Looking for Help with Tuning FWD Cars

I’ve been looking for a little while, and I haven’t been able to really find anyting that specifially deals with FWD cars. I don’t really know if what I think you’re supposed to do is even the right thing to do or not, and all I can think of is treat it like any other for the most part. I have that diagram that shows how to correct for what when it comes to Understeer & Oversteer, and I don’t even know if those tips apply well with FWD. Really, all I’m looking for is basically a “FWD Tuning for Dummies” sort of thing. I’m no gearhead (not even by video game standards), so I don’t need anything ultra technical. Any help would be appreciated. I’m looking to apply these tips to Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One, for those who didn’t assume that already.

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I’m building a 1992 GTi from D all the way through whatever I can get her to with rally upgrades for Storm Island and she’ll stay FWD. It’s just as great a car in - game as in the real world.

As for that flow chart. It’s great. Just as soon as you apply throttle, you’ll get understeer without braking properly under hard condition’s beforehand. Basically drive clean In a FWD. Brake straight, turn at apex well, accelerate straight and they’ll be fine.

Going sideways or pushing too hard is when problems occur.

Keep the springs fairly soft. Front arb 1-10, rear arb 40. High accel diff (over 70%). Low decel diff (0-5%). Dirve it like you stole it.

Wow. So basically try and drift a car originally not meant to lol.

No offense but I wouldn’t want to drive a fwd on dirt like that. Driving styles differ though. I’m a point and shoot driver. My fwd are tuned that way. My diff is at 50% acceleration and 25% deceleration.

Again different driving styles


Micks advice is actually tame for FWD and does not result in drifting.

My base settings for FWD are:

Arb 4/40
Diff 85 accel and 5 decel

Nothing drifty about it.

Our club had a FWD rivals event and I got no feedback relating to undrivability.

People really need to widen their tests.

are you claiming I don’t?

like I said in my post, it probably has to do with our chosen driving lines as well. I drive incredibly hard, which causes the car to toss to begin with. I usually tune a car to be balanced, which usually seems to be something most people enjoy. But I do it to counter the extremes in how I drive.

Doesn’t mean I don’t push them to their limits though, both when I care and do rivals, when I’m driving, or especially when I’m tuning. And like I said before. I think seat time is the most important factor for most people. You don’t know what the car can do until you push it there. And best part, in-game, no risk at all. Just hit “y”… instead of medical bills and a totaled car.

But as far as ARB settings, I’m right there with you. Just reminds me back in the day, my favorite setting in my 1969 El Camino at autocross, I’d actually disconnect the rear sway bar. She had coil-overs too, and a boxed four-link. But no sway at all. And one BEEFY one up front.

initial - understeer (even brakes were balanced that way)

  • which in an el camino got the back end light lol
  • which then allowed me to swing it HARD and then launch straight with my soft rear springs.

first time I did it, I think I, my buddies, and the “cone-police” all had spontaneous car-induced heart issues lol. But man it made her quick.

although from then on after, I went through 295/50zr17s like no tomorrow…

and uh… no offense, but that ^^ was in real life too. Not some video game. :wink: So don’t start comparing my Elky to something in Forza. Just saying. Don’t need an argument.

But the point of it, is it’s true. Having one sway at 40, and one at 1 can produce actually some of the best driving. Same with extremes in springs.

Now, doing it in a FWD? Not exactly my cup of tea. But I tune mine for FWD Rally. Very similar to what the real guys run. And when running an unknown course, balance and symmetry are key.

I’d also take a look at some of the set ups for real world cars. Both the GTI and the Ford Focus have great set ups that are easy to drive, fairly quick, and tons of fun.

The hardest part will be not locking up the brakes and controlling the car while turning. You don’t want understeer, but you also don’t want a set up that will cause you to spin while putting power down in a corner.

Thanks for the advice, but I don’t have any issues with how I DRIVE a FWD car. I know you need to watch how much gas you give the engine so your tires aren’t spinning needlessly & am aware of the difference in how they behave on the road. What I’m looking for is what, if anything, I need to do differently when tuning a FWD car than when tuning AWD or RWD. Do I just switch from putting weight on the rear to the front. Should I do the same with the Bump/Rebound Damping? If anyone has a link to a thread or chart or anything, or if you’re able to explain it yourself, please do. I hate not knowing if what I’m doing is actually the right way to do it or not. Thanks!

If you have a rear wheel drive car and the engine is in the middle or the back, most of the weight is on the driven wheels but they don’t have to direct the car.

If you have a rear wheel drive car and the engine is in the front, most of the weight is in the front on the turning wheels but they on’t have to propel the car forward.

The problem is that you won’t find a car that is front wheel drive and mid/rear engine - all the front wheel drive cars have an engine in the front. This means that all their weight bias is in the front over the wheels that have to both propel the car forward and direct it as it turns. You want to control this weight so that you are able to direct the car where you want to go while allowing the wheels to do their job of propulsion as well.

This suspension set up chart does a really job and I use it when I need a hand. I wouldn’t use it at a start to my FWD tune but more of a final little touch up once you have the car behaving how you’d like.

For the build, I would start with the same general principle as I would for RWD/AWD cars. You want to put on the Adjustable Differential, Springs, Roll Bars, Reduce the weight as much as you can, and do your aero thing if you need to. Depending on the class, I’d also start with a tire upgrade to street tires. Next, I’d move on to the engine putting on upgrades that add power and reduce weight. Keep in mind that if it’s a front wheel drive car though you want to be careful with how much power you add. If it were me I’d try to keep the horsepower around 300 - 350, and torque under that cap as well. I’d start with the Race Exhaust, Race Air Filter, Race Pistons, Race Valves, Race Displacement, the one right next to the air filter (if it has it) - not the ignition or fuel, the other one I can’t think of right now and see where it puts you. Depending on what you are going for and where you are in the build, you might try looking at a cam upgrade as well but usually I stay away from those. If you’re near the power cap or out of engine upgrades, I’d go back and start looking at the driveline, transmission, and tires. If you want more power, select from the engine upgrades as best maximizes your PI.

Now for the tuning. Let’s start by saying this right now and assuming it applies for this whole section —> This advice comes based on my own experience in the game, experience and conversations I have had on these forums, and reading posts by W0rm (whatever his gamertag is today or has been in the past), SpotTheKitty, Ruddy88, SatNiteEduardo, Cudafish1966, and others.

Since the car has more weight in the front, I’d stagger the tire pressure set up. More weight in front will naturally heat up the front tires more and a lower front tire pressure will result in an equal pressure across the board once racing and it will help with understeer correction. I’d try starting around 26.0 psi in the front and 28.0 psi in the rear.
The car may be already set up with a higher ride height in the front due to engine placement and weight but I’d help it out a bit as well. A higher ride height in the front may cause understeer, but it will result in a more stable car over uneven surfaces and under braking. This increase does not have to be significant. Typically (mainland builds) I start with the lowest ride height and click it up 3 - 5 notches. Whatever you do to the rear, add 1 or 2 notches up front.
Since the driven wheels are in the front, you can have considerably stiffer springs in the rear. This will assist in counteracting understeer. The front springs I would figure out using one of SpotThekitty’s methods for springs versus car weight. A good starting point may be (0.8)[Car Weight/2].
For the bump damping, a low figure works well in this game. Stella Stig has a great video on youtube explaining Rebound and Bump in FM5. This video also applies to FH2. In your front engine, FWD car you want the Front Bump to start lower so your car does better over bumps and uneven surfaces. I’d try starting around 1.5 - 3.0 and adjusting according to your test drive. The bump in the rear should be close to the front but can be higher or lower depending on how you need the handling of the car to be (watch the video).
For Rebound I’d set the slider further to the right, easily somewhere in the Bump * 3 range.

For the differential, I suggest playing with it and see how it goes. This is the part I’m trying to fine tune (no pun intended) so that I feel like my FWD cars come close to the ones I enjoy driving. My serious Mini Cooper '65 tune comes from SatNiteEduardo actually an I have build two that are similar. One is an exact replica build an the other has a bit more power and lower tires but I don’t have them driving like Eduardo’s yet. The next step is getting the differential right and then seeing if changes need to happen elsewhere as this will alter the turning and cornering characteristics.

I hope this helps you out a bit.

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Thank you PPI. That’s exactly what I was looking for. The link you provided for those charts on Lotus are the same ones I alluded to in my original post, but I’ll definitely check out that other stuff. Hopefully now I won’t fumbling around in the dark when fondling my FWD cars. Thanks again guys! Here are some brownies:

Bah! I’ve had that link in my 1st post of my main thread for months now :stuck_out_tongue: hehehe
Thanks for bringing up the topic it spun off some fun talk and I got to be all mathy in my head and stuff.
Meow be with you.

Front biased Rebound :Increases under steer & increases grip in RWD cars, sacrificing turn-in slightly.
Rear biased Rebound :Increases over steer & highly recommended for FWD & AWD cars.
Front biased Bump : Increases under steer + slightly increases grip in RWD cars.
Rear biased Bump : Increases over steer & highly recommended for FWD & AWD cars.

Hope that is helpful.

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doesn’t a front biased rebound decrease understeer? ← Front rebound slider has a higher value than the rear rebound slider.

Also, I have built a Mini Cooper JSW for the Solo Career events in the Hot Hatch Category because of this thread. Think of it as a project to help increase my understanding if you will. It did rather well in the Nice events I ran, so I tried it for the Nice Aerodrome Cross Country Rivals event and put it to 2:27.982 with just two runs. I’m sure it can do better. If you’d like to see the build and tune because you think it may help I would gladly post it to this thread. (It’s B class)

Read Worm’s guide in FM5 tuning forum. There is a scanned picture in there that explains it.

In short it depends where you are through the turn eg entry, mid turn, exit.

Came from the game, I just condensed it down.
So for FWD and AWD my Rear Bump and Rebound are always higher, even by just 0.1 than the Front Bump and Rebound.

I think the answer for wanting that oversteer from the bump and rebound is found in a snip-it of knowledge:

I dunno. Both sliders go from 1.0 to 13.0. There isn’t a difference in range. (You must jest Sir, I just tested it out.)

Here is a link to my Forza Horizon 2 Tuning Template, it is best in Excel 2013. You can look at all the maths, graphs, collated forum posts that were helpful and images.
It will soon be replace by something much more glorious and happy. I have kitties hard at work.

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Hmm, that is backwards from what I thought and how I have been doing it - oops? I don’t know if that’s the right exclamation for it though.

Rebound controls the rate of the wheels coming out of the wheel well and towards the road and it also assist in turning in part because the wheel is on the ground and able to stay on the ground, right?

Re-watching the video, reading the description, and going over things I know, what you posted makes sense. Somewhere I saw something that does this opposite though and it seemed to work. Might that be because the process is not standalone and it works in conjunction with the rest of your build so if for some reason you need to run lower springs and anti-roll bars you can increase the front rebound to increase understeer a bit. I guess a comparison would be the springs and roll bars are the more aggressive setting an the rebound kind of fine tunes it.

I can’t remember know where I saw that or why I had a higher front than rear rebound but it seems to work on the cars. Might make some small tweaks and see what happens. I know how I’ve been building the last few cars works because they’ve achieved (for the most part) top 10 times.
—> Actually, I found it. Look at this link that we have all stolen from Eduardo at this point - LINK
It shows that if you want to correct mid corner understeer, you can raise the front rebound setting.
It also shows that to correct mid corner, low to mid speed oversteer, you should increase rear bump and decrease rear rebound.

I also know that the information in this picture is useful and it works. It seems that it contradicts what else I know and the tuning info box says and such. If it works, why change it? Still a little confused though, maybe you could shed some light in the matter to help me understand it Kitty.

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Nope. You said it all.
This is why we always test drive the heck out of our tunes before releasing. Because sometimes we need to cheat the game physics. :slight_smile:
Tune to 80%, drive, tweak, drive, tweak, drive, tweak, drive, break something nearby, tweak, drive, tweak the complete opposite, drive, smile.

That image assumes a wishbone or double suspension. Some cars don’t have that, maybe that is why the game act all weird. Or maybe I’ve been in the catnip too long.

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Yep. That’s tuning in a nutshell.

When it comes to base tuning a fwd, I do the same basic tune as I do with anything. Basic quick tuning usually with zero adjustment to the default sway bars… unless it’s horribly bad. Just springs and shocks. Then alignment based on telemetry - tire temps, wear, and friction. Differential is the only thing different for me because they’re the tires that both propel and turn the car. My muscle cars like my cuda is 90% acceleration and 75% deceleration. She’s actually set up for understeer but with sharp turn in. Then I purposely throttle steer to create the oversteer out. She has a 7.0l HEMI after all. And that’s based on my buddy’s real life PPIHC vintage racing car.

Why do I bring her up?

It’s the same with my golf really. I tune her to run the line and groove I want. Don’t care she’s fwd. I just run a slippier Differential (lower percentages) to compensate.

Honestly everyone’s posts here are awesome! I hope this gets stickied because it’d be great for anyone learning a fwd platform.

So, for educational purposes here is the Mini. Please, do not use this setup and share it as your own because that would be rude.
It’s not the best tune, I don’t even think it’s what it would be if I was going to invest time into it for a rivals challenge, but it’s a good start and it should assist those looking through this thread.

So, give this car a go. See how you like driving it and see how it compares to your FWD build. Then, start changing this so it matches your build and see how it affects the car in the way. Learn as much as you can from it but keep in mind this isn’t perfect. It’s just one example of one car that works in front wheel drive for one player, ME.

If you do build this and run it, please let me know what you think. I am always eager to hear feedback and constructive criticism. I hope this helps you. Thank you, and you’re welcome.

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You’re welcome. That Mini set up is fairly loose and definitely preferred for cross country and things basically not in Nice as I’ve come to find.

I also ended up doing a FWD to AWD conversion that isn’t the fastest but I liked it. I think some of you may enjoy it, I’d say it’s like my C Class BRZ in feel. Again, please don’t save it and share it as your own. Use it as a comparison between the FWD build and the AWD build. Both cars are in the Hot Hatch CAtegory, and both cars initially started as a FWD car. Both also use the stock motor and I’ve intentionally kept them in their starting class.

In fact, I bet if you made some changes to the Mini and made it closer to this tune it would be a bit less flimsy…