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Old 03-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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some AX questions.

So lately Ive dived into the AX scene. I was looking to do a couple of things to make my car a little bit more fun on the AX courses. So I know some of you are veterans so i just want to ask some simple questions.

firstly I plan on getting some steal brake lines and some dot4 fluid,

second I want to get the techno brace in addition to the front and rear schnell strut braces. ( are these a good purchase any imput?)

lastly I just wanted to know what some good alignment specs are for AX while still retaining road drivability? thanks for all the help.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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What class do you plan on running....stock? If your car is stock now I'd recommend leaving it that way. Many slight mods will bump you out of stock and then you'll be in a class with cars that are better prepped than yours so you'll be hurting yourself more than helping by modding. Some quality DOT 4 fluid is a good idea. I use "Super Blue" fluid and it's a popular choice among racers. I wouldn't waste money on changing to stainless brake hoses unless the stock hoses are in need of replacement. Strut braces are fairly popular but to be honest the difference they make is negligible especially for a novice and they'll bump you out of stock class. A good alignment spec for combination autocross and street use would be 0 toe front, very slight toe in rear, max out front negative camber ( if the car is stock this would be between -.5 to -.8 degrees) and around -1.5 degree rear. My alignment guy tells me the caster is static and can't be adjusted. Honestly though the best thing you can do to be faster is race as much as possible. Forget about mods and do as many events as you can. Seat time and experience will make you faster than any mod. Try attending an AX school or two if possible. Most local clubs and regions host them. If you must change something change the tires. They'll make way more difference than any strut brace or other mod out there.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:58 PM   #3
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my car isnt stock but I compete for fun. im not in it to win so most of the mods I have done, or would like to do or am thinking about are purely recreational in nature. of course the best way to put down better times is become a better driver.

I dont have an S so my main reason for doing some of these smaller upgrades (braces and whatnot) is since I dont have a the S model i just wanted to tighten up the steering and handling, but if they are somewhat negligible then I wont bother for now.

are there any you would suggest? as of now I have a pedro design (DIY) intake and a secondary cat delete and a muffler. Im not sure if it has really done much for me on the power side but it has lightened the ass of my car. as well as some other cheap easy things like remove spare tire and things of that sort.

I mostly compete with friend of mine and he has a stock mustang GT. hes a better driver than I am and he keeps within a few seconds of me. its a fun thing to do on the weekends and i cant wait to get back out there. Thanks for the help! (and I believe you run and have recommended the dunlop star specs and I agree they are great tires.)
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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Good advice, nothing to add.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:55 AM   #5
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"The weakest component is the nut behind the steering wheel", as we always tell our students. Seat time and practice will be the best money you can spend to go faster. The car in stock form has capabilities far beyond yours at this point.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:28 AM   #6
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auto x

The mods that you listed aren't really going to change the way the car drives.

When I first drove the boxster at a track I found out it had a lot of understeer and I knew I wasn't going to enjoy it. the first mod I did was stiffer swaybars with some adjustability to balance the car.

them maybe coil overs, MO30 or a set of H&R springs

I would do any of theses before the struts and the steel braided lines

Last edited by goldsc_78258; 03-10-2010 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobo1186
my car isnt stock but I compete for fun. im not in it to win so most of the mods I have done, or would like to do or am thinking about are purely recreational in nature. of course the best way to put down better times is become a better driver.

I dont have an S so my main reason for doing some of these smaller upgrades (braces and whatnot) is since I dont have a the S model i just wanted to tighten up the steering and handling, but if they are somewhat negligible then I wont bother for now.

are there any you would suggest? as of now I have a pedro design (DIY) intake and a secondary cat delete and a muffler. Im not sure if it has really done much for me on the power side but it has lightened the ass of my car. as well as some other cheap easy things like remove spare tire and things of that sort.

I mostly compete with friend of mine and he has a stock mustang GT. hes a better driver than I am and he keeps within a few seconds of me. its a fun thing to do on the weekends and i cant wait to get back out there. Thanks for the help! (and I believe you run and have recommended the dunlop star specs and I agree they are great tires.)
Ok, with the mods you've already done you would be bumped out of stock. If you're wanting to make the car handle better then bigger sways and new struts like M030 or a coil over system like Bilstein PSS9's would help on the AX course but there will be a ride penalty on the street. For a street tire, the Star Specs are about as good as any out there so that would be a good addition. Before you go spend a bunch of money on suspension and what not I would go get a good alignment and change the tires. Just those changes will make a significant difference. I would resist the urge to mod too much at first and try to extract the extremely high performance your car is already capable of and just have fun with it. I see a lot of modded cars get smoked by less capable stock cars because driver skill is such a huge factor.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Before you go spend a bunch of money on suspension and what not I would go get a good alignment and change the tires. Just those changes will make a significant difference. I would resist the urge to mod too much at first and try to extract the extremely high performance your car is already capable of and just have fun with it. I see a lot of modded cars get smoked by less capable stock cars because driver skill is such a huge factor.
+1
The only mods that resulted in "instant lap time gratification" for me were good tires and alignment. All the rest could be measured in 1/10s of a second.

On a 90 second course it looks something like this:
Attend Performance driving school $300- shave 6 seconds
Add Comp tires and performance alignment $900- shave 3 seconds
Add PSS9 coilovers $3000- shave 2/10s
Add swaybars $1200- shave 1/10 maybe
Add shock tower struts $300- shave 0/10
Add 3.6L GT3 motor $18,000- shave 2 seconds
Remove 400 lbs of weight (free)- shave 1.5 seconds

You just have to figure out where you will get the most bang for your buck. We have a little old guy (former F-14 pilot) who regularly gets in the top 10 out of 100 cars in a bone stock 2001 Boxster. Modding cars is fun but the car doesn't really need any help.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless
Modding cars is fun but the car doesn't really need any help.
Bingo

I have been autoxing for several years now, used to drive a mildly modified miata as well as several other well prepped autox cars... I was very surprised and impressed at the performance of my completely stock 99 boxster the first time I took it out to autox. So much so I decided to leave it completely stock.

My opinion: For autox you will see little to no advantage with steel braided brake lines, high temp fluid or any of the strut braces you mentioned. Save your money (see above).

Find yourself some sticky street tires (Yokohama Advan AD08, Dunlop Star Spec, etc.), get a solid alignment (I use factory alignment with great success), improve as a driver and you'll find your self at the head of the pack and having a ball doing it!

Once you feel you have reached a plateau from a skill level stand point, then consider an upgrade to adjustable strut and coil-over system. After that, get a second set of wheels and mount some DOT R-compound tires on them for autox
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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This is a really good thread to help me prioritize the mods I want to make. I really like the bang for the buck analysis. Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:24 AM   #11
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As JMATTA eluded, the skill is in the Driver, the car is just a tool.

No amount of modding or preparation will substitute for skill - it will only amplify the skills you lack.

I've been autocrossing since 1974 (God am I that old..??) and there are some truisms that are never obsolete:

Race yourself!
- Forget about others' times. They may have been at it longer and they may simply have more skill than you do. Every time you start a run, try to better your best time, not others.

Stay outside the car! - Keep your eyes constantly looking ahead to the next gate. Don't worry about speed, revs, or anything inside the car which will distract you. This is a skill similar to keeping your head down in golf and not easy to master. Achieving this one skill will improve your times beyond your imagination.

Hands at 10 & 2! - Basic, but often never practiced. Keep your hand off the shifter unless you're actually shifting.

Late Apex EVERYTHING! - In truth this applies to maybe 95% of all the gates on the course. Practicing this allows you to keep the speed up.

Go wide on the turns! - Seems counterintuitive but it also keeps the speed up and prevents you from losing time rather than trying to gain it by going in too tight. Remember there are many more ways to lose time than to make time!

If you're not hitting cones, you're not pressing! - Even the best drivers hit cones. You have to press to improve and that means risking hitting a cone sometimes. If you hit a cone, don't bail out - STAY ON IT! It's now a Free Run where you can practice new lines, turns or braking techniques which will help you on your next run.

For the Newby, Smooth = Fast! - If you 'overcook' it's really difficult to make up for it. Cars brake better than they accelerate. You'd be surprised at how many times a smooth run doesn't somehow feel as fast, but the time is actually lower than you thought it would be. You're racing a whole course and not just a bunch of individual stretches or gates.

Speed does not equal Time! - Remember, the goal here is the lowest Time, not the fastest Speed.

Practice these things until your ET's plateau and only then worry about the car.

When modding, as others suggest, a sticky set of tires is worth more than brakes, shocks or ECU Flashes COMBINED!

Cheers!
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 03-11-2010 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:53 AM   #12
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Lobo,

..... solid advice from Adam.... and others.


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Old 03-10-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
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to everyone, thanks for all the advice ill try to apply as much of it as I can this weekend.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:55 PM   #14
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:51 PM   #15
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I have lowering springs, sway bars, strut braces, lower stress bars, flame stickers, muffler bearings, CAI, re-flash, TurboTorque, Tornado (just kidding on this one) and a whole bunch of other stuff and in hindsight the only thing I think made a HUGE difference was the TBD (LSD) and some Hoosiers. In my opinion you should consider this the first major upgrade before coilovers or GT3 lower control arms, or anything else. I believe that the primary reason the S2000 has been so competitive over the years is because it has the LSD to help it around tight corners at lower speeds.

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Old 03-10-2010, 06:09 PM   #16
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flame stickers eh? lol thanks for the advice. so how much total was it to put in ur LSD? what do you have? i personally wont get one since i dont think its worth it for this motor and tranny but maybe on a S if i ever trade up.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lobo1186
flame stickers eh? lol thanks for the advice. so how much total was it to put in ur LSD? what do you have? i personally wont get one since i dont think its worth it for this motor and tranny but maybe on a S if i ever trade up.
The LSD is a Quaife that at the time ran me $1400 + $600 for the install.
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