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Project Autocross BRZ: Testing the Beastronix 86Nanny

by Bart Hockerman

Building the MotoIQ Project Subaru BRZ is always an adventure as is with building any car to a specific purpose. As the builder you always look for new products that may help the car or the driver to be more consistent. One thing many drivers of the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 have always complained about (besides the lack of torque and power) has been the intrusive traction (TC) and vehicle stability controls (VSC) built into the electronics of the platform. Subaru, Toyota, Nissan and other manufacturers have now been dumbing down our driving experience in the name of “Safety” or “to make is easier for the common person to drive” for years. With this in mind those of us who choose to push these cars to the limits or who find these nanny controls too intrusive for even daily driving are now forced to find workarounds to disable these nannies.

One such unit has been developed to literally be the easy button for this problem in the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 by Beastronix.

 


 

 

In the Fall of 2015 the Beastronix 86Nanny had caught our eye while surfing around online. The 86 nanny was a super simple unit that plugged into the OBDII port in the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 platform that simply disabled the nannies that hamper these cars.

You may think “Hey I turn it off by holding down the button for 3 seconds why would I need anything more?”. That thought is correct but incomplete. You do turn off the the TC and VSC but it still runs through the skid control module which will override your button pushing once the limit is exceeded thinking it is saving the day when you are just out having fun at the local autocross, track day or drift event.

What the 86Nanny actually does is perform what is commonly referred to as the Pedal Dance. Simply put the Pedal Dance is a Diagnostic mode that reminds me of entering in the code on the old NES for 30 lives in Contra.

Pedal dance performance entails the following hand and footwork combination:

  • Turn on the car (while the engine is warmed up already)
  • Pull the E-brake 3 times, on the 3rd pull hold the e-brake up.
  • Push the foot brake three times, on the 3rd press hold the brake pedal down.
  • Repeat step two - pull the E-brake 3 times, hold on third pull.
  • Push the foot brake twice and the TC and VSC should be lit in orange on your dash

While the Pedal dance is activated the TC / VSC are disabled and the Skid control unit set to an inactive state. You as the driver are now in almost complete control of the car, no more nannies.

So yeah, why would you need or want one of the Beastronix units? It doesn’t look like rocket science to perform the Pedal Dance. In a word, “convenience”. With the original 86Nanny it is the simple push of a single button to activate the Pedal Dance.

 

The basic Beastronix 86Nanny layout.

 

The unit that we've tested happens to be a new unit designed for those of us who want to keep it even more simplified. Our 86Nanny has been optioned out with 3 toggle switches:

  • Pedal Dance on/off
  • ABS on/off
  • AC fan on/off

As a bonus this unit has also been programmed to (turn off) the TPMS light and seat belt chime as long as the 86Nanny is actively connected to the car. You can take a look at all the 86Nanny options here: Beastronix 86Nanny build options list.

Installation of the 86Nanny is a breeze. The hardest part about the install was deciding where to mount everything. The basic instructions are listed online, Beastronix 86Nanny installation instructions.

 

Delivered via USPS Priority mail!

 

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Comments
MDR
MDRlink
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 6:39 AM
Very cool what you can do with aftermarket programming on modern cars. Granted a lot of it is to get rid of crap you didn't want in the first place, but having the fan override on a switch is awesome. However, you're missing all the fun of removing bulbs from the instrument cluster!

I've only driven a BRZ on track rather slowly and with full nannies on (student's car) but they were incredibly intrusive. If you even got near a curb it would cut power for what felt like seconds. The student said he never noticed it while driving but he was painfully clueless. He was convinced that Crawford was going to sponsor him if he did well (this was his 1st day at HPDE) and he short shifted at 5k RPM because that was "the sweet spot of the engine".
2superblus
2superbluslink
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 9:02 AM
@MDR Yeah it is amazing what can be done with the right skills. If you ever get a chance to fully enjoy a BRZ, FRS or GT86 you really must. Light weight nimble and just a well thought out car overall, even if it lacks in the WHP and TQ dept.
georgejfrick
georgejfricklink
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 1:53 PM
Nice review, good to know about the fan and seat belt warning; more reason to look into it.
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 10:38 PM
Man... that's one of the best mods I've seen for anything! If I had a BRZ/FRS, I'd definitely have this mod
Supercharged111
Supercharged111link
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 11:15 PM
So you can't leave the toggles in position between ignition cycles?
2superblus
2superbluslink
Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:25 AM
@Supercharged111 You can leave the toggles on should you so choose. You can set them so that when you start the car they activate or you can flip them on once the car is running. For the Pedal Dance toggle if you turn it on prior to starting the car it will activate the Pedal Dance without having to warm up the car first. Hope that answer your question.
Supercharged111
Supercharged111link
Thursday, July 14, 2016 1:40 PM
Yeah, was just wondering if it was like OEM stuff where it always defaults to full nannies on all the time and there's nothing you can do about it.
Fabrik8
Fabrik8link
Saturday, August 06, 2016 7:21 PM
If there's two OBD2 connectors on the nanny cable, it's kind of a shame that the OEM connector can't be removed from the mounting plate and connected to the male connector on the nanny cable (and secured behind the dash), then the female connector on the nanny cable would be mounted to the OEM mounting plate. The OEM position would remain open for other devices/scans, and there wouldn't be anything to knock apart because the nanny/OEM connection would be protected behind the dash. The connectors are daisy chained, so it really doesn't matter which connection ends up where.
Beastronix
Beastronixlink
Monday, August 08, 2016 12:07 PM
@Fabrik8

Great question. I went down that road initially since the harness was the one part that I designed and had to rely on a facility build for me. The initial test units never fit as snug as OEM and the appearance was rather cheap. After thinking things through and testing the opinions of locals I decided to go the standalone harness route. It looks nice and most people who got to hold both preferred to be able to plug in and be done.

This is something I'm going to revisit when looking at designs for future harnesses. Since I've gained a little traction with facilities I might be able to offer both in the future.
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