Unique JDM

Dajiban Drift Vans | JDM Culture – Dodge Van Drifting

Driving a van tends to just be for work, or to get from A to B – very rarely is it associated with excitement or thrill. That is unless, of course, you’re speaking about a Dajiban van. Drifting is often recognized by fast RWD coupés or sedans such as the Toyota Supra, Skyline GT-R, or Toyota AE86. To think that a van could drift, let alone an American Dodge Ram just sounds ridiculous. But here we are.

Why are the Japanese Driving Dodge Vans?

A reason for the popularity is also likely due to the “American Dream”. This saying has made it overseas and adopted in the minds of some folk. The Dajiban culture might be a sort of way to try and get a taste of what the American dream truly is.

The way we Westerners have a thing for JDM vehicles, the opposite goes for the Japanese. A lot of these folks love American culture. So, in addition to owning a Dodge Van, they also add a touch of America with American branded air refreshers, stickers, etc.

The Dodge van, most specifically the Dodge RAM has gotten quite a cult-following in Japan over the years. They started becoming popular vehicles to use to haul tools, motorcycles, wheels, and so on to the track. Since the Japanese car brands really didn’t manufacture any big vans at all at the time, the Dodge RAM became the optimal choice.

But as time went on, some people came up with the bright idea of modifying these trucks. Instead of using them to haul stuff, they started to race them and even went as far as drifting them. It might sound ridiculous but there is plenty of evidence.

What Defines a Dajiban Drift van?

Well, a Dajiban van is a Dodge RAM van, commonly from the 90s. Also known as the B-series van and were commonly used as work vehicles, being driven by electricians, construction workers, and other blue-collar jobs.

The Dodge RAM came with either a 6-cyl or 8-cyl engine ranging from 3.7L to 3.9L for the 6-cyl and 5.2L to 7.2L for the V8s.

The majority of the Dajiban will have the larger V8 fitted, because really, what is the point of having an American van if you’re not going to have a V8. But unlike many Japanese sport cars these B-series vans basically came with either a 3-speed or 4-speed automatic, so don’t get your hopes up to do any lap records.

Which Modifications Are Done to the Dajiban van?

After you’ve purchased your 90s V8 Dodge RAM van there are a few simple modifications needed in order to truly call your van a Dajiban.

  1. Strip down the entire interior – a dashboard and a seat are what you want, nothing more.
  2. A good set of (preferably) JDM wheels and tires
  3. Aftermarket Sport Suspension (Lowered Significantly)
  4. A racing/bucket seat
  5. In case of circuit racing (Brakes!!)
  6. Intake- and or an exhaust modification
  7. For drifting an Hydralic Handbrake

The list is quite long, but this is a van after all and if you are going to frequently track this thing, you’d want to have the right tools and equipment – you wouldn’t go out on a boat with a few holes in it, would you?

And don’t forget to make any tasteful exterior (and interior) modifications, this is large part of the JDM culture and most Dajiban vans will have at least some sort of modification made to their exterior- or interior design.

E. Lindgren

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