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Build a Drift Car Part 1


Build a Drift Car Part 2


Build a Drift Car Part 3









How to Build A Drift Car (Part 3)

Getting a Vehicle Ready for Drifting

Okay, so you've just purchased the drift vehicle of your dreams (according to our guidelines set in parts 1 & 2 of How to Build a Drift Car), now it's time to get that vehicle ready for drifting.


Inspect the vehicle and perform basic maintenance. 

The first thing you should do when you get your vehicle home (or to your garage) is to do a through inspection of the vehicle. Call in some mechanically experienced friends if you have them and do a thorough check of your vehicle and all its mechanical systems. Chances are you're buying a used, older vehicle and those vehicles are generally not in perfect working condition. Look for things that may have broken, worn out, or expired. If you find things that need fixing, make a list of them so you can effectively budget your time and money when making repairs. 

Suspension Components 
Now that your car is in good working order, you can start modifying its performance aspects so your vehicle is better prepared for drifting. Start with basic suspension components like adjustable coilovers will lower your vehicle's ride height, lower the center of gravity, and stiffen up the suspension. After coilovers, you can choose to go with upgraded suspension and steering components like sway bars, control arms, etc. but you should first go through this entire list before going to those products. 

Limited Slip Differential 
Many people may recommend that getting a limited slip differential should be your first aftermarket product purchase when building a drift vehicle, which is a good recommendation. The only reason we put suspension before LSD is because drifting is about looking good too so you should get the suspension in first so you're not rolling around town at stock ride height.

An LSD will allow your vehicle to drift easier, rather than "peg-legging" through corners with one wheel spinning like crazy and the opposite wheel wondering what the hell is going on.

Exhaust System 

A good aftermarket exhaust system will help your vehicle to breathe easier, but more importantly it will be louder and allow you to hear your car better. While drifting, you need to be able to receive information from your vehicle in the form of feel and sound. Having a stock exhaust system that just whispers while you're flooring it won't add much to your enjoyment of drifting. 

While being able to hear your vehicle is good, remember to stick with a proper exhaust system. Many professional drifting competitions have restrictions on how loud your vehicle can be. Don't disqualify yourself from those competitions by running straight pipes or other nonsense. Unless you're running some kind of big American muscle car, I can't think of any vehicles that sound good without a tuned exhaust system. Besides, your exhaust should sound cool; not overly raspy or echo-y. Think more along the lines of the exhaust notes you hear from tuned import supercars and less along the lines of the fast & furious crowd hanging out at your local Checkers. 

Wheels and Tires 
Just like in the outside world, the shoes make the man. With all of the different brands and styles on the market today, selecting the right wheels for your car may take up a lot of your time. We suggest going to a reputable wheel shop and selecting wheels that fit your vehicle properly. If you need to do extensive body work to fit specific wheel sizes and offsets, it would be better to select other wheels unless you can do the bodywork or afford the bodywork easily. 

So people won't make fun of you when you're out, try to get wheels that are the right diameter for your wheel well. No need to go with huge diameter wheels when drifting, most typical drift cars look great with moderately sized wheels. Getting wheels that are too large is going to raise your vehicle higher off the ground, even when you crank down your coilovers. Think in moderation. Buying wheels for drift vehicles isn't a matter of bigger is better. Just because someone has larger, wider, or crazier offset wheels doesn't necessarily mean their car will look better. You need to buy wheels (in wheel sizes) that will compliment the overall look of the vehicle, not make you look like someone wearing clown shoes. 

If you can't afford the perfect wheel fitment for your car and you have wheels that are "sunken in" (not flush with the fender), just get yourself some wheel spacers (or studded wheel spacers) to kick those wheels outward 5mm - 30mm, depending on how much space you need. I guarantee that cheap wheels that look like they fit right will look immensely better than expensive wheels that don't fit right. 

As for tires, go with what fits and go with what you can afford. If you can afford the best tires out there, get them. If not, buy cheaper tires or get by with used tires if you have to. Try not to stick with used tires for too long when practicing. Using mix-matched tire brands and compounds is going to make practice inconsistent for you. In the beginning, this is okay since you just need time behind the wheel, but as you get better you need to start eliminating inconsistent variables from your driving. 


Spare Wheels and Tires
Now after finding a good set of wheels to roll in on (or at least for the front of your vehicle) get yourself at least one pair of spare wheels for your rear (or an entire set if possible). You are going to be drifting, so think of your spare wheels and tires as your gym shoes, since they're going to be getting a lot of action. You wouldn't wear a pair of expensive A. Testoni shoes onto the basketball court right? Just roll into the track with your nice wheels and then swap our your rears (or entire set) with your spares. 

The only thing I'd suggest is that if you should only use your spare wheels and tires for practice events. Try not to enter competitions without looking your best. Sport your good wheels at competitions so you look the part.





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Home Drifting Gallery Drifting Videos Drifting Technique Drifting Glossary Drifting Message Board
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