Articles

Look at How Far my Project Car has Come in a Year!


Hey, guys! ChrisFix here, and it’s been a little over a year since I got
my project car and started drifting and man, has this been an experience! And since it’s been a year, I thought it’d be really cool to show you
guys how far this car has come, how much better I’ve gotten at drifting, and what’s in store for this car in the future. That way if you decide to ever take on your
own project car just like this, you’ll get a realistic idea of what’s involved
in doing it yourself. And this whole build was done on a
realistic time schedule and a realistic budget. And I did every single modification to this
car at home in my driveway using common hand
tools. Plus, I drive this car on the street, so it’s as
realistic as it gets. So with that said, this is how far I’ve come
with my project car over the last year. So it all started about a year ago when I asked you guys in a video what project car you wanted me to get, and the top three picks were an RX-7, Mustang and BMW. Finding an affordable RX-7 and BMW
proved difficult, so I ended up beating on a charity auction
and winning a car for $1,500 total. The best part was all that money went to a
charity for veterans. And the reason why it was so cheap was
because it was dirty and because, well, it wasn’t running. And that car, as we know it today, is the
DriftStang. The first thing I had to do is get it running. And as you can hear, it turned over, but it
wouldn’t start. I thought it could be the fuel pump, and I
attempted to start it with some starter fluid. Go ahead, start her up! Oh, man. That is what I’m talking about! And hearing it run for the first time was
exciting to say the least. So next, I showed you guys how to replace
a fuel pump, and after dropping the fuel tank, removing
the old pump, and installing the new pump, it was time
for the moment of truth. Alright! Oh man, that’s exciting. And as you could tell, I was excited that the
car, once destined for the scrapper, is now alive and running. So with that out of the way, the car was
terribly dirty, and before I went for my first ride, I had to
give it a SuperClean. So I got the car all foamed up, cleaned off
all the dirt, and then sealed the paint, which really transformed how this car looked. I mean, check out this difference, here’s the
before… …and here’s the after. The car looks brand new! So with the car clean, now it was time to
learn how to drive stick. I never had the chance to drive a manual
car because I never had a manual car. So this was it; There were two months to
go before my first drift event, and every day, I’d go out for at least an hour and drive the car through town until I got
the hang of it. When I started out, I stalled the car, I didn’t
shift smoothly, like any beginner. But I was motivated and I’m a fast learner, so in no time, I was shifting like a pro! The only problem was the stock shifter had
such a long and vague throw that rowing through the gears is more like
rowing a boat. So I decided it was a good time to install a
short-throw shifter with brand new bushings. So out with the old, and in with the new. And not only was this easy to do, but it
made a night-and-day difference with how this car shifted. Now, two months flew by and I needed to
get the DriftStang ready for the track. That meant changing the oil, and installing a fire extinguisher that I
could reach if I was stuck in my seat. I also had to install some tow hooks, one in
the front of the car, so I removed the front bumper, drilled a
hole in the front crash bar, and mounted it right there, which fit
perfect. And the one in the rear, I ended up
mounting a trailer hitch and then I attached the tow strap right to
that. I didn’t think I’d ever need to use these tow
straps, but as you’ll see in a few seconds, I was
very wrong. I also needed to make my own heat shield
for the master cylinder. That way, the brake fluid won’t boil and I’ll
be safe on the track, and that came out amazing. And finally, safety’s important, so I got
myself a good helmet. Alright, the day has finally come. This was my first day drifting, and man oh
man, I remember how nervous I was. I just learned how to drive stick two
months ago and I’ve never driven on a track before. What could go wrong? Plus, at this point, I had over a million
subscribers who I knew would probably see how bad I
was at drifting. At the same time, that’s kind of the idea
why I did this. I wanted to show everybody that you have
to start somewhere, and nobody’s an expert on Day 1. So at the track, I got my car inspected and it passed tech inspection with flying colors, so I was ready to head down to the track. Wish me luck! Real quick, this is the back track where all
the beginners learn how to drift. There are three main turns that I’m going to
focus on. Now you line up at the grid, where you have
a straightaway that goes into Turn 1. Turn 1 starts off as a gradual turn, then
gets sharp and goes uphill. So this is probably the hardest turn to
learn. After that, we have Turn 2, which is a long
sweeping curve, which goes right into Turn 3, the final turn,
which is a hairpin turn. And that is the back track. So here was my first run ever. I was incredibly nervous, but focused. I knew I had to get the rear end to swing
out, so I tried staying in first gear, and coming up to the turn quickly, I
punched the gas, but that didn’t work. Next turn, I used the same strategy, but I
also turned the wheel in, and that worked, but instead of drifting, I
spun out and stalled the car. Spinning out was a common theme for my
first ever drift event. Every drift attempt would basically end in a
spin. And then I would go, and try again, and spin
again. I was also doing a lot of off-roading. Actually, I’m pretty sure I did a lot more off-
roading in the DriftStang than I did drifting. Eventually, one of the Club Loose drifters,
Reese, jumped in the car and taught me the basics. And finally, after an entire day of drifting
and a little bit of coaching, I did it! I drifted part of the second turn and it put
an instant smile on my face. Even though I was pretty bad at drifting, I
was hooked, and I couldn’t wait to modify the car and
get better. The first thing I had to do was restore that
disgusting steering wheel, because that’s the connection I have to the
car, and it didn’t easily slide through your
hands, either. So I removed the old leather, cut out the new material, and recovered it so it went from this… …to this. What an improvement! Next, I wanted to install a hydraulic E-brake,
so first, I had to install dual brake calipers. This consisted of me draining the rear axle, pulling the axle shafts, removing the stock caliper bracket, and installing the dual caliper bracket, and look at that! So this bracket allows us to run two
calipers. One for the stock handbrake, and one for
the hydro E-brake. So next, that is exactly what I installed, the
hydro! To install the hydro, I removed my center
console, built my very own bolt-in bracket to mount
the hydro to, I even cut out the cup holders so when
installed, it’d look like it came from the factory that
way. I mean, look at how clean that looks! Alright, so now it was time for my next
track day, and time to test out the new steering wheel
and hydro E-brake. I was also excited just to practice drifting. So, first lap of the day… …and look at that short crisp shift! And then right there was my first taste of
the new E-brake. It didn’t lock the wheels the way I was
expecting, and what I learned after the first turn, is the
pads had to heat up, and once they heat up, They lock a lot
harder. And really, I don’t think I did that bad for the
first time with all the new mods. So I spent the rest of the day practicing,
and I was struggling to stay planted in my seat. The stock seats had no side support at all,
and if you look at my legs, I was bracing them against the door and
center console so I wouldn’t go flying. Also, the suspension was very soft, and I
was floating around like a boat on the track. This made drifting impossible, so I also
needed to install coilovers. Plus, the DriftStang looked more like a
monster truck out there, so lowering it would definitely help that. And then finally at the end of the track day,
it started to rain, and I was having a hard time staying in
control. So that’s when I decided to call it a day and start planning for my next
modifications. So I drove over to a motor sports store,
went inside, and tried out many different seats until I
found the perfect ones. Then when I got back home, I couldn’t wait
to install these seats. But I had to do a little ChrisFix
customization with my logo embroidered into the seat
cover, and that came out awesome! Then it was out with the old seat, and in
with the new. I remember how awesome it was to finally
have a real racing seat in my car. Next, I installed coilovers which was one of
the most significant modifications to the DriftStang. I removed the stock shock absorber, installed camber caster plates, and removed the stock springs so I could
install the new coilovers in the front… and in the rear of the car. So the DriftStang went from a lifted
monster truck to a sleek track car. Alright, so another track day, this time, with the new seats, coilovers,
and some negative camber. And besides testing out the car today, I was
meeting with another YouTuber, Adam LZ. But before that, I had no clue how the car
would handle, so I needed some practice. And holy smokes, was this car completely
different? If you blindfolded me, I would’ve never
known this was my car! The seats were great and help me in so I
didn’t have to brace myself anymore. But these coilovers? Well, they’re gonna
take some getting used to. It’s not a soft spongy ride with body roll
anymore. Now, it’s a tight stiff ride and you could feel
everything. So after many laps of practice and tons of
spinning out, I was finally getting used to the new setup,
which was awesome. And then it happened, for the first time
ever, I linked two turns! YES! Woo! Yeah! That’s the first ever transition I’ve ever
done! Good stuff, man. Woo! After that excitement, Adam LZ jumped
into my car, and I gave him a taste of where I was at
with the DriftStang. [Adam] So conveniently, we found ourself
at the same event. So I’m gonna go for a ride in his car. Do you wanna come for a ride in my car? [Chris] Yeah, sounds good. [Adam] Okay, cool. This car’s sweet, dude. I think– I think it’s the cleanest Mustang I’ve
ever been in. I’m impressed though dude, nice entrance. That was real nice. Yeah, transition’s got to be tough. Yeah. I can feel just the weight of the car. I’d love to try to drive it if we can somehow. We’re gonna switch drivers real quick. Alright, we got this. Alright, let’s see if I can total ChrisFix’s car! Then we switched things up and Adam
took her for a ride around the track. Get a feel for the car, see what you think. Stock angle, too. Yeah, I gotta get used to that. Alright. Man, you killing it! Well, that transition– Okay, that’s the trick. You got to like, start feeding the wheel
super soon. Yeah, seems like your car doesn’t really
self-steer that much, so in transitions, you just have to really
feed the wheel. Yeah, thanks for letting me drive, dude. After watching Adam drift this car, I
realized it still needs some work. Now with the day winding down, we had a
little competition called “Drag Your Drift Car,” where Adam and I lined up on the drag
strip, Nissan 240 vs. Mustang GT. When I was doing my burnout, you could
see I was only spinning one wheel, so everyone thought I broke an axle. “Your axle’s broken.” And that’s when I knew my rear differential
needed a rebuild. So the next day, I drained the rear
differential fluid, pulled the gears out of the diff, and replaced the old clutches with brand
new carbon fiber clutches which will lock up real hard. And since the Mustang was way too quiet, I
decided it was time for an exhaust system. so i Dyno the DriftStang with the stock exhaust Then I removed the old exhaust, ran it with open headers because that’s a
requirement any time you change the exhaust– Holy smokes! Okay, here it goes. Woo! –and installed brand new high-flowing
straight pipes. Then I dyno’d her with the new exhaust and
found out we made 10 HP. But more importantly, now I could hear the
engine which should help me with drifting. Plus, who doesn’t like a good sounding
exhaust? Now there weren’t too many more drift
events left this year, so I had to really focus on getting as good
as possible. The new exhaust sounded great, and you
could really feel the difference with the new carbon fiber clutches. After a few runs, I got the car dialed in, and it really started to click, and I was
killing it! And after all this hard work, for the first
time ever, I linked the entire back course! This was a huge milestone and I was one
step closer to moving to the front course and going from Group C… …to Group B. At this point, I can’t believe how much
better I’ve gotten. When I started, I took corners at 20 miles per hour[32 KM/H]
, and I was super nervous. Now, I’m entering corners at almost 60
miles per hour[100 KM/H] Plus, the lines I’m taking are way better, and
I’m actually drifting! YEAH! Woo! I mean, here’s a clip from when I started. I was going slow, the line wasn’t good, and I
ended up spinning out most of the time. And here’s a clip now. I’m going a lot faster, taking better lines,
and I’m drifting! Not only am I better, but I’m building my car
for each problem I encounter on the track. So I see the improvement each time. And then at the end of one of my runs, I looked over and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a 350Z on fire! So I shot over there as fast as I could, parked my car far enough away so I
wouldn’t block any emergency vehicles, grabbed my fire extinguisher, and sprinted to help fight the fire. Everyone was so fast to the scene that I
just waited out of the way, but ready just in case they needed me. Luckily, the driver escaped and wasn’t hurt. And the car was damaged, but the fire was put out soon enough that it
was repairable to drift another day. Now before I knew it, the season was
almost over and this was the last drift event right before Christmas called “Sleigh Ride,”
hence the Santa suit. Unfortunately, the track was covered in
snow and drifting was almost impossible, so I was bummed. That’s when one of the guys on grid told me to forget about trying to link the course
and drift for real. Just go out there and have fun. So I did! Yeah! Linked the last one of the year, woo! So that event wasn’t about getting the
perfect drift, it was about having fun with your friends. But there’s one more thing I wanted to
install before the end of the year… …and that was an angle kit. And besides the coilovers, this angle kit
modification was one of the most important
modifications to my car. The angle kit replaces the stock knuckle
and lower control arm which allows you to get more steering angle. So I took apart my entire front suspension, cut off part of my car so I could get more
clearance, and installed the angle kit. Since the track was closed for the winter, I did get permission to test the kit out in
the track parking lot. And holy smokes! Dude, I got this down! I got this down, baby! Yeah! Yes! Dude, I’m so happy for you, you have no
idea. You have no idea how happy I am right
now, like– This is insane! And what a year this has been! Now I’m not sure if you guys remember, but
the day I got my project car, I made this list. You can see right there in my hand is a
checklist, and ever since then, I’ve been going
through and checking off every milestone I’ve completed with this
car. And as you can see, we’re getting near the
end. Now, there’s not that much more and my
project car is complete. It’ll never be done, but it’ll be complete
because project cars are just never done. That’s how it works, I’m telling you that
right now. So we could check off our steering angle
mod. And then in this upcoming season, we don’t
have too much more to do. We have to install some new trailing arms
in the rear end to make it more stable, I want to put a roll cage in and gut the
interior, then with the roll cage, we could install the
6-point harnesses, and then I think it would be awesome to
have a supercharger installed, that’ll be a really cool video, and then finally, a vinyl wrap that makes the
car look unique. So those are my main objectives for this
upcoming season. This year has been insane, I’ve never done anything like this in my life, and I’m glad I could take you along and
show you the process. As always, I hope the videos have been
helpful, and if you’re not a subscriber consider
subscribing. I cannot wait to see how this car
transforms even more, and then once this project’s pretty much
done, you guys are gonna love the next projects
I have planned. So stay tuned!

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