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Old 09-22-2018, 08:10 PM   #1
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Contemplating FRS for track car

Hi everyone- new member here. HPDE track rat, no competitive racing. I have a mostly stock C7 Grand Sport I've been tracking, but it's getting really expensive- close to $400/hr of run time. I also1990 Miata in "track" form. It's gutted with an intake, exhaust roll bar adn harness. I'm ready for something better- something between the Miata and C7.

I'd either have to dump serious time and cash into the miata or look elsewhere. Considering it has almost 200k on the clock, and the last thing I have is spare garage room and time, I'm inclined to look elsewhere.

The two cars I'm looking at are a FRS and an E36 M3. The M3 has basically everything from suspension to done from E46 6spd to euro engine with heads and cam and Willwood 6piston calipers and 4piston rear. It makes 265whp and likely weighs the same as the FRS since it's completely gutted. It's about $6000.00.

The FRS I'm looking at has a few minor dings and scratches but overall good shape. It has a suspension noise that is a strut mount. Other than that, good shape. Below is my friend's FRS- he's asking $10.5k

Car comes with spare wheels and 2 spare sets of track tires, new clutch last month.
List of upgrades:
White line sways f/r 3 way adjustable
RCE springs 225# all around lowered car 20mm
Stock shocks
Rear white line subframe brace
White line top hats
Camber bolts
Perrin cat back exhaust 2.5
Motegi 17x7.5 wheels
Goodrich steel brake lines
Open flags tablet tuner
Uninstalled OFT headers with head gasket


POWER:
I definitely trust the FRS more and figure it's going to be less of a headache. However, I'm very concerned about FRS power. I don't want to end up with a newer more expensive miata. My miata is probably about 120hp and 1900lbs, and it's definitely slower than this FRS, but I don't want to spend $10k and make marginal upgrade. I would probably take some stuff out to make it lighter, but I will probably add more weight with a 4 point and aero upgrades (I've fallen in love with aero).

How much more power will it make with a tune, intake, OFT header and catback?

BRAKES:
I've been reading a lot about the brakes and I'm not sure if I'll need to upgrade with a big brake kit or not. It seems like I can get a good brake kit for under $2k, maybe even $1500. Is this necessary? I doubt I'll run slicks, but I will run something like an NT01 or R888R. Maybe even a semi-slick. I'm planning to add coilovers and BBK, but next year. I'd rather not drop $5k on it right off the bat.

WEIGHT:
How much weight can I drop from this car removing stuff like rear seats, but not removing so much that I need to tow it around. IE: I'd like to keep AC. Is 200lbs unreasonable?


Anything else I should know about before getting into this? Reliability?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:34 PM   #2
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M3, no brainer.


Depending on where you are in TX, come to MSR Houston or Cresson and get rides in both.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:46 PM   #3
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The M3 is going to make the FRS feel very slow (power wise). I track a non-M e36 (but with a lot of M upgrades) as well as my BRZ, and the e36 accelerates noticeable quicker than my BRZ. The BRZ is overall a faster car on the track though. Consumables are pretty close in cost and not bad at all. The e36's can also be pretty reliable if you do the "normal" maintenance on them.

It's a tough choice but I don't think you can go wrong either way.

BTW, where is this M3 because if you don't buy I might to swap my good non-M parts into
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:49 PM   #4
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Agreed, go with the M3 if possible.

This car is a fine track car, but like you called it, it is a newer fatter Miata.

With the power mods you listed not sure about those some one else might chime in on that.

It will take a good chunk of money to make it faster, about $3-5k is the average.
The brakes: in this car if you do a lot of track time, it's worth the bbk upgrade.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:04 PM   #5
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The BRZ is overall a faster car on the track though.

I have never seen one faster than an E36 M3.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:28 PM   #6
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I have never seen one faster than an E36 M3.
I was talking about my non-M e36.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:28 PM   #7
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Why limit yourself to those two cars?
A c5z would probably work in to what you're looking at and be reliable to boot.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:44 PM   #8
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I'm a Texas Track rat out of DFW, I've got an STX autox prepped 2014 BRZ (coilovers, swaybars, headers and tune, bushings, brakes, and wheels and tires) and have 17 track days this year so far.

I love my BRZ and recommend it as a track car. I've got the AP Sprint kit and it is a long-term money saver since pads are cheaper and last longer than the OEM sized stuff.

There's not too much extra power to get without going FI but headers and a tune get rid of the dreaded torque dip (E85 with them will add some power, if you don't mind sourcing corn juice).

On 200TW tires (not RE71r's, but Hankook RS4's and Falken Azenis 615k+) I can consistently run 1:25's on the 1.7CCW at MSR-C (1:08 on the 1.3), 2:06's at ECR, 1:50's at MSR-H, and 2:50's at COTA (only went once though). I keep up with Mark Schnoerr in his 1996 E36 M3 and he's at a similar (slightly higher) level of prep and he's been a track instructor for longer than I've been driving (when we're on the same type of tires it's a toss up between us at just about any of the tracks).

An oil cooler, upgraded pads and fluids, and the fuel flapper door are needed for track work (camber helps the longevity of tires, -3F and -2R or so is plenty). A set of BRZ tires only costs $500-$700 and they'll probably last longer than the same tires on a Corvette.

You'll probably miss the C7 power, it's a huge drop for you. A supercharger is always an option. I like the Jackson Racing and Edelbrock kits (they run $3500-$7k depending on new/used, what tuning you go with, and if you install it yourself or pay someone else to do it). A supercharged 86 is pretty close to C7 feel.

Here's me at the SCCA Track Night in America Tuesday chasing a C6 Z06 around MSR-C 1.7ccw:

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Old 09-22-2018, 10:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14stu View Post
I'm a Texas Track rat out of DFW, I've got an STX autox prepped 2014 BRZ (coilovers, swaybars, headers and tune, bushings, brakes, and wheels and tires) and have 17 track days this year so far.

I love my BRZ and recommend it as a track car. I've got the AP Sprint kit and it is a long-term money saver since pads are cheaper and last longer than the OEM sized stuff.

There's not too much extra power to get without going FI but headers and a tune get rid of the dreaded torque dip (E85 with them will add some power, if you don't mind sourcing corn juice).

On 200TW tires (not RE71r's, but Hankook RS4's and Falken Azenis 615k+) I can consistently run 1:25's on the 1.7CCW at MSR-C (1:08 on the 1.3), 2:06's at ECR, 1:50's at MSR-H, and 2:50's at COTA (only went once though). I keep up with Mark Schnoerr in his 1996 E36 M3 and he's at a similar (slightly higher) level of prep and he's been a track instructor for longer than I've been driving (when we're on the same type of tires it's a toss up between us at just about any of the tracks).

An oil cooler, upgraded pads and fluids, and the fuel flapper door are needed for track work (camber helps the longevity of tires, -3F and -2R or so is plenty). A set of BRZ tires only costs $500-$700 and they'll probably last longer than the same tires on a Corvette.

You'll probably miss the C7 power, it's a huge drop for you. A supercharger is always an option. I like the Jackson Racing and Edelbrock kits (they run $3500-$7k depending on new/used, what tuning you go with, and if you install it yourself or pay someone else to do it). A supercharged 86 is pretty close to C7 feel.

Here's me at the SCCA Track Night in America Tuesday chasing a C6 Z06 around MSR-C 1.7ccw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oznTngj124&t=480s
okay that's a good reference. I run 1:57!in my c7 on cup2 and 2:00 on r888r and 2:18 in the Miata. I'm a pretty good driver at ecr since I have a membership there. 2:06 is pretty fast for 200hp.

I've been looking for a c5 but that's more like $20k.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:59 PM   #10
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That E36 sounds awesome but I suppose the catch at the price is the reliability.

I'd bet you'd be happier skipping straight to FI on the 86 if you're really looking to have that 'in between' setup, you should be able to reliably match that 265 whp number while making the 86 lighter, <2600 lbs with full interior isn't too hard to do.

I agree with Code Monkey, go get some ride alongs. I think you'll have to spend some money to get the 86 where you're happy with it while that E36 sounds pretty close to built where you'd want it.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:17 PM   #11
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okay that's a good reference. I run 1:57!in my c7 on cup2 and 2:00 on r888r and 2:18 in the Miata. I'm a pretty good driver at ecr since I have a membership there. 2:06 is pretty fast for 200hp.

I've been looking for a c5 but that's more like $20k.
Thanks, I've only been to ECR about 6 times (all this year and every event as an instructor). I'm really looking forward to the repaving and new layout.

Here's my best run on the Falkens (a real 200tw tire):


The R888R should be a couple of seconds faster, so we're really only looking at about a 5s difference in lap times. You can't really go wrong with either an 86 or E36, they're very similar cars.

The 2013-14 twins have problems with the coilpacks frying at the track (the only permanent fix is to upgrade the wiring harness and get the upgraded coilpacks from the later models). Some people have had success with heat management strategies like hood vents and modifications to the coilpacks, but most just swap them out as a wear item.

The E36's are getting old, they can hold up but stuff starts to fail at an increasing rate at the track with cars that old. If you don't mind diagnosing and fixing small problems you should be fine, especially if you're getting into a car with good maintenance and a known history, but stuff will wear out.

If I pulled the pin and became an ECR member, I'd probably throw a supercharger on my BRZ (we'll see after the track changes, they sound like they'll help the lower hp cars). The E36 might just have enough power to be livable driving mostly at ECR, but probably not if you're coming out of a C7.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:33 AM   #12
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Thanks, I've only been to ECR about 6 times (all this year and every event as an instructor). I'm really looking forward to the repaving and new layout.

Here's my best run on the Falkens (a real 200tw tire):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xUZa5qbbhE&t=1300s

The R888R should be a couple of seconds faster, so we're really only looking at about a 5s difference in lap times. You can't really go wrong with either an 86 or E36, they're very similar cars.

The 2013-14 twins have problems with the coilpacks frying at the track (the only permanent fix is to upgrade the wiring harness and get the upgraded coilpacks from the later models). Some people have had success with heat management strategies like hood vents and modifications to the coilpacks, but most just swap them out as a wear item.

The E36's are getting old, they can hold up but stuff starts to fail at an increasing rate at the track with cars that old. If you don't mind diagnosing and fixing small problems you should be fine, especially if you're getting into a car with good maintenance and a known history, but stuff will wear out.

If I pulled the pin and became an ECR member, I'd probably throw a supercharger on my BRZ (we'll see after the track changes, they sound like they'll help the lower hp cars). The E36 might just have enough power to be livable driving mostly at ECR, but probably not if you're coming out of a C7.
The owners of ecr are spec boxters. It's not going to be a pure power track. I also still have my c7. Ill drive it from time to time.

I'd also get an ecr membership now. Prices are gonna double.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:53 AM   #13
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Also, go wider out of 11 and blow the apex. A touch later into 1. Out of three, you should be wot through 4. Go out wider and treat 4 like a wot kink rather than a turn. Brake later into 7 and hug it. Hug it right. That straight is worthless. Make sure you set up 8. Ten is disputed but my best times come from going half track and diving in, then hugging it all the way to set up 8. Nice driving. I bet you have another second there too. That's a really impressive time for a 200hp car weighing nearly 3k.

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Old 09-23-2018, 05:44 PM   #14
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POWER:
I definitely trust the FRS more and figure it's going to be less of a headache. However, I'm very concerned about FRS power. I don't want to end up with a newer more expensive miata. My miata is probably about 120hp and 1900lbs, and it's definitely slower than this FRS, but I don't want to spend $10k and make marginal upgrade. I would probably take some stuff out to make it lighter, but I will probably add more weight with a 4 point and aero upgrades (I've fallen in love with aero).

How much more power will it make with a tune, intake, OFT header and catback?
Check out these threads for power questions:https://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81493
http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55450

This source also has some interesting dyno info: https://www.pointmeby.com/2017/10/18...esults-15-86s/

TL;DR: Those headers with a tune alone are an easy +20 whp with 91 oct fuel. 93, or E85 will net you even more.
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