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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Making plans for some upgrades and modifications to my 92 VR4 in the drive train department and I'm looking for any input. Very much a well maintained street car with some autoX and HPDE aspirations. Only breathing mods and vac reduction to the engine. Slapped on a old school Maximal Stg2 Transfer case brace for some peace of mind and 2nd gen shifter with all the prescribed bushings to improve shift quality. Fresh hawk pads and powerslot rotors. Lightweight seats on lowered corbeau brackets and sliders and a MOMO wheel on an NRG QR hub.

Been piling up parts within my low budget to further my progress. Used Tein S-Tech Springs im currently cleaning up for fresh paint will be the next move. Also, just acquired some front and rear motor mounts that will get polyurethane inserts after stumbling across this thread:

https://www.3si.org/forum/f1/convert-your-oem-motor-mounts-polys-20-a-688658/

Similarly, I was concerned about other driveline weakspots and found a thread on the other forum to make my own polyurethane rear diff bushings. though I cannot post a link, it can be found with a quick search of: 3000GT DIY poly rear diff bushings.


So I've got those parts inbound as well. Looks like a great alternative to the pricier, and possibly harsher aluminum ones I found available.

Looking for tips on wheel selection for track and autox days as my stockers with Achilles ATR Sport 2 work exceptionally on the street. Would like to go 17X9 et30 with a focus on lighter weight. have a set of pilot sport cup 2 stored for whatever wheels I pick.

Any other areas to give attention to? The car is driven mostly in a "spirited" fashion and will be pushed in a few events this upcoming season.
 

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Weird, I autoX'd my VR4 in NEPA SCCA back when I lived in Williamsport, PA and also drove an XJ. (Which was ... gasp ... 10 years ago) Are you me from the past?

Anyway from my AutoX experience with my old VR-4, your thoughts seem consistent with what I found made the most improvements. Make it change direction easier by removing weight and improving grip, and then make sure it throws off heat as best it can since it generates a ton of it. Brakes (good pads, SS lines, good DOT4 fluid), radiator & coolant (low temp thermostat, water wetter).

Aftermarket sways & coilovers make it much flatter but when it gets too stiff up front it'll want to push. I was running Saner F&R sways with JIC coilovers and it was stiff as hell.

Probably no wrong answer along those lines - of course you will improve the #1 mod, the driver, with each run!

Do they still give out these trophies? :p

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Weird! Pretty sure I'm me now, but you never really know. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks those two vehicles are a good combo.

Sway bars were my next thought for handling and as much as I would like coilovers, they are not in the cards yet. hopefully the moderate rates of the S-Tech springs will keep it lively. Dreaming of some custom Fortune Auto Coils but mostly refreshing all bushings and beefing up the cooling system with an aluminum rad and silicone hoses. Mostly trying to get out and push the car a little and see where performance can be gained without any big failures.

Going to try and get out for as many parking lot races I can fit in this year and really looking forward to driving on track, particularly Pocono at Stacked Motorsport festival. Will let you know on the trophies if im lucky!

Thanks for the pointers!
 

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FWIW, I did extensive track days in my 94VR4 back in the 90's. I went with Tein coil-overs and found that with a modest drop in height and some -ve camber in the front I could run rings round most things and really didn't need upgraded sway bars.

The two biggest problems were brakes and cooling. I tried everything to make the stock Gen II brakes track capable but would always destroy at least two sets on pads and two rotors per event. So I upgraded to AP 6 pots. That said my local tracks (Thunderhill, Sonoma and Laguna) all need a lot of heavy braking.

I solved the cooling issue by lapping the pits after each session. There is good cooling while you are moving, the challenge is heat soak from a hot block when stopped.
 

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I tried everything to make the stock Gen II brakes track capable but would always destroy at least two sets on pads and two rotors per event.
Agreed. This was at a tiny track in upstate NY ... running carbotec XP8 on centric blank rotors

 

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Agreed. This was at a tiny track in upstate NY ... running carbotec bobcats on centric blank rotors

Ouch - I bet that made for a pucker moment!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yikes! Dually noted on brakes. Currently running HP Plus front and HPS rear pads on fresh Stop Tech slotted rotors. Fresh DOT4 will be in place. Another reason I'm looking for a suitable light wheel, any unsprung weight shaved is a plus for me.

the only thing that doesnt work on my car is the Active suspension. permanently set to firm and the box is unplugged. ride feels controlled and well damped with loads of travel (rally cross would be a riot) and im really looking forward to the S-Techs from all the info ive gathered. More aggressive alignment settings, less wheel motion, and lower COG will be greatly appreciated.

I will be armed with a garden sprayer full of good old H2O for radiator spraying on hot days to combat any heat soak between efforts. Really want to go as prepared as possible to get a bunch of seat time.
 

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Yikes! Dually noted on brakes.....

....I will be armed with a garden sprayer full of good old H2O for radiator spraying on hot days to combat any heat soak between efforts. Really want to go as prepared as possible to get a bunch of seat time.
I found that a few minutes of driving round the pits did the trick. The cast iron block and the turbo housings retain a ton of heat, so you need to keep the motor running to circulate the coolant and you need some forward motion to get air through the radiator. The other trick is to use the heater core as an additional radiator but it can make it pretty miserable inside the car on a hot day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I found that a few minutes of driving round the pits did the trick. The cast iron block and the turbo housings retain a ton of heat, so you need to keep the motor running to circulate the coolant and you need some forward motion to get air through the radiator. The other trick is to use the heater core as an additional radiator but it can make it pretty miserable inside the car on a hot day.
Got ya, Thanks! I do support for a couple of buddies that attend amateur drift events locally and that seems to be their trick too. a few cool down laps visiting friends pits to keep everything moving and lets fans do their jobs. Had to resort to full heat on a summer day to save engines in the past when that gauge needle tickles the H in a skid car.

Im very diligent with this old iron lump in the warm up and cool down phases. It always get fully heat cycled every time the key is turned.
 

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seems like a fun list of things you've got planned.

don't spend too much on replacement stockish brake stuff. you can install evo brakes for less than 1000 dollars easily now if that's something you might consider.

also, i didn't notice a short throw shifter on your list.

and if you want to be into aero, a splitter can be made without even a suicide attempt. yes, there may however be tears..

my favorite mods have kind of been:

-short throw shifter
-fatter wheels and tires
-carbon fiber driveshaft
_splitter
-solid rear diff bushings
-a dope clutch

let us know if you need any parts, i've got Some junk if you're just trying to keep the car on the road for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
seems like a fun list of things you've got planned.

don't spend too much on replacement stockish brake stuff. you can install evo brakes for less than 1000 dollars easily now if that's something you might consider.

also, i didn't notice a short throw shifter on your list.

and if you want to be into aero, a splitter can be made without even a suicide attempt. yes, there may however be tears..

my favorite mods have kind of been:

-short throw shifter
-fatter wheels and tires
-carbon fiber driveshaft
_splitter
-solid rear diff bushings
-a dope clutch

let us know if you need any parts, i've got Some junk if you're just trying to keep the car on the road for cheap.

Thanks! thats what im hoping for. more balanced and controlled feel overall.

Yeah the short shifter is in there there if you read all the way through. Its a 2nd Gen shifter with solid bushings for the base and cables. very nice shift feel and much improvement over the original boat oar throw.

The brakes are fresh (see above) with quality items, pad compounds are mostly street oriented because that is my main deal. I have full faith in getting a few events as well as full season of driving on them before any serious moves like EVO brakes. im glad its an area with opportunity for better parts.

The oem active areo works and its a really cool novelty. not looking to add in this area yet. again, its a street car. still has to deal with potholes and shitty driveways. my region of PA is not know for quality roads. basically not interested in aero improvements. thinking i will find more significant returns removal of parts and weight.

Light wheels for seasonal use is what i have been contemplating. The budget does not allow for most "legit" wheel companies and im looking to avoid bargain knockoffs. Konig Hypergram are being considered for a post tax time purchase. they come in 17x9 et40 and weigh under 18lbs.
 

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don't be too scared of knock offs. i've been rocking rotas for almost ten years, so ya never know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Just wanted to update this as I finally got to compete in my first SCCA AutoX event this past weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, PA. Took 2nd in novice class with 6 full runs and only one cone killed. It was a great experience and more fun than I had expected. There is so much to learn and it seems the best way is to actively participate.

Got a few things done to the car before the race beyond your normal fluids as well as nut and bolt check. Ended up going with the Konig Hypergram in 17x9.5 with Pilot Super Sport tires. The Tein S-Tech springs brought the car down to a very respectable ride height and matched the stock ECS struts set to firm very nicely. Changed out the rear differential bushings with some polyurethane Energy Suspension parts. Used some Torque Solutions Driveshaft carrier bushings. Just to help reduce any drivetrain slop. Still have polyurethane front and rear motor mounts to be installed.

Getting the car lined up seemed to be the only difficult part as my local shop had their alignment rack go down a day before my appointment. Ended up going elsewhere and ran into similar issues that I've seen searching alignment on here. They performed a simple toe-and-go which made the car drive nice on the road but Im sure some grip was left on the table. Front camber was close to spec and about -1.3 each side but the rear was slightly greater due to the drop at about -2 per side. Looks like I still have adjustment on the stock arms and hope to get the rear as close to Zero as possible.

Overall, it was a great time and I would recommend to anyone that can drive their car on the street so sign up for an AutoX race. Nothing can teach you more about your car as well as your driving in such a short period of time. I was able to shave over 8 seconds off of my runs throughout the day on a course that averaged times around 60 seconds. Thanks for all the pointers!
 

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well sweet.

good job getting out there

and... the pictures?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
well sweet.

good job getting out there

and... the pictures?
Thanks! Forgot to update here but i also participated in the regional qualifier at Pocono Raceway a few weeks later. The course was set up on the inner road track and made for three days of very fun driving. Friday was a test and tune session that was interrupted with some rain. That worked in my favor 2 ways as my times stayed consistent, and awd slides are fun. Played around with tire pressures and got comfortable pushing the car.

Had a slight technical issue. A chirping, tick sound grew louder from under my hood through out the day and by mid afternoon it was like i was smuggling birds under there. Diagnosed it in the pits to be a failing power steering tensioner pulley. With some searching on here I was able to get a part number for the cartridge bearing in the pulley and a quick trip to a local Bearings and Drives shop for a 6301. $8 later i was tearing it apart. with little more than a vice, some sockets, a punch, and a hammer the brand new bearing replaced the smoked one from 1992 and I was ready to race the next two days.

There were about 170 participants over saturday and sunday. Very hectic but also enjoyable to see old miatas as well as new GT-Rs mixing it up. We got 6 runs each day and my times improved consistently and confidence grew. hat a few small bobbles as i refined my input timings and generally had a lot of fun shaving tenths. Race service afterwards consisted of rotating tires and refueling, big relief. Day two reversed the course so it was a little easier to navigate than totally fresh. really had a good time, started to use some of the curbing on the track and refine my line.

Ended up 3rd in novice behind a 2017 STI and a 930 911 turbo all within a second or so, which im very proud of. There is another race this sunday in a parking lot. i will try and collect some pictures for documentation's sake.
 

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Since the 8:1's are so lazy, a lightweight flywheel really helps get the revs up when heel-toeing.

before and after you start modifying your car, make sure you match tires to your suspension - Going to aggressive with a "200" treadwear will overwork stock ECS, (even more so non ECS) and sway bars - You'll get a crap ton more roll, and the car will compress and decompress weird in transitions, and grip really hard till suddenly it doesn't, you'll get this weird wave like feeling if you are in a sustained corner with dips, etc. It just does some funky stuff to soft suspension when you throw a ton of pure grip at it....

This is Especially true if we are talking a 200tw 275mm wider or more. Not all 200 Treadware tires are actually 200, most are closer to 140 these days, and some older or less competitive brands are more like 220,

But on coilovers, and upgraded sway bars, you'll more then likely be the same, or slower then stock suspension with anything less then a 200 treadwear, you'll also want a decent amount of static negative camber especially if you are autocrossing (or only go to small tight tracks) and the car is super low. -3 to -4 degree's seems to be ideal.



So far, my favorite setups for these cars have always been soft and slightly loose - ECS with TEIN Springs, Upgraded Sway bars, Very lightweight wheels, very Lightweight 17x9 wheels, with Direzza Z3's in a 255/40, half a degree of toe out in the rear, a little less in the front. -1.5 of negative static camber all around since stock suspension still has a decent camber curve, etc...

but a big part of that is because I do a crap load of twisty back road/canyon type driving, and the road conditions here are really rough, so unless you drop $2,000+ on Ohlins, you'll hate your life on most other coilovers, and have no grip on most of the roads from the surface being so shitty.


Beyond all of that, shaving weight goes a long ways, especially from the nose. I would actually encourage you try to maintain weight in the rear - to help with the Front/Rear balance. Shaving more weight in the rear, but very little upfront is not ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Since the 8:1's are so lazy, a lightweight flywheel really helps get the revs up when heel-toeing.

before and after you start modifying your car, make sure you match tires to your suspension - Going to aggressive with a "200" treadwear will overwork stock ECS, (even more so non ECS) and sway bars - You'll get a crap ton more roll, and the car will compress and decompress weird in transitions, and grip really hard till suddenly it doesn't, you'll get this weird wave like feeling if you are in a sustained corner with dips, etc. It just does some funky stuff to soft suspension when you throw a ton of pure grip at it....

This is Especially true if we are talking a 200tw 275mm wider or more. Not all 200 Treadware tires are actually 200, most are closer to 140 these days, and some older or less competitive brands are more like 220,

But on coilovers, and upgraded sway bars, you'll more then likely be the same, or slower then stock suspension with anything less then a 200 treadwear, you'll also want a decent amount of static negative camber especially if you are autocrossing (or only go to small tight tracks) and the car is super low. -3 to -4 degree's seems to be ideal.



So far, my favorite setups for these cars have always been soft and slightly loose - ECS with TEIN Springs, Upgraded Sway bars, Very lightweight wheels, very Lightweight 17x9 wheels, with Direzza Z3's in a 255/40, half a degree of toe out in the rear, a little less in the front. -1.5 of negative static camber all around since stock suspension still has a decent camber curve, etc...

but a big part of that is because I do a crap load of twisty back road/canyon type driving, and the road conditions here are really rough, so unless you drop $2,000+ on Ohlins, you'll hate your life on most other coilovers, and have no grip on most of the roads from the surface being so shitty.


Beyond all of that, shaving weight goes a long ways, especially from the nose. I would actually encourage you try to maintain weight in the rear - to help with the Front/Rear balance. Shaving more weight in the rear, but very little upfront is not ideal.
Thanks for your input. Ive done very little in modifications so far, mostly maintenance and stuff to improve the feel of the car like poly diff mounts, Momo wheel and light weight generic racing seats. if you get a chance, read the whole thread because most of what you mentioned was covered. Here is some recent discussion you might appreciate that delves into what we can do to improve autoX and on track performance regarding tires, differentials and such:

https://www.3si.org/forum/f63/first-time-autocrossing-weekend-818699/index2.html

(edit: Just realized you commented similarly in link above. Unlogic went on to describe how the differentials significantly contribute to the handling characteristics)

my car has a fidanza flywheel already so that box is checked. running stock size (245/45R17) Michelin PSS on 17x9.5 Konig Hypergram. lost about 10 lbs per corner with that. The suspension is ECS struts stuck in sport (on purpose) with Tein S-Tech springs. Sway bars would be a logical next move. As stated above the alignment can be set more aggressively but im in the same boat of enjoying it as a street car mostly on mountain roads.
 
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