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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!
Mathew was great to work with and made what could be a scary daunting experience very easy. I am super happy with my car and am sure I will be importing with them again!
Working with Mathew and his team was an absolute pleasure. I went from never knowing you could import your own vehicle to owning my own Suzuki Cara within 6 months. Mathew was so helpful and completely transparent with me during the entire process. We spoke on the phone and via email and he helped me pick the perfect car exactly within my requirements. He dealt with my excitement and inexperience with patience and understanding. I couldn't be happier with my experience and will absolutely use Japan Car Direct again when it's time for another project. I highly recommend Mathew and Japan Car Direct.
Just purchased my second car through Japan Car Direct. Could not be more pleased with their customer service. Matt went above and beyond to help me find the right car. Translating countless auction sheets, messaging sellers, requesting vehicle inspections, putting up with me and my requests well after his time in the office, etc. I can happily and honestly say that I would recommend this company to anyone looking to purchase a car from Japan and that you will not be dissappinted. Very kind, helpful and professional. Can’t wait for vehicle number 3.
Mathew and the team are amazing. Bought my first Porsche in Japan and they have helped me all the way through. They are competent and honest people, will definitely be doing more business with them. Thanks guys!
Mat is is the best he was right on target and video descriptions are perfect. Shipping was alot faster than I thought it would be, as JCD didn't mess around. My van was at port and ready to go. I will be using JCD again soon, got my van now I want a car.
I hunted the internet for a broker I could trust with my money. JDC won and I am so happy I went with them. Matt and Yoshi are great. Matt puts up with a very demanding customer in me, I can certainly take up time. Matt sends me cars from the list I sent him, when I don't have time to check the auction. It is scary how accurate Matt is when I ask him to predict a selling price. He is always very close which sometimes is not fun but he really does know pricing. They have walked we through buying two cars now and have held my hand on both. I really apricate all the time and knowledge. After purchase they have also held my hand through the whole import process which can be daunting for a first timer. I am a dealer and Matt is great at suggesting other cars to import as well. I am very satisfied with my choice
What can I say? The service was friendly and good, and I got my car, which ended up being in a better condition than expected. Sure, there were couple of unforeseen snags that no-one had anticipated, but overall, it was an extremely positive experience. Hommat meni hyvin, auto tuli Suomeen eikä noiden pyytämä hintakaan ollut mikään mahdottoman paha.
I bought a 1993 RX7 FD from these guys they are great! Communication was very good, and prompt! Iv has my car now for 6 months and have been loving it! I would recommend emailing them and looking into the options! They are upfront about price and will steer you into the right direction on what the car will take to own! I’m working with Yoshiro to buy another car now! I’m very pleased with the service I received. It can be scary sending lots of money to a person you don’t know for a car you have never seen, but they will come through with everything they tell you they will do!
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.