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Hey Guys,
I have been reading some very knowledgeable stuff on these forums. My question has been debated before but the debate will normally occur during a hijack of another thread or a 40 page discussion. So I will simply ask these simple questions.

1. Can you lower the car and increase stock performance?
2. Should someone new to the addiction of AutoCross learn the car and find it's maximum potential before putting money in Coil-overs or springs?
3. If you are planning on AutoX and Tracking the car at least 6-8 days a month, would 18's be optimal as far as the cost\performance equation goes?

As a Novice I have been getting some excellent advice from seasoned drivers. Most believe that staying in F Stock is the best way to learn the car and get some skill. I have a hard time with this as I am compelled to make the car look better, eg., lower, tighter, faster.

I think the rational response is "Do what makes you happy".
Obviously looking good is important. Showing up to an event in a great looking car is nice. Under performing on said track could be embarrassing. I would just like to get some thoughts from the community and see what others have contemplated.
 

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1) Yes. Some of the aftermarket coil-overs when lowered slightly (i.e .75-1") definitely improve performance over stock Track stuff even w/ the downside of less ideal suspension geometry. That is the lowered number Stance told me is ideal actually. They said if I dropped any more performance would quickly fall off. If you currently aren't on track suspension you can drop even more.

2) I've never auto-crossed but I've raced motorcycles. If you are trying to compete for titles, make money, or even build a career you need to aim for maximum track time in the most classes. In the modded classes you WILL get outspent. If you are having fun do what ever you want. Mod what ever you want. This is all just for fun and in the scheme of things your placing doesn't matter one bit.

3) Yes, too bad 18's look like dog turds on this car. I'd compromise and spent the extra money on some lightweight 19s. But if you are really going to do that many track days you will find that tires are your largest expense and that 18" tires cost less. The less reciprocating weight of 18's is nothing to scoff at either in terms of handling. 18's are no doubt better for performance.

Good Luck!
 

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1. Can you lower the car and increase stock performance?
On paper the lower the car the more lateral grip you have, but the question is if lowering the car will cause any adverse effects on the suspension geometry. It probably will from all that I've read.

2. Should someone new to the addiction of AutoCross learn the car and find it's maximum potential before putting money in Coil-overs or springs?
Yes, learn to how to push the car to the limits before investing in suspensions work. Even then, only put money into the suspension if you understand what the problem is and have determined that a suspension change is the solution. My R-spec is pretty much completely stock except for a catback. Driver education is the most effective way to go fast. Doing suspension work so early on can actual make it more difficult since you would have to tune the suspension. Personally I wouldn't put money into any of coilover suspensions available right now until it's a proven solution. The only ones I've considered so far has been KW and AST.

3. If you are planning on AutoX and Tracking the car at least 6-8 days a month, would 18's be optimal as far as the costperformance equation goes?
The key with going to 18s is that it opens up your tire options. With 19", you're limited to Bridgeton RE-11, Yokohama AD-08, and the Hoosier A6. Since yours doesn't have the brembo, I would see if 17" would fit. 18" is a little cheaper than 19". 17" is WAY cheaper than 18" and much more options.

As a Novice I have been getting some excellent advice from seasoned drivers. Most believe that staying in F Stock is the best way to learn the car and get some skill. I have a hard time with this as I am compelled to make the car look better, eg., lower, tighter, faster.

I think the rational response is "Do what makes you happy".
Obviously looking good is important. Showing up to an event in a great looking car is nice. Under performing on said track could be embarrassing. I would just like to get some thoughts from the community and see what others have contemplated.
It is indeed up to you and what you want to do with the car. I just wouldn't lower the car or do anything to the suspensions other than sway bars until you've figured out what your priority is for suspensions. Outright performance or looks. Making compromises suck. Go for one or the other.
 

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Hey Guys,
1. Can you lower the car and increase stock performance?
2. Should someone new to the addiction of AutoCross learn the car and find it's maximum potential before putting money in Coil-overs or springs?
3. If you are planning on AutoX and Tracking the car at least 6-8 days a month, would 18's be optimal as far as the costperformance equation goes?
1. Yes if you buy a decent coilover system and configure it right, you will notice a big improvement in steering, driving through corners and a very good handling in high speed regions...
You need to avoid the maximum lowering of the car. It will get to "bumpy"...

2. Depends on. I did some "ADAC" driving/racing training. It cost much but you have a trainer who will give you very good tips and hints while you drive on a race track. For me it was a must have. I dont want to drive around with more than 300 HP without having some extended training.
Especially if you go on the track you should make a trainig first, so you wont crash your car on Nürburgring :)
The trainer practiced a lot "threshold" (is that the right word?) or the cars borderline with me.

3. Tricky question. Good performance in wheels means for me, very light and very good tires. My 19" rims are lighter then my 18" OEM wheels. Dont try to get the widest tires. Try to find a good middle. Like 225 or 235 in the front and 245 or 255 in the rear.

After that the trackdays can begin :)
 

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On paper the lower the car the more lateral grip you have, but the question is if lowering the car will cause any adverse effects on the suspension geometry. It probably will from all that I've read.

Yes, learn to how to push the car to the limits before investing in suspensions work. Even then, only put money into the suspension if you understand what the problem is and have determined that a suspension change is the solution. My R-spec is pretty much completely stock except for a catback. Driver education is the most effective way to go fast. Doing suspension work so early on can actual make it more difficult since you would have to tune the suspension. Personally I wouldn't put money into any of coilover suspensions available right now until it's a proven solution. The only ones I've considered so far has been KW and AST.

The key with going to 18s is that it opens up your tire options. With 19", you're limited to Bridgeton RE-11, Yokohama AD-08, and the Hoosier A6. Since yours doesn't have the brembo, I would see if 17" would fit. 18" is a little cheaper than 19". 17" is WAY cheaper than 18" and much more options.

It is indeed up to you and what you want to do with the car. I just wouldn't lower the car or do anything to the suspensions other than sway bars until you've figured out what your priority is for suspensions. Outright performance or looks. Making compromises suck. Go for one or the other.
+1.....esp with what is in bold. AST still not available for our cars, but I'm hoping by next year when I'm ready to buy my suspension, TiC will have gotten with AST & developed something for our cars.

1. Yes if you buy a decent coilover system and configure it right, you will notice a big improvement in steering, driving through corners and a very good handling in high speed regions...
You need to avoid the maximum lowering of the car. It will get to "bumpy"...

2. Depends on. I did some "ADAC" driving/racing training. It cost much but you have a trainer who will give you very good tips and hints while you drive on a race track. For me it was a must have. I dont want to drive around with more than 300 HP without having some extended training.
Especially if you go on the track you should make a trainig first,
so you wont crash your car on Nürburgring :)
The trainer practiced a lot "threshold" (is that the right word?) or the cars borderline with me.

3. Tricky question. Good performance in wheels means for me, very light and very good tires. My 19" rims are lighter then my 18" OEM wheels. Dont try to get the widest tires. Try to find a good middle. Like 225 or 235 in the front and 245 or 255 in the rear.

After that the trackdays can begin :)
+1....esp what is in bold.

In all honesty, our cars are set up pretty good from the factory fo head straight to the track, esp if you opted for a Tack model or R-Spec. The only necessities are a good set of brake pads, better brake fluid & a helmet.

Good luck!
 
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