Monday, April 2, 2012

Powertrix Coilovers & Mazdaspeed Front Strut Bar

The end of 2011 I decided I was going to go a different route and do some changes to my setup.  A big one that I was super excited about what getting rid of the Tein S-Tech Lowering springs for a set of nice race coilovers.  Don't get me wrong I loved the S-Tech lowering springs, for the money they performed great even in autox.

For awhile I head my mind set to buy Stance GR+ Coilovers.  I've only heard great things about them and the price is very satisfying for a solid coilover.  After some random forum browsing I came across a group buy for a set of Powertrix Racing Coilovers.  Normal price of these falls right in the same place as the Stance at around $1,500 and the group rate was going to be $1,034 shipped, so naturally I became curious.  I started trying to find information about the brand and came to find they are a very reputable brand in the Nissan scene for the older Z's even to the new 350Z, 370Z and Infiniti G models.  The few RX-8 owners that did own them talked very highly of them and compared them with the Stance GRs for quality, fitment and performance. I decided to take a shot at them.

After about a month or so waiting for them (production wait) I finally got them and was insanely eager to put them on.  I got them on a Friday and installed them myself on Saturday.

QUALITY: First off the quality was amazing.  Both front and rears are a full assembly so you do not have to swap the rear top hats which is pretty common on most coilover sets for the RX-8.  The springs and collars are powdercoated in black, and the spring perches and top hats are powdercoated in a nice green similar to a Kawasaki green.

FITMENT/INSTALL: Fitment was also very nice.  I had 0 issues with any clearance or fitting.  The went right in as OEM would. Install took me around 4 hours including height adjustments to where I wanted being the first coilovers I have ever done I thought I did decent.

ISSUES:  The main thing I would like to be known, really isn't an issue at all.  The way the front coilovers are assembled, the adjustment knobs are extremely long.  They are to the point that if you are running the OEM Front strut bar it will not clear them.  Now the reason this isn't a huge issue is because the coilovers do come with spacers that you have to actually unbolt the top hats of the fronts and insert the spacers and reassemble, this will allow you to run the OEM Strut bar.  For me I decided to leave it the way they came because I knew it would force me to finally just go ahead and purchase the Mazdaspeed Strut bar.

THOUGHTS: Absolutely in love with these.  I have tried a bunch of settings.  For now I have been mostly cruising around in full soft which makes for a pretty comfortable daily commute.  For some fun I have experimented with some settings.  I did like 10 clicks up front and 7 clicks in rear.  The ride was super responsive and the body roll in the car was super minimum.  For now that is all I really can say.  Autocross is coming up in a couple of weeks and I will do a follow up on how they perform on the track.

As I mentioned, I did go ahead and purchased the Mazdaspeed Front Strut Bar.  I figured I would just go ahead and increase handling further and at the same time add some nice bling to the engine bay.
There isn't too much to really say about the MS bar.  Fitment is great, install is super simple (10 minutes) and it adds a lot of feedback to your steering wheel.  All extremely likable things.

Mazdaspeed Catback Exhaust and Corksport Single Resonated Midpipe Update

Last year I bought a Corksport midpipe in which I ran with the factory catback exhaust.  It added a deeper tone, but as I explained in a previous post from last year it also had an annoying rasp around 3k RPM that lasted til about 3500RPM when hitting it hard.  This is why I wanted to discuss the midpipe again in this post.

A local RX-8 owner told me he was trying to get rid of a Mazdaspeed Dual Canister Catback that he replaced with the Exoticspeed R1-T Catback.  I decided I would take it off his hands, since he wanted pretty cheap change for it.  Also being that I am sticking with NA power vs turbo for awhile, I wanted to stick with full 2.5" exhaust piping, which the Corksport and Mazdaspeed pair is perfect.

Started her up, and initially its louder than the stock catback (obviously).  The sound was great though, nice deep tone.  Went for some hard pulls and noticed that with the aftermarket catback, the rasp created by the midpipe was totally gone WOOT.  This rasp problem was driving me absolutely nuts before that I was looking into resonators to add a second one on.

Overall the look and sound of the exhaust is pretty much exactly what I was looking for and I am pretty happy with it.  Money wise it was a great choice considering all catbacks have very minimal gains for the RX-8.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Corksport Ride of the Month!

So I wanted to post a thank you to Corksport.  I was contacted by Gwynne about featuring my car as their ride of the month for February.  Gwynne also featured my girlfriends Mazda2 for September last year.

I am pretty excited my car was featured although I know my car does not have too many Corksport parts.  Unfortunately they do not support the RX-8 as much as they do other Mazdas.  But I do support their products, and we do have a lot of them on the 2.  Their customer service is also the best.

I am hoping to try out their Corksport Strut bars on my RX-8.  I will be going with a new color scheme this year on my car, and I would have to get them powder-coated but it is in the planning.

Corksport's blog entry of my car can be found here.  I have also linked their full blog on the side bar of my blog!

Big thanks to Gwynne for the opportunity, and also a thanks to Derrick and Chris as they have answered questions promptly.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Small Update - Airpump Removal and Catch Can Relocation

Minor little update I did.  I decided to remove the Air Pump since I am now catless to clear up some room under the engine bay.  The more and more i clear stuff up the easier it is for me to work inside there.  I also noticed leaving the mounting bracket in the engine bay that was holding the air pump on, it gave a nice mounting solution for my Oil Catch Can.  I wasn't exactly happy with the spot it was mounted in before and felt it was much too far from the oil filler neck, plus the extra long hoses weren't very pretty to me.

I actually realized I never shot some pictures of this and being winter right now my car is put away.  Come Spring I will have more!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

WOO Polyurethane Engine Mounts!

I am going to start off by saying, this has to be one of the most underrated upgrades for any car.  I used to look at the costs of motor mount upgrades and would be like why the hell would anyway pay money for some mounts.  Now I know...

After my first autox day, my stock motor mounts were starting to get really bad, and my engine had tons of vibration and play,  After doing this everything is super smooth, including throttle response and acceleration.

I didn't buy new mounts, considering their really arent any aftermarket mounts available for the RX8 in the US market, but people have been filling their stock mounts with polyurethane for a long time with great results and thats exactly what I did.  I followed the DIY from my buddy Marc Monnar's Blog in which you can find here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Autocrossing Event!

For quite some time now, I have been wanting to get out on the track with the RX-8 and do some autocrossing.  My friend Marc has also been pushing for me to goto an event for at least a year now.

Today was my first EVER autox day, it was with the Renegade Miata Club in Devens, MA and shit was it a blast. I was extremely nervous at first going into an event with a lot of experienced drivers on the track, but this group was filled with the coolest and most helpful people ever.  I quickly felt relieved and just started having huge fun with everyone even before I set foot on the track.

Everyone was there to give pointers and help you start out and just get better and better with every run!

Here are some videos of a couple of my runs one being a spinout run lol, that were recorded using my friend Marc's GoPro Camera...

I must say after this one event I am highly addicted and can't wait to get better, and be competitive against some of the other top drivers!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Corksport Single Resonated Racepipe

UPDATE 3/11/2012:

So I was running this midpipe with the stock catback for awhile.  Recently I purchased a Mazdaspeed Catback second hand from a local RX8 owner.  The Corksport Midpipe paired with this catback is pure amazing.  The sound is super deep with zero rasp through all RPMs.

So ever since driving with aged coils and spark plugs and finally upgrading to the BHR Ignition, I started getting worried about a possible clogged Cat Converter since it is a common problem and common cause of engine failure. After doing some research I ultimately decided to go with a Catless Midpipe just to save on any future aggravation and worry. The next thing was, Which pipe do I go with?

After watching videos of multiple pipes I quickly learned that going straight pipe with not resonator was much too loud and pretty raspy too. So I was definately looking into a resonated pipe. After further research I found out a huge piece of information. The rotary engine heat just eats and blows out resonator packing, which basically means after awhile your resonator will be useless and your midpipe will sound like crap.

So this left me with two Companys that both use metal resonators with no packing material...

Black Halo Racing Single Resonated Midpipe $450
Corksport Single Resonated Midpipe $250
Corksport Dual Resonated Midpipe $350

Black Halo Racings pipe has recieved a huge amount of praise, and I have heard it in person and it is a great product. Using only one resonator, it keeps sound levels basically at a stock. The only issues in BHRs product is #1 Price, its a bit steep to say the least, and #2 their service was just way too slow. I waited 7 weeks for their ignition and I waited awhile for the midpipe then asked for a refund just because of the wait.

Corksport's pipes were a tough decision, I have always had good luck on their products with my girlfriend's Mazda2, but they do not get a lot of attention from RX8 owners, and I was unable to find one video of their midpipes except for their own which was paired with their catback exhaust. Well from reading numbers posted by them it seemed the dual resonated would be close to stock levels and their single resonated would be a few decibels louder. I decided I would give them a shot and ordered the Single Resonated.

Impressions- Well initially its a great looking pipe, nicee welds and the resonator seems good quality. Install wasn't hard except for removing the stock Cat (the 3 bolts on the header side are most likely going to be rusted to crap and are going to be a b**** to get out!) Aside from that no problems.

Right now I have the stock OEM Catback paired with this. The sound is actually really awesome, just cruising it isn't loud at all, the tone changed to a deeper tone. Cruising on the highway there is absolutely no drone either (again on stock catback). When you really hit it is when you realize you have a midpipe, the sound is louder but not cop trouble loud either and the power gain is definitely there.

Overall I am happy with my decision on the Corksport Midpipe. My only wish is, that they would provide more parts for the RX-8.