J-Turn

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This is a method used to reverse a car, and spin it 180 degrees, ideally ending up opposite to the original direction. It is used in evasive driving and stunt driving, and is best performed on a slippery surface. However, it can be pulled off on the dry too, and in every sort of car.

The area all around should be clear. Now, select reverse gear, and speed up to a relatively high speed, between 20 to 25mph. Preposition the hand in the direction where you want the wheel to rotate. A bit of practice will get you used to it. Now push the wheel slightly away from where you want and than, immediately do two actions: sharply peel off of the throttle (which should still be trodden deep, if this does not seem to rotate your specific car also stab the brakes moderately) and sharply pull the wheel back to where you want. Keep looking where you want to go. You would need to put in a nice bite of steering. Some sports cars make it around with less than 180 degrees, while others would require 400 degrees. If the car requires a small input, place the hand in 12 O'Clock, push it 90 degrees (towards 9 or 3), and than pull it a full 180 the other way. If the car requires a great amount of lock, reach a high speed, with the hands at 9:15. Now, peel of the gas while steering one way with both hands (about 45 degrees) and than straighten and pull the wheel a full 360 degrees with the palm and hooked thumb, with the other hand as support for as long as possible (a 360 degrees pull). When straightening the wheel, make effort to guide it rather than let go of it. If the initial input was large, try and switch hands, using the other hand to wind to lock-off more sensitively.

In order to get the car pitched forward after 180 degrees of rotation, you will need begin taking off the lock (without slipping the wheel through your hands) quickly, and than apply first gear to power out. This is difficult, and depends on the sort of car, because the wheels spinning backwards will not enable a forward gear to be engaged. The classic approach is with a manual front wheel-drive car that does not have ABS or Traction control. Simply stab the brakes as hard as you can as quickly as you can, and simultanously de-clutch. This will lock the front tires (and usually also the rear tires). This will help to pull the car straight and to apply first (or second) gear. Using the clutch will keep the engine running, and make it ready to shift. Now, choose first gear, and lauch away with clutch and throttle, ideally spinning the wheels for a moment.

If you have ABS installed, or wish to save the tires on the dry by not locking up the tires, you can make the shift with double declutch. This is also recommended if you try this manouver with rear or all wheel drive. The sequence of the procedure is to declutch, select neutral, re-engage-- You may now rev-up the motor --de-clutch, select first, re-engage. If the car is automatic, just flick it into neutral (not park!) and than engage drive after rotating the car.

Look behind or in the mirror?

My knowledge is that the mirror is better than looking over your shoulder, in reverse and in a J-Turn. By looking behind, you see the field of vision through the rear window (like in the mirror) and perhaps a bit of extra from one side window, depanding on how you position your head. Anyhow, you become unaware of objects below door height (curbs, cones, lines, etcetra) of things besides you, especially on the driver's side, of objects hidden by obstructions in the interior mirror or by the rear beams, and of what is in front (important during a reversing manouver or J-Turn) and are voulnrable to glare.

With the mirrors, you maintain your field of vision 360 degrees around and your normal seating position and thus body restraining, pedal and steering authority. People who look over the shoulder, tend to let one hand off of the wheel and in times are involved in accidents because they dump the clutch or even mistake the gas for the brakes. When looking behind, you need to steer "the other way".

The bootleggers turn

A bootlegger turn is a method of spinning the car 180 degrees, like a J-Turn. However, while a J-turn is flicking a reversed car to first gear, this turn is made to make a vehicle driving forward in one direction, to face the direction from which it originally came. It can be done with the handbrake (in all cars), with or without a scandinavian flick. In rear-wheel drive or even all-wheel drive, it can also be induced by "shift lock", "clutch kick" or by a simple "powerslide". (see: Drift)

One particular stunt is to combine the bootlegger with a J-turn, going forward, flicking the car 180 degrees, putting reverse (with double declutch), acclerating and than flicking it 180 degrees back into first gear. Notice that the car would move sideways during this drill, so keep a wide track with a good run-off area.