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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay... I've done plenty of research on these questions. I'd just like some more input. Good answers I believe would benefit many of here...

I've competed in auto-x since my RSX turned 1000 miles, which was in July of 2001. Here in Minnesota we olny get to throw down for a little over six months per year so I probably have less than 20 events under my belt. Since '01 I've been been building up my car for the track and I defenately can see improvements from the mods I've done (mainly the tires, LSD, adjustable coil-overs). I know racing school is the most important and I am signed up some schooling this spring, but besides that, I want my car set up the best way possible. My RSX is not a daily driver but of course I do love to drive when I can in the summer months. I'll try to keep my questions general so they can apply to most up and coming autocrossers.

I believe tires are the best improvment for the parking lot cone dodging. I started on the stock Michelins and then went to R's on the same stock rims for my second summer .... WOW. Since then I've had 225/45/17 Azenis for the last two years and now I'll be on the same size BFG g-force KD's. I'm not running the R's anymore because I'm not setup for changing the wheels everytime. So what kind of time diiferences would you expect from the R-compounds compared to the Azenis compared to my new KD's (which I think may not be as sticky)?

Were my Azenis (or any soft tire) stickiest when they were new? Then maybe a little harder after they were heat cycled? And then maybe a little better as the tread wore down?

Is there going to be a noticeable difference between a 50mm offset (on my new wheels) compared to a 45mm? Should I get spacers or hub-centric spacers for the difference? Are 5mm spacers going to affect my alignment?

As far as suspension mods that can't be done at the track... How much front and rear camber might I want for auto-x opposed to a daily driver? What is the best ride height? What about a four-way adjustable tie bar? How can one find the best set up? From going to a different track or parking lot every weekend, is someone with limited experience really going to benefit from any changes to a tie bar or minor changes in ride height?

I adjust the dampers at the track and I can tell a difference. Mine do not seperately adjust for compession and rebound but I can fell and see a difference by adjusting the 16-way adjustable Tein's. I've found a little harder in the rear gives the car a very predictible feeling. Too hard all around it seems the car wants to bounce through corners. With 16 clicks being the hardest, I've had the best luck with 8 to 10 clicks for the front and 10 to 13 for the rear (depending on the track/surface). Does that sound on par?

My Tein HA's are rebuildable (now have three summers on them, maybe 30k miles)... When would one want to send them in for rebuild? Is it like a regular maintenence kind of thing? Or while driving would one be able to tell that they are not performing to spec?

Currently I do not have upper strut bars for the the front or rear, just the lower tie/sway bar. Are those mods going to make a noticeable difference in my times? I've heard many people say it's just a waste of money or it's mainly for looks... But to me it seems for how easy they are to install, it might be worth it???

And lastly, off note a bit...
Harness?
Dumping the leather seats for cloth?
Racing shoes instead of my Adidas?
Aftermarket pedals?

Thanks for any serious answers.
 

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I think the first thing you have to do is find the class you want to be in. Then we can go from there.
 

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SOLO II
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Sounds like DSP? because of the LSD
 

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Oh... DSP... :) Have fun with the IS300's!

any way, to answer a few of your questions...

In the Azenis Vs R compounds... the R compound will be worth a second or more. The Azenis and KD's are more compairable. the azenis has the stiffer side wall by far, but the KD's will deal with heat better (Vs the Current Azenis the RT-215, the new RT-615 is suppose to be MUCH better at dealing with heat) your times should be very compairable between the two. though if you are running the same sized tires... the Azenis may have an advantage in overall traction.. (In the STS crowed, it takes a 225 KD to match the times of a 205 Azenis...)


Wider track is amost allways better (Less weight transfer)... untill you start to stress the wheel bearings too much. and you wont need an alignment with 5mm spacers.

Your Azenis were stikyiest when they were new, and will get harder with every heat cycle... But when they were new you would experiance the most Tread squirm... as the tire wears down the tread gets harder (heat cycleing) but you get less tread squirm... So in reality, it would be best to shave them when they were new. That way you get the softest rubber with the lease amount of tread squirm. not somethig I would do with the Azenis, (its got huge tread blocks so it doenst squirm much) but something to think about if you run the KD's or the Kumho MX...

The four way adjustible bar I assume is an Adjustible Anti-roll bar? That would be a great thing to have to be able to fine tune your handling. To find the best setup... your going to have to test/tune.

For damper adjustment.... Thanks to your Teins, your going to have to find a comprimise between your rebound and bump settings. its important to note that ist the differnece in damper rates Front to rear that will alter handling. But heres a short tuning with dampers 101...

if the car is understeering (Corner entry/exit) either increase the rebound dampering on the rear of the car or decrease rebound on the front. if the car is oversteering do the opposite. BUT!! here is where your going to have to comprimise with your Bump Vs rebound settings... as you increase rebound to get the handling you want, you will also be increasing bump... wich can cause the car to Skip when encountering iregularties on the racing surface... wich can cause the car to lose traction and become unstable. So you'll have to comprimise between the handling you want from your rebound settings, and how the car reacts to road iregularities due to bump settings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey thanks for your input Zzyzx. Anyway... I am in DSP and I was wondering about the IS300 comment. Joke right? I've never seen one at an event here. Our scene is probably a bit smaller here than in most places (40 - 80 cars). Running in DSP isn't really a big deal to me. It's all for fun. As far as times, I just try to be the fastest overall. Although that hasn't happened. I can usually pull into the top 5 overall.

As far as my ride height question. I'm guessing that is a test and tune thing, right? What would you set your camber at? And what do you think about f & r upper strut bars?
 

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As far as ride hieght goes, the general rule of thumb is to keep the rear 3/4" higher than the front (when measured at the jacking points under the side skirts).
You usually lower the front as far as you can go without having any tire/fender rub problems. However, with the RSX, the more you lower it the worse the bump steer gets- I'm told this is due to the position of the steering rack. I'm not sure if there are any parts available to correct this. So I would try not to lower the car too much (just guessing- probably 2" would be fine).
Typical R-compound tires like 3-5 degrees camber. I'd probably try about 3 degrees up front and only 1 or 1.5 in the back.
As far as strut bars go, its been my experience (on CRX and Protege) that the front strut bar does help to give the car a more solid feel, improve turn in, and the car doesn't feel quite as rough over uneven bumps. Don't know about the rear brace though.
Oh yeah.. and the IS300's are for real! There's a guy out on the west coast (I think he owns a Toyota/Lexus dealership) who races a seriously bad ass IS300- it sounds like a Formula Atlantic car! But really, there is just the one that raced at nationals (and won the championship), most DSP cars are BMW's and Subarus.
 

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SOLO II
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Yup that's Derek...I heard that he acutally bought two IS300 one was salvage and is his parts car. Must be nice...

I'm still waiting to run my victoracers, but I could only get -0.9deg out in front. Anyone know any other tricks to get more camber? I tried moving the mounting bolts up top already.
 
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