Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
9/12/23 11:05 a.m.

In true GRM fashion, I can't even be bothered to follow my own advice (see here). I am keeping my BRZ, at least for the foreseeable future? Why? It's been as reliable a stablemate as I can ask for, shepherding my partner, the dog, and our luggage on multiple long drives. And when it isn't being asked to road trip, it's being flung around an autocross course. I love this thing. I realized that I can't get a ton of money selling it right now, and with the car not being as impractical as I once thought (and on multiple occasions, it has even veered into "practical" territory), I'm thinking of keeping it. I know that spending additional money on a car that I was going to sell until I realized I wouldn’t get a lot of money for it is a goofy proposition even by GRM standards, but many of these are things I’ve wanted to do for a while (this is a crazy sentence, but it made sense in my head, I think).

So yeah, while I dont want to just spend money to spend money, there are a few things I've always longed to do to it. The car currently sits on CSG coilovers, has camber plates, and I run 17x9 245 tires on it during the summer. I set all this up around competing in STX, but I also run 300tw tires, so competition isn't really my goal. I just want the thing to be fun while keeping its DD-ability.  And while I budget more for maintenance anyway, sometimes the mod bug bites...

The common wisdom for making more power and (more importantly, imo) improving power delivery is a header and a tune. But I live in NY(C) and don't want any of the hassles that come with yearly emissions and aftermarket headers. From my understanding, even catted headers will fail the visual inspection, though I think it would be able to pass the sniff test with a tune. Need to do more research here, but I don't want to spend the entire time worrying. This is supposed to be fun!

Things I am considering (this is a 110k mile BRZ... don't want to dump a ton of money in. Will likely be used parts for some of these)

  • Aftermarket exhaust, maybe something like the Perrin 2.5 or Invidia Q400. No real performance benefit, but I'd love a bit of extra sound. Nothing too aggressive, just some added rumble and character over stock
  • Tune, just for slight reduction in torque dip. Tbh, I don't find the torque dip to be that big of a deal, but any reduction would be nice
  • New brake pads - I need to change mine soon, and was thinking of one of the street-oriented Winmax pads
  • I dont think I need anything suspension related. I am really happy with the balance of the car right now.

Any other ideas, Toyoburu hivemind? If catted headers are viable, that + a tune would probably be the first step for me. Is a tune even worth it without headers? At the end of the day, this is an old, battle-hardened BRZ. Thanks all

Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
9/13/23 2:25 p.m.

Bumping for visibility - thanks again

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/13/23 2:32 p.m.

Or you could just sell it to me? laugh

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/13/23 2:56 p.m.

All of the tunes to correct the torque dip I've seen require catless headers, I'm not sure how much can be done with stock or catted headers. The torque dip is actually a bigger issue for street or autocross use than for track use, on the track it's possible to just keep the revs above the torque dip.

For exhaust, I have an Invidia R400 catback on mine (among other parts of a complete aftermarket exhaust) and have been looking at switching it to an Invidia N1, mainly for packaging reasons, but it also comes with silencer inserts for cutting down noise which could be handy for tracks with restrictive noise limits. That system could be handy if you're worried about making it too loud.

Brake pads - if you're not doing track days, stick to street pads (Akebonos worked well for me), they'll last longer and won't blacken your wheels with dust. If you are doing track days, consider Powerstop PSA or Winmax W3 as a dual-duty pad, and definitely add ventilation.

If you're doing track days you should also make some mods to the engine's oiling system to keep it from singing the song of its people:


Even just for autocross I'd recommend an aftermarket pickup and baffle plate, although an oil cooler isn't needed for autocross. Definitely overfill the engine by about 0.25~0.5qt.

For suspension your coilovers are probably good enough, a stiffer front sway bar may help if the coilovers haven't corrected the heavy oversteer bias the car came with.

Furious_E (Forum Supporter)
Furious_E (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/13/23 7:58 p.m.

I went through a similar thought process with my old FRS, so I don't think you're crazy at all, though admittedly I may not be the best barometer cheeky. Unfortunately I only made it as far in the modding journey as a tune before circumstances intervened and I was forced to move on from it anyway. 

I snagged a used Open Flash Tablet off of someone here on the forum, whose username escapes me at the moment. Even without headers, I'd say it was totally worth it. Didn't completely fill the torque dip like the tune/headers supposedly do, but I'd call it like 75% improved and the increase in power was noticeable. Definitely a "wish I would have done this sooner" thing.

Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
9/13/23 9:13 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Or you could just sell it to me? laugh

If my dog gets any bigger, I might have to :) Didn't know you were looking for BRZs. I will defend and sing the praises of these cars all day long

Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
9/13/23 9:15 p.m.

In reply to GameboyRMH :

I know - the torque dip is such a killer at autocross. That's really what I'd like to attack most; the thing just feels dead in low 2nd gear corners. I will take a look at the Invidia, thank you.

Are you tuned with headers?

Wizard_Of_Maz Reader
9/13/23 9:16 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E (Forum Supporter) :

Glad to know I'm in good company :) Any reason you went with OFT over Ecutek? Even a 75% improvement would be great - that's a great selling point

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/14/23 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Wizard_Of_Maz :

Yes mine has JDL UEL headers and a custom tune (based on the OFT Stage 2+ but heavily modified with custom AVCS maps and the whole works) and the torque dip is totally gone now. It feels a lot like the new 2.4L engine but maybe 10% less power everywhere. In fact I gave a new buyer of a 2.4L model a ride-along in an autocross recently and I think feeling my car's acceleration was giving him buyer's remorse...you can see the full specs in my rides entry.

z31maniac MegaDork
9/14/23 3:55 p.m.

E85 tune on stock exhaust will eliminate the tq dip as well. It's worth about 15-20wtq/whp. Catless header will add another 8-10whp on top of the E85 tune. 

With an OFT you can switch back and forth if you don't want to buy a flex fuel kit, this is what I did for years in my 1st gen BRZ. 

The only real reason to go with OFT is because it's cheap and you have access to modify the tune yourself if you're brave enough. But the guy who sells them, doesn't really support the platform anymore. But there is a good Facebook page and a guy named Steve Wiseman (goes by wiseman99 I think on the FT86forum), who helps a lot of guys dial in the OTS (Off the shelf) tunes. 

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/14/23 4:00 p.m.

Another way to go back and forth from E85 is with this flex fuel kit that alters the O2 sensor reading to make the ECU compensate for alcohol levels:


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