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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just browsing the SCCA Solo II rules and I found this:

13.4 Wheels
Any type wheel may be used provided it complies with the following: it is the same width and diameter as standard, and as installed (including wheel spacers if applicable) it does not have an offset more than +/- 0.25 inch from a standard wheel for the car. The resultant change in track dimensions is allowed. Vehicles originally equipped only with 12 inch diameter wheels, may use 13 inch diameter wheels of the same width as standard and offset within +/- 0.25 inch of standard.
Wheel spacers are permitted, provided the resultant combination complies with the offset requirements of this section. Wheel studs lug nuts, and/or bolt length may be changed.
here:
http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/Rules/stock.html#s134

Does this mean that if I upgrade to 17" wheels + tires, I would be competing in a different class, like street prepared or something? If so, I don't want that - I'll just save some bucks and buy 16's.

Thanks!
Avi
 

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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
buhda said:
17's will take you out of stock but you would prob end up in STS not SP.
Budha, Thanks! Hearing that, I'm now thinking of sticking with 16" rims/tires so I can stay in stock, as a novice, and try to be competitive in my class. I'm looking through more of the rules and I see that aftermarket springs would also move me to STS - so if I decide to stay in stock, I'll be putting off the Ground Controls for a while.

So I have two more questions for you: do you think it's smart of me to try to stay in stock since I am a novice (2 events, one in rain)?

Also, if I do decide to stay in Stock, do you know if aftermarket strut tower braces are permitted? I see that rollbars are, and control arms are not, but I don't see a mentions of STBs. I was thinking about buying the new d3designs bars.

THANKS!!!
Avi
 

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So I have two more questions for you: do you think it's smart of me to try to stay in stock since I am a novice (2 events, one in rain)?
Learning your car first before modding is always a good idea. Kinda of wish I woulda thought of that before I started autoxing but even in STS (my class) the car is still pretty competitive. What I like to do is shoot for finishing top 5 in every event. That kinda gives you a gauge of how you doing compared to your competition and helps you to become a better and faster driver. Then when you start feeling more confortable and you can't seem to be getting any faster, thats when to start thinking bout mods.

As for the strut bar, not too sure bout the rules but I'm thinking that would put you in STS too......any more experienced autocers wanna take a crack at this question. :dontknow:
 

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You'd be better off in STS than D Stock as you'd have a better PAX, although the STS class may be more competative. Currently I am the only car in D stock, so I plan on going to STS next year. Although it is nice to take home a medal after every event. :laughing:
 

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Dstock also allows you to change your shocks out (can't change springs), muffler, front sway bar, and most important allows you to run sticky tires - Kuhmo Victoracers or Hoosiers etc..

I wouldn't recommend running those sticky tires as a Novice. It's hard to learn how to drive fast when you have tires that make up for bad driving. Stick with street tires for a few more sessions and then decide whether you want to run D stock, DSP or STS. Buhda and I chose STS because we can run your basic bolt-ons I/H/E and mod you suspension. And because we are pretty new to the sport street tires really help us learn to drive better.
 

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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
GSXR said:
Dstock also allows you to change your shocks out (can't change springs), muffler, front sway bar, and most important allows you to run sticky tires - Kuhmo Victoracers or Hoosiers etc..

I wouldn't recommend running those sticky tires as a Novice. It's hard to learn how to drive fast when you have tires that make up for bad driving. Stick with street tires for a few more sessions and then decide whether you want to run D stock, DSP or STS. Buhda and I chose STS because we can run your basic bolt-ons I/H/E and mod you suspension. And because we are pretty new to the sport street tires really help us learn to drive better.
GSXR, that makes sense. Honestly I wasn't even thinking about stickies - I'm just not nearly ready. I do need to get rid of these stock tires though, they SUCK! My next event is in two weeks, so I need to order some tires this week.

I'm going to stick with 16's so I can leave my options open for my class. Is there a particular tire that you all recommend that would be under $120 or so?

And I still don't have an answer on whether the strut tower braces are permitted in Stock... anyone?

Thanks!!!
Avi
 

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dunno about the STB. Those parts really won't make much difference in your times. For a cheap competitive ride, you just need tires, springs, rear sway bar and a good alignment done at a race shop.

Tires - Falkens. All 13 guys in the STS class at the ProSolo Event at Atwater were running the Azenis tires! I'd run the 215/45/16s. Better gearing for better acceleration out of corners. Should be able to find them for less than $100 ea.
 

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Avi,

You seem to have a really good attitude on learning, so I'm sure you'll pick up the sport fast. Either class is just fine- which one has stiffer competition locally depends entirely on your region. The car will be competitive locally in either class- just pick one and get as much seat time as possible. Only thing for STS is to not get caught up with the idea that what's holding you back is lack of mods or money- at first the driver will always be the biggest source of improvement. But you don't sound like you'll have any trouble with that :thumbsup:

STS is nice because you can do the simple mods you wanted anyway for the street and not have to worry about so many rules restrictions. Also nice because you can be competitive on street tires. If you do decide on running stock, you cannot use a STB, and make sure that you account for the width and offset rules when buying 16" wheels.

Anyway, have fun, do lots of events and you'll see yourself getting faster. If you see someone who is much faster in a slower or equal car, go for a ride with them or even have them drive your car. It can take months off your learning curve.

Good luck! :thumbsup:
 

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I don't think anyone actually answered:

If you install a strut brace, you will NOT be in DS anymore.

The ONLY things allowed for stock are shocks, front swaybar, cat-back exhaust, sticky tires (on stock size rims {diameter, width AND offset have to match withing +/- .25 in.])

Any DEALER INSTALLED options are NOT stock legal.

Like everyone else said, I wouldn'r bother making ANY changes to the car until you have learned it better and know what you want to change from experience.

As for tires, the Falkens are the way to go if you want good streetable tires with phenomenol grip. But they won't last long. Maybe 5000-7500 miles on the street.
 

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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Camry, Thanks! I think I'm going to stick with stock for two reasons:

1) it's cheaper - limits the amount I can spend... will make my fiancé happy....
2) Like you said, I will focus on my driving, rather than the effects of a particular mod. The only changing factor will be my skills.

Thanks for the tips!
Avi
PoweredByCamry said:
Avi,

You seem to have a really good attitude on learning, so I'm sure you'll pick up the sport fast. Either class is just fine- which one has stiffer competition locally depends entirely on your region. The car will be competitive locally in either class- just pick one and get as much seat time as possible. Only thing for STS is to not get caught up with the idea that what's holding you back is lack of mods or money- at first the driver will always be the biggest source of improvement. But you don't sound like you'll have any trouble with that :thumbsup:

STS is nice because you can do the simple mods you wanted anyway for the street and not have to worry about so many rules restrictions. Also nice because you can be competitive on street tires. If you do decide on running stock, you cannot use a STB, and make sure that you account for the width and offset rules when buying 16" wheels.

Anyway, have fun, do lots of events and you'll see yourself getting faster. If you see someone who is much faster in a slower or equal car, go for a ride with them or even have them drive your car. It can take months off your learning curve.

Good luck! :thumbsup:
 

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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Scapamouche, thanks for the info! I'm going to stay in DS for now. And what you say about not making changes to the car until my driving is better and I am more experienced - it makes sense.

About the tires - I was all set to buy the Falkens until I read your post. I can't really afford a set of track-only tires (plus the stock tires suck) so I need to buy 1 set of tires for street and "track." If the Azenis will only last 5000 miles, I'll need two sets a year - that's $672 a year, and some hassle. Maybe I'd be better off buying a slightly more expensive but longer-lasting tire?

Is there $100 or lower that handles as well as or almost as well as the Azenis but will last longer? I checked on Tire Racks website and they do have a ton of tires in that size/price range... almost too many. I was also hoping to move to 225/50/16... but would that be legal for Stock?

Thanks for all the help!
Avi
scapamouche said:
I don't think anyone actually answered:

If you install a strut brace, you will NOT be in DS anymore.

The ONLY things allowed for stock are shocks, front swaybar, cat-back exhaust, sticky tires (on stock size rims {diameter, width AND offset have to match withing +/- .25 in.])

Any DEALER INSTALLED options are NOT stock legal.

Like everyone else said, I wouldn'r bother making ANY changes to the car until you have learned it better and know what you want to change from experience.

As for tires, the Falkens are the way to go if you want good streetable tires with phenomenol grip. But they won't last long. Maybe 5000-7500 miles on the street.
 

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i think scapamouche's predictions for street life on the aznis are a little bit conservative. I've had my falkens since December, with pretty consistent autocrossing eating them up, in addition to I would say at least 3K miles on the street. They still have plenty of normal tread left. The only place that the tires are really starting to look worn are the shoulders, where the damage was from me just rolling over too much and trying to gas through the understeer. A rookie error that I am much better at now.

If you were just using them for the street, I'd say youd get at least 10-12K out of em. Considering how fantastic these tires are, and how cheap they are, you might want to seriously consider it. The cost of using one set of tires for autoX and street and replacing it every year or so is probably cheaper than trying to maintain two sets of tires and rims for street and race. Plus, you get some real grip on the roads too which makes the car that much more fun...
 

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I haven't seen any other tires that grip as well as the Falkens period, much less for less than $100.

I would recommend a set of Kumho 712s or Sumitomo HTR IIs for a tight budget. Both are under $100 in a 16" size, and have good treadwear and traction. Neither can hold a candle to the Falkens, but look at it this way: once you master your car with these tires, you will be ready to take advantage of all the extra grip available from the Falkens or R-tires you end up with.

The set of 712s I had lasted over 20,000 miles, including about 15 autocrosses and a full day on a race track, with a couple nasty spins..... They don't have great grip, but they're good, especialyy in the wet, and they'll last....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
GSXR, are you trying to say that I should look at the Falkens? j/k! :)

OK I think I'm just about convinced - but about the size - the 215/45s would give me a sidewall height of 96.75mm versus the stock 205/55 of 112.75mm - a difference of 16mm. It makes sense that that would give me better gearing - but wouldn't that significantly affect my speedo and odo? I may be thinking backwards, but I think that would make them "over" - for every mile I drive, the odo would show 1.2 or something like that. Since I need a set of tires for street and track, and my car is leased, I don't think that would work for me.

I wish the Azenis came in 225/50, which would only be .25mm off the stock size, but since it doesn't, I guess I'll get the 205/55.

Avi

GSXR said:
Tires - Falkens. All 13 guys in the STS class at the ProSolo Event at Atwater were running the Azenis tires! I'd run the 215/45/16s. Better gearing for better acceleration out of corners. Should be able to find them for less than $100 ea. [/B]
 

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Avi,

You are right on- if you keep the setup of the car stable for a while, you will always know the improvements came from the driver rather than wondering if it was the driver or the mods. It is also hard to evaluate the benefit of mods unless you are able to produce consistent times.

I don't think there is anything that will grip like the Falkens, except for maybe the upcoming Kumho Ecsta MX. Mileage statistics can be misleading- we have an awful lot of events here in NorCal so most of us are out there tearing it up every weekend during the summer. I have been autoxing for almost 3 years now and average over 40 events per year.

The Falkens are soft compared to most street tires but they do have a lot of tread depth so I wouldn't be surprised to see them do 20k miles with street use only and over 10k with a good mix of street and autox. Tire wear also varies a lot depending on car type, weight, alignment, and driving style. Since you use the same size front and rear, you can get more life by rotating the tires, and running stock you will get a lot of outside wear on the fronts but they can be flipped on the rims to give you some extra life.

As for speedo/odo error, I think you are calculating only the percent difference in the sidewall height. What will determine the actual speedo error is the overall diameter. My back of the napkin calculations give approximately 5% difference in diameter between the 215/45s and 205/55s. This is a fair amount, but less than the factor of 1.20 (20%) you mentioned. It's up to you to decide whether the added grip, improved gearing, and slight lowering of the CG is worth the trouble, but everyone here seems to think the Falkens stick like glue and I've yet to see anyone disappointed with them.

Peter
 

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Peter mentioned that you can swap the Falkens inside to out, but I'd recommend staying away from that unless your budget is tight. I tried that on the set I'm just finishing off now, and there was a difference in how the tires felt. I didn't like them as much inside out as the normal way.... just my .02...
 

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sorry, officer
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Results are In! At least I'm not Last!

Well, the preliminary results for Sunday's event came in:

http://solo.wdcr-scca.org/results/2002/63002.htm

I'm all the way near the bottom, 13th out of 14 in D-Stock :( Somehow I thought I had done a little better than that! I was all proud of myself for all the clean runs - no cones, and I stayed on course - but my times were slow! The other guys may have gone off course - but their times were better. I guess that means I've got to learn to take some chances if I want to be fast.

On the semi-bright side, I did place 2nd out of three novices in D-Stock. And if you look at STS, I would have placed 11th out of 19! What's that all about? Does this mean that I should switch to STS? Would I be more competitive there? I don't quite get it... is it because STS is full of posers with 30lb 18" rims who think their 6" exhaust tip makes them faster?
 
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