Project IS-F Part 5: Sikky Manufacturing Rear Sway Bar, Figs Engineering Adjustable Lower Arms and Toe Links, Project Mu Brake Rotors and Pads
By Mike Kojima
When we last left off, we had just installed KW Variant 3 coilovers on our car with some superlight forged Volk G2 wheels and sticky Nitto NT05 tires. The wheels had a pretty awesome fitment filling the wheelwells nicely but not being too radical for fully practical everyday driving. Now it was time to finish setting up the chassis. We wanted to make the car capable of doing some track work without sacrificing ride comfort, daily driveability or tire life.
Our stock brakes had also worn quite badly. Although we had driven our car only 21,000 miles, the pads were worn out and the rotors were shot. Our theory is that the stock brake pads are an aggressive compound from the factory and they really chew up rotors. They also created tons of corrosive black brake dust which had etched the clearcoat of our stock wheels even though we diligently cleaned them about every two weeks.
The brake dust was even staining and pitting the flanks of the car! This car had about the worst case of brake dust we have ever seen on a street car much less a car with OEM brakes. We had to do something about this issue as well.
|So our KW Variant 3 coilovers gave us a pretty cool stance but we needed to increase the range of adjustment for the alignment of our rear wheels for both performance reasons and to prevent tire wear issues. We were unable to sufficiently reduce negative camber enough within the range of adjustment of the stock eccentrics.|
To address our rear camber issues, we contacted Figs Engineering for a set of their race version Mega Arms. Mega Arms allow the use of the stock eccentrics for fine adjustment and an adjustable monoball spherical bearing for course adjustment. Figs offers a lower priced arm but we opted for the deluxe 3-piece precision Motorsports set. The differences are the use of a very high quality Aurora bearing set, Tig vs Mig welding, dimple die punch outs and additional gusseting. Other additional and important features of the higher priced arms are a slotted lower shock mount to adjust the coilover motion ratio and 3 position mounting available for the lower swaybar mount. The Motorsports arms are also lighter at 4.6 lbs vs 5.3 lbs for the lower priced arms reducing unsprung weight.
|We also opted for the Figs toe links. One of the major advantages of the Figs link is that the stock eccentric can be mounted at the maximum inboard position and the the toe adjustment can then be done through the links. This effectively makes the toe link longer so it travels through a flatter arc reducing toe steer. Like the lower arms, two versions are offered, an economy set with injection molded ball joint inserts and a Motorsports version using high quality Aurora bearings. The tapered mounting studs are machined from heat treated 4140 chrome moly with a rust resistant coating. 4140 is a higher nickel alloy that is stronger than traditional 4130. The link body is machined from 1012 steel with a rust resistant black dichromate coating. The rest of the hardware is 303 stainless. To retain the ABS sensors, cushioned adel clamps are used.|
|Technosquare's Howard Watanabe installs our Figs Engineering lower arms and toe adjusters. The quality was top notch and the fit was perfect. At this time we did a quick and dirty rough alignment using toe plates just to get us down the road to Westend Alignment for a full alignment.|