New Drifter! How Best To Get Into Drifting Without Spending Too Much

Thread in 'Drifting Chat / Pictures / Videos' started by Made In Machines, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Hello, I'm looking to get into drifting. It seems really fun and exciting and just the kind of thing i'd love. I'm wondering what the best courses are - I'm in Lancashire and there doesn't seem to be a lot around here. Birmingham is about 2 hours away but I don't know if wheels is the best place to learn and the circuit isn't that interesting.

    I'm not really interested in the taster courses where you pay £100 and spend 3 hours and 20 minutes in the car. I learn better by trying and doing so I'm after a full or half day where I get at least 2 hours plus in the car. I'm not sure how long i would need to pick up the basics and get reasonably confident to do it on my own.

    I've been researching courses to learn such as Flatout Factory Drift Academy, ProDrift Academy, RDX Academy. They're all expensive if you want any real car time but which is the best and are they worth it and the best way of learning? I've also read about drift what ya brung which is cheap and has some instructors but does require you buying your own car (and might not have much tuition time) which leads to the next question. I don't know if anyone is local to Lancashire and knows any big disused tarmac spaces you can use to rent to practice and get lessons drifting on. All of these places apart from maybe Birmingham would require an overnight stay really.

    I want a car for drifting that cheap to buy and own, widely available in the UK, that has decent power and is excellent and easy for drifting beginners without modification (I know very little about cars). Hopefully it would look decent too like an old BWM or Mx-5. Many of the classic 'cheap' drift cars that are recommended such as Toyota's, Nissan's etc are no longer cheap at all and are often difficult to source due to their drifting popularity. I don't know how much i'd need to spend - is £1000-3000 realistic or reasonable? I'd want to get something I don't mind getting wrecked. Do drift cars tend to get a lot of crashes and damage - I'm assuming yes. After seeing an excellent drifter smash up his GT86 on a drift day I think I had better but 2 cars - one sports car for road excitement fun and one for drift days. Also would I need a trailer and get some kind of drift insurance or do many people drive their cars to the events and back hoping they survive?

    Thanks,
    Pete
     
  2. Saddened

    Saddened Member

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    There are houndreds of starter threads on this message board. Learn to search. You will need it once you start preparing your car because after 3 questions that get asked literally every week and hav been continuously answered since 2007 people will stop helping you. I am no authority here, but take my words as a warning still.

    As a beginner you will not wreck your car as much as you might think if you do it on a track with gravel zones. Nor will you burn that much rubber. Buy a car that has previously been drifted (battle scars bring the price down and it is equipped with a proper seat, coilovers and a welded diff). I am repeatedly surprised how cheap bmw 328s are up there.

    From what I gather from other similar threads your best choice will be an MX5 or a 3 series BMW. Another car that is overlooked is an RX8. Everything else will most likely be out of your budget or simply not worth it. If you have 3000, then spend a thousand on the car and save the rest for basic tools, maintenance and repairs.

    An MX5 is nimble, small, cheap to run and insure. A big person might have trouble fitting in and you may have trouble with too high tyre sidewall once the car is lowered. Great beginners car because it is low on power and you have to work with momentum. This will not be drifting as you see it on youtube.

    A 328 (or other E36 and E46 six cylinder BMWs) might act as a crutch with all the torque. There will be a lot of tyre smoke that won't neccessarily mean you are good, just that the car is powerfull. This is a proper sized car if you need to use it on the road but thirsty and more expensive to insure. More car than the Miata, but with it's drawbacks.
     
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  3. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Thanks for your response. Good to know it won't be drifting as seen on youtube because that's party what tempted me. I guess they are heavily modified then. You mention the miata is low on power and therefore a good beginners car. Doesn't that mean its difficult to drift as you have to work with momentum as you said? I'm not really sure how much power I should be looking for.

    Is 193 BHP (minus whatever it has lost with age) enough in a 328 BMW? I was thinking of the 330ci or something like that. Someone told me it was easier to drift full sized cars whereas something like a 370z was possibly the hardest car to drift.
     
  4. Saddened

    Saddened Member

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    Starting with a low power car and learning to do it the hard way is the way to go according to experienced drifters. You as a driver will grow more if you start with a low power car and work through it. You could on the other hand buy a 6 cylinder BMW which will be great, but the torque it produces acts as a crutch. It lets you power through situation, making you look better than you really are, so to speak
     
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  5. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Of course I don't mind looking better than I am haha. What kind of BHP (or power to weight) would be recommended - what's roughly the minimum you would really need?

    Have you any thought's on the best way to get into it - Drift days, tuition, buying your own car and going to certain events etc. I could spend £1000 on an old car and try to take it to some kind of drift day but then the local one to me isn't really for complete beginners so it would involve getting the car and myself to a track 4 hours drive away. I could also spend £1000 on tuition (still involves driving far) but then be left with no car but hopefully enough knowledge and experience to know I love drifting and know I can do it and am on the right track to investing in a drift car. I'm not really sure which was is best to do it.
     
  6. Saddened

    Saddened Member

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    There is no such thing as enough power. AE68 is a well known drift car and that is underpowered like hell. Miata as well. Anything RWD will skid if you really want it to.

    I don't know where you live, where you can drift, who else lives there and what your tracks offer.

    Definately get your own car. Get someone who knows what they are doing for a few hours of private lessons, doesn't have to be an organized thing. They will most likely want to do it at a track. That is also where you will find them without trouble. Find a piece of asphalt near you where you can go for an hour at a time and no one will bother you. Practice. Go to the track when you have time/money, otherwise use a few cones and set up a corner or figure 8 at your spot.

    That is what I would do. Lucky enough we have a drifter who made a deal with a junkyard nearby to let us use a circle and a few corners on weekends. Closed road, secluded, cheap.
     
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  7. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    I'm in Preston, Lancashire. That would be perfect - just the kind of thing i'm looking for. I hoped I could find some little group and a good space around here who could teach me a thing or two. I was hoping I could find something like that local to me where I could learn the ropes and get in some practice. I sent an email to the local stock car group around here to see if they have any members that are into drifting. I wonder if there is anyone on here.

    Otherwise the closest option would be Flatout Factory Birmingham (£500 a day - 3 hours in the car) or Buxton Raceway
     
  8. BenRice

    BenRice Active Member

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    Matej is putting you on the right track

    I understand the dilemma you're in: spend a sizable chunk of money and get a taster to see if you want to get into it, or spend even more and dive head-long in and commit.

    What i would recommend as an instructor is to go along to a beginner day as a spectator and go around the pits asking questions, and if possible go for a ride along. Questions to ask would be:

    Approximate purchase price / insurance costs
    Dedicated track car or daily as well
    What things have broken on the car
    How do they get to and from the track
    Most important tools they use
    How many tyres they go through
    What tyre pressures they run

    More often than not drivers are happy to answer questions like that, instead of "how much power does it have?" or "how fast does it go?" as the sport is equal parts driving skill and car setup

    Take answers with a grain of salt. You will encounter the odd weirdo that will take the piss, but for every 1 of them you'll get 10 with good info.

    Ask to go on a ride along with someone who looks like they're going ok and in a platform you're considering. If possible go for a ride along in something a bit different that is also a possible choice

    I'd be very surprised if you didn't have a plan of attack after a day like that and be ready for a life of skinned knuckles, rusted bolts, wheel changes and fist pumps
     
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  9. Mehmet

    Mehmet Member

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    If I started new deffo e36/46 325-330 would be the way forward.

    I personally would go e46 330ci. Cheap and powerful(ish) to begin with. If you crash you'll be 2 minutes away from spares.

    Plenty of cars and parts around.
     
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  10. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Is there any you'd recommend between the 36 and 46? I saw a video on youtube that said the 36 has less electronics and therefore things to go wrong. I do like the look of the 46 though and there seem to be many more available. 36's seem quite rare especially with the bigger engines. Ci's seem to go for about £1500 - £4000 so i'm not sure if one for £1500 wouldn't need a lot of work doing to it? Are both very cheap for parts and maintenance and very reliable even though they're BMW? I saw someone recommend the IS200 sport too as it has a decent engine and LSD - they can be had for around £1000
     
  11. Dan Popa

    Dan Popa New Member

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    I was also thinking about getting into drifting and started to save money and do research about cars, tracks, mods etc. and it is difficult to spend some cash on a car and hope it will be the right one for you. So instead of jumping head first into it I went to a track where they offered drift experiences where I could try some cars, see if I would like drifting and also get some practice. I had a go in a MX5 for 10 laps and found it extremely pleasant. I will try it again and check the e46 they have there as well and will decide which one would be best for me. I think this is the best option without spending extreme amounts of cash.
     
  12. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Thanks that seems like a good idea. Was the mX5 easy for a beginner to drift? What engine did it have and was it heavily modified? What track did you go to and what tuition company did you use?
     
  13. Dan Popa

    Dan Popa New Member

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    I went to Drift Limits. I think they might be a bit too far from you but there should be something similar around.
    The MX5 was a 1.8 with no other modifications; maybe a welded diff but I am not 100% sure. It seemed very easy to drift an I found it very good for me as a beginner. I managed to do it fairly good around their track after about 10 laps which I think was pretty quick. I will let you know how it went after I will try the e46 as well but I think I am going to buy a MX5 and it seems cheaper and I am not planning to do it professionally.
     
  14. Made In Machines

    Made In Machines New Member

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    Cheaper in terms of maintainance and repairs? I think I'd quite like a car I can drift and throw around at lower speeds rather than having to go very fast speeds to get it to move. I'd assume that would mean a small light car like an mx-5 more than an E46 but I'm not sure. I think in terms of purchase price both can be had for similar money. About milage skills I be concerned about that - Obviously I don't want to spend much on something I might damage easily (I'm assuming there are many accidents but may be wrong) but I still want something that's reliable and isn't going to break every time I take it out. People seem to say that mx5s aren't that easy to drift due to power limitations but I guess your managed easily.
     
  15. Dan Popa

    Dan Popa New Member

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    Yes, I do have a feeling that a BMW will be a bit more pricey when it comes to buying and replacing parts. It also depends on what you like in a car and what are you planning to do with it. If I would plan to do this for more than a hobby I would probably get and E46 as it looks better ( just my opinion) and I suppose you can go further with the upgrades than with the MX5.
    I think it would be good for you to find a place where you can drift their cars and find out which one you like more. I can not say anything about the limitations of the MX5 but for me it did not seem difficult to drift. Also I did not drift with another car so I can not compare it to something else.

    Look for Learn2Drift as i think they might do drift experience in Birmingham.
     
  16. Saddened

    Saddened Member

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  17. Bu11et

    Bu11et Active Member

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    Hey man, I live fairly local to you(Halifax)

    I going drifting all over mate - Been to Teesside/Santa Pod/Anglesey(Wales)/Lydden Hill(Kent)/Driftland(Scotland)/Three Sisters(Wigan) and a few other places, always driven my car there and back and I've never had a problem.

    As long as you don't go mad and take your time then you'll be fine and wont write your car off on your first drift day - I don't know of anywhere locally with big unused tarmac unfortunately and I wouldn't condone doing it on the street nowadays, its too risky.


    Charlie
     
  18. Rs Adz

    Rs Adz New Member

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    fumny am doing the same thing and local ish (blackpool ) I've just bought a e46 to learn to.drift in
     
  19. richie_k83

    richie_k83 Member

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    I'm still a noob here, despite being on the forum for an age...

    I havent done much drifting really, but as most have said, choose a platform you like, checkout a few drift days and spectate, ask questions, search the forum for what needs to be done to your car.

    My local is B'ham wheels. My first time drifting there was about a year ago in a 1.6l E36 Compact.

    Car mods were just a welded diff, bucket seat, stripped the back out and some eBay spec Coilovers...

    Underpowered compared to most cars, but after smashing 60psi in the rear tyres, it was awesome and noticable progression throughout the day.

    Granted its an oval, but ideal place to learn the basics i think, plus you can come through the middle of the track to learn to transition when ready (just gotta let the Marshalls know)

    I didnt have a 1 to 1 tuition, I just booked on to a test and train day to learn in my own time and my own pace. There was plenty of help from more competent guys and marshalls. Really relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

    Its dearer than other days there, but its limited sapces, so not a loads on track at any one time.

    Just watch others and listen to whats said and more importantly, go and have fun.

    I had a great day and i'm sure you would too. Already booking another in October to take the 1.6l MX5 i have :)
     
  20. ZoomyBoiz

    ZoomyBoiz New Member

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    Hello

    I am very new to the forum and to the hole drift world (never done it)

    but i feel your pain as im in Preston too and the only place thats local and offers novice drift days is the Three sisters in wigan hopefully i want to get to a few days next year, as im just working on my car at the moment a 1990 1.6 Mx-5 trying to get it up to a decent skid spec eg. coilovers, wheels, seats and harnesses.

    If you do manage to get a car and want to get together for some novice days the more the better as my friend and i are noobs.
     

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