Setting your FRS or BRZ to be competitive in autocross can be done over the weekend and on a budget. The modifications we’ll be covering will be for the “Street” class regulations, as it is the most cost effective class to race in. This class doesn’t allow any modifications to the engine to increase power so we’re going to focus our attention on the handling aspects. These are the 3 best modifications under $1000 to give your car the greatest advantage out on the cone course.
This is first on our list for a reason. A good set of sticky high performance summer tires will make the biggest difference in your lap times. It happens to be the most expensive modification on the list but it delivers the best bang for buck because it drastically improves acceleration, cornering, and braking. It’s a buy one, get 3x the performance!
However, the rules require a minimum tread wear of 200 UTQG. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of rating, UTQG stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading and for our purposes it means the lower the number the stickier the tire. For our budget we’ll go with the Hankook R-S3’s. They have a tread wear grade of exactly 200 UTQG and they have recently updated the tire compound to heat up quicker and provide more grip during damp/wet conditions.
2. Sway Bar
The FRS/BRZ has a natural tendency to oversteer more then understeer. When the car is pushed to the absolute limits, even with sticky tires, the rear will want to slide out. In order to balance out the handling and increase grip we’ll install some sway bars. Normally we would choose a full kit with front and rear sway bars like the one from Hotchkis, but rather annoyingly the rules state only the substitution of one sway bar is permitted. If we went with a bigger rear sway bar, it would increase oversteer, and likely end in burning through the brand new set of R-S3’s we just picked out. So in order to keep the car from sliding and eating up not only the rear tires but the lap time, the wimpy 18mm front sway bar will need to be replaced with something superior.
Still, everyone’s driving style is different and so is everyone’s preferred amount of oversteer/understeer. So the best front sway bar will need to be adjustable in order to tailor it to the driver’s preferences. The best match for this job is Eibach’s 25mm front sway bar. It has two settings for stiffness, comes with urethane bushings, and shouldn’t take more than 1.5 hours to install.
Here are the Specs:
- 25mm (1.0 in)
- First setting +167% stiffness or 376 lbs/in
- Second setting +248% stiffness or 488 lbs/in
- Weights 7.5 lbs
3. Brake Lines
Mistakes happen, but when your car is now able to carry more speed into the next corner, the margin for error is even narrower. Missing the brake zone with spongy brakes will most likely lead you off course, and hopefully that means more open parking lot and not a wheel destroying curb. To make sure the brakes have the best response, our last modification is front and rear stainless steel brake lines from StopTech. They’ll provide a quicker responding, more consistent, firm, brake pedal while withstanding pressures as high as 3000psi.
225/45/17 Hankook R-S3’s …………………. = $515.32
Eibach 25mm adjustable front sway bar = $277.00
StopTech SS brake lines ……………………… = $119.98
Total = $912.30
If you think you’ve got a better list of mods under $1000 for autocross, tweet us at @86speedfactory.