ETS Drift Ute – A busy Saturday review

In the middle of a cold victorian winter the forecast was clear for saturday, i spent the entire week working for this day and i had my fingers crossed it was to be clear enough to spend the morning out of the shed.

The moment i pulled the chassis off the jig i was all smiles. Seeing the big picture unfold infront of me as the dream becomes another step closer to reality.

As you can see the S13 steering rack is in and operational, i made sure i mounted it as close to the centre line of the LCA to reduce binding and make steering this a dream.

Seating position was always going to be super tight, the one thing that was restrictive about the single cab hilux was the tight cabin, it makes up for it in looks so im happy to work with it.

Its a simple one man lift to get the rear wheels on, air jacks will eventually be on all four corners making this process even easier, yes i have made my own air jacks but more on that later.

The super light weight body just slips over the frame and will be pinned in position allowing me to remove it with a simple removal of a few split pins. Very RC like isnt it.

I couldnt be happier with the way the chassis looks, the rear guards are at the FRP shop getting moulds taken out of my lengthened and widened metal creations, although the length looks short it shares the same wheelbase as a JZX100.

With the front guards sitting on it gives it an even better look, these will be replaced with 4×4 items that are 40mm wider, after that they will need some trimming to get the monster lock i have designed into it.

Add the lightweight gutted doors and it covers up a lot of barwork. One thing i have always been keen on is keeping the original asthetics of a car, like my two tone S13 i like to maximise everything and make it fit within the factory styling. That was the reason behind not running bars from the top of the main hoop down to the rear cradle points. With tinted windows and stock wheels this could look like a low stock clean white hilux.

I havnt added any caster rods yet so the wheel is yet to be positioned in the center of the wheel arch.

You can see the 044 fuel pump feeding from the baffled internals of the fuel tank, Icore fittings looking at home aswell!

Just making sure i have enough helmet room, i think i do?

I have two stark white Bell RS3 helmets that will always be worn in the cabin of this, the white theme will tie in with the “shadow chrome” framework, the bumper and grille will be factory grey and then everything else will be raw alloy and all fittings will be Icore. The plan is to get a pair of “Bride Japan” Zeta III seats to get rid of the red “Low Max” and these can return to the S13 they came from. No red anywhere apart from the adjusters on the rear MCA coilovers!

What an awesome Saturday, the skies cleared for a single day of work and i couldn’t be happier with the outcome. To have this roll is a massive achievement and something i have worked so hard for over the six months. The next milestone is driving the thing and i plan on spending the next six months getting it to that stage. Thanks to everyone for the support of this site and seeing this build evolve in front of us all.

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  1. well done man! awesome to see it sitting on its own weight!

  2. Amazing!

  3. Amazing bro so stoked for you!

  4. keep it up Nige!!! loving every update on this 🙂 🙂 well done

  5. this is all kinds of badass dude!! So much killer work in this and it’s great to see it all coming together. have been following it from the start. cannot wait to see it all fall into place!!

  6. I have been following this build for a while now and I have to say that you are my SUPERHERO! Seeing the tube and metal work that you have finished is absolutely amazing. You give hope to the common man. To see what you have completed in your garage has inspired me to try some of my own things when I return for afghanistan. Thanks for putting in the hard work and I know that you will surely enjoy it in the end.

  7. Wish you all the best with this. Looks like its going to be an animal!!

  8. have you posted this on any minitruck/hilux forums? and if so whats the thought on it?

    great to see it rolling on its own now

  9. Awesome

  10. so excited for you to get it rolling aswell buddy !
    Massive acheivment and commitment to the fine job you are doing !

  11. Someone who will never give up until the job’s done. A fantastic effort (so far). Keep it up!

  12. deadset this car is going to be amazing! and i still cant get over that you have done it all yourself. Its going to be such a amazing acomplishment for you when its done. all the best for the, good to see its fillanly rolling too.

  13. Just awesome work. I really can’t wait to see it thrashed now, it looks so close!

  14. This is really beginning to take shape. I wish you could work on this a little faster so that we can see the outcome already!

  15. Bro! So, so cool. Love your work.

  16. This things is priceless!! awesome work Nigel. I could stare at this for hours!!

  17. Congrats!!! What an amazing accomplishment.


  19. First up absolutely brilliant build can’t wait to see it in person next weekend if I get there.

    But, and its only a little but, is it just me or is the bottom of the crucifix on the drivers side misaligned?
    II know it won’t make too much difference as they’re just to triangulate the cross bar now, but just from some angles it sticks out a little to my eye.




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