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How to build a drift Car on a budget

10 August 2011 3 Comments

So you want to get into the sport of Drifting, but dont know where to start. We have compiled a basic starting blog to help you get going. This is the first insert  of several in an article on how to start building up a drift machine..

Choosing a Car
Drift cars can come in all makes and models. Choosing the correct car to meet your budget is the first and most important set towards getting your ass into a drift car of your own.

View our previous blog about affordable drift cars found in SA – http://automodified.net/affordable-drift-cars-found-in-sa/

There’s generally two types of drifters. There are guys that will buy the newest, most expensive, highest powered vehicles available because they’re concerned with winning and the image of winning. And there’s the guy in older or underpowered vehicles that doesn’t care what people think and they just want to slide.  No matter which category you fall under we all have the same goal and that is to go sideways as best as we can.

Determining Your Budget

Structuring your budget is the most important factor when it comes to buying your first potential drift car. Make sure to get the car that best fits your budget and requirements, but here is the thing, make sure not to blow all your money on the actual purchase of the vehicle, remember you still need to fit a bucket seat and more importantly a rollcage to protect your self from those unseen circumstances.

When budgeting for a drift car purchase, you have to look into:

1. The purchase price of the vehicle. Can you afford the vehicle with your current income and will you be able to still afford the car should anything happen to effect your income?

2. The cost and availability of aftermarket parts. If you choose a rare car, you’ll find it fairly difficult to find the parts you need or you’ll have to pay to import them from other parts of the world. Before buying a drift car, put together a bit of a wish list for parts you’d like for your prospective vehicle and find out how much they cost. Once you’ve determined your wish list and prioritized the list, you can see if your income can support the purchase and installation of aftermarket parts on your soon to be drift car. In other words, if you can’t afford 18 inch tyres on a regular basis, you’d better stick with smaller vehicles that can look good with a set of smaller wheels.

3. The cost / availability of general upkeep and maintenance. Having a 200sx with an RB25 engine swap is awesome don’t get me wrong, but your local Midas doesn’t carry RB25 head gaskets. This could be a major or minor problem, depending on where you live and what kind of connections you have. Depending on how old your car is, and how frequently you plan on drifting, you should start building up a emergency fund for those unwanted repairs and incidents. for your vehicle. If you start putting money a side for repairs, you’ll be glad when you need that expensive part so you can attend that all important drift meeting on Saturday.




  • Car Tuning said:

    Nice post.. I like the Toyota Starlet 1981 with KP61 1981 4AGE engine to use for drifting. It`s light, small, cheap and very easy to maneuver.


  • Maurice said:


    ok so how do you turn ur daily driver into a drift car? also how do you go about sponsorship if it will help u get on to the drift road sooner than later?


  • Drift said:

    @ maurice:
    Parts needed would be: a hydraulic handbrake, discs and calipers at the back,very stiff springs or preferably coil overs, chassis would need strengthening (extensivity depending on the car), the usual drift interior with safety equipment and of course, an engine with enough torque.
    Optional things would be: adjustable shocks, polyeurathane bushes, drift tyres on big rims (standard 13 inch tyres are a nice way to learn. Bigger it is, more torque is needed), and a unit to measure G-force would be nice.

    As for sponsorships, you need to ask businesses to invest in you. However, I don’t think they would give you a sponsorship without knowing what your skills on the track is like. Drifting is good fun for an amateur, but nerve wrecking for an experienced competitor – you have sponsors to keep happy.
    So give it a good thought before spending a load of cash.


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