So you have a RWD vehicle and you've seen some YouTube clips
You mucked around on side streets and behind factories and now you think you're a baller. You've decided it's time to hit the track. Here are some key vehicle and personal components you must not overlook.
Now where to begin. There are 3 steps in a track-ready drift setup.
SAFETY - RELIABILITY - PERFORMANCE in that order.
First of all. Before hitting any type of track or event.. even before any “spirited driving”. Your car must be SAFE. Not everyone has the same standard for safety. So let's call it the Vehicle Safety Standard put out by your city, town, province, state, wherever you are.
Quality front tires, fully functional brakes, working seatbelts, bolted-down seat, no sketchy battery tray strap zip-tied ball of yarn bullshit.
Don’t forget 9/10 track days you will be required (as well as your passenger) to have:
Fully enclosed shoes, full-length pants, a full-length shirt, and obviously an approved full-face helmet. Might as well get some racing gloves at this point too.
Now that you have a safe well-running vehicle and the bare minimum personal safety outfit.. seat time is your main priority when at a local drift event. Having a reliable vehicle is the defining factor between a good track day or a bad track day. Given you don't smack a wall.
To ensure a full day’s work out of your ride you'll want to cover the basics. Overheating seems to be the leading cause of “total bummer dude” at any track day. Before you go do a “big turbo upgrade” or throw any “stage 3 ECU CHIP” or any so-called power adders for that matter. Do yourself and your engine a favour and spend some $$ on cooling components.
An aluminum radiator is a great place to start. Maybe even a set of electric fans and fan shroud. Anything really over the old junk you may have in there now - should be considered an upgrade. Next up is your oil cooler, a mini radiator for your engine oil. Think of it this way...even with the best radiator setup you can muster up. As soon as your engine oil overheats, it heat soaks the rest of your engine. Meaning the oil is so hot it heats up the surrounding area your radiator is trying to cool. Not to mention the oil loses most of its viscosity properties once out of operating temperature as well. These two components are vital to all performance cooling systems.
Now if you’re a real baller and you wanna smashish some hashish the first day. Then you can even go as far as a power steering cooler. Yea, all that steering and scandy flicks get that fluid going and heats her up real good. There are easy inexpensive ways to do this. Do some research. Lastly. Now we are not saying to go and buy carbon fibre brake ducting kits from Europe. But we are suggesting you take a look at your brake fluid. If it’s old and shitty. It will overheat, you will get brake fade, you will crash. It’s proven. So an easy brake upgrade is putting some proper brake fluid. Something with a higher operating temp value. Anything really over the old junk you have in there now is conderd an upgrade. See what’s happening here?
Now you’re safe, reliable, and ready. Well, maybe. But your car might not be. Some final performance factors you should be interested in acquiring are as follows.
Do not show up with an underpowered vehicle, open diff, stock suspension, and expect to have the result you’re looking for. The bare minimum we would suggest for any DECENT RWD vehicle is as follows. Now keep in mind, all vehicles vary in power, handling, etc.. these are the general bolt-on upgrades needed for a reputable setup.
In no particular order here are 6 easy upgrades to get your vehicle legit:
It may seem overwhelming. Bottom line is “You wanna play, you gotta pay”. You can either pay the price of money and efforts by following these steps. Or you can pay the price of having a crappy day at the track. If you cover these basics you will have just as much fun as the next guy who's running a sequential gearbox v8 turbskies. At least to a certain degree.
At the same time, you will benefit the most of all your pals because you will be on the track making skids the longest. Don’t worry about 500hp don’t worry about this crazy angle kit you don’t have.
Get out there get some seat time and make good times!
Hope this helps.
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