How to make my car drift

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Lextreme II

Just call me "Lex"
City of Halos
Hello All,

I would like to open up a question for you experts here. What can i do to modify my LS400 to "Drift". Mods such as:
1. Suspension
2. Motor/HP
3. Tranny
4. Brake
5. Differential
and on..
This is only a basic answer, but it should be helpful:
Suspension should be very stiff, and the car should have a roll cage and bracing to stiffen the body up to.
Horsepower is pretty much second the he chassis setup, but midrange torque is important.
Transmission is pretty simple it has to be a manual.
Big brakes are handy e.g. 330mm disks with 4 piston calipers...maybe bigger with the weight of an ls400.
The diff's in drift cars is usually and extremly "tight" mechancal LSD.
Like I said my answer is basic but i hope it helps
The best suggestion i can make is to get in touch with some Drifters regarding suspension setups etc.
they wont have much(if anyhting) speciafically for the Lexus, but they should be able to supply you with some basic settings that you can improve on
Have you tried contacting Rod Millen Motorsport?
His sons an avid drifter and looking at getting more involved, you may find some help there.
Ill try and find some writeups on drift setup if i can for you

height adjustble platform coilover suspension with fully adjustable shocks would be handy. Something like Tein, or Cusco, or HKS, if they make them.
basically, the best setup for drift is roughly how you'd set the car up for if you were going to race it. The only downer about drifting an LS400 (other than finding performance parts) is that for an optimal setup, you'd have to rip out all the luxuries one buys an LS400 for. So go for it, strip the interior bare, buy a roll cage and bucket seat, and get used to looking out the side windows.
as an avid "around town" drifter in a stock 94 ls400, i've got to say suspension is the main thing. Just loose that body roll.

Take your car out in the rain and try to begin to do some power drifts (turn in, step on the gas). Then as your sideways, turn it the other way around. In the ls it takes a good 1/2 sec to shift all the weight from left to right or right to left. With a stiffer suspension, lowered center of gravity, you'll be fine other than the gear box. I'm hoping dropping from d to 2 isnt ruining my tranny too much
I think the first thing for the SC or LS is power.... you have to get the tires spinning first in order to drift...... unless u are in wet pavement or pavement with sand. Drift is kindda like burn out..... you can not do burn out if your tires doesnt spin at a stop..... Hopefully my single turbo will do its job...... and suspsension.. and all those safety issues...
once your at higher speeds, the friction coefficient for the wheels is much lower. At 60-70 mph around 250 hp is plenty. The weight factor in drifting has more to do with the response than can have a car 2x the weight of an ls and still drift with 100 hp.

Here are the phsyics of it.

Your drag racing, the read wheels devote 100% of the power forward.
In drifting, you turn, and if your flooring it, youll get more and more percentage of force sideways, and less forward. so now your getting 75% siedways, 25% forward, in an extreme case. So much force sideways just by turning the wheel is quite a lot, then the moving weight of the vehicle (anything above the suspension really) flings that force. At that fling is where your drift starts.

The best way to see if you have enough power to drift is to get a huge huge piece of pavement, like and airfield, or a huge parking lot, go around 60, and just turn the wheel aout 200 degrees in 1 direction. When you turn step all the way down on the accelerator, if your back swings out, you can drift.

The tighter and lighter the suspension is, the lower the minimum forward speed of a drift is. Just make the suspension as tight as possible, 250 horse is plenty of power. I've seen 120 hp cars drift with just suspension work.

But the ls is quite heavy, so youll mainly be drifting 1 corner, no s-turns or then it gets quite violent, but still possible. Wa too much weight to throw around.
- You dont 'neeeeeed' a manual. The Auto will do just fine ;)
- You dont need massive amounts of power.
a. You can use the Ebrake method for hi speed passes
b. Hi power (Turbo / SC ) is helpful with doing cone menuvers
- Suspension is King. Use Tien (Ive used HKS,JIC and Ka in the past) not sure whats available for the LS. nor do i know what type of weight Distribution it has...
- Cars dont have to be 50/50 , There are plenty of ways to get around a front heavy set-up if you truly feel the need to go 50/50
- Proper tire set-up ( not bald tires )
- Take an Auto-cross class (Yes, Grip is the best way to learn about Drifting your car)
- No LSD=No Drift. Ass sliding is not Drifting. Buy one, Weld your stock whatever...just have it lock up anyway you can ;)

Keep in mind: -The weight of the Lexus makes it a lot harder on the car...

Good luck! :)

( D_G )
hehe, this is sortta funny... do you guys actually intend to "drift" an ls or sc??? they're too porky, the canter of gravity is too high, and the wheelbase is awefully long..

i've been a drift fan since i got my licence and have owned a handful of drift cars previously (mainly 180sx' and ae86 sprinters)... and still have one that im working on at the moment...

as for auto's, i don't really think you can drift auto's... sure you can get them to powerslide, but that's totally different to drifting... powersliding, you get the rear to slip mid corner, whereas drifting, the traction is lost and the sideways actions begines before you even enter the corner...

i find a mix of brake control (ABS vehicle a must for beginners) and handbrake action is the easiest way to have fun... btw, i've never drifted a corner beyond 80km/h... it's just way too dangerous at that speed... you just can't predict how the car will react.

for a left hander, head toward corner in third, brake hard, drop to second + rev match to keep it in the torque band (5k rpm from my sr20det was comfortable), feint right ever so slightly, then about 20m from the corner, hook a massive left, plant your right foot, then depending on the slip, handbrake + countersteer.... from there it's all about throttle control...

very hard to explain, easy to picture, easy to work out.... just find somewhere to practice your countersteering and brake control... also, the drift bibe DVD explains heaps.

i practiced on a grass paddock (private property) in my first ae86. have fun
as for auto's, i don't really think you can drift auto's...

oh really mate? i got one word for you...Marshall Tyres VN was an auto when it started drifting (and he smoked the cars u mentioned in his first ever Drift Australia round, came third at Queensland Raceway...personally i'd rather a manual better control more fun all that, the LS is a lot longer for a reason. its a luxury car, rip the guts out, put a rollcage in it and have fun with it, because it has a longer wheelbase it will be easier to do highspeed drifts with it. long wheelbase = highspeed stability. as for practice, go to ur local track (Malalla, Lakeside, etc.) and practice, and practice, and practice...but dont ever practice on dodgy rears, do it on brand newies if u can, grip = traction which in turn = better stability and more predictable car and drift...anyhow thats my lot for tonite...just go gentle on that poor cable handbrake...get a hydro one if u can for about $300-400 and fit it comes with instructions but isnt legal (some models are) because they dont lock i said...go gentle, and go easy....and buy brand new! try TRD when they get up and running here in Australia...and see wat they reckon..if not try a Toyota wrecker..anyhow..thats me for tonite..
I'm glad this thread came out of the grave. I'm actually planning on building a 'drift' LS400. However my concerns have been:

Lack of aftermarket suspension support, Does anyone know the amount of adjustment with the factory suspension? I.E. F.Caster, F.Camber, R.Camber, R.Toe?

I'm assuming the factory sus uses accentric cams for adjustment, And I have seen cars with TONS of adjustment with factory arms (Miata) and Almost no adjustment (Silvia/180sx) where aftermarket sus arms are required for a decent 'drift' setup.

I'm sure most 'drivers' on this forum prefer manual trans over auto, As do I. Which leads me to another question: has anyone successfully converted an LS400 to a manual setup? If so, Any threads/builds/info ect. that can be provided would awesome!!

I'm willing to tackle all the issues (Custom fab) I may encounter while doing this, However I want to see what has already been done to this car. The last thing I want to try and do is re-invent the wheel so to say.

Oh yeah, First post. (Hi)
well dude you dug this out of the gave :) anyhow, I live in clearwater fl, so aparently not far from you. so if you want any local help setting up the car hit me up.
well dude you dug this out of the gave :) anyhow, I live in clearwater fl, so aparently not far from you. so if you want any local help setting up the car hit me up.

Yeah we kinda know each other, Miles called you recently to ask you a few questions about the 1uzfe/5spd swap.

Like I said, I'm really curious about the suspension setup of the UCF10, Over anything. I want to make sure that the car even has the potential for the adjustments to the suspension that I need to make.
oh ok i didnt even put two and two togather on that, anyhow ya give me a call later on, but i dont off hand know how much adjustment there is in the suspention but i could offer some possabilities on custom arms.