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This is a discussion on Noob AutoX within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys!! I recently purchased a 2012 WRX Sedan and now have the bug to go and see what she ...

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    Thumbs up Noob AutoX

    Hey guys!! I recently purchased a 2012 WRX Sedan and now have the bug to go and see what she can do. Got to do the Ride and Drive of the New Subaru BRZ which consisted of a lap around a AutoX course, and a couple laps around NOLA(New Orleans Motorsports Park) and it was the most fun I have ever had. Question for anyone that can help, what upgrades are recommended before I get out there? I know that spending the money on a driving course is usually better than spending it on a bunch of performance parts, but I really just want to improve the handling a bit from stock. I just ordered a Front and Rear Cusco strut tower braces, anything else? Also what would be the best way to find events around where I live? I live in Milwaukee WI and know they do some events in the parking lot of Miller Park(Milwaukee Brewers) and have heard of some events up at Road America. Cant wait until my first competition, I will keep everyone updated.
    2012 Subaru WRX 4dr

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    Registered User Me007gold's Avatar
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    Go stock for right now(maybe get some better tires, see what the rules allow for the Stock or Super Stock class), the more you modify the higher the class you will be put in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
    Go stock for right now(maybe get some better tires, see what the rules allow for the Stock or Super Stock class), the more you modify the higher the class you will be put in.
    Thanks for the info. From your experience, would something as little as the strut tower braces eliminate me from the stock class??
    2012 Subaru WRX 4dr

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    Registered User Me007gold's Avatar
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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    What mods you can do really depends on the particular events you're looking at entering. Are you looking to get into actual competition, or just do autox and track days for fun? From the perspective of cost for actually participating, you need to keep in mind autox is very cheap at maybe $50 for registration and then you're not really going to burn that much gas or tear up wearable things like your tires and brake pads. For track days, you're looking at burning through tires, pads, and fluids (oil/brake) for every 2 track days, plus $200 per day for registration, and $100 easily in gas. That means you're going to spend about $1000 per track day! Then you need to consider things like buying extra gas cans to take gas to the track (unless you want to spend $8/gallon on race gas, which more than doubles your fuel costs per day), having a racing jack to inspect the car, having a tool kit to bring with you including expensive things like a big torque wrench for your wheels, buying a helmet, and I could keep going!

    What mods you do are almost entirely dependent on your budget. The most basic mod you should definitely do is a flush (not just a replacement) of your brake fluid and put in ATE or Motul. I'd also recommend replacing your pads with Hawk HPS+ if you can't deal with street squeal or Ferodo if you can. And while you're at it with replacing the fluid, you should consider some stainless lines since those require new fluid to do them.

    Strut tower bars get mixed reviews from people. Some don't think they do anything and some do. I know on my '04 STi they definitely made a good improvement, but I don't know on the newer cars if they help very much or not. I've been waiting to buy some because they don't offer the ebay sets that are only $60-70 like they did for the older models so you have to buy Cusco or similar sets that are a few hundred dollars. For that much money I would have skipped them and gone with something else.

    Personally I don't really enjoy autox that much, but I love track days and do them quite a bit. They definitely teach you a heck of a lot about how your car handles and brakes, never mind that they're about the most fun thing I've ever done in my life! My cars are set up for track days with track-specific mods like tire choices that take it into account, different pads, upgraded brake and other fluids. Overall a really big investment!
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    Great info, I am mainly going to be doing some autox with a track day maybe once a year. Seems autox is the much better bang for your buck, plus I am sure the chances of wrapping it around a guard rail reduce substantially on an autox track . I have found a bunch of great info trolling through this site, but now I am regretting jumping and buying those anti roll bars, probably could have got a nice brake upgrade. Oh well, I have always wanted to put anti roll bars on everyone of my cars and never did, now I can see if it was a waste of money later in the week.
    2012 Subaru WRX 4dr

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    Registered User xcEXrdr's Avatar
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    The sways (anti roll bars) definitely are not a waste of money. Is that what you bought or did you get the tower braces you mentioned in your first post? In autocross, you'll notice sways way more than a brake upgrade. If they follow scca rules, they'll knock you out of stock class.

    Like MeOO7gold said, tires!!! Tires are still biggest improvement I've made even with sways, springs, shocks, bushings, camber bolts, etc.....
    Stink-eye Mob #17

    2013 WRX STi Sedan

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcEXrdr View Post
    The sways (anti roll bars) definitely are not a waste of money. Is that what you bought or did you get the tower braces you mentioned in your first post? In autocross, you'll notice sways way more than a brake upgrade. If they follow scca rules, they'll knock you out of stock class.

    Like MeOO7gold said, tires!!! Tires are still biggest improvement I've made even with sways, springs, shocks, bushings, camber bolts, etc.....
    Sorry, still a noob with upgraded parts. I purchased the Cusco Power Brace Rear End Subaru Sedan WRX / STI 2011-2012, and Cusco Front Strut Tower Bar Type OS Subaru Models (inc. 2008-2012 WRX / STI). I do plan on getting a better set of tires, already have an extra set of rims that a co worker sold to me on the cheap so I will still be able to keep the stock tires on and use the better tires for track days/autox exclusively. Also, if I get knocked out of the stock class, it really isnt that big of deal to me, as it is just for fun (at the moment) so if I do get serious I will wait until next season to do so.

    Anyway, what do you think of the braces I purchased?

    Edit, I was looking at NASA (National Auto Sport Association) and it looks like these two upgrades wont bump me from the stock class for this organization, havent looked into scca yet.
    2012 Subaru WRX 4dr

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    Registered User xcEXrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdub#98 View Post

    Anyway, what do you think of the braces I purchased?
    I think cusco is a good brand so they'll be of good quality. I think you'll notice something but probably more after you improve the suspension. I intend to do some bracing but its further along my mod path. I can tell you I was surprised how much some of the bushings changed the feel of my car. Be sure you report back on your impressions after the install.
    Stink-eye Mob #17

    2013 WRX STi Sedan

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    The Cusco braces are good quality but really any brace is going to do the same job. I had a set of the cheap ebay ones on my old STi and they did a great job.

    Your money would have been much better spent on sways and not braces. They cost about the same and would have made a drastic difference in handling versus the strut bars that will make a very small difference.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    Good info, I guess I had the sway/strut braces mixed up when I placed the order. Still not upset about my purchase though, I think the strut tower braces look good, and I suppose this is just as important to me as the performance of it. Most likely will order a set of sways in the near future, but I am definitely going to stop by here before I press the purchase button.

    Parts should be coming tomorrow, I will post as soon as I am able to get them installed and take it out for a spirited drive.
    2012 Subaru WRX 4dr

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    On many cars, just swapping out urethane bushing on the sway bars can make a big difference on the cheap. Advice above is solid, and of course the best way to improve times is by working on the main control unit, by that I mean the main control unit connected to the steering wheel, with a helmet wrapped around it

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