Not long after our Morse code message, a package showed up with Whiteline sway bars. For the BRZ, we chose Whiteline’s 20mm 2 position adjustable front bar and 18mm 3 position adjustable rear bar. Of course they come with the necessary end links and bushings. The thought here was to increase the front bar size to gain stability with throttle on corner exit as well as high speed sections. The rear bar size increase would preserve the difference in diameter offered by the OEM engineering and maintain balance. Whiteline does offer a slightly smaller diameter rear bar but for our objectives, we opted for the 18mm unit. The install was very straightforward and Bart slaved away while I took pictures. We did remove the muffler as it really opens up the back of the car to work. We chose to set the rear bar in the middle position for our initial installation and testing. After applauding Bart on his quality installation, I directed that he start working on the front while I trimmed my fingernails… OK OK so I helped and worked on one side while he worked on the other.
For the front bar, the install is a little more involved since the lower splash guard and some other items need to be removed to access the bar. Once those items are finagled out of the way, the end links get disconnected and the bar can be snaked out. Installing the larger bar is relatively simple from there and we chose to set the front bar on the softer setting. We wanted room to adjust the bars to our liking and did not want to stiffen the car too much without some actual seat time on the new setup.
With more grip activated (shameless Whiteline plug), we registered for the next MIlwaukee Region SCCA event and brought the car out. We noticed the differences immediately and they were not small in my opinion. Gone was the oversteer tendency without inducing any push. The rear end was much more planted and one could apply the throttle much earlier without needing to dial in a lot of counter steering. I immediately liked the setup all the way around. This is not to say I was actually fast when driving, but it was a marked improvement. Bart was slower to warm up to it as he seems to really like a looser car but one thing is for sure- despite taking a while to say he loved the improvement, he was going faster and the car had more grip and less slip! We always take the 3 morning runs to ride with each other and when riding with Bart I could tell that the car wanted more throttle mid corner. He quickly provided that input and as a result, I believe the car had reached it’s best setup to date. Everything was working pretty damn good and despite having zero power modifications installed (yet) we were doing well with the car within the class and Bart was doing well in the overall results. Milwaukee Region SCCA is a competitive group with the top 20 drivers being a who’s who of national autocross champions and drivers. If you finish top 20 here, you are doing something right not just locally, but nationally. With my hiatus from autocross I was typically about a second behind Bart on times but the gap started closing slowly the more events I attended. He consistently finished among the top 20 overall and also took the car to the Subaru Challenge event at the Subaru Plant in Lafayette Indiana. This Subaru specific event is hosted by the BLANK region SCCA. I was obligated to be elsewhere but Bart made the trek out solo in the BRZ to participate and see how he would stack up against the other Subaru’s.
The results show that he didn’t really have to stack; he simply waited for everyone to stack themselves and he placed his checker firmly on the top. He secured the class and overall PAX index win. This is not to take anything away from those cars and competitors, it is simply to say that we are certainly on the right track with our BRZ!
Coming up we will continue to refine the suspension with Whiteline, add some power with Nameless Performance, and document the journey to the SCCA Solo National event!