Some people say the good ones always come back. Ron Acevedo's 240SX did. Ron sold this particular then black 1992 S13 240SX to make room for other project cars. Ron is a hardcore Nissan tuner and at the time he had many other projects, including a 400+ whp Sentra SE-R and several 510s. Ron sold the car to the guys at www.jspec.com where it was turned into a drift car. During its tenure with the guys at jspec.com, the car served as a stepping stone for many of today's top American drifters. Breden Lee, Ernie Fixmer and Benson Hsu have all driven the car at one time or another. After a stint modifying Honda's, learning how to extract maximum power from the new K-series engine, Ron decided to return to his Nissan roots and repurchased the car. Even though the 240 was already a proven and potent drift car, Ron is continuing to perfect it to be the ultimate drift/road race machine.
Unlike the typical beat-buckets you see in parking lots at major drift events, a well set up drift car is a sophisticated machine, just as trick and versatile and any road racer. Let's look inside this slide machine at the inner workings that make it tick.
Suspension setup is critical in a drift car and Ron's ride is well equipped for the task at hand. Magic Garage, AutoconXion and SPL supplied the slide machine's trick suspension. TEIN HE coil-over shock and struts with pillow ball mounts and adjustable damping are tasked with holding the car flat through the corners. The front pillow ball mounts are adjustable for camber. Gone are the flex-prone stock stamped-steel suspension arms with their soft rubber bushings. Every suspension link has been replaced with stiff, fabricated tubular links and every mushy rubber bushing has been replaced with a spherical bearing. This eliminates wheel hop and gives the car razor sharp steering response with accurate retention of suspension geometry under load. With these links, every aspect of the suspension geometry, from bump steer to caster and camber is fully adjustable.
From the factory, the S13's rear subframe rests on huge, squishy rubber bushings. These bushings are designed to help smooth and quiet the ride. They also allow the subframe to move as much as an inch under heavy side loading. This is not conducive to good handling and the squish interferes with weight transfer critical for suspension adjustment. The stock bushings were replaced solid aluminum bushings. The new bushings are adjustable with shims, allowing adjustments to the suspension's pro-squat, anti-squat geometry. This adjustment point controls how responsive the car will be to throttle inputs coming out of turns as well as to drag launches, if need be.
Adjustable Whiteline anti-sway bars add another level of adjustability to the suspension. To stiffen the chassis and make it more sensitive to suspension adjustment, a J-spec rear ladder bar ties the frame rails together while a Nismo power bar connects the front TC rod mounts for more rigidity.
To further stiffen the chassis and to comply with D1 rules, a Technosquare drift cage was installed, giving a place to attach harnesses and to protect the driver from rollovers and side impacts. Chassis setup was performed by Darrin Nishimura of West End Alignment.
The connection of the rubber to the road is critical for good handling. On the street, Ron's ride rolls on Yokohama Advan A048 road racing tires with 265/35-18 fronts and huge 285/30-18 rears mounted on lightweight forged Work Meister S1 wheels from Endless USA/Auto R&D. The front wheels measure 18x8.5 with a 23mm offset while the rears are 18x10.5 with a 24mm offset. For drifting, the wheels are switched over to 17x9 5Zigen FN01R-C wheels with a 15mm offset at each corner. Harder Yokohama Neova AD07 tires are used for drift events with 215/45-17 tires in front and 235/40-17 tires out back.