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IS350: From a stock daily driver to a trackcar/daily driver

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Old 10-11-13, 09:13 PM   #1
SparksLex
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Default IS350: From a stock daily driver to a trackcar/daily driver

For those who track their cars, are there any "must-do" modifications? Also, pointing me in the direction of any resources would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:36 PM   #2
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I don't track my car, but I would start with the suspension. Front and rear sway bars. Chassis brace. Coil overs. Good set of tires.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:50 PM   #3
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+1 to this.

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Originally Posted by Initial G View Post
I don't track my car, but I would start with the suspension. Front and rear sway bars. Chassis brace. Coil overs. Good set of tires.
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Old 10-13-13, 08:39 PM   #4
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instead of focusing on what parts you need to be competitive, try learning about how your car behaves and reacts on a racetrack and honing your driving skills first.

that's not to say that you're a good or bad driver, but all else given equal and given the same cars, a driver that can push to 9/10's of the car's limit (usually the skilled driver) will always go faster than a driver that, well, can't (and that's usually the average/mediocre one).

once you get that down, then you can start talking about modifying your car with performance-oriented parts to improve your on-track performance.
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Old 10-16-13, 11:24 AM   #5
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Like DNA said... just enjoy and learn as much from your current setup and then start upgrading from there.

I took my car a couple times over to a local roadcourse track (streets of willow) when it was completely stock. I was really surprised at how well the car handled and as I got more and more used to my car, I started noticing some suspension components that needed improvement. I bought h&r lowering springs and did a proper alignment and went back to the track. That alone made a world of a difference as far as body roll and cornering and stuff like that. I later ended up going with coilovers, sway bars, camber kits, better tires, better brakes... long story short... Tracking and modding a track car is not cheap and it's best you take it one step at a time so you can see personal track time improvements.
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Old 10-16-13, 12:10 PM   #6
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Here's my list:

1. Brakes. Track time is notoroiusly hard on brakes, especially for novices (I'm not trying to be preachy here, I'll gladly put myself in the novice category). You need pads and fluid that will stand up to higher temperatures (front pads and fluid at a bare minimum). Spending all your fun money making the car fast isn't going to do you any good when your fluid boils and you find yourself up close and personal with a wall. You'll also want to talk to some folks that have spent some time on the track(s) you want to try out, some tracks are easier on brakes than others so you may get away with a completely stock setup.

1a. If you have an IS250 consider moving up to is350 brakes.
1b if you replace your rotors don't "upgrade" to race-looking drilled rotors.

2. Brakes. See #1
3. Brakes. See #1

4. After brakes do whatever the hell you want. The 2IS isn't really a competitive car on the track so any modification you make should be to make the car more enjoyable or durable. If enjoying the car means making it faster my list goes like this:

4a. Driver Mod. Drive the car, become one with the car.
4b. Tires - biggest performance boost you can make to a vehicle; if you are interested in going faster don't castrate the car with a set of useless no-season 60,000 mile waranty POS tires.
4c. Alignment, including parts to adjust camber and make the toe more stable - this will make the car handle better and the tires last longer
4d. REAR swaybar - The front F-sport swaybar isn't all that much stiffer than the OEM bar on the RWD 350. IMO the front bar isn't worth the money.
4e. IS-F Steering ECU
4f. LSD
4g. Chassis braces, coilovers, etc - Haven't thought this far ahead
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Old 10-16-13, 01:52 PM   #7
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Track it first to see what you would want to improve. Most likely it would be brake components first, then tires, then sway bar, then lowering springs or coilovers and camber and toe kits. Besides the sway bar, chassis bracing provides minimal improvement.
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Old 10-17-13, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectdna View Post
instead of focusing on what parts you need to be competitive, try learning about how your car behaves and reacts on a racetrack and honing your driving skills first.

that's not to say that you're a good or bad driver, but all else given equal and given the same cars, a driver that can push to 9/10's of the car's limit (usually the skilled driver) will always go faster than a driver that, well, can't (and that's usually the average/mediocre one).

once you get that down, then you can start talking about modifying your car with performance-oriented parts to improve your on-track performance.
Couldnt Agree More!!!
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Old 10-21-13, 10:34 PM   #9
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Damn guys, this is definitely what I was looking for. Thanks for the advice.

e46, why'd you drop the springs for coilovers? Just better customization? I'll definitely be doing it one step at a time.

Also, is it your daily driver or a track car only? How is it on Socal roads?
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Old 10-21-13, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SparksLex View Post
Damn guys, this is definitely what I was looking for. Thanks for the advice.

e46, why'd you drop the springs for coilovers? Just better customization? I'll definitely be doing it one step at a time.

Also, is it your daily driver or a track car only? How is it on Socal roads?
I went from springs to coilovers for a endless amount of adjustments. Dampening and rebound adjustments really come into play when you start tracking heavily. I drive my car everyday and yeah it's a little rough (can't drink coffee inside or else you'll spill it all over the place) but I got used to it. I actually just got back from a dinner date and the girl had an awesome rack that would bounce everytime we went over uneven pavement ha ha

Cali roads aren't that bad... Depends what areas you go to. I was just in downtown LA and the roads there suck! Go to Orange County and all the roads are beautiful.
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Old 10-22-13, 07:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46m3lol View Post
I went from springs to coilovers for a endless amount of adjustments. Dampening and rebound adjustments really come into play when you start tracking heavily. I drive my car everyday and yeah it's a little rough (can't drink coffee inside or else you'll spill it all over the place) but I got used to it. I actually just got back from a dinner date and the girl had an awesome rack that would bounce everytime we went over uneven pavement ha ha

Cali roads aren't that bad... Depends what areas you go to. I was just in downtown LA and the roads there suck! Go to Orange County and all the roads are beautiful.
Amen to this.. I have the pleasure of enjoying this whenever my gf is with me, she laughs about it too. Ah, the little things in life. Lol
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Old 10-22-13, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
Amen to this.. I have the pleasure of enjoying this whenever my gf is with me, she laughs about it too. Ah, the little things in life. Lol

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Old 10-24-13, 11:55 AM   #13
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Pardon my ignorance. What changes will the steering ECU do? Reduce play in the turning or make it more responsive?
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Old 10-24-13, 12:39 PM   #14
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I tell this to every 2IS owner that I meet when they ask me about initial handling improvements to a stock ISx50:

- Get the F-Sport Sway Bar Kit (At the very least, get the rear sway bar). The 2IS is notorious for understeer around a track.
- Better Tires: Ditch the OEM tires and invest in a set of UHP summer tires. I wouldn't recommend R-Compound tires until you are very familiar with your current handling limits.
- Attend a HPDE or autocross driving event with this initial set-up. You'll definitely learn more about what you can and can't do with your car around a course and can begin making additional incremental upgrades from there (like the performance parts recommendations posted above).
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Old 10-24-13, 02:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IS350AWD View Post
Pardon my ignorance. What changes will the steering ECU do? Reduce play in the turning or make it more responsive?
Depends on what you mean by responsive, it doesn't change the steering ratio; it reduces the amout of steering assist, which improves the road feel and feedback of the car. For most people this makes them more comfortable near the handling limits of the vehicle which naturally makes them faster.

It is a tough thing to explain, but is instantly recognizable when you experience it. If you want to know how the steering in a sporty car should feel go test drive a Mazda Miata or RX-8 and hit some good twisties. (Or don't because most people agree the hydraulic systems in those cars feel much better than the electrical system in an IS-F. )
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Old 10-24-13, 02:25 PM
 
 
 
 
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