Update: Before winter after summer

Sep 5, 2011 update on PocketAce's 2004 Toyota Matrix XRS

Well, car’s sitting on the driveway right now looking at me with an unamused face. Didn’t really do much to it ever since I posted the car here, mainly it’s own fault since it’s reliable. Bastard.

It did have the weird habit of dumping cold AC water on my significant other’s feet on tight left hand turns, which I thought was hilarious… But she didn’t. Oh no she didn’t. So that’s fixed.

I did establish a better to-do list, as well as finally got to terms regarding the theory behind what I want to do:

  • The car behaved well when driven angry, with corner entry (trailbraking) oversteer and off-throttle oversteer, which is how I like my FWD cars to handle. All that I did to achieve that was raise rear tire pressures and keep front tire pressures normal. If I get a rear sway bar the the car might start snap oversteering or going into corners too upset. Not that I would have a problem with that, but it will make winter driving tricky, and it makes little sense if there are better ways to achieve nice slidy handling.

So instead I’ll rely on a wider front track. Front 15mm spacers are in order, making the front offset about 30mm. What that does is reduce the tendency to get into understeer without introducing oversteer, balancing the car. I’ll control the oversteer with tire pressures.

  • Unless I do something stupid and decide to dump $400 of the hard earned money I don’t have on wheels, the stock wheels are staying. They are very heavy, but only a nuclear bomb would bend one of those bastards. Given that the roads in the Chicago suburbs are more like a small slice of the moon, I think keeping them is a smart choice.

  • I am not going to go Extreme Performance Summers. Did just fine with Kumho ASXs last season (on a NB2 Miata, 3 podiums, 1 second place finish out of 8-10 in class contenders.) I do worry about the tires overheating, which is the big problem with all seasons in general. But then, all I gotta do is keep them cool. (http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/cheap-skates/)


All 2004 Toyota Matrix XRS updates



Update: Before winter after summer

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