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1996 Toyota Chaser & 1993 Nissan 180SX - Smoke Machines - JDM

Japanese Drift Equipment Roasts Our Coast

Jared Holstein
Jul 1, 2003
Photographers: Les Bidrawn, Josh Jacquot
Sccp_0307_02_z+1996_toyota_chaser_smoke_machines_jdm+falken_red_exterior_rear Photo 1/1   |   1996 Toyota Chaser & 1993 Nissan 180SX - Smoke Machines - JDM

As any redneck will tell you, it only takes one thing to make big smokies: Power. Alright, that and a little bleach.As any Japanese drifter will tell you, it takes a bit more to make tire smoke in a straight line, sideways, backwards, and continuously through a winding course.

Falken Tire was kind enough to ship over the two crowd pleasers you see here, a Nissan 180SX and a Toyota Chaser, for the first Drift Showoff event. Both cars are veterans of various drift series in Japan, including the vaunted D1 Grand Prix, as are the drivers, Seigou Yamamoto in his Toyota and Yoshinori Koguchi in his Nissan. Both these machines were shipped back to Japan the day after our photo shoot to compete in an upcoming D1 round.

Nissan 180SXIf you have watched any D1 events via DVD or the Internet, you might remember Koguchi's 180SX as painted dark green and white; the red paint scheme is brand new. Koguchi's Nissan is surprisingly stock-every modification on the car is a bolt-on. Testament to the SR20DET's solid design is the fact that the engine is internally stock, the only addition being a Nismo 1.2mm headgasket and HKS 264-degree cams. That's it.

Tire-shivering power comes from pressure delivered via an aftermarket forced-induction setup. Koguchi snagged an intercooler from a Mitsubishi Lancer and custom fabricated the piping at his shop, Koguchi Power. Koguchi installed his own tubular stainless-steel exhaust manifold, to which is bolted a Trust 517Z turbo, made for awesome power delivery rather than peak power-Koguchi estimates his engine makes 340 hp. A Koguchi stainless-steel downpipe feeds into a titanium exhaust system of the same manufacture. Koguchi produces his own chipped ECU, installed on this car, which provides proper fueling and spark for big boost, regulated via a Grid digital boost controller. Nismo 550cc injectors spray the good stuff into a stock combustion chambers, which are ensured adequate pressure with a Nismo adjustable fuel pressure regulator.

Not surprisingly, the most modified elements of the 180SX are in its suspension. Kei-Office XR coil-overs, with stiff 9kg/mm front, 7kg/mm springs rear are set up to provide the faster-than-immediate responses and transitions necessary for predictable behavior. Nearly every bushing is replaced by something tubular and with spherical rods ends, all of Koguchi Power manufacture. Adjustable tension rods and adjustable lower control arms tighten up the front, while adjustable toe control and camber arms reside in the rear suspension. A seven-point cage ties in the suspension mounting points, and a weld-in brace connects the front struts tower to the firewall.

Wheelspin is the name of this game, which Koguchi accomplishes with the help of an on-off switch ORC single-plate clutch and the essential Nismo limited-slip differential. A surprisingly heavy load is placed on the front and rear brakes during drifting, as the left foot is often on the stop pedal while the right foot is saying go, so these were upgraded as well. Koguchi dipped into the Nissan parts bin to bolt on a pair of R32 Skyline stoppers with four-pot calipers, but upgraded the rears only with pads.

Falken obviously supplies the Azenis ST-115s on the car, 215/40ZR-17s in the front, 235/40ZR-17s in the rear, mounted on 5Zigen Typhoons, available domestically. High-speed drifts require that the driver has confidence in the tires' performance under all circumstances, meaning high-grip and consistency is a must. Although the ST-115s are billed as a high-performance luxury tire, they obviously have the stick to work well. A rounded shoulder, helped by fitment on extra-wide wheels, helps make breakaway more gradual.

Drifting is to the motorsports world what ski ballet is to the alpine racing, with competitors judged on style and dynamic grace rather than purely objective measurements. As such, a drift car's appearance is integral to its success in competition. Koguchi has one of the less aggressively bedecked D1 cars on the circuit, although it still wears a full fiberglass body kit from Missile, Flared composite fenders from Wise Sports and a Koguchi Power vented hood. The interior of the car is mostly stock, with the addition of Bride racing seats, a Willans harness, and Nardi steering wheel. Greddy EGT, boost and water temp gauges help Koguchi monitor the engine health and coolant temps, kept low by a Racing Gear upgraded radiator.

Testament to his virtuosity of car control and long relationship with this S13, Koguchi was the only pro not to wreck at the Drift Showoff.

Toyota JZX100 ChaserMr. Yamamoto, on the other hand, has to wrestle a different kind of beast through the same tight corners: A very long, very heavy and very powerful Toyota JZX100 Chaser.

Imagine a car the size of an Avalon, except attractive, with rear-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter turbo 1JZ-GTE, stock. The Chaser is a longtime favorite among drifters, and so a profusion of parts exist to push the tank sideways and ensure it looks great doing it. Yamamoto performed the biggest no-brainer in engine swap-dom and tossed the 1JZ for the twin-turbo, Supra-sourced 3.0L 2JZ-GTE, which happens to bolt right in.

The 2JZ's stock bottom end can support staggering horsepower numbers, and was left stock. Yamamoto ported and polished the head himself and sandwiched a 1.6mm HKS headgasket, the only internal modifications performed.

Ditching the weight, complexity and horsepower limitations of the stock twin setup, a custom single-turbo setup using a one-off stainless manifold and a Garrett GT3040 turbo was installed. Trust provides a large wastegate with a divorced pipe; otherwise, exhaust flows through a one-off titanium exhaust fabricated by Garage S.

A massive, gorgeous Trust front-mount intercooler dominates visually and chills large parcels of the atmosphere. Like so many tuned cars from Japan, the Chaser uses an APEX'i Power FC to control combustion. Yamamoto upgraded to 550cc injectors from SARD; interestingly, U.S.-market Supras come with 550s stock. Yamamoto claims the Chaser's maximum power output is 560 hp, entirely believable and within spec for the turbo.

Much attention was paid to the cooling system, which sports a massive Rosou radiator to keep expensive things from happening, at least to the engine.

Keeping this big, heavy chassis from flexing is accomplished with a lot of investment of both time and money. A bolt-in Cusco roll cage does the basic job of stiffening, but according to Yamamoto, "1000" spot welds were introduced to the chassis, as were "2000" rivets. Wow. Given the tremendous loads placed on suspension mounting points, these were reinforced. Yamamoto uses Racing Gear coil-overs with custom Garage S Drift Edition specs and appropriately named LARGUS coilovers front and rear to delete the term "body roll" from the suspension's vocabulary. As the Chaser is sold to the public as a luxury sedan, soft stock bushings were replaced with units from TRD.

Stock brakes are nowhere near able to provide stopping power, given the available horsepower, so Yamamoto turned again to the Supra for its large four-piston front brake setup. Suitably massive 18x10.5-inch Gram Lights wear 265-mm wide Falken Azenis ST-115 rubber in the rear, with a 18x9.5 wheel and 255mm wide rubber in the front. Turning perfectly good rubber into puffy white clouds is accomplished with the help of an Exedy flywheel, triple plate clutch, and an Active Traction Service Deftforce limited-slip differential.

While the 180SX might be a bit stylistically reserved, the Chaser is all wild. The two-tone paint by Mazora ensures the Toyota is seen by judges and reconnaissance aircraft alike. Missile again supplied a full body kit, and the Chaser sport composite fenders as well as hood in an effort to keep the pork down. Battling a 3,300-pound curb weight, Lexan windows were installed. Completing the bling, a carbon T-Up GT wing sits precariously high on the rear deck.

The Chaser's interior certainly looks the part, with a Garage S edition Bride racing bucket, and Willans harnesses. Tracking the scary power and poof potential of the 2JZ are HKS boost, EGT, oil pressure, oil and water temperature gauges, and a honking tachometer, all which sprout from the dash like mechanical Gerberas.

If all the world were drifting, traffic would be fun, insurance premiums would suck, and companies like Falken would rake it in like Cheney was a board member. Barring the impossible, we must make do with growing the sport ourselves, and watching these pros do it right.

1993 NISSAN 180SX
Chassis Code : S13
ENGINE
Engine Code : SR20DET
Type : Inline four,aluminum block,
aluminum head
Internal Modifications : NISMO 1.2-mm headgasket,
HKS 264-degree cams
External Modifications : Koguchi Power stainless steel
manifold, Trust 517Z turbo w/
10cm turbine wheel, Koguchi
Power downpipe, Koguchi
power titanium exhaust,
Racing Gear aluminum
radiator, {{{Lancer}}} Evolution
intercooler
Engine Management Mods : Koguchi Power ECU, NISMO
550-cc injectors, NISMO
adjustable fuel pressure
regulator, Grid digital
boost controller
DRIVETRAIN
Layout : Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Drivetrain Modifications : ORC single-plate clutch,
Ogura flywheel, NISMO
SSS limited slip
SUSPENSION
Front : Kei-Office XR coilovers,
9-kg/mm springs, Koguchi
Power adjustable tension
rods, Koguchi Power
adjustable tubular lower
control arms, Circuit-Spec
strut tower brace, weld-in
strut tower to firewall brace
Rear : Kei-Office XR coilovers,
7-kg/mm springs, Koguchi
Power adjustable tubular toe
control arms, Koguchi
Power tubular camber arms
BRAKES
Front : {{{R32}}} Skyline conversion,
320-mm rotors
EXTERIOR
Wheels : 5Zigen Typhoons,
17 x 8.5 front, 17 x 9.5 rear
Tires : Falken Azenis ST-115
215/40-17 front,
235/40-17 rear
Body : Wise Sports front and rear
composite fender flares,
Missile body kit, Koguchi
Power hood

InteriorSeven-point roll cage, Bride racing seats, Willans harnesses, GReddy EGT, boost and water temp gauges

1996 TOYOTA CHASER
Chassis Code : JZX100
ENGINE
Engine Code : 2JZ-GTE
Type : Inline six, cast-iron block,
aluminum head
Internal Modifications : HKS 1.6mm headgasket,
polished and ported head
External Modifications : Trust intercooler, Trust oil
cooler, custom stainless
steel exhaust manifold,
HKS GT3040 turbo, Trust
wastegate, custom titanium
exhaust by Garage S, Rosou
aluminum radiator
Engine Management Mods : A’PEXi Power FC Version D,
HKS fuel pump, Sard
550 cc injectors

DRIVETRAIN
Layout : Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Drivetrain Modifications : ATS Deftforce limited slip,
Exedy triple-plate clutch,
Exedy flywheel
SUSPENSION
Front : Racing Gear coilovers,
12kg/mm springs, LARGUS
anti-roll bar, TOM'S brace,
TRD bushings
Rear : Racing Gear coil-overs,
10kg/mm springs, LARGUS
anti-roll bar, TRD bushings
BRAKES
Front : JZA80 four-pot calipers,
340mm slotted rotors,
Racing Gear pads, HKS
brake fluid
Rear : Earl's braided stainless-steel
brake lines, Winmax
brake pads
By Jared Holstein
25 Articles

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