Improving my BMW’s on track performance with an e36 brake upgrade.
Brake upgrades are often overlooked when it comes to modifying a car. However, they are also one of the most important upgrades you can do. Especially, if the car has already been modified for more power and faster speeds! This becomes even more important if the car is a track day car or race car. In that case, upgraded brakes is a must. Not only for safety, because a weak brake system will not stop the car after a few hot laps. But, also for performance and reliability. For this phase of my e36 brake upgrade process, I have picked up a new set of high performance rotors and brake pads. I went with Stoptech slotted rotors front and rear, as well as Hawk DTC-60 brake pads. This combo should provide the stopping power I need while also being consistent lap after lap.
It is winter time and I need to find out if my 1994 BMW 325is will start! The car has been sitting for about a month so I am not sure if I will have a successful start. If all goes well, I will record some of the glorious e36 exhaust sound and revs that come from this car. Since I have numerous engine upgrades, this is not an ordinary 325is. The upgrades on this car include an aFe intake and also a TMS computer chip. In addition, I have engine bolt-ons that consist of TMS headers and a Bimmerworld lightweight race exhaust. This makes for a pretty loud and angry sounding BMW!
Protect your Subaru with this BRZ mud flaps install guide.
Nobody likes rock chips or blemishes in their cars paint. By following my Subaru BRZ mud flaps install guide, you can easily protect the lower sections of your car. I did this install on my 2017 Subaru BRZ just after I purchased the car. The new BRZ is a fantastic car and looks great in just about every color it comes in. However, I personally prefer the world rally blue pearl color and went with the BRZ mud flaps to keep the paint free from rock chips. The installation of the mud flaps, or sometimes called splash guards, is fairly straightforward. All you need is basic tools like a screwdriver and drill with drill bits. If you are technically inclined the job can be finished in under an hour.
The BRZ mud flaps have proved to be pretty good upgrade while being relatively inexpensive. If you want to know more, you can also check out my BRZ mud flaps review page.
The Subaru BRZ has many improvements for model year 2017. Among some of the changes are engine upgrades and interior changes. The engine upgrades result in a slightly different BRZ exhaust sound compared to the previous model year cars. Since the engine has a bit more power and slightly re-worked exhaust system, this was to be expected. But, what does it really sound like? I have recorded the exhaust sound from my Scion FRS in the past and was curious how the new BRZ stacked up. Granted, my 2017 BRZ is bone stock car while my FRS had upgrades. The stock BRZ sounds pretty dang good!
It’s time to install my new BRZ STi front lip on my 2017 BRZ! The instructions available for installing the BRZ STi lip are specific to pre-2017 cars, so it was a little bit tricky to figure out. I did have help from another BRZ enthusiast on the FT86club forums. Following these instructions, the BRZ STi front lip install process was fairly straightforward. I was able to successfully install the BRZ STi lip on my own 2017 BRZ. The BRZ STi lip adds an aggressive look to an already great looking car. In my case, I am also using it for a little bit of autocross cone protection for the front bumper 🙂 Be careful though, since the lip hangs down about 1.5″ from the normal bumper, it becomes a bit of a ground clearance hazard.
It’s not often that I get cosmetic upgrades for my cars, but this BRZ STi front lip looks too good to pass up. The front under-spoiler is from the Subaru accessory catalog, so it is a genuine Subaru STi part. The front lip gives the car a lower, more aggressive look. In addition, it will help protect the real bumper from potential dings and impacts. This is especially important when you autocross the car like I do. Nothing like built in cone protection for your shiny new bumper 🙂 You can order your own lip directly from your local Subaru dealership. Check out the video as Shelby and I un-box the BRZ STi front lip! Check back soon for the installation video as well.
I have spent a couple weekends of installing upgrades and modifications on my new 2017 BRZ. This weekend, I had the chance to get my BRZ first autocross event in! My 2017 Subaru BRZ has all of the suspension upgrades in place, as well as the various chassis upgrades. In addition to that, the BRZ has a fresh alignment and corner balancing from my race shop. I have been looking forward to how the new car compares to my old 2013 Scion FRS. Theoretically, the 2017 BRZ should outperform the older FRS. However, the cars are so close performance wise, it might be difficult to notice. Finally, check out how the event went and how the BRZ stacks up performance wise!
This particular install session was a mixed bag of various BRZ upgrades. I started off by upgrading the rear subframe and differential mounts with bushing inserts. I used Whiteline bushing inserts, which improve stability and car feedback when driving. These are a great upgrade at a very inexpensive price. In addition to the bushing inserts, we shed some weight on the front of the car by installing a Shorai lightweight battery. A lightweight battery easily saves ~25lbs from on the front of the car. Lastly, to improve stopping power, we installed Hawk HPS brake pads.
After the BRZ suspension install, my car is no longer stock!
Baseline power numbers for my 2017 Subaru BRZ have been acquired, so now it is time to get the BRZ suspension installed! As you might know, the heart and soul of a race car is the suspension and chassis. For this key component, I chose Racecomp Engineering Tarmac 2 coil-over suspension. The springs I am using are RCE 400lbs springs front and rear. Next, Raceseng camber plates manage the front alignment for camber and caster adjustment. Lastly, Whiteline provides added roll stiffness in the front of the car with a 20mm front sway bar. Also included with the front sway bar is adjustable end-links. These modifications will increase the stability and handling of my 2017 Subaru BRZ for better performance when racing. To complete the BRZ suspension modifications, the car will need a race alignment and corner balancing.
The Subaru BRZ is new and improved for the 2017 model year. In addition to other enhancements, power increases are at the top of the list. Subaru claims to have increased the BRZ stock power by 5 horsepower and 5 lb-ft of torque. This brings the total horsepower output to 205hp and total torque output to 156lb-ft. Are these new BRZ stock power claims true? Well, I took my 2017 Subaru BRZ to the dyno and had it compared against my old 2013 Scion FRS. Both cars were bone stock when they hit the dyno. Although, the timelines were different as the FRS was on the dyno a year prior. However, the numbers and dyno graph don’t lie, take a look!