Basic Drift Chassis Setup Part 3


From the left, Toe-In, Toe-Out, Zero Toe.  For drifting you want to run a slight amount of toe out in most cases, usually around 1/8″ to 1/4″ toe out.  More than this will make the car twitchy and respond oddly to steering input.  Front Toe out helps the car turn in and initiate better.


You want to run a slight amount of toe out, typically about 1/8” total toe out.  A little toe out will help your car initiate better by turning in sharper.  This makes a big difference when you are trying to feint.  Too much toe out makes the car twitchy so I don’t recommend more than ¼” toe out.

You can set the toe really accurately with smart strings by measuring the front to rear of the wheel's rim in reference to the string.  You have to make sure the wheels are not bent first.
Longacre toe plates are useful for a quick toe set in the field.  They do not reference off of a datum plane like smart strings so if the car itself is not perfectly straight or the toe is off on both sides of the car, you might mess up the thrust angle.  Plates are really fast so they can be used if you need adjustment fast like in a 5 minute call.
Caster is the angle of the steering axis when looking at the car sideways.


You want to run as much positive caster as you can get without hitting the fenders.  Typically this is around 7 degrees or so on most cars. Caster really helps a drift car by making it self-steer better.  When you start to drift, you can simply let go of the wheel and let if feed through your fingers and the car will counter faster than if you were steering it yourself.  Caster also gives you more negative camber as the wheel turns which helps front grip.  More caster helps the car turn in better and makes the car more stable as well.  You probably don’t want to exceed 9 degrees of positive caster as this can actually cause understeer due to weight jacking as well as contribute to bump steer.

 Positive and negative caster explained.  No modern car runs negative caster.
This picture shows how positive caster increases negative camber as the wheel is turned, this is a good thing!



You don’t want to run tons of wheel offset to look hella flush.  This increases the scrub radius too much and hampers steering precision and can cause understeer and poor turn in when done to the extreme.   Don’t run so much offset that your scrub radius gets to be more than 3”.  So don’t go crazy with lip and wheel spacers.  At 3” of scrub you can still run a pretty nice and deep wheel but don’t go extreme to get the hellaflush look, like running a narrow wheel on a widebody car with 4” of spacers!

Too much offset to the outside increases the scrub radius as shown here.  This causes wheel fight and makes the car turn in worse and makes it harder to initiate.  A bunch of offset to make your car look good will make it hard to drive.
This picture show what all of the sins of current trends will do to you.  A super offset stretched wheel causes the tire to debead under side load.  This car handles like crap too.




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