A Look Inside Dai Yoshihara’s Pro Drift Machine


The front suspension uses KW Suspensions Motorsport remote reservoir 3-way adjustable dampers mounted on spherical bearing plates.  The dampers are a high pressure design and use monotube construction.  The damping adjustments are high and low speed compression and global rebound with emphasis on low shaft speeds.  The damping curve is digressive.  The KW’s have a huge adjustment range and each click changes the adjustment by a consistent and discreet amount.  In the fast paced world of pro drifting, there is very little time for set up and practice so each run counts.  The wide adjusting range and the easy to adjust nature of the KW’s really helps in this situation.  The front suspension features fabricated tubular upper and lower control arms that pivot on spherical bearings.  The front suspension is adjusted for camber, caster, steering axis inclination, roll center, Ackerman angle and bump steer.  The final version of the lower link is not shown here.  A larger Hotchkis front anti-swaybar is used.
KW Dampers are also used in the rear of course.  The subframe is held on with machined delrin mounts replacing the stock rubber parts.  SPD stitch welded the entire unibody for stiffness.  A Hotchkis rear antisway bar is used as well.  The main links of the multilink rear suspension are fabricated and are mounted with spherical bearings to eliminate compliance from squishy rubber.
Fabricated spherical bearing links.  A cool part of the Lexus rear suspension is that it has very little anti-squat in it for a production car.  This gives the car tremendous forward drive, even when completely sideways.  This is a big advantage in tandem drift.
This block helps improve the Ackerman angle to increase self-steering and steering angle as does the fabricated knuckle (not shown in this picture).  The block changes the mounting points less than 1″ in accordance with Formula D rules.  The block also raises the roll center, improving the camber curve and increasing geometric anti-roll.  This helps make the front end more responsive.
Solid steering rack bushings improve Ackerman angle and give better response by getting rid of rubber.  The lower arm was replaced by an adjustable bearing-equipped part fabricated later in the car’s development cycle.
Running the Falken/Discount Tire Lexus is a team effort.  Steve Sprague, Scott Dodgion, Dai Yoshihara and yours truly get the car ready for an evening practice in Las Vegas.


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