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Old 05-21-2018, 12:24 PM   #43
norcalpb
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Thank you @norcalpb! How are you enjoying the tower bar and v bars? Any noticeable difference? Do you have the USDM tS black v bars or these JDM ones? They should be the same, just curious. Do you have the Draw Stiffener yet? I'll be sure to keep you updated on the impressions I get from the draw stiffener regardless. Thanks again for your support I really appreciate it.
I actually got rid of the JDM towerbar a while ago but I currently just have the USDM V bars and I love them. Although seeing the pics of your JDM ones makes me wish I got silver lol. The USDM ones look much more stock at first glance. I have metal camber plates and I feel like the flex in the v bars does for sure add more compliance on crappy Norcal roads.

I haven’t bought the draw stiffener yet as I haven’t found a part # for the USDM model and I may have to pull the trigger on JDM like you did.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:53 AM   #44
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I actually got rid of the JDM towerbar a while ago but I currently just have the USDM V bars and I love them. Although seeing the pics of your JDM ones makes me wish I got silver lol. The USDM ones look much more stock at first glance. I have metal camber plates and I feel like the flex in the v bars does for sure add more compliance on crappy Norcal roads.

I haven’t bought the draw stiffener yet as I haven’t found a part # for the USDM model and I may have to pull the trigger on JDM like you did.
Just curious but what made you decide to get rid of the JDM Tower bar? I would think having both together would help firm up that rigidity even more. I mean admittedly, I'm a JDM and STI junkie (I was the same way with my Ludes back in the day) so I wanted to go with the trifecta of all three STI braces. I obviously hope all three work in coalition and improve the rigidity and ride quality by threefold; especially when dealing with these equally bad roads that inhabit Southern California. I guess we can both say Northern and Southern California are rough roads to roll down.

I must say, I totally get what you're saying about the USDM V Bars being more stock looking because the OEM ones were black to start. However, I kind of like that stealth look and actually thought the USDM would be a better fit for me because I drive a HyperBlue (blue and black scheme). I severely doubt there would be any difference between the two besides aesthetics but perhaps I may be in the market to trade for your pair of black ones if the idea piques your interest.

As an aside, have you thought about just going to your local dealer and asking what part number the draw stiffener falls under and ordering it through them that way? Not saying they'd for sure be able to help but just a thought.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:43 PM   #45
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Just curious but what made you decide to get rid of the JDM Tower bar? I would think having both together would help firm up that rigidity even more. I mean admittedly, I'm a JDM and STI junkie (I was the same way with my Ludes back in the day) so I wanted to go with the trifecta of all three STI braces. I obviously hope all three work in coalition and improve the rigidity and ride quality by threefold; especially when dealing with these equally bad roads that inhabit Southern California. I guess we can both say Northern and Southern California are rough roads to roll down.

I must say, I totally get what you're saying about the USDM V Bars being more stock looking because the OEM ones were black to start. However, I kind of like that stealth look and actually thought the USDM would be a better fit for me because I drive a HyperBlue (blue and black scheme). I severely doubt there would be any difference between the two besides aesthetics but perhaps I may be in the market to trade for your pair of black ones if the idea piques your interest.

As an aside, have you thought about just going to your local dealer and asking what part number the draw stiffener falls under and ordering it through them that way? Not saying they'd for sure be able to help but just a thought.
The reason I sold the tower was just for maximum NVH reduction because like you said our Cali roads are atrocious, and a lot of my favorite roads have these massive “fixes” that stick up like an inch off the ground. IMO the STi bar added more rigidity combined with the sti V bars but there was a minute nvh increase as well. Also, weight reduction =P.

I also went flying off the track at thunderhill at turn 9 (I thought it was a sharp right over the crest but it was really a sharp straight. First time here lol. I’m not sure if the V bars made the voyage less harsh but I’d like to think so considering it seems like the front of my car caught air and landed but I never hit the bumpstops even with 280# springs.

https://youtu.be/gJSjjbiK9M0

The technical reason I got rid of the bar is found in Grimmspeeds own data analysis on their strut bar. They stated they were very surprised by just how well the stock V bars worked for not having a bar to triangulate the structure. I think this idea is mirrored in the 15 and 18 tS. Maybe by having thicker V bars (I think Sti is a bit thicker than oem), you can eliminate the need for the center strut bar? Just a theory of mine.

I would love it if my dealership could find it, but I’m usually the one who has them flip their computer around so I can identify items on the diagram for them.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:19 PM   #46
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The reason I sold the tower was just for maximum NVH reduction because like you said our Cali roads are atrocious, and a lot of my favorite roads have these massive “fixes” that stick up like an inch off the ground. IMO the STi bar added more rigidity combined with the sti V bars but there was a minute nvh increase as well. Also, weight reduction =P.

I also went flying off the track at thunderhill at turn 9 (I thought it was a sharp right over the crest but it was really a sharp straight. First time here lol. I’m not sure if the V bars made the voyage less harsh but I’d like to think so considering it seems like the front of my car caught air and landed but I never hit the bumpstops even with 280# springs.

https://youtu.be/gJSjjbiK9M0

The technical reason I got rid of the bar is found in Grimmspeeds own data analysis on their strut bar. They stated they were very surprised by just how well the stock V bars worked for not having a bar to triangulate the structure. I think this idea is mirrored in the 15 and 18 tS. Maybe by having thicker V bars (I think Sti is a bit thicker than oem), you can eliminate the need for the center strut bar? Just a theory of mine.

I would love it if my dealership could find it, but I’m usually the one who has them flip their computer around so I can identify items on the diagram for them.

Well thank you for your long and detailed explanation. I appreciate the video too! I'm glad that you feel like the V Bars may have impacted that situation. I think you may be on to something though with both SoA and the 15 tS only going with the V Bar and Draw Stiffener for both tS models. Maybe they know something we don't. I know all about those "fixes" you speak of haha. Driving through California is a big game of Mario Kart trying to avoid turtle shells and banana peels (read as: potholes, uprooted tree roots, trash, wood, cargo, and supposed "fixes").

I will say one thing that I've found thus far in "building" this car is the following; nothing and I mean nothing is world changing, simply incremental. The TRD intake was slightly better throttle response and the accompanying sound generator delete helped improve overall engine sound. The header, overpipe, and front pipe from Fuji have definitely made a more aggressive tone and made the power band feel a bit more "unhinged" but again, nothing world changing. With that said, I don't truly anticipate anything world changing by adding the braces (or anything for that matter, besides going FI). If history serves any purpose in this subject, I'm hoping by adding the tower bar into the mix, each will incrementally improve the overall driving experience. What I hope is that by the end of it all, all those incremental changes make one beautiful experience both aesthetically but also in the driver's seat.
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:09 AM   #47
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With that said, I don't truly anticipate anything world changing by adding the braces (or anything for that matter, besides going FI). If history serves any purpose in this subject, I'm hoping by adding the tower bar into the mix, each will incrementally improve the overall driving experience. What I hope is that by the end of it all, all those incremental changes make one beautiful experience both aesthetically but also in the driver's seat.
I have the sti flexible tower bar, a couple of longer sti bolts for the steering and the rear crossmember and a couple of sti rubber inserts. It is as you said, nothing world changing. You feel some difference at first, but then you get used to it. The thing is that this car was pretty good from factory and all these things offer just some small improvements.
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:32 PM   #48
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I have the sti flexible tower bar, a couple of longer sti bolts for the steering and the rear crossmember and a couple of sti rubber inserts. It is as you said, nothing world changing. You feel some difference at first, but then you get used to it. The thing is that this car was pretty good from factory and all these things offer just some small improvements.
Very astute point fine sir. I think that's a great way to think about it. The car is damn near untouchable on the handling and refinement of driver experience at this price point. As many have said, the next best handling car may be the Cayman and you're looking at double the price.

As much of an open canvas as many people say it is, I feel that lends itself way more to the aesthetics side of the car as opposed to the performance and feel of the car. That's something I'm trying to be incredibly meticulous about, which is to not upset the balance and feel of the car as it came because it is so refined and exact in its precision when handling.

Admittedly, it is quite a bummer to hear you've done many of these things and it's hardly noticeable but I guess I should've expected that. As I said, I think the only thing that truly changes this car is going forced induction. Then again, you're changing one of the key parts of the car's DNA, the way it breathes. As such, it's expected to see it change so much. I had the pleasure of driving in a Harrop equipped BRZ and let me tell you, that is addicting like no other. I won't monger like many others about how "slow" the platform is because in traffic filled Southern California I barely get to use "speed" or "torque". It is certainly lacking in overall performance output from the engine though. That I will admit. Adding a SC like the Harrop kit makes me giddy at the thought.

Lastly, not to cause too much of a shit storm here and I guess it won't because it's on my build thread but I'd love to get your opinion on throttle body modifications and pulley alterations you've done. I know it's a controversial issue in other parts of the forum but I'm an open book I'd like to hear your take on it. As opposed to everyone else saying it's wasted money (which may or may not be true). From an outsider's perspective, they seem like modifications that would be icing on the cake at best. The last of the last things I would pursue in changing the car. The reason for that is like anything else we've discussed, the changes it adds are probably minimal and hardly noticeable. Moreover, at least with other things like the STi bit you may not get much change from them but at least they are aesthetic improvements as well.

Thanks @nikitopo and I greatly look forward to hearing your response.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:28 PM   #49
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Thanks for your reply. Yes the throttle body and pulley modifications were quite controversial discussions here. A reason I focused on these mods was because it is not legal to remove the cats in Germany. So, I had a reason to search for alternatives and experiment a bit more.

The usual critique for the tb is that the stock unit is big enough and it can handle even FI applications, but the same can be said about a 2.75" or 3" exhaust. Such exhaust sizes are too big for a NA application, but even in this case there is evidence that can give a few more gains. Personally, I believe that the sweet spot for a tb is the 67-68mm size which is +2-3mm from stock. You can go even bigger, but then you're losing the tapering entrance which is also important. Toda Racing provides a 67mm unit and recently I found another vendor with the same spec. There was also some measuring from an independent shop and the gains were calculated to 225bhp from 215bhp on a car with header and exhaust. In my car I think that the gains are less, because my header is a bit better (+'17 oem) but still catted. I don't have before and after figures, but the car reads currently in virtual dyno unusually high (~189whp based on my car's weight) and the application is know to be accurate. I have one more measurement before the flywheel installation in a local dyno shop and it was also reading high (~185whp). The average of the stock cars are reading here around 160-165whp. Here is the link of the other tb vendor: https://de.part-box.com/at-power-67m...0049-504424280

About the pulley kit, I don't have much to say. I provided recently a link with formulas that provided just for the crankshaft pulley a 15kg gain in 1st gear and a 7kg gain in 2nd gear. If you add the rest of the pulleys and you under-drive a bit the alternator you are getting certainly even more. The real weight difference of the factory and an aftermarket pulley is usually 2kg, but this is before the gearing so this gain is multiplied in a low gear pull (1st, 2nd or 3rd gear). There was a similar discussion in the German forum which I find quite mature. One racing driver provides an overview of a pulley and a flywheel combination and how hard the car pulls even on slick tires and another engine designer mentions exactly the same reason of the additional weight and the extra rubber of the factory unit. That it is mainly for NVH purposes and the longevity of the belt and the external peripherals (i.e. alternator and A/C unit). You can check the discussion in Google translator:
https://translate.google.gr/translat...469b&edit-text=
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:53 PM   #50
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Thanks for your reply. Yes the throttle body and pulley modifications were quite controversial discussions here. A reason I focused on these mods was because it is not legal to remove the cats in Germany. So, I had a reason to search for alternatives and experiment a bit more.

The usual critique for the tb is that the stock unit is big enough and it can handle even FI applications, but the same can be said about a 2.75" or 3" exhaust. Such exhaust sizes are too big for a NA application, but even in this case there is evidence that can give a few more gains. Personally, I believe that the sweet spot for a tb is the 67-68mm size which is +2-3mm from stock. You can go even bigger, but then you're losing the tapering entrance which is also important. Toda Racing provides a 67mm unit and recently I found another vendor with the same spec. There was also some measuring from an independent shop and the gains were calculated to 225bhp from 215bhp on a car with header and exhaust. In my car I think that the gains are less, because my header is a bit better (+'17 oem) but still catted. I don't have before and after figures, but the car reads currently in virtual dyno unusually high (~189whp based on my car's weight) and the application is know to be accurate. I have one more measurement before the flywheel installation in a local dyno shop and it was also reading high (~185whp). The average of the stock cars are reading here around 160-165whp. Here is the link of the other tb vendor: https://de.part-box.com/at-power-67m...0049-504424280

About the pulley kit, I don't have much to say. I provided recently a link with formulas that provided just for the crankshaft pulley a 15kg gain in 1st gear and a 7kg gain in 2nd gear. If you add the rest of the pulleys and you under-drive a bit the alternator you are getting certainly even more. The real weight difference of the factory and an aftermarket pulley is usually 2kg, but this is before the gearing so this gain is multiplied in a low gear pull (1st, 2nd or 3rd gear). There was a similar discussion in the German forum which I find quite mature. One racing driver provides an overview of a pulley and a flywheel combination and how hard the car pulls even on slick tires and another engine designer mentions exactly the same reason of the additional weight and the extra rubber of the factory unit. That it is mainly for NVH purposes and the longevity of the belt and the external peripherals (i.e. alternator and A/C unit). You can check the discussion in Google translator:
https://translate.google.gr/translat...469b&edit-text=
Well @nikitopo you certainly won't get any argument from me. I have seen throttle body modifications made on many other cars including my 4th gen Ludes make a difference. As for pulleys I've always been perplexed on how people are so apt to change driveshafts for the sake of "freeing" up power through less wasted movement by converting to a 1 piece driveshaft. Yet, when it comes to new pulleys weighing less and ultimately "freeing" up some so called "restrictions" (as little as they may be in the case of pulleys) the forum is so quick to negate and dismiss it. Anyways, it is what it is and the beauty of public opinion is that is is just that, opinion. I believe we should all pursue our own desires insofar as it doesn't directly affect anyone else and in the case of pulleys, throttle body, STI Brembo conversion or otherwise, the same applies.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:16 AM   #51
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Yes driveshaft options are also good. Overall, I have a feel that such kind of mods will die as we go forward in the future. Most cars nowadays are getting turbos from factory and even the ones that don't, it is easier to install a SC than trying to get there performance wise with all these alternative and small incremental changes. People also have the tendency to change cars sooner, so they want instant results and quicker. For example high power profile camshafts was the norm in the past for NA engines. How many will do this kind of modification today and open the engine? It is more expensive and needs more time.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:41 AM   #52
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Yes driveshaft options are also good. Overall, I have a feel that such kind of mods will die as we go forward in the future. Most cars nowadays are getting turbos from factory and even the ones that don't, it is easier to install a SC than trying to get there performance wise with all these alternative and small incremental changes. People also have the tendency to change cars sooner, so they want instant results and quicker. For example high power profile camshafts was the norm in the past for NA engines. How many will do this kind of modification today and open the engine? It is more expensive and needs more time.
I think you are absolutely right @nikitopo. As much as I'd like to get the kick in the pants this car desperately needs and from my time experiencing forced induction in this car, it is very tempting and desirable but the truth remains the same. I can't get away from naturally aspirated engines. It's always been a signature of the cars I've owned and driven. Sadly, they are going away. There's something so alluring to me personally about the challenge of building power the old fashioned way and in this platform, the challenge is even tougher yet rewarding if it can be done. I've slowly seen it with the Fuji exhaust set up and I haven't even gotten a tune yet.

Still, the allure of natural aspiration to me is due to all the following that simply put, forced induction cannot match. The power band will never be nearly as linear and conventional found in FI as it is in NA platforms. Turbo lag is a real thing. NA is overall more stable and reliable. Less things are left to go wrong. The list can go on. I'm not here to shit on forced induction because I may very well go that route at one point or another. Each has it allure, there's just something so enjoyable about the challenge of building this chassis and platform on a strict NA basis.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:42 AM   #53
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It's That Time Again... This Week On BRZ3N... tS Interior Trim

I’ll start with a surprising story here but let me tell you, it’s not often I hear my fiancé support or even propose a mod for BRZ3N. That’s not to say she doesn’t support my many passions in life, including the BRZ3N build. She may not often understand the desire behind the modifications made but supports me nonetheless. I love getting her opinion on things routinely whether she understands them or not. So…when she proposed this change I had to make it happen! We’re sitting in the car one day and she tells me, “You know one thing I’ve always wanted you to change?” Excited as can be I eagerly responded “What? What? Tell me!!!”. She went on to talk about she’s never liked the silver accents that our cars come with. I must say, I concur! I don’t dislike them as much as she does, but I have always preferred the black alternatives that can be found in the tS and even the matte black interior pieces sold elsewhere.

Moreover, I recently got the chance to see a USDM tS at a dealer and was pleasantly surprised to see they came with the interior trim that had the satin black finish found in the JDM tS. I loved the way it looked and figured it was time to check that off the list of to do’s. In this case, it is what some would call a honey-do. It’s not often that I get a mod done that she inspired or talked into existence. Admittedly, it was always on my mind but her proposal to change it pushed me over the edge. Well that… and of course seeing it in person on the tS! Anyways, here it all is…






P.S. I also picked up a TRD MOMO Steering wheel a while back, so I figure I might as well catalog that into this post as well. It hasn’t been put onto BRZ3N yet. Naturally, the HyperBlue stitching prevents the ease of just throwing red stitched parts onto the car. But hey, you pay to play the game. Exclusive color and special edition? Awesome! However, the inherent changes to the interior mean an extra step or two financially to get it done correctly. Not too dissimilar from what I had to do with the armrest I’ve added.

Before signing off I just want to say thanks again for your checking out my build! I appreciate any and all support, love, compliments, questions, quandaries, concerns, critiques, etc. Less Stress, More Love!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:50 PM   #54
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I actually got rid of the JDM towerbar a while ago but I currently just have the USDM V bars and I love them. Although seeing the pics of your JDM ones makes me wish I got silver lol. The USDM ones look much more stock at first glance. I have metal camber plates and I feel like the flex in the v bars does for sure add more compliance on crappy Norcal roads.

I haven’t bought the draw stiffener yet as I haven’t found a part # for the USDM model and I may have to pull the trigger on JDM like you did.
I have the JDM ones as well but I have stopped running them as I get an odd knock noise when the body flexes running both the towerbar and v bars. As far as the USDM ones being black, I personally think its because of the altered A/C lines for the US models. They are much closer to the v bars then the JDM setup. They eventually end up scorching the outside rubber covering the ball joint so the quick fix was to make them black so they don't scorch. =)
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:51 PM   #55
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I’ll start with a surprising story here but let me tell you, it’s not often I hear my fiancé support or even propose a mod for BRZ3N. That’s not to say she doesn’t support my many passions in life, including the BRZ3N build. She may not often understand the desire behind the modifications made but supports me nonetheless. I love getting her opinion on things routinely whether she understands them or not. So…when she proposed this change I had to make it happen! We’re sitting in the car one day and she tells me, “You know one thing I’ve always wanted you to change?” Excited as can be I eagerly responded “What? What? Tell me!!!”. She went on to talk about she’s never liked the silver accents that our cars come with. I must say, I concur! I don’t dislike them as much as she does, but I have always preferred the black alternatives that can be found in the tS and even the matte black interior pieces sold elsewhere.

Moreover, I recently got the chance to see a USDM tS at a dealer and was pleasantly surprised to see they came with the interior trim that had the satin black finish found in the JDM tS. I loved the way it looked and figured it was time to check that off the list of to do’s. In this case, it is what some would call a honey-do. It’s not often that I get a mod done that she inspired or talked into existence. Admittedly, it was always on my mind but her proposal to change it pushed me over the edge. Well that… and of course seeing it in person on the tS! Anyways, here it all is…






P.S. I also picked up a TRD MOMO Steering wheel a while back, so I figure I might as well catalog that into this post as well. It hasn’t been put onto BRZ3N yet. Naturally, the HyperBlue stitching prevents the ease of just throwing red stitched parts onto the car. But hey, you pay to play the game. Exclusive color and special edition? Awesome! However, the inherent changes to the interior mean an extra step or two financially to get it done correctly. Not too dissimilar from what I had to do with the armrest I’ve added.

Before signing off I just want to say thanks again for your checking out my build! I appreciate any and all support, love, compliments, questions, quandaries, concerns, critiques, etc. Less Stress, More Love!
I have been going back and forth with adding the black interior pieces myself. How did they turn out?
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:38 AM   #56
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I have the JDM ones as well but I have stopped running them as I get an odd knock noise when the body flexes running both the towerbar and v bars. As far as the USDM ones being black, I personally think its because of the altered A/C lines for the US models. They are much closer to the v bars then the JDM setup. They eventually end up scorching the outside rubber covering the ball joint so the quick fix was to make them black so they don't scorch. =)
You sure hit the nail on the head with this one. If I had to bet, I'd completely concur with your hypothesis. That scorching is just a given based on the JDM Silver ones. I guess the true win-win is getting the JDM Silver ones and swapping out the white ball joints for the black USDM ones. That way they stand out a bit more and you don't get the scorching.

I know you considered selling your V bars before because of the knock issue and then decided against it and trying again. What was the result? Did you end up not being able to resolve the knock issue?

Also, as for the JDM tS interior pieces. I personally prefer them over the silver USDM pieces that come in our cars. I obviously still have some silver from the AC knobs and the like but to me it's definitely an improvement.

Let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks @Ethereal05
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