ETS Drift Ute – Back in the game

Lets go way back to the start of this project, it started January 2011, I went flat chat on the project to get it to the rolling stage, then i moved into my new shed and since then you could say it hasnt progressed much. Well from this point on im making this build my priority and will do whatever it takes to drive it this year! Thats a promise… Read on for more details.

With my 180SX stealing the Hiluxs last RB25 gearbox i finally sourced another (thanks Chris and Justin) and went to work cleaning it up, yes this started life as your normal dirt caked second hand box but after some Alluminium Cleaner from Supercheap and 15 minites at the carwash with a toothbrush it looked like this! Sparkling and not a hint of grease anywhere.

I quickly slung it up and hoisted it through into its new home, Ebay slings are like $5 each and this roof hoist has been the best investment ive made, at $115 its way better than a block and tackle.

Im using a Dellow adapter plate to dummy everything up but ive heard reports of missalignment with these, not only that but the holes are not very well aligned to get the plate onto the engine, at $400 its hardly value for money, so ive started to make one adapter plate to suit both Z32 gearboxs and RB25 gearboxs, hopefully have them in production one day.

The time has come to do a cooler layout, over the last couple of months ive designed a few intercooler/radiator/oilcooler scenarios and thought about sending these off to PWR to make everything up for me, i had second thoughts as that would cost around $1500 to $2000 to do.

Over those last couple of months ive trawled Ebay worldwide to search for something that will work on a budget, i looked at a lot of ex nascar stuff but the shipping put me off so i decided to go with a triple core alloy radiator designed for a Chev, with a 80mm core and decent welds/finish it fits all my criteria and budget, how much you say? Well it was at my door for under $200

The radiator will be laid over on this angle with the intercooler sitting behind it and an oil cooler above that with shrouding covering everything and twin 12 inch fans drwing air through the lot, over my years in drifting ive found that an oil cooler needs a fan behind it to make the most from them, if all cooler have a fan behind them then i think that will help in long wait situations such as start line line ups.

So whats next? Well the intercooler should be here today and then i can measure up space for the oil cooler, once the intercooler, radiator and oilcooler are in position then i will start the plumbing with -10 line and a inline Peterson -10 oil filter, radiator swirlpot bleeder and filler. Once all that’s done then i can do all the alloy sheet work for the ducting, making use of every molecule of air.

  1. This lookes very nice. Lokking forward to following your progress on this.

  2. awsome work nigel, cant wait to see the final product 🙂

  3. Now this looks sick
    You actually inspired my next project car
    Ford rancero 200sx

  4. I got to hand it to you for one of the best fabricator/builder I’ve seen best s13 awesome 180 and this ute is to good for words for your first full chassis it’s unbelievable makes me wana keep my s14a keep up the top notch fab Nigel

  5. Im stoked to see this getting underway again!!
    Cant wait to see it out there getting beaten. H
    Hopefully the gearbox install and removal process is more straight forward when finished! I can see you getting real sick of windscreen removal gearbox out jobs real fast!! haha

    • Haha, it will be a motor out job to remove the gbox in the future

  6. Looks really good, finished this year sounds good!

  7. Glad too see your getting back to work on it again, looking forward too updates

  8. Have followed this build very closely since the start. Very bloody well done.

  9. so the intercooler is behind the rad??? isnt it the norm to stick it up the front? whats your reasoning for that?

  10. Great job Nigel, keep it up!!!

    @Liam, I might be wrong but I think that having the intercooler behind the radiator will allow Nigel to run much shorter intercooler piping, which should help the turbo to spool up a bit quicker (not to mention less clutter under the hood).

  11. Where did you get the winch from? Model number etc?



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