So you're interested in drifting and want to start competing. Well before you can begin to compete you need to have a car that can compete.
This can be a problem. If you where anything like me when I started out, you don't have the cash to build a Formula D level slide machine. So what do you do? Well, do what I did; build a drift car on a budget!
The first step is finding a good platform to start with. This can be a challenge with all the different cars that are used in the drifting world. But I have a few solid rules that you can follow that will help make your decision a lot easier.
First, you will want something driftable. By saying driftable, I'm talking about how it needs to have the essential characteristics of a drift car. You will NEED to find a car that has rear wheel drive (RWD), and a manual transmission. Don't go out and find something with a automatic transmission or for some reason front wheel drive (FWD) and say "I can just do a tranny swap" or "I can do a RWD conversion". DON'T! This is NOT WORTH THE EFFORT, PERIOD! The purpose is to build a drift car for as cheap as possible and as quick as possible so that you can be on the track drifting as soon as possible.
Second, you want it to be cheap. I set a budget of $1000. I know plenty of people that found a car for less but they got lucky. I set my budget of $1000 for a running driving car that I could build into something that would be competitive. Along with the price of the car being cheap, you want parts to be cheap. You want a vehicle that has a strong aftermarket following and an abundance of spare parts that are easy to find and cheap.
And third, you will want a vehicle you aren't in love with. In the world of drifting, you will make mistakes, you will have accidents, and you will crash. Therefore you want something that you will be willing to take to the edge and past in order to improve your skills. Too many times I've seen people that are afraid to push themselves and there car because they're afraid of crashing. To be able to learn and improve you can't be thinking about crashing, you need to be thinking about how you can better your technique. You can't be afraid of crashing, it's inevitable so deal with it.
I chose a 1992 Nissan 240sx for several reasons. They're cheap, they have a huge aftermarket following, parts from other Nissans are bolt-on upgrades, and the 2.4L DOHC (KA24DE) engine is tough and loaded with torque.
Cars I would recommend are the Nissan 240sx S13 and S14, Mazda Miata MX-5 (any year), Toyota Supra (I recommend the older body style of the early 90s), Mazda Rx7, and the Toyota Cressida. Or if your into domestics you can go with the Ford Mustang, or any other cheap abundant RWD car.
Up next "Drift Car On A Budget: Part 2, The Essential Mods".____
So you've found your new car, soon to be drift monster. Now what? Well, now you will need to start the build up. There are several directions you can go and there's no right or wrong. However there is a quick and slow. Now with the direction I'm trying to take you with these tutorials, I'll be teaching you the quick way to get out on the track and to be getting the seat time you will need.
One common misconception about drifting is that you need gobs of power in order to control a drift through a corner, however with my teachings through this tutorial, you will learn this is a myth. What you will need is a tweaked and tuned suspension set up that will make it next to impossible to be unable to control your vehicle through a corner.
So, with that said, let's get started. The first priority is a parts list. You have to know what you need and stick to that list. You don't want to be buying items like steering wheels and glowing shift knobs when you should be looking for polyurethane bushings and sway bars. If you want you drift car to look like a show car then stop right now! Your first drift car will be beat up and probably crashed. So you are looking for form over fashion.
You parts list at this point should be all about suspension. You can have a car producing 150 hp and lbs torque and slide like a pro if you have the proper suspension set up. Therefore your parts list should consist of the following:
- Adjustable coil overs __________________________
- Bigger sway bars
- Polyurethane bushings
- Strut bars
- Limited slip differential (LSD)
- SFI 16.1 certified 5/6 point racing harnesses
- Snell SA 2000 or newer helmet
These are some of the essentials to getting on the track. You should be able to find everything on this list for a budget of around 4000 dollars US, putting the running total in the area of $5000.
KEY POINT: Always do your research! During you search for the right parts research the brands and parts you find. Check forums, read articles, and search the web for the pros and cons of the item you want to by. You won't want to be wasting your time and money on things that don't work.
To recap where we are with this budget build, you've found your car, you have your parts list and are buying the things you NEED. With this you are off to a great start and your heading in the right direction. So look forward to part 3 where we will talk about where the rubber meets the road, choosing the proper tire and rim combination
http://Drift-Diaries.com is a chronicle where I show you my rise in the drifting community. I will teach you how you can compete, get exposure and eventually make it big as a drifter.
Hi My name is Chip, or Speed as a lot of people know me and I am a soon to be professional drifter, interested in helping you learn to drift and build your skills.
See you at the track!
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