180sx – Super Lock

Next thing on the table for the 180sx was steering and the past few weeks I have searched everywhere for info on what I wanted. Here’s what I got.


At some point everyone who has a drift car wants to have more lock so they can go for bigger entries and more speed, or just to show off how much lock they have in pictures. Either way both look good, using it to it’s full potential is the most fun part of it though.

I previously ran S13 Hey Man knuckles with stock tie rods and S14 LCA. They had a bit of extra lock, but wasn’t really what I was after.


So the months of research on ackerman issues, over-centering issues and binding problems, I finally decided on what I thought might be the best option for what I wanted. Something not super whippy and nothing super short. I wanted good response without having the lock limited to a certain point. Another big thing I wanted was to eliminate the drag factor on the trailing wheel.

To go with the new knuckles I wanted a new LCA setup so I could increase my track a bit further. I spoke to Joel at C’s Garage after seeing some of his work and decided I’d send mine over. My S14 LCA were extended 25mm, gusseted and had the lock stop removed. They came back looking amazing! Definitely going to use Joel for any other LCA work I want done.


My tie rods also needed an upgrade, seeing how everything I had was now running everything to S15 specifications. Spoke to the best guy in Japan, Jesse Streeter, organised some Ikeya Formula tie rods and had them sent over. I also ordered a pair of OEM tie rod ends from Pete at JDM Obsession, I didn’t want to run aftermarket tie rod ends, I don’t see much of a difference in them.


In my list I had 5 different knuckle designs, from privateer cut and shut to the top manufacturer’s in Japan. I was highly considering Driftworks but didn’t want to drop nearly $1500 on a set of knuckles. I had 3UP, GP SPorts and Dmax as well, but a few bits ruled them out. The GP Sports hyper knuckles aren’t made anymore, I’d also read in a few places that people had issues with them cracking. 3UP I couldn’t find much info on, being a smaller company it was a bit of a dead end looking for them. Dmax was my #2 choice, I had no issues with them, they looked perfect, would suit what I was after and weren’t over the top expensive.

The knuckles I decided to go with are Riverside, same knuckles that Atsushi Kuroi used in his D1GP car. This guy is my all time favourite driver, for everything he could do with that car. I looked into them but similar to the GP SPorts knuckles, they weren’t made anymore. I spoke to Jesse again and asked what he knew about them and if there was any chance of getting a pair. Lucky for me he knew someone in Japan who had a jig to make the knuckles, so that was all I needed to know. A couple weeks went by and I had my new knuckles in my hands!


I haven’t had a chance to test the knuckles yet due to not being able to fit them in time before heading to Winton for matsuri. I have tested the car with the new LCA and tie rods though, it is amazing to drive. Once the knuckles go in, I hope I can get a bit more lock and stability in the front end. These knuckles aren’t super short so won’t be very hard to drive with I imagine, but I wont know until I try them.

For now this is how my lock sits, only with the LCA and tie rods, can’t wait to get the knuckles in and get that little bit more lock!


If I can drive anything like Kuroi, I’ll be happy.


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