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Old 01-02-2013, 09:00 PM   #26
Vorshlag
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(continued from above)

Olof washed and detailed Matt's car, Jason cut some class/number/sponsor decals, and Olof and I slapped on the numbers and some GRM decals. I asked Jason to make the numbers big, but dang - you can see these from space! :P Then we went in search for a parking lot that would work for the photo shoot. Once there, we set up a slalom and Brandon got his camera gear ready. I got in, strapped on a helmet, and hooned around the cones - while keeping an eye out for the law. This was an unsanctioned operation...



The parking lot we picked was a local movie theater across the highway from Vorshlag, and by a large helping of dumb luck we just happened to see my 2013 Mustang GT parked in the same portion of the giant parking lot. Apparently my wife had snuck off to watch some sparkly vampire movie - on a vacation day she took from work that she "needed" in order to get ready for a Thanksgiving party we were throwing the next day. Sneaky. What she didn't know was that I had an extra key to this car... so we moved it to another lot about a half mile away and I waited for her panicked call.



It didn't take long - half an hour later I got the call, "The Mustang is stolen! Either that... or.... YOU took it!" She knows me too well. I told her where the car was parked and she hung up on me. Later that day she admitted it was a good practical joke, heh. We laughed about it for days!

The photos came out well and you should see one of the above shots in an upcoming GRM issue.

Two FT86 Track Tests @ ECR

At the end of my October post we had three track days in the works for October and November. Matt was out of town for the NASA event, where we ran two of the other Vorshlag shop cars and set some new personal best lap times (in our 2011 and and 2013 Mustang GTs). Then the SCCA Club Race/PDX event was cancelled (they had all of 37 people sign up...and we were 3 of those. Club racing in our region is virtually dead), but the Five Star Ford track day event was the first one where we had some FT86 content.

Vorshlag Picture Gallery - 5 Star Ford ECR Track Day - http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-E...ar-ECR-111712/

This November 17th event was an HPDE hosted by Five Star Ford of Plano at Eagles Canyon Raceway. We had fun at their event back in June so we signed up three more cars for their November 17th event. Amy drove the red Vorshlag 2011 Mustang GT to her new personal best at this track (1:57.70!) and Matt drove his 2013 Subaru BRZ (2:11.0). I was there for track-side help and in-car instruction, Ed was there to help with the three cars, and Vorshlag's photographer Brandon was on hand and took some great track pictures of many of the cars in attendance. Perfect weather, well run event, and we had about 63 cars in attendance, so we got a LOT of track time. Big thanks to Corey White for setting this event up!


Left: Matt's BRZ on course. Right: Britney and her FR-S.

Being a Ford dealership sponsored event there were a crap ton of Mustangs in attendance, and I will go into more of that in our next Mustang project thread post. Having two FT86s there was a treat - and in fact there was a third one, but it was still on the stock tires and had no lap timer (we ended up doing track preparation work to that car at Vorshlag in December).



Britney and Stephen also brought her FR-S to this event, and you can see me riding along with Stephen in the Asphalt Gray FR-S, below right. NASA Time Trial racer KenO took some hot laps in her FR-S during a later session, and I took some hot laps in Matt's BRZ at the same time (below left). We both had lap timers/data loggers on board, but unfortunately we didn't get any in-car video in either car that day. Still, we did get some good pictures and data.



The data showed what we felt in the BRZ - the new brake pads were working VERY WELL and I saw some braking data that I couldn't quite believe (1.5g peak braking?!). The harder I pushed the brakes, the deeper it would brake. This was just with Motul fluid, our SS brake lines and the Carbotech XP12 front / XP8 rear pads! No brake ducting, but we never saw any fade - and I pushed the brakes hard for about 4-5 laps. Lateral grip was also extremely impressive, showing sections of corners with sustained 1.3-1.4g lateral?!
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:00 PM   #27
Vorshlag
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(continued from above)



Again, I have to see more data to believe this, but the fat R-S3's were making mountains of grip. Like I said before, the track width on these 17x9" wheels is 71", which is WIDE. By comparison our Mustang, which is a giant 3600 pound car, on the mega-wide 18x12" wheels is 73.5" wide - a mere 2.5" wider than the 2750 pound BRZ. So you can see where some of the massive grip is coming from on the FT86. This chassis has a "wide stance" and as we know, track width adds lateral grip. The OEM shocks were a bit floaty in bumpy sections of the track, and it bottomed the fronts a few times a lap, so it will be much better with real monotube dampers. In a handful of laps with Matt riding along, I managed a 2:10.5 lap in heavy traffic, after seeing a 2:09.5 indicated on this same lap. So given a few more laps and no passenger it is a 2:08-2:09 car at ECR as it sits, which ain't half bad. I was making Matt nervous sliding the car around, but he hopped in for the second half of this session and dropped two seconds following the same lines, and pushing the braking points deeper like I had, to manage his 2:11.0 lap.


Left: We set-up a table showing off some Vorshlag and Whiteline parts. Right: Vorshlag/AST tester KenO in his E46 M3.

KenO took the 215mm R-S3 equipped FR-S to a best lap of 2:11.5, which was quite good considering it had Hawk HPS pads and only 7" wide wheels. We both had passengers on our laps, and in a 2750 pound car an extra 150-200 pounds matters. I hope we can get these FT86 twins back out to ECR soon and really open them up. I haven't had this much fun tracking a sub-200 whp car... EVER.

Yes, I will admit that driving the BRZ on track with these minor mods was a lot of fun. And I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to track cars, normally driving something with nearly three times this power level, which says a lot about the "fun factor" of the FT86. The car did everything so well - turning, stopping, shifting, corner exit. The pedals are placed perfectly for heel-toe down shifting, the brake and steering feel is superb, the shift throw is short, and the stock seats mostly keep you in place on sticky street tires. Sure, a proper harness and race seat would help driver confidence considerably, but it was a great overall package with just the added negative camber, fat and sticky street tires, and good brake pads/fluid/lines. The prototype Swift springs were a bit on the soft side, and we're about to swap in the production units next, along with shortened bump stops. That should keep the front suspension from bottoming on the bumpy bits at ECR and should help drop lap times too. We'll be back!

Vorshlag picture gallery for ECR Toy Run - http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-E...un-ECR-120812/

We were back at ECR once again a few weeks later, on December 8th, and Matt again brought his BRZ with zero changes from the November event. It was a much colder day and lap times were a solid 1-1.5 seconds off our times at the Ford event, when the weather was a bit more favorable. This time Matt took a lot more laps and got more acquainted with his car. I was busy driving my 2013 GT with new AST double adjustable shocks and Vorshlag camber plates, and Amy was in her 2011 GT again. Also, two of my buddies and I were doing our first track laps in our future ChumpCar, so it was a very busy day. It was so busy, in fact, that nobody got any pictures of Matt's BRZ on track! Doh. It looked so purdy with all of the decals... oh well.



He did get a little in-car video with his new GoPro Hero3. Not the best audio, but you can get some idea of what this car looks like on track.



For NASA TTD competition (the NASA class we are building it for), it needs to run closer to a 2:05, but with coilovers and some other tweaks we think that is doable on these R-S3's. For SCCA we're building it around STX class, which allows up to a 265mm tires. I don't think that will fit as it sits, but with their poorly written rules concerning fender contours and lip rolling, "anything is possible".

What's Next?

Coilovers are the next obvious modification, but we don't have anything to install yet - still waiting on his AST 4150's. For now we will go ahead and install the production Swift lowering springs and confirm the data we have seen on Mark's car (1" drop, great ride). There are some additional Whiteline FT86 bushings that have made it to market (rear UCA bushings) and more are promised in late January - as are their adjustable FT86 sway bars. No power mods will be done until there is a proper tuning solution, so 167 whp is where it will stay for a while.

We don't have any autocross or track events until February, but if we get in some parts before then we'll post up again. Sorry for the long update today, bu we had almost three months to cover. I will try to be more prompt in my updates in the future.

Cheers,
Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:05 PM   #28
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Any new updates? I am still contemplating running mine in some NASA TT events.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #29
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Project Update for August 20, 2013: It looks like we had a huge delay since our last project build thread update on the BRZ Project; it hasn't been discussed since December of 2012. There were some lengthy delays waiting on shocks that were a bit out of our control, which we will explain below. We also got very busy with other projects and racing in other cars. But in the past few months a lot has happened behind the scenes with our in-house 2013 BRZ and we've finally installed proper monotube adjustable coilovers that actually fit these cars at lowered ride heights. We put these to good use at an autocross recently with surprisingly good results. Read more below...


What a difference a year makes! Left is bone stock, right is last week on MCS TT1 shocks, 17x9" Enkei RPF1's and 255 BFG Rivals.

One more thing. Starting in early 2013, all of the pictures in my forum posts can be clicked for higher resolution versions, unless they are posted in-line with BIG format pictures. This takes more time and makes the character count of my posts longer, but we feel it is worth the extra effort to split up posts into multiple sections. With a professional photographer on staff, we WANT you to see our images in higher detail. As always, these watermarked pictures are all copyrighted by Vorshlag, so we ask other shops NOT to steal them (yes, it happens). Anyway, if you see something you like, click that pic!

Where Were We? Waiting On Coilovers...

At the end of my last post (What's Next?) in December we had mapped out future suspension mods. Coilovers were the obvious next modification slated, but that didn't quite pan out as we had expected. There were some early coilover shock options for the FT86, most of which were straight off of the Subaru Impreza that this FT86 chassis was loosely based on. But as we saw, many of those early kits were compromised in some way - namely in the fact that the front struts were not utilizing the room under the spindle for extra travel. Unlike the AWD Impreza, the RWD-only FT86 has several extra inches that could be exploited up front for more strut travel, using the area that the AWD Impreza front half shafts would have been. None of the rushed-to-market coilover solutions used that room. The rest of the kits we saw were all twin tube shocks, which we are not fans of.


This picture was made for a photo shoot last year with stock shocks/springs/sway bars. Handling was pretty awful.

Without proper coilovers to install we weren't about to try to autocross or track this car seriously, either. Sure, the production Swift lowering springs arrived and they looked good, but with the stock length struts and shocks there just wasn't a ton of compression travel to be had. And no lowering spring is going to be significantly stiffer than the OEM bits, not enough to matter for performance handling. Sorry, that's just the truth. Lowering springs are 90% for looks and 10% help handling by lowering the CG. When we see folks arguing one brand of lowering spring over another regarding performance, or one model of OEM spring vs another (BRZ vs FR-S), we have to bite our tongues... because we know it is completely pointless internet talk.

Real coilovers geared towards competition use can work with substantial increases in spring rates. Not 0-30% stiffer, like most lowering springs add, but 100-500% stiffer spring rates. Spring rate changes like this cuts way down on chassis roll/heave/dive, and that's where we've seen the biggest gains over the years with suspension changes - spring rate. And no, the spring rates I'm talking about do no automatically mean "bone crushing ride", not if used with proper monotube shocks. The relatively massive pistons in monotube shocks (relative to twin tube shocks, like the OEM bits) make for a massive increase in low speed sensitivity to movement, so they react more quickly to bumps than any twin tube shock ever could, no matter how stiffly valved. And the large range of adjustment in most aftermarket monotube adjustable shocks means they can work with much stiffer rates and still provide a good ride when the valving (knob) is turned down for street use. These reasons are why Vorshlag ONLY sells monotube shocks - we've seen the glaring limitations of twin tube shocks and just don't want to be a part of that "solution". Sure, Twin Tubes shocks are cheap to make and they have their share of budget-oriented fans, but they don't belong on a car that will be used in competition, and are never going to be something we recommend or sell. Yes, some folks call us shock snobs - but we have our reasons.



Nearly 8 months after we ordered the first prototypes we finally got a set of coilovers from a monotube company to test. We tested their set-up on Matt's BRZ several times over 2 days, with and without springs, and we found several issues. These included brackets that didn't fit the mating hoses, mounting holes drilled the wrong sizes, and strut and shock lengths that were completely wrong. There was no easy fix for the strut length problems, either, other than running them at stock ride heights - which we weren't about to settle for. These tests were a real set-back and we knew this would turn into another huge delay. Still, we had hope, so we spec'd out the proper front strut and rear shock lengths and waited to hear back about a new set that could actually work at a lower ride height.

More months of waiting turned up nothing. It was a problem with the supplier, who was unwilling to make any changes - even if every issue we noted was true. Nobody involved came out ahead on this one. We wasted months waiting for a fix that never came and lost a lot of time in the FT86 suspension market. Matt's BRZ was just tooling around on nice wheels, good bushings, and lowering springs - all dressed up but not race worthy. After seeing how this car fared on track with the stock shocks and soft springs, we knew it would be better suited to proper coilover spring rates and dampers, and really wanted to move to the next step.

I cannot fully put my frustration into words, but I'm not throwing any names around. I'm just going to leave it at that. So after we ran out of patience waiting we broke down and looked at other vendors making quality monotube coilovers for the FT86.

Monotube Coilover Solution Found in the MCS TT1

A relatively new shock company we've been eyeing for a while was Motion Control Suspension (aka "MCS"). This is an American company started in 2011 that has the same principles that formerly ran Moton for 12 years. We had seen that they had made their new MCS non-reservoir single adjustable monotube coilovers for the FR-S/BRZ and the SCCA C Stock guys seemed to love them. This run of FT86 coilovers were made explicitly for this class's unusual shock rules: where OEM spring must be used and the shock length can be no more than 1" different from stock.


Left: Moton 2-Way Dampers we built for SCCA Stock Class BMW 135i. Right: Custom perches for F Stock use on S197 Mustang

The MCS solution for this class was sold with adapters to convert them from adjustable height coilovers normally holding 60mm springs over to fixed height struts that worked with the OEM springs. As crazy as that sounds, we have built shocks like this with other shock companies in the past. It is a very small, niche market of a few dozen racers a year that buy shocks for SCCA Stock class. They can easily cost upwards of five thousand of dollars for custom built double adjustable, remote reservoir shocks that work within the narrow confines of the SCCA Stock classes, and they do find performance benefits in a few loopholes... but nothing like a set of proper coilover springs would give them if they weren't saddled with that class' oddball shock/spring rules.

continued below
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #30
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continued from above



We loved the quality and durability we've seen in Motons, and I run Moton Doubles with remotes on my personal NASA-TT3 Mustang. But while Moton never offered a single adjustable shock, the folks at MCS did, releasing their non-remote single adjustables in early 2013. A Single adjustable non-remote reservoir monotube coilover is one of the areas we at Vorshlag really excel in. This type of shock has a big chunk of the performance benefits of a 2 or 3-way remote reservoir monotube (that can costs $4500-8000+) but at about half the cost of "remote doubles", and without the hassles of mounting reservoirs/hoses. Monotube Singles are a great solution for 80% of the coilover users out there, and we really needed this "internal single monotube" coilover if we were going to play in the FT86 market.



Since stock springs and stock length struts and shocks aren't what 99% of the FT86 crowd wants, we saw a glimmer of hope in MCS, and wanted to give them a try. We talked to MCS, set-up Vorshlag as a dealer, and ordered one of these FT86 sets in our initial stocking order. We knew they might not be the right length but were willing to test them and see, and they said they'd be willing to customize them to our specs.


Left: MCS TT1 singles for FT86, kit priced as shown is $2750. Right: Vorshlag pinned spanner fits the ride height perches perfectly.



We got our first FT86 set in and they looked absolutely beautiful. We could see they already had a lot problems we saw in other brands solved. The included strut bracketry was made to fit the hoses and lines on the BRZ perfectly. They had a nice solution for the slotted holes found in many struts using precision CNC machined fixed offset insert slugs. The coilover perches were all metal (not plastic) and 2-piece, that clamped in place with spanner wrenches (not bolted) and one of the Vorshlag pinned spanners we've made for other brands of coilovers fit perfectly.


Testing the strut and shock lengths on the first set of MCS singles - almost there...

Sure enough, as the MCS folks expected, their "C Stock" length singles were too long to work at the lowered ride heights we wanted to run this BRZ at. And they should have been, as they were initially intended to be SCCA Stock class legal (it is nearly impossible to make anything legal for Stock class work at properly lowered ride heights - without some major compromise somewhere). You see, we had been looking at NASA Time Trial and SCCA STX to run in, and in those classes we could lower the ride height and use true coilover springs in any rate we wanted - a novel idea that almost any competitor would want.



That day we went through the same battery of measurement exercises with the MCS singles as we always do on any new set of shocks we test. We re-spec'ed them with our desired ride heights, then measuring bump and droop travel at the wheels, with and without springs installed. We sent along our wish list of drawings and measurements and shipped this first set of coilover shocks back to MCS, hoping they would make us a set of housings, shafts and lengths that would work.

continued below
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #31
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continued from above



Lo and behold, they delivered a new set built to our specs in less than 2 weeks. We were floored, as this turn-around time was much quicker than we had even hoped for. We took the 2nd set and tested these on the BRZ again, going through our full sweep of tests with and without springs once again. By now we had burned about 4 days of shock testing on this poor car over the previous few months and hadn't driven one mile on anything but the stock shocks. Luckily the third time was a charm, and the 2nd MCS set was a winner. They fit with the lowered ride heights we wanted and now offered real usable bump and rebound travel at both ends. Hot damn!


Left: New Vorshlag tender spring. Right: The MCS TT1 shock worked with the stock rear top mount, Hyperco spring & our tender.

This may seem like a trivial thing to some of your readers, but getting these MCS "TT1" shocks built correctly and onto this car, with real spring rates and usable travel in both bump and rebound directions, was a long time coming. Big thanks to Lex and the folks at MCS for getting these re-made so quickly and for working with us and our needs. So now we needed to know - how do these dampers RIDE and HANDLE?

The ride aspect was easy - let's go drive it. With the initial set of springs we went with a 450 #/in spring at both ends. If you look at the charts below of the OEM and lowering spring rates, which we measured here at Vorshlag, you will see that we nearly tripled the front rates and doubled the rear rates. That's usually a good starting point for us, and we also based the 450F/450R rates on our years of Subaru GD chassis shock sales, testing and racing. To keep the rear spring seated at full droop we added our new Vorshlag 60mm ID tender springs (shown above) on the rear shocks, too.


Left: Stock 2013 Subaru BRZ spring rates, front and rear. Middle: Stock 2013 FR-S rates. Right: Swift BRZ progressive rate lowering springs

A few drives on our 2 mile "shock test loop", a couple of rebound knob changes, and we had the ride set to "Amazing". Yes, with triple the front spring rate it was handling bumps better than the stock shocks did with lowering springs, which often bottomed out. It was firmer but not at all jarring, and we quickly knew this would be a big seller.

Note: We have renamed MCS' line of shocks with actual model names that are easier to type and remember. We began referring to the non-remote single adjustable shock as the "TT1". This refers to the fact that in many forms of Time Trial racing you get dinged points for remote reservoirs, so these non-remotes are better for that sport, hence TT. The "1" refers to the number of valving adjustments. There are TT1 and TT2 models for most MCS applications - yes, the elusive double adjustable monotube without remotes does exist. We've already sold several sets of TT2s from MCS. And the RR2 and RR3 are "Remote Reservoir" 2 or 3-ways. Get it?



Of course we used our Vorshlag camber plate solution, mated to our custom built 60mm radial bearing upper spring perches. These worked perfectly, giving the car an extra .75 degrees of positive caster over stock (by moving the strut pin backwards). The camber setting range is huge, and at this lowered height we were able to get a max reading of -3.4 camber in the front and -2.6 rear (with the stock rear arms). Our technicians corner balanced the car and the final ride heights at 13" front and rear, approximately 2 inches lower than stock. And yes, it clears the big 255/40/17 BFG Rivals with ease.

Now, when could we find a competition event to run this in?? There was a Texas Region SCCA autocross (Aug 18th, 2013) only a few days away, so Matt and I signed up...

What's Next?

Well this forum update has already run far too long, and I barely covered the MCS TT1 install. Sorry - it was such a long wait getting proper coilovers on this car, you have no idea. I am going to cut it short and cover the rest in another installment in about a week, before we head off to the NASA National Championship event to compete in our TT3 Mustang (we're thrashing to finish up some front aero work on that car in our shop this week) and visit with other customers there.


Left: The BRZ with MCS shocks was surprisingly fast at its first autocross. Right: MCS RR2 remote doubles being installed onto an FR-S at Vorshlag

In our next BRZ Project Thread update I will show details of another set of 17x9" wheels we tested, how a set of 255/40/17 BFG Rivals felt, cover an autocross event we ran in the BRZ with 2 drivers, and show off some MCS RR2 shocks we're installing onto a customer's BRZ track car this week. We have several more autocross and track events planned in the car this year as well.

Thanks for reading,

Terry Fair @ Vorshlag Motorsports
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #32
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Thank you for the update! Sorry to hear that things didn't work out with the first vendor. However, it led you to MCS, which is awesome! I appreciate how thoroughly you break down the info for us "commoners". Very cool!
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:29 AM   #33
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Just a quick question, on the rears is the spring just sitting against the stock top hat? Any plans to make a rear coilover perch/mount?

I have the C-Stock setup on the car now and have for about 6 months now and they've been great. I was the one who had them design and machine the slot insert, since obviously they weren't stock legal without it. They had it designed, machined, and in my hand in about a week, and that included shipping them from Germany!

Like I said in the STX thread I plan on "converting" mine to use in STX, and understand there are some limitations, but I'm not interested in selling the setup and getting something entirely new. I live about 10 minutes from MCS shop and have visited there a bunch of times, Lex and Kent are great guys.

Last edited by dwx; 08-21-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:53 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwx View Post
Just a quick question, on the rears is the spring just sitting against the stock top hat? Any plans to make a rear coilover perch/mount?


Yes, we finally made spherical top mounts with optional articulating/radial bearing upper perches. I will show that in my next post... assuming I am still allowed to post here? We don't sponsor many forums anymore, but we still update this build thread and have another shop owned 86 chassis once again.

More soon...?

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Old 11-17-2016, 05:56 PM   #35
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Project update for August 31, 2016: It has been 3 years since I last updated this thread. When we left off in August 2013 I had just autocrossed Matt's '13 BRZ on the newly installed set of MCS coilovers and 255mm Rivals. Matt left Vorshlag shortly after my last post, so we lost our "in-house" 86 test chassis. We have of course worked on many more 86 chassis cars since then, and have even developed some new products. I will cover all of that, plus introduce another 86 into the Vorshlag shop - my wife Amy's red 2013 FR-S (see below) which she bought a week ago.


Vorshlag 2013 FR-S which we tracked in stock form last weekend to get a "Baseline Lap Time"

We've already weighed it, fixed a number of worn or broken items, then tracked it at Motorsport Ranch to get a "baseline stock lap time", which we will use to gauge improvements over time. We bought this car to test fit "some new items" we just moved into production for this chassis, and we will also use it to develop and test more new products over the next year or two. Let's get caught up first, then cover the product developments we've made for the 86, then show our new shop car and the track test.

SCCA AUTO-X AT CRANDALL, AUGUST 18, 2013

Yes, I am doing an event write-up from 3 years ago - but it was a very memorable event for several reasons. This event happened during a hectic series of weeks, as we were developing and track testing a new aero package for our NASA TT3 classed Mustang, which we took to the NASA National Championships at Miller Motorsports Park a couple of weeks later (where the car did OK, trophied 3rd in class - we changed the aero package further soon after and made even bigger gains).


August 2013 was a hectic time at Vorshlag - working on a lot of cars & prepping for NASA Nationals

This August autocross was also the first and last time I competed in Matt's BRZ, as he turned in his notice shortly after this event (moving on to a higher paying job outside of motorsports, which we wished him well with). The local autocross clubs lost this site shortly after this event, and it was the last time I ever got to race at Crandall. Just a bunch of reasons why I lost track of time and never did this event write-up in the BRZ after adding the MCS coilovers.



Event Photo and Video Gallery: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...andall-081813/

At this August 2013 autocross, Matt ran his BRZ in Novice class with an STX pax and I ran it in the open STX class. The car at this point had a few Whiteline bushings & swaybars, MCS coilovers with the rates we have since spec'd on dozens of 86 cars, Vorshlag camber plates, and the ever popular Enkei RPF1 wheels in 17x9" with 255/40/17 BFG Rival tires (this was long before the Rival-S or RE71R arrived on the "200" treadwear autocross scene).



Right off the bat the handling felt so much better than with the stock dampers and lowering springs. This clean concrete parking lot had a busy layout, but similar to several events we had run at this now defunct site. As they typically did, this course had lots of turn-arounds, slaloms and offsets.



We made only a few damper and tire pressure adjustments and swept both the STX and Novice classes. Matt took first in novice out of 29 cars at this, his first autocross event in the car. My entry in STX was 1st out of 4, 13th out of 111 in PAX, and compared well to other STX and STU cars that ran that day.



There were other STX cars running in other classes, like Brad in "X" class (for pro level drivers), and Sipe who ran in SMod that day. Sipe was ahead of us but that was in an RX8 with possibly the highest STX level prep of any car in the nation at the time, and he also run in a later heat. So with a car that was just setup on MCS coilovers the BRZ was pretty dang quick, and we were happy with that.



That same day Amy and another autocrosser Mark Council both drove very well prepped Mustangs in STU class - as a test. Amy was driving our 2013 Mustang GT (on AST remote doubles, bars, brakes, 18x10" wheels, more) and Mark was in his even more prepped 2012 GT. Their two drives provided two more pieces of data to show that the pony cars didn't belong in STU class. Mark and I both raced his car in STU the month before at this same site, too.

At that August event they were both on competitive tires and drove well, but they both still brought up the bottom of the STU class and were 3.5+ seconds behind my STX time in the BRZ. Remember - STU is supposed to be faster than STX. I've co-driven with both of these drivers many times - they are both fast, and Amy even has the National Championships to show for it. This data from this and some previous events was what we used when we wrote in for new rules allowances for the stick axle cars in Street Touring... which led to a letter writing campaign... which eventually led to the formation of the STP class (right after CAM was introduced, terrible timing). So their drives were worth noting and comparing to the STX times of this BRZ, if you follow those classes.


In-car video of my fastest time that day

The in-car video above was my fastest autocross time of the day in the BRZ, but there were still a number of "qualifiers" from this run that I have to note. First, I had Mark Council riding with me, and he is no dainty little boy. Second, there was a lost car randomly driving around on course, which I noted so I backed off briefly... to make sure he wasn't going to swerve in front of me (the corner workers red flagged the course, behind me). Lastly, STX ran in an earlier session that day and the course had about a dozen spots of water seeping up through the concrete (from a recent rain) that slowed us down a tick. The course dried out in later sessions and those drivers were generally faster. So the car could have been even quicker without these issues.

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Old 11-17-2016, 05:57 PM   #36
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I remember that autocross vividly. The BRZ handled so well, just did everything right - rotation/corner entry, stopping, slaloms - other than not having much horsepower (100% stock drivetrain, making 166 whp). This was before everyone and their brother started autocrossing the 86 chassis, and the BRZ really crushed it that day. Good fun that day, and I aim to make our FR-S handle as well as Matt's BRZ did, if not better.

BILSTEIN PSS10 + REAR SHOCK MOUNT DEVELOPMENT

We have sold a good number of MCS coilovers for the 86 chassis but the price point does put some people off. We have been selling more and more Bilstein monotube coilovers and in early 2016 we reached out to a local autocrosser, Chase Reeves, to see if he would test a modified version on his BRZ. He jumped at the chance to become a Vorshlag Tester, and even though he's only been autocrossing for 2 years he goes to a LOT of these events, as well as road course club trials.



The Bilstein PSS10 kit for the 86 chassis is shown above. This kit has adjustable damping, uses an inverted strut and a 40mm shaft housing, and works well for "spirited street use" with the springs provided. There is one knob that adjusts both Rebound and Compression, but the Rebound changes are significantly larger. This is not the type of valving adjustment what you'd see in a true Motorsports monotube adjustable, but the price is often $800+ less than the entry level MCS TT1 kit - and the Bilstien kit also comes with ride height adjusters and springs, so the price difference is even larger.



Like we do with all shock kits that come with unmarked springs, the spring rates were measured here at Vorshlag (the right way) and we found them to be too soft for even semi-serious serious autocross or track use. The rates were almost the same as stock, to be honest. The spring rate charts we measured on our digital spring rating rig showed a front spring rate of about 172 #/in, and was somewhat linear. The rears had a more variable rate, from 175-275 #/in (avg rate of 207).



We tend to see these somewhat soft rates and oddly shaped "Tapered" springs on most Bilstein "PSS series" kits (PSS with non-adj valving and the PSS9 and PSS10 adjustables). The included springs are usually 60mm ID at one end (the bottom) and the OEM diameter at the top (huge). We almost always ditch these springs, for two reasons: softness and size. The rates above are too soft for use with a grippy 255mm tire - the car would have too much roll and dive when driven in competition.



To fix this we converted this kit with a 60mm coilover spring rate upgrade front and rear, which allowed us to ditch the giant OEM strut top mount and use our Vorshlag camber plates. We chose a linear 350 #/in rate Hyperco spring up front, with no tender spring. This works in conjunction with our 60mm upper perches and camber plates to convert this from an "OEM" style upper spring diameter to a much smaller 60mm spring. The smaller diameter spring allows for more inboard camber travel, as the 60mm spring takes up much less space laterally and allows the top of the strut to travel inboard more than the stock spring ever could. The 60mm sparing is also about half the weight of an OEM or the Bilstein kit's "tapered" spring.



Out back we used another 350 #/in spring from Hyperco We coupled this with a prototype set of Vorshlag spherical rear upper shock mounts (RSM) shown below, which we made on our CNC machines while the car was here for installation. We coupled the new spherical upper shock mount with our 60mm upper perches and an integral single-row sealed radial bearing, which deals with any spring rotation during compression. These have been used for testing on Chases BRZ since early March 2016 with zero issues, so we will move these into production soon.



If you look at the post above this one we have the spring rate charts for the factory BRZ and FRS springs. The stock BRZ had springs with rates of 162 #/in Front and 201 #/in Rear. The stock FRS curiously had a stiffer Rear rate at 221 #/in but a softer Front rate at 125 #/in. Like we have done in the past with PSS10 Bilsteins, we "about doubled" the spring rates, to get to what we felt would work right off the bat and within the PSS10's damping adjustment range. With an MCS coilover we tend to start with triple the front rates as our softest option, but the PSS10 damping doesn't have quite as much range as a Motorsport level shock like the MCS.



Since this was Chase's daily driver, car we kept the ride heights almost identical to stock, which he asked for. Normally that is tough on a Motorsports damper, and we could have gone an inch or more lower, but this is what he wanted and the Bilstein's adjustable ride heights allowed for this. We did gain a lot of negative camber and some positive caster with the camber plates and smaller diameter springs, and the total negative camber goes up with lower ride heights.

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Old 11-17-2016, 05:58 PM   #37
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The setup sheet we did for this BRZ, like we do for all cars we install suspension on, shows the before and after ride heights and camber measurements. With camber maxed out (and front toe set to .125" total toe out, to minimize tire wear but still allow for a razor sharp turn-in) we saw -3.5 camber up front. With his 255/40/17 Dunlop Direzza Z2 tires on the 17x9" wheels above we knew this would work well, and camber adjustment is easy if he wants to change it.



The damping adjustment was also easy to dial in for street use, and Chase uses 2 out of 10 clicks from full soft for daily driving use. The rear knob is visible in the trunk, as shown above. The front strut's damping adjustment is at the bottom of the strut, since it is inverted. This means to access that knob you have to turn the wheel to full lock and reach in under the strut to get to it.



That is a picture of another PSS10 strut, from a Porsche 996 install we did a week before this BRZ. The strut's damping knobs are marked well and have very distinctive clicks, so once you visualize which way "soft" is, you can do this adjustment by reaching in and turning it blind.



Chase has been co-driving a Corvette for autocross this summer, but recently competed in two events in his BRZ. But he moved up to 245mm Hoosier A7 competition tires. This really wasn't what we designed this modified PSS10 kit and associated springs for, but damn if it isn't doing well anyway! He won CSP at his first event on A7s and came in a close second this last weekend, narrowly missing out on another win by .020 sec. That was running against some dedicated CSP Miatas (see in frame above) with flares, big tires, built motors, serious levels of prep and some of the fastest drivers in the region.



Not bad for 350#/in springs and PSS10s on an otherwise stock BRZ. Well he has a 20mm front Whiteline swaybar and the 16mm Whiteline rear bar as well.



Here is Chase's best autocross run from the most recent SCCA event, where he came in a close 2nd in CSP. Once he gets back to doing more road course events, mostly SCCA Club Trials, I'll try to get some lap times from him on the new Bilstein / Vorshlag suspension.

VORSHLAG 2013 FR-S TEST CAR: REPAIRS

So I'm caught up on the last autocross I did in Matt's BRZ, and showed the PSS10 kit we modified and installed on Chase's BRZ. Now let's take a look at our new shop car - this 2013 FR-S. We had some pressing deadlines on some 86 parts we have built which we needed to verify on an 86 chassis - a car that we could take mostly apart - so a tester's car on loan wasn't the solution here. There were also some new suspension bits we have dreamed up that it would help to have a stock 86 on hand to test with, too.



Amy has been wanting an 86 for the past year and a half. Strangely enough she never drove Matt's BRZ, but about 18 months ago she test drove a new 2015 FR-S one random Saturday - and she loved it! There was a series of cloverleaf exits next to the Scion dealer, she did all 4 of those twice each, and she was hooked. Even with the skinny Prius tires they come with it was still fun. The seats, greenhouse, visibility, stock handling, ergonomics - it all worked for her.

continued from above



We have been keeping an eye on the used prices of these cars and recently she found some listings on Craigslist offered by a body shop / car dealer in our area that specializes in 86 cars. He usually buys them with some "history", fixes them up, and sells them at lower than normal prices. All on the up and up, no false records, and we knew this car had some light front end damage that was repaired with OEM parts. We checked out this car closely, test drove it, negotiated a great price and then bought it.



We had previously weighed Matt's BRZ at 2775 pounds (Limited model with some options) but this FR-S was a good bit lighter at 2634 pounds. This was with the trunk junk removed (see below), low fuel, but otherwise bone stock. Even had the heavy stock 17x7" wheels still on. The low fuel level and removal of the trunk junk skewed the front bias to nearly 57%. Not what you'd expect in a front engine/RWD chassis, but I would reserve judgement on how this affects that car once I drove it on track. If it had massive understeer, I knew what to blame...

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Old 11-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #38
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We pull all of the spare tire, jack and other junk from the trunk to get our initial baseline weights because that's how we race these cars. We even ran it fairly low on fuel at our first road course test (see below). The low weight is what is so amazing about these cars... this weight is an astonishing 810 pounds lighter than the 2016 Focus RS we have been doing track testing and suspension development with lately (see development thread here).



This car was no cream puff, but we knew that going in, and it was reflected in the price. The front tires were corded, one ball joint was shot, and the brake pads were kaput. The video below shows how to test the ball joints on a car, and the left front was badly worn on this car. No worries.


Short video showing the worn ball joint + new control arm

The ball joint was not easily sourced from our normal wholesale parts suppliers (other than some aftermarket, racing style ball joints), and neither was the entire front control arm (other than some sketchy looking units on eBay). Many of the wholesale parts site listings for the 86 chassis said "under development" for the control arm and ball joints. WTH?



We were pressed for time so we ordered a new control arm (see above left) for the car from our local Subaru dealer, which had it to us the next day. $247 retail, ouch. I talk about the design issues we can see in the front control arms in the video above, but yea - I'm not a fan of the "axially opposed" bushing layout nor the thin, single layer, stamped steel control arm. Very easy to flex this arm, and that becomes important when you really add a lot of mechanical grip (see "Plans" below). Oh well, it was replaced and the front toe reset.



Since the tires were damaged from the bad ball joints, and we wanted to get a "stock baseline lap" in at our local road course, I went ahead and purchased some cheap OEM replacement tires for the car. I was looking for something in the factory 215/45/17 size with close to the 240 treadwear of the craptastic Michelin Primacy tires they come with. Not because I like those tires, but just to see similar grip for the baseline test lap. I found some "Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500 XL" all-seasons on sale for $50/each from TireRack. These were the right size and 320 treadwear. Close enough!

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Old 11-17-2016, 05:59 PM   #39
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As much as it pained me to buy what I consider to be "plebeian parts" to replace out the worn OEM bits, it was all for the baseline track test. So we picked up some cheap O'Reilys house brand, quiet "ceramic" style brake pads for the front and rear. $45/axle set, and we didn't even turn the rotors. We might be replacing all of this with aftermarket bits soon, so I wanted to keep costs low and just get it "as close to stock" as quickly as possible.



The engine is bone stock on this car and with 71,000 miles it seems to run as good as any other. We might test some new parts from a few suppliers we have worked with in the past under the hood - things that weren't yet developed in late 2013, when we had Matt's car available to use as a test vehicle.



There is some weird fake diffuser panel on the rear, which looks factory, supposedly part some option package I'm not familiar with. The exhaust looks pretty stock as well.



Pulling the front undertray off reminded me how convoluted and "non-flat" these front panels were. Maybe there's a need for a flat undertray? That's a zero point mod in NASA TT classes. Oh and that exhaust manifold and catalyst setup? Gah, what a mess. Haven't really kept up with the 86 scene to see what long tube headers are worthwhile, but we might have to try something to give this 200 hp 2.0L boxer a bit more "pep".



My shop manager Brad did a full track inspection and flushed the brake system on the FR-S with Motul RBF600 fluid. Why? Well I won't skimp on the brake fluid, even for a "baseline stock track test" like this. This is the FIRST upgrade we tell people as an HPDE instructor that is a MUST DO - the fluid. Craptasitc parts store DOT3 fluid boils at much lower temperatures, and when that happens your pedal pressure drops and you often go flying off track. Brake fluid pressure loss is never EVER fun, and we do this to even bone stock cars before they go to track events.


Setting the warm tires to 34 front & 30 psi rear, which made for decent wear patterns on the shoulders

The FR-S was now ready to take to Motorsport Ranch and run on one of their member days, which we did last Saturday. Normally we would load up the car into our enclosed trailer and go to the track but I had a customer's Corvette loaded for an autocross on Sunday. Two hot August days racing in a row was going to take its toll on me!

FR-S BASELINE TRACK TEST - MSR-C, AUGUST 27, 2016

In less than a week since buying the FR-S we had it repaired, filled with proper brake fluid, and ready for track use. We replaced the worn parts with as close to OEM spec as possible, to get a fair baseline lap time that represented these cars in stock form. We never got to do this in Matt's BRZ - because it wasn't my car, and he wasn't crazy about tracking his brand new BRZ. This cheaper, 4 year old FR-S was bought to be driven hard!



Photo and Video gallery: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-...n-Test-082716/

We got out to the track at 7:40 am with the first cars going out at 8:00 am sharp, due to a fog delay. The pictures from the first session are pretty foggy.

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Old 11-17-2016, 06:00 PM   #40
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In the first session I did what I *assumed* was the correct sequence to disable both the traction and stability control systems. Pressed the two separate buttons. Of course that didn't work and above about 30 mph the stability control system still kicked in. Amazingly the car would rotate fairly well but if the rear saw any "yaw" the dash would light up and it felt like the rear brakes were engaging. GRR.



Chase came out with his co-driver Mark and he showed me the crazy Konami Cheat Code sequence needed to disable the electronic nannies. Never seen such a crazy thing: E-brake up and down 3 times, brake pedal up and down 3 times, then E-brake twice more, than brake pedal twice - all within 30 seconds of starting the engine, with the coolant up to temp. Sure enough, the light came on and it never engaged once in the next session.



So instead of going through this crazy pedal sequence each time we want to drive this car hard, might be a good idea to invest in this "magic box" that disables these two systems with a button press (or even defaults them off).


In-Car Video
of the FR-S in session 3, best lap

I drove Scottish Joe's 2015 VW Mark7 GTI (below) in session 2, then went back out in the FR-S with the "pedal dance" sequence and took another second off my best lap time in session 3 (shown above). There was a LOT of traffic to deal with in every session, and even my best lap had a pass, but I still managed to run three laps within the same tenth of a second (best of 1:31.90) in this session. I guess that's as good as I can do, and we will call this our "Baseline Lap Time" for a stock FR-S there.



Some reference times for MSRC 1.7 CCW: My quickest lap time in a street legal car here is a 1:17.25, which I set as the class track record in 2014 (still holding) in our NASA TT3 classed 2011 Mustang GT. More recent NASA lap times from March 2016 in my TTC classed 1992 Corvette (nearly bone stock in every way) were a 1:21.9 and a 1:27.6 the same day in our TTD classed BMW E46 330 (with cord showing on the tires). Those times were all on DOT-legal Hoosier R-compounds (A6 for the Mustang, R7 for the other two). In mid July of this year I tested a stock 2016 Focus RS to the best of a 1:27.40 on the stock 235mm Michelin PSS tires. This same day in August I ran the 2015 VW GTI to a best of 1:28.10 (don't have the video up yet).



So yea, the FR-S is relatively slow compared to these other cars, but these skinny 215mm tires are CRAP; these other cars had between 90-250 more hp than the FR-S does (except the BMW 330, which made 195 whp). We have several upgrades planned that I will discuss below, and we will try to get a new lap time after each stage to quantify any gains or losses.



Considering how cheap the tires were, I was strangely impressed with how neutral the car handled in stock form. Just a hint of understeer at the limit. And look at the lateral G traces that were logged on the AiM SOLO - they hovered at or even exceeded 1.0g in most corners. That's on 340 treadwear all seasons I paid fifty bucks a piece for! This is the first time I've tracked an 86 that was bone stock - the last time I ran some laps at ECR in Matt's BRZ (Nov 2012, shown above) it already had 17x9" wheels, 245mm MPSS tires, Vorshlag camber plates and Swift lowering springs. It was showing closer to 1.3g lateral on those tires, which is nuts for street meat.

The coolant temp gauge also stayed rock solid all day, even as ambient temps rose to near 90F, the needle never even got to the middle of the range. The stock brakes and O'Reily pads worked admirably, logging in the .9 to 1.0g range for braking each time, even if the fronts were billowing smoke in the pits after my stints. I never had a long pedal or any hint of fade. And I was Left Foot Braking and late braking the crap out of this poor car.

So for once I'm not going to dog on the car maker for making a crap suspension setup right out of the box. Could it have less dive and roll, more camber, grip and brake bite on a road course? Of course. We will address those things in time and share what we learn here.

PLANS AND FUTURE TESTING

We have a number of new 86 parts from some of our vendors that we would like to test on our own car before we add them to our website. Of course we will upgrade the suspension, likely with MCS or Bilstein coilovers and proper spring rates. We might develop a better OEM spring style camber plate solution before we go right to coilovers. We have made some OEM spring perch camber plate solutions lately that work with even the craziest factory top mount designs - like the S550 Mustang (below left) or the F22/F30 BMWs (below right).



Wheels and tires will be upgraded beyond the stock 17x7" and 215mm rubbish, of course. Deciding if we just hit the "easy button" and use the 17x9" Enkeis again or if we make a custom Forgestar 17" or 18" sized wheel instead. Once we get proper negative camber in the front of the car we can measure for wider wheels and tires. We will likely go with a BFG Rival-S or Bridgestone RE71R tire in the 255-275mm variety.

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Old 11-17-2016, 06:01 PM   #41
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We might build up and run this car for a while in NASA Time Trial TTD or TTC classes, so we will work up some TT build sheets for both classes. I'm about to sell my TTC classed Corvette (above left) and Amy already has a TTD classed BMW 330 (above right), so maybe TTC makes more sense.



After that initial phase of product testing, well, we have some more serious plans in mind for this little FR-S. I will comment more about that at another time. Until then, thanks for reading.

Cheers,

Terry Fair
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