Resurrecting Project FR-S: Wisefab Track Suspension

Our Project FR-S was already a really good handling car with the stuff we had done to it with parts from KW Suspension, Whiteline and Cusco but we wanted to see if we could make things even better.  With our experience with the Eneos/Evasive Motorsports Pikes Peak winning car, we decided to try some of the same things we learned from it on our own project.  That included the installation of Wisefab‘s Track Suspension kit.  Although they are known as a drift suspension company, Wisefab also has offerings for track and rally cars as well.

Read all about Project FR-S

The Wisefab Track suspension kit includes every link of the suspension and new uprights for the car, it is very complete.

The rear suspension consists of drop uprights, the hub and caliper locations have been moved so the car can sit lower without messing up the wheel travel and suspension geometry, more on this later. Also included are new upper and lower control arms, leading arms, and toe arms.  Wisefab emphasizes lightweight in their parts and the rear suspension is 15.5 lbs lighter than stock.

The rear knuckle is CNC machined from aircraft aluminum and is pocketed and very light. The axle and brake caliper locations have been moved upward so the car can be lowered without changing the suspension geometry and wheel travel.  The geometry for the camber curve, toe curve, roll center location, and anti-squat has been significantly changed as well as the suspension link mounting points have all been moved significantly from stock. The camber curve has more gain under compression, the toe curve is flatter without toe-out under compression and the amount of antisquat is reduced.  There is a lot more geometric anti-roll in the geometry as well.

All of the suspension pick-up points in the upright are in double shear which is good for strength. Carrol Smith is smiling in heaven.  Wisefab feels that the much stronger double shear mounting can allow them to uses smaller and lighter hardware.  This is something that we are on the fence about. However, the double shear pick-ups are good engineering.  A neat feature is the upper control arm mount that can be rough set for camber with shims.  This means that the upper arm can be set with the heim joints with a lot of thread engagement or you can have a lot of flexibility in deciding upper control arm length which affects the camber curve if you wanted to tune it.

19 comments

  1. This sounds like a weird consideration but I wonder if that adapter for the front upright is to save costs – it looks like if that was made as part of the same machined upright, the billet would have to be an inch or two “taller” and everything but that one mount would have to get turned into chips.

    It seems like the geometry changes the Wisefab kit makes make a lot of sense but I’m with you in feeling weird about the whole idea of going down in rod end sizes, plus the skeletonized arms… I don’t know.

  2. “We hope that Wisefab might consider some of the issues we have with the kit and make some small improvements to it.”

    It looks like the current kit on sale has already improved on some of these issues. The rear lower control arm and the bent toe arm look signficantly beefier.
    About the front adapter, perhaps it’s for the guys who want to run massive offset wheels so they can attach the strut to the outer mounting points and have less radial load on the shock absorber shaft.

    1. That’s great that the parts are beefed up! I still don’t see why the adaptor is needed. The strut hits the wheel without it. Why cant the upright just be made with it incorporated into the design? One thing is that Wisefab has great customer service. Our kit was missing a few small parts and they had them in our hands in two days with one email!

      1. I do a bolt on strut mount on the Evo uprights (SSB Designs) for 2 reasons. 1, its a 3″ tall block to machine instead of a 5.5″ tall block. 2, Flexibility in offset, height, and camber. I get requests for a bunch of different flavors like a reduced ride height version for a Mirage Proto in Singapore or my Extremely long version to push the strut to the inner wall for max tire clearance.

        Single piece is fine, but there’s very little drawback in separate parts in practice.

  3. It is great that you saw even more improvements in the handling of the car- it really has been a fantastic project car (followed closely by the cayman). It is equally valuable to hear of the challenges with the installation, and the concerns over aspects of durability. Hopefully further design and component refinements are made by WiseFab- the adjustability of this setup really makes it an appealing option for any 86/BRZ that sees regular or dedicated track use.

    Regarding the bearings and the decreased self-centering of the steering- is it an issue of the small bearings binding under a load that would be distributed more evenly with a larger bearing? Do you know if they use a bearing with a low friction liner, or grooved liner designed to be used with lubrication?

    Disclaimer: I went straight to google after reading this article – the SKF bearing website had a great “principles of selection and application” section, which lead me to ask about the type of bearing, and whether that could be an issue. Prior to that search, my knowledge was limited to “yep, that is a spherical bearing (heim/rose joint)” 😀

    1. I think higher quality bearings would help and when these bearings break in. After one day at the track, it was getting much better so I think another day at the track will do it.

  4. y’all should ditch the front and make your own double wishbone setup like HKS did with their “look what we can do but we’re not gonna sell any of these parts” time attack 86.

          1. my memory has betrayed me… I was remembering a fab’d A-arm out of small diameter tubes…

          2. It is not RX8 parts, if anything they are similar to VA Impreza parts. The RX8 has upper control arms, this is McPherson strut.

          3. We’re talking about the HKS car which did a double wishbone conversion (well, added an upper arm). see youtube link Rich posted.

  5. Placing rods so the stud is in bending stress is bad engineering. It’s a common error and just makes me cringe when I see it on suspension parts.

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