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      09-16-2014, 01:40 AM   #1
Asbjorn
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How not to drift a Z4

I experienced my first real tank slapper this weekend:



Lessons learned
* Practice in places with no obstacles only
* Don't over-correct or otherwise try to "stop" a skid pre-maturely
* Drift with the roof down to lower the center of gravity

It seems I was "lucky" though. Apparently I only damaged the car's front suspension components. Total repair costs: USD 1,200 incl labor. There was almost no body damage.



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Little known facts about BMW: 1) The N54 is still in production and used in the current Z4 35i and 35is. 2) In a Z4 you can get sport+ steering combined with normal suspension etc by selecting DSC=off. (Update: DSC=off also offers sports steering in the M135i) 3) All Z4s with 19" wheels are still only offered with the worst performing OEM tires ever sold with a DCT equipped BMW (Potenza RE 050 RFT).
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      09-16-2014, 09:53 AM   #2
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Ouch, feel sorry for you, Asbjorn. To be honest I admire your courage trying to drift that slapper. I NEVER do, I use the M5 for that matter. And sorry if I scratch the wound but it seems that you stayed heavy on throttle all the time, try next time (if any ) to induce weight transitions as they call them by lifting your foot completely.
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      09-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #3
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Glad you are ok!
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      09-16-2014, 12:19 PM   #4
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      09-16-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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Care to share one of your vids showing how its done?

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      09-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #6
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Darn, I thought that you had a chance to recover.

Scary that the motorcyclist came just a few seconds later into the frame. Be safe!
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      09-16-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
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Need a quaife or wavetrack LSD and you will drift like butter
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      09-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #8
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Oooh tough go. Glad to see you're okay. Now that you learned your lesson... time to get at it again LOL

Thanks for sharing
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      09-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #9
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The best time and place to learn when to "drift" is in the wet in a large open parking lot or loading zone.

The wet will allow slip angles at lower, less dangerous speeds, and all you should try to do is hold the car sideways balancing the throttle and steering.

Chris Harris has a good video demonstrating how to do a drift, but even his basic procedure is too advanced for an amateur driver.

I have a couple of suggestions:
One, find a driver who is more advanced at car control, has done track days, etc. He will generally have more knowledge, but still don't take his commentary as 100% fact.

Two, in your practice drifting in circles in the rain, realize that in order to keep a slide going, you may have to turn into the slide rather than putting on additional opposite lock.


The two biggest mistakes people make when "drifting" or sliding their car that causes them to get out of control are lifting off the gas suddenly out of panic, which upsets the balance of the car, and overcorrecting the car by waiting to put on positive lock until the car has already come back around and will then be much more difficult to correct.

Also, learn how to hold a single slide first. When I was a kid I tried to teach myself how to "drift" and until you can catch a single slide there is no point in that. Don't try to connect drifts going back and forth, just try to hold a single slide and go from there.

Good luck! There are a lot of drivers on the forum more advanced than I, so look out for their more in-depth commentary that'll help you out!
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      09-17-2014, 06:20 AM   #10
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you got what you asked for w doing that on pubic roads.
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      09-17-2014, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post


Care to share one of your vids showing how its done?

sure

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      09-17-2014, 12:38 PM   #12
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you got what you asked for w doing that on pubic roads.
Nice pubic roads.

Well said. I totally agree with you.
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      09-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #13
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OP, glad to see that the car isn't seriously damaged and most importantly that you're ok. Nice facepalm at the the end too.

I seem to recall the "discussion" we had in another thread about "drifting" the Z4. Please tell me that the Z4 isn't the first and only car that you've attempted to "drift". Also note my silly quotations whenever I refer to you "drifting". Recall my comments on the Z4 being "extremely nervous and unpredictable?" Your video is more or less what I'm talking about and I've experienced that more than I can admit to say.

I'll be patiently waiting for your next video on "How to Drift a Z4"
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      09-17-2014, 09:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob@NAL View Post
The best time and place to learn when to "drift" is in the wet in a large open parking lot or loading zone.

The wet will allow slip angles at lower, less dangerous speeds, and all you should try to do is hold the car sideways balancing the throttle and steering.

Chris Harris has a good video demonstrating how to do a drift, but even his basic procedure is too advanced for an amateur driver.

I have a couple of suggestions:
One, find a driver who is more advanced at car control, has done track days, etc. He will generally have more knowledge, but still don't take his commentary as 100% fact.

Two, in your practice drifting in circles in the rain, realize that in order to keep a slide going, you may have to turn into the slide rather than putting on additional opposite lock.


The two biggest mistakes people make when "drifting" or sliding their car that causes them to get out of control are lifting off the gas suddenly out of panic, which upsets the balance of the car, and overcorrecting the car by waiting to put on positive lock until the car has already come back around and will then be much more difficult to correct.

Also, learn how to hold a single slide first. When I was a kid I tried to teach myself how to "drift" and until you can catch a single slide there is no point in that. Don't try to connect drifts going back and forth, just try to hold a single slide and go from there.

Good luck! There are a lot of drivers on the forum more advanced than I, so look out for their more in-depth commentary that'll help you out!
Great post. Many thanks for the suggestions. I totally agree.

I think I lifted of the throttle in "panic" after the second slide, and over-corrected on the first. Also I wasn't fast enough when returning the steering wheel to center on the first slide, and I could have done with a less throttle during the unintended transition as suggested by our friend from Greece.
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Little known facts about BMW: 1) The N54 is still in production and used in the current Z4 35i and 35is. 2) In a Z4 you can get sport+ steering combined with normal suspension etc by selecting DSC=off. (Update: DSC=off also offers sports steering in the M135i) 3) All Z4s with 19" wheels are still only offered with the worst performing OEM tires ever sold with a DCT equipped BMW (Potenza RE 050 RFT).
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      09-17-2014, 09:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nkc View Post
OP, glad to see that the car isn't seriously damaged and most importantly that you're ok. Nice facepalm at the the end too.

I seem to recall the "discussion" we had in another thread about "drifting" the Z4. Please tell me that the Z4 isn't the first and only car that you've attempted to "drift". Also note my silly quotations whenever I refer to you "drifting". Recall my comments on the Z4 being "extremely nervous and unpredictable?" Your video is more or less what I'm talking about and I've experienced that more than I can admit to say.

I'll be patiently waiting for your next video on "How to Drift a Z4"
Co-driver to the experience reporting...

I'll be patiently waiting for your next video on "How to Drift a Z4" -> me too
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      09-17-2014, 09:58 PM   #16
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...and I can only agree with most of what is already said. As I told Asbjorn myself - this experience (cost) is just the right amount to induce the proper amount of respect for this "drifting" - different location, higher speeds and it could have ended MUCH worse!

Weight distribution, soft suspension and open diff (Z4) is a dangerous cocktail to balance sideways. My own car is probably easier but I also find it rater unpredictable with the open diff.

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      09-17-2014, 10:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nkc View Post
Recall my comments on the Z4 being "extremely nervous and unpredictable?" Your video is more or less what I'm talking about and I've experienced that more than I can admit to say.

I'll be patiently waiting for your next video on "How to Drift a Z4"
Yeah, I recall, and maybe I will listen better this time. I still don't think my standard suspension is extremely nervous and unpredictable, but you got a point. It would definitely be easier to drift a car with a harder suspension like you have in your 1M and Z3M. The 1M is also less rear-weight-biased compared to the Z4.

Still, it is not like you can't find videos of 1Ms performing unintended tank slappers... So I shall choose to focus on improving my driving skills, even if I play in hard-mode compared to a 1M. Installing a significantly harder suspension would make the car unsuitable for daily use here. If you ask me, the Z4 is perfectly calibrated for sporty driving on the bumpy Chinese city and mountain roads.

BTW Z4s equipped with the adaptive suspension give you comfort dampers when you select DSC=OFF.
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Little known facts about BMW: 1) The N54 is still in production and used in the current Z4 35i and 35is. 2) In a Z4 you can get sport+ steering combined with normal suspension etc by selecting DSC=off. (Update: DSC=off also offers sports steering in the M135i) 3) All Z4s with 19" wheels are still only offered with the worst performing OEM tires ever sold with a DCT equipped BMW (Potenza RE 050 RFT).
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      09-18-2014, 12:52 AM   #18
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I personally find it difficult even to powerslide the Z4 because of the instant torque and the fact that you sit right up the rear axle, I struggle to sense progressiveness and feedback. Plus once it starts oversteering I need to balance the throttle inputs sooner due to the turbo lag, it just doesn't make much sense to me.

This on the other hand is how drift should end. Taken from a racetrack 2 weeks ago :

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      09-18-2014, 01:26 PM   #19
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If you are in an area that gets winter snow, you can get the feel by trying this in a snow covered EMPTY parking lot. Of course, driving something other than your Z4.......
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      09-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #20
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Asbjorn, sorry to hear/ see what happened but glad you're ok! Bruised ego can heal quicker than other injuries.

I watched your video a few times and here are some things that popped out.

It looks like after the first slide you caught it but didn't follow through. Here after was a series of heavy steering inputs.

Some driver errors I saw was you let go of the wheel completely and let it wind out. You should always have a hand on the wheel until it becomes 2nd nature. Another thing was you didn't look to where you wanted to go. These are 2 fundamentals for performance driving. Every instructor I've had hammers these 2 principles in.

M school focuses on C.P.R. which means Counter, Pause, Recover. With out proper hand control its very difficult to counter correctly. With out looking correctly its difficult to recover because you won't be aiming the car.

I'm by no means an expert, but I'm guilty of kicking out the rear when I get a chance. I used to let go of the wheel and the car would get very squirrelly. After my first track day my instructor taught me the proper way and wow, what a difference!
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      10-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
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It looks like after the first slide you caught it but didn't follow through. Here after was a series of heavy steering inputs.

Some driver errors I saw was you let go of the wheel completely and let it wind out. You should always have a hand on the wheel until it becomes 2nd nature. Another thing was you didn't look to where you wanted to go. These are 2 fundamentals for performance driving. Every instructor I've had hammers these 2 principles in.

M school focuses on C.P.R. which means Counter, Pause, Recover. With out proper hand control its very difficult to counter correctly. With out looking correctly its difficult to recover because you won't be aiming the car.
Thanks. You add a some solid advice to what has already been said: Keep the hands on the wheel, and don't get "short sighted" as a result of panicking or natural habit. It makes sense that the rule about looking (and knowing) where you want to go is extra important when the car is hyper-sensitive.

In many ways this also translates into being in full "attack"-mode and having a clear plan and goal for the selected steering and throttle inputs. This is needed because before and during a drift you need to think much more ahead and anticipate more factors than you would normally in order to get a turn right.

It is like braking in the wet with no ABS. If you panic, instincts will tell you to block the wheels. Only after some "training" would you be able to brake correctly. Still, during an emergency, chances are you would fall back on your instincts and block the wheels anyway. So being fully prepared, and ready to do "ABS"-like emergency braking would help to compensate for the lack of proper "built-in" instincts.

So, the casual "lets try and spin the wheels here, and see where the car takes us"-kind-of-thing only exists up until at certain point... and some cars/road conditions might even bite you anyway, no matter how skilled you are.
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      10-01-2014, 06:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
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and some cars/road conditions might even bite you anyway, no matter how skilled you are.
+1

It happens to everyone who pushes a car hard.
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