Project FR-S: More Details with Cusco, Kartboy and Turn 14

by Mike Kojima

We are continuing to work on Project FR-S, refining it bit by bit in our efforts to build a car with real track weekend warrior performance without rendering it unstreetable. In previous installments we've made major changes to the car's various systems but this time we take care of a lot of the smaller bits we have added which have produced a surprisingly big change to how the car drives.

Read more about our FR-S Here!

In previous installments we had added Cusco front and rear tower braces to our car. We would have added all the braces but at the time they were heavily on backorder. Now we can get the parts and we are installing the entire group of Cusco braces. These braces tie the rear lower control arm mount to the crossmember by the differential  to reduce flex of the rear cross members most heavily loaded point.  The brace triangulates the rear crossmember at a point where the lower control arm mount is just sort of hanging in space.

These braces tie the front lower control arm mount to the front core support.  There are stock braces in this location but the Cusco parts are boxed in while the stock parts are thin gage stamped steel.  Boxing the brace in probably makes it 3-4 times stiffer than stock.

The front ladder brace triangulates the front subframe greatly stiffening it.  This is a pretty impressive part.  The Cusco braces are made of lightweight thin wall rectangular or oval section tubing and don't really add that much weight to the car.

To install the front braces we had to remove the stock underbody panels. Although its not a flat bottom, the FR-S has pretty decent underbody aero for an inexpensive car. This helps the function of the aero parts like the splitter and diffuser we added in our last installment. We were worried that adding the braces would require removing the panels. We did not want to cause more turbulence under the car and the lower panels make the splitter and diffuser work that much better.

The brace installs easily through existing holes in the crossmember.
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Monday, December 09, 2013 11:18 AM
Nice to see all of these products coming out for the car.

"It is easier to feel the shit now, We really like it. ;) "
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, December 09, 2013 11:33 AM
Biggest typo evar!
Monday, December 09, 2013 7:12 PM
The front and rear braces look to really fortify things. I can see how they solidify things. I felt a similar improvement in ride and NVH on Project S2000 with the additional bracing; it just lets the suspension do its thing. I don't know about you guys, but when I brace myself on the can, it is easier to feel the shit now.
Monday, December 09, 2013 9:45 PM
LMAO Intel, Mike and Khiem. I swear I hit update after fixing that particular typo but I guess not. Oh well, if you're gonna have a typo it might as well be a good one :)
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Monday, December 09, 2013 10:10 PM
What the shit? ot to worry... We are all car guys and we all shi... well err...

I can say that the Kartboy shifter on the autocross BRZ greatly reduced shits as we had plenty of time left over for bathroom activities due to the amount of time we saved BETWEEN shifts... :)
Friday, December 27, 2013 7:00 AM
Great article! Glad to hear about the improvements all the braces made, but this brings up a question I have had for a long time: how can we figure out which cars need the most additional bracing? Back in the 90's it was safe to assume every brace was needed due to all the chassis flex, but with modern technology and crash structures I'm sure rigidity has significantly improved. I just wish there was a more common practice to measure rigidity in different areas of the cars so we don't have to throw every brace in the book at any given car.
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