In Part I of Project Slideways we addressed one of the most key components of power: the J-spec S14 turbocharged engine provided by Libero USA. Throughout the engine swap, Signal's Hiroki Kitaka added a few key components to help keep power up as well as retaining engine reliability. When building a drift car, water-and-air cooling are a few of the things that people fail to think about. To solve the heat dilemma, Hiroki added a larger Koyo radiator to keep the engine's water temp to a minimum. The SR20DET relies on an APEXi J spec intercooler kit to cool the engine's air charge. What you want to remember is that the engine will be on the rev-limiter for quite some time and the turbo will be under boost for a majority of the time on the track, so cooling the engine is extremely important.
In Part II of our drift car build up we will install components that make a car get sideways. Suspension is just as important as having a reliable engine. Not only does it allow you to initiate the drift easier, it will also keep the car from creating too much body roll. For the suspension duty we called upon Tanabe Racing Development, since they have plenty of drift technology. As a start we relied on a set of SUS Tech Pro DD Tanabe coilovers. These shocks offer adjustable ride height, spring height and rebound. The shocks also incorporate pillowball perches with camber/caster adjustments.
Thicker sway bars helped solve the body roll issues. Sway bars tend to flex more than what is needed, causing excessive body roll. In this case we replaced them with SUS Tech units. Later in the series we will get into adjusting the vehicle for little amount of understeer and plenty of drifting oversteer. The front sway bar is 30.4mm in size while the rear Tanabe units come in a 27.5mm thickness. Factory end links were used but factory rubber mounts were extracted with hard plastic replacements. While driving an RWD car, keeping the rear sway bar preloaded will allow the car to kick out quickly just by throttle adjustments from your foot.
Lowering a streetcar's negative camber is the main reason why tires wear unevenly. Well, on a drift car it's the same thing but twice as bad. Negative camber allows for more rear wheel clearance as well as more car control. Allowing the camber, toe and caster changes in the rear are Tanabe's rear upper link, lower control arms and toe rod. These three units also replace the factory rubber mounts with spherical rod ends.
For front alignment adjustment, coilovers offer camber and caster adjustment. We can eliminate much of the front suspensions play by eliminating the factory rubber bushings by replacing the factory tension rod with a Tanabe spherical tension rod. The tension rod also allows a much broader camber adjustment then what the factory specs allow.
By removing all the factory rubber bushings on the factory suspension, this will cause much of the road impact to travel to the chassis, often causing it to tweak more than normal. To make the new suspension stiffer, we incorporated front and rear underbraces. The front underbrace ties the tension-rod chassis mounting brackets to each other. Basically by connecting the driver and passenger side mounting brackets, the true suspension adjustment has less of a chance of going out of adjustment. If you have ever seen the factory tension-rod mount bracket, you would know that they come in extremely thin, 16-gauge mild steel. For the rear, the main connecting points are the lower control arms' mounting points. These points are merged with the vehicle's unibody in a diagonal configuration to stabilize the rear suspension's unwanted play. Both the front-and-rear underbrace are made of round-edge, heavy-gauge box steel to aid against unwanted mounting flex.
This time we intended to introduce and install the components, but in the later part of the series we will talk about how the components will be adjusted for alignment. We aren't talking factory adjustments; we're talking all-out drift adjustments! Since the car has most of the key components, all we could do now is sit back and admire the beauty of looking like a drift car before we install the final components. It'ss not until the next series that we will add the last of the parts to make the 240SX a hardcore drift machine. Stay tuned for the Kaas LSD install.