Wizard_Of_Maz
Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
8/10/20 9:53 a.m.

Hey all,

Just bought a 2016 World Rally Blue BRZ, and wow. Totally stock and just an absolute blast. I used to own an Estoril E36 M3, and WRB is right up there color wise.

While I looked at STX-prepped cars for autocross, I decided on getting a stock example for a few reasons. I plan on modding it for SSC, but had a few questions for those who have modified it for that class (or just lowered it in general):

  • The car is already pretty low - if I go with the SSC kit, I believe that's a 1 inch drop. Will I spend the entire time worrying about scraping? I've owned lowered cars before and know what I'm getting into, just wanted to check
  • How does it work as a DD in SSC trim? It's already pretty stiff as is.
  • If I don't prep it for SSC and just go stock, I'm in D-street, correct?

And for toyoburu owners in general:

  • anything in particular to look out for? This is a 2016, so no worries about the earlier engine issues. That said, there are 85k miles (car was very well maintained, but still just want to check) 
  • I think modification wise, I just want to do light suspension work, another set of tires, and an oil cooler (for occasional light track work). Does that make sense? I have access to an E36 race car, so I don't need anything too insane on that track prep front...
     

Let me just say that this car is an absolute blast. To anyone thinking about getting one, you won't be disappointed. Thanks in advance for any and all help :)

Cheers,

Christopher 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/10/20 11:29 a.m.

I had mine a little lower than that on GC's, never had an issue scraping, but I'm also very cognizant of things like driveways, pulling in/out of parking lots, and ensuring I take them at the appropriate angle and speed so it doesn't scrap, or find an alternative entrance. I lowered my 300ZX in high school when I was 16, so I've been driving low cars for 22 years now.

For track work, outside of the oil cooler and pads, you should be good. If you decide you want some more oomph, you can always do a header + E85 tune, good for around 25whp and fills in the torque dip in the midrange nicely.

 

I would change out the trans and diff fluid ASAP. Many don't realize the Twins has a much shorter life for gearbox oil than the traditional 30k miles, it's 22k miles for normal use (less capacity). So for hard use like AutoX and HPDE, I would change it much more often with a high quality fluid. I used Motul in the engine/trans/diff.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/10/20 11:39 a.m.

The window regulator screws can back out leaving a clunky window. easy fix. There are videos on YouTubes detailing how to do it. Other than that, I've had zero issues with my 15 FR-S.

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
8/10/20 12:32 p.m.

I'm pretty low with my RCE Tarmac 2s, right at the lowest recommended height. There's some places I scrape the front bumper, but usually can get around just fine. I'll be raising it up soon, but I imagine the 1" drop isn't terrible.

Do you have anyone local already running in SSC class? If not I'd recommend STX prep instead. You can start in D street, then work in some mods more suited to STX as time and money allows.

Also, for daily use it just depends on how far you prep the car. Mine is tolerable, but got to a point where I needed to commute a longer distance so I bought a different car to daily. The FRS just stays track/autocross ready now.

 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/10/20 12:42 p.m.

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
8/10/20 2:10 p.m.
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
8/10/20 2:34 p.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

I think it was also to retain a swoopy nose, and still pass Euro pedestrian crash standards.  An inline 4 would have been too tall. Now we can hoon around Europe punting pedestrians that get in our way.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/10/20 2:39 p.m.
MrFancypants said:
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

The new Supra has a BMW turbo inline six. It has a lower of center of gravity than the Twins and 50/50 weight balance vs 53/47 for the twins.

 

EDIT: Well maybe not, Car and Driver testing vs Toyota engineers?
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a28101697/toyota-supra-vs-86-center-of-gravity-claim-tested/

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
8/10/20 2:48 p.m.

Don't they have some ownership in Subaru? That was my initial understanding, but who knows at this point.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/10/20 3:01 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

IIRC Toyota has a minority stake in Fuji Heavy Industries.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/10/20 4:33 p.m.
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to captainawesome :

IIRC Toyota has a minority stake in Fuji Heavy Industries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-toyota-subaru-factbox/with-bigger-stake-in-subaru-toyota-expands-reach-over-japan-automakers-idUSKBN1WC0PY

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
8/10/20 7:26 p.m.

Sold my '13 FR-S recently (owned it for over 8 years) and it was one of the best cars I've ever had... still don't like boxer engines and won't ever get another one (I've said this twice before...) Put about 63k miles on it and never changed suspension from stock, it was getting about time to refresh it though.

From '15 onwards they changed the suspension/neutered it's playfulness to make it more neutral/less tail happy, aftermarket mostly seems that way as well though there are a few options that more or less keep the original F/R spring rate ratios of the FR-S (the BRZ was always less tail happy, from 2015 onwards the FR-S & 86 handling approached that of the BRZ tune.) I would have only gone with a setup that kept near stock spring rate ratios of the FR-Ss first two year as I loved how it feels and was not chasing time. There are plenty of options though for those chasing down time wanting something more neutral, Racecomp Engineering springs would have been the route I would have gone if wanted to make it more neutral, quicker on track. Dampers no matter what would have either been the Bilstein B6s or Koni Sports as I don't want adjustable coilovers.

Also, stiffer engine/transmission mounts will make the ride quality much better at speed... the Perrin motor and transmission mounts I switched to noticeably improved chassis over bumps/ surface impacts - stock mounts really let that wide boxer motor flop around and you can feel it. Going to stiffer mounting is like switching from a bit worn out shock to a new one, much better control of the rebound after the initial impact coming through the tires, no secondary oscillations in the chassis, just a single solid impulse.

I will say this, going from stock wheel & tires to lighter 17x7.5 on smaller 205/45-17 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 was one of the best changes I liked for daily driving. Instant lower CG and 4+ lbm reduction at each corner (stock 17×7 wheels are near 21lb boat anchors), with shorter tire diameter which gives a more responsive feel to right foot input (both accel/deccel). For track I still wouldn't go beyond stock tire size in a sticky compound - a good lightweight 17x8 wheel with nice stock sized DOT-R tire (Nitto NT01 would be my preference).

The best change for seating position was the 949 Racing 50mm factory steering wheel extender... no more compromise in seating position between whether the hand or foot gets short end of the ergonomic stick, can get both right where they need to be. Gets even better with a seat that works unlike the factory seat (not a fan of the factory seats, very uncomfortable for me for anything over 20-30 minutes). 949 Racing 50mm extension made the factory seat more bearable (when sold the FR-S the buyer wanted the stock driver's seat, so it went back in after many years of a nice Recaro Sportster CS that fits me WAY better along with tying you directly into the chassis.)

Cooling is the main thing you have to worry about... engine bay retains heat like an oven, anything you can do to remove heat will be appreciated by the coil packs and oil... consider coil packs a wear item like tires if you track it. Adding oil cooler and baffling the oil pan a very good idea for a track focused one. Also recommend venting the hood towards the front and venting the side fender garnishes. And if running a front license plate absolutely remove it on track. Brakes could also use cooling... there are duct kits (Verus Engineering in particular) or the more expensive brake kit options. Always wanted the Essex Racing Sprint front brake kit - nothing like really improving your brake systems thermal capacity while dropping 10lbm of unsprung weight at EACH front wheel... $$$$ though.

Also, if not on stock exhaust, an aftermarket exhaust will actually present an issue with less rear stability than stock at high speeds due to how the large factory muffler is used to direct airflow out the back. Two ways around this... cut off the fake diffusor section that is catching the air and unsettling the rear or get/make a diffusor that works with the stock fake diffusor bumper section to control the air better. I cut the fake diffusor section off on mine because my exhaust burnt a hole in it (from a cracked tip seam)... less weight, makes the rear look slimmer, and free.

Oh, always do the pedal dance or get something like the Trac Box.... traction control is annoying on this car (at least it is on the 2013 I had.) Also not sure if it still applies to newer ones but the rev limiter was really bad  on my 2013... like at all costs (if  not in pedal dance mode) you don't want to hit the rev limiter... very hard cut in power that absolutely sucks on track. I just set the rev light and alarm to 7krpm and shifted there just to be sure to not hit the limiter whenever I forgot to do pedal dance. The pedal dance / Trac Box is absolutely what you want to use for track work.

Wizard_Of_Maz
Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
8/11/20 10:31 a.m.

You all rock - thank you so much to everyone that weighed in. The DD and track info is greatly useful, and I will look into the Trac Box for sure.

I think my approach to moding for SSC will be incremental. I want to still learn the car as it is right now - I think initial plans will be for shocks, new wheels + tires (as long as I can run in both SSC and D Street with them), and just swapping to Motul 300. Does that make sense? I'm hesitant to throw down all the money for SSC stuff right now given the general lack of events.

Edit: I forgot street doesn't allow for width changes. Stock is 215, SSC is 225. SSC also puts you on the Falkens, which I don't think are the tire to have right now

captainawesome
captainawesome HalfDork
8/11/20 10:43 a.m.

Basically tires, dampers, brake pads, and an aggressive alignment is about all you can do to keep it in D street.

 

 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
8/11/20 10:48 a.m.
MrFancypants said:
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

Id love to see someone measure the CG of the the ~250lb? boxer motor vs an I4 or slanted 4.  Presumably the boxer CG is at crank centerline.  I4 its going to be what ~3 or 4 inches higher?  which will have a net impact of moving the CG of the actual car 0.3 to 0.4 inches?  Seems like a lot of compromise for that.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/11/20 11:19 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
MrFancypants said:
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

Id love to see someone measure the CG of the the ~250lb? boxer motor vs an I4 or slanted 4.  Presumably the boxer CG is at crank centerline.  I4 its going to be what ~3 or 4 inches higher?  which will have a net impact of moving the CG of the actual car 0.3 to 0.4 inches?  Seems like a lot of compromise for that.

Not to mention how far forward the engine has to be to clear the steering shaft. If there was a feasible way around that, you could probably get the car to 50/50 or maybe even slightly rearward with the bias. 

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/11/20 11:43 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
MrFancypants said:
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

Id love to see someone measure the CG of the the ~250lb? boxer motor vs an I4 or slanted 4.  Presumably the boxer CG is at crank centerline.  I4 its going to be what ~3 or 4 inches higher?  which will have a net impact of moving the CG of the actual car 0.3 to 0.4 inches?  Seems like a lot of compromise for that.

The animal equivalent of the Subaru engine

Vracer111
Vracer111 HalfDork
8/11/20 10:39 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
MrFancypants said:
NOHOME said:

2013 FRS year round DD.  Love the chassis dynamics. Will never have anything nice to say about Subaru Engines, they is just DUMB.

Subaru engine is the reason for the car's super low center of gravity?  That's all I've got.

Id love to see someone measure the CG of the the ~250lb? boxer motor vs an I4 or slanted 4.  Presumably the boxer CG is at crank centerline.  I4 its going to be what ~3 or 4 inches higher?  which will have a net impact of moving the CG of the actual car 0.3 to 0.4 inches?  Seems like a lot of compromise for that.

The FA20 is a HEAVY engine for it's size - the FA20/TL70 transmission unit weighs ~480lbs and the TL70 transmission is less than 95lbs of that weight (~94.6lbs with fluids per TMG GT86 Cup info)... plus the alternator and A/C compressor are big chunks of metal located on top of it, shifting it's CG up from crank. Basically everything engine related that is not headers is located above the block and heads...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
8/12/20 6:31 a.m.
captainawesome said:

Basically tires, dampers, brake pads, and an aggressive alignment is about all you can do to keep it in D street.

 

 

Plus shocks, bump stops (have to be standard length), cat-back exhaust, and remove or replace one sway bar. Also, filter element.

Edit: Wheels can be one inch shorter or taller, width can't change. Shorter wheel can save weight.

Wizard_Of_Maz
Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
8/12/20 1:24 p.m.

That's sort of the issue - 215 width for D Street, 225 width for SSC. I'm thinking of just running a season in D-Street (getting the SSC legal shocks too), and then moving to SSC afterwards. The 10mm wheel width difference is turning out to be a small pain.

For anyone with a 2015+ up car, how do the konis compare to the stock shocks?

TXratti
TXratti Reader
10/5/20 2:03 p.m.

I have a 2014 with the SSC kit installed, muffler delete.

It's lower and stiffer for sure, but the only place I seem to scrape is steep driveways. Just approach sideways, and it's fine. I bought mine intending to replace a DD, and it does double duty now since I didn't sell the other car. 

I, personally LOVE the whole idea of SSC. I want to drive better, but I'm an engineer, a tinker-er. SSC gets my hands out of that pie and leaves me to be able to learn and have fun (the car is a hoot to drive). Street class is fine, but it's always annoyingly wearing the shoulder of the tires out because you can't get camber. SSC mantatory parts include the adjustable lower control arms and toe arms. Spec tires is take it or leave it but the RT660s are a great tire in their own right now. Lower, plus camber in a great driving car is a great idea, and people go above and beyond with the dampers in street class anyway (double adjustable Penske's on ES cars... nutty), and the Koni Yellow is the old standby. SSC is a set it and forget it, and have fun driving.

Of note, is tire size is not limited in Street class... only the wheel width (ES Miata, almost ALL national level cars have 225 BFGs on a 6in wide wheel). Diameter can be changed +/- 1 inch. I have 225/45R17 tires on my stock wheels for daily driving and they fit totally fine.

TXratti
TXratti Reader
10/5/20 2:11 p.m.
Wizard_Of_Maz said:

That's sort of the issue - 215 width for D Street, 225 width for SSC. I'm thinking of just running a season in D-Street (getting the SSC legal shocks too), and then moving to SSC afterwards. The 10mm wheel width difference is turning out to be a small pain.

For anyone with a 2015+ up car, how do the konis compare to the stock shocks?

See above post for comment on tire widths vs wheel widths, and you're allowed +/-7mm in offset (whether with spacers or a wheel with a different offset). A season in DS is fine, but be very sure that you get the SSC shocks from Tire Rack unless you want to re-buy them when you switch.  

Furious_E (Forum Supporter)
Furious_E (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/5/20 4:15 p.m.

85k is right around where the throwout bearing failed on mine earlier this year. It had been making some very faint noise for most of the time I owned the car, then out of the blue one day started wailing like a banshee with the clutch depressed. Managed to limp it home just fine, but I'm glad I didn't have to push it much more than a few miles. The input shaft showed slight, but noticeable, wear where the bearing must have seized up and spun on the shaft and surely would have trashed it in short order. 

chada75
chada75 Reader
10/7/20 10:38 p.m.

In reply to Wizard_Of_Maz :

Following closely.

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