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How to setup your driftcar (Drifting 101)

Discussion in 'Drift - Car Setups' started by Andthocom, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Drifting 101

    There have allways been a lot of questions about how to set up your driftcar, I thought it was a good idea to make a thread about this, gathering it all in one place.


    1. Differentials

    To get good control of the vehicle when drifting, it is important to have a locked reardiff and a locked or adjustable frontdiff. There are different types of differentials.

    1.1. Oil Filled

    An oil filled differential is an open diff that you can change the level of lock with the viscosity of the oil you fill them with. Usually, 300k in the rear and 150k in the front should do the trick.

    Some fill these with glue to make them 100% locked, this will work, but its better to get a real locked diff if available.

    filling-oil2.jpg

    1.2. Locked

    Most drift chassis come with locked diffs, this is the easiest way to be sure that your diff is 100% locked. Its not recommended to use a 100% locked diff in the front though, this will make the inside wheel rotate with the same rpm as the outside wheel, making the car somewhat harder to controll while turning. A 50-70% locked diff in the front is recommended.

    3rac_sak-f19_1.jpg

    1.3. Balldiff

    This is adjusted by screwing in or out the screw in the center of the diff, tightening the screw locks it more and vice versa. Some people have problems with these kind of diffs because the screw unscrews itself, making the diff less locked while drifting.

    dtxc7356.jpg

    1.4. Oneway

    A one-way diff locks in one direction and are completely open in the other. This is mainly used in the front and will make only the rear wheels lock under braking giving you and e-brake effect. This is recommended for small technical tracks where the handbrake can be convenient, but its not practical in large tracks with high top speed where you need braking on all 4 wheels to control the speed into corners.

    hb2waydiff.jpg


    2. Suspension

    It is important to adjust the height and stiffness of the car to make it as neutral as possible, neutral means a vehicle that is neither understeered or oversteered. This is achieved by adjusting the height of the vehicle and thus move the weight around the center point. The only way to get this right is by trial and error, the goal is balance and a lot of grip. Some people use 4 kitchen scales to check that the weight of the car is evenly distributed over the 4 wheels.

    If you have problems with understeering (the car slides straight ahead instead of turning) you should try to move some of the weight to the back of the car, you achieve this by raising the front or lowering the rear, or a combination of both.

    If your car is a bit too tailhappy and the car is hard to control during drifting and you spin out easily, you should try to move the weight to the front of the car, you achieve this (yes you guessed it) by lowering the car in the front or raising it in the rear, or a combination of both.

    2.1. Coilovers

    The easiest way to adjust the height of your car is with coilovers, if your chassie isnt fitted with this you should consider getting a set.

    SAK-48PK.jpg

    2.2. Springs

    The stiffness of the springs will change the grip of the car. Stiff springs will make the car easier to drift, but you will loose some grip. Softer springs will give you more grip, but you also will experience that the car feels more twitchy. You just have to find the setting that works for you, some coilover kits come with multiple springs with different stiffness, making et easier to test what you think is best.

    [​IMG]

    3. Wheel angles

    3.1. Camber

    Adjusting camber on the car will change your grip on the wheels, a lot of camber would mean less of the tires surface in contact with the ground. Some people prefer a neutral setting, and some prefer running a lot of camber, there is no final answer to this, you just have to try and find out whats works for you.

    As a startup setting 5 degree camber in the rear and 3 degree in the front is recommended.

    You adjust the camber of your rc chassi by making the camberlink longer or shorter, its the top link in this picture. If your car doesnt have adjustable camberlinks you should consider getting a set.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    3.2. Toein/toeout

    Adjusting the toein/toeout will change how twitchy the car feels while drifting. Running a toein setting will make the wheels work together towards the center of the car, making it more stable. A common setting is 3 degrees toein. Not all chassis have the option to adjust the toein in the rear. The easiest way to adjust this in the front is to make the steering links shorter or longer. (the links that connects the wheels to the steering servo)

    [​IMG]


    3.3. Ackermann
    Ackermann (named after the german that patented the way of preventing it) is when the front wheels isnt inline at full steering lock, this usually happes when the steering geometry is changed. The effect of this is less grip on the inner wheel at full lock.

    You can read more about this here

    4. Countersteer/CS

    This is covered by Boza in this thread http://www.rcsparks.com/forum/drifting/8845-50-50-versus-cs-countersteer-drifting-basics.html


    5. Tires
    The most commonly used drifttire is the HPI T-drift, this has a just the right grip for your everyday drifting needs. If you enter a drifting competition this is the tire you are asked to run.

    There is alot of copies of the T-drift available on ebay, and most of them are similar in grip and durability.

    Take a look at Dribbles thread about http://www.rcsparks.com/forum/drifting/8681-how-mount-drift-tires-video.html

    [​IMG]


    6. Turningradius
    Some people prefer to have as much turning radius as possible, other prefers to run very little. This is totally up to you. I usually go for the first one, I think that a lot of radius looks more realistic and I like the ability to drift in very high angles without spinning out.

    Keep in mind that if you want alot of steering angle you should get driveshafts that are made for this, the stock ones seldom "like" the big angles and will make the wheel hop around, and you will wear out the joint of the driveshaft very quickly.

    I use Overdose driveshafts on my cars with great result.

    7. Motor and ESC
    I usually run a brushless 10.5T setup in my cars, this is mainly because its mandatory to run a 10.5T brushless if you want to enter a drifting competition on a larger scale. The World, European and Norwegian championships demands this. If you are just drifting for fun this is not so important, but I find that 10.5T motors is just right for drifting, they have good power but doesnt drain the batteries too fast.

    7.1 Sensored/unsensored
    I have gotten the best effect with a sensored motor, this will give more control over the power then a unsensored one, but in most cases you might not feel the difference, it depends on the motor and ESC.

    7.2 Boost
    Some people also use a ESC that gives you the ability to run boost, this means that you can setup the esc to give the motor a lot more rpms at max throttle. This will give you the ability to recover from a drift if needed without having to run full throttle all the time. Boost does wear out a motor much faster though.

    8. Servos
    I get alot of questions about which servo is the best for drifting. There isnt a good answer for this but the one thing I think is important is to get a servo thats fast and can pull some weight, this ensures that the car turns quickly also if the surface gives some resistance. If you want a servo that can take a beating its a good idea to get one with titaniums gears.

    That should be it, let me know if I have forgotten something and I will add it to the list. :)
     
    #1 Andthocom, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  2. ForkliftJeff

    ForkliftJeff Studio Forums Elite
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    Very informative post! I suck at drifting and have only had my drifter out a few times but maybe I will look into setting it up correctly with all the info that you have provided.
     
  3. ScaleBasher

    ScaleBasher Studio Forums Elite
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    Wow super informative thank you so much for all that info! Subscribed!
     
  4. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Nice to hear that, there is so many that gives up on drifting because they feel that they cant get the hang of it. A poorly setup car is hard to drift even for a seasoned pro. If my post can get you to try again and this time get it to work for you this thread has worked in that way I hoped it would.
     
    #4 Andthocom, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
    warwick likes this.
  5. MT-Drifter

    MT-Drifter New Member

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    I'm in the works of building my drifter and found this to be of great help. Nice and simple to follow and looking forward to putting it all to work once I have everything installed. Thanks for taking the time to help others..
     
  6. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Added a section about driveshafts and steeringradius and made the thread sticky.
     
    #6 Andthocom, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  7. Greenie

    Greenie VillAge iDioT
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    nice man!!! good read! looks like there's a bit to do to mine to make it handle better!!!
    cant wait to get it back out there!!!!!
     
  8. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Added a section about motors and ESC.
     
  9. badmonkey269

    badmonkey269 Studio Forums Elite
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    hey andthocom i got a question for ya. now i use to carpet race and wanted to know can i get a old AE TC3 to drift?and if so how much do i need to change up in it? thanks
     
  10. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    The easiest way to find out is to put some drift tires on it and test it. :)

    Im not familiar with that car, but any car thats been setup for carpet racing are allready well balanced and should work fine for drifting.

    The main thing I would look into are the diffs, are they open, closed or somewhere in between?

    Please post some pictures of the car when it sits on its wheels, one picture form the front and one from the rear and one directly from the side if possible and I can see if there something that could be changed. :)
     
  11. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Added a sections about servos.
     
  12. slcdrifter

    slcdrifter New Member

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    This is awesome info!!!
     
  13. Trigger87

    Trigger87 New Member

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    how do you change the Turningradius so i can get more angle
     
  14. Dribble

    Dribble Super Moderator
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    Darn, great right up man. Not sure how I missed this one but I have seen it now.

    Trigger87 if you want more turning radius for more steering angle it really depends on what chassis you own as there are chassis that have upgrade parts for that which are most and some that are custom to get it.
     
  15. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Thanks Dribble, dont know why I didnt get notice that you posted in this thread, I can see it was quite a while since you did. :)

    Clicked "unread posts" like I allways do and there it was.
     
  16. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Hi Trigger87, one easy way is to make new mouting holes for the steering closer to the wheel, take a look at this picture.

    steering.jpg

    This could give your car a bit of ackermann (the wheels are not aligned at full lock) so be careful.

    Other ways of doing this is to use parts from other cars and construct a steering with more play and angle.
     
    #16 Andthocom, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  17. Andthocom

    Andthocom Studio Forums Elite
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    Added a section about ackermann. :)
     
  18. greger

    greger Studio Forums Elite
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    Great read! Thank you
     
  19. spydrr

    spydrr New Member

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    Awsome post. Answered all my questions so far. Im running a tc4 with a ball diff and I melted my first one because it wasnt locked up I think. Locked my second ine up and its heen great. Now ive just been looking for a good motor and finaly found your post so im going to run around a 10.5t.
     
  20. Omegadti

    Omegadti New Member

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    On my MST Fxx-D i have to run a tad softer rear tires than the front to get any control of it :) also the front springs have just a tad harder tensioned springs to deal with the weight balance of it.
    Totally different way from how the Sakura, Ota R31 and Sprint 2 needed to be to drift perfectly :)
     

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