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


The Andrews transmission is a very sturdy 4 speed dog shifted unit commonly seen in NASCAR.  The 4 speed allows for wider and stronger gears and the big V8 has a wide enough powerband to get away with a wider ratio spacing.  The transmission is dry sumped with its own internal oil pump for good lubrication even under cornering and low windage losses.  The Andrews transmission is as light as it is strong with a Magnesium case.  A positive Long shifter is used for gear selection shifting in a traditional H pattern.

A Winters quick change rear end is used.  On drift cars a quick change is becoming the differential of choice.  Using a quick change allows a team to optimize the gearing for each track to minimize shifts.  Each shift has the potential for a mistake and to get rid of most shifting is a huge advantage.  Teams typically shoot to go through gears 1-4 or 1-3 before the first turn on a typical formula D course, then have the driver perform a single downshift to finish the course.  The Winters diff was chosen because it has some of the least power loss due to its pinion angle.  With the Winters diff gear ratio changes can be done in as little as 5 minutes.  A spool instead of limited slip differential is used as many drivers prefer its positive solid lock up.  The team has found that a spool is the most reliable, puts power down the best in drift and makes the tires last longer better than any other diff. A large 10.5″ ring gear was chosen for durability. The team has been able to tune out all understeer that a spool can cause.

Drift cars are very hard on axles.  The Driveshaft Shop supplies the axles.  Billet 930 style inner CV joints are used with billet replicas of Skyline inner plunging CV's deployed for strength.  The axle tube is tough shock absorbing 300M steel.  The team has only broken one axle in over 4 years of intenese competition.

Drivelines Incorporated built this custom driveshaft out of chromoly tubing using heavy duty Spicer U Joints.

After going through the powertrain, lets check out the underside of the car including the suspension.  SPD's awesome prep work really shines here.

SPD started by acid dipping a clean S14 chassis to strip it to bare metal.  Then every seam was TIG welded for strength and stiffness.

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