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Hey, new TC owner here. I've been autocrossing since 2005, and plan to run the car in RTF this year. Here's my starting point:

- Installed the factory "crash" bolts to maximize camber adjustment in front.
- Ordered a 27mm Hotchkis Tubular rear swaybar.
- Running 225/45ZR17 BFG Rivals on the stock wheels (for now.)
- Starting alignment: Front Camber (-2.5) and Rear Camber (-1.2) with zero toe front and rear.

Our first two local events are this Saturday and Sunday, and that's the setup I'll be running.

Future Plans:

- 14 Pound Konig Daylite wheels (stock-legal and should save a bit of weight.)
- Koni Yellows
- Lightweight cat-back exhaust
- Schroth Harness (I have one from my last autox car, but not sure if it will bolt in to the TC yet.)

It feels weird having such a short "to-do" list. I ran FSP last year, and the list was much longer.

We'll see how things go this weekend, but I probably won't make many changes based on these events. This particular site has relatively low traction compared to other sites where I've competed.
 

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I have some Ingalls camber bolts lying around as well Justin. However, they are almost more pain to adjust than they are worth, which I am sure you have seen in the past. Rather than trying to keep everything in place while you tighten them, it is easier to just use crash bolts, especially since you are likely setting them to "all of the camber I can get" :)

I didnt realize you didnt have your sway yet. I would have let you use my TRD rear sway that is lying in my garage for the time being. May be a bit late before M1 and M2, but if you wanted to try and use it I could meet you somewhere in the next day or two to let you grab it. Not as stiff as the Hotchkis but much better than stock. I was going to sell it on here last year, but ended up going awol for a while on the forums and never did.

Those camber numbers look pretty good. I run -1.25 in the rear all the time, -1.5 up front on the street and -3 degrees, or as close as my camber plates get to that, at events. I am pretty happy with those settings.

Now, if the weather forecast could look a tad better ....
 

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Oh, and I can vouch that a harness is one of the better mods I have made for autox. I got a sparco for cheap a couple of years ago, and it makes a huge difference during runs not having to worry about holding myself up in the seat!
 

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Oh, and I can vouch that a harness is one of the better mods I have made for autox. I got a sparco for cheap a couple of years ago, and it makes a huge difference during runs not having to worry about holding myself up in the seat!
I'm going to pull my old Schroth harness out of my Protege and see if that will work.

No big deal on the rear bar. Mine is scheduled to arrive on Friday. Nothing like some last minute mods the night before an event. ;) I might still be interested in trying your TRD bar if the Hotchkis is too much. I have a feeling the car will be VERY loose at Valleyfair. You wouldn't happen to have any extra adjustable rear endlinks, would you? I'll probably just build my own.

Being that I'm running RTF, I have to run the factory Toyota crash bolts anyways. I'm actually not quite maxed out on camber. I think I could get the front closer to -2.8 or so. I marked the struts and bolts with paint so I can see if they slip at all. I've got close to 100 miles on this new alignment, and it has really transformed the handling. Of all the cars I've competed in, I've never noticed as much of a difference from just the alignment changes. Really makes me wish I had ordered the Koni's already.

Looking forward to this weekend too, but yes, some better weather would be great.

Are you still running the RS3's this weekend?
 

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Yep. My no seasons (Ziex 912's .... which sucked new) are pretty much done. So I am definitely running the RS3's and just dealing with the weather. Higgins has an issue with his GTI and will be co driving with me, so maybe we can keep some warmth in them! Some forecasts say low 40's, some say 50's. If it is 50's then I think they do well. 40's ... well, maybe not so great :)

So I have been wanting to just build a set of coilovers for mine. The Tein SS-P's are pretty decent for off the shelf units out of what is available for the tC, but we know about the inconsistency of their springs and dampers. My thought is taking Koni inserts (Still have my stock struts) for the front, koni full dampers in the rear, remove the spring perches up front, fitting the tein ss-p camber plates on them, etc and using some good Hyperco springs. My only unknown right now is if the Koni shaft will fit in the pillowball from the ss-ps, since Koni's tend to have larger diameter shafts. But .... when you get yours I would like to measure them and compare :)

I normally, for the typically street driver/tuner, do not recommend running just the hotchkis rear bar on the street. But being that you are an experienced autocrosser and have autocrossed rear wheel drives, I dont think you will have an issue at all. I have one of the limited run Dan Gardner spec progress rear bars. It is the same bar he runs on his road race tC and they made a limited run of 50. It is a 25mm solid bar and I believe stiffer than the hotchkis on the stiff setting. I love it. I have learned on these nose heavy FWD's that for autox, you want to make it crazy loose and then learn to drive it :) But really, it is manageable if you know what you are doing. It may be a little twitchy on lower spring rates, but I bet it works for you.

By the length of these posts, you can tell I am full ready for the end of silly season! See you at M1.
 

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We could definitely get some measurements on the Koni's when I get them. I wonder if the pillow ball can be replaced in those camber plates. If it can, I would imagine you could replace it with a new one that has the correct I.D. for the Koni's. (unless they're already correct, of course.)
 

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I foresee a coilover building project starting soon for me :) I have been tossing it around for a while, but I know the Tein dampers will need a rebuild soon, and rather than spend $300-$400 plus shipping for that, I think its time I just build a good set to the specs I want.
 

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You put some seriously respectable times down in that stock tC Justin! Cant wait to see how you do with the sway and Konis on it.

This weekends events were fun, more so on Sunday when the weather was nicer. My co-driver beat me on Sunday in my own car lol. I got him in raw times, but we run pro class scoring, so with a combined morning and afternoon run, he got me by a bit over 0.1 seconds. This will be a fun season :)

But, I pax'd 8th out of 138 cars, which is my best pax finish so far. I also raw timed 42nd out of 138, which I am pretty happy with. Top 3rd of the event in raw times in a non class winning STF car is ok by me :) Especially in our club ... which I will still say is the best club to run with .. but maybe I am partial!
 

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You put some seriously respectable times down in that stock tC Justin! Cant wait to see how you do with the sway and Konis on it.
Thanks, David! You and Patrick were drove very well and it looked like the car was working well too.

I ended up in 2nd Place for RTF both days. I didn't end up running the new rear bar due to a broken capture nut on one of the swaybar brackets. I was able to make the stock rear bar work. The handling was decent, but I was really struggling to put power down, (major wheel-spin.) I think the Hotchkis bar should really help stabilize the car, and hopefully translate to less wheel-spin.

Since the last event, I did finally get the Hotchkis bar installed. My brother helped me plasma-cut the bracket and weld in a new capture nut. Also, couple days ago I noticed the smell of hydaulic oil and found that I had blown my LF strut. I just ordered Koni's that should show up later this week. (Fronts only.) Unfortunately, that means another alignment is in order. I'll probably just max out the front camber myself. The toe shouldn't change. I have an event this weekend and won't be able to get an alignment before then. Hopefully the installation of the new front Koni inserts goes smoothly. I also sold my 225/45-17 Rivals and purchased 215/45-17 Rivals to replace them. An upcoming article in Grassroots Motorsports should help to explain why, but it's mostly due to the shape of the contact patch. I mounted the new 215 Rivals on Motegi SP10 wheels (17 pounds.) Not as light as the Konigs, but much better looking and a little cheaper. I think they're still 6 pounds lighter than the stock TC wheels, too.

David, if you want to take measurements of the front Koni's before I install them, let me know.
 

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I installed the front Koni inserts into the stock strut housings yesterday. Kind of a pain. I've done a lot of suspension installs on other cars, but this was my first time doing inserts. It's not particularly difficult, so much as it is tedious. I had all the right tools and it still took over half a day. That was just the fronts. The rears look like they could be done in 30 minutes or less? Anyways, glad they're in and ready to try them out at an autox this Sunday. I had to guess at the front camber since I can't get it aligned in time, but I just pulled to get max negative camber. It drives perfectly straight, so the cross-camber must be pretty close.

I've pretty much done all of the prep I plan to for this season, (except for exhaust,) so from here on it will come down to adjusting tire pressures, shock settings, and alignment to get the car dialed in. The stock exhaust looks pretty heavy, so I'm planning to replace the resonator with a straight-through style muffler and run 2.5" pipe to the back. If the published curb weight of 2905 pounds is close to accurate, I think I should be closer to 2850 (race weight) when all is said and done.
 

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We had our 3rd local autocross of the year yesterday. Once again, I took 2nd place in RTF. A G-Stock Neon SRT4 ACR keeps taking 1st. Car felt fantastic. I cranked the Koni's to pretty near full stiff. The Hotchkis rear bar was also set to full stiff. The car had a slight tendency to oversteer more than understeer, which is exactly what I wanted. On one of the fast sweepers, I could feel the inside rear tire coming WAY off the ground. I really have no major complaints about the handling. For a heavy, FWD, H-Stock car on street tires, it's surprisingly good.



I decided to weigh the car today. I unloaded everything so the car was basically "race-ready." There is a local landfill that claims their scale is well-calibrated. It rounds to the nearest 20 pound increment. So it's not perfectly accurate down to the pound, but it does give me an accurate rage of where the car's weight actually is.

Here is the state of the car for weigh-in:
2005 TC 5-speed
- 17x7 Motegi SP10 Wheels
- 215/45ZR17 BFG Rivals
- 27mm Hotchkis Rear Swaybar
- Koni front strut inserts in stock housings
- Removed spare tire
- Removed rear cargo cover and trunk mat
- 6.5 gallons of fuel

Everything else is stock. Anything that has been removed or added is listed above.

Weight w/driver displayed as 2,980 pounds (Driver weight: 180 pounds)
Weight w/no driver displayed as 2,800 pounds.

Since the scale rounds to the nearest 20 pound increment, I can assume the car weighs somewhere between 2790 and 2810 w/no driver. The factory curb weight is listed as 2905 pounds, which actually makes sense when I put in a full tank of gas and put all of the stock parts back on.

2800 Pounds
+ stock wheels (add 6 pounds each) = 2824 pounds
+ spare tire (maybe 30 pounds?) = 2854 pounds
+ cargo cover and trunk mat (5 pounds?) = 2859 pounds
+ 8 more gallons of fuel to fill tank (50 pounds?) = 2909 pounds

Sounds about right to me. A lighter cat-back exhaust will be the next (and last) weight saving mod.

 

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Nice to know Justin! Mine hit right at 2900 totally stock, so that makes sense.

You did great at the last event. I had my best finish ever during that event as well

4th out of 22 in Pro Index
6th out of 137 in overall pax
25th out of 137 in raw times

I can live with that in a 160hp, 2900 lb nose heavy fwd :D
 

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You beat Todd's STF Mini which is considered one of the fastest STF cars in the country right now. Nice job! You've really got me thinking about going to STF, (which I promised myself I wouldn't.)

Back on the topic of weight savings...
I went ahead and made some changes to the exhaust. I removed the stock resonator and replaced it with a Magnaflow "straight-through" muffler. Unfortunately, the resonator was much lighter than I expected it to be. So no significant weight savings there. I also unbolted the axle-back exhaust, and fabbed up a straight pipe that exits in the original location. My net weight loss was about 15 pounds. Not as much as I'd hoped for, but if I really wanted to get serious, I think I could drop another 10-15 pounds in the exhaust. The slightly more free-flowing design of my new set-up can't hurt, and it's nice to be able to hear the car now.

The additional weight savings means I'm somewhere between 2775 and 2795 pounds. Let's call it 2785 pounds.

IF I were to go to STF, I did the math and think it would be possible to get under 2700 pounds with some serious prep.
Starting (current) weight: 2785 pounds
-Lighter wheels (-12 pounds)
-Lighter exhaust (-15 pounds)
-Lighter battery (-30 pounds)
-Lighter seats (-40 pounds)
Net Loss: (97 pounds)
Potential STF weight: 2688 pounds

It's tempting to go this route, but I'm concerned that:
1. The STAC/SEB could be adding newer (more competitive) cars to STF in the near future.
2. There are a couple of cars that might have more potential (ZX3 2.3, Focus SVT, Lancer Ralliart, RSX.)
3. The Mini's lighter overall weight (around 2300 pounds in STF trim,) and smaller phyiscal dimensions, might make up for it's lower power to weight ratio.
4. The car will be less street-able.
 

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Good ideas there Justin.

I need to look at batteries as well. I have seen an interesting experiment done using a group of super cap's as the battery. The guy was able to drive a couple of days using them as a battery. This was in I believe an xA, so you would need more to crank over the 2.4L motor, but we are talking in the realm of a pound or so for the battery pack :) Interesting idea for sure.

Lighter wheels would also be a big help, I think you can lose even more weight. 17X7 RFP1's run about 14 lbs each I believe, stocks are closer to 22lbs, so thats 32 lbs in savings for all 4.

For my results, I think the longer, faster courses are better suited to the tC from my experience. Last season we ran a fast course like the last one we ran at M3 this season and that is the only other time that I recall beating Todd. On the tighter courses, it is much harder for me to keep up with him.

I need to get in touch with you soon Justin. I have a new set of tires coming for the 4Runner that will need to be mounted and balanced. Where are you located these days? The only spot I new of before was at First Gear.
 

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JustinT, I was wondering if you could tell a very big difference in the feel of the car after dropping its weight as much as you have
I wouldn't say it's very noticeable. It's the equivalent of having a passenger in your car, then having the passenger get out of the car. However, when I'm hauling 300 pounds of gear in the car, then take it out, I can feel the difference.

For me, the weight loss isn't so much about feeling the difference, as it is knowing the difference. Whether I can feel it or not, the weight savings will help. It's the cheapest way to improve your Power to Weight Ratio.
 

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Cool!

To Justins points, when you are doing something like autox, a couple hundred pounds can make a difference seeing as how you are measuring things on a 100th or sometimes even 1000th of a second. However, your butt dyno will never notice this as much on the street. You wont feel a difference, but on a race timer, you will see it.
 
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