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"left foot braking" a N/A FF?

Old 05-10-04, 04:49 AM
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"left foot braking" a N/A FF?

now, i can't figure out where people got the idea to do this. it makes no sense to me at all since you can't exactly power brake a front drive car, and you aren't brake boosting any...

is there any logic to this or is it ricers blindy doing things they hear about. i've asked them why so many times and never hear reasoning.

can someone help me out here?
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Old 05-10-04, 05:00 AM
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What is power braking? Anyway they do it to reduce understeer throughout the corner.
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Old 05-10-04, 05:32 AM
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keeping on the gas in a rear drive car, and braking enough to slow the front wheels but not enough to overpower the engines control on the rear wheels. IE, doing a standing burnout in a rear drive car. i could fathom it being used to induce a drift with rear drive into a turn, but that's about as far as i hear it used for.

as for it helping them fight under steer, i don't totally get it. i can understand it as a trail braking technique which would help with under steer, but past that you are just either braking your drive wheels and super heating your brakes, or taking your right foot off of the gas and just not using it to brake (which i can't see the benefit of). obviously you can only even use it when you don't need to be downshifting into a corner.



edit- i've been looking around on the net for a while now and i still can't find much new info. it's used as an advanced technique for keeping a rear drive car somewhat seated into a corner, but FF's don't have this balance ability anyway.

all i can surmise is that FF's are using it through corners where they don't need to downshift to save a couple milliseconds in moving their right foot from peddle to peddle.

Last edited by particleeffect; 05-10-04 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 05-10-04, 08:24 AM
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Sorry but, "FF"?
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Old 05-10-04, 09:46 AM
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Are you trying to say Front Wheel Drive by using FF? FF means Formula Ford to me .... that's quite a bit different from a FWD car.

Left foot braking is effective in any car ... RWD, FWD, or AWD. Believe it or not, you lose time by shifting your right foot from accelerator to brake. If you don't need to shift gears, your left foot is capable of braking ... and thus reducing the time lost in shifting your right foot position. For cars with nonlinear power delivery, it can aid in keeping your car in its power band by braking to get the weight forward while still having the engine in its peak delivery range. Very effective for turbo cars. FWD cars are limited by the tires available grip ... i.e. turning and accelerating/braking .... but the LFB technique is still useful.
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Old 05-10-04, 01:02 PM
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You are able to modulate the brake pedal better as you have your foot doing only one thing vs. two like 'heel-toeing'.
Transmissions that allow (down)shifting without the clutch like dog-ring and sequential trannies is where this technique really shines. Just about every formula car driver will use this method...at least the fast ones.

As stated above, it can be used to help keep turbo cars in boost.

Ever ride a go-kart?
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Old 05-10-04, 05:02 PM
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I use, or have used it, in RWD, FWD and AWD. On big road courses and autocrosses alike. To me the real key is the ability to shift weight more effectively. The key to optimizing the handling of any car is the control of weight transfer at any particular corner of the car. There are times when you're on throttle only from part throttle to WOT. Same for the brakes. There's also times when you're on both pedals at once. Using both pedals independently of each other with both feet allows for a much more finite control of the car.

Now to say that it's THE way to drive is a bit of a stretch. Some professional driver's do it. Some don't. Seems like anyone that's had a background in karts, where you must left foot brake, tend to favor it. Even in F1 teams have been known to set up one car as a two foot car for one driver and the other as a right foot car for the other. It's personal preference.
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Old 05-10-04, 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by Cwaters
Sorry but, "FF"?
front engine, front drive. as opposed to rear drive or AWD.

i guess the only reason to use it them is to avoid moving your feet. but if anything, i think it would be less effective in a FWD car because your brakes are biased toward your drive wheels.
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Old 05-11-04, 01:17 AM
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High performance driving is all about optimizing traction on all 4 corners to place the car where (and at the attitude) you want it to be. If you are in a tight (relatively slow) corner where you don't need to downshift, but do want to stay in the throttle and need to rotate the rear of the car, left foot braking is a way to shift weight off the rear wheels, so they can slide out more easily (oversteer), and put more weight on the front wheels so they grip more (decrease understeer). This works whether the drive wheels are in front, rear, or both. It can also be used to just gently settle the car (transfer a bit of weight forward) to help the front wheels bite for a fast sweeper where you want to stay in the throttle.
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Old 05-11-04, 01:56 AM
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but, in the cases where you just want to transfer a little weight forward why not just lift off for a moment, since you'd just be braking your front wheels anyways effectively slowing the engine. i know all about trail braking and lifting off.
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Old 05-11-04, 10:03 AM
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Lifting (to allow trailing throttle oversteer), trail braking, power oversteer, and throwing the car into the corner and pulling the handbrake (rally style) are all techniques that can be used to help rotate the car. When to use what technique depends on the situation, as well as the car. Many front-wheel drive front engine cars have a strong tendency to understeer and a lift might not be enough to get the rear wheels to come out. Some rear-wheel drive rear engine cars may come out too quickly in the same situation. The driver of a turbo-charged car (or any car with a very peaky torque curve) has an obvious obvious reason to prefer left foot braking - keeping the turbos spooled up. The speed and geometry of the corner matters, too - especially increasing vs. decreasing radius. I tend to do more trail braking when I want to get more of my turning done early and I have to downshift for the corner. I tend to do more left foot braking when I'm not downshifting for the corner and need to accelerate the car while rotating it. Most of my track time is in a Miata - I only have a chance to use power oversteer in the rain. Ultimately, its a matter of personal preference and what works for you and your car. The more tools you have in your toolbox, the better chance you'll have of having the right tool for the job.
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Old 06-01-04, 02:21 PM
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Actually in rallying peope actually jab the brakes with their left foot and since the front wheels are being driven the front wheels don't lock up and the rear wheels lock up for a split seconde causing oversteer in a car that has a strong tendency to understeer.

As far as for FR cars.. the opposite effect can be acchieved to recover from a possible spin when the tail is hanging too far out. But it's hard to catch the car in FR cars.

With left foot braking you can set up the car differently. You can have a more aggressive brake bias. Also you will have much better control of the car mid corner. Oversteer too much, light release of brake and throttle at the same time...... some situations when you oversteer too much and your not leftfoot braking, you won't be able to catch the car in time.
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Old 06-01-04, 02:26 PM
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Err.. also you can downshift w/o using the clutch as mentioned above
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Old 06-01-04, 03:57 PM
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...left foot braking a turbo powered car (or any car with a "weak" motor) allows you to build boost in the corner without actually letting the car accelerate. It decreases turbo lag at the expense of using up more of the brakes.

Mario Andretti once explained why he outdrove so many people in F1 by claiming "They all thought the brakes were for slowing down the car".

What he's talking about is managing weight transfer. There are plenty of times you can left foot brake against the throttle in order to transfer weight forward and yet not have to lift from the throttle and actually slow the car down. A real driver is not thinking about following the course when he's in the car, he's thinking about shifting the weight around the tire contact patches with his inputs.

Left foot braking is used to transfer weight to the front tires without having to back out of the throttle. It will do the same thing to any car, no matter if it's FWD, RWD, AWD, front engine, rear engine etc. It doesn't matter.
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Old 06-09-04, 07:31 PM
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^ I love reading stuff like that....reminds why I love to drive
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Old 10-30-04, 02:54 PM
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Nicely put Damon!
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Old 10-30-04, 04:05 PM
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Just elaberating on the ff meaning of front engine front wheel drive. the fisrt letter always aplies to the placment of the engine compared to the axles. This gives 3 different engine catergories; Front,Middle,Rear. The last letter stands for which axle is the driving axle; Front, Rear. this allows you to have any combination of these engine/driveing axle combination you want. Alot of the high end itialianish (ferarri etc) vehicles and such have MR set up for the same reason an rx-7 is the way that it is, weight distribution. With FF and RR you end up with all the weight on the driving axle giving benifits and drawbacks and oposite with the reamining two ( i can't think of any production RF vehicles if any exist). The 50/50 spilt though has usually seen as the high perforance way to do things
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