The guys at Motovicity have been singing the praises of HKS's new Max IV coilover systems to us for a while. While we have generally always been impressed with HKS's tidy OEM like engineering, it was a while since we had experienced their coilovers. In the early 2000's we had tried some of the original Hypermax suspensions on a few of our cars and although we found them to be of high quality and smooth riding, they did not have enough spring rate and damping for serious performance with big sticky tires and especially track use. We sort of regulated the brand as nice for street use only and looked toward other places for suspension for our projects.
Fast forward 10 years and 4 generations of Hypermax suspension later, plus Motovicity's raving about them made us eager to get our hands on the Hypermax or Max 4 suspension system for another review.
We test out Auto Meter’s incredibly advanced Elite gauges and examine the technology that makes some gauges better than others.
In our previous installments of Project SEMA Scion Tuner Challenge FR-S we have been working on getting the performance of our sports coupe up to snuff. Now it's time to look at stuff that we usually don't care that much about: the looks stuff and cool JDM bits needed for car show points!
Since we figured that every FR-S at the SEMA show was going to sport the new Rocket Bunny wide body kit, we decided to do something completely different. We came up with a theme of restraint. At the risk that no one would get it, we decided to go MotoIQ style and come up with a look of a practical daily driver car, one that would look trick with a few high quality parts but not something that would scream look at me. Would the judges get it? Probably not but we had to do something radically different.
Driven: 2015 Subaru WRX
The 2015 WRX is the first time in a long time the WRX has received really major changes. Sure, they changed the head lights, wing size, and the body style some over the years. But mechanically, the cars had remained remarkably similar for a decade. That has all changed with the 2015 WRX. The new WRX is so good (reminds me quite a bit of my 2005 Evo 8 actually in terms of performance), I actually recommend it over the STI if used purely as a fun daily driver.
With the first MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship race weekend approaching fast after the initial shakedown at Buttonwillow Raceway in part 2, Project Civic EF Racecar had a laundry list of modifications, parts installs, and safety preparation to take care of. In retrospect as I write this article, I’m truly shocked but also proud how it all came together. But during the process, I was under a lot of stress. With not only a significant amount of mechanical changes happening to the car, but also a big exterior overhaul, the scheduling had to be extremely precise. The collaborative effort between myself, principal sponsors, and contributing shops was the only way Project EF made it to the MPTCC grid. Here’s the story as to how it all came together, right down to the wire.
Project Fiesta ST's owner started to really get the track day bug after we did our initial round of mods by installing suspension into the car. He then shocked us by telling us he wanted to take the car off the street and turn it into a full time track car and eventual race car. He suddenly gutted a lot of the car's interior out of it and wanted a cage.
We decided that if the car was going to become a race car we had better go all the way and do it right. We enlisted the help of Scott Dodgion of SPD Motorsports to help us with his expertise in building real nice competition cars.
After the revelation in the first installment of this 2014 Mazda3 project that we actually spend two-plus hours a day in this car commuting to work, we’ll blow your mind a little more. We can’t autocross or do track days from November until well into April here in Ohio. The weather is just too cold and wet. That said, contrary to public opinion, there are plenty of car enthusiasts outside Southern California and we find our own ways to have fun during the winter months.
The Viper has a reputation for being difficult to drive and even (incorrectly) known as a bad handling car. Since the 2nd Generation Viper has not been reviewed by a magazine in close to 15 years, we took Project Viper to the track to dispel some myths and assess the car’s balance and handling ability.
When we last left off, our Project Focus ST had gotten a new set of coilovers from ST Suspension and a few other bits from mountune. Well, the owner of our car has just gotten the track day bug and decided to take the Fiesta ST off the street and build a race car out of it. The car has been getting converted to a real race car at SPD Motorsports and part of that conversion has been upgrading the brakes to bigger units from Gold Coast Automotive with some electronic help from Ford Racing.
So as we alluded to in our last article, our powerful supercharged Tundra without a limited slip was continually activating the Trucks electronic nannies. With the more powerful engine, the electronic LSD was working the rear brakes constantly trying to keep one tire fire under control and with the added cornering forces that our bigger tires allowed, the stability control was grinding away at the front brakes in tuns all the time. The electronics were probably causing the brakes to be used at twice the normal rate.
We had tackled some of the issue by limiting body roll with a Sequoia front and TRD rear anti sway bar and turning up the stiffness of our King Adjustable shocks. Adding an Auburn Gear Limited Slip Differential also helped a lot to keep the electronics from grinding away at our brakes. However our brakes and rotors were shot with the rear brakes worn to the backing plates and we had to replace those ASAP.
We turned to Stoptech for some help in the brake replacement department with some new rear sport rotors and some less aggressive brake pads in the hopes of reducing brake dust and rotor wear for this brake service period