June 19, 2008

Drop With S-Techs

Got in my Tein S-Techs I purchased from a Ebay reseller. I'll admit, I was skeptical at first because of all the counterfeit Teins I've been hearing about lately. From the pictures they provided though, and the $150 price tag, how could you really argue?

As with the transmission fluid, before installing these, save up time, patience and tools. Everything that could have gone wrong the day of install..did go wrong. I forgot my wheel lock at home, so we had to go back. Then during install, Astral decided to slice his finger open while cutting the bump stopper, so Greenblurr took him to the hospital..Leaving us down to just my buddy Shane and I. It was enough work that we had to just save it for the next day, so we left the car on jack stands in Astral's garage. The next day, Altspace came down and Astral's finger was all bandaged up, so the work was done and done right. The results were better then expected.The car now looks nice and even as opposed to stock, in which there is a huge wheel gap and the rear looks lower then the front. The S-techs give a drop of 1.3 in the front, with 0.8 in the back, evening out the car perfectly. Not only does this help in terms of performance and looks, but it really saves the look of the stock wheel. It makes them look somewhat bigger and improves the gap situation.

When taking it out for a spin, the car certainly felt different in a good way. The drop is great but it's not obnoxious to the point that you can't drive over bumps or anything, which is great. They claim a 30% increase in overall rigidity, and I felt it... especially over bumps. But it did feel more responsive, especially when turning in. I'm not sure what it is, but it feels like the car settles more into the turn. My friend Sergey, (M3 driver, lots of track and autocross seat time) agreed that the springs offered a great bang for the buck, felt really good compared to the older ones, and saved the looks of the car. A month down the road, once the suspension really settles and I get an alignment, I'll have to give a bit more of a review.

June 5, 2008

Hawk HPS Pads

Picked these up from thmotorsports.com and slapped them on ASAP. I have mixed feelings about these brakes to be honest. I spent some time with Oleg (Astral) bedding in the brakes and making sure they're proper before daily use. I tried out various areas to brake, braking lightly, hard, just various types. Honestly? The bite isn't as impressive as OEM brakes, but the stopping power is overall more powerful then my previous pads. They claim "virtually no dust!" but it's MAYBE a little less then OEM, and I barely brake hard when daily driving. I recommend them as a good OEM replacement and for those who plan to try autocross and/or brake hard but want OEM level dust. As I said, I like them, but I'm not sure what my next pads will be. Maybe a set of Project Mu's or Endless. Stay tuned.

June 4, 2008

Yokohama S-Drive

(Comparison from Tirerack is here )

Yokohama S-Drive - 245/40/18 - $163 each on Tire Rack

This was probably one of the best purchases for my car yet. At Liberty, as stated in my control arm post, we finally narrowed down what was wrong with the car in terms of constantly pulling to a certain side, and it was tire pull. The tread was terrible on it anyways, and the tires never really felt that good. But once these puppies were on, my perspective completely changed over all. First off, I got wider specification then stock (stock is 225, I got 245). This is as wide as you can go on the stock wheel for the RX-8. The difference in the grip and the feeling is literally, night and day. Before I would feel very unconfident in my driving ability and how I was taking turns, but with these tires, I can really push the car to limits or drive comfortably on the streets without fear of suddenly losing grip. The pressure I like to keep it at is right around 36.

I've personally compared this set to the Dunlop Direzza Star Spec (the one compared on Tire Rack) and I'd say they're right in their comparision. The Yokohama's are great for tread life while keeping the high performance, but the Dunlops, for only $180, are insane grip and just feel solid at all times. I'm pleased with my purchase of my first set of performance tires. These should take care of me when I try autocrossing for the first time.

June 1, 2008

Best Motoring International - Racing Bonanza

Of the Best Motorings I have reviewed so far, I would say I like this one the least. There really was no particular car focus here, or even a Touge Showdown, as it all was really scattered and different segments. The exotic car run wasn't that bad, as well as the "Hot Hatch" battle, but really, the only thing I found amusing was the "JDM FR Face Off". Featured the Sports Prestige Limited RX-8 (Shinka in US) and a Mazdaspeed RX-8 ver. 2. Great battle, and showed the great overall balance of the RX-8's while other cars experienced brake fading, or other conditions. Watching this episode really made me wish I had a Sports Prestige instead of a normal RX-8, but I suppose at somepoint with all the tuning I have in mind, mine will surpass that and more.

Again, not a Best Motoring I'd really recommend unless you're interested in the luxury car segment, or others. The JDM face off was good, but not worth the whole DVD.