Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
By Mike Kojima
If you have been following my series, “The Ultimate Guide to Suspension and Handling” on MotoIQ you have been getting a step by step education on the theory of suspension. Due to overwhelming demand, I have decided to take a step back from the theory side of things and give some simple and practical advice on how to set up a drift car due to the literally hundreds of requests I have gotten on this.
|2011 Formula D Champion, Dai Yoshihara's car has some really exotic parts in the suspension but much of it is off the shelf stuff that anyone can buy.|
As most of you probably know, my normal drifting job is setting up the chassis to make Dai Yoshihara’s Discount Tire/ Falken Tire S13 do its thing on the Formula D circuit. For the pros there are a lot of tricks and engineering going into making those cars go sideways, changing directions and maneuvering with lightning fast precision with the performance envelope of a road racer and drag racer combined.
|Matt Powers is an example of what you can do with the basics done right. All of Matt's suspension is off the shelf stuff that anyone could buy for a modest price. Matt's driving skill and Costa Gialamas's set up skill was good enough to take Matt's low buck program all the way to a 6th place in Formula D ranking.|
Being what is perhaps the fastest growing motorsport, Drifting is getting ever popular on the grassroots level. Although your local drift day can sometimes attract hundreds of enthusiastic beginning drifters the scene is lacking for a large part even a basic knowledge of how to properly set up a car for drifting.
|Walker Wilkerson was runner up for 2011 Formula D Rookie of the Year Honors and was voted Fan Favorite. Walker is one of the only competitive 4 cylinders engines in pro drifting running an SR20DET. Guess what? Walker reads MotoIQ and uses our basic set up!|
Although we do some extreme high dollar secret tricks on the pro cars, the grassroots drifter can get 80% of the way there by getting the basics right. Proper basic setup will make the car easier to handle in drift and speed your learning curve. Unlike most grassroots motorsports, many people in the drift scene are seemingly oblivious on how to make their cars work better, being more conservative with things like stance, ride height and flushness as the street lifestyle aspect of drift culture is very strong.
|Matt Fields is also a MotoIQ reader and one of the top privateers in pro drifting. His car uses all basic off the shelf stuff.|
At the pro level, we really don’t care how the car looks, just how it works and if you care to advance yourself in the art of drifting as a driver, you might want to think in the same way as well. For those of you that want to get better through making your car easier to drive, we decided to write down some basic low cost guidelines on what it takes to set up your car for drifting.
|Formula D Rookie of the Year Odi Bakchis owns Feal Suspension and is a suspension expert himself. He uses a very basic setup that is well dialed in. Odi can do stuff to make your low dollar coil overs work a lot better. Give him a call. The point of all of this is that the basics done well can see you all the way into pro competition.|