Albino Rhino >>>Tein Street Flex Coilover Review

Tein Street Flex Coilovers Subaru BRZ 2013 / Scion FR-S 2013

 

Okay, first I must say I feel bad for being so late to get this review and feedback out on the Tein Street Flex Coilover kit. I know there were a few people requesting it, so I tried to get this written up as soon as possible, and with that said, let’s move on to the review shall we? At this time I did not have a chance to really push this suspension in the way I wanted to due to the cold weather and crazy snow we have been getting here recently, however on my first drive I did note some initial impressions of the suspension in general.


First let’s start with the boring details of the install. From start to finish, we were able to get this done in about 3 hours, and that was with me taking my sweet time and enjoying the peanut gallery’s commentary while I did the install. Fitment was spot on with all of the ABS and Brake line brackets, they were right where they needed to be, which made for an OEM fitment, a huge +1 in my opinion. With the car being so new, all of the bolts came off with no fuss, and the new suspension went on like butter on warm toast. All of the adjustments are easy to get to, including the spring pre-load, height adjustment, front camber adjustment and damping adjustment, I could not be more pleased with this. Now, we did lower the car a bit more than what Tein had set for us right out of the box, but with some careful measuring, this was a breeze, even with the wheels still on the car. I always expect a bit of fuss with just about anything I do with a car, but to have these go on so easily, I almost feared that the car gods would strike me down when I went for a test drive.

 

Now comes the moment of truth. I double checked all of the bolts and nuts for proper torque, torqued the lug nuts, lowered the car from the jack, put on my big boy pants(which are actually just my clean pants in this case), kissed my Tein Dampachi doll for good luck, and rolled out of the shop. Listening for any odd sounds or clunks as I went lock-to-lock with the steering wheel, and there was nothing but the sound of my tires picking up some small pebbles from the road(more likely tiny chunks of salt and ice) and bouncing them off the fender liners. This is the time when you can finally ease down from being a paranoid, hypersensitive freak, to just sitting back and enjoying the ride, and I am planning on it.

 

First stop, Nurburgring! Well.. not quite, it was actually the local chevron to fill up the bone dry fuel tank, but close enough right? After some much needed liquid hydrocarbons, I was off for a real road test. I swung onto the freeway to see how the dampers did in a higher speed situation with some pretty decent sized bumps, and I was really surprised to feel just how comfortable these coilovers actually are. Now I am never going to say they ride like stock, as that would be a lie, but if you ever find yourself wanting a more out of the stock suspension, I really think you would be happy with the comfort level on these new Street Flex coilovers. The damping felt like a perfect match for the springs, they absorb small sharp bumps just as well as they absorb the larger smooth bumps, and they were doing everything quietly as well. I made a quick exit off the freeway just so I could jump back on utilizing a long sweeper turn which put me right back on the freeway in the opposite direction. Not trying to push these “summer only” tires too hard in the bitter cold temps, I was being pretty careful around the turn, but still managed to go fast enough to put a smile on my face. I could instantly tell the response from the suspension and feedback from the car was greatly improved, allowing me to feel what the front and the rear end of the car were doing at all times, and this made me a happy boy!

 

Knowing the direction I was now going on the freeway was taking me directly to some very nasty roads, I thought that this would be a great time to really test the comfort of these coilovers as there was no way I could really give a solid impression of their performance this time of year. The suspension had no problem dealing with pot holes, cracks in the roads, smoother washboard sections, or medium sized bumps. I was very impressed that they were able to handle themselves on these horrible roads, but I knew I was quickly approaching the big one, the mother of all bumps, the one that makes me cringe even in a bone stock car, and I hit it hard. I could feel the suspension struggling to absorb such an impact so quickly, which happily transferred that shock into the chassis of the car, and then directly to my spine. I winced for a split second, perhaps knowing in advance what I was about to put the car and myself through, and then it was over. Ha! That was it? I expected so much worse! Not that I would want to turn around and do it again, but that is about the worst, most worthless, car destroying patch of road I could find for miles around, and the car did fine! I quietly apologized to the little Albino Rhino, and petting its dash panel for what I had just intentionally put it through. I made a promise that I would never put it through that much abuse again unless it was strictly for fun.

 

The rest of the ride home was quiet and enjoyable as I was able to just sit back and relax and reflect on how far we have come with this car. One thing that has never changed is the looks that this car gets. I counted no less than 7 “thumbs ups” on my short test drive, and countless necks turning into rubber, with my favorite being the small boys who stare in amazement at this tiny little car with blue wheels bopping down the road. If for nothing more than my own amusement, this car would still be an amazing ride just so other people can enjoy it. Needless to say I am still enjoying this car very much and really look forward to where we are taking the Albino Rhino in 2013, I truly think you guys will love it!

 

Thanks,

Rick

 

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Group Buy >>> Crawford Air Oil Separator Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S

RallySport Direct is extremely excited about our new group buy offer, the Crawford Air Oil Separator for the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S

Drawing on their 35 years of racing knowledge, the Crawford Closed Loop Air/Oil Separator was engineered and designed to keep all the oil where it belongs, inside the motor. Newly designed for the BRZ/FRS/GT-86 to maintain the OEM PCV valve.

The Air/Oil Separator solves a simple problem from the manufacturer; it transfers the oil back into the engine via the block not the intake. This not only keeps the vehicle within specs of smog but keeps the oil from coating the tops of the pistons.

So if you want to keep your engine running consistently and strong for years to come make sure you install a race and street proven product from leaders in the industry.

 

Current Group Buy – Crawford Air Oil Separator for the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S

*** This piston is from a 2013 Subaru BRZ with less than 5,000 miles on the motor ***

Group Buy Details

Closes on: Oct 17, 2012

Normal MSRP:  $319.95

Group Buy Price: $271.96

Group Buy Link

What is a Group Buy? 

Simply put it’s a way for you to get products at a cheaper price! We work closely with our manufactures to bring you these one-off deals. We collect multiple orders for this item and submit one large order to the manufacturer. The savings then get passed down along to you. There are normally limited spots on the group buy, and it’s first come first serve.

We ship these group buy purchases all at once!

Albino Rhino >>> Whiteline Swaybars, Eibach Springs Video!

After our last bit of mods and video, we wanted to restore our BRZ to the fun car that it was. There was no denying that it was fun with sticky tires and springs, but it lost its ‘spunk’ so to say. We really wanted to restore the cars characteristics. That brought us to the next obvious modification, sway bars. Whiteline came through with their 20mm fixed front and 16mm adjustable rear. After installing them, the car came back to life!

Check out the in depth write-ups on the currents parts installed here, but we can all say that this is Ricks favorite mod thus far.

 

The Albino Rhino BRZ Suspension Test w/ Whiteline Sway Bars and Eibach Pro-Kit

The Albino Rhino BRZ Stock Suspension Test

Parts:

Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs
Whiteline Com ‘C’ Caster/Camber Adjusting Strut Mounts
Whiteline 20mm Front Sway Bar
Whiteline 16mm Rear Sway Bar

 

 Our YouTube Channel 

Albino Rhino >>> Cusco Front Strut Tower Bar Type OS w/ Master Cylinder Brace Writeup+Video

Cusco Front Strut Tower Bar Type OS w/ Master Cylinder Brace Subaru BRZ 2013 / Scion FR-S 2013

 

I’m not going to lie. Looking at the engine bay in the BRZ is less than inspiring, sure it is clean and laid out well, but nothing in there really invites you to take another look, and I at least wanted to put something in there that made it pleasing to the eye. Enter the Cusco Strut bar with the built in Master cylinder Brace. Not only do I love the Cusco blue color, but I figured some added rigidity in the front of the chassis and the addition of the master cylinder brace would be a nice modification to the car all around. Installation was a breeze at worst, but to me, it was a pleasure to install this.

 

 

I think this was the first modification I have done to the car where I was not on my back, and elbow deep in grime.

This should have only taken me 20 minutes at most, but after dropping a nut to the strut tower bar on the top of the skid plate, and spending 5-10 minutes trying to fish it out, it ended up taking about 30 minutes to install, and still taking my sweet time. We hooked up a camera in the engine bay to give before and after movement of the master cylinder, and even in person it was amazing to see the brace in action, it truly minimized the movement of the master cylinder.

 

 

Now, just cruising around town you may never notice this, but come in a bit hot into a corner and threshold brake, it becomes apparent why these braces are in existence. The BRZ brakes never felt bad in stock form, but after adding the brace, you could feel that the brake response was better, and you gained even more pedal feedback, which is always a plus. Now I was skeptical that the strut tower bar would make a difference, but after cruising though the work “test course” the front end really did feel more… planted? I don’t really know how to put this into words, as “planted” is not right, but basically you can feel that the front end is less independent of the rest of the car, and just more “tied in”, if that makes sense. Don’t think this bar made a night and day difference, because I would never say that, but if you are looking for something to add a bit of shine to the engine bay, the added rigidity to the chassis, and master cylinder brace makes, this a awesome mod all around. This Cusco Strut bar would be something I would recommend personally.

 

 

I would like to see if this bar makes any difference on a bone stock car, but I feel like with all of the extra grip we have added, we may be able to actually take advantage of the extra rigidity. Overall I thought it was a fun install, a great looking bar, and did add some extra feel and feedback to the car!

 

 

Thanks,
Rick

 

 

 

 

Albino Rhino Receives Whiteline Swaybars!

I was really excited when Whiteline told us they had a set of sways for our BRZ, and no more than one day later I got an email with a tracking number. So I cleared my schedule the day they were supposed to arrive here as I was super anxious to get these on. As you may already know, when we installed the Bridgestone RE-11 tires, the car lost its “Magic”, meaning that the rear end was not eager to break away for you on command, but we did receive massive grip. In fact, the car had so much grip that I nearly had to see a chiropractor after our Eibach spring test with the RE11’s as the grip flying through the cones just forced my head to whiplash back and forth. Not that the raw grip is ever a bad thing, but I missed the way the stock tires allowed the rear end to be so alive, it would almost dance as you threw the cars through corners, and was just an amazing experience. So I was really hoping and dreaming that the sways would give us back that magic that the factory BRZ had… and it did!

 

 

First lets touch on the install, as this was the first time I installed swaybars on the BRZ, and I figured it would be like the 08+ WRX/STi’s and to be honest, it was for the most part. We jacked the car up in the air, took off the skid plate, and started to rip that tiny front stock bar out. I removed the nuts that attached the sways to the endlinks, then the 2 bolts on the swaybar mounts. The stock bar came out with ease, but getting the new bar in would not be quite as easy. After struggling with it for a few minutes, I decided we just needed a bit more room, so I removed the brace that connects the front subframe to the unibody chassis of the car, once this was gone and out of the way, it allowed the new bar to slide in with ease. I greased up the bushings, put them in the right location and put the swaybar mounts back on, then installed the front endlinks. LAst, I dropped it back on the ground and torqued everything down. Now onto the rear, which I knew was going to be easy, so I left it for last. Once I got the rear end up in the air, it was as simple as removing the endlinks, and removing the swaybar mounts. Everything is easy to get to and you have plenty of space to work. The rear swaybar was about the easiest thing I have ever installed on this car. All in all I would say the front bar took around an hour or so, and the rear about 20 minutes. Once everything was torqued, I cleaned myself up and decided to take the car out for a quick test drive.

 

 

There is a stretch of road near work that I drive on every single day, now I am not sure if the city/planners/engineers had messed up, but there is a long 45MPH stretch of perfectly straight road, which eventually makes it way to a very tight, sharp, and bumpy S-turn, and guess what… no reduction of speed, so you can blast around it at 45MPH if desired, and I guess “technically” not break any laws by definition. Now I know if a cop saw me take this S turn at 45MPH, I am quite sure he would give me a ticket, but at least we would have something to argue about right? So anyway, not only do you get this nice tight S-turn, but it is followed by a very nice and curvy 35MPH road which I always find to be a great stretch of road to test out any car. It has a few tight technical turns, some off camber corners, and some nice bumpy corners. Cruising down this road, I could not help but break a smile, the magic was back!!! I had the rear 16mm swaybar on the middle setting, where the front is a 20mm non-adjustable bar. This combination proved to be just the ticket to bring the craziness back into this car. No longer did I struggle to make the rear end feel alive, now it was as simple as tossing the car into a corner, and let that rear end dance around as I controlled the madness with my right foot. It literally made me giggle like a school girl and all my worries that we may never get that feeling back quickly disappeared with the faint sound of tire squeal. My mad car is back, and it is glorious! I would even go as far as to say it is better, as you no longer get the feeling like you are driving on all seasons with the soft sidewalls, instead you get the razor sharp precision from the stiff and sticky RE-11’s, but at will, you can make the rear of the car do your evil bidding, but at the same time, it just feels so right. Everything is at peace with the world now, as I have my crazy puppy dog car back, or should I say crazy, baby albino rhino? Either way, I could not be happier with the car at this point. Other than the power, it is everything I was hoping the car would be. If you ever find yourself messing up the awesome feel of the stock BRZ with grippy tires, do not hesitate to throw on a set of front and rear swaybars, not only will it reduce body roll, which is what I should have really focused on in this write-up, but they will bring the fun back to the BRZ, which apparently means the most to me! Now I am sure we will upset the handling again in the future, but fear not, I will fight tooth and nail to bring the lunacy back to this car, as I don’t want to take away from what made this car so special to me in the first place.

 

 

Whiteline Front Sway Bar 20mm Subaru BRZ 2013/Scion FR-S 2013 

Whiteline Rear Sway Bar 16mm Adjustable Subaru BRZ 2013/ Scion FR-S 2013

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.
Thanks,
Rick

Video Blog >>> Update #2

Today Rick gives you a rundown on the parts we have installed on our Albino Rhino so far. We really enjoy how the car has progressed so far and we are excited to keep adding parts and giving you guys honest reviews on them.

Currently as the car sits it has the following modifications:
Apexi Panel Filter
Work Emotion CR-Ultimates (coated a custom blue)
Bridgestone RE-11 Tires
Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs
Whiteline Com ‘C’ Caster/Camber Adjusting Strut Mounts
PST Carbon Fiber Driveshaft
Whiteline 20mm Front Sway Bar
Whiteline 16mm Rear Sway Bar

 

New Products >>> BRZ/FRS PST Carbon Fiber Driveshaft

 

 

PST Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Subaru BRZ 6MT 2013 / Scion FR-S 6MT 2013 $1,148.51 

Stock BRZ Drive Shaft Weight: 24.14 LBS 


PST Carbon Fiber Drive Shaft: 13.9 LBS

That is a weight saving of 10.24 LBS!!!

And Just a small Writeup I did on it, plus a video 

Recently I walked into my office and found a rather long box sitting next to my desk with the label “PST” on it, gave a quick peak inside and sure enough there was a whole bunch of carbon in this box. Yes, our carbon driveshaft has finally arrived!! I was super anxious to put this on, so I called over to Ziptie DynoWerks, our local shop with a Mustang Dynamometer, and they were kind enough to let us install the carbon shaft at their shop so we could get a good before and after. A few days of impatiently waiting like a kid before Christmas, it was finally time! I swung by work early to grab Justin so he could set up the cameras and help with anything needed. We packed up our gear, loaded it all in the BRZ and we were off to Ziptie DynoWerks. Once we arrived we decided to do a baseline so we could get a good before and after reading, so we strapped our BRZ down and let it rip. We did a few runs, as we always find the car makes the most power on the 4th run as the car gets nice and warm and loosens up. We made 161 HP on our final pull and decided it was time to install the PST carbon Driveshaft on the car. The install is super easy and Ziptie DynoWerks was kind enough to let us use their facility even though they knew we would make a mess….and we did haha. The old driveshaft removal literally takes about 30 minutes, and it is always helpful to have a buddy in the car to set or release the E-brake so you can spin the shaft to get to all of the bolts, this is where Justin’s E-braking expertise came in handy. Once all 4 driveshaft to differential bolts are out, you remove the 2 bolts that hold the carrier bearing to the chassis, pop the shaft free from the differential and the driveshaft should slide right out of the transmission.

Next, pick up that new, pretty, and superlight carbon shaft and slide that sucker in! Bolt it all up and marvel at how awesome you are. By the time my ego was nice and inflated, Justin and Ziptie DynoWerks already had the car back up on the dyno and strapped down. Now I am getting excited, not only because I would like to see at least some gains, but there is always that chance that you botched the install, and let’s be honest, seeing a driveshaft come off when the car is doing 100+ MPH would be cool to see, or at least cool to tell your friends about when they visit you in the hospital. My luck was strong this day as the car managed to stay together and after 4 pulls we saw a peak HP of 165 HP, or a gain of 4HP. I was hoping for a bit more, but I was excited as is to see any gains at all, so it was a good day.

We had already weighed the PST Carbon shaft and it came in at a featherweight 13.9LBS and now with the stock shaft off, we weighed it using the same scale, I was surprised to see the scale read 24.14LBS as it really did not feel that heavy to me. Either I ate my vegetables that day, or was just feeling extra strong, but I have to agree with what the scale says, as they never lie, where I have been known to stretch the truth just a bit . Now it came to the most difficult part of the whole process.. Math. As I struggled to do even simple subtraction, I had a flash back to grade school and my teacher drilling us on math problems saying “You will need to know this stuff by heart, it’s not like you can carry a calculator around with you every day”. Proving her wrong, I whipped out my phone/calculator, punched in a few numbers and voila, the PST shaft is 10.24 pounds lighter than stock.

Finally all the work will pay off, I actually get to beat on the car.. err.. I mean, “test” the new driveshaft drive shaft of course, as this is a strict scientific comparison with absolutely no horseplay. Pulling out of the shop, my first impression was that it did indeed feel just a bit more eager to accelerate, which was expected. Being light with the throttle as the car warmed up, I made my way to a place where I could open it up a bit. Ah yes, the Freeway on-ramp, the ultimate, legal, 0-65MPH testing ground for a slow car. Going through the gears the car felt great, I felt the car was quicker to accelerate, and with less fuss too, and even outside of the brunt of its powerband. Now I am not going to say this made a night and day difference, but taking over 10 pounds of rotational mass off the drivetrain did make a noticeable difference for sure, and I love it! Harsh shifts seem less obvious to the driver as I felt the shaft take up a bit of the shock from the drivetrain, some hard/mis-shifts were on purpose, some on accident, but the shaft seemed to do a great job as smoothing them out. Overall I was very impressed, the install is very easy and straight forward, the gains are there, and can be felt without changing the characteristics of the car. The car is the exact same, but now with just a bit more… of everything. I love lightweight mods, anything to reduce weight is a huge plus in my book, I mean we bought this car because it was lightweight, not because it was fast, right? Well, something about being able to add even more to that just makes me feel good. 

If any of you guys are interested in learning more about Light Weight Driveshafts, check out the writeup that we did a few months back explaining some critical points 
http://theattack.rallysportdirect.co…shaft-overview

Thanks,
Rick

Albino Rhino >>> New Shoes, Springs, Whiteline Goodies

Okay, now the fun truly begins. I have been wanting to start doing some real mods to our Albino Rhino, so I stole the car one day and quickly ran to my garage to install some goodies. Here are the results. 🙂

 

 

 

I recently installed the Eibach Lowering Springs, Whiteline Comp ‘C’ Camber/Caster mounts, Work Emotion CR Ultimate 18×9.5 rear and 18×8.5 front with Bridgestone RE-11 tires wrapped around them. Now with being busy at work and in my personal life I did not really have a chance to take the car out to see what it could do, and I have been itching to go for a blast. Well my itch got too strong, so I “borrowed”  Justin from work and we took the car out for some mid-day hooning. We found a secret spot, set up some cones and just went for it. At first I was still getting used to the new setup, but instantly could tell the car was much more crisp and precise, even minimal steering input was immediately followed by a response from the car. I always thought the car was darty in stock form, but man, this is just on another level.

 

After some hot laps, I started to feel more comfortable and confident with the car and the setup, the tires were coming up to temp nicely as well. I was able to focus on the differences between when it was stock and with the mods now, and I must be honest, the overall feel of the car, the “characteristics” of the car did not change much, it still felt very well balanced and planted to the road, just like stock. The main difference was just more grip, much, much more grip. I would have to say the biggest difference came from the Bridgestone RE-11 tires and the Whiteline Comp ‘C’ Camber/Caster mounts, when I had installed them I set it up for max camber and caster, and while the added negative camber helped those big sticky tires remain flat in the corner, the added caster gave us a much better steering feel and also gave us some additional negative camber through a corner as well. The smaller sidewall on the Bridgestone’s compared to stock really helped keep everything planted and gave me much more confidence in the corners as well. Now, don’t think I am leaving the springs out of the equation, but I was really expecting a harsher and stiffer ride from these springs, but to be honest, it almost felt like stock. You can tell there is a bit more spring rate under the car, but it is so minimal that once you drive the car for more than a few minutes, you forget that they are there. I think these springs are going to be perfect for those who want to retain stock like comfort, while still lowering the car for better looks and handling.

 

Overall I was very impressed with the setup, it still allows you to get the rear end out with the traction control off, which I did not think was going to be possible with that much soft rubber under the car, but again, the characteristics felt like the stock car. It does not feel quite as eager to accelerate with the larger diameter wheels and tires, but I feel like the car was never the fastest thing on the planet, and the added grip more than makes up for the minimal loss of acceleration, and I do emphasize the word minimal. I was really impressed towards the end of our session as the tires reached full temp, they made the car feel like a razor cutting through the pavement, you just had to point the steering wheel where you wanted to go, keep the gas steady and the car just zipped there like a quantum wave collapse and *poof*, you’re there. It was astonishing, there was so much more the car could have given, and now the biggest limitation is the dummy behind the wheel. Now I’ve known that has always been the truth, but at least before I had an excuse with the stock tires, now I must come out and admit “ I Rick, am a horrible driver”, ah that feels much better to get off my chest. Now that the internet knows about my driving skills, or lack thereof, one might ask, “so if the car was already out of your driving abilities, why are you throwing parts on it”? That is a great question, and the real answer to that is… For fun!!! Now don’t get me wrong, the car was a blast to drive in stock form, we all know that, but go ahead and throw on some sticky tires, take that corner as fast as you can, and just giggle like an idiot as the car tries to separate your skin from your body. I have never had a headache after driving a car before, but I got one this time, I felt like a newborn whose neck muscles are not quite strong enough, as my head bounced  from shoulder to shoulder, tank-slapping through those cones. I remember thinking “Now this is a car!!!” as I was grabbing at my neck wretched in pain.

 

We know some people modify their cars to make it look better, some do it to stand out and be different, well I do it because like RickyBobby, I just wanna go fast!!  I love feeling the G-forces as I throw a car recklessly into corners, I love feeling like at any moment, if something goes wrong, I might die. There is a special connection you can develop with your car, this not only comes from driving it and getting to know it, which you do, but I feel like a big part of that is modifying it to suite it to your own preference, to make the car yours, and for it to drive like you want it to drive. This is why I mod cars, this is what I have been waiting for with this BRZ, and from here on out, it is just going to get better and better. J

 

We will keep you up to date with the next modifications, but don’t think we have given up on the suspension just yet. Take a look at the arms and the bushings on the rear of the car through the corners in our most recent suspension video, this should give you an idea of what we are thinking to attack next.  😉

 

Parts Used:

Whiteline Com ‘C’ Caster/Camber Adjusting Strut Mount

Eibach Pro-Kit Lowering Springs Subaru BRZ 2013 / Scion FR-S 2013

 

 

Thanks,

Rick