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This is a discussion on Auto Cross within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I Took my '09 to it's first auto cross yesterday totally stock with a short shifter from the factory. While ...

  1. #1
    Registered User mase33's Avatar
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    Auto Cross

    I Took my '09 to it's first auto cross yesterday totally stock with a short shifter from the factory. While it was a lot of fun I experienced several problems.

    I was having a tough time with not being able to turn the traction control all the way off, which really annoyed me. I would get through a turn feel the car's weight get set and get on the gas and have nothing until the system allowed the loud peddle to work. I know I can turn off one level which I clearly had off, but does anyone know a way around this?

    Secondly, body roll was pretty bad, but not as bad as some of the BMW's I was going against. I'm considering a 22-24mm Front sway bar and something in the back. My question being if these are suitable for everyday driving?

    Thirdly, It was awesome. I beat 7 cars out of 21 including a'07 STI with some mods, but I had the most important mod a good driver haha. The reason for such a low finish was, because I run in a BMW club I'm grouped in the "non BMW" class which included several Porsches, and other heavily modified cars that I would think stock would be a closer race.


    Anyways, now I'm gushing but I loved the experience I had and once I fix the few problems I had it will be even better. If you haven't autocrossed I highly recommend doing it. I have videos that I may post later.
    Grant | Stink Eye-Mob #133 | '09 WRX Premium
    STI Short Shifter, 25mm Front Sway Bar, 22mm Rear Sway Bar, Endlinks, Perrin Stealth (Black) Turbo back exhaust
    Pictures of My WRX http://www.flickr.com/photos/37962357@N02/

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  3. #2
    Registered User penelope's Avatar
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    From the way your post was worded, I'm guessing you were at a BMW club autocross?

    The front swaybar may help, and won't be noticeable in daily driving. But if you really want to help the car out for autocross purposes, and still stay in "stock" class (per SCCA rules, which is what most non-BMW and non-Porsche clubs use), you can't do the rear sway bar without being bumped up a class.

    Suspension-wise, you should look at a set of struts too. I had Koni inserts on my '06 WRX when it was still in stock class, and I've moved to AST 5200s with my street prepared build. AST has offerings that would be legal for stock class as well (ie., direct replacement, without the external reservoir). Ohlins are another good "stock legal" strut. Finish it all up with a good alignment, and you should be set. With an adjustable strut, you can set them one way for the event, and then soften them up for street driving (or, just leave them on the competition settings and let passengers complain about how miserable the ride is on crappy streets in your area ).

    A stock classed car will still have a good amount of body roll. You're not going to be able to get rid of most of it without going to stiffer springs.

    My car leaning as a D-stock car :


    My car leaning as an E-street-prepared car :

    Suspension differences? Koni inserts (DS) vs. AST 5200s (ESP), Whiteline adjustable front swaybar on the 29mm setting (DS) vs. no front swaybar, and stock springs vs. 800#/650# Eibachs.

    If you're not worried so much about being able to win a local event (especially if you start going to club with SCCA classing), then do whatever you want and have fun with it. However, if you care about being able to win, consider your modifications very carefully before you end up "outclassed." Good luck!

    SCCA rulebook is here in PDF form.
    Karen Kraus
    2005 SCCA FS Southeast Divisional Champion | 2007 SCCA DSL National Champion
    2008 SCCA ProSolo L1 Champion | 2009 SCCA ESPL National Champion
    2010 SCCA ESP Northeast Divisional Champion
    2006 WRX (ESP 34) | 1996 Camaro Z28 1LE (ESP 34) | 1997 Camaro Z28 (DD)

  4. #3
    Registered User mase33's Avatar
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    Yeah I was in a BMW club event so I'm in the "other" class which means I can do whatever I want to my car and not move up in class. If I went to a real event then I'd have to watch what I'm doing, but I'm not that serious yet. Just looking to beat the other subies at these events.
    Grant | Stink Eye-Mob #133 | '09 WRX Premium
    STI Short Shifter, 25mm Front Sway Bar, 22mm Rear Sway Bar, Endlinks, Perrin Stealth (Black) Turbo back exhaust
    Pictures of My WRX http://www.flickr.com/photos/37962357@N02/

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