Decisions, decisions.... - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 07-28-2006, 11:42 AM
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Question Decisions, decisions....

Ok, my questions are pretty specific, but I can't group this thread under one category so I decided to stick it here. I'm planning on competing in SCCA SoloII next year (STX class), and I'm contemplating what mods I should do to my car. Basically, I'm trying to sort out what things I NEED to do, and then decide what I should do, relative to power vs. suspension/handling.

Section 1 - Essentials ====================

Currently the only real "performance" mods I have are some TEIN springs (S.Tech, which are horrible with stock struts), and a Whiteline RSTB. Would you say that sway bars and endlinks are absolutely essential for autocross? If so, I'll probably go with Cusco sways ($340 for both front and back), and endlinks. I'm not the most wealthy guy, so I need to budget some. First, I need to clarify about sway bars. I'm assuming that sway bars are pretty much pointless without replacing the endlinks. This may be different between front and rear. I'm guessing the rear needs more work. Could I get away with upgraded sway bar and endlinks in the rear, and an upgraded sway bar up front on stock endlinks? I'm guessing a set of sway bars and endlinks should cost around $540.

Section 2 - Suspension ====================

I also need to replace my shocks/struts. Since I already have the TEIN S-Tech springs, I could go with a set of KYB AGXs for about $420 shipped. Would this setup work, or should I go with a full coilover setup?

So I know I need to get sway bars and endlinks, and possibly new shocks/struts. If I decide to go with suspension mods, I think the best thing for me to do is replace my current shock/spring setup with the TEIN SuperStreet coilovers with Pillowball mount ($1435, non pillowball-$1282). Coupled with the sway bars, endlinks, and strut tower brace, I feel this would be pretty adequate for my first autocross season. I know I should get wider wheels/tires, but I'm not sure I can afford to dish out another $1400 for those before the season begins. So basically, if I go with the AGX struts, I'll be spending about $960 total. If I go with the TEIN coilovers, $1975/1822 (pillowball/non-pillowball).

Section 3 - Power mods ====================

I have read a lot, and I know that for our cars, the only way to do power mods is with proper engine management. I think the Cobb AccessPort is the best bet, which will be $600. Now for the tricky parts... assembling the components of the exhaust system.

Let's start from the block. My choice for an UP would probably be the TurboXS ($185), since it has the flex section and has the bung for the EGT sensor. Perrin's UP ($200) seems nice, but there is nowhere to install the EGT, so I'd have to install it in the headers or something myself, which I don't want to do. Are there any problems with the TurboXS flex section coming apart? I know one of the main benefits of replacing the up-pipe is to remove that cat that can break up and ruin your turbo. I guess there's no sense in replacing it with something that can do the same thing, so I'm just trying to figure that one out...

Next, the downpipe. I figure the Helix catted downpipe would be the best bet, since I actually care about emissions, and don't want to worry about inspections, etc. The Helix catted DP goes for $354. I've heard good things, so I'm pretty sure I've made up my mind on this part, unless anyone else can convince me otherwise.

And finally, the exhaust. Since I'm driving the wagon, and want to keep a somewhat sleeperish look/sound to my car, I've decided on the Borla Hush CBE, which goes for $525-554 on eBay. Out of all the sound clips I've heard, I like the note of the Borla the best, and it retains the stock look. I'm tired of the N1/Apexi/4"/5" huge angled titanium-rainbow tipped mufflers I see all the time. The Borla Hush keeps the twin-tip oval muffler shape of the stock system.

Overall, for a more power-oriented setup (including the sway bars/endlinks), I'm looking at something around $2093-2248 depending on the parts I choose.

Section 4 - Conclusion ====================

Ok... for anyone that's actually read all of this garbage. Please help me make sense of this. Do I really need all of these mods to have the advantage in autocross? I'm pretty sure that I should lean more towards the suspension mods (which is why I have deemed the endlinks/sway bars essential). Someone please shed some light on my situation and lead me on the right path!
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#2 Old 07-28-2006, 12:37 PM
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First of all, before you throw a bunch of mods at the car, do you know what class you'd be running in with your current setup? I'd advise against adding mods that could potentially bump you up to a more competitive class if you're just starting out.

The single most effective mod for autocross is good tires. You can modify your car all you want - without good tires, the mods will mean nothing. If you can't afford wider wheels/tires right now, just get some sticky tires for your current wheels. Don't spend any other money on mods until you participate in your first event and find the weak spot in the car and learn your own abilities and driving style. I'd forget about adding power mods completely for now. And when it comes to suspension mods, do one at a time (if possible) so that you can feel the difference each time. You need to find out how the car reacts to driver input before you can change things. If it understeers too much, you need to address it. If it has too much roll, causing balancing issues, then that has to be addressed. Etc, etc.

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#3 Old 07-28-2006, 01:05 PM
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my current setup places me in STX, since I have lowering springs and a rear strut tower bar. I'm not going to keep my car stock, and I've decided to stick with STX class. The mods I listed above are all compatible with STX, since they don't actually change anything in the engine, change suspension geometry, replace body panels/glass, etc.

I'm going to a "Novice School" for autocross next Saturday, so I will have a chance to see how I do, and what I need to work on, as well as what I need to do to fine-tune my vehicle. I just have all this stuff floating around in my head, and just want to narrow it down.

I figured the power mods wouldn't be as effective as suspension/handling mods. I know R-compound tires are the best for autocross, but I didn't really address the issue above.... Of course, like everyone else out there, I'd like a set of "track" wheels/tires, and a set for street.

I appreciate your input, and I will definitely pay close attention next Saturday when I'm under instruction, and while I'm actually navigating the course. I'll let you guys know how it goes so you can guide me to the right modifications. I'm not going to spend money without being absolutely sure the mods will benefit.
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#4 Old 07-28-2006, 01:38 PM
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Can't wait to hear how the event goes.

Don't get me wrong, you're going to want to modify your car. I don't know anyone who enjoys racing a stock car. I just like to suggest that everyone get to know their car the way it is now before they start throwing mods at it for autocrossing. It makes it difficult to learn things about the car and how it will react.

Have fun!

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#5 Old 07-28-2006, 02:12 PM
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Yeah, mine's pretty close to stock... I know the suspension is thrown off, and I notice a difference in turns with the strut bar... but other than that I haven't done anything. I know I'm going to have a great time learning about this stuff... I'm glad I got a chance to take a class before competing. I don't want to go out there looking like an idiot, knocking over pylons and whatnot
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#6 Old 07-28-2006, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smores
Yeah, mine's pretty close to stock... I know the suspension is thrown off, and I notice a difference in turns with the strut bar... but other than that I haven't done anything. I know I'm going to have a great time learning about this stuff... I'm glad I got a chance to take a class before competing. I don't want to go out there looking like an idiot, knocking over pylons and whatnot
Knocking over the pylons is the fun part

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#7 Old 07-28-2006, 05:07 PM
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want my .02? probably not but ill give it anyway. loose the teins, go back to stock. go take a driving class so you know what your doing and get a rear sway, screw the front. and spend the rest of your money on tires and power mods.
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#8 Old 07-28-2006, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nose Nuggets
want my .02? probably not but ill give it anyway. loose the teins, go back to stock. go take a driving class so you know what your doing and get a rear sway, screw the front. and spend the rest of your money on tires and power mods.
He's taking an autox class which should help. I think he'll be on the right track.

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#9 Old 07-28-2006, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nose Nuggets
want my .02? probably not but ill give it anyway. loose the teins, go back to stock. go take a driving class so you know what your doing and get a rear sway, screw the front. and spend the rest of your money on tires and power mods.
Thanks for the input on the sway bars. I figured the rear was more important, especially on the wagon. Unfortunately it's too late to go back to stock springs, as I sold them and my right rear strut is popping anyway. I figured I'd just go ahead and upgrade. I realize now the stock suspension is great for speed bumps and normal driving... but the wheel gap was killing me, even before I bought my car

And Ludachris, I forgot to mention. Thanks for redirecting my thread here. I totally forgot about this section of the forum! I'm sure it will be a great resource for info.
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#10 Old 07-28-2006, 05:36 PM
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Actually, I moved it. I just didn't post to it, I'm not smart enough. !Laugh!

My car is well, it's like 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag...

<------ Click to see what I'm workin' with. ;)
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#11 Old 07-28-2006, 06:17 PM
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oh, my bad. I figured it was Ludachris since he posted... sorry
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#12 Old 07-28-2006, 07:21 PM
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Hehe, no biggie bro, I was just messing with you.

My car is well, it's like 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb bag...

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#13 Old 07-29-2006, 09:52 PM
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Oh, I just thought of something else. I have a motorcycle helmet for my first event, but I'm wondering what's a good helmet for autocross. I see a lot of pics of people wearing open-faced helmets. I like the look of a full-face a lot more, and of course it's safer. However it is hotter during the summer months...

Any reccomendations/suggestions? For this race I'll probably just remove the visor, as having it on, and down would be retarded.
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#14 Old 07-30-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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Here are my .02 on this.

Drive the car as it is. Possibly remove the Tein's and sell them. Burn the tires you have on now off, then get whatever size tire fits appropiately to the wheel and get either the Falken RT615, Hankook RS2 or Yoko Neova (if you have $$ for Neova). Possibly get a rear sway bar and endlinks. Drive for at least 1 full year like that. During that time, try to find some other STX prepared cars and drive those, and notate their setups.

During that time, you coudl probalby get a front sway bar as well, either a whiteline 27-29mm or the Stranobar. Drive the car like that for a while. You will be competitive in local STX scene, and even in you had every mod for STX, you wouldn't touch the national guys with 1 year of experience under your belt. Also I do not recommend taking a real driver's school (like an Evolution school) until you know how to drive. Take maybe a newbie local one, but before you spend $450 for one day of school, make sure you know ALL the basics.

With about 2 years of expereience under your belt, and a real driver's school, and reading and searching on the NASIOC motorsports forum, you will knwo which route to go. If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me or post them.
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