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Old 10-25-2021, 11:03 AM   #1
Lakitu
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Regrets that are my own fault

This is just a rant about my dumbass decisions.
Was new to cars back in 2017, learned some things, then lost interest because my mistakes outweighed the enjoyment of learning and progressing.

Long story short, I modded my car and regret everything I've done. I wish I could just go back to stock everything. Stock was incredibly fun on those tiny 17" tires and stock struts that I've taken for granted. Now I've got 18" wheels and spent over $5,000 on trying different coilovers and the car is far less fun with an additional overall $10,000 in aftermarket parts that the car never even needed and hasn't even been used for their intended purpose (performance/tracking). I was dumb and I am regretting my choices. I wish I had done more research. I wish I hadn't followed suggestions too trusting and too quickly. It sucks to be a beginner and to know for sure what works and what doesn't, you have to take blind leaps of faith and spend so much money.

I made the mistakes of assuming car mods were upgrades. I've learned that car mods are actually compromises for adjustability to track the car at the cost of comfort. Seems the general consensus is if you aren't tracking the car, there is zero reason to mod.

The good news is I am close to paying the car off, and I feel like I'm going to immediately sell it and either get something basic or get another one, which is probably dumb considering how much time and money I've already spent on the one I have. Some would say its perfectly fine, just needs my screw-ups reversed by someone more educated on car comfort than I am. It's mostly just my frustration speaking.

I've been thinking about getting something conventional that I won't be tempted to modify. Like a Corolla or something basic and less flashy. But that will cost me even more time parting out the 86, or selling it as-is and taking a huge loss. not to mention another car payment after finishing this one after 5 years of payments. I could have purchased a corvette for the same monthly payment. Not trying to spend anymore money than I already have, but I'm stuck with my screw ups until I either spend more money to fix them, or I abandon the car. I'm tired of working on my car. I have all the tools I need but have no desire or motivation to get under it anymore unlike I used to. Tired of there being no shops around willing to touch anything that has been modded. "Sure we can install struts, but we won't install coilovers" literally the same exact process. I get it, though. There are probably more liability risks/issues with aftermarket. I had so many big plans lined up, and all of them are unnecessary and pulling the car further away from what I really enjoyed about the car. I'm glad I'm stopping now to re-assess things before anymore huge commitments like throwing the JDL turbo on it.

This car was so wonderful before I touched it. I remember when I used to smile a lot driving my car. I miss the car I had, even though I still have it. I wish I could go back to those early days. The regret is real. I wish I had friends who own one and are experienced, so they can tell me exactly wtf I've done wrong. The only way to fix things is to drop more money and more time, with no guarantee that things will be better. In all of this I at least found more appreciation for stock cars a lot more than I did before. When a stock BRZ or FT86 rolls past me, I'm filled with so much envy.

Anyway, I'm done bitching. Doesn't solve anything. I'll figure it out. I've got plenty of options. Just need to decide which one. Don't know whether to stay and fix, or move on, or start over.
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Last edited by Lakitu; 10-25-2021 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 10-25-2021, 11:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lakitu View Post
This is just a rant about my dumbass decisions.
Was new to cars back in 2017, learned some things, then lost interest because my mistakes outweighed the enjoyment of learning and progressing.

Long story short, I modded my car and regret everything I've done. I wish I could just go back to stock everything. Stock was incredibly fun on those tiny 17" tires and stock struts that I've taken for granted. Now I've got 18" wheels and spent over $5,000 on trying different coilovers and the car is far less fun with an additional overall $10,000 in aftermarket parts that the car never even needed and hasn't even been used for their intended purpose (performance/tracking). I was dumb and I am regretting my choices. I wish I had done more research. I wish I hadn't followed suggestions too trusting and too quickly. It sucks to be a beginner and to know for sure what works and what doesn't, you have to take blind leaps of faith and spend so much money.

I made the mistakes of assuming car mods were upgrades. I've learned that car mods are actually compromises for adjustability to track the car at the cost of comfort. Seems the general consensus is if you aren't tracking the car, there is zero reason to mod.

The good news is I am close to paying the car off, and I feel like I'm going to immediately sell it and either get something basic or get another one, which is probably dumb considering how much time and money I've already spent on the one I have. Some would say its perfectly fine, just needs my screw-ups reversed by someone more educated on car comfort than I am. It's mostly just my frustration speaking.

I've been thinking about getting something conventional that I won't be tempted to modify. Like a Corolla or something basic and less flashy. But that will cost me even more time parting it out, or selling as-is will be taking a huge loss. not to mention another car payment after finishing this one after 5 years of payments. I could have purchased a corvette for the same monthly payment. Not trying to spend anymore money than I already have, but I'm stuck with my screw ups until I either spend more money to fix them, or I abandon the car. I'm tired of working on my car. I have all the tools I need but have no desire or motivation to get under it anymore unlike I used to. Tired of there being no shops around willing to touch anything that has been modded. "Sure we can install struts, but we won't install coilovers" literally the same exact process. I get it, though. There are probably more liability risks/issues with aftermarket. I had so many big plans lined up, and all of them are unnecessary and pulling the car further away from what I really enjoyed about the car. I'm glad I'm stopping now to re-assess things before anymore huge commitments like throwing the JDL turbo on it.

This car was so wonderful before I touched it. I remember when I used to smile a lot driving my car. I miss the car I had, even though I still have it. I wish I could go back to those early days. The regret is real. I wish I had friends who own one and are experienced, so they can tell me exactly wtf I've done wrong. The only way to fix things is to drop more money and more time, with no guarantee that things will be better. In all of this I at least found more appreciation for stock cars a lot more than I did before. When a stock BRZ or FT86 rolls past me, I'm filled with so much envy.

Anyway, I'm done bitching. Doesn't solve anything. I'll figure it out. I've got plenty of options. Just need to decide which one. Don't know whether to stay and fix, or move on, or start over.
Well said. Its very hard to not get sucked into it.
Perhaps you can tell us what mods you have done and what aims you have and we could try and help out.

OE stock coilovers from MY18 onwards will make it smooth

Stock wheels and tyres will give you that handling back provided you have not sold them on.

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Old 10-25-2021, 11:26 AM   #3
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Yea, usually a good idea to know where you want to go before you hit the trail.
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brz-123 View Post
Well said. Its very hard to not get sucked into it.
Perhaps you can tell us what mods you have done and what aims you have and we could try and help out.

OE stock coilovers from MY18 onwards will make it smooth

Stock wheels and tyres will give you that handling back provided you have not sold them on.

Sent from my SM-G781B using Tapatalk
I had only four goals that I thought were pretty tame when I started out.

- I want to reduce the wheel gap to 2" or 2 fingers - Achieved, but at a substantial loss to highway stability and lowspeed comfort

- I want the exhaust to sound deeper with "subie rumble" - Achieved, but didn't consider the louder highs. Rev higher than 3K RPMS in 1st-3rd just to get going makes me feel embarrassed as it sounds like I am trying to race. Stock exhaust was less obnoxious even while hard on the throttle.

- I want black wheels - Achieved, but didn't consider going up to 18" would affect the car. Should have stayed with 17" and been more aware of wheel weight.

- I want a nice cosmetic shifter - Achieved, but didn't consider the smooth brushed aluminum feel would make it easier for my hand to slip off.

All the other parts, like the tower brace, master cylinder brace, rotors, brakes, steel brakelines, bushings and engine mounts, carbon fiber drive shaft, coilovers, lower control arms and toe arms, motul gear oil, etc - were all unnecessary and I could've done without. I went overboard for no positive reason. I've no one to blame but myself.

The only thing that did offer more comfort and value to my ride (but was a pain to install for me) were the shifter springs. Ran me only $33 and a couple hours, but was a huge quality added to the car at no compromise. I wouldn't install them again myself, though.

Very close to just going down to Toyota and getting stock struts thrown on for whatever it costs. I don't have the OEM top hats (so my suspension options are limited) or the OEM wheels anymore.

If you want to take a look at the damage, full build is in the link below in my signature.
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Last edited by Lakitu; 10-25-2021 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:15 PM   #5
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I had only four goals that I thought were pretty tame when I started out.
This thread should be stickied. Props to you for your candor and humility. This kind of experience is the best teacher and we've all done it. If you've sold your stock parts, keep an eye out for others selling theirs, or buy some salvage ones. Shocks/struts/springs are easy to obtain. Wheels too. You can restore the original balance pretty easily.
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lakitu View Post
This is just a rant about my dumbass decisions.


Anyway, I'm done bitching. Doesn't solve anything. I'll figure it out. I've got plenty of options. Just need to decide which one. Don't know whether to stay and fix, or move on, or start over.
Welp, ol humfrz tried ta tell ya so -

Now that ya done fucked up your car - consider it a lesson learned -

I'm glad I never did anything stupid to a car. Brings to mind the time I put 3 single barrel carburetors on the stove bolt 6 of my 1937 Chevrolet Pickup.

Yep, if one was good - three would be even better - right? And if progressive linkage was good, straight linkage would be even better - right?

So what, that I made the intake manifold by welding (sort of) the intakes for the two end carbs by welding two pieces of galvanized water pipes to the cast iron intake manifold with an arc welder. You welders out there will get a kick out of THAT piece of work -

OK, after getting two more carbs out of a junk yard, fabricating a fuel block and designing some linkage, and installing everything, I was ready for ....... the big run.

I pulled out on the road in front of our farm ..... and let-er rip. WOW! what a rush, I was cooking on down the road when smoke and flames came out from under the hood. I immediately stopped, opened the hood and saw the the engine was in fire - so I kept grabbing dirt out of the ditch and throwing it on the engine till the flames died down.

(and here all along, I'll betcha you thought the "flames" on the old hot rods were "fake" -

Yep, I was a modder from the waaay back -

And then there was the time when I ....... oh, never mind --

NOW, all I do under the hood of a car is to check the fluids -

THE END
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Old 10-25-2021, 01:46 PM   #7
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I mean, it's nice that you're recognizing these things but I don't see the point of this post? All of your mods are pretty easily reversible.

Swapping suspension back to stock will take 4 hours. You can get top hats cheap from rock auto.

You can get lower and maintain the majority of the ride comfort, just use OEM shocks and something like an eibach prokit.

Go to 17" wheels and sell your wheels/tires.

You can keep the header and run everything after the header OEM, and will sound nearly OEM.

You said it yourself, this was due to lack of research on your part. This will happen with nearly any hobby if you're not researching what you're investing into.

Sorry you feel bummed about it, hope you get everything sorted.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:06 PM   #8
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I mean, it's nice that you're recognizing these things but I don't see the point of this post? All of your mods are pretty easily reversible.

Swapping suspension back to stock will take 4 hours. You can get top hats cheap from rock auto.

You can get lower and maintain the majority of the ride comfort, just use OEM shocks and something like an eibach prokit.

Go to 17" wheels and sell your wheels/tires.

You can keep the header and run everything after the header OEM, and will sound nearly OEM.

You said it yourself, this was due to lack of research on your part. This will happen with nearly any hobby if you're not researching what you're investing into.

Sorry you feel bummed about it, hope you get everything sorted.
You can do all that, but still not recover a large amount of what he spent. I think that is the point of his post. He spent a lot on mods and they didn't make the car what he thought they would and the car would be better on the street mostly stock. I wish more people understood this, watching people talk about the difference parts make gives me a headache. Change does not automatically equal better.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:10 PM   #9
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Regrets that are my own fault

Thanks for sharing, Iíll echo the posts above, Grab a used set of 2017+ OEM shocks and springs, and put a set of 17x7.5 or 17x7 wheels on with a good 215 width tire.

Iím willing to bet that alone will make you a happy camper. You can do this for ~$1000 USD, you can sell your other parts to make the money back.

You can fix the exhaust by running a stock mid pipe and muffler, or Iíd actually recommend going stock header and frontpipe and then run a catback. Catless just isnít worth it on these cars IMO.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:11 PM   #10
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What's the old rule?

It's better to regret something you HAVE done than to regret something you HAVEN'T done.

This car was marketed as WIP. It came out like a blank canvas, prepped and ready for the new owner to color it in. Even before it was available, aftermarket companies were whetting our appetites with chrome exhausts, sporty rims and gains, gains, gains. Looks at how they are marketing the new GR86?

We were lead down the primrose path, believing we could turn our little NA 2-doors into world-class sports cars. The truth was (and is) that they are perfectly capable just as they are.
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Old 10-25-2021, 02:33 PM   #11
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Like everyone says above, buying OE parts used is easy and cheap as many go down the modding path and you can sell your aftermarket parts on.

Suspension , easy
Wheels and tyres easy
OE exhaust easy. You could get stock back box and bolt that on to quieten or go other way by getting stock headers and selling your UEL on.

All the best and thanks for sharing

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Old 10-25-2021, 03:29 PM   #12
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Part of the reason why I didn't want to touch the suspension/wheels of my car too much. Toyota engineers did everything well and I didn't want to mess up the handling with mismatched parts from different companies.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:54 PM   #13
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Part of the reason why I didn't want to touch the suspension/wheels of my car too much. Toyota engineers did everything well and I didn't want to mess up the handling with mismatched parts from different companies.
To be fair there is a middle ground between staying stock and lowering your car 2 inches.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:59 PM   #14
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Thank you for your humility in sharing this. It's a great reminder for all of us.
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