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Build recommendations wanted - R52 S

  #1  
Old 02-12-2019, 09:27 AM
Andy_S
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Question Build recommendations wanted - R52 S

Hi all,

I recently bought a very clean 2005 R52 S, cool blue metallic, with about 65k miles on it. I'm not planning on spending a bunch of money, but want to do some upgrades to make it more fun. My 17 year old son and I drive it, and may occasionally autocross it (non-competitive.) Maybe if I make it fun enough, I won't be tempted to get a Miata in a couple of years when he's in college (he's my younger of two, so I'll be an empty nester.)

I've already done the 15% pulley, belt and colder plugs, and I'm happy with how the engine woke up. Here's what I'm thinking for the next ~$2k over the next 1-2 years. Sorry, I'm an engineer and a spreadsheet nerd.



Goals:
A little more power without significant loss of fuel economy. I'd be delighted with 220 WHP but I know the above won't get me there.
Wife friendly and neighbor friendly exhaust sound.
Stock or better reliability (such as it is.)
Go kart handling. I'm really happy with the handling already, but would love to go from "great" to "amazing."
Not looking to lower it unless I get a significant handling improvement. If so, please recommend a coilover set in line with my goals. It will see snow and ice.
Do the work myself with my son to give him some more experience.

Stuff that I'll do regardless:
The wheels are stock R84 16x6.5, currently with basic "touring" 195/5R16 tires. When the tires wear out (probably next year) I'll buy some sticky summer rubber in 205/50R16 or 215/50R16 and a 15" winter wheel & tire package.
When the clutch eventually goes, I'll put in a LSD and replace the water pump and supercharger oil.
Oil changes every 6 months (I bought from a dealer and actually got an extended warranty included, and this is a requirement.)

Questions:
Do you guys agree with the order of these mods? Are any known to be worthless, or are there better options in terms of bang for the buck? Anything I'm missing that should go on the list, especially anything that should be before any item already on there?

Is there a kit to replace all the likely worn out suspension bushings, or at least a list of what I need to make it like new? I don't necessarily want super firm urethane, just good quality that will last.

"Cold air" intake: does any of them actually provide colder air than the stock intake, or at least proven power gains with/without a tune? I'm not looking for supercharger whine for its own sake.

Is there a strut tower brace that will bolt on along with my reinforcement plates? Is it worthwhile?

Thanks!

[ *** Mods feel free to move this if it's the wrong place. I feel like this overlaps both the R50/R53 vs R52 forums, plus the engine mods vs. suspension mods forums. *** ]
 

Last edited by Andy_S; 02-12-2019 at 10:15 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-12-2019, 12:51 PM
WayMotorWorks
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Don't put another plastic OEM coolant tank on they just fail again. Go aluminum
https://www.waymotorworks.com/polish...-tank-r53.html

Don't waste money on a tensioner stop, they just don't work and usually cause more issues than help.

For bushings go with the front powerflex front control arm bushings as they are the best and will never wear out again. We also offer them prepressed to speed up the install for you.
https://www.waymotorworks.com/powerf...shing-kit.html

If the crank pulley hasn't been replaced go with an ATI for reliability as it's not an if it's going to fail, it's a when is it going to fail kind of part. Plus the ATI is lighter, will balance better, and make the engine run smoother.
https://www.waymotorworks.com/super-...ulley-r53.html

We also keep the Milltek Exh in stock with FREE Shipping
https://www.waymotorworks.com/millte...52-cabrio.html
 
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2019, 02:47 PM
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Good advice...
 
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2019, 02:57 PM
Fly'n Brick
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The three top adds you have listed are the strut tower plates, suggest upgrade to the 22MM adjustable RSB and the KONI FSD struts. Best bang for the buck all the way around. Way won't lead you astray.
 
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly'n Brick View Post
The three top adds you have listed are the strut tower plates, suggest upgrade to the 22MM adjustable RSB ...
Thanks. Is there a particular one you recommend? I see lots of choices in lots of price ranges, solid or hollow (said to be equivalent to 19mm solid.)
 
  #6  
Old 02-16-2019, 09:03 AM
Fly'n Brick
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
Thanks. Is there a particular one you recommend? I see lots of choices in lots of price ranges, solid or hollow (said to be equivalent to 19mm solid.)
Mine is the 19MM ALTA adjustable and am very happy with it. Somewhere there was a chart, I've lost track of it, with the percentages of increased torque control achieved from each adjustment on the 19 and 22 MM bars.
 
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:48 PM
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Disregard.
 

Last edited by buzzsaw; 02-16-2019 at 06:03 PM.
  #8  
Old 02-16-2019, 09:36 PM
Fly'n Brick
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The ALTA sway bar settings.
ALTA 19mm Bar setting #1 115% higher rate
ALTA 19mm Bar setting #2 140% higher rate
ALTA 19mm Bar setting #3 177% higher rate
ALTA 22mm Bar Setting #1 213% Higher Rate / Effective Rate =250 LBS/IN
ALTA 22mm Bar Setting #2 260% Higher Rate / Effective Rate =305 LBS/IN
ALTA 22mm Bar Setting #3 329% Higher Rate / Effective Rate =386 LBS/IN
 

Last edited by Fly'n Brick; 02-16-2019 at 09:53 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-16-2019, 10:00 PM
Andy_S
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Ok, I found where you're quoting from.

http://autoxcooper.com/alta_gominigo_m7-suspension.php

I'm confused why you're recommending me a 22 mm bar when you're happy with your 19 mm. Are you on the stiffest setting and looking for just a little more?
 
  #10  
Old 02-17-2019, 07:02 AM
Fly'n Brick
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
Ok, I found where you're quoting from.

http://autoxcooper.com/alta_gominigo_m7-suspension.php

I'm confused why you're recommending me a 22 mm bar when you're happy with your 19 mm. Are you on the stiffest setting and looking for just a little more?
It was a quick, un-researched decision. The difference between the OEM and anything stronger is like the difference between 'sex-in-a-canoe' beer and an imperial stout.
Now, you have additional research material on hand and can make a more educated decision.
 
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2019, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Fly'n Brick View Post
n 'sex-in-a-canoe' beer
But I can't swim
 
  #12  
Old 02-17-2019, 09:30 AM
Fly'n Brick
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Originally Posted by Goldsmithy View Post
But I can't swim
A pint of Eudora 'Orca' might just keep you afloat.
 
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