One of the many reasons the 240SX makes for a good drift car is the incredible amount of steering angle you can achieve and large steering angles mean gangsta drifts. The latest hype with 240SX owners have been modified knuckles to help increase steering angle. By shortening the knuckle arm where the outer tie rod mounts, more steering angle can be gained. At the same time this mod will act like a faster steering rack, requiring very little steering wheel effort to turn the wheels a large amount.
Now I didn't want to just cut the knuckle and weld it myself. If the welds were to break, I would most likely lose control of the car and crash. So instead I went to the SoCal drift specialists at Drift Speed. This is the shop that's built several of the professional drift cars you've seen on our pages. Drift Speed is also a full parts and service shop, with an alignment machine and dyno. With a deep Japanese background they've been able to bring in exclusives on dope JDM brands like DG-5, Behrman and Wise Sports. Along with those brands, Drift Speed offers their own products, like knuckles for the S13, S14 and FC RX-7. These are tried and tested, and will not break.
To take full advantage of the new knuckles I had to use the Drift Speed inner tie rods. These are extra long and can be shortened to fit any combination of aftermarket suspension parts. For my setup, we had to trim them down just a few millimeters. Aftermarket outer tie rods and tension rods were also necessary for the installation of these modified knuckles. Our friends at Phase 2 Motortrend recommended me outer tie rods and tension rods from Circuit Sports. These are highly adjustable and are absolutely necessary to get the wheels straight and aligned again. For an even better steering feel, they also had me to replace the worn steering rack bushings with urethane pieces from Energy Suspension.
Along with the parts, there were a few chassis modifications needed. With the new increase in steering, the rear of the wheels will hit the inner fender well. For more clearance the brake line bracket was moved forward and the bottom pinch weld on the frame was flattened with a sledgehammer. The final mod for clearance was cutting off the metal bumpstop on the lower control arm.
With everything back on the car, a full alignment was done on their digital laser alignment machine. The new measurements were nothing short of shocking. An incredible 45% reduction in steering effort was gained along with a ridiculous new turning radius. Since my car is pretty stock, this is only the tip of the iceberg. On an all-out drift car, with more suspension modifications, these Drift Speed knuckles will allow the car to go off the scale, way past 55 degrees.
Parking and making u-turns are incredibly easy now. The car is so much more nimble and easy to maneuver. High-speed driving did take awhile to get use to as lane changes require very little steering wheel input. For little money, these are some of the few mods that can really change your driving feel and enjoyment.
|OEM S14 Knuckles||Drift Speed S14 Knuckles|
|Leading Wheel||38 degrees||55 degrees|
|Trailing Wheel||30 degrees||46 degrees|
|Turning Circle (curb-to-curb)||30.1 feet||22.8 feet|
|Lock-to-lock||3.1 turns||2.6 turns|
Drift Speed S14 Knuckles $250 (with exchange) Drift Speed Inner Tie Rods $100 Circuit Sports Outer Tie Rods $85 Circuit Sports Tension Rods $119 Energy Suspension Rack Bushings $11.50