Project Driftchick – Part 5


The Ford Performance Parts Supercharged Aluminator makes an incredible sound.  Check how the team completed the car and you will be rewarded with the awesome howls of the Coyote!

Engine Control and Electrical

Properly controlling the powerful Ford Aluminator was made far easier courtesy of Haltech Engine Management Systems which provided its amazing Elite 2500 series engine management system.

Driftchick Build 2016-193

Haltech Elite Series ECUs go above and beyond with the ability to fully control the Coyote based Aluminator’s independently variable camshafts as well as all drive by wire functions plus all the other good stuff typically found in more expensive engine management systems.  The system included the Haltech IQ3 data logger dash, O2 controllers and CAN-BUS modules for a fully complete system. Wiring the car was a big challenge as well, but was made far easier through the use of a Haltech fully terminated Coyote harness, virtually a plug and play harness.

Driftchick Build 2016-192

 The valuable addition of data logging was new for the Drift Chick team and would help aid in diagnostics to assure the Aluminator stays healthy under adverse conditions. 

The rest of the electrical work was left to Dan who developed and installed a robust design that should work reliably throughout the season. Panels and electrical boxes were first installed.


ECU wiring and system power supply wiring was then routed.  Ground wires were also employed throughout to assure a reliable electrical system.

Driftchick Build 2016-229

Some custom work was done within the Haltech power block supplied with the ECU to provide control of the car’s supercharger coolant pump and fan using the relay originally designed for an AC compressor.

Driftchick Build 2016-228

The car’s power system employs master cut-off switches both on the cowl, per Formula Drift rules, and in the cabin, in the center of the dash.

Driftchick Build 2016-236

Driftchick Build 2016-237

A rear fuse/relay panel was installed to provide power to the rear mounted radiator fans and fuel pumps.  The pumps and fans combined to draw nearly 100 amps, and all run through the master cut off switch for safety. A master 200 Amp fuse also protects the entire system in the event of a major short.  Sneaking into the picture are the custom brake lines routed through the car.


Wiring to headlights and other front mounted electrical work in progress.


Suspension, steering and brakes

The car’s steering system is pretty typical as most cars go, but does mate a Ford power steering pump with the Nissan rack.   The Ford Performance Parts Boss power steering bracket is used to mount a 2004 – 2010 Mustang GT pump.  Research indicated the pressure and flow should be compatible with the Nissan rack.  With the added weight due to the engine swap, the option would have been a higher flowing F150 pump, but the GT pump worked well, eventually.

The team did suffer steering problems during its round 1 competition at Road Atlanta.  Essentially the car was nearly impossible to drive on the technical course. Following Road Atlanta, the power steering system was completely redone to eliminate possible problems, including replacement of an aftermarket rebuilt pump with a Ford supplied pump, courtesy of the Ford Performance Parts team at Gary Yeoman’s Ford, and a rebuilt steering rack courtesy of the Rack Doctor.  Hoses were re-routed and the very nice Canton power steering reservoir raised to help improve flow to the pump and minimize potential for air in the system.


 The 2016 car rides on BC Racing ER series coilovers.  These units are two way adjustable and offer a step up in performance over the BR series the team ran the last few seasons.

Driftchick Build 2016-222

SPL Arms and parts are also used for their light weight and excellent quality.

Driftchick Build 2016-223 

The traditional dual caliper brake set up in the rear is controlled by a Sikky handle and Wilwood pedals and master cylinders.  This was Sikky’s pre-production mock-up handle used for the build.

 Driftchick Build 2016-246

Here Dan is finalizing the position of the handbrake and mounting to perfectly fit Kelsey’s driving position.


Wilwood disc brakes and calipers are deployed in the front along with more SPL Parts.

Driftchick Build 2016-241

Wilwood brakes were installed up front. Safety wire was applied to the two piece rotors and hats.

Driftchick 2016 build Alberto-666

Custom hard lines were installed by the team to plumb the brake system.

Gorgeous and functional Trak-Lite Clutch wheels were installed both front and rear and eventually fitted with sticky Achilles rubber.

Traklite Wheel


Safety First

Keeping Kelsey safe while drifting at the professional level was a priority for Dan, her crew chief and dad, and the best in safety was pursued. Starting with the properly constructed roll cage, Sparco racing seats and six point harnesses were added. As an added bonus, the Sparco seats are exceptionally comfortable too!

  Driftchick Build 2016-248

Driftchick Build 2016-249

While the prior car took advantage of an SPA Technique Firesense AFFF Foam system, the new build was treated to the SPA Technique Extreme Novec based system for improved performance in the unlikely event needed and for cleanliness of the system if used.

Driftchick Build 2016-63


Safety also entails the health of the driver, a key consideration in Kelsey’s case. To keep her cool during the hottest of events. Fresh Air Systems Technology (F.A.S.T) provided a unique cool shirt and one of its complete cool suit systems specially created for Kelsey.

Driftchick Build 2016-247


Finishing Touches

Some of the finishing touches employed on the car were focused on controlling heat transfer for enhanced reliability an driver comfort.  Once again, a few outstanding Vibrant Performance products were utilized throughout the car.

SHEETHOT TF-400 Heat Shield was used for it outstanding heat resistance and formability to create a custom starter heat shield.  The team also used it to provide additional heat shielding for the Haltech EMS unit which was mounted on the transmission tunnel.

The TF-400 is easy to cut and form and can be molded to almost any shape. The team formed a piece, cutting one layer larger than the others, and folded it over to create a safe to use head shield with no sharp edges. After wrapping around the starter, a small hole was drilled and a bolt used to secure the shield.

starter starter-insulate-1


SHEETHOT Flex Adhesive shielding was applied to the underside of the transmission tunnel to help reduce exhaust heat input to the cabin, both to help prevent Kelsey from getting a hot foot and to keep sensitive electronics a bit cooler. The SHEETHOT Flex was also a very easy material to work with. Simply cut, peel the backing and stick in place.

insulate-1 insulate-2 

Driftchick Build 2016-245

In addition, Vibrant’s Extremeshield Flexible Tubing and Heat Protect Insulated Sleeve were used throughout the build to help protect critical hoses from engine and exhaust system heat for improved reliability.

Lexan was used for the rear and side windows. 


With a little help from a torch, the team was able to conform the Lexan to shape.  The team chose to use screws for the side windows to allow easy removal in the event access to the rear of the cabin was required.

Driftchick Build 2016-270

Since the Coyote based engine and supercharger were a tight fit, not only left to right, but top to bottom, some accommodation had to be made to the composite hood used by the team. The hood was first laid out and then cut to accommodate both the supercharger and intake.

Driftchick Build 2016-271

Driftchick Build 2016-253

The trunk lid was cut in similar fashion to allow plenty of air to easily escape after passing through the radiator.

Driftchick Build 2016-251 Driftchick Build 2016-252

The traditional composite body parts such as over fenders and bumper covers were fit and mounted to the car.


Once all the body panels were complete, Guardian Wraps applied the matte pink vinyl and graphics designed by Sway Gear.


First Fire


With the team ready to fire up the engine, an important step was taken to first prime the engine. 

A Canton Racing Products can was modified so it could be connected to the oil system, filled with oil and then pressurized to prime the system. The team confirmed flow at the heads before first fire. 



Driftchick Build 2016-268



Check out the first firing of the Ford Performance Parts Supercharged Aluminator

Click below for a quick video overview of the nearly completed car!


Tuning and Testing

After getting the car fired up and stable, it was off to the Dyno for tuning


Tuned by Adam Peeling, an expert in the Haltech system, the engine produced significant power over a wide range. The team won’t reveal exact figures, but rumor has it the car produces well in excess of 700 HP to the rear wheels.


Check out the Dyno testing here! Hear the Howl of the Coyote!

Testing and performance at the track with this engine has been stellar.  Suspension set up work was certainly needed and would be addressed by the team during future test and tune opportunities.


Below are the very first test runs of the Drift Chick Aluminator drift car!

The team would like to thank all their partners and supporters for making this build remotely possible!

Awesome shot from BC Racing at road Atlanta! And, that sweet Sparco racing suit looks great.

Driftchick - BC Racing

Follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook….Click below!





Return to the Crew Chief’s Garage