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Old 10-17-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
RaceComp Engineering
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Default Why we do what we do and the sacrifices we make to get what we want.

This is a thread that is relative to all of us. But it asks the question what do you have to go thru to get the (suspension) parts for your car? Is your enthusiasm for power mods greater than that for suspension mods? How does your wife or GF influence your purchase and all the things that go along with it.


Keep in mind that you can buy springs and your wife/GF/kids/boss/neighbor wont really know about it. Well not true, your neighbor with a EVO will, or your “Tim Allen” kinda’ into cars neighbor will, but that’s about it. You could buy some RS&SP Tarmac coilovers and be 6k lighter in Bobby’s college fund and no one would know( til Bobby says he wants to go to Art Center College of Design)..but that’s another thread. The point here is suspension mods are not popular BEYOND “droppin” your car and suspension mods are pricey, if you consider that many don’t get to really use it to its fullest potential. I know after I got my 04 STI in May of 2003, it took a little while to get JDM Pink springs and even then I had to be kinda’ low key about it. It didn’t take long before my wife found out that the car was lowered. Which always brings on the question at some point in time…..” how did you pay for it..”. Or..” how much was that..?”. We have had to ship parts to clients in unsuspecting boxes and to “office” address so that wives and Fiancee’s don’t see what is being bought. Another client sells road and mountain bikes to finance his mods. But keep in mind..if you buy a turbo back exhaust you have to mention it to your significant other. Or if you order some wheels that are NOT the same color as what you had previously you have to mention it, or worse……( married guys know about this)…..” get permission” !!

Recently a client ( we will call him BOB) changed over to Ohlins fixed perch and kept the springs stock. The first time his wife rode in the car he was busted. She asked,….” WOW..what did you do, it doesn’t bounce any longer..?” He smiled as any car guy would and delayed his response. Thinking to him self for the first time…” crap I cant even tell her what I did or I am done !! “ So he claimed he lowered the tire pressure. For sure, 30 days later she found a invoice in the computer for the purchase, googled it, searched, searched and found an old post of his on IWSTI saying he wanted those some day. Found his recent post and review and BLAM,…busted and cant be trusted.


Imagine being in the dog house for of all things buying car parts !! But sometimes there is that choice you make; ask and be told NO. Do it and have no “fun time” for a month, or influence the truth. See Bob didn’t actually lie, he did change tire pressure,….he also installed some new shocks!

Getting permission can be an art form all in itself. Asking a non car enthusiast wife if you can buy this small part that you show her on line that is this little tiny thing isn’t a big deal …..IF she doesn’t know what it cost. Shocks , to the average person are NOT a high dollar item,…….but we know differently don’t we. So getting “shocks” can be pulled off easy………….UNTIL….there is a problem. The second you have an issue and you are pissed and you slip up and mention how much they cost….you are SCREWED !! Then its all down hill. The cat’s out the bag bro !! Same can be said for sway bars, end links, anti lift kits and all the other toppings that we buy to get these “pushers” to stop pushing !!

I have traded and bartered and swapped services and parts and given driving instruction and even baby sat once to get car parts to go faster. I have agreed to take care of other things in the house or car maintenance WAYY in advance to be able to get a certain car part. Not to mention that doing suspension mods and “feel good” mods isn’t as popular as it should be. Seats for example, seemingly are done more so for the look and later by default people realize they feel good too( how about that) . But many times, it’s a look factor.

If you tell some “regular” car guy at the local hang out that you want to get rid of a understeer issue at mid speed corner entry you will labeled the proverbial geek and no one will ever talk to you. But you tell someone you have boost creep at 6600 rpm from your GT35 or that your external waste gate welds broke….and you will make an instant friend.

Lets face it we are a special kind. We suspension mod geeks that is. So where am I going with this?...in as many directions as you want to go in with it. Its an open thread to voice what you have done to get parts and or why you are so lucky to have a wife or GF that does not mind you spending money on car parts( yes I wrote this way before the market crashed) and or how you and others might view your suspension mods with more or less enthusiasm than power mods. And or how your significant other views your mods and the whole “car thing” as they call it.

I have talked about doing a thread like this for a while, but haven’t had the time to really do it.

Myles
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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Nice read! I'm lucky where I'm not yet married and my fiance and I don't live together or share finances so I can build my car within my own means. Sometimes she asks how much I've spent, and I tell her the true number. She's not too happy with it until I let her drive it and she remembers how much fun it is. Plus, she likes it when I win races and gets to tell people about it.


Completely agree about the "geekiness" of suspension mods. Nothing is cool about bushings or sways to the average car person. Aside from painted headlights, a lowered stance, and a replica front lip, my car looks stock with the hood closed and the wheels on. Yet, take it to an AX course and "Surprise!" those lame bushings just helped me kick your fancy smancy body kitted car that looks cool, but can't handle.
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #3
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So true. Thank god am not married yet. Thats why I do all this while am still single. I do have to admit though my girlfriend is pretty cool about the mods as long as I explain why the number is so high and how it benefits things.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:07 AM   #4
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My wife knows that I buy stuff. We generally tell each other whenever we spend more than $100 on anything. I cannot imagine lying or otherwise trying to deceive the person I was married to just so that I could buy toys. If I couldn't afford to modify the cars I had, I would sell one, or buy something cheaper, or co-drive with someone who could afford it, or whatever. It's just not worth it in the grand scheme of things. And you are talking to someone who is a suspension addict...

She has her hobbies, I have mine... it's all good. She generally doesn't care what I do with the cars. When I had 6-points and Sparcos in the Miata, she still drove it a lot. Some of her coworkers were a little by it sometimes tho And she fell asleep in my car, even when I had those awful JIC's on there, so she has a very high threshold for bad damping.

She has an 08 STi now and it's her car and I have absolutely zero desire to modify it (seriously!) but if she wants to change something I will help with the research.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
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i don't have a wife or a gf at the moment...

i do what i want!
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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My girlfriend tracks her Legacy 2.5i in HPDE and just bought a 944 to build for Spec 944 if that gives you any idea of her opinion on buying car parts.

She was very happy when I swapped my STi struts for a set of Koni adjustables.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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I just tell my wife I want something, and if we have the extra cash I go for it. If not, then I wait. Right now I'm just trying to save up. Having a significant other does mean a lot more accountability with the funds, but there are other perks that outweigh the disadvantages.
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
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My wife and I have 3 checking accounts - we have a joint one for all the joint expenses, and we each have an individual account for any personal expenses. This has worked out great - I don't ask her how much she spent on her new shoes or her spa day, she doesn't ask how much I'm spending on yet another alignment. If she did ask, I'd definitely tell her the truth, however. She does ask why I need a new whatever, and I tell her, but I've learned she's really only asking to show interest in my hobby, and a general description ("it helps the car turn better") is all that's really needed. Maybe I'm lucky in this respect.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:11 PM   #9
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I talked to my wife, setup a monthly car allowance we could both agree to and live within the limits. It's a very generous car allowance and it means I can always look at my board and see what I can afford. The allowance builds each month so, if I don't spend it all, it rolls into the next month. In that way I can build up for big purchases.

Sometimes I'll borrow against it but, I always try to stay within the limits.

I don't understand how people can borrow money though for mods and I include credit card purchases when you carry a balance. I don't really understand how people with only one car justify heavy mods too. I have an untouched DD for when the subaru's broken or on jackstands.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #10
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^^Yeah, my wife and I decided on something like this too before we got married, and I would highly recommend it. We each get a certain amount of "fun money" each month, and I blow all of mine on car parts (lately all suspension stuff). She too can spend her money on anything she wants, and (technically) no one is allowed to complain about what the other spends his/her money on. It has worked out great, considering she doesn't understand the modding bug. Her constant complaint is "your car already has [wheels, springs, brakes, etc.], why do you need to buy other [wheels, springs, brakes, etc.].

I can't wait to see how long it takes her to notice after I get my Yellows/camber plates installed. She thinks the Eibachs are stiff

J
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:56 PM   #11
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Hey Myles,

If you want you can come over and give my kid some driving lessons in exchange for some parts. All he has is a powerwheels vette so power may not be up there where your used to, but he seems to do ok with it.

-Clint

ps. Tony says he'll take you up on that deal if you want to do it in a real car instead.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Hey Myles,

If you want you can come over and give my kid some driving lessons in exchange for some parts. All he has is a powerwheels vette so power may not be up there where your used to, but he seems to do ok with it.

-Clint

ps. Tony says he'll take you up on that deal if you want to do it in a real car instead.
lol....I have video of my son in his 7mph beetle doing power brake( let off the throttle) slides into the driveway. LOL. Now is is relatively fast in a kart at 8yrs old. Plays GT4/5 and can do a 56 sec Tsukuba. He is 4'11" at almost 9 so he wont fit into any open wheel cars later on.

Mw
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #13
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i have it simple: i'm broke and can't buy anything anyway :/
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:09 PM   #14
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I find that only uprading when the stock part needs to be replaced helps justify things like ashock upgrade. otherwise I am a big fan of being honest with the wifey. If we are good with bills and debt, and have extra money, we discuss what to do with it.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #15
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i've had my car for 7yrs already, so that's a lot of gfs in between that time.. only one though, posed a potential problem that could have surfaced in a way any person wouldn't want even their worst enemies to suffer

it was mostly getting another set of struts/springs and wheels/tires at that time.. i told her the oem stuff was going bad and that it was a road hazard
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:11 PM   #16
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Wow, great write up and so true. Before, honestly I was like hey I want my car fast. Wasted some money on a VF-39 setup for my wrx with like lowering springs. Yes, thats cool and all, but it was useless without REAL suspension. Then, thats where the geek part came in. I got really into it and researched a LOT to get my suspension "Close" to where I dreamed of it being. Also, I don`t have all kinds of money so I have to do it intelligently and not just go spend like $3,000 on a set of coilovers.

Its sweet to be able to talk to so many people on these forums that know so much!

Now for some brakes (Stoptech 332x32 front with subaru 2 pot rear) and exterior stuff (finally)
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:44 PM   #17
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The wife wants more/better suspension parts than I do. I buy a wrx since I'm on a budget. The wife buys an STi and wants KW V3 as her first mod. I'm in a different boat.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:21 PM   #18
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My GF and I both autocross in my car, she wants more suspension mods too!
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Old 10-17-2008, 10:01 PM   #19
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I really LOL'ed when I read this. The wife and I have completely seperate accounts. So she can't "see" what I buy. I really try to keep things modest.

I surprised her the other day and told her I sold a set of wheels and tires(OEM BBS's and winters) for $1100. She laughed and asked for her cut(arm extended and fingers grasping)

I know for a fact that she doesn't like me getting "car stuff", so I ship things to my friends house, bus stops..etc. But if the asks, I tell.

I've been driving on a custom koni yellow and GC sleeve setup with 500/400 springs. The ride was pretty rough, but she just though it was the same old rough OEM stuff. Few weeks ago I put in the OEM struts(re-greased) and raised 1" with home made saggy butt shims. She hasn't even noticed.

The problem with me is that I can't justify the big ticket items, so I get small things. the bugger is that all the small things add up to the big things...lol

Funny post. although it makes me feel like a crappy husband.

thx

Eric
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #20
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First off I am a very lucky guy. I can buy parts almost at will(read almost). My wife is a mountain bike guide in the summer and I am an SCCA instructor, so you will now see the trade off, wife: honey I need a new bike for this season. me : how much? wife: $5000, and maybe a few other items.

Now you see the fare trade agreement in my world, and yes i count my blessings every single day!
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:55 PM   #21
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lol so true.

many moons i have eaten romen to get the parts i want =)
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:39 PM   #22
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Talking

1] stock brake pads stunk = hawk hps = its safer honey
2] sti under areo plastics= buy them= it'll save gas honey
3] kw varient 3 coil overs = got a deal on them = they didnt cost anything
4] cobb acessport= xmass/kwanza = it'll save gas honey
5] downpipe/highflow cat = it'll save gas honey
6] stk radio stinks = new kenwood dvd/nav = we wont get lost now honey/here is a resturant [have not used yet]
7] stk battery died =lightweigt battery = it'll save gas honey
8] stk turbo maxed out= larger turbo = but we will get there quicker [not used yet]
9] stk 5speed broken from turbo = sti 6 speed = it'll save gas honey 6 speeds!
10] eating ramen to afford all the above while she is kept happy in clothes and webkins = PRICELESS:b anana:
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:21 PM   #23
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Cool

For me it was easy. I bought my wife a 2 carat diamond ring and now I get anything I want for my car.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:32 PM   #24
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I did my hub swap, all in all it was about 10k! That included the wheels I wanted 1k cusco lat links, custom DSS d/s fender rolling and alignment ect. I have FAR more $$ in my suspension than my motor. + doing what ovr_bst did^^ hahahha exept my wife knows all about engine mods so I cant slip those part her...til my ej207 shows up!
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:00 PM   #25
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My wife and I both have WRX's, we track and AutoX one of them, so she pretty much knows what we do and do not need. She also likes to go fast. We too have a joint checking account for bills and expenses, otherwise, we get what we want with our personal accounts. She goes for Jimmy Choo shoes, I go for a Perrin FMIC, etc. The only thing she has ever questioned me on was why I needed 3 sets of rims(still do not have a solid answer), and how much more lag the 18g will make. Otherwise, she is a Subaru fanatic as well, so that helps a lot.
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