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Tracking / Autocross / HPDE / Drifting What these cars were built for!


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Old 09-17-2020, 09:46 AM   #1
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New With Questions

Guys... sorry for the newbie questions. I dont have a FRS/BRZ but maybe soon.

Right now, my toy is a 2018 Camaro ZL1. Picked it up to do AutoX and some Track Days but the longer I have it and the more I drive it, just not sold. Plus, not sure how I feel about learning more about track life in a $60K car. So, we are thinking of selling it. Have enough equity in it to build a pretty nice FRS/BRZ but before we jump in head first, have a few questions. I posted here as our main goal for the car is AutoX/Track Days/TT...maybe drift (we will see) but with something we can still drive on the weekends. Not a daily. Fun weekend mountain car. And something we can do some car shows and Cars & Coffee type events.

1. FRS/BRZ, any real difference and should we go one over the other?

2. The ZL1 is a Auto 10 speed trans. What is the auto in the FRS/BRZ? Does it have paddle shifters? Do you guys recommend the auto or manual for the track? I know your not a man if you dont drive a manual but the A10 in the ZL1 shifts a LOT faster than anyone can a manual. Didnt know how the auto stacks up in these cars and everyone's thoughts.

3. Anything we need to stay away from when looking for a FRS/BRZ? Anything we need to look out for? Looking for something stockish to build it. We (our company) are dealers for all major brands so we plan on doing everything ourselves.

4. Once we get a FRS/BRZ, where should we start? Any "Must Do's"?

Thank guys! Hopefully we will become a integral part of this forum one day soon...

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:16 AM   #2
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1. FRS/BRZ, any real difference and should we go one over the other?
Nothing that really maters. People will say the FRS has slightly stiffer suspension, which is true, but it's not drastically stiffer.

2. The ZL1 is a Auto 10 speed trans. What is the auto in the FRS/BRZ? Does it have paddle shifters? Do you guys recommend the auto or manual for the track? I know your not a man if you dont drive a manual but the A10 in the ZL1 shifts a LOT faster than anyone can a manual. Didnt know how the auto stacks up in these cars and everyone's thoughts.
The manual is definitely preferred and more available. And yes, there are a lot of "manuals are for men" people out there but they need to get over themselves. Yes the automatic has paddle shifters. The manual is actually faster than the automatic due to gearing. I think the official 0-60 times are 6.3s vs 7.3s

3. Anything we need to stay away from when looking for a FRS/BRZ? Anything we need to look out for? Looking for something stockish to build it. We (our company) are dealers for all major brands so we plan on doing everything ourselves.
Some of the early 2013s had a recall for valve springs. The resulting repairs actually caused quite a bit of damage themselves, particularly in the FRSs. Essentially techs using too much sealant on the rebuild, it falling into the oil, and staving the pickup tube. There is a lot of info on there about that. Coil packs before 2015 don't love heat and are known to fail under severe track duty. however most people solve the issue with gold heat tape on the coil packs. Also oil cooling ofr track duty is necessary.

4. Once we get a FRS/BRZ, where should we start? Any "Must Do's"?
As mentioned above, oil cooling is a good PM item. other than that, the route post people take is wheels/tires, coilovers, header, and tune. that recipe will give you a pretty good little toy.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:41 AM   #3
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Thank you for the reply!

So basically, 2014+ is okay. 2014/2015 and we need to look at the coil pack issue. I assume there is a upgrade for these?

I will look into adding a oil cooling system. Thank you.

And another question I failed to mention. I want to add power to this thing. How much power can you safely add before you really need to start working on the internals on the motor? Which do you prefer for the track, a supercharger or turbo? I am leaning the turbo route just for the simple fact I have never installed one nor had a car that ran one. My ZL1 is supercharged and here we supercharge things quite often. Just looking for something new and different. I am sure the turbo adds to the heat issue though.

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:51 AM   #4
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There are a plethora of turbocharger and supercharger applications available. Since you're familiar with superchargers, you'll be happy to know there are a few roots type and centrifugal, so you can go after whatever kind of power and you want.

The rods are prone to failing at high stress regardless of power output. If you address the rods, the transmission and axles are next, at around 350wtq.

300whp and 250wtq is generally the easiest balance between money spent and still being mostly unmodified- you can get there with a basic clutch upgrade and some injectors.
I definitely recommend a turbo application. It is easier to work on, it's extremely flexible for tuning and power output, and can be upgraded easily.

The turbo doesn't need to add much heat, Ptuning has a kit that mounts the turbo behind and below the engine, definitely a great option if you're tracking the car.

here's someone's channel who almost convinced me to go with Ptuning. I ended up doing a front mount turbo anyway, since it's what I'm familiar with and don't track my car.

This platform doesn't make high power easily, but is rewarding to drive if you're open to it. I definitely would suggest riding in or test driving some boosted examples in your area if you can. This car is a lot different than what you're coming from. You're going to feel a lot less robust, you're going to have no torque, and you're going to have a shorter wheelbase.

Definitely go on test drives.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:02 AM   #5
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There are a plethora of turbocharger and supercharger applications available. Since you're familiar with superchargers, you'll be happy to know there are a few roots type and centrifugal, so you can go after whatever kind of power and you want.

The rods are prone to failing at high stress regardless of power output. If you address the rods, the transmission and axles are next, at around 350wtq.

300whp and 250wtq is generally the easiest balance between money spent and still being mostly unmodified- you can get there with a basic clutch upgrade and some injectors.
I definitely recommend a turbo application. It is easier to work on, it's extremely flexible for tuning and power output, and can be upgraded easily.

The turbo doesn't need to add much heat, Ptuning has a kit that mounts the turbo behind and below the engine, definitely a great option if you're tracking the car.

This platform doesn't make high power easily, but is rewarding to drive if you're open to it. I definitely would suggest riding in or test driving some boosted examples in your area if you can. This car is a lot different than what you're coming from. You're going to feel a lot less robust, you're going to have no torque, and you're going to have a shorter wheelbase.

Definitely go on test drives.
This worries me a bit. Ideally I was wanting to be in the 400HP+ area but didnt know how feasible that is wit these. Not a deal breaker but just a idea of where I was hoping to be.

I know this will be a different animal than the ZL1. I get that. Love the look of the car (we talked about getting one when they first came out but kids). I just have seen where people have had success with them on the track over the years so that is why we are thinking of picking one up to play with.

And I wish there was someone around with a boosted one. All the ones I know of around here are sitting on the ground all "stanced" out or whatever they call it. So no luck there.

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:04 AM   #6
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Ah forgot about the Turbo comment. Never heard of the PTuning one. I like the idea of getting it out and away from the engine. Didnt know anyone made them for this platform.

How is the Greddy turbo setup? We are a Greddy dealer. Without digging and looking to much into them yet, this is the way I was thinking of going. Just the name usually associated with quality and we are can get them at a discount.

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
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1. FRS/BRZ, any real difference and should we go one over the other?

The FRS is not "stiffer". There is a .5-1.0 km/mm difference in spring rates. The FRS having a larger difference front to rear than the BRZ. The BRZ has more comfort options while the FRS is the stripped model/less expensive.

2. The ZL1 is a Auto 10 speed trans. What is the auto in the FRS/BRZ? Does it have paddle shifters? Do you guys recommend the auto or manual for the track? I know your not a man if you dont drive a manual but the A10 in the ZL1 shifts a LOT faster than anyone can a manual. Didnt know how the auto stacks up in these cars and everyone's thoughts.

I drove an auto once and liked it compared to most any other shifted auto. Responsive.

3. Anything we need to stay away from when looking for a FRS/BRZ? Anything we need to look out for? Looking for something stockish to build it. We (our company) are dealers for all major brands so we plan on doing everything ourselves.

2015 and up if youre tracking. No coil pack issues because they updated the engine harness/coils. And they are outside the valve spring recall.

4. Once we get a FRS/BRZ, where should we start? Any "Must Do's"?

Tires, brake pads, and bushings. Either replace the bushings with new stock or go aftermarket.

Thank guys! Hopefully we will become a integral part of this forum one day soon...

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Krawl View Post
This worries me a bit. Ideally I was wanting to be in the 400HP+ area but didnt know how feasible that is wit these. Not a deal breaker but just a idea of where I was hoping to be.
Ah forgot about the Turbo comment. Never heard of the PTuning one. I like the idea of getting it out and away from the engine. Didnt know anyone made them for this platform.

How is the Greddy turbo setup? We are a Greddy dealer. Without digging and looking to much into them yet, this is the way I was thinking of going. Just the name usually associated with quality and we are can get them at a discount.
-Krawl
I'll let @CSG Mike handle track stuff, but the Greddy kit is great, people find a lot of success with it. 400+whp IS easily had, but to be track reliable, you're looking at a lot of $ to do so. Transmission swap or upgraded gears alone are in the realm of $6,000, upgraded axles are about $1,000, you'll need a built engine, a lot of cooling work, etc.
Mike can share his track proven setup with you- aero is another huge expense. Maybe a balance to consider would be getting the car,leaving it stock to see if you enjoy tracking it without a lot of power before deciding on power level needs? @pgranberg11 also tracks his turbo car and was originally supercharged, he may have valuable insight for you.
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Old 09-17-2020, 11:36 AM   #9
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Thank you for the feedback! As for the cost, I agree but coming from the ZL1 world, everything seems a lot cheaper. Just the wing for my ZL1 was $4k. I can almost do a widebody kit on the FRS for that (not saying I am). I also failed to mention, I own a shop and we can do all the labor inhouse. That is not a issue.

I would be interested in hearing from those two guys. Hopefully they chime in.

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 12:19 PM   #10
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@Krawl welcome to the forum. Here's a good thread on tracking the AT that may help you.

I do own an AT, and have put 170,000 glorious miles on it, although none of it on a track.

The MT is faster than the AT in 0-60, but that's primarily a lack of launch control since the AT will do 60 in 2nd gear and the MT requires a late shift to third 3rd. Of course, that's a moot point since you can't retro launch control, but they would be closer, I think, on a rolling start test.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:27 PM   #11
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1. FRS/BRZ, any real difference and should we go one over the other? 2015 or newer, 2013-2014 is fine but if you go that route, which you can get a great deal, invest in the 2015 OEM Coil packs and corresponding engine wiring harness - this will allow you to avoid the CEL that comes from the 2013 coils failing due to heat

2. The ZL1 is a Auto 10 speed trans. What is the auto in the FRS/BRZ? Does it have paddle shifters? Do you guys recommend the auto or manual for the track? I know your not a man if you dont drive a manual but the A10 in the ZL1 shifts a LOT faster than anyone can a manual. Didnt know how the auto stacks up in these cars and everyone's thoughts. Your preference - however since you're not building a race car or a time trial car, then I must assume you're on track solely for the sake of FUN - in which case I recommend a MT because there's something very satisfyingly about nailing a rev match or perfecting heal-toe-double-clutch.

3. Anything we need to stay away from when looking for a FRS/BRZ? Anything we need to look out for? Looking for something stockish to build it. We (our company) are dealers for all major brands so we plan on doing everything ourselves. I think you'll initially be surprised what you can achieve with intake/exhaust/tune - even on pump gas.
If you start adding FI you'll be chasing heat management to retain reliability.


4. Once we get a FRS/BRZ, where should we start? Any "Must Do's"? Keep heat out. Oil Cooler, brake ducts are a huge help. Check out my latest post in my T4 Build thread for a easy example to keep heat away from the Diff and CV joint which increases Diff fluid and CV life. If you get a header - get it coated/wrapped to keep heat out of the engine bay or take your OEM header and have the cat replaced with collector so you can retain the OEM heat shields. Run a thicker engine oil for track use, at least a xW-30 with cooler, xW-40 or so without. The OEM radiator is plenty on a NA engine. I do recommend zip tying some 1/4" screen behind your bumper grill to keep rocks/debris from putting your radiator (or A/C condenser) at risk.

Thank guys! Hopefully we will become a integral part of this forum one day soon...

-Krawl
My comments are mostly focused on keeping you on track aka reliability.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:50 PM   #12
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@rice_classic, thank you sir! Do you have a rough ball park on the pre 2015 needed coil packs and harness upgrade? Are these dealership only items or can they be found aftermarket?

-Krawl
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:53 PM   #13
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@rice_classic, thank you sir! Do you have a rough ball park on the pre 2015 needed coil packs and harness upgrade? Are these dealership only items or can they be found aftermarket?

-Krawl
I bought OEM coils from subaru parts dealer online instead of going to in-person stealership. I was going to buy the engine harness used, found several on ebay, but then the new harness from subaru online retailer wasn't much more so I just spent the dough and bought a new one. You do have to take off the intake manifold to change that harness - but that's a good time to familiarize yourself with the engine and even clean the intake runners as well (if needed).
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Old 09-17-2020, 02:05 PM   #14
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What did you spend, ballpark, if you dont mind me asking?

-Krawl
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