Following up on fantastic fabrication of the Project FR-S’s initial aero modifications from the splitter, rear diffuser and rear wing installation there was a desire to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency of the front splitter and rear diffuser by attempting to reduce underbody drag, which most noticeably will be felt on high-speed tracks.
During the summer CSF radiator launched a bold ad campaign with MotoIQ: the CSF Summer Challenge. CSF boldly challenged the entire radiator industry to s shootout to see who makes the most effective radiator with us conducting the test. CSF's only rule was that a radiator for the challenge had to be an off the shelf part built for a given car available to the general public, not a one off bespoke radiator designed just for the test.
Until now our FR-S had been running on Nameless Performance's very first prototype header, in fact, this was the very first attempt at a header that they had made. This header worked pretty decently and we have been rocking it for the last 10000 or so miles. However, since that time Nameless has been busy at work continually testing and improving their header design and recently released their final production version. The new header is radically different than the prototype we had been running and best of all it is now available for sale.
If you have been following the build of Project FR-S till now, you have probably noted that we have spent a lot of time working on our suspension and brake systems, laying down the foundation for a really good track car.
If you read our last segment about how our car performed in a track evaluation against both a stock and another well built tuner car you can see just how well our car really does work. Our car's big advantages were in the braking and handling departments with both of our resident pro drivers, Tyler McQuarrie and Dai Yoshihara, raving about how well our car works.
Could we make our superbly handling car even better? We are sure going to try and with some new developments from KW Suspension we think we can definitely make our car even better, especially as we start to upgrade our car with more and more power. Since we last wrote about coilovers on our car, KW Suspension has since come out with some 3-way adjustable Clubsport coilover. Are these the ultimate street capable shocks? Read on.
If you have been following the build up of our our Project FR-S and the Ticket to Ride FR-S you might have noticed that Project FR-S was lurking in the background in some of the photos of our Ticket to Ride Showdown story. We got a lot of letters asking about this and a lot of people were curious if we tested Project FR-S at this event. Well the answer is yes, we did put our car through its paces but perhaps not as carefully as we did the other cars in the shootout.
In our last segment we brought the front suspension of our FR-S up to the latest top standards with new parts developed for the car since we started developing our project. Now it's time to bring the rear suspension up to snuff with some of the latest parts now out for the car. Since we started out project, Cusco and Whiteline have come up with more parts for the rear suspension.
Our suspension had first gotten done well over a year ago and we used Suabaru STI parts in the initial stage. We used Cusco adjustable lower arms and some Whiteline bushings and their first generation of rear swaybar. As we are running tires much bigger than stock, (265 vs 215), the additional grip was causing a lot of body roll even with our KW coilovers and upsized swaybar.
The suspension on our FR-S was originally done over a year ago when we were prepping the car for the 2012 SEMA show. At the time the car was pretty new on the market and our choices were limited to a few prime items plus stuff we made work from the Subaru STI that shares some parts with the FR-S/BRZ. Since the time when we first built the car, Whiteline has come out with a bunch of parts dedicated to the FR-S/BRZ chassis that we have been eagerly awaiting.
With good handling and unbelievable brakes, our FR-S is really hurting for power. In one of our last stories we added an Innovate Motorsports supercharger and got a healthy boost of power across a really wide powerband, we gained power literally everywhere from idle all the way up to the redline. We still wanted more so the next logical step was to add an Intercooler and run a little more boost all with parts from Innovate Motorsports.
As a bit of great news we were informed that the Innovate Supercharger has earned a CARB EO so in addition to making nice power, the Supercharger is now 100% smog legal!
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.
As the SEMA Show approached, we knew we had to do something a bit different. We knew that the show would probably be flooded with tons of FR-S's and BRZ's. We also knew that most of these cars would be sporting either 5-Axis or Rocket Bunny aero kits.
At MotoIQ we are not the guys that build show cars so what could we do to stand out amongst the scores of nearly identically modified cars? We figured we would stick to what we knew best and try to build something functional and not worry about the looks, hoping that by following the old adage that form follows function, we could come up with something appealing in a shot time.
When the nerd-herd decided to upgrade the brakes on our Project Scion FR-S, we of course turned to our partners over at StopTech and found they had their world renowned Trophy Kit available for the front and rear of our FR-S. So of course we had to get our hands on a set to put it through its paces and document the installation process. During the installation of the Big Brake Kit (BBK), StopTech was a huge help providing technical support along with some tips we found to be very useful...so we created a series of videos to help out all you DIY'ers out there.
In our last suspension installment of Project FR-S we were rushing to get the car in rolling condition for the SEMA show. We had installed the stuff you could see, like lowering the car with KW Variant IIIs and installing the excellent Stoptech big brake system.
Now we are back to working on the car, focusing on the things you can't see. We knew we were going to be upgrading the wheels and tires for much bigger ones and we knew bigger tires were going to load the suspension a lot more due to greater grip. More grip equals more body roll.
Our FR-S is a difficult car to deal with in the engine department. The ECU with a lot of command authority has been driving us nuts. We have put several thousand miles on our FR-S over the last few months and it seemed like the car was once again dialing out a lot of our power over time.
By Mike Kojima
Our FR-S isn't the fastest thing but it has inspiring handling and best of all it's rear wheel drive. Some of our friends that have have been doing track days with the car have reported to us that the brakes are woefully inadequate for track use. Cracking and warping rotors, fade and even warping and leaking calipers have all been suffered by the hard driving.
Project Scion FR-S: Suspension Part 1 - Getting the Basics with KW Suspension, Cusco and Race Comp Engineering
By Mike Kojima
With the FR-S engine giving us fits we decided to turn our attention to something different on the car, the suspension. We were surprised with the FR-S, the ride in stock form was pretty darned stiff for a stock car, the car felt oversprung for the amount of low speed damping from the stock shocks but the ride felt harsh. The car was also really tail happy, fun to drive but not the fast way around turns, especially on corner exit. Perhaps the worst fault the car had was an odd shimmy on the freeway. The car felt like it was following the rain grooves much like a motorcycle does. It was a very unsettling feeling.
Project Scion FR-S Part 4- Exhaust and Tuning Frustrations
By Mike Kojima
When we last left off, we had just installed some bolt ons onto our Scion FR-S' motor and picked up some quick power. Our stock power levels were 145hp and 119 lb-ft of torque and after a few weeks of driving our power levels had returned to 147 whp and 122 lb-ft of torque for a big WTF. Determined to keep adding power, we continued with our testing and tackle the rest of the exhaust.
Project Scion FR-S Testing GReddy's Cold Air Intake!
By Mike Kojima
The Scion FR-S is a pretty exciting car to be involved in. It has single handedly given our industry a shot in the arm and parts are rapidly being made for it. Our FR-S is being worked on fast, so fast it is kind of a blur as we were cramming a lot in just a few days to get the car ready for the SEMA show.
In our last edition of the Project we tested the GReddy EVO 3 Exhaust and now we are going to test GReddy's cold air intake. In reality this happened on the same day but we didn't have time to write much about it during the SEMA and PRI shows so now we are trying to catch up!
Project Scion FR-S Part 2- Uncorking the exhaust with Greddy
By Mike Kojima
The more time we spend behind the wheel of Project Scion FR-S, the more dear it is becoming to our hearts. This car is really fun to drive. What really puts a damper on things is that it simply just doesn't have enough power. If power is the FR-S's weak point then that's what we are going to address first. To help us get more power, we turned to our friends at Greddy who supplied us with their new Evo 3 exhaust for our evaluation.
Project Scion FR-S Part One - An Introduction
By Mike Kojima
27 years ago I bought the first new car in my whole life, a red Toyota AE86 GTS Corolla hatch. It was in 1985, I was in my last semester of College and I was working as an intern at TRD. A whole new world was ahead of me. It was an exciting time in my life and the AE86 was the car for that time. It was inexpensive, economical, good looking and its twin cam 16 valve 4AG engine was quite advanced for the time. What ended up making the AE86 an Iconic car was that it (and the Nissan S chassis) was one of the last RWD compacts made. I had a lot of fun with that car and wish I had never sold it.