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Old 09-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #1
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVA
Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default project:BDR 2003 WRX: STX autox build thread (sponsored by Andrewtech)

I've been meaning to put this on NASIOC for a long time. I started it on clubwrx and just didn't port it to here until now. I hope it helps someone make their car faster, or not make it slower, or something edit: this used to be in "Project Cars" but wasn't getting a lot of traffic there and now it's in Motorsports. Suspension gurus, go easy

Here's the original thread:
http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/motors...k-warning.html

I spend a lot more time here, so it only makes sense that I'd maintain it here.

John, I don't want to read all this ****. Just tell me what's on the car RIGHT NOW!

As of January 2011, the car has been sold! You may see it at an autox near you!

John, I don't want to ask the new owner either. Really, just tell me what's on the car RIGHT NOW!

Alright. The full list of mods, including bling, interior and that sort of stuff is here (there's a lot of crap):
http://www.project-bdr.org/wp/?page_id=68

The most important stuff, as of when I sold it:
Hardware
-Koni/Ground Control coilovers: shortened Koni shocks in custom Ground Control housings, with Ground Control adjustable sleeves
-Ground Control camber plates (front)
-Vorshlag camber plates (rear)
-550 lb/in Hyperco OBD springs front, 500 lb/in Hyperco OBD springs rear (with Hyperco helpers/couplers in the rear)
-Whiteline KCA375 caster bushings (front)
-Whiteline lateral link bushings (rear)
-24mm Whiteline front swaybar (on soft "24mm" setting)
-17mm Subaru rear swaybar
-17x8 Enkei ES Tarmacs with shaved (5/32") 245-40-17 Advan Neova AD08s
-17x8 Enkei RPF1's with full tread 245-40-17 Dunlop Z1 *specs

Settings
-Alignment: -3.5 front with a little toe out (.07/.08 degrees), -1.4 rear with 0 toe, +5.0/+5.6 caster (driver/passenger)
-Ride height: 13.6" front, 13.6" rear, measured fender-to-center-of-hub
-Tire pressures: 37/34 or thereabouts, depending on conditions

How did you arrive at those settings?

Keep reading!

Last edited by Butt Dyno; 03-18-2011 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:29 AM   #2
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVA
Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default

Hi, my name is John and I'm pretty addicted to autocross.

Hi, John!

This is my story / log / build thread. Take it for what it's worth - not much I am by no means a suspension expert. I will explain my choices to the best of my ability/knowledge, but I'm just one guy who has read a couple of books and a bunch of forum posts. I am getting better at making my car do what I want it to do but I may not always be able to explain why it does what it does In other words, my generalizations should not be accepted blindly as absolute truth. Suspension tuning is freakin' hard, and I can only put so many caveats in here!

Here is a great quote from Lee Grimes at Koni that applies to this thread, but also applies to most everything:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRX Lee
As with about anything in life, I am a firm believer that one should keep your eyes and ears open to any info that you are interested in and see what you can learn. If it works for you, great. Keep it and use it in your model, practices, etc. If it doesn't work for you, don't follow it but it wouldn't hurt to file it off in the background just in case later info might help clarify for you. If it just flat doesn't work for you then discard it. Don't put any one person on a mountaintop as the "all knowing" because the one thing you know for sure is that he doesn't know it all. He who proclaims the loudest to know it all is the likely one you should be concerned about or at least what his agenda might be. I prefer to think of it a ladder scenario. Learn from those above you on the ladder of knowledge of a topic and help those on a rung or two below you. If you feel or claim that you are on the very top rung you are likely misguided and may have reached a dead end.


In late 2003 some friends and I decided to form a motorsports team, project:BDR (http://www.project-bdr.org/). Nowadays, it's more like a drinking team with an autocross problem It's not a big formal thing, just a group of friends who all like autocross. So, obligatory shoutout - couldn't ask for a better group of friends.

I would also like to take a quick second to thank the companies that have sponsored and supported my efforts:

-Andrewtech Automotive: Ever since Andrew was a Subaru tech at Hillmuth he has had a reputation for being an excellent mechanic and an amazingly nice guy. When Andrew left Hillmuth in 2005 to start its own shop it was great news for the entire Subaru community. Every time I've needed something, even last minute, they have gotten me back on the road so that I could compete. And they care. And if they screw up, they admit it and fix it. They have the best Subaru techs of any shops in the area, IMHO and their work shows it. Plus, Jake and Dan are out autocrossing their WRX-swapped Street Mod car at a ton of events every year. It's not just a job for them. Other than fixing anything that goes wrong, they also do all my alignments/cornerbalancing - and as you know, that can happen a lot in a given year. They have always nailed my specs perfectly. I couldn't ask for anything more.

-Discount Tire Direct: They have, IMHO, the most comprehensive set of ST* wheels and tires of any company out there: the AD07's, the Direzzas and the Falkens, plus the Enkeis (including the RPF1) and the 5Zigen FN01R-C's. They price match and they have free shipping. For more information, click here.

-Hyperco: Suspension tuning is a big deal and that often means swapping spring rates. The three companies most people think of are Eibach, Hyperco and Swift. In late 2007, Hyperco announced a new line of springs - the Optimum Body Diameter (OBD) springs. They have the travel of the Swifts, but the pricetag of the Eibachs - definitely the best bang for buck on the market. More on this later, but that's the overview.

-StopTech: Their customer service has been nothing short of outstanding. They put a lot of thought into their products and they offer great brake tech on their website. I bought my StopTechs used - the previous owner did track events on them for four years - and they are still going strong after all that abuse. Eric has been great to work with.

Onto the build!
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:30 AM   #3
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default 2007 installment #1: introduction

I picked up my WRX in January 2003. It was stock. Here's proof!



It had its first autocross two months later at Fedex Field. I was hooked immediately. I ran about 10-15 events on the stock RE92's in SCCA's "D Stock" class. Then the STi RA (aka "dealer") suspension went on sale and I moved into Street Touring X(treme!). I didn't autox much in 2004, but came back in 2005 with a set of custom-valved JIC's from SELGP. 2005 was also the year that local hotshoe Greg Olsen started running STX in an E36 325i. Greg is seriously fast and nationally competitive so he was a great benchmark. In 2005 the closest I came to Greg was 2.7 seconds on a 60 second course, and that was a "power" course where my WRX could really stretch its legs. I was usually 3+ seconds behind.

2006 was a little better. At one event I got to within 1.5 seconds of Greg, and I was driving more consistently in general. I attribute a decent part of this to me leaving my car setup pretty much untouched. It's a lot easier to focus on your driving when you completely eliminate setup from the equation. I attended my first national event - the DC ProSolo in June - and didn't totally embarrass myself, finishing 10th in STX, less than a second behind Billy Brooks (and IIRC, 5th-fastest on Sunday in the rain). Not enough to get me very far in Topeka, but not terrible either.

So for 2007, my plan was to try to keep things basically the same. I wanted to get the coilovers rebuilt so that they would be working as well as they could. Run a different alignment, buy some fresh tires, and most importantly, focus on driving instead of suspension tuning. Yes, this was the plan.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:30 AM   #4
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVA
Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default 2007 installment #2: the rebuild strikes back

The plan did not last long.

In August 2006, or thereabouts, I negotiated a sponsorship with JIC USA. I would advertise for them on the car, on event registrations, etc and they would do a free rebuild on my suspension and throw in their helper springs. (As much as I *hate* the ride quality and emphatically state that they should never be used on a daily driven car, I was happy with them performance wise.)

I shipped my JIC's to JIC for a rebuild in December. I figured this would take a month or two, maybe three since they were doing it for free. I threw my stock struts back on for the winter. This is a good idea for three reasons:
1) Less wear on the "race" suspension so it should last longer.
2) Keeps the "race" suspension from seeing salt - not good for shock pistons, etc.
3) The stock stuff is more comfy, good for long snowboarding trips.
4) Good opportunity to switch back to a "normal" alignment (less wear on wheel bearings, CV joints and the like)

[image - picture of prodrives]

The first event was March 25th. It became clear early on that I was not going to get my shocks on time. More on that later. At the first SCCA event of the year, I co-drove in a friend's Evo since I had helped install a set of Espelir springs on it. A fun car, but it wasn't my car. Fortunately, March wasn't a "points" event - just a test and tune. So I still had another 3-4 weeks to get my shocks back for the first real event of the year.

Then came April. Still no JIC's. I drove on my stock alignment, stock struts, 27mm Whiteline front bar and 17mm rear bar with Prodrive springs. (I never got the car aligned to anything other than stock, figuring my suspension would be in any day now.) I sucked - finishing 9th in class.

Then May. Still no JIC's. I did better at this event, finishing 6th out of 12, but as one might suspect, the car wasn't much fun to drive.


Look at that blubber fly! 27mm front bar, 17mm rear bar, Prodrive springs, stock struts, stock alignment

With no reason to believe that JIC was ever going to ship me my suspension, I decided I was going to pull the trigger on a new suspension.

(For my full JIC saga, read this thread, post 29:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&highlight=jic)
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default 2007 installment #3: decisions, decisions

I evaluated a lot of options when deciding what to go with next. I needed new shocks, new springs and new camber plates. My criteria:

1. I wanted to run springs somewhere in the 400-600 lb/in range. One of the reasons to upgrade suspension components is to limit body roll, so that you are not driving on the sidewalls of the tires. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

a. Stiff swaybars, softer springs. Because swaybars have very little ride quality penalty, this is a good route for someone with a daily driven car. But by going with large swaybars, you can limit suspension independence and lift the rear inside tire, ending up with a lot of wheelspin at corner exit.

b. Soft swaybars, stiffer springs. The ride quality will likely be worse on the same set of shocks with the stiffer springs, but the car should be less likely to snap oversteer and be more likely to keep the tires on the ground.

c. Stiff swaybars, stiff springs. If you don't care about ride quality *and* you are comfortable driving a very loose car this may be faster.

You really have to resolve this question before you go anywhere, as it affects everything else. I went with "b". My car is not daily driven (except when the MR2 is down) so I was willing to take a ride quality penalty, but I also wanted to keep the car from being too stiff where it would be difficult to throttle steer. I'm not good enough yet to manage a really loose car. I do find myself slowly loosening it as the years go by, though.

This choice also means that I need to make sure whatever shocks I buy are valved appropriately for higher spring rates.

2. Height adjustibility. This is so I could cornerbalance the car if necessary. Most of the options on the market support this anyway, so this isn't too big a filter.

3. Ride quality that isn't despicable. Although it's not daily driven, I do have to drive the car to work sometimes, and occasionally have to drive it long distances to get to events. I didn't want to get a headache driving to events. It's not good for results

4. Adjustable shocks. This is also a pretty easy thing to find. And by "adjustable" I mean "adjustable to something between overdamped and underdamped". The JIC's were "adjustable" but your choices were pretty much nausea from setting them on soft and headaches from setting them to something else. Not much fun. If you're sufficiently hardcore, this is not a problem, but I'm past those days (didn't take long). Get off my lawn.

For more reading, go here: http://farnorthracing.com/autocross_secrets6.html - it's an interesting article regardless of how you feel about all its conclusions.

And here: http://www.iwsti.com/forums/suspensi...ml#post1602711
(bring a calculator!)

5. Ease of rebuildability. If you do send your suspension out for a rebuild, you don't want to be trapped waiting for someone to ship something from Japan while your competitors pass you in the standings. This means buying from a reputable company, and buying something that can be serviced in the US.

The options I ran through:

-Cheap: STi struts, with Ground Controls and some sort of camber plates. The downside would be the inevitable clunking struts (which can be greased - check the STi Strut FAQ), the lack of adjustability, and the upper limit on spring rates (probably can't go past about 350 lb/in or so?). This would have been an okay interim solution, if I had wanted my JIC's back - should have been good enough to get me to a point where I could be reasonably successful if I could drive well. But I decided that I didn't want an interim solution.

-Less Cheap: Tein Flex. They can be had pretty cheaply - something like $1400. Branden Burkhart won STU on them at Nationals, so they are certainly capable *enough*. I ruled this out mostly because I thought that for a little more money I could get something that would provide similar performance and give me better ride quality.

-Cheap: Konis in stock struts with Ground Control coilovers and Ground Control camber/caster plates. This is also a fairly cheap option overall. The shocks are like $600, donor struts are cheap ($100 or less), the Ground Controls coilovers are $400 and the plates are another $400. Koni makes a great off the shelf shock - it meets my "adjustable" criteria above, it's rebuildable at three different locations and can be revalved if necessary. Also, you can pick your spring rates. I really have no idea why more people don't do this.

I was about to go with the Koni/GC setup until I found this thread:
http://www.iwsti.com/forums/suspensi...2005-stis.html
It was perfect. It met all my criteria. For an extra $600, I didn't have to find a set of struts to hack up, and I get the benefit of a nicer Koni shock than the off the shelf 8610's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stretch View Post
These are definately unlike the WRX Koni's. I see no model number on either the unit nor the invoice, but they're much shorter and under gas pressure (they WRX units are pure hydrolic). It looks like these will provide between one and two inches of bump travel (depending on ride height) prior to hitting these new, softer bump stops with total bump travel being over double that of the stock struts. Total suspension travel (as I could compress them with my hands) is 5.5 inches.

Stolen from stretch... a picture of the fronts

I also considered going with the double-adjustable Koni 8611's, which are capable of handling higher rates. This would give me similar capabilities and the same shocks as the pricey ZZYZX setup but about $1000 cheaper. But a) I didn't want to run much higher than the 1198's anyway and b) I didn't want to have too many knobs to turn. You have to draw the line somewhere.

Some other points about the Koni setup:

-On single-adjustable Konis, compression ("bump") is fixed, and the shock is rebound-adjustable only. Basically, you're trusting whoever valved your shock to do a good enough job that you won't miss having the adjustment. And I trust them to do that A lot of the coilover systems on the market (Tein, JIC etc) have a single adjustment, but it controls both compression AND rebound so you can end up sorta chasing your tail trying to get the car set up right.

-The standard Ground Control coilover setup has a limitation - you cannot change ride height independent of preload. Most of the Tein/JIC/whatever stuff has this capability. This means that you have to put thought into what spring lengths you buy because if your spring is too long, you may not be able to get the car as low as you want it (and conversely if your springs are too short the car will be too low). You can either find this out the hard way or ask someone who has a similar setup what ride heights and spring lengths they're running. I'm not sure what the other tradeoffs are here but would be interested to hear from people smarter than me.

When all was said and done, I placed the order with Ground Control. (If you want the housings, you have to go to Ground Control - they fabricate them themselves.) Since the housings are made-to-order, it took about two weeks for the suspension to arrive. IIRC, you can actually tell them to powdercoat them a color other than red (I think black would be particularly sharp looking; ah well)

Rear tophats: This is one thing I haven't really discussed yet. In the rear, autocross rules allow me to only have one method of camber adjustment: plates, bolts, or adjustable arms. I already have bolts, and those do the job just fine, so I ordered STi Grp N rear tops. They're stiffer rubber than stock and they get the job done. If I had it to do over again I might buy the GC rear plates as well, since they're not much more expensive than the combination of Grp N's and camber bolts.

I called up Ground Control to discuss things with Mark. Mark has a 2004 STi (as well as an MKI MR2) and he was heavily involved in the development of the Subaru products. He runs them on his own car - even does track events. Much like Myles and the TiC guys he knows his stuff in and out and isn't some guy schlepping stuff straight from the brochure. We talked about springrates, shocks, alignment and general car setup for about forty-five minutes. And when he says he's going to do things - he does them. (Coming from my "other" suspension experience, this was quite refreshing.)

So, the final specs on what I ordered:
Front:
Koni single-adjustable 1198 shocks, custom valved for Ground Control
Ground Control lowering camber/caster plates
Ground Control coilovers with 400 lb/in Eibach ERS springs

Rear:
Koni single-adjustable 1198 shocks, custom valved for Ground Control
STi Grp N rear tophats (from Rallispec)
Ground Control coilovers with 450 lb/in Eibach ERS springs

[insert pic of setup]
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:33 AM   #6
Butt Dyno
Street's closed, pizza boy
 
Member#: 17301
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: NoVA
Vehicle:
2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default 2007 installment #4: installation

About two weeks after I had placed the order with Ground Control, everything was ready and shipped out. Since they make them to order:
Quote:
Originally Posted by !4KORNRZ!
The reason you're not seeing this Ground Control system elswhere, is due to the fact that they are hand built, one by one, customized to your specifications.

...and continuing customer support.

I don't think you will find that kind of service anywhere else when it comes to an affordable, custom taylored product.
it does take longer. Rallispec got me the Grp N tops quite quickly as well.

My first attempt at installation didn't go well. In the rear, Rallispec had shipped me the 93-01 Grp N mounts rather than the GD mounts. In the front, the under-rings on the Ground Control camber plates didn't fit. (This is one of the wonderful things about having a reliable daily driver. You can leave your car in the garage on jackstands for a couple weeks when you have to!).

Now - a lot of folks on here would have instantly clicked the "new thread" button and told the universe how Rallispec/Ground Control were evil and didn't care and should . I chose a different route. I called them the next day, said "whoops, I got the wrong mounts" and "whoops, the rings don't fit". Rallispec overnighted me the proper mounts, and told me I could send the incorrect ones back at my convenience. Ground Control whipped up a new set of under-rings, Mark tested them on his personal car for fitment, and then they overnighted those, too. That, folks, is customer service - and it's sad to say that it's becoming harder and harder to find. Everyone screws up sometimes, but they both exceeded expectations when it came to correcting them. This == happy John.

The camber plates come in two pieces: the under-ring and the top plate. The under-ring is a metal ring with three studs that poke through the three holes in the strut tower. The top plate sandwiches the strut tower and the three studs go through the three slots (the ones that provide caster adjustment). The shock actually attaches via hex screws to the top plate. Camber adjustment is achieved by loosening the hex screws and sliding the strut in or out. Caster adjustment is provided by loosening the three studs and pushing the strut forward and back. As always, you don't want to overtorque the three nuts.

The plates also provide for an additional three mounting holes. According to Mark, this is for people who want to bang curbing on race tires at high speeds. The plates have survived intact in serious frontend collisions with the normal three-stud setup, and Mark runs them that way on his own car, but it's there if you want it. (I did not realize this, but it is in fact legal to do this in Street Touring. However, I had no desire to drill holes in my strut tower!)

The rear Grp N mounts install the same way as the stock stuff - nothing special there.

When attaching the main center strut top nut, it's important that you not spin the shaft excessively. I used a pair of vice grips on top of a rubber strap wrench on top of the shaft, and tightened the nut with a conventional wrench. If you spin the shock shaft too much (say, with an impact wrench) you run the risk of rendering the shock non-adjustable.

The front brake lines attach fine using the stock bolts. In the rear, I used a pair of zip-ties as the stock bracket didn't quite work with the Ground Control bracket. This held up just fine.

Other than that, it's pretty much a normal suspension install. Oh, except for the bling-bling Ground Control stickers. Gotta represent!



I had two noises that I had to cure. One was a sort of creaking noise caused by having the wheel at full lock to the right. Mark from Ground Control knew instantly from my description that I just needed to grease the spring perch:

Quote:
> One random question - when I turn right, sometimes I get kind of a
> "sproing" noise from the front-right of the car. Sort of like a person
> jumping off of a metal diving board in a cartoon. I can't describe it
> much better than that unfortunately. Only happens when I turn right,
> usually at low speeds. Any ideas?

The noise you are hearing is the
cup washer(the concave piece with the flat roller bearing below.) It's a
simple fix. Jack the car up, lower the gold adjuster all the way off of
the red sleeve,that will allow you to access the perches bearing assembly
without removing the strut. Put a small amount of waterproof grease on the
mating surfaces between the cup washer and the sliders convex surface.
While you're there, it would be a good idea to separate the cup washer
from the perch and put some more grease in the bearing assembly also.

Mark
That cured the noise instantly.

The second noise was the rear springs rubbing on the rear perches.



This is something that can happen on the Ground Control setup if your spring is not fully seated at all times. Whenever the car goes to full droop the spring can unseat slightly and then settle in such a way that it's contacting the upper part of the spring perches. For me it only happens in the rear (my front springs are always seated). The temporary fix is to jack the car up, pull the spring away from the perch and settle the car slowly, but if your car goes to full droop it can be un-done. The permanent fix is to add a helper spring and a coupler so that the spring never comes unseated.

(For more on helper springs and tender springs, check this out: Tender Springs vs. Helper Springs)

What I don't know is if I still have the problem now that I have a stiffer rear swaybar. That may limit droop enough that it's no longer an issue (i.e. the bar is limiting roll enough that the spring never comes unseated).
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:34 AM   #7
Butt Dyno
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2016 FoST ST3
2006 Evo #17 STU

Default 2007 installment #5: initial setup

So - alignment is really, really damned important. Maybe #2 after tires. If you are spending $$ on suspension parts and tires, and you're not bettering your alignment, you are missing out.

It's been said a few times on NASIOC: "get as much grip as you can in the front, and tune the rear to match". How do you get grip?

The gimme is that you need good tires. No way around that. Because I had to drop $2000 on a new suspension, my tire budget for the year was kinda blown, so I was planning to run my summer-not-autox RE070's. They had about 10K miles on them, but they're still pretty fast. They're just not in the same tier as the AD07's, the Azenis or the RE01R. Two reasons: width (they don't come wider than 225) and gearing (they don't come in 235/40-17 or 245/40-17, both of which give the 2.0L WRX a nice gearing advantage).

Now after you get tires you need to start controlling body roll, and minimizing its effects. With 400 lb/in springs in the front, and my trusty 27mm Whiteline front bar, the frontend was going to be pretty stiff. But it's still a 3000 lb car, and it's still going to have body roll, so you need to dial in some static negative camber so that when there is body roll, you won't be driving on your sidewalls. I chose to run 3.5 degrees of negative camber. I could have gotten four degrees negative with the Ground Control plates, but at some point you hit diminishing returns and you are sacrificing your ability to brake and your ability to put the power down. If I knew *exactly* what that point was, I'd have gone with that, but this seemed like a reasonable guess based on past experience.

[insert G-tech post about braking and accelerating]

In the rear, I definitely felt like I could change things to get more rotation out of the car. My old setup:
-JIC FLTA2-RS: 9k front, 10k rear
--3.7 camber front, -2.1 rear, 0 toe
-27mm front bar
-17mm rear bar (I downsized from a Cusco 22/23/24 bar because the car felt too loose. In reality I probably just wasn't used to it.)

The turn in was pretty good, which was a little deceiving. It felt okay, but never had that "whee my car is rotating properly" feel to it (you'll know it if you get it) - it definitely tended to understeer. At the time I thought it was reasonably neutral, because I knew that it would never be a Miata and just figured that this was going to be as good as it got. But after a lot of reading I wanted to try running less camber in the rear. Since I was running a skinny bar in the rear I figured I'd go for very little rear camber at first, and if that wasn't enough I could upsize the rear swaybar. I ended up going with -.8 in the rear.

Since I drive the car on the street about 6K miles a year (mostly long highway trips), and I am too lazy to change my alignment at the events, I decided to go with zero toe.

I initially set the ride height to something like 13.75" front, 13.75" rear. In an attempt to alleviate the rubbing issue described in the last installment I raised up the rear of the car to 14.25". I forgot to lower it back before I got aligned, so I just went with it. At the time, I thought of ride height as something that changed your CG and something that affected your shock travel - but it never consciously occurred to me that changing the car's rake would have a profound impact on how it handled.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:47 AM   #8
Butt Dyno
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Unrelated note - by my count, the car has 418 autox runs on it since its purchase, 85K miles total. (not all of them are me.) If the clutch or transmission went tomorrow I would still consider them to have held up really well.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:09 AM   #9
Butt Dyno
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2006 Evo #17 STU

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From here on out I'll try to keep it up to date.

If you read this far, congratulations! That's a lot of crap to read
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:35 AM   #10
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Brain hurts - That was a huge hurdle to overcome my add

Great write up as always
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:00 AM   #11
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I'm only like 1/2 way through, but I am glad I randomly found this thread lol. Good luck on your ventures john and see you at the CDC events (if you ever make it out)
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:33 PM   #12
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Nice blog/write up!! I just try to remember all this stuff when it comes to my car!
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:42 PM   #13
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Wow, that's a lot of dedication and great info on a build! Looking back I wish I'd have done something like this in the past. Anything in the future and I'll definitely do it!

p.s. Definitely go to Nationals soon, the experience is awesome. I hope to get back next year too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #14
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What the heck are you doing here?
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:55 PM   #15
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Ahh those GroupN rear tophats look quite familiar
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by gr8r rex View Post
Ahh those GroupN rear tophats look quite familiar
There's speed in them thar tophats!
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:22 PM   #17
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Well thats good to know. In the future, I`m gonna need all of the extra help I can get! haha (even if just made up speed)
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:34 PM   #18
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Awesome thread, it gave me great insights into Auto-x to the extend that I want to try it next summer/season. And just as great of an insight into suspension setups/variables.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:48 AM   #19
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Event 20: CDC @ Bowie, September 27

This was a rain event, so I ran the Bridgestones. I left everything alone other than tire pressures, which I lowered to 33/30. The car felt okay. Being in the rain, throttle steering sorta happens in slow motion so it was good practice. Weather was really spotty though, with no heat really getting any consistency. I had the 4th-fastest CDC index time and the 3rd fastest PAX time.

Event 21: WDCR/SCCA @ Fedex, September 28

This was the last points event of the year for the DC region. I was co-driving with Josh again. The weather was spotty but finally decided to clear up* so we threw the shaved Yokos on instead of the full tread Bridgestones. Because of low turnout, instead of the traditional 6-heat setup, we collapsed down into 4 heats, pushing our start time back.

The course was long. REALLY long. Mike Neary (6th in STU at Nationals) ran an 83.7 as his fast time in the morning. And this isn't some torturously slow course either - it's a really long, pretty fast course. Fedex is a pretty big lot After a couple course walks we were pretty sure that we'd figured out the trouble spots and how to avoid them.

Our heat started, clouds on the horizon. My first run was okay, 89.2 +1. It was slick and I hadn't taken enough tire pressure out. 37/33 was the starting point. I chalked it up to adjusting to a slick surface (it was a little bit wet and definitely cold, plus cold tires) and handed the keys to Josh.

I should preface this by saying that the car had not seen a wet event since April. Yeah, there was a CDC event the day prior, but that was quite a bit slower and on a lot that was almost completely flat. So the wet setup on the Yokohamas had never been tested, and the wet setup with the latest batch of suspension tweaks had never been tested either. Good combination!

Anyway, Josh had... an experience...? in the car. The short version is, I definitely had not set it up very well for the wet/cold. We dropped the pressure more - 33/30 - and softened the rear shocks. This made a huge improvement.

My second run I ran an 87.9, but coned somewhere. Josh ran an 87.1. I was pretty confident that I could run another similar run without the cone. And in the middle of my 3rd run it started raining. It wasn't enough to affect the run, but it did mean that this run would be my last run with a chance of improving. I ended up with an 88.9... plus one. Doh! My 4th run wasn't going well (with the increase in water), but I was flagged down for a re-run halfway through. With the rain continuing, I chose to waive it and pack up. Overall it was a pretty frustrating day. For a Subaru owner, I really hate autoxing in the wet (when it's for points, at least).

BTW, an 85+ second autox course is really physically painful. I could barely lift my arms by the end of the day, and I was one of the lucky ones with power steering

I don't think that running the Bridgestones would have changed a thing. At the point it started raining, there wasn't much standing water (to the point where tread would really have mattered), just enough wet to make things slick.

Event 22: Autocrossers Inc @ Fedex, October 5

Once again, Josh was codriving. Fortunately the weather was perfect - nice temperature and zero rain. This course was normal sized, a pleasant change

STX ran 2nd heat. Vince Bly ran 1st heat in Pro class STX, running a 61.4. Josh ended up with a 59.3 + several and a 59.7 clean. I had a 60.0 +1 and a 61.2 clean. The +1 on my 60.0 was a "barely nudge the cone and watch it sloooowwwly fall over" kind of cone, sooo close.

Because there were open slots, I also ran four non-competition runs in the afternoon. I managed to knock quite a bit off my raw time, but couldn't keep it clean. 60.6, 59.1 +1, 59.1 +1, 58.9 +1. The last time would have PAX'd 10th if a) it had happened during competition and b) if it had been clean. Yeah yeah, shoulda woulda coulda - but it's good to know that me and the car are capable of those sorts of times. I figure I can always figure out how to clean em up later.

I now have two weekends of autox left - 10/25 and 10/26, and 11/15 and 11/16. After that, the suspension comes off the car and it turns into a winter beater

I do feel like I'm finishing pretty well, cones notwithstanding. After not really improving for a while, my iffy finish at Finger Lakes woke me up and I started pushing myself a lot more. Next year should definitely be fun.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:04 PM   #20
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john my head hurts after reading not even close to half of this information. you changed your suspension specs so many times i dont even know what your running now! lol... and thats nuts, you changed your ride height, sway bar setting, camber every month, but then again your competing.

ps when did you get the m3? im jelous

edit : just read your thread on your new cars. congrats on the m3 and sti. which car do you daily then? and how much for the civic, i need a DD

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Old 10-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcook View Post
john my head hurts after reading not even close to half of this information. you changed your suspension specs so many times i dont even know what your running now!
Post 38 has the Cliff's notes. I alllmost bought Brad/Scooby921's Koni 8611 setup but decided that I really, really should just leave the car the f* alone

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Originally Posted by kcook View Post
ps when did you get the m3? im jelous

edit : just read your thread on your new cars. congrats on the m3 and sti. which car do you daily then? and how much for the civic, i need a DD
The M3 is the DD, the WRX lives in the garage. Yep... I race an econobox, and daily drive sports cars (Miata/MR2/M3). The Civic would be $3500 - 123K miles, fresh timing belt, been in the family its whole life.

john
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #22
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Oh yeah... there's a Philly region event at Citizen's Bank Park this Sunday. Home of the Phillies! It's a new lot, and very promising - should be very cool.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:51 PM   #23
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Event 23: Philly SCCA @ Citizen's Bank Park, Philadelphia PA

Home of the PHILLIES!!!

For those that didn't know - I was born/raised in the Philadelphia suburbs. I'll be moving back there next year. Go Phils!

This was a trial event at CBP. Hopefully the Phillies liked us and will invite us back. The lot is great! It's a good size, bigger than Ripken I believe, with some nice elevation changes. One of the course elements, if you squinted enough, vaguely resembled the Karussel OK, you have to squint quite a bit. Here's a video from a BSP Evo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elFc7HMuhpI

I ran the Bridgestones - too lazy to change tires after driving all that way. It was a "patience" course, lots of braking zones into sweepers that required careful throttle application so that you wouldn't push past the next key apex. I wasn't as patient as I needed to be - finished 2nd in STX (won a pintglass, woo) and PAX'd in the 20's. STU ruled the day. All 8 drivers in STU PAX'd in the top 10. The race tire people were having a hard time getting grip - and STU is crazy in Philly region!

Tuesday AM

I dropped my Neovas off at Radial Tire (www.radialtire.com) to get them flipped. My tires really took a beating at that test n' tune - four degrees of camber and a good amount of toe out will do that. Mental note: at a 20+ run TnT, rotate the tires halfway! I want to make sure they don't cord before I'm done using them. I may have to run them into the beginning of next year, depending on when the hot tires (whatever they are) are available. Bigsky has something like 200+ runs on his and I have a little over 100 so they should still last me a while.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:33 PM   #24
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Nice thread, John. I'm (slowly) setting my GC up for STS, and a lot of the info should be applicable as the our cars are fairly similar (at least drivetrain-wise).
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:46 PM   #25
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Yeah, the only thing I would say about the GC's is to buy the best tires you can. J-rho kept up with the Civics in his 240SX by running 17x7.5's with 225 Neovas/RE01R's. The ability to run more tire is one of the only advantages the Subies have in STS.
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