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Old 10-15-2014, 01:20 AM   #1
fatalelement
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FatalElement's 2015 FR-S Project Thread

Hey guys! Finally joined the club with a '15 FR-S about two months ago. Had a few early initial visions, but being a grad student, I have to plan vaguely cheap. I know everyone says "you gotta pay to play", but if that were true we'd all have a different car or an engine swap or a full carbon body so I'm going to make what I make of it!

Planned
4.7~4.8 Final Drive swap

Mods List

Body
BaysonR OE Style Rear Bumper Diffuser
BaysonR CS Style Side Skirts
BaysonR ST Style Front Lip
JDM Toyota GT86 Badge Set
Winjet headlights w/ Morimoto HID

Suspension/Brakes
Tein H-Tech Springs
Whiteline 18mm Heavy Duty Rear Sway Bar (Stiffest setting, obviously, to undo the "safer" 2015 front sway bar change)
Project Mu NS400 Pads (Front)
Motul RBF600 Fluid

Under the Hood/Exhaust
OpenFlash Tablet + Tune + E85
GrimmSpeed Pulley Cover / Tool Tray
GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace
Password:JDM Engine Bay Dress Kit
Password:JDM Strut Tower Brace
Motul 8100 0w-20
HKS Oil Filter (Maybe a bad idea, we'll find out!!)
For track days: HKS Hi-Power Single Exit Racing Exhaust
For street: Lachute Performance Catback

Interior

JDM Red Leather Shift Knob
Schroth Racing Ralleye Cross 3 ASM 4-Point Harnesses
Cipher Auto Harness Bar
Diode Dynamics Red LED Lighting - Map/Dome Light and Trunk Light

Before you read all the nonsense, I'll just open up with current pics:






Delivery!

Actually a random pickup - I had been thinking of getting one for a while, and the finances were all right and the person to whom I was selling my old car (A 2003 camry with 170k miles that we've had since it was new, it served me well on almost 10 across-the-country (CA to MI/NY) trips) had everything in order too. I went from school to the dealer, they had my second choice color on the lot, and I signed the paperwork and went home with it! One of the best days I've had in a long time. I'm a terrible person and completely ignored break-in as I didn't know that was a thing, so I'm sure I will be changing the oil and putting in a neodymium drain plug in case that wasn't a great call but I do have an engineering degree and a lot of the "break-in" period evidence is questionable - I know the manual says it, but the manual says a lot of stuff. To each their own.


Me at the dealer with my car! Looking about as haggard as a 1st year law student should. I have since shaved and re-lost some weight.... lol


The baby at night after driving around LA with an old friend who was back in town. Not missing my Camry one bit.


Me at the gym the next day... walked to the door and couldn't help myself. My camry is becoming a distant memory....


The modifications! (Why we're all here anyway)


Couldn't leave it stock for long... I like form as much as function so I drove down to Password:JDM and bought the engine bay dress kit and a strut tower brace. My garage light was out, so I put it in by lantern. I live in a very obnoxiously nice neighborhood, so I got a lot of shady looks working on a car in my own driveway, like people didn't know that was a thing lol.


The next day - all done and looking pretty!


The next piece - @GrimmSpeed 's pulley cover. I purchased Password:JDM's strut tower brace, but I don't really like it. I'll be looking for one from @GrimmSpeed next time I have the money to "throw away", in the sense that the PWJDM one is functional but requires constant maintenance and the GS one seems more reliable and matches the pulley cover. It's a matter of convenience.
The PWJDM one requires almost weekly re-tightening on the large black-ringed hex bolts you can see at the terminal ends of the red bar. The tower plates (the black, shaped, larger pieces) are separate, but lay at a slight angle to the bar itself. You are told by PWJDM to install these first, and put the bar on top. Unfortunately, as they aren't level even on a brand new car, one of the allen bolts on each side gets a fair amount of strain from trying to push these two surfaces together. Often, after canyon runs or long drives under a lot of heat, one or both of these has loosened enough that I can move it with my finger. I have to keep an allen wrench in the car with me because of this. I do not find this acceptable at all, but I doubt PWJDM will take a return and I honestly don't really want a new one. Just kinda want to get rid of it once I can get a GrimmSpeed replacement in red.
The pulley cover install was obviously easy, and the @GrimmSpeed pulley cover looks great. I thought the tool tray was kind of a gimmick as until now I had never worked on my own car, but I quickly learned in the first few days putting in the PWJDM engine bay dress kit how many places there are to put things and forget them, or put things and have them roll off into a terrible, terrible recess of the engine bay. I use it every time I pop the hood. It is the best idea ever.

Some exterior work...


I signed up for the @GrimmSpeed bounty program and am now looking into the contingency sponsorship for autocross... but they sent me for about $20 if I remember correctly a windshield decal as part of the package. This seemed like a good deal, and I had such a good experience dealing with them, and their name/logo are awesome, so I figured "what the hell".
Some might call it rice, but I figured I'd throw it on and see how I like it. As you can see from the later pictures, the fact that the car is white (and the new, whiter white for '15) makes this work. Otherwise, this would probably look really shitty or obnoxious. I find it at the acceptable limit of "in your face".


The car on a longer canyon run in a turnout in the Malibu mountains. This would be the first time I triggered all the driving aids in one turn *fond memories*. I was just learning the car, and my previous "driving" experience was in cars that were much more powerful and heavy, and was a little dated, so I got cocky. I see why driving aids are banned in a lot of competitions - they are pretty good at saving your ass from flying off a mountain. I hit a bump I wasn't expecting, got some air at an angle coming into a curve so the wheels hit the road at different times still transmitting drive (I knew enough not to slam the brakes). Made it home. Learned my lesson.

Back to the modifications


A harness bar from @Cipher Auto that I bought form @Redline360. I made a costly mistake stripping one of my shoulder bolts, and before really checking with the harness bar, bought a new seatbelt assembly because I knew that since it's a lease, if the worst were to happen, I'd want a not mangled bolt back in there.
Some people were surprised, but I checked multiple dealers (Subaru and Toyota/Scion) and they do not sell this bolt alone. Literally, it's the only bolt in the entire seatbelt assembly that isn't sold individually. They won't match it because of safety issues, but the lady at my home dealership working parts has a dad who owns a racing garage and she pities me, giving me their at-cost price, which she showed me in the system to prove it to me and worked with me to try and find any other solution.
I found out that the stock bolts don't fit, which wasn't entirely clear in the Cipher Auto directions for the harness bar. I did not receive the shoulder bolts from Redline360 in the package, but since there was no parts list and no picture instructions, I did not really notice the error. I was finally able to find a great hardware store to sell me the right bolts, in the highest grade hardened steel I could find.
I was also able to install the bar without cutting the pillars - I removed the trim and left the trim pieces off. It looks perfectly clean and isn't an issue - it's not like a large metal bar with harnesses attached to it is subtle anyway so the slightest bit of exposed chassis is really negligible.
I'll post more pics when I get a chance!
I do love the bar, despite a ~$300 seatbelt assembly mistake and the runaround with Cipher and such. To be fair, they didn't really understand my issue because they assumed I had the right bolts. The bar fits right and despite the hassle fitting everything in evenly, it looks good and feels safe.


In place and ready to go!


Schroth ASM four-point harness came in today - I installed it (bolt-in) and ran the stock belt behind the seat to keep it permanently buckled. No rattling or anything from the OEM belt, and the Schroth fits pretty well. I'm a really tall guy (6'3" and some change) so the harness isn't the world's best fit. I might re-adjust some things - the ASM buckle stops me from getting too much slack tightened up, but I can't get TOO close to the wheel (I extended it towards me as much as possible to get good driving position) as I am a special kind of tall where I am all legs. When I sit down I'm not taller than 5'6"+ people, so in a car I need to be somewhat back or my knees extend into the dash. This means I can't get too close to the wheel, so I have too much slack in the shoulder sometimes. I can pull the "pump" lever to raise and bring in the seat a bit, and this tightens it up, but my head gets kinda close and I am now sitting high. With a helmet on, it's hard to get a perfect fit. I may try to move the bar's angle a bit in the future when I have some time to get an extra 1-3" of distance between the seat and the bar so I can fit it better. For now, though, pretty comfortable despite no shoulder pads.


Close-up


Dipped the wheels this week - like the look. Did the badges too. Will get pictures later.

Adventures in Painting - Part I


Used some standard high-temperature/outdoor paint that is enamel clearcoat and paint in one. Coated the fluid caps and sealed them, though you'll notice I missed the underside of the wiper fluid one. I also did the fuse cover and the engine cover. Considering the airbox too, but I want to think about the color scheme and avoid just going "all red", and maybe think about some contrast. Pretty happy with how it looks, and the paint is heat-proof until about the melting point of ABS plastic, so if it ever breaks 200F inside my engine bay I have a LOT of other problems to worry about before the paint.



Engine cover detail


Fuse cover detail


Coolant cap detail - was still a little gummy and shiny, and also I clearly took a bit of paint off putting it on. I hadn't planned on leaving, so all the caps were drying, and then I suddenly had to leave and really didn't want to drive without my caps on. I'll redo it later.


Brake fluid cap detail


I also hit the shifter trim - plastidipped the gear indicator (I can drive manual very well and don't care that I drive an auto - but I think the lights and colors and letters really broke up the clean look so I wanted to reversibly cover it.)
I like the way the red looks and am considering doing all the silver cabin accents red to match the engine and lighting, like the two silver runners under the head unit and the door handles. It'll match the stitching better and the seatbelts, so I'm interested in seeing how that ends up looking.

ADVENTURES IN PAINTING, PART 2



Finally ditched the PWJDM strut tower brace, since a) the benefit from a STB is super minimal compared to like anything else and b) since it was mainly a nice but functional piece of trim, and it doesn't match anymore, I colored the smaller braces and placed the PWJDM one in the garage for now. I feel like it's the right amount of color - looking for a good complimentary color (maybe a nice, vivid neon green?) for some tubing and sleeving for tubes. Who knows. I'll play it by ear (and eye).

OTHER MODS

ProClip mount for phone running Torque and bluetooth OBDII monitor
  • These things are incredible. Best phone mount ever. No jiggle at all.
Red interior lighting - dome light and trunk from @Diode Dynamics
  • Matches my interior/exterior theme and the engine bay. Nice and bright, but the downside is that it's the worst to read things or find things by red light. Turns out, it's apparently considered a good military/urban tactical light source as it's hard to tell where red light is coming from. It's also not a very good way to find small things in a black/red car. Food also is all red, so it's really disconcerting to eat at night if you do a food run.
@GrimmSpeed Master Cylinder Brace
  • This is a great upgrade. The construction is top-notch as usual from GrimmSpeed, but the real improvement is the pedal feel. Totally different. I ended up almost getting rear ended once or twice the first day because I stopped so much faster than I expected. Really helps in sudden/aggressive braking - no more pedal slop.
Angel's Electronics Backup Cam
  • I went to the titular LA electronics shop, looking for a beatsonic cam. For some reason, the owner talked me into a non-beatsonic cam, which I ended up being fine with as it was less conspicuous and had a better angle (don't remember brand). It's right under the rear logo in the trunk recess, and is pretty good. I love it, as I can really back the car up all the way and not worry. The owner had some trouble because I did not have the Bespoke unit, but he called Beatsonic and spent a lot of time figuring it out as the '15 touchscreen standard head unit is a bit different and he had never done one. It was a long drive, so he bought me some beverages and tacos to compensate. He eventually threw in some rear license plate LEDs for free. Later, my door-open light was on permanently, and it turned out one of his guys had soldered the ground poorly. He got me more food as an apology. Not really his fault, and great customer service.
Nameless Performance 5" Muffled Single Exit Track Pipe
  • Picked this one up from a fellow FT86club member - looks great, sounds great, but the drone is sometimes rough. 2500 is where it starts to get awful with the windows up, but cracking them fixes it. The one downside is you can't really do the freeway for a long time - the drone is right at cruising speed at like 70-75, so you just have to run it a gear down at higher RPM to cut the noise. It's definitely a bit loud for DD, but I'm a quiet guy with sensitive ears. Some people actually DD straight pipes so who knows. Cheap ($200), beautiful, and well-made. Easy install. Will post pics later.

THE TRACK

So, against the evidence of many, I went to the track mostly stock. Turns out in the blue group at Auto Club Speedway, people weren't going too fast (first two sessions were lead-follow) so I never messed my brakes up. Someone on here asked me if I was apex braking. Ha ha. No one in blue went that fast. I hit 120, but I was able to catch up to the people in front of me in corners pretty fast.



Checkin' all the dress nuts and double-checking my coolant and such!




Not really hitting the apex here, but close enough haha.




Pretty cool shot of me crossing the line with the checkered flag!

All in all a great weekend - my first time on an actual track as a driver, so I had a lot of learning to do. Have footage of a lot of it I might post later - helmet cam, roll bar cam, and tow hook cam (moved my GoPro between runs). My brake fluid is a little cloudy and braking not as great - my fluid might not be so hot. Pads seem fine, but I'm changing my fluid to Motul 600 as soon as I have a chance this weekend. Gonna pick up some EBC pads, and maybe new rotors before the end of the year.

Last edited by fatalelement; 09-28-2015 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:02 AM   #2
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I can't see any of your pics except for the part after plans.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:03 AM   #3
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I can't see any of your pics except for the part after plans.
I will go ahead and fix that then thanks for the heads up

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Old 10-15-2014, 02:19 AM   #4
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I can't see any of your pics except for the part after plans.
Should be all fixed!
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:21 AM   #5
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Yup! Good job!
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:44 AM   #6
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Well written, properly formatted. If I were a teacher I'd give you a A+ lol

Big plans! Not a fan of the body kit but it will certainly be unique. Congrats on the car, and happy driving
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:48 AM   #7
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Well written, properly formatted. If I were a teacher I'd give you a A+ lol

Big plans! Not a fan of the body kit but it will certainly be unique. Congrats on the car, and happy driving
I'm in law school haha, comes with the territory.

I'm mostly going to start with the front bumper and see where it goes from there. I know it's a more extreme one, so people either like it or hate it, but the upside is I've only ever seen one other (a brz) in the US with it (in a magazine). Nowhere sells these in the US so they'll be rare. Not that I dislike the 86 look, but I would enjoy it being hard to recognize past the general shape. Wanted something unique and loved the kinda lambo/"evo but better" look to it and the LEDs were a nice plus.

The wing is gross as hell though I won't argue that with anyone.

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Old 10-15-2014, 05:27 PM   #8
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Will reformat later, but for now - here are the exhaust and MCB

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Old 10-15-2014, 05:28 PM   #9
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:25 PM   #10
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You are leasing the car and doing all this work?
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:30 PM   #11
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You are leasing the car and doing all this work?
It was a lease in the beginning, for a few complicated and unimportant reasons, but I'm probably going to finance out of the lease now that I'm keeping it. I'm not super deep in monetarily on mods yet so I can still pretend it makes sense.... Haha.

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Old 10-15-2014, 09:34 PM   #12
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When i read RB V1. Kit I was gonna say, I dont think leases allow you to cut fenders and rivet on wider ones hahaha
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:47 AM   #13
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Nice car bud. Do you ever take it into service at the SM dealer? I'm asking because I'm a tech there haha
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:08 AM   #14
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Nice car bud. Do you ever take it into service at the SM dealer? I'm asking because I'm a tech there haha
Oh cool hey! Not yet, but my coolant is a bit low (halfway, which seems low for so new) so I might take off the strut brace and bring it in. How mean are you guys about mods? I have no tune or anything.

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