Illustration for article titled Modifications to BRZ - First Swaybars, now what?

**Domo Says: BRZ too slow in CS form.. You must upgrade wisely**

After careful consideration for competition, we've opted to go with a minimal power setup for the first year with the BRZ. To all SCCA peeps, this means I'm not going SM, but I'm going to go STX first and figure this setup out.


So, we go out there and our first event, we don't have a suspension on yet and we get stomped, naturally. But why? [Because we took a CS car on Street Tires into STX with just swaybars, that's why.] Here are a few things that need to change before the next event, and the progress we will be taking to go from CS to STX.

1. Power Modifications - Because BRZ: you have no balls. Seriously. Where are they? And WTF is up with that dip in torque between 3000 and 4000 rpm? Toyota, you contribute one thing to the engine with your direct injection, and it blows. You ruin all the fun, and the fun range for autox. The rev-forever RX-8's are stomping your ass. Let's change this, mmm k?


- Headers - HKS, your headers are looking mighty fine. I just wish they were a bit more affordable. At almost 1200 bucks, its a little pricey. But opening up the exhaust is what we need to do.

- Exhaust - Need more flow. This means eliminating the restrictive cat, adding a high-flow cat and getting the piping to supplement the Invidia piping we already have going out the back.


- E85 - Oh sweet sweet corn, how we love thee. But you are useless until we get...

- Tune - ECUTEK!!!!!!!!! + Kinetic Motor Works = Win. Normally, I would be all over COBB, but at the moment there is no product pathway or plans for the BRZ with COBB Accessport. I prefer that over the ECUTEK, but for now we have to use what we can get our hands on.


- Airflow = CAI - We tried giving you a little more breath with an aftermarket airfilter (APEXI), but its just not enough.

2. Suspension

Swaybars - Oh dear mother of gawd, the body roll isn't bad but how you did liven up after we put on some Whiteline swaybars (adjustable 16mm in the rear, and a 20mm non-adjustable front). A little lateral stiffness goes a long way. But its not enough. Can't wait till the Racecomp Engineering Tarmac II's finally work their way through customs and to our doorstep.


Coilovers - The tweeked KW3's which are the Racecomp Engineering Tarmac II's with custom valving made specifically for the autoxing purpose will do nicely. Not to mention the springs made for Lincoln that will be coupled on these body-lowering beauties. I need this for the slaloms. Its just too sloppy otherwise to compete with the rest of the STX crowd otherwise. Its like a knife to a gun-fight.

Camber - Cusco Lower Rear Control arms, how you are my friend. However, we need to modify you to work within the bushing rules of STX under the SCCA rulebook. Turns out, you can't have pillowball mounts where it connects to the subframe (its technically illegal). So, modifications will be made to accomodate this, and then, we will have nice camber adjustability in the rear. Right now, its just a flat tire that can't handle the lateral load the way it should. Its all about the angle, baby.


3. Transmission - Row, Row, Row your boat. The shifter could be better. I miss the feel of my Kartboy shifter in Bender, so its going in here. The short throw and bushings will give a nice secure feel as we go from (oh my) 1st to 2nd (maybe third? This is Solo after all.). A new LSD is needed in the rear, but what is available and what we want is yet undecided. Improvements need to be made. Its great as it is, but its not National Champion level, its just having fun on the way to the grocery store level. Oh, and while we're at it, its time to shore up that transmission bushing and make sure its all nice and tight up there.

4. Brakes - Hawk, Ferodo.. which one shall we choose? Its time for lightening up the wheel with some two-piece rotors and new calipers. The ones on there work good for tooling around town, but if it comes to the track and autox, we need a bit more stopping power for solo, and we don't need the fade worries from stock compound and stock calipers/rotors.


5. Wheels - I really wish manufacturers would step it up and provide a wheel that is light, nimble, and strong right from the factory. These are 'good' but not 'great'. For STX, rules say 9'' wide is as far as we can go, and 265 width tires. So that's what we need, because 7.5 is not enough to give us a good contact patch. Friction is everything, and you need area with which to apply it. Its just science, folks. That leads me to..

6. Tires - The BFG Rivals are the new kid on the block, and it looks like the early adopters are going to win with this one. We have the Dunlop Direzza ZII's right now, which are still superior in damp/wet conditions, and will remain our rain tire, but it looks like with new wheels, comes new BFG's.


And.. That's what you need to make a champion car. I think. Maybe. My pocketbook can't take any more. Its time to get to work folks.

** Update - No go on e85 after some discussion with others. If the rule changes pass, then SCCA is blocking using e85 in ST* class cars starting in January 2014. Regardless, it appears that a fuel line booster is needed in order to run it safely in the BRZ, which would technically be illegal. 93+ octane tune it is.

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