The Time Trial at Spring Mountain is coming up fast, so it’s time to dial in the suspension, improve the brakes, and finish prepping the interior for Track Duty.
title photograph by Greg Philips
other photographs by LightningMotorsports.US
Suspension: Although the Tein H-Tech springs’ slight stiffness bias towards the front helped dial out some of the stock cars looseness, increasing the front camber put some of it back by increasing the front bite, as well as making the car a little dartier at speed. After our initial Autocross test session, we decided we needed more front roll stiffness so that the car could be driven into the corners faster, and handle off-camber and downhill sections, without the tail coming around too easily. Time to mess with the sway bars.
The stock Torsen limited slip works best if there isn’t so much rear roll stiffness that the car lifts the inside rear tire, so we decided to leave the rear sway bar stock and stiffen the front. We chose the 22mm Tanabe Sustec hollow front sway bar as an initial choice, as it is stiffer than the stock bar, but not as stiff as a solid bar of the same diameter.
The result: the car’s high speed stability is now even better than stock, with a much more planted feel. Even with some test drives in the canyons, we’ll have to wait till we’re at the track to see if the car’s behavior at the limit is where we need it to be.
Brakes: Our fellow trackies on the internet have informed us that the stock brakes and fluid are not up to the task of hard race track lapping, so we installed Ferodo DS2500 brake pads and flushed the brake system with Brembo LCF600 brake fluid. Overall braking power is improved with very even torque across temperatures, and fade should not be an issue.
Interior: Over the years, we’ve played around with a lot of different shift knobs on our cars (and the FR-S was no exception), but we keep coming back to spherical metal knobs, the one we ended-up with being a black Ribit shift knob with an integral collar that accepts the Scion’s reverse lock-out ring. We also wanted to be able to analyze the car’s cornering and braking performance, and see if we’re keeping the FR-S’ engine in the power band, so we installed our RacePak G2X data logger, mounting the display with the help of a ProClip mount intended for holding cell phones.
We also fitted a Safecraft 2.5 lb Halon fire extinguisher, mounted to an aluminum plate which in turn is bolted to the center console structure.
Time to pack up the tools and hit the track!