Reducing the weight off your drift car
Is it really necessary to take some weight off my drift car? Where can I even take off the weight without compromising my performance? How much weight is too much weight? These are all valid questions to consider when sliding sideways.
Talk to anyone into drifting long enough and the topic of weight would probably come up. It’s no secret how much of a factor weight could play in performance and control. Usually, when attempting to increase inertia, a heavier drift car will give you way less control than a lighter car that will be more nimble and sharp to allow for better weight transfer and overall balance.
Essentially, less weight makes you more of a beast in your car and initiating + exiting a drift feels like such a breeze. But really, how much weight is too much? And where do you start cutting out weight? It is always a good tip to gradually take weights out and test how your car feels on the track each step of the way. Also depending on your budget, it’ll be a good idea to take out the least beneficial and least costly parts first to be completely safe, then work up from there.
That being said, here are a few things you can consider to help cut down on your car’s weight.
All those couple pounds here and there add up pretty quickly. So even though it might not seem like it, there is a lot of weight that can be removed from your interior alone. Your rear seats, carpets, passenger seat, spare tire, jack, extra plastics, plastic trims, headliners, speakers, sunroofs, dashboard parts and door panels are all parts you can consider to save you a couple hundred pounds.
If you also have a little extra cash on you, you can consider replacing your glass windows with polycarbonate window sheets. Before doing this however, be sure to check that it is compliant with your track's safety regulations and also that of your state (especially if you are planning to drive your car on the street). With this, you’re looking at close to a 4lb weight drop from each glass window.
Air conditioning, heater, fan, speakers. If you don’t need ‘em, take ‘em out. Most of these parts could accumulate to over 20lbs. So as long as your drift car doesn’t also double as your daily driver, taking those electrical parts out might a good thing to consider. You can also look into swapping your battery for a lighter version as most standard car batteries weigh anywhere from 20 to 45lbs whereas a smaller and more compact race car battery will be half the weight.
This might sound like a drag but there really is no point filling up the fuel in your tank if you're going for a short race or it's a shorter track day than usual. Filling your tank half or quarter way will work just fine and help your car shed a couple of easy pounds.
If you are planning on getting some coilovers, springs or dampers, you can strategically use that as an opportunity to save some weight. Our coilover kit selections offer anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds lighter than standard OEM units so that could also be an efficient avenue when looking at weight reduction.
Wheel and Tire Package
You can also consider (depending on your suspension), getting a lighter wheel and tire package. Although the tires might not offer a significant weight difference, there are a lot of good options for lightweight and fairly cheap alloy wheels that could save you a couple of extra pounds and also make your car look way cooler than the standard car wheels.
If you still need to take some weight off your car, you can consider replacing some body panels like your doors, boot lid, roof, front wing, and bonnet with glass-fiber reinforced plastic. These are big weight savers and are usually 20 or more percent lighter than the standard steel or aluminum body panels in cars.
So there you go, those are a couple of areas to consider if you’re looking to drop some weight and improve your ride’s performance. Remember, when you are cutting down on weight in your car, you’ll have to make some compromises (most minimal but some large). All this will depend on your personal preference, budget and other factors. Your decision on where to replace and patch up is totally up to you. Hopefully, this post has given you some sufficient pointers and guidance as to where you might consider taking weight out, replacing, compromising, and completely leaving alone.
Leave us a comment, question or pointer in our community forums if we missed anything. Also, visit our drift shop to check out new parts for your car, or read some more our blog posts. Thanks for reading! and don't forget to stay safe! smoke it up! and shred some tires!