don’t think it has entered the realm of the unreasonable. I didn’t jump to a turbo to generate power with this car. The route I took (P&P and Balancing) is pricey, but I like how it delivers power. Combine that with a racing flywheel and you have great throttle response.

    I did not install racing brakes, N2 tires are not grippy enough to put them to good use. I chose not to install a Fully Customizable Transmission either, but I’ll leave it open as an option to people that would like to put one on.

    Time to go for a drive!

    I went to Grand Valley Speedway to create my setup. It is a great track for testing performance through a variety of different types of corners. Short of going to Nurburgring, it’s hard to find the same kind of variety at any other track in the game.

    Test drive at GVS
    First step: Turn off all Driver Aids.

    I did 6 laps to gain an understanding of my starting point and what I might want to touch up in the future. The rear of the car steps out pretty well. The dampers are set too stiff for me – the car is a little jumpy over curbs and has a pretty heavy steering feel.

    Ride Height:
    I reduced the ride height to: 98mm (from 115) front and rear. I came to this value because it should leave the suspension with sufficient stroke (still more than 10mm above the minimum ride height), and the tires still fit in the fenders.
    Spring Rates:
    Default settings are 6.4kgf/mm front, and 5.8kgf/mm rear.

    Earlier I reduced the vehicle’s weight by 15.04% (calculated by 1 – 1062 / 1250).
    So I’ll decrease the spring rates proportionally. But, I’ve also reduced the ride height 14.78%, so I’ll increase the spring rates a proportional amount. As a precaution against running out of suspension travel, I’ll bump up the spring rates by 0.1kgf/mm after these two adjustments.

    Front: (6.4kgf/mm)(1062 / 1250)(2 – 98 / 115) +0.1kgf/mm = 6.341 ~ 6.4kgf/mm [always round up]
    So, I guess I’ll leave the spring rate at 6.4kgf/m [funny…]
    It’s the same story at the rear of the car. I leave the rear spring rate at 5.8kgf/mm

    [note: I know that math isn’t for everyone, I really only do it for my own peace of mind. If you would rather adjust your spring rates purely based on feel, that will work too. I end up having to do that in my next step anyways]

    I now assume 6.4 and 5.8 to be my minimum allowable spring rates. While it’s true that I might be able to go slightly softer than this without running out of suspension travel, finding the exact minimum safe value is not terribly important.

    I run a few laps to observe the effects of my changes [the ride height is all that has really changed so far]. I note that the S2000 is much more nimble, and it is still easy to kick the tail out. It still feels a little too tight running over curbs – I’ll have to adjust the dampers momentarily. I dislike how eagerly the regains grip coming off of a drift. The resulting snapback is controllable, but I’d rather it not be an issue whatsoever.

    To combat this I’m first going to reduce the rear camber to 0.0 (from 1.0). Next I’m going to increase the rear spring rates until I find the exits a little easier to stretch out and control. Both of those steps reduce the mechanical grip of the rear tires. I may have to increase the front spring rates as well in order to maintain a comfortable balance between oversteer and understeer.

    After a few test runs, I found the car to have a very good balance and forgiving nature at spring rates of 7.4kgf/mm in the front and 7.0kgf/mm in the rear (from 6.4 - 5.8). The slightly stiffer springs do a much better job of managing the weight transfer as it takes place, so snapback has been reduced. Also, controlling the car under braking was much easier due to this despite the decreased mechanical grip. The improved agility and steering response enables me to drive the car more aggressively into corners.
    As I made mention of earlier, the damper settings were still feeling a little stiff for my own tastes. In particular I did not like how tight and jumpy the car felt when it hit curbs.

    It took 4 test runs and with a little trial and error made the following changes to my setup:
    • Reduced bound to 5 (from 8) front and rear
    • Reduced front rebound to 7 (from 8).
    • I left the rear rebound at 8 – for me, this allows drifts to be initiated a little easier by the lift-off and braking methods,
    I was happy with the camber setup, which is 2.0 – 0.0. Recall I reduced the rear camber earlier when I was working on the spring rates to make corner exits a little easier.
    I’m leaving the front camber at 2.0 at GVS. It is a setting that I would most likely change if I took this car to other courses. Once you have ‘finalized’ a setup, minor front camber adjustments are a cheap and easy way to adapt that setup to other courses. It affects both the steering sensitivity and over/understeer balance of the car.
    The car is drifting well, so there is no reason to adjust these settings. Toe is left at 0 in the front and rear.
    Because this car is not struggling AT ALL with sluggish handling I set the front stabilizer to 3 (from 4). Destabilizing the front end indirectly reduces the effects of snapback by making the rear feel more stable. By this point in my setup the snapback is not anything to complain about anyways - but if I can further reduce it without feeling compromised by the negative effects of a lower front stabilizer then there’s no reason for me not to do it. This improvement comes very cheaply, in this case.
    LSD settings:
    Initial Torque left at 10. While the following statement may not be entirely true, I’ve always felt that the initial torque setting is a little redundant for us drifters. You can fine tune the car’s behaviour much more easily by leaving the initial torque setting low, and adjusting the Accel and Decel settings.

    I reduced the LSD Decel setting to 18 (from 20) to improve the S2000’s lift-off and braking entries. In general, turn-in also improves. I did some laps on lower settings, but found anything below about 12 or 13 to be too loose for my own tastes (but it may suit others). I think 18 is a reasonable setting that will allow for a wide range of people to comfortably drift this car.

    An LSD Accel setting of 40 hasn’t been treating me badly so far during my tuning. I feel as if I could go a little tighter to suck the car to the bottom of the corner a little better and give me more throttle control. I made a few runs testing out different settings and I found an LSD Accel setting of 43 to be a little more agreeable than 40, but the difference in not that large. This is one of those settings that will get changed from track to track to account for changing levels of grip.
    [if this setting is too tight for people, the car loosens up considerably at settings of around 37 and below]
    Brake Balance:
    I used a balance of 2-9. This is one that I use quite often (along with 3-11), and it seemed to fit well on this car. It provides adequate braking force, while leaving the front wheels available to steer. Initiating drifts by the braking method is improved.
    The car is drifting well and has a 50/50 static weight distribution. No ballast is necessary.

    Final Settings and Mods:

    • Oil Change, Racing Exhaust, Port & Polish, Engine Balancing, Racing Chip (= 300hp)
    • Brake Balance Controller
    • Triple Plate Clutch, Racing Flywheel, Fully Customizable LSD, Carbon Driveshaft (Fully Customizable Transmission optional)
    • Racing Suspension
    • N2 Tires
    • Stage 3 Weight Reduction and Chassis Refresh (if required)
    Brake Balance: 2-9

    • Spring Rates: 7.4kgf/mm – 7.0kgf/mm
    • Ride Height: 98mm – 98mm
    • Damper Bound: 5 – 5
    • Damper Rebound 7 – 8
    • Camber Angle: 2.0* – 0.0
    • Toe: 0 – 0
    • Stabilizers: 3 – 4
    Driver Aids: 0 – 0 – 0

    Limited Slip Differential
    • Initial Torque: 10
    • LSD Acceleration: 43*
    • LSD Deceleration: 18
    [NOTE: * indicates settings that I would most likely change if I were to take this car to courses other than Grand Valley Speedway]

    I covered 125km at Grand Valley Speedway while creating these settings. If I weren’t doing a bunch of typing at the same time it might have taken between 45 mins to 1 hour to do. The S2000 is a pretty agreeable car from a drifting standpoint, so everything went very smoothly and I only had to adjust everything once. A more difficult car with a greater tendency to understeer might take me upwards of 2 hours to setup if I’m serious about it. In cases like those it’s much more likely that I’ll frequently have to go back and readjust settings that I had previously set.

    I feel this S2000 setup is quite beginner friendly, and a great car to learn from. The snapback is quite mild - I know this is something many new drifters have difficulty coping with, so I purposely focused a lot of attention to it in this build. The car is capable of performing all the basic methods of initiating drifts and it has more than enough power to take on all types of corners. If I can get it through the long tunnel at GVS, then so can you – actually, these settings drift that tunnel quite easily.

    I hope you enjoy these settings. Feel free to modify them in any ways to better fit your own tastes.
    FuzzyDogSlayer likes this.
  7. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    7. Drifting Techniques
    By Swift

    We decided to put the techniques section after the weight transfer section because techniques are used to transfer weight. So having an understanding of weight transfer will help you to better understand how to apply different techniques.

    Let’s list some techniques. Remember this is a reference, not a guide. For more detailed explainations, PM us or. There’s no standard rule or one technique that is more “correct” then the other. Except for the ebrake! 

    • Techniques – with video examples

    o Power over - Power over example
    - Using the pure power (torque) of the engine to get the rear tires spinning so the rear end slides out.
    • What we’re talking about here is literally mashing the throttle to make the wheels spin. Of course, this technique can easily backfire. If your car doesn’t have the correct attitude when you start hitting the gas, a spin can quickly ensue.

    o Braking - Braking Drift example
    - Using the brakes, usually very hard braking, to shift the weight off the rear tires and allow them to loose traction. This technique is usually followed by a slight turn-in to get the rear end out.
    • Now with braking drifts, it’s not just a switch or pedal mashing technique. It takes timing, practice and understanding of weight shifting to utilize this technique correctly.

    o Lift-off - Lift Off example
    - The simplest technique. Simply let off the throttle while turning and it the rear end will come out.
    • This technique also has some hidden challenges that don’t seem to come out at first. Mostly because this can start a wild fishtailing party with a fun end in the grass. This technique while simple and useful needs to be approached with aggression, but cautious aggression.

    o Feint - Feint Drift example
    - By turning to the opposite side of the corner. ie; turn left before going into a right corner. This will upset the rear traction and get the rear end sliding out.
    • The easiest of all techniques to accomplish, the hardest of all to master. When feinting, it is of extreme importance to have precise control over your car. No wild steering or mashing throttle and brakes. The control of a feint needs to be fluid if it is to succeed in a nice drift.

    o e-brake (ew) - E-Brake Drift example
    - Last resort! Just kidding. In AWD, ebrake has very viable uses. Also in FR and MR it can be used with precision to extend a drift. However, initiating a drift in a FR/MR car with the ebrake is completely unnecessary as other techniques are more effective and look much better.

    Now let's talk about mid-drift technique and exiting a corner.

    Ok, you’ve gotten the car sideways, now what? There are two forms of input that you have that are joined at the hip. Throttle and Countersteer. Brakes are important as well. But to be honest, a lot of turns can be drifted with just the throttle and steering. These two are directly related and vital to have a smooth, CONTROLLED, high(or low) angle drift. Once your car is sideways use the throttle to keep the tires spinning and control your line, while the countersteer is controlling your angle. That’s a very generalized description, but that’s pretty much what’s going on. If you get too much or not enough of one, you will do one of two things, spin or exit the drift in that wonderful snap understeer fashion.

    There are two things that separate AWD from FR/MR drifting. The Zero countersteer technique and your line. Since this is a FR reference, I’ll just talk about Zero countersteer very quickly. Let me say this, zero countersteer FR/MR drifting is POINTLESS. Not to mention really boring to watch. So don’t waste your time doing it unless you’re trying to drift for speed, OK?

    Now on to the exit…to exit a drift smoothly, takes the same thing it does to enter it smoothly. Start to dial out of countersteer and modulate the throttle accordingly. This will help the front tires regain some traction. Now, if you upshift, this will help the rear wheels to stop spinning since the higher gear will have less torque at your current speed. You can also use delicate throttle control to accomplish the same thing. Either way is fine, pick the one that works best for you.

    I've seen many drifters exit a corner with a fish tale. This is due to trying to power-out of the drift or over compensate for your angle. For instance, you come off the first corner of Deep Forest(not the easiest corner to drift ;) ) and everything is looking good. However when you come to the exit you realize that you're still at too much angle. So you over compensate and whip the car back around to get things "straight" again. This is understandable but uneeded. Just use the same technique you would if you were coming out perfectly. Of course, if you're about to go off the track do what you can to stay on! :) But in general there is nothing horribly wrong with having a nice high angle exit as long as it's free of the wonderful fish tail. :sly:
    Funkshen likes this.
  8. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    8. Common Drifting Questions and Difficulties: A Troubleshooting Section for New Drifters
    by Boundary Layer

    This section has not been wrote yet - this is just to fill the void.

    It seems the most common difficulty for new drifters is the snapback. Here is a thread discussing that issue:
    How do I fix snap understeer? - Tips on getting rid of "snap back" while drifting
    Much of the information in that thread is pulled directly from this one, but there have been additions made by other members in the discussion.

    For other questions please consult the *LOOK HERE* Everything Drift FAQ - Competitions, Videos, & More. Updated 2/28/2006
  9. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    9. Practice makes perfect.
    By Swift

    - Practice is the most important factor of drifting or any form of motorsport for that matter. It doesn’t take an incredibly talented person to be a good drifter in GT4. Nor do you have to be a technical guru and understand all the details about each techique and how the physics of weight transfer work. It takes someone with some dedication to practicing the techniques until they become second nature.

    “New drifters tend to want to become ‘Takumi’ over night.” ~ Swift
    This isn't going to happen. So don't expect it and don't become frustrated when just beginning.

    - All that needs to happen is practice on a regular basis. Once you find a car with settings you like, don't switch up all the time, especially to different drivetrains, that will really mess with your head. Stick with that car until you're satisfied with the drifting that you're able to do. There's nothing more annoying then being able to drift "OK" with 10 different cars. How about just having 2 or 3 that you're excellent at drifting with. Trust me, it's more rewarding in the end.

    - The track that you drift really does not matter. Some people like city tracks because of the walls and it helps to keep from spinning after a bad drift. Others like the open tracks that have a bit more freedom. As long as you're not tring to learn on Cote d'Azur or other very tirght track you should be just fine. Check out the Favorite Drift Track thread to see what other members like to drift.

    - You want an exact number? OK. Practice everyday, 1 to 2 hours a day, for two months and you'll be an above average drifter. That's a promise. But don't come back to me if you've been skipping days and you're still not as good as you'd like.. ;)
  10. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    10. Conclusion
    By Swift

    We hope this thread has proven helpful. We believe the information we have put together here will serve as a good starting point for new drifters to branch outwards from. I'll just reiterate a few things.

    1. You will NOT be a good drifter overnight
    2. You do NOT need a wheel to be a good drifter
    3. Just because a car isn't super powerful doesn't mean it can't drift.
    4. Drifting is for FUN! :D
    5. Practice is the BEST way to get better. Not new settings, explainations, etc.

    Feel free to PM either of us with questions or comments.

    Best of luck drifters.

    Swift and Boundary Layer
  11. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    Update March 27th. Techniques and settings updated and simplified.
  12. N35QU1K


    Excellent guide :tup: I'll probably refer to this guide as I work on a full drift lap on the Nurb... I've almost got it!!!
  13. Pegausus


    See see see **jumping with excitement**

    lol. :p

    By the way, I still can't find an S2000 with an year of 2004. Propably its just my version of the game (PAL). Can anyone having PAL confirm this?
  14. Pegausus


    I have already been through the "redlining makes your HP go down" threads. All I want to ask is that I just got the hang of drifting, with Swift's terribly wonderful (is that a good adjective...?) guide, with my S2000 '03 as Swift advised in the guide, and now, due to a lot of manual shifting in the drifting practices at Grand valley, I have my car's HP, check this out, from 300 to 282 BHP. Now I even tried to change oil, but it won't do the trick. I guess this change is permanent. Doesn't bother me much though, if only it stays there. I wonder how good my drifts would look with an added 18 HP (to bring back to 300)...

    Pegausus..... completely out now!

    P.S: Sorry for double-posting


    I kept practicing, but it won't go lower than 282 BHP, I guess its going to stay there now.
  15. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    That sounds like "break in" to me. But, I have been wrong before :dopey:
  16. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    *dusts off keyboard*


    There used to be a real good thread showing each stage the car goes through in it's break-in/wear-out cycle (or maybe I'm remembering this from the GT3 boards). Anyways, that's what it is. No need to worry though, the S2k is still competent at < 300hp.
  17. abacacus


    this is a nice guide man, its what got me started on the basics after i learned about drifting on a different site.
  18. karate_crimson


    Thats good!
  19. socomplayer2


    United States
    quite informative + rep
  20. Tangled Web

    Tangled Web

    This is a great guide, it should be published into a book. You know it fly off the shelves. :)
  21. HollyWood6886


    i dont have a steering wheel does that matter, and im new to GT4 drifting. How do I keep the car from snapping back around and then spinning out?
  22. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    okay, it's clear that you haven't read this guide. The very first line of the first paragraph of the first post states explicitly that you do not need a wheel to drift well.
  23. HollyWood6886


    ummm what the heck is a GTP or a DS2 i dont know slang? im new to this stuff
  24. Boundary Layer

    Boundary Layer Premium

    GTP = this site
    DS2 = Dual Shock 2
    DF = Logitech Driving Force Wheel
    DFP = Logitech Driving Force Pro Wheel
  25. HollyWood6886


    yea im a noob...
  26. HollyWood6886


    I red the guide its resourcefull but how do you approuch a drift and do u use the E-Brake to get the drift started?
  27. Swift

    Swift Staff Emeritus

    United States
    Sorry for the remarkably late reply. But that question would be answered by reading the guide again. Especially about the e-brake.
  28. SosaPilot


    This may be in the guide, but I have the Driving Force Pro wheel and I love it, but is it good for drifting? Also, I have it on a T.V. tray which kinda sucks, any idea how I could get a better set up which is compact and cheap/free?

    Thanks for your help
  29. Diablomonkey


  30. Vince247


    yeah man me too!:sly:

    So lets give boundary layer and swift a BIG, HUGE, thanks and a happy new year!:dunce: