Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1


Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
Matt Powers rocks out with KW Club Sports, Matt is a prime example of a top pro that uses suspension that any Joe could buy off the shelf.

When adjusting your coilovers do not commit the cardinal sin of suspension set up.  Don’t lower your car too much.  Some lowering is good; lowering a lot is not unless the car is designed to be super low which costs a lot of money, money that is better spent on other things on a grassroots budget.   Most coilovers are  shorter bodied and designed to be run lower than stock but try to avoid the hellaflush slammed to the ground look.  Remember if you have read this far you probably do care that you car works well.

Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
Don't set your car up too low!  Here is a picture of Matt Powers car from his Hellaflush Pro Am days.  The car is slammed to the ground, flushed out and on stretched out wheels.  He had a lot of fan bois from the stance nation in those days.  When he “sold out” he started to kick ass.  Matt also is a MotoIQ tech reader!

Generally, you don’t want to lower the car more than 2” with short bodied coilovers or 1 inch with stock length shocks, more than that and you start to screw up the suspension geometry.  You also want to make sure you have plenty of wheel travel, we like to have 2.5-3” of bump travel and 1.5-2” of droop and certainly no less than 1” of droop.  You want to avoid having the car bottom out while under drift as that will drastically change the balance of the car, usually resulting in spinning out or understeering badly.

Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
Don't get us wrong, a stanced out car can be pretty damn sexy looking.  However, if you care about performance, you have to engineer that look for the car to handle right or maybe even be safe!

When adjusting your damping avoid the common mistake of making your shocks too stiff.  Too stiff and the car will hop and bounce in drift making it hard to control even though it might feel responsive to steering.  Too little damping and the car will feel floaty like a boat and unresponsive.  Correct adjustment will have a decent ride but firm control.  Don’t be afraid to tinker and experiment to find the right set up for your car.  You can also use the shock's adjustment to control how the car starts to drift and feels in drift.  Soft rear shock adjustments will usually make the rear of the car grip up and have more forward bite although it can also make the car want to straighten up and be twitchy in drift.  Stiffer in the rear can make the car looser and easier to get into drift.  Stiffer damping in the front makes the car turn in sharper with more response, softer slows it down.

Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
See who says we don't like Hellaflush?  Hard as fuck!  A car with stance can work but you have to pay $$$ for it to be designed that way.  When doing basics, it's best to keep your lowering to 1″ with a stock style shock or 2″ with a short bodied coilover and any attention that you have around 3″ of bump travel and 2″ of droop.
Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 1
More hard evidence that MotoIQ is OK with style!

Stay tuned, in our next edition of drift chassis basics we will continue our discussion of how to set up your drift car for good performance.

Learn everything about suspension!


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