Many automotive enthusiasts these days buy vehicles to set up specifically for drifting.

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a very popular car for drifting, and with some basic upgrades you can enjoy increased drifting performance.

While everyone has their own opinions on what is needed to make a car drift better, there are some basic ways that you can upgrade your Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and here are a few of them.

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Upgrade Your Tires

In order to gain a clean and smooth drift line, you must have the right tires. Drifting causes significant amounts of wear and tear on your tires, so make sure that you buy racing tires that are built to take a beating. Buy lightweight aftermarket wheels from a reputable brand. To increase drifting capabilities, some drivers choose to use different tires in the front and back. Remember, drifting abuses tires in a serious way, so invest in the highest quality tires that you can find in your price range.

Invest in Quality Brakes

Many drivers don’t realize how critical brakes are when drifting until it is too late. You don’t want to be in the middle of drifting around a corner, only to have an obstacle in your way that you can’t avoid. Invest in new brake lines, pads, and rotors. You may find yourself slamming on the brakes while drifting, so consider buying stainless brake lines so that your stock rubber brake lines do not expand when you hit the brakes hard.

Buy a New Suspension System

Drifting is essentially losing control of your car, and simultaneously controlling it. Without the right suspension system, you are not going to be able to gain the control you need. Additionally, when your car hits the pavement after a drift, you don’t want to feel that impact, nor do you want your vehicle to take the brunt of the force of the rebound. Upgrading your suspension gives you the control you need, while also preventing damage to your vehicle down the line.

Increase Speed

Drifting requires your vehicle to be able to hit speeds, so you should take steps to improve the speed, horsepower, and overall performance. According to the racing experts at Enjuku Racing, would-be drifters should look into installing a supercharger or turbocharger. There are plenty of other ways to boost horsepower, including upgrading the exhaust system, buying a performance air intake system, and decreasing the weight of your engine by installing lighter parts. In addition to improving your drifting, these upgrades will make your driving experience more enjoyable, so think of it as an investment in your long-term driving career.

Replace Your Clutch

If you are going to be drifting regularly, your clutch is going to take a beating. Replace the clutch in your vehicle with the strongest, heavy duty clutch that you can possibly fit. Most drifters prefer double or triple plate clutches, but ceramic brass button clutches are acceptable as well. If you plan on doing a significant amount of clutch kicking, look for a clutch that grabs hard and fast. Seek out a stage 2 or stage 3 clutch kit, and don’t skimp out. You’ are going to be putting a lot of wear and tear on your clutch, so you are only going to have to pay to replace a cheap clutch a year later.

Protect Your Car’s Body

If you plan on drifting, plan on crashing and spinning off. It happens to even the most skilled drivers, so accept that body damage comes with the territory. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your vehicle. For example, most professional drifters use cable ties to secure the bumper. This is beneficial because when your bumper hits a rail, it pulls off and snaps the cable tie, preventing excessive damage to the bumper. You may also want to look into body kits for extra protection.

Protect Your Own Body

It should go without saying, but you should never attempt to drift without the proper safety gear. Your first priority should be to invest in a high-quality helmet. Flipping over is a very real possibility, and it is absolutely essential that you protect your head. Additionally, you should have a full harness system and a roll cage. Keep a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach, and spend a few dollars on a quality seat belt cutter. You never want to require these items, but you are going to be glad to have them if you do.

Adjust Your Tire Pressure

The general rule of thumb is that 32 psi is ideal for maximum tire grip, but it is not as easy as just setting it and forgetting it. Drifting is intense on the tires, and the air inside of them is naturally going to heat up and expand, which increases your psi. In order to reach 32 psi at high temperatures, bring the tires down to 28 psi, and then take a few laps around the track. Check the psi when the tires are good and hot, and then make adjustments accordingly. It may take some trial and error, but eventually you will find the sweet spot.

Find the Right Tire Camber Settings

Adjusting your tire’s alignment can boost your drifting capabilities. It takes some time and labor, but the results are worth it. Positive camber is not allowed in competitions, so keep that in mind if you plan to compete. Your goal is to keep as much tire surface on the track as possible while you drift. A general setting for the front tires is from -4 to -5, and the rear tires should probably hover around -1 or -2. A good starting point is -5 in the front and -2 in the back. Take a few laps around the track, and watch the camber. Ideally, when you drift the camber should be at 0.

Tune Your Gears

All drivers have their preferred gear for drifting, but many do not realize that they can optimize it further. Go to the track and drift a few corners, and watch to see if your car is bouncing off the red limiter (redlining) too rapidly. This can cause you to lose speed. To extend the amount of time you have before redlining, tune the final drive three clicks towards the “speed” setting. If any of your gears lose RPMs while you are drifting, go to that gear in tuning setup, and tune it three clicks in the acceleration direction.

Improve Aerodynamics

Your car’s aerodynamics directly affects its performance, which in turn affects your drifting abilities. Remove any unnecessary add-ons like the antenna, driprails, molding, and trim. If you are competing professionally, you may also want to consider removing the windshield wipers, side mirrors, and other parts that are not directly related to drifting. Of course, if you take that approach, never drive on the road. Other ways to improve aerodynamics include applying racer tape to the body seams, shaving the handles, and blocking airflow through the radiator grill. Polish the exterior of your car vigorously, and keep the side windows closed.

Get a Tune Up

It may seem glaringly obvious, but often all a poorly performing car needs is a little love. Bring your car to a trusted mechanic, and explain that you plan to use it for drifting. If you are lucky, the mechanic may be able to tweak things in your favor. You may be surprised how simple improvements on things like battery voltage, catalytic converters, and ignition timing can make a world of difference. Even the most basic maintenance, changing your oil for example, can drastically boost your drifting potential, so be vigilant about regular visits to a good mechanic.

Safety Comes First

Before modifying your vehicle or attempting to drift, make sure that you know what you are doing. Only practice drifting on closed courses, and always use parts that are made and sold by reputable companies. If you are not comfortable performing the aftermarket upgrades yourself, talk to a known and trusted mechanic in your area. Drifting can be a tremendous amount of fun, but it can also be dangerous, so never put yourself or others at risk.