Drifting is when you are turning, but sliding with much wheelspin, causing your car to move forwards, but also somewhat to the inside of the turn. The front end keeps traction. This lets you take turns at higher speeds. There are different methods for drifting, so feel free to add your own or rephrase another one.
Tuning the Car
Tuning the car is one of the more important factors in how your car can drift. The best way to tune the suspension is to make the rear sway bars hard, but the front sway bars loose. Also, turning the anti-roll on the rear axle down will help you drift better. Next, focus on the tires. The rear tires should be overinflated. It can sometimes also help to underinflate the front tires. Lastly, move to adjusting the gear ratios. Raising the final gear ratio will give the car more torque, making it easier to get wheelspin and to drift.
As well as having a stiff sway bar, you may also have tight springs, and high negative camber in the front tires. Depending on your style you may also want your brakes either toward the front, or central. If you set them toward the front, you can induce oversteer by braking easier, and catch a spin by locking the front wheels. If you set it central then you can use the brakes to lock the rear wheels, and many other tricks to save a drift (too complicated to say here, but it involves locking all four wheels). For what differential you use, I recommend a clutch LSD. I use a high percentage for on-power, and low setting for off-power, to help catch spins. Locked diff's are unforgiving, but very easy to start a drift. Do what works for you, and if you need help don't hesitate to search on LFS Forum and ask for some help.
- More advanced tuning:
The main part is the suspension (this is only to experiment to make your set as good as it can be only if you have experience), which has a few setup areas that can make and break a set. The first is ride height, this is not important until the end of the suspension tuning. Stiffness, the stiffer the spring the more oversteer there generally is, so why not tighten up the rear all the way? In drifting you need control too, so you should have the rear springs generally about 3/4 of the way to the right, and about 1/3 to 1/2 in the front. then you should come back and tweak it as needed. then there is damping. This is how much resistance to bounce it has, you should drop your car and adjust it so there is the fall compress and depress and stops there, both for front and rear. It also affects fine tuning for drifts, so if you are understeering too much you should have a little less dampening and vice versa (that goes for grip too). Sway bars: these do not do much in drifting as far as I know, so I just have the front more then the rear by a little and keep it around 1/4 sway bar ride height. You should drop your car and have it low enough so it just barely looks like it is bottoming out.
Drivetrain: to keep it simple enough, the locked diff is very easy to drift but hard to drive, open diff is opposite, clutch just puts force on having the wheels not spin at different speeds, and viscous depends on the speed of the wheels. I tend to like clutch at a pretty high locking, moderate coast, and kinda high force. Viscous at moderate force, and stay away from open. For gearing keep it how it was, and lower the final (to the right) a little bit so you can keep the RPMs up (have it so it maxes out at the fastest part of the track).
Tires: the type of tire really doesn't matter too much, but I like to stick to normal tires. First of all, you should put your front camber at -2.5 degrees, and your rear at about -.5 to -1.25. The tire pressure for the front should stay around 30 psi, and in the rear inflate them a lot so they don't get too hot too fast.
Passengers: the amount of passengers doesn't matter too much, but if you want perfect balance put someone in the passenger seat.
There are different ways to drift. Here is a list of examples. Starting with basic techniques, then onto more advanced.
Swaying Drift: This technique is very basic, This is a slow side-to-side faint like drift where the rear end sways back and forth down a straight.
Braking drift: This is performed by trail braking into a corner, then loss of grip is obtained & then balanced through steering and throttle inputs (note that this is mainly for medium to low speed corners).
E-Brake Drift: Pull the E-Brake (or handbrake) to induce rear traction loss and balance drift through steering and throttle play (note that this can also be used to correct errors or fine tune drift angles).
Power Over: This can be performed when entering a corner, using full throttle to produce heavy over-steer through the turn (note that you need "horsepower" to make this happen).
Clutch Kick: This is performed by depressing the clutch pedal on approach or during a mild drift, then pop the clutch to give a sudden jolt through the drive-line to upset rear traction.
Faint Drift: This is performed by rocking the car towards the outside of a turn and then using the rebound of grip to throw the car into the normal cornering direction (note that this is "heavy rally racing" technique used to change vehicle attitudes during cornering, mainly tight mountain corners).
Dirt Drop Drift: This is performed by dropping the rear tires off the road into the dirt to maintain or gain drift angle without losing power or speed and to set up for the next turn (note that this technique is very useful for low horsepower cars).
Shift Lock: This is performed by letting the revs drop on downshift into a corner and then releasing the clutch to put stress on the drive-line to slow the rear tires inducing oversteer. This is like pulling the E-brake through a turn - note that this should be performed in the wet to minimize damage to the drive-line, etc.
Long Slide Drift: This is done by pulling the E-brake through a straight to start a high angle drift and to hold this to set up for the turn ahead (note that this can only be done at high speed).
Kansei Drift: This is performed at race speeds, when entering a high speed corner a driver lifts his foot off the throttle to induce a mild over steer, then balances the drift through steering and throttle motions (note that the car that is being used for this style of drift should be a neutral balanced car therefore the over steer will induce itself). If the car plows through any turn this technique will not work.
FWD Drift: For front wheel drive drifters. The E-brake as well as steering and braking techniques must be used to balance the car through a corner (note that the E-brake is the main technique used to balance the drift).
If these technique's are not working very well for you, be patient. Find your own technique, and style of drifting by experimenting with your clutch, accelerator, and even brakes. If you still are not drifting how you want to, then be sure to check out these videos from YouTube:
If you still are not satisfied then go to the LFS Forum and use the search function to find drift help threads. But please, do not make a new thread, we have plenty.
Making Drift Courses
If you want to make your own course to drift in, go to an open course, such as Autocross or BL/WE Car Park. Press Shift-U. This should open up a menu that allows you to place objects, such as barriers, cones, and tires. Also, there are some servers which use a system to award points for drifting, you should definitely check them out so you don't have to drift alone.