ETS Hilux :: Engineered To Perfection
Nigel Petrie has been building his Drift Hilux for only 11 short months and in this time he has accomplished more than any normal car enthusiast could possibly hope to achieve in several years.
With at least 12 more months needed to complete the project, mostly due to funds and a lack of spare time (between drift competitions and a full time job), there is still a lot more to be done…
He started with the simple idea; a Toyota Hilux cab mounted onto a chassis with the same footprint as a JZX100 Toyota Chaser.
He has done this using proven and affordable parts from a Nissan S15, including steering and front suspension components.
The steering rack has been mounted further forward than the factory location to eliminate ‘binding’ when the car is on full lock. This is exactly the attention to detail that Nigel is known for and why his personal blog earns the title “Engineered To Slide”.
With a target weight of 950kgs for the build, Nigel has been conscious of what materials he uses.
The front uses all OEM metal panels for strength…
While the rear will use a fiberglass tail gate with widened rear fenders to save a few kilos and to help fit the massive 18 x 9.5″ rear wheels.
This is the metal panel that will be used to mold and create the fiberglass versions. The benefit of all this work is that Nigel can simply pump out copy after copy to replace the worn and damaged panels after competitions.
The front metal fenders feature a hinged section to allow for some ridiculous entries on full lock, and the rear fenders are 100mm wider then factory so it will be quite the monster when finished.
The Hilux sits incredibly low thanks to the flat floor pan and custom suspension built by MCA in Queensland, the lowest point is exactly 70mm off the ground.
You may be familiar with the father and son team behind MCA. Father, Murry and son, Josh Coote have been fiddling with cars for decades and Josh is well known for his drifting career, winning several competitions around Australia.
They also built and raced their Time Attack Onevia in this years World Time Attack, the car received lots of attention thanks to some very aggressive aero modifications.
Nigel’s flat floor pan incorporates a rake in it to produce some extra down force as well.
Everything on this car has been put there for a reason… To either be competitive or cost effective, everything is used to gain some extra performance or save some weight.
The gearbox is usually found on the back of a Nissan RB25 motor, Nigel chose this for it’s strength and reliability and ultimately for it’s cost.
Every dollar that can be saved during this build will be used to maintain the Red 180sx which sees all of Nigel’s track duties.
So it is important to be selective in spending your hard earned cash…
When you have obligations such as racing around the country.
Nigel’s spare time is spent preparing his red 180SX for competitions, any time left over after that is spent working on his Ute, making adjustments and building new parts entirely from scratch.
Keep in mind Nigel still works a 40+ hour week like the rest of us, so that makes all of his work a massive achievement!
The power plant is a Nissan SR20DET sourced from an S13 and built by Donny from Street Forced Performance. It is tuned to 260KW at the rear wheels. Handling all that power is a two piece tail shaft from a Nissan Skyline. Nigel builds cars like a 5 year old builds Lego.
Tinkering away in his shed, if it doesn’t fit he pulls it all apart to it’s bare essentials and tries and tries again.
The engine uses a TD06 turbo with a custom BRAE exhaust manifold and a combination of inlet manifolds…
Nigel found that using the runners from a Mazworx unit and the inlet plenum of a Hypertune manifold proved to be the best solution. The end result helps produce the much needed horse power and torque to keep the Hilux sliding, after countless issues and boost leaks with custom made manifolds Nigel opted for an off the shelf unit, even if he ended up mixing and matching it to suit.
What really sets this build off is that Nigel has built the chassis to allow for the cab to slip on/off, so nearly any shell can be mounted…
So he can drift a Toyota Hilux one day and a Honda Jazz the next, well maybe not that extreme but the possibilities are endless.
There are a number of things that make this build truly amazing, but it’s not just all the top shelf parts like the B.I.M Driftmasters, Nardi steering wheel, Trust gear knob or Bride seats…
Or the level of craftsmanship or quality of the work…
It’s the personal touches that make this car. It’s more a ‘modern’ piece of art than it is an actual race car.
Here are some of the tools that Nigel made to help with the build, a tube bender and a notcher.
Building these himself saved considerable amounts of money and ultimately helped get this project underway with a very tight budget.
This is the sort of puzzle solving and DIY ingenuity that truly makes Nigel the mad man that he is, capable of creating some incredible pieces of machinery at home in his tiny shed.
Thanks for reading and checking out this absolutely extraordinary car, be sure to check out the build progress and all of Nigel’s shenanigans at Engineered To Slide.com