Nerd’s Eye View, a Look Inside Darren McNamara’s Falken Tire Nissan S14


I think a Griffin is some sort of mythical beast that spews fire and looks like a lizard dragon or something.  In this case Griffin is the company that supplied the huge aluminum radiator.  The radiator core is over 3″ thick and is as big as possible to fill the space in the front of the car.  Drift cars need to be overcooled because the car is sideways and the radiator is getting limited airflow most of the time. Drift cars also have to sit idling for long periods of time after a hard run heat soaking away. With this in mind the radiator has custom fabbed shrouding, air directing ducts and two huge electric fans.  An aluminum hard pipe is used to prevent hose collapse. The radiator is placed well back in the chassis and protected by several layers of bash bars as drifting is often a contact sport.  This also helps weight distribution as this sucker is heavy when full of water.

The radiator is filled through this high mounted surge tank with the cooling system being run at a high 30 psi of pressure to reduce the chances of localized boiling inside the engine that can cause flash overheating.  Water is continually circulated from 4 bleeds in the cylinder heads to the suction side of the water pump.  This ensures that all air is purged from the cooling system continuously.

The ignition system is a high energy CDI system triggered by the Motec M880 ECU.  The Motec uses crank and cam sensors to determine when to fire the spark.  Each cylinder has its own individual coil which is needed to fire the engine's high compression at high RPM.

A two piece Patterson dry sump tank can be disassembled for cleaning.  We like its internal de aeration baffling and large capacity as well.  The dry sump tank is rear mounted in the trunk area for better weight distribution.

The custom headers were fabricated by John Russakoff of JSP Fabrication.  John is a Formula D driver himself as well as a kick ass fabricator.  You can see his handwork at   John built the headers from lightweight and temperature resistant 321 stainless steel and feature a merged collector and huge 2″ in diameter primary tubes!  They attach to the main 3″ exhaust via quick release V-band clamps.

At Road Atlanta Darren tore through the top 32 to finish 2nd overall.  Here he battles the legendary Chris Forsberg for a win.


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