Project Autocross BRZ: Testing the Beastronix 86Nanny
Building the MotoIQ Project Subaru BRZ is always an adventure as is with building any car to a specific purpose. As the builder you always look for new products that may help the car or the driver to be more consistent. One thing many drivers of the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 have always complained about (besides the lack of torque and power) has been the intrusive traction (TC) and vehicle stability controls (VSC) built into the electronics of the platform. Subaru, Toyota, Nissan and other manufacturers have now been dumbing down our driving experience in the name of “Safety” or “to make is easier for the common person to drive” for years. With this in mind those of us who choose to push these cars to the limits or who find these nanny controls too intrusive for even daily driving are now forced to find workarounds to disable these nannies.
One such unit has been developed to literally be the easy button for this problem in the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 by Beastronix.
In the Fall of 2015 the Beastronix 86Nanny had caught our eye while surfing around online. The 86 nanny was a super simple unit that plugged into the OBDII port in the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 platform that simply disabled the nannies that hamper these cars.
You may think “Hey I turn it off by holding down the button for 3 seconds why would I need anything more?”. That thought is correct but incomplete. You do turn off the the TC and VSC but it still runs through the skid control module which will override your button pushing once the limit is exceeded thinking it is saving the day when you are just out having fun at the local autocross, track day or drift event.
What the 86Nanny actually does is perform what is commonly referred to as the Pedal Dance. Simply put the Pedal Dance is a Diagnostic mode that reminds me of entering in the code on the old NES for 30 lives in Contra.
Pedal dance performance entails the following hand and footwork combination:
- Turn on the car (while the engine is warmed up already)
- Pull the E-brake 3 times, on the 3rd pull hold the e-brake up.
- Push the foot brake three times, on the 3rd press hold the brake pedal down.
- Repeat step two – pull the E-brake 3 times, hold on third pull.
- Push the foot brake twice and the TC and VSC should be lit in orange on your dash
While the Pedal dance is activated the TC / VSC are disabled and the Skid control unit set to an inactive state. You as the driver are now in almost complete control of the car, no more nannies.
So yeah, why would you need or want one of the Beastronix units? It doesn’t look like rocket science to perform the Pedal Dance. In a word, “convenience”. With the original 86Nanny it is the simple push of a single button to activate the Pedal Dance.
The unit that we've tested happens to be a new unit designed for those of us who want to keep it even more simplified. Our 86Nanny has been optioned out with 3 toggle switches:
- Pedal Dance on/off
- ABS on/off
- AC fan on/off
As a bonus this unit has also been programmed to (turn off) the TPMS light and seat belt chime as long as the 86Nanny is actively connected to the car. You can take a look at all the 86Nanny options here: Beastronix 86Nanny build options list.
Installation of the 86Nanny is a breeze. The hardest part about the install was deciding where to mount everything. The basic instructions are listed online, Beastronix 86Nanny installation instructions.