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Old 02-18-2018, 11:45 PM   #1
Tristor
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Branka: Country Road Specialist

Howdy,

I purchased myself a new 2017 Subaru BRZ Limited in Crystal White Pearl for a Christmas gift to myself. I have no prior track experience to speak of, but would like to learn. On the other hand, I worked nightshift for many years and have plenty of experience hooning around country back roads. Here in South Texas we have some fantastic roads that are well maintained, have 70mph speed limits on the straights, nobody but cows for miles, and low speed (25-35mph) rated corner after corner for hours of fun. My intention is to do judicious upgrades to the car over the next 4-5 years while keeping it looking as stock/clean as possible. As I gain more experience on track that will guide my modifications but I'd like to keep the car street legal and daily-drivable as I go.

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I pay in a huge chunk of change to Uncle Sam every year, and I'm using my tax refund as my yearly mod budget to help keep it under control. I just got my check and first up for 2018 is going to be brakes, wheels, and tires. I'm learning as I go, and I'm primarily focusing on increasing the already great handling capabilities as well as my "safety margin". My focus is not primarily adding power, as I think doing so will just get me in trouble.

Parts Installed:
  • Cusco Front Strut Bar w/ Master Cylinder Brace
  • Cusco Rear Strut Bar
  • K&N air filter
  • Samco Inlet Tube
  • Shrader Performance Rear Seat Delete
  • Perrin Wing Riser Kit
  • CSG Spec Brembo GT (BM4) in front, OEM brakes in rear
  • CSG C2 (Front) and C1 (Rear) brake pads
  • Spiegler stainless steel brake lines
  • Volk Racing ZE40 Time Attack Edition (18x8.5ET44)
  • APEX ARC-8 FT86 Wheels in Anthracite/Gunmetal (17x9ET42)
  • Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R 225/40R18
  • Hankook Ventus RS4 245/40R17
  • ARP Extended (3") wheel studs all around
  • CSG Spec Racing Lug Nuts
  • Jackson Racing Dual Radiator and Oil Cooler
  • CSF Aluminum Radiator Filler Neck
  • Samco Radiator Hoses
  • APR Carbon Fiber Cooling Plate
  • Stark Performance Automatic Transmission Cooler
  • Fumoto Quick Engine Oil Drain Valve
  • PTuning Lightweight Battery Tray
  • Shorai LFX36L3-BS12 Battery (4.8lbs)
  • PTuning Windshield Washer Reservoir Relocation Kit
  • TRD Door Stabilizers
  • Whiteline KSR210 Steering Rack Bushings
  • Whiteline KDT925 Differential Cradle Bushing Inserts
  • Whiteline KDT922 Rear Subframe Bushing Inserts
  • Verus Engineering Side Marker Replacement
  • AIM Solo 2 DL w/ Mount
  • SPL Parts Rear LCA
  • SPL Parts Rear Toe Arms w/ Eccentric Lockout
  • RCE Tarmac 2 coilovers w/ 400/400 springs
  • Vorshlag High Caster Camber Plates (Front)
  • Vorshlag Spherical Shock Mounts (Rear)
  • Motorsport Tech wheel spacers (various sizes depending on alignment specs)
  • STI JDM Engine Mounts
  • STI JDM Transmission Mount
  • Torque Solutions Driveshaft Center Bearing Solid Bushings
  • STI JDM Fog Light Bezels w/o Fog Light Holes
  • Verus Engineering Transmission Tunnel Cover
  • Trackspec T1 Hood Louvers
  • Grimmspeed Pulley Covers w/ Tool Tray
  • SPL Parts Front Endlinks - Short
  • SPL Parts Rear Endlinks
  • SPL Parts Bumpsteer Adjustable Tie Rod Ends
  • SPL Parts Rear Traction Arms
  • SPL Parts Front LCAs
Fluids and Filters:
  • AMSOil Signature Series 5W-30 motor oil
  • AMSOil Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter (EA15K20)
  • AMSOil Signature Series coolant
  • Motul Gear 300 75W90 (in Diff)
  • Redline D6 ATF
  • Castrol SRF brake fluid

Parts Waiting to be Installed:
  • Chillout Systems Driver Cooling System
  • Porsche GT3 Brake Ducts

Parts on Order:

Planned Upgrades in 2019:


Tires:
  • Continental Take-Off Slicks ($400/set from Bimmerworld)



Exhaust/NA Power:
  • CSG-Spec ACE A-350 w/ double ceramic coating
  • Fujitsubo Dual Resonated Front Pipe
  • Fujitsubo Authorize RM+c Titanium/Carbon Fiber Resonated Single Exit
  • Delicious Tuning Flex Fuel Kit Mk1+
  • EcuTek-based tune for 93 and Flex Fuel


Up to date photos:


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Last edited by Tristor; 11-06-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Updated installed parts list
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:30 PM   #2
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Well a few things for today. I've gotten word that the wheels I originally ordered are not available even directly from Rays in Japan, however the 18x8.5ET44 are. It looks like the wheels should fit so I gave the go ahead for the half inch wider wheels instead. Meanwhile, I went ahead and took out the backseat today and all the junk in the trunk. I've ordered the Shrader Performance rear seat delete kit to make it look prettier than bare metal, and I'll probably modify it with some foam or similar to give it more rigidity per the comments in that thread.

I also received the used oil analysis from Blackstone Labs from the first oil change/service. Nothing is out of the ordinary, as expected. I'll be submitting a UOA for every oil change to maintain historic analysis records.

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Now I'm just stuck waiting on parts...

First round of parts arrives on Tuesday, going to be 6-8 weeks for my wheels though and I have to wait on my wheels before installing the brakes in the front (unless I want to throw a spacer in temporarily).

Last edited by Tristor; 02-24-2018 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:33 AM   #3
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First round of parts arrived today. I went ahead and got the K&N air filter and the Cusco front and rear strut bars installed. I was doing most of this after dark, so not only are the pictures below a bit lacking in lighting, but I didn't quite have the time/energy to do the Shrader rear seat delete kit install tonight too. I'll probably do that this weekend if I don't get a bee in my bonnet before then.

Packages arrived!:
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Rear strut bar installed (plus the spare fits under it fine):

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Front strut bar w/ master cylinder brace installed:

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You can see the master cylinder brace and how I removed the bracket holding the wire harness in place (this is an AT car, bracket and harness is only there on AT cars):

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I just got back from doing a couple of shakedown cruises. I did the first one and then came back and retorque everything. After that I did a more spirited/elongated shakedown cruise. I definitely feel like the brakes are firmer and more responsive, I don't know that the strut bar really did anything otherwise. It mostly feels the same handling. I also peeled off the blue plastic to expose the aluminum bar after I got done retorquing from my first shakedown cruise.

For those who are wondering (or may need to know), I used the following torque specs:

* 14mm nuts on rear strut tower: 14.2 lb/ft
* 12mm nuts on front strut tower: 17 lb/ft
* 12mm nuts on front strut tower brace: 17 lb/ft

After I get the rear seat delete kit in, I plan to carefully reinstall much of the interior trim and then take out the bar on the rear so I can cleanly cut through the carpet just enough to fit the brackets and then reinstall the bar. Hopefully the end result will be a nice clean look. I don't want to leave the car stripped completely.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:48 AM   #4
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Looks like a cool build. Hope you get to the track. It's a ton of fun in these cars and I'm still a novice.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:24 AM   #5
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That is a lot of chassis/suspension bracing.
Do you find stock to be that sloppy?
May I recommend some subframe bushing inserts.
Be aware of all the added nvh from solid bracing.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliotw View Post
Looks like a cool build. Hope you get to the track. It's a ton of fun in these cars and I'm still a novice.
I'm taking a HPDE class on track on March 24th. I can't wait


Quote:
Originally Posted by scottman View Post
That is a lot of chassis/suspension bracing.
Do you find stock to be that sloppy?
May I recommend some subframe bushing inserts.
Be aware of all the added nvh from solid bracing.
I'll look into the sub frame bushing inserts. I'm not too worried about added noise, I think the car is pretty livable even with the interior stripped completely and now that I've got it back in it's kind of shocking how much less noise there is. If the bracing puts it on a similar NVH level as a completely stripped interior, then I think I'd be okay.

I don't think it's super sloppy while stock, but it definitely doesn't feel as settled and connected as a friend's car I've driven on the twisties as well. The extensive bracing is in lieu of me having a full cage and seam welding (both of which would significantly stiffen the chassis beyond what any bracing can do), because I am keeping this car street legal and daily driveable. I may not do (or need) as extensive of bracing as I have listed here, I kind of went for everything which was available in my plan, but bracing is also pretty cheap compared to other things I could do. I'd just as soon do it all at once

Overall I'd say the car handles really well stock. It's one of the main reasons I bought this over some of my other options. I was actually really surprised with how good it was.


I will put up some pictures of the back a little later today. I finished up the rear seat delete install last night but it was too dark to take photos.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:19 PM   #7
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Pretty solid mod list! What's the ETA on your wheels?
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Pretty solid mod list! What's the ETA on your wheels?
Thanks. The wheels are due in about 6 weeks, since they had to come from the factory in Japan. I'm pretty anxiously waiting Patience is not my strong suit so I am raring to go and get them mounted and do a cruise. Before I put them on though I am planning to take them to a local detailing pro to have them detail cleaned and ceramic coated. So after delivery it will probably be a week or so before they end up on my car.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:17 AM   #9
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Great Wheel, and if your roads are that well maintained it shouldnt be too harsh.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:22 PM   #10
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A bit belated, but here's pictures taken in the daylight of the rear seat delete that's gone in. I tried to find #100 Instapak Quick RT to put underneath but it was impossible to find so I went with #80 (next size down) and I'll be doing foaming underneath to reinforce the pieces that cover the seat section tonight after the Instapak arrives. I'm also planning to put the trunk mat back in by taking the bar off the rear strut tower brace and then cutting slits in the trunk mat. Since I have a BRZ Limited I also have the rubber all-weather cargo mat that goes over top. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with it, I may leave it out.

My goal would be to be able to fit all 4 of my new wheels in the pack (with some padding) to get them to the tire shop without requiring a second vehicle to carry them.


When you install it, it basically looks like this when done. Pretty clean looking although everything is based on push-clips rather than bolts. Since it goes in as 4 sections (left and right bottom piece, back piece, and the brace/base) it's easy to install compared to one-piece solutions although it doesn't look as clean.

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As you can see the 10mm bolt holes on the bottom of the rear set gets covered by a little piece of plastic with a single push-clip. It tends to randomly rotate or loosen slightly, so I'm sure they'll fall out tomorrow when I go to the car wash and vacuum out the car. It looks a bit janky, but I guess it's better than exposed metal underneath.

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The rear piece leans against a lip created by the brace/base that mounts using two of the washered bolts from the child seat restraint bracket and the top two mounting holes from that bracket after it's removed. The bottom pieces use two push-clips to attach to this piece and the rear piece is attached at the top and just held in against the base by pressure.

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In the rear section you can see it looks very clean on the back of the trunk, but it does come forward into the trunk space a little farther than the rear seat which made reinstalling some of the trim difficult. Additionally, it means I may need to slightly trim the trunk carpeting other than what was necessary to fit the bar (this is still yet to be done, but probably will finish it tonight).

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Anyway, that's the Shrader Performance Rear Seat Delete Kit as installed. I'm overall pretty happy with it. I just got my Amazon package with 2x Instapak Quick RT #80 in it, so I'm going to be removing the bottom pieces, laying down some loose padding and then creating the foam blocks to fill in the empty cavity between the bare metal of the body and the underside of the two bottom pieces. I'm hoping this will increase it's ability to support weight while also adding additional sound dampening capability to reduce NVH further.


Regarding NVH, the difference between bare stripped interior and trunk vs completed interior and trunk with the rear seat delete kit installed is night and day. Compared to the NVH level when the vehicle is stock I think it's only marginally louder. Mostly I need to figure out what's rattling around back in one of the walls covered by trim (I suspect I broke a pop clip reinstalling trim). Otherwise this is on point. Cuts 23 pounds of weight, provides a flatter surface for items to extend from the trunk area when the rear piece is removed, and it turns the car into a true 2-seater as it should have been from the factory

Cheers
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:15 PM   #11
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A really small update. I was hoping I could do a photo shoot of the car yesterday before I went to a car meet, but unfortunately it started raining as soon as I finished spending several hours detailing my car. I still went to the meet, which was great. I met a few other local ft86 owners there.

Just today though I went ahead and finished prettying up the trunk area by cutting the carpeting mat to get it back into place around the strut bar. Here's the pictures. I could have done cleaner lines, but I slipped a few times with the razor so this is what I have

Left side

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Right side, this is where I really messed up :/

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Trunk view

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A shoutout to @SakDiesel for the idea of ignoring the instructions and only cutting just around the bracket where it comes up to the bar. His work is much cleaner than mine though

I've also received notification that my wheels are in production. I'm expecting a shipment notification either late next week or early the following week. I should have my new wheels by the end of April then I can put my brake upgrades on
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:31 PM   #12
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I'm still waiting on wheels to arrive so I can install the AP Racing Sprint BBK and other brake upgrades. In the mean-time, I put a Perrin front license plate relocation kit on, and I am headed to the track next Saturday for my first ever on-track driver's class. Let's hope I don't wreck it before my wheels arrive, heh.

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I need to wash her again, but she's not too terrible. Am about to hit 5k miles before I end up on the track.

Sorry for the minimal update... I'm anxious to get my wheels and brakes installed, but I'm still playing the waiting game.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:52 PM   #13
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I am considering a rear seat delete. I am wondering how much are the weight saving? How's the noise level difference? can you fold down the delete to access the trunk from the cabin? I feel like currently its nice to have the rear seats if I need them in a pinch unless there was a lot to be gained by deleting them. What's your overall thoughts on the mod since install?
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Old 03-18-2018, 09:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliotw View Post
I am considering a rear seat delete. I am wondering how much are the weight saving? How's the noise level difference? can you fold down the delete to access the trunk from the cabin? I feel like currently its nice to have the rear seats if I need them in a pinch unless there was a lot to be gained by deleting them. What's your overall thoughts on the mod since install?
With the Shrader kit the overall weight savings is 23 pounds according to them. Based on my own weighing of components going in and out in the process, I think it's closer to 30 pounds. It's not a huge amount, but I like the effect of having a true 2-seater, which is how all sports cars should be IMHO

Installation is pretty simple. One component I added was to use an Instapak Quick RT #80 under each rear seat basin covering panel to give it more structural rigidity (which it needs) and to add additional NVH reduction. According to another thread on this kit the #100 is the proper size to fully fill it in, but the #80 seems to have worked okay as well. All in all, the noise level is roughly the same as it is with the car stock, but the cabin feels more cozy and it makes it easier to put more stuff in the vehicle with the trunk panel removed compared to folding down the rear seats. Also, yes, you can remove the trunk panel or lay it flat and use the extra space for storage just like with the rear seat backs folded down.

Personally I did the mod about 80% because I thought the rear seats were pointless and I prefer sports cars to be 2-seaters, 10% for the weight savings, and 10% for looks. It's up to you whether it's something you're interested in, but ~30 pounds isn't a huge amount of weight savings for ~$300 and an afternoon of work. On the flip side, it's weight savings that doesn't mess up the appearance or comfort level of the car like stripping out the interior normally would.
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