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Drifting on the Cheap: PVC Drift!
Drifting can be very expensive: first a manual transmission rear wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle must be purchased. From there a limited slip differential (LSD) is fitted so that both rear tires spin and stability control must be disabled or turned off. Finally, tires, tires, tires, tires, tires. One session of drifting on the track can burn through multiple sets of rear tires and even those using cheap tires can easily end up with a bill of a couple hundred dollars.
Costs of drifting can be even higher in Japan where bi-annual inspections and vehicle taxes even on compact cars are very expensive. Enter the front wheel drive (FWD) kei class car. These mini cars come with 660CC engines and can be bought for a couple hundred dollars. They are also cheap to insure and inspection cost and taxes are lower. In order to drift these underpowered FWD cars, Japanese drifters began fitting the rear tires with sections of PVC drift pipe. The PVC drift pipe, which is just a piece of cut sewage or aquarium PVC pipe, is placed over a deflated tire. Once in place, the tire is inflated to keep the PVC pipe in place. Hardcore PVC drifters will use studless winter tires in order to maximize the grip of the tire to the pipe, however it is not required and most drifters just use the tires that come with their used car.
The PVC rings themselves are about 5000 Yen ($50US) for a set of two if bought pre-cut, but are even cheaper if a long section of tube is purchased and cut by the drifter.
In order to increase the lifespan of the PVC pipe, care is taken not to drag the rear tires to prevent flat spots on the PVC. Also the use of the handbrake to initiate the drift is not used. Rather, the drift is initiated by counter steering. In order to increase the lifespan of the PVC pipe and to prevent splitting due to increased tire pressure from drifting, water sprayers are installed to reduce traction and heat.
Drift teams are using Kei PVC Drift cars as a super cheap way to hone proper drifting techniques and to practice close tandem drifting without banging up their expensive cars.
Teams are organizing sessions for their members at their local tracks exclusively for these cars so that they are not driving with larger more powerful vehicles. In stark contrast with RWD drift sessions, sessions for the kei PVC drift vehicles are super quiet due to the economic 660 engines, and lack of squealing tires makes for an almost silent drifting experience.
At the end of the day, for the racers with only one set of wheels and tires, the rings are removed from the tire and the cars are then driven home.
Japan Car Direct can source your dream drift car or your kei drift car from dealer auctions and used car dealers all over Japan and ship the vehicle to your country for a very reasonable price! Please contact us today if you are looking to import a JDM vehicle!
They've somehow made what was expected to be complicated, so simple. I got all the info I needed and imported my first JDM car without a single problem. Matthew was super fast to respond and always had an answer.
A must for exporting cars from Japan. I've exported various models with these guys now and they have been exactly how we wanted them with no underlying issues or surprises when they arrive. Very pleased and will continue to use these guys in the future!
This was my first time importing a vehicle for my personal use and naturally I was leary about who to go through. After looking through a few other places and after getting in touch with a longtime customer of theirs I decided to try these guys out. I can say without a doubt I'm glad I did. They are definitely professional and know their craft when it comes to getting you your dream car. Everything from getting cars inspected and bidding was completely transparent and went smoothly. I couldn't be happier with the car I bought and I hope down the line I'll be able to purchase another using these guys!! Thanks for all you guys do!!!
I have already purchased 3 cars from this company and have a 4th on the way. They are very nice, extremely helpful, and work around your budget. I worked with Yoshi. He is very nice and made me a lot more comfortable with the wire transfers (after purchasing the vehicle), because let’s be honest, it is nerve racking to send money to a foreign country and have to wait several weeks for your vehicle to arrive. However, everything has gone smoothly, and they make it very easy to import the car of your dreams. I will continue to go with Japan Car Direct for all my japan car needs 😀
Amazing people to work with. Answered any question I could think of and never left me hanging in during the entire process. I was always kept in the loop. Matt and his team are superb in every way. From picking my car out at auction to picking it up at port they were always there and now I have great little cappuccino to drive around now! I will be using them again to bring in another car in the near future that's for sure.