Wednesday, February 1, 2012

S13 Update: Nearly Track Ready

The S13 is nearing completion - and not a moment too soon. For this Saturday, I'll be attending a closed track day at the Sepang International Circuit :).

With the engine rebuild completed, I shifted my focus to the car's handling. The S13 was still running stock sway bars. After installing a full set of Hard Race suspension upgrades (pillow ball tension rods, lower rear arms, rear camber kit etc), along with Nismo bushings and solid sub frame collars, the old bars just wouldn't cut it. The rear felt very solid and the front somewhat weak. This might affect turn-in and promote understeer. As such, it needed stiffening and the stock bars were just too skinny. That's why I opted for a full set of front and back Cusco stabiliser bar kit. They arrived from Japan and here is the reason why they are going onto the car:

Cusco Stabiliser bar kit for front - (P)S13. 28mm diameter (Standard is 24mm). 131% stiffness comparison.

Cusco Stabiliser bar kit for rear - (P)S13. 18mm diameter (Standard is 16mm). 114% stiffness comparison.

Along with the Cusco bars, I ordered Nismo Braided Clutch Hoses for both the S13 and the R33 GT-R. Compared to the factory stock rubber hose, stainless steel mesh was adopted by Nismo for a much lower rate of expansion. The Teflon interior of the pipe provides a low pipe frictional coefficient and smooth flow volume characteristics, for more direct clutch operations. So in other words, there is no room for volumetric expansion. Not only will the Nismo braided clutch hose firm up pedal feel but it'll also make the clutch function precisely, by not allowing the hose to swell and lose pressure.

Now all that's left is to upgrade the car's suspensions. It's currently running JIC high lows and as some of you might know, you need fully adjustable suspension for the track. I'm looking at buying a used set of Aragostas but at the sametime, quite keen to see what RCS - Radical Chassis Solutions - can do for my ride. It's headed by Nanda Kumar, who has some 15 years of experience in rallying. According to a review by Tom of Zerotohundred, Nanda was trained by Lotus Engineering and has served as an engineer there for some years. So, he probably knows a thing or two about suspensions, and handling, of the Lotus kind.

More updates to come, so stay tuned :).

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