I've got a list of handling mods that I want you guys to look at and tell me what you think. If I need to add or take away anything?, or if you can think of a better company/brand for the product. Here it is.....
BTW: The cars an 05 MR
- Cusco strut bar (Type Ti - Titanium or Type OS-T - Aluminum)
- Cusco trunk bar (Cusco Type CB - Carbon)
- Cusco front and rear sway bars (25mm Front & 23mm Rear)
- Cusco lower arm bar (Cusco Version I / II Combo Package)
- Endless Swivel SS Brake Lines - Front/Rear
- Upgraded brake pads (not sure yet, maybe Hawk, what you think?)
- Brembo Front And Rear Slotted Rotors
What you think, is it enough?
Last edited by partymonster975; 06-29-2006 at 12:41 PM.
Well, there's not much in the way of handling there. The brake list is fine. SS lines, good slotted rotors, good pads, and good fluids are a great idea. All that other crazy stuff, though, i sjust out of control. You have all this expensive Cusco stuff, but you don't have a suspension upgrade. Those are ACCESSORIES to a real suspension setup. You need to start with a proper set of coilovers, then worry about all those. I've never even heard of half those things and highly doubt that you would know the difference between having those and not having those. You should mess with handling mods until you've mastered the stock suspension and then are able to know what it is your Evo is lacking based off how you drive. Just randomly adding 5 random small pieces that don't necessarily go together would not be a good idea.
I know that, I'm not looking for anything big. I was thinking of Ralliart Sport Coilovers, you know anything about those? I just want to mod the suspension a bit. Thanks for the info though, i know what your say with "You should mess with handling mods until you've mastered the stock suspension and then are able to know what it is your Evo is lacking based off how you drive."
he's asking for handling mods. im gonna guess that you've never driven an evo with upgraded swaybars and/or the cusco lower arm bars - its like night and day, anyone with those mods will tell you that. they're no coliovers, but there not $2000+ either. but then again my GT turbo isnt really a power mod either, its just an accessory that makes cool sounds and is real shiny.
first and most important handling mod. high performance driving school.
as usual, figure out what you want out of the car. then decide what to upgrade. this is what i will/would do with my car:
i'd definately go with the cusco lower arm bars (or the V1 and a carbing V2 equivalent to save some money, the mines 6 pt is very nice though) and at least a Progress rear sway bar (i hear the front is a real bitc# to get in). its arguable wether the front strut brace does much over stock, but the carbing one with the brake booster support should give you some extra stiffness, help brake feel under heavy braking, and keep the pockets more full than the expensive cusco stuff. also look into upgrading your rear bushings. yes the cusco stuff is expensive, you could substitute in other brands to save money.
as for coilovers, the right coilover is only half the equation, the other half is tuning the suspension for the specific application. RRE has excellent suspension services under john mueller in socal, if you can get there - do it, its worth the wait. he uses JIC's and/or buddy clubs usually valved to his own specifications (at least these are the most popular choices due to price constrains). also i have heard great success from the cusco zero-2Rs. dont try to save money by getting a $1000 coilover, might as well throw the money out the window, if you're serious, proper coilovers should be close to $2000 and going up to infinitum, basically.
for now, take the stock suspension to the track. then something like this (or as you see otherwise fit through track feedback): rear swaybar, rear bushings, alignment [pause] lower arm bars, front swaybar, alignment [pause] coilovers, alignment [pause]. by that time you should have an idea where to go from there.
I am being evaluated for my Time Trial license in NASA on July 23rd. I've drag raced 3 times this year, rallycrossed once, autocrossed 7 times, and road raced 4 times. If you go ask Robi (Robispec.com/Buschur) or Chronohunter (Vishnu), neither of them have these mods listed in their recommended packages. This is not the proper path to take, and it's just a placebo thinking they actually have a profound affect on handling. He'd be better off taking a proper route with his suspension as opposed to just adding a bunch of sway bars and plates. That is a very common mistake with Evo owners who just like to add neat-looking items without knowing what they really do, especially "handling" mods such as these. I encounter them every time I autocross and road race, but none of them are ever close to matching my times.
well thats cool. all im saying is that putting the cusco bars on you can feel a difference.
i may not be a suspension expert, but if i put something on my car, and there is a positive gain in that area, im gonna guess that its the part that made the difference and reccommend it to others.
for example, i put the GT turbo on, the car went faster. im assuming its because the turbo is bigger, so the car makes more power, and therefore goes faster. but its just a guess. same thing applies here. if lower arm bars go on, and the car handles better, or inspires more confidence, im gonna guess that it was the bars. it could be a temperature increase giving more traction, but it seems reasonable to assume it was the bars.
listen to me, dont listen to me. i honestly dont care if your car handles better or not, im getting nothing out of it. if i throw a dog a bone, i dont want to know if it tastes good or not
What kind of suspension mods do you have Warrtalon?
Which is why I recommended you learn to drive the car first before just randomly throwing on suspension parts without a real plan. I am still learning to master the stock suspension, and I believe I'm almost to the point where with my race tires, I am overdriving the abilities of the stock suspension, which is why I will be doing a full race setup during the off-season. For now, I'm getting my NASA TT license and competing in SCCA Solo II SM class with my stock suspension. Good enough for 4th out of 20+ in SM (7 points behind 2nd), and good enough to pretty much outrun everyone at the NASA events so far.
I agree with Warrtalon. Especially if you are going to be running autocross races. Some of the stuff you listed is not legal in any class the EVO can compete in. Some of the other stuff is only legal in the lower classes.
Even if you just want better handling for the street, some of that stuff is a complete waste of money. Many of the best handling EVOs in the country run the stock front sway bar and strut tower bar. Any strut tower bar that only attaches at 2 points and/or has pivots in it will be LESS stiff than the stocker. The EVO already understeers quite a bit. A stiffer front sway bar will exacerbate that problem unless you have coilovers that are specifically set up to take advantage of it. In order of most noticable improvement in handling:
- Tires (and wheels to match)
- Coilovers (custom tuned for your setup, talk with Mueller, Robi, or Chronohunter)
- Rear sway bar (I recommend Hotchkis)
Then from there it gets very specific to your needs/comfort level.
The stock EVO brakes are great. SS lines are a good idea, but I would hold off on replacing pads and rotors until the stock ones wear out. There is not a huge difference unless you plan on pushing them to their limits on a road course. When you are ready to upgrade I recommend Girodisc rotors and Ferodo or Porterfield pads. Martin at Girodisc will be able to help you find the right pads for your needs.
Just so you don't think I am some yahoo talking out my a$$, I won two regional autocross championships in Street Mod last year on street tires. This year I am shooting for the CenDiv championship and going to try my hand at Nationals. I have several friends who are National Champion autocrossers, one of them in an EVO (only EVO to win at Nationals so far).
Im currently running muellers stage one package that consists of a rear sway bar, bushings and an aggresive alignment. If your looking to upgrade your handling, this, and taking the time to really learn how to drive your evo will make a huge difference. Start there and once your comfortable you can begin adding the useless shiny strutbars and the like. You dont need to spend a whole lotta money to have fun with your car.
There is something to be said for some modifications changing the "feel" of the car without really affecting it's handling. That alone can allow a driver to better interpret road feedback and become faster. Stiffer setups can sometimes actually reduce grip. Coilovers might not increase overall grip, but they will increase feedback and response. Swaybars can be used to tune the chassis, so you can "dial in" or "dial out" traction from the front or rear. Tire pressure, alignment, technique, these are all variables that can be much more effective than simply bolting on parts. The key is to know what you've got and how you can use it. Then, find what needs to change.
Warr, you're right when you say "learn to drive the stock suspension first" and that you ARE faster than most HPDE drivers, but the way you drive fast is incredibly hard on the car. It's also not proper roadcourse technique, which has much to do with the front left tire getting so severely corded at PMI. From what I've seen, your techniques are better suited to the softer (and more forgiving) stock setup, which is why you're so fast right now. With stiffer coilovers and other changes, the way you whip the car around could quickly begin working against you. There's a lot of subtlety to being fast and smooth, there's ways to be faster but they're dangerous and incredibly hard on parts. You'd be a terribly fast rallycross driver (with the right tires )
Partymonster, as everyone has said, proper driving instruction is critical, and I agree that it's by far the best mod.
I was hoping I'd be faster with a suspension that transitions properly as opposed to my weeble wobble method. You think the way I drive will be slower with a proper suspension...or not so much slower, but just not working well? After riding with Paul today, my driving seems tame. He whips the car around much more than I do. I actually brake hard to avoid understeer. he just throws the rear into controlled oversteer and constantly fights through the turn staying as tight as possible. He forces a controlled 4wd drift around just about every turn. I try to take almost every turn with minimal-to-no tire slide. Did you see me after I put on my street tires? I was flying then and hardly squealing at all, but on my race tires, which apparently were already dead, I had no traction, so the way I'm used to driving on that track with those tires was not working at all.
Which part was not proper road racing technique? I don't really know any technique, since I'm new with no training, but the instructors haven't told me to change much. When Rick did my checkride for the jump to Group 3, he just said I should try braking later and harder in order to do late apexes. There may have been much more that he just didn't have time to tell me - I dunno.
I'll see if I can clarify some of my thoughts and comments... This turned out MUCH longer than I wanted!
Paul's whip and hold on technique is very fast, but it'll eat tires really REALLY fast and it's terribly dangerous if something goes wrong.. It looked like you were doing something similar in the video posted on EvoM even though you weren't really sideways, but the tires are still being overloaded. I've approached everything (in a car) being as smooth as possible. I'll hammer down the straights, but I like to round off the edges in the transitions so my inputs aren't sudden and I don't have any abrupt changes in momentum (unless it's entering a straight braking zone). I like the slow in, fast out school of thought, unless a specific corner requires a high entry speed like turn 1 at PMI.
Rick did mention that you kind of scared him.. Not so much that he was worried about his own safety, but yours. In LaJunta you had apparently gone 2 off (the ground) to the point he could see your whole undercarriage.
The only thing holding you on the track was the lateral traction of your tires. That sounds like a given, but it's the difference between being in control and almost losing it to the point that there's no out. Similar to drift cars, they either nail it or blow it, there's no gray area. (I'm not saying you're intentionally sideways, but it's a similar transition in handling.) When the tires slide sideways or are overloaded, they overheat drastically and this can grind away many miles of tread and can overheat the rubber. Each tire compound has an ideal operating temp for each surface at a given pressure that will give it optimal grip. Race teams spend countless hours tuning this kind of little stuff...
My friend Pat has tried similar techniques as you in his modded A4, a quick steering input for oversteer and let the acceleration and grip finish the corner for you, and he's found that smoother transitions and changing the suspension setup allowed him to really focus on his line, maintain tire temps (noticably consistent feel) instead of just getting around the corner as fast as possible. For me personally, I like to improve lap times of course, I always have, but my main focus is consistency and smoothness. You seem to be brutally fast, I just think you'd benefit heartily from smoother inputs and transitions even if it slows you down a little. It would allow you to become more consistent overall as a roadcourse driver.
For me personally, I feel really comfortable driving at the limit with a very light grip on the steering wheel, sometimes it's just fingertips. I'll enter a corner and turn the steering wheel, feel the G's load up smoothly and quickly, hold the wheel consistently and make throttle/brake corrections if needed, and slowly roll on the power to pull through and after the apex. I always have room for an out if I need to change direction or stop. I can show you what I mean at the next track day or HPDE. Try to visualize a smooth cereal bowl with a foam ping pong ball in it. Now, as you drive around the track, try to get this ping pong ball to roll around the bowl to it's highest point possible without bobbling, bouncing, or rolling around eratically or anything. The ball moves smoothly and quickly as you transition from braking to turning to acceleration. Some episodes of Best Motoring will do this with a camera looking down at the bowl.
Tires are tricky... I'd reccomend doing more laps on street tires that talk back to you (squeal). I'm not sure how well the 615's give audible feedback as I haven't driven them yet. The difficulty with going straight to max performance tires and R comps is that there's so much grip it's difficult to know what the car is telling you. The grip can overshadow some of the inherent suspension characteristics and quirks. With plain high performance tires you can hear the squeal creep up from silence and die down as you load and unload the tires laterally. That's a great tool to use for learning and will help a lot in transitions because you can hear what's going on with the tires. Eventually you learn what good corners sound like, and that same line over and over, and your body memory allows you to get faster and faster each time. Tire squeal isn't bad if you know how to use it. Rcomps don't squeal, they just break loose.
Coilovers are good but it's not necessarily one size fits all.. Going to a stiffer setup may or may not work for your techniques as-is. It will definitely improve feel and response, that's for certain. Quicker weight transitions and stiffer spring rates may cause the tires to skip more and bounce. Like corner 10 at PMI, with stock suspension I could rail through there with my right foot pinned in 3rd. With the coilovers I can't quite do that, I have to float through around 60-80% throttle, and pin it after the apex.
I'm sure you've heard of people trying to set the car up to be neutral.. A neutral car is defined as one that doesn't inherently oversteer or understeer, but can be made to do so at the whim of the driver. This allows for the safety margin I mentioned.. Yes the car can be faster, but it's typically at the expense of safety, consistency, or component durability. Be it acceleration induced over/understeer, lift-throttle oversteer, braking oversteer, left foot braking for stability mid-turn to apex, the style of driving has a lot to do with how the suspension should be set up. A very stiff setup can be good for drifting as the car stays very level, but too stiff can cause adverse handling. A setup that works for someone else might not be ideal for you, but knowing what to change is key. A very forgiving setup, such as stock or a soft dirt setup, leaves lots of room for error because it rounds off the harsh transitions and slows them down so they're smooth and controllable. The stiffer the setup, the more the driver needs to induce smooth inputs and transitions, because the suspension can no longer compensate as it will now respond immediately.
Haha that was a lot. I'ts really late so some of it may not make sense...
Based on that, I'm thinking you didn't see me run on the street tires. Back when Rick rode with me, it was my 2nd ever time to the track, and first time ever on race tires. What I was doing and didn't know until he told me was that I was relying on the tires to keep me on the track, but all the while scrubbing speed and killing tread. I couldn't tell, because of the reasons you mentioned (no squeal) and because I didn't know what was really happening. After that event, I went to La Junta and started on my STREET tires so that I could learn. What I learned was that I couldn't drive anywhere like I had b efore on the V710s, because I was squealing a lot and pushing through every corner it seemed. As time went on, I adjusted and adjusted until I wasn't overworking the tires as much (yes, I was learning!). Unfortunately, I only got 2 sessions, then my crappy brake pads disintegrated. If you look at the times, you'll see that I did well enough to have the 4th best lap overall for all 8 sessions over 2 days while on the street tires. That told me I was learning to drive properly (moreso, at least), but still being fast. As for the 2 off with undercarriage, that was a shifting mistake. I came in to the weird turn 7, and when I downshifted, I didn't do it smoothly, and the grab of the clutch kicked me sideways. I kept it from flying off the track, but I did hit the rough concrete berm, which is what made me lift the car up some. I stopped right where that happened, so it wasn't a matter of hitting and launching in the air laterally at 80mph or anything. Regardless, it wasn't fun.
Ok, so fast forward to PMI, and the first half of the day, I was on the V710s, which apparently were already dead, but I didn't know. I wasn't able to do anything out there even while trying to be smooth. I wasn't driving nearly as hard or aggressively as last time at PMI, but the tires just weren't grabbing at all. The left front may have corded right then and there, but the damage had already been done previously with the abuse at PMI in March and 8 autocrosses. When I put on the Azenis, everything went back to normal, and I was flying. I was using the feedback squeal to let me know if I pushed too hard, but for the most part, that wasn't happening. I had no more wheels off, I was smooth around turns, I was still going fast and being aggressive, but I wasn't killing the tires. That's when I ran the 1:46.9 and 1:47.1. I had Chris in the car with me, and we did 2 straight laps that felt better than ever with very little mistakes, no excessive tire squeal and pretty fast exit speeds.
You think Paul's method is really dangerous? I can imagine it being tough on tires, but that's racing, right? He said he hasn't put one wheel off in 3 years with the Evo, so take that for what it's worth.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.