Professor ClutchPlate on……..Drifters Shopping List Part 2

We here at SA Drift get asked all sorts of questions from all over the country about everything drift. So to answer some of those questions we got Professor Clutchplate in to shed some light.

Drifters Shopping List Pt.2

Howdy Y’all, So we’ve talked about the different types of drift cars and drift engines here and here and we’ve had a chance to talk about some of the things you should have on your shopping list already here, so lets carry on with part 2.

Suspension kits

This is guaranteed to open a discussion around any fire. Whatever brand you choose they should all offer the same thing…adjustability.

Suspension kits range from a singular option such as bushes and rod ends to a full coil-over setup with wide angle control arms and will range in price just as much.

Now I realize there are a few of you out there who have no idea what I’am talking about so here’s a quick run down of the different suspension bits.


These are the rubber pieces that sit between your suspension components

Control armssuspension kit

These are the various pieces that make up the suspension geometry in your wheel well.

Coil overcoilovers

These are the spring and shock absorber assembly that you can see in the wheel well. Unlike the OE manufacturer setup these can be adjusted for greater accuracy for track work.

For an entry-level drift car I advise a decent coilover kit and polyurethane bushes to assist you with control. Once you have total control of the car and you are wanting to chase angle in your drifts, you can take a look at a wide angle kit. What the wide-angle kit will do is give the front wheels a greater turning radius allowing your car to drift at a greater angle while you still maintain control.wisefab_s_chassis_front_3_1_1

Wide angle kits can be expensive as most often they need to be imported from overseas but it didn’t take long for some enterprising South African engineers to come up with our own home grown kits.

A wide angle kit is not something you need right of the bat but it does go a long way to being competitive later on.

Hydraulic handbrake.hydraulic

Every serious drifter without a doubt needs one of these. The standard cable system on many cars is quite capable of managing the duty of breaking traction and trimming but if you want that extra peace of mind and total control a hydraulic system is the way to go.

The E brake is used to break traction on the rear wheels on iniation of a drift and to trim the angle of your drift by applying slight pressure the braking system on the rear wheels.

The mechanics of the system remain the same but it’s the actual lever that seems to get the most attention. This is where many drivers choose to modify their modification for aesthetics. And there is no end to what drivers have come up with!s-l3006381880675_da6ffaf1e3_b


Wheels and Tyresformula-drift-yokohama-tires

This is probably the most discussed item amongst drifters besides engines.

As a new drifter you should have at least two sets of wheels and tyres, The set that’s on your car and the set that is having new rubber fitted. As drifting destroys tyres it is advisable to have this kind of setup to maximize your track time and avoid delays during competition. No one wants to spend race day in front of a tyre changer!

Your wheel and tyre setup is about personal preference and naturally traction, which is kinda weird when you’re actually trying to break it!w&t


The traction you need is on the front wheels so having good grip upfront with a wide grippy tyre is good. Most competitive cars we’ve seen run 8.5 to 9.5J rims upfront which is basically a unit of measure in inches indicating the width of the rim.

Many competitive drift cars will run a staggered set of wheels and tyres to ensure the best setup during competition. As far as tyre sizes go…..

The most common we see on race day?…. 225/ 45 17 seems to be a good starting point for most drivers but on the higher powered cars anything from a 235 to a 265 are common place. If you are wondering about tyre sizes check out this video on you tube that explains tyre sizes.



If you want to know more or have something to add to our drifters shopping list please drop us a mail at or keep an eye out for the Prof’s next piece on safety.


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