Okay, now the fun truly begins. I have been wanting to start doing some real mods to our Albino Rhino, so I stole the car one day and quickly ran to my garage to install some goodies. Here are the results.
I recently installed the Eibach Lowering Springs, Whiteline Comp ‘C’ Camber/Caster mounts, Work Emotion CR Ultimate 18x9.5 rear and 18x8.5 front with Bridgestone RE-11 tires wrapped around them. Now with being busy at work and in my personal life I did not really have a chance to take the car out to see what it could do, and I have been itching to go for a blast. Well my itch got too strong, so I “borrowed” Justin from work and we took the car out for some mid-day hooning. We found a secret spot, set up some cones and just went for it. At first I was still getting used to the new setup, but instantly could tell the car was much more crisp and precise, even minimal steering input was immediately followed by a response from the car. I always thought the car was darty in stock form, but man, this is just on another level.
After some hot laps, I started to feel more comfortable and confident with the car and the setup, the tires were coming up to temp nicely as well. I was able to focus on the differences between when it was stock and with the mods now, and I must be honest, the overall feel of the car, the “characteristics” of the car did not change much, it still felt very well balanced and planted to the road, just like stock. The main difference was just more grip, much, much more grip. I would have to say the biggest difference came from the Bridgestone RE-11 tires and the Whiteline Comp ‘C’ Camber/Caster mounts, when I had installed them I set it up for max camber and caster, and while the added negative camber helped those big sticky tires remain flat in the corner, the added caster gave us a much better steering feel and also gave us some additional negative camber through a corner as well. The smaller sidewall on the Bridgestones compared to stock really helped keep everything planted and gave me much more confidence in the corners as well. Now, don’t think I am leaving the springs out of the equation, but I was really expecting a harsher and stiffer ride from these springs, but to be honest, it almost felt like stock. You can tell there is a bit more spring rate under the car, but it is so minimal that once you drive the car for more than a few minutes, you forget that they are there. I think these springs are going to be perfect for those who want to retain stock like comfort, while still lowering the car for better looks and handling.
Overall I was very impressed with the setup, it still allows you to get the rear end out with the traction control off, which I did not think was going to be possible with that much soft rubber under the car, but again, the characteristics felt like the stock car. It does not feel quite as eager to accelerate with the larger diameter wheels and tires, but I feel like the car was never the fastest thing on the planet, and the added grip more than makes up for the minimal loss of acceleration, and I do emphasize the word minimal. I was really impressed towards the end of our session as the tires reached full temp, they made the car feel like a razor cutting through the pavement, you just had to point the steering wheel where you wanted to go, keep the gas steady and the car just zipped there like a quantum wave collapse and *poof*, you’re there. It was astonishing, there was so much more the car could have given, and now the biggest limitation is the dummy behind the wheel. Now I’ve known that has always been the truth, but at least before I had an excuse with the stock tires, now I must come out and admit “ I Rick, am a horrible driver”, ah that feels much better to get off my chest. Now that the internet knows about my driving skills, or lack thereof, one might ask, “so if the car was already out of your driving abilities, why are you throwing parts on it”? That is a great question, and the real answer to that is… For fun!!! Now don’t get me wrong, the car was a blast to drive in stock form, we all know that, but go ahead and throw on some sticky tires, take that corner as fast as you can, and just giggle like an idiot as the car tries to separate your skin from your body. I have never had a headache after driving a car before, but I got one this time, I felt like a newborn whose neck muscles are not quite strong enough, as my head bounced from shoulder to shoulder, tank-slapping through those cones. I remember thinking “Now this is a car!!!” as I was grabbing at my neck wretched in pain.
We know some people modify their cars to make it look better, some do it to stand out and be different, well I do it because like RickyBobby, I just wanna go fast!! I love feeling the G-forces as I throw a car recklessly into corners, I love feeling like at any moment, if something goes wrong, I might die. There is a special connection you can develop with your car, this not only comes from driving it and getting to know it, which you do, but I feel like a big part of that is modifying it to suite it to your own preference, to make the car yours, and for it to drive like you want it to drive. This is why I mod cars, this is what I have been waiting for with this BRZ, and from here on out, it is just going to get better and better.
We will keep you up to date with the next modifications, but don’t think we have given up on the suspension just yet. Take a look at the arms and the bushings on the rear of the car through the corners in our most recent suspension video, this should give you an idea of what we are thinking to attack next.