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Old 05-25-2004, 03:51 AM   #1
silver04rs
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Default auto-x questions

first off ive been racing rally with my 04RS the last year and doing very well. well this weekend i went to an auto-x race and now i want to hit some tarmac. what i need to know is what class would i be in and how competitive the car will be.

mods.

12pt cage with no interior
sparco seats and harnesses
intake
headers
exaust
lightened drive pully

as of now the suspension i plan on running is just the stock stuff but im interested in where to go with this. what is a good setup. should i just get some drop springs with new sway bars, or are coilovers going to make a huge difference.

i plan on getting some 17's with some R compound tires on them 225-45-17. is this the right size for auto-x and what pressure should i run them at.

thanks for the help
Travis-The Gravel Crew
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Old 05-25-2004, 07:26 AM   #2
MNbiker
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Your car would likely be in F-Prepared, due to the stripped interior and full cage. This is a class that allows a ton of modifications, and has some pretty complicated rules, so I'd HIGHLY recommend getting a rulebook, before spending any money on mods.

As for competitiveness - it all depends. At a National level, you'll need to spend a lot of money ($15K+) on suspension, wheels, tires, weight reduction, etc. At a local/regional level, you'll probably have limited, if any, competition in class.

The big question is, what do you hope to accomplish by autocrossing? Prepared cars are typically purpose-built for autocross, so a fully-prepared car would likely no longer be useable for rallies. If you're just looking for seat time, the prep level of your car really doesn't matter too much. Personally, I wouldn't spend the monsy on your RS that it will take to make it a true autocross car. I'd either:

A) Run it as-is or put a few $ in some wheels and R-compounds to increase the autocross fun factor. I wouldn't bother doing too much to the suspension, as anything you do will likely make it less usable as a rally car.

B) Buy something else to autocross. For FAR less than the cost to turn your car into a serious F-Prepared car, you could buy an early Miata & some r-compound tires. Competitive, great fun to drive, reliable, inexpensive.

Just my $.02.

-Steve

p.s. You're limited to 16" wheels in Prepared. 225/50-16 Kumho Victoracers on stock RS wheels would be a relatively inexpensive way to go for tires.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:01 PM   #3
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Steve is right on. There is no way that you can have a competitive rally car and a competitive autox car as the same vehicle. If you are only using it as a learning tool to hone your skills, just go out and drive. If you actually want to be competitive, separate the car duties as they are too far apart to be able to use one vehicle effectively for both. Not to say you can't have a RS that's good for autox or good for rally; but you'd need 2 RS's.
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Old 05-26-2004, 04:00 AM   #4
silver04rs
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thanks the help guys.

im planning on setting the car up for auto-x and want to get a cheap set up that works good. first off tires for shure, one of you posted that id need to run 16s to stay in f-prepared. how would stock struts with drop coils and sway bars work, and would KYB AGX,s make a big difference. i was looking a eibachs speedline springs because of the big drop and stiffer rates. are there better coils i should run. with the whiteline sways should i set them to full stiff. 24r/22f. what air psi should i run the kumhos at.

im looking for any input that will help the car handel better. are there coil-overs that arent too pricey but will make a big difference or should i look into something else

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Old 05-26-2004, 01:29 PM   #5
MNbiker
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Travis,

I'm confused.
Do you want to use your car for Rally or autox? You say you did well in Rally - but after one event, you want to change your car into an autocross car? I'd HIGHLY recommend not spending money on your car until A) you improve your autocross skills and B) you determine that you actually want to keep autocrossing long term. It takes a lot of time and effort to become really good at autocrossing, and it's not a sport everyone enjoys.

As much as I like Subies, I can't see investing money in an F-Prepared Impreza, unless you're REALLY serious about it. SCCA Prepared & Modified classes are a bottomless pit of car modifications & improvements. If you enjoy working on cars as much as driving them, these classes can be very rewarding - but they also get VERY expensive.

If you do want jump into autocross with both feet, but have limited funds, I'd eventually pick up a car that can be run in a Stock or Street Touring class. Far less expensive to be competitive in these classes, and far fewer car setup variables to worry about. With a less than fully prepped FP car, you'll likely get bumped into a class with other Prepared cars that will be VERY difficult to beat. This won't matter short-term, as you can learn to drive in anything. However, it's a LOT more fun having a car that's competitive in it's class, in a class with lots of other drivers.

IF you decide you want to go down the Prepared path, I wouldn't bother with springs/struts - go straight to coilovers. If you're already worried about the cost of coilovers, Prepared isn't the right place for you to be.

-Steve

Last edited by MNbiker; 05-26-2004 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:53 PM   #6
silver04rs
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thanks again steve. obviosly im not looking to go out and win any national titles, but to just have a good time. there arent too many rallies that are local and i want to go race at least once a month. i love doing canyon runs and id like for my car to handle better as a daily driver. my team has a good shop and switching all the parts over for different events isnt a big deal. i was looking through the rules and realized i cant run in prepared because my cage goes through the firewall to the strut towers. also my strut tower braces are welded on. so i think this would put me in street modified? mainly im looking to go out and race against the WRXs and STIs out there, even if they are in a different class. all of the rally-xes ive been to i usualy take second or third running against much higher powered cars. i know this is different on tarmac but id still like to give it a shot.

what kind of coil-overs do you recomend, and can you order these with different spring rates. who makes the best sway bars and what is a good setting to run the adj. rears at. im also going to pick up some kumho Rs 225-50-16, can you recomend a first time run psi. thanks for all of the help

Travis- The Gravel Crew
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Last edited by silver04rs; 05-26-2004 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 05-28-2004, 02:08 AM   #7
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I would get in touch with "fastech" and pick his brain. He's campaigned competitively in both rally and autocross.

If you go with big bars for autocross, you might lose alot of the lateral stability when you go offroad. It might be better to have a complete strut/bar setup for each dicipline and swap them accordingly.

F prepared has many cars that can be very quick very easily. You'll be playing catch-up at larger events, but locally you should be alright.


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Old 05-28-2004, 10:22 AM   #8
MNbiker
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Quote:
Originally posted by silver04rs
......i was looking through the rules and realized i cant run in prepared because my cage goes through the firewall to the strut towers. also my strut tower braces are welded on. so i think this would put me in street modified?
You're looking at the wrong class. PREPARED most certainly allows welded cages, intrusions thru firewall, etc. STREET PREPARED does not. Totally different classes. FWIW - your car does not qualify for SM, due to the stripped interior.

Quote:
Originally posted by silver04rs
what kind of coil-overs do you recomend, and can you order these with different spring rates. who makes the best sway bars and what is a good setting to run the adj. rears at. im also going to pick up some kumho Rs 225-50-16, can you recomend a first time run psi. thanks for all of the help
If you're not going to fully prep the car, I wouldn't bother investing in coilovers. Tein & JIC are the most popular brands in autocross circles. But you'll need to pull them off for rallying, which will require re-alignment & several hours of work.

I'd just start with a good matched set of Cusco or Whiteline swaybars. These are a cheap, easy upgrade that will help considerably. Pulling them off won't affect alignment, which is a bonus. Speaking of alignment, I'd get a more autocross-friendly alignment, before doing ANYTHING else to the car. There are a number of threads on NASIOC, covering this topic.

If you're gonna use a single set of tires for road/autocross, I'd just get a set of Falken Azenis in 215/34-16 for now. The Azenis are FAR easier to learnon than r-compound tires, and will sharpen your car's handling significantly, versus most other street tires - even high performance tires.

If you're going to buy an extra set of wheels for autox, then the Victoracers would be OK.

As for tire pressures, there are several good threads in the Motorsports forum on this topic. I don't have these particular tire sizes, so my pressures aren't gonna help you much.

I'd reiterate Jay's suggestion to talk with someone who has actually done a rally/autox combo. You have to make significant compromises to do both with a single car, so it would be valuable to get a first-hand persepctive from someone who's done it.

-Steve
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:48 AM   #9
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Hey Travis ... if you aren't already ... you should come out to the practice session and AutoX on June 12/13th at CA Speedway. Sat. practice session is already full ... but you will probably be able to ride along with a bunch of different people ... and TALK to a lot of dedicated AX'ers. Sunday you should be able to just show up and race with us ... if you are already an SCCA member. Probably a good idea to pre-register for the AX. See the calendar at Solo2.com. There is also a message board on our CSCC /Solo2 site ...

Eric Sung ... a very competitive RS driver will be at the practice session. Eric is an RS alignment specialist ... fine tuning his toe for individual courses. He can give you a lot of RS set-up tips ...

Weekend of June 4/5 is the Lone Pine Time Trails AX at Lone Pine. This is a non-SCCA sanctioned event ... with higher speeds, 90+, on a 2+ mile course. If you are up for a good 2+ hour drive ... you can check out our scene up there.

Also check the calendar for the San Diego region ... they are very active with AX'ing at Qualcomm Stadium: http://www.sdr-scca.com/solo2/

I recently bought Tein Flex's .... around $1,500, quite a bit cheaper then the next step up in Tein coil overs ... the RA's. Comes with 550/450 springs. One can control the dampening ... and adjust ride heights w/o changing the spring pre-load. Other springs available to relatively change ones spring "balance."
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:25 PM   #10
silver04rs
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steve thanks again. im glad you cleared up the difference in classes for me.

makofoto thanks for the info on the loca auto-x events. is lone pine up off 395. i sent you a pm also. see you at some of the events.

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