Drift Essentials

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Drift Essentials

Post  S14Tan on Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:37 pm

Drift Essentials
Nine Critical Drift Suspension Mods


#1 - Tie Rod Ends

The focus of this modification is increasing the steering capabilities of the vehicle by increasing its lock-to-lock performance. In drifting it's all about a wicked, deep drifting angle and you will need the steering capabilities to keep pace with the angle. As the tail-end comes around the car is steered into the drift to maintain the slide while the throttle is manipulated to keep the two ends of the car in balance. If you were to run into the steering system's bump stop at this point the car would spin out. Tie rod ends allow the tires to turn farther, keeping the system off the bump stops and the car happily sliding past the apex.

*Note the unnatural angle of the front wheel of the Falken AE86 in the accompanying picture.



#2 - LSD

Not the hallucinogen, we are talking about a Limited Slip Differential. The LSD limits the amount of slip between two drive tires on the same axle. An unmodified, open diff slows the inside wheel when the car turns so it will turn smoothly. Under performance duress this unbalanced traction can be a hindrance�ever see a car the drag strip do a burnout on one tire? LSDs are categorized as 1-way, 1.5-way and 2-way; each type of unit provides two-wheel traction in a different manner. A 1-way clamps the wheels together under acceleration only and are widely used on FWD platforms. A 1.5-way differential locks up under acceleration and provides better traction characteristics than an open diff during deceleration but not a total lock. A 2-way locks down under acceleration and deceleration and is the most popular style of differential in drifting and in the performance realm as a whole. The LSD provides stable, predictable traction under full-throttle conditions and makes initiating the drift a more linear proposition as well as making it easier to maintain a hard angle because traction is more of a constant.



#3 - Coilover Suspension

Using a coilover suspension lowers the car�s center of gravity and provides stiffer dampening. Stiffness and chassis rigidity give a drift car a more defined tip-over point, the point at which a drift is initiated. Coilovers have the biggest, most immediate impact in creating a solid tip-over point. This is key for beginners who need a communicative suspension to be able to predict and control a drift. A set-up with upper pillow-ball mounts adds camber adjustment to the equation, which will be a welcome, additional tuning point as the beginner evolves his technique.



#4 - Tension Rods

The focus of upgrading tension rods is on rigidity, or more precisely deflection. The targets are the overly flexible bushings used in OE rods. Aftermarket upgrades utilize urethane bushings or spherical bearing joints, which are considerably stiffer than the stockers and offer the ability to adjust caster more aggressively. Caster effects the rate in which a car in a full-lock turn returns to a neutral, straight ahead setting when the driver lets go of the steering wheel. This addresses a key juncture in a drift, the transition from one side to another, and added caster will allow a new drifter to better manage this critical move.




#5 - Bracing

The fight against flex continues. Here we are looking at strut tower braces (front and rear), H-braces, under body lower arm bars that triangulate suspension components, sway bars, lower tie bars and C-Pillar bars. These parts are relatively inexpensive but can really tighten up the chassis. Start with strut tower bars then get feedback from fellow drifters on which braces will work best on your particular car and with your pre-existing mods.



#6 - E-Brake Button

This little gem keeps the e-brake lever in the unlocked position so the rear parking brake can be easily manipulated. Most beginners see it as an easy way to induce a rear slide but an experienced drifter will also use it to help realign the rear of the car in mid drift to exit the turn at the correct angle as well as extend the drift farther down range.



#7 - Tire Sponsorship
This is a bit of an underhanded comment but tires are a perishable commodity in the world of drift where 30,000 miles of wear can be granulated out of existence in the span of 10 minutes. I suggest close monitoring of tire wear and taking notes of tire condition during an event. Then stick with the same brand/model of tire so you get more repeatable results, maybe even a volume-buy discount.



#8 - Honorable Mention, Adjustable Rear Upper Control Arms
As a car is lowered the factory arms produce more negative camber (the angle of the tire as it tucks under the fender during suspension compression), which can be contrary to traction. Adjustable units correct the angle and help keep the tire's contact patch firmly planted on the asphalt.



#9 - Honorable Mention�Rear Toe Links

This is a rear version of the tension rod with better bushings or a spherical bearing set-up and a better handle on toe-in adjustments of the rear tires.



Conclusion

The final two listings are honorable mentions because they are not critical to the beginning drifter but are useful additions for later. So if the opportunity to add these components arises, as part of a package deal etc, it would be wise to add them to the mix.

Drifting is an addicting endeavor and one that should only be done on a closed course. A fairly stock car with the proper suspension mods will deliver the most adrenalin flow per lap during a weekend drifting binge. Really all you need is a reliable, healthy engine and some of the mods listed here to pull of some crazy pitches and hard angles. As your skills advance a craving for power will kick in so be prepared for engine mods down the line. Until next time, keep it on the track. Cool

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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  ritz on Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:05 pm

yessir officer.
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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  s14 on Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:53 pm

can't I just drift?

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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  ritz on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:01 pm

pfft,no. there are rules.
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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  TandemHero on Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:09 pm

goood thread tan.....

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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  S14Tan on Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:51 pm

TandemHero wrote:goood thread tan.....

Tanx

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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  silvialuvr on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:27 pm

use the weight of the car! its ur friend! Very Happy
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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  TPS240sxS13 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:14 pm

its all about how well you know your car if you catch my Feint

haha get it? haha sorry i had to.
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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  s14 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:52 pm

Ugh oh! new guy is funny!

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Re: Drift Essentials

Post  ritz on Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:53 pm

lawls, made me chuckle
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Re: Drift Essentials

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