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You are in the Speed Shop Tuning and Modification
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Acura Integra, Performance Mods, Engine
#20 of 1734 Considering Integra GSR 94+, anything to watch out for in used car?
Aug 23, 2001 (5:37 pm)
I am thinking about getting a used Acura Integra GSR from 1994 up, but wanted to know peoples' take on the car and especially what to watch out for in buying a used one. (I need a reliable sporty car...my current car is a VW Corrado which is known to have many quirks and thus there were many things to look for to avoid in a used car, any such quirks in the GSR?) Thanks in advance for your input,
#21 of 1734 GSR sedan performance
Aug 24, 2001 (7:58 am)
I'm interested in picking up a used GSR sedan. The performance numbers on the spec pages here at Edmunds for this car are all over the place (0-60,roadholding). I think they're mixing GSR and GS up, as well as possibly sedan and hatch. Does anybody have reliable perf. numbers for a stock GSR sedan? Also, is there a significant difference in the layout of the car between sedan and hatch (other than the obvious - any suspension differences, for example?)? Thanks for any help!
#22 of 1734 they 're 99.9% the same
Aug 25, 2001 (11:34 am)
Suspension is the same on both hatch & sedan as well as everything else. Only the exhaust is longer on the sedan and very few other minor things that don't affect performance. The Sedan is not quiet as fast as the GSR because it's heavier and the hanlding is a tiny bit off too because of the weight, etc. They 're both good cars and reliable.
As far as 0-60, I 've seen 2 old road tests for the sedan. One was 7.2 and the other 7.6. 2 different magazines. The Hatch is usually 7.1-2 but older GSRs '94&95 models were 6.9-7sec. '96+ hatches, 7.2s was the slowest I 've seen. Skidpad depends on the tires a LOT. Earlier GSRs (94-95) came with better tires and their skidpad was .84g. '96+ GSRs range between .80-.82g because of different Michelin tires they put on. With any average ZR rated (even Pirelli HR & VR rated ones like the P6000) tire the GSR is capable of .85-.86g easily with stock suspension. All the skidpad calculates, is when your tires loose grip or how many G's the car pulls before it starts skidding. Of course a good suspension helps increase these #s but TIRES also play a major role. The GSR comes with relatively small tires 195-55-15 for a sports coupe. With 205-50-15" tires the car handles much better and the speedometer is only off about 1-2% which is within the acceptable 3% range. 205-50s give the car a better look, they fit fine on the stock 15x6" wheels, and make the car more stable and a much better handler. 205-50-15" tires are widely available by almost all manufacturers in VR & ZR rating. The stock 195-55 size is very very rare and usually costs more than most 205-50 ones because of its limited availability. So if you want higher g's get better tires (first) and after that you can upgrade suspension components if you want which is not that expensive and transform the GSR into an awesome handler.
Aug 25, 2001 (11:50 am)
I can't believe you 're going to the 2-day Divisional event on first season! I 've been racing a little over 2yrs and haven't gone yet. Actually I was going to go this year but I didn't like the fact that it was 2 days and about 140 mi. away in Northern NY state. It was a little bit of both chickening out and the inconvinience part. Then I got the guts and decided to do it, and found out (1 month before) that all the hotels and motels were booked! Many people I knew that went were camping out! I said scr*w that so I didn't sign up. Then I looked at the results and the cars that were in DSP and I think I may 've had a chance to be at least in the top 3. Again a Fiat X1/9 took 1st place and they were no GSRs there. Just Neon ACRs and Fiats. This year since I put the Kumhos on I 've beating all the Neon ACRs around here (which also have R tires). These guys used to destroy me and I thought I 'd never be able to match their times but I have no problems beating them by even a whole sec. sometimes this year.
It sounds really weird that you 're 4sec. behind the 1st place car in DSP. Have you been experimenting with the Koni settings? It took me about 5 events before I realized how to set them properly. Not only that. I now adjust them according to the course! You gotta learn how to do that, otherwise your car will never be at its max. capability. Shock settings can make a huge difference in auto-x. Believe me. If a course has a few and long sweepers I set them firmer all around. If the course has a lot of quick transitions I set them up really soft. About 2-3 lines in the front and 5 in the rear. It all depends on the course and sometimes I still adjust them in the middle of the day! You gotta learn and recognize how your car handles and set the Konis accordingly. You have to identify when the car pushes/understeers too much, when it drifts too much, when it oversteers, etc. Like I said on a course with too many sweepers you want a little bit of oversteer and firmness. On a coure with quick 90 deg. turns and left-right quick transitions and slaloms you want them soft so the car is more responsive. Did you lose by 4sec. to another GSR? Does he have coilovers or just a shock/spring combo like us? I understand you 're still a novice but it should be more like 2-3secs not over 4. I mean you 're all on street tires. 4 sec. is a lot. I 'm not trying to put you down or discourgage you. I just feel you don't have those Konis set up properly. My guess is you probably have them too stiff. It may give you the impression that the car handles good because you have very little or no body roll, etc. but in essense it doesn't. You need some leaning, and if the shocks are too firm the car is slow responding to steering inputs and the shock does not recover/rebound in time to take the next turn or transition and does not compress again for a longer time. Loosen up the car a bit (soften up the shocks) and try it. Alway keep a tiny bit of oversteer though (firmer settings in the rear by about 2 lines). If you feel the rear sliding out a little, just slam the gas. The rear shouldn't slide out at all unless you let go of the gas and you shouldn't do that on a turn anyway.. Let me know how you make out. Good luck.
#24 of 1734 got a whooping yesterday!
Aug 27, 2001 (7:55 pm)
Well it's been a long time since someone stole 1st place trophy from me so it was bound to happen soon. I 'm glad to say it happened yesterday. I say glad because it makes me drive better and I like the competition. Plus this may be an excuse for me to put more or different stuff on the car
This guy shows up with a '95 GSR, Hoosier 225-50 tires sticking out of the fenders on 8" wide wheels, big exhaust, etc. The guy drove down all the way from Albany, about 90mi. As if the wider more expensive Hoosiers weren't good enough to beat anyone in my class, the guy turns out has some super stiff coilovers. I knew it right away because I assumed that there wasn't much suspension travel to cause any scraping on those tires that stuck out of the fenders about 3/4" with only about 1/2" of wheel well gap! First thing I asked him was what kind of spring rates did his coilovers have? The answer I got: 800lbs in the front, 475 in the rear! I look under the car and right away I knew that had to be at least a 25mm rear sway bar because it looked bigger than an ITR 22mm one and he had to offset the major difference of spring rates between front & rear. I was right. Inside was a complete 4 point roll cage bolted to the floor with no back seat. I embrassed my self for some major embarassement.
The first half of the day he was off course twice and got 1 good run about .5s faster than me. I thought wow this isn't too bad. Then on the 2nd half of the day he was a whole second ahead of me, all his runs were good and much faster! I drove the hek out of my car and just before my last run (we only got 5 all together because of there were too many cars..) I decided to mess around with the car. I softened up the rear shocks a little because it had a little too much oversteer that I could tell was slowing me down a bit.. I then increased the air pressure in the tires by about 3-4 psi because the tires were not getting as hot as I had hoped they would, since the course was mostly slaloms and quick transitions so the tires didn't get a beating and with no sweepers there, they were only getting maybe 1 deg. hotter than the cold temps.. Plus the outside temp only reached high 70's, only 8-10deg. hotter than when I got there in the morning.
I did .7s better than my fastest one, bringing my loss down to only 3/10's of a sec. behind him. The car responded better, felt more neutral, and I could feel the increased traction in the Chicago box and almost throughout the course.
I didn't feel too bad, .3sec was more respectable than a whole second or more but then I started wondering what would happen if I had done those changes earlier in the day and then just got naturally better as the day progressed after getting confident with the course, etc. Anyway, I felt I should 've gotten destroyed.. It goes to show you than even an average driver in a more modded car can do pretty well. His car had $2-3K more mods on it than mine (header, exhaust, suspension, roll cage, Hoosier tires, etc.) and there was no doubt in my mind that it was a better handling car. I think its driver just happened to be average. He races it at the track a lot and no doubt this car would litterally leave me in the dust out on a track. Afterall the suspension was more set up for a track than auto-x. I think this also goes to show you that too much spring rate does not mean you 'll do that much better in auto-x. I wish this guy comes back. I felt he made me push my self more to drive better. Maybe we 'll swap cars next time in the fun runs. I 'd really like to see what I can do in that car and wouldn't mind seeing what 800lb/in. springs feel like. They can't be all that bad if they guy drove 90mi. on them
#25 of 1734 First things first
Aug 28, 2001 (5:09 am)
Harry, yes I would agree that entering into a 2-day divisional event during my rookie season seems a bit ambitious , and after having done it, I can say that it was a bit more than I bargained for. But first, let me tell you about my phase I Evolution driving school experience. To sum it up in one word: superb. The school, the teaching methodolody, the instructors, and the curriculum were terrific. 2 of the 3 instructors were repeat national champs (Tom Kotzian and Jean Kinser-Dana). Jean's husband, Marc, was the 3rd instructor and he placed 6th last year at nationals having never driven the car he competed in before. So, their credentials were impressive. Their teaching skills were all excellent. The things they were pointing out to me were so simple they were elegant, and you'd think, "that makes sense and it should be easy to do." Well I was wrong about that. It wasn't until they drove my car with me as passenger that I really understood what they were talking about. They made it look soooo easy. Both Tom and Marc posted faster times in my car than I was able to do in the morning session. Then I got back in the car and tried, and practiced, practiced, practiced. By the end of the day, I had improved my times by two seconds on a very short but difficult course (from 34.xx to 32.xx). I was very please because my last 3 timed runs of the day were my fastest, all withing .2s of each other, and I absolutely nailed the Chicago box all three times! I was high on life after the school was over, thinking that there might be some promise for this old guy...
And then came Saturday. The divisional event at Perry, GA was unbelievably cool. The course was very long both days, with times averaging in the high 60s to low 70 seconds for most cars. And parts of it were fast as hell! My driving performance on Saturday totally sucked, and it really bummed me out because I felt so good about how I did at the Evolution school the day before. I don't think I was prepared at all for the size, scope, and intensity of a divisional event. Consequently, I let myself get psyched out by everything, and it showed in my times. I was about 6 secs. off the fastest STS times on Sat. I spent a long time Sat. p.m. analyzing the day and talking to my Atlanta buddy. And it really helped because I did MUCH better on Sunday. For my third and final run on Sun. I was going for broke because I was about 3 secs. behind the leaders and really wanted to get within 2 secs, but it didn't quite work out. I was on one of the fastest parts of the course, topping out in 2nd gear doing about 60mph, trying not to lift or brake through a staggered gate configuration and, well, I would have been better off braking than lifting because I ended up spinning the car. First time I've really found the high speed handling limits of my car, so I feel like I learned something valuable even though my time was awful. In retrospect, the divisional event might have been too much too soon for a rookie like me. Even still, I felt like a came home with valuable experience.
Aug 28, 2001 (11:41 am)
You spun the car doing almost 60mph? Holy cow! I wiped out once going about 40mph but I mostly drifted sideways for about 30-40ft when I was on street tires last year.
My brother said the same thing about the Evolution school. He said he was 2.5sec. better by the end of the day but he did do about 25 runs. I think you give anyone 25 runs and they 'll get faster by 2 secs. Hek, I sometimes do 2 secs better from my first run to my last and that's usually only after 5-6 runs. But seriously, you get a lot of good advice from those guys, and you get to watch how they drive your car and the line they take, which is most likely a little different than ours.
He also said that the instructors (all National Champs) all took 2 runs each in his Type-R, and he was able to beat all their times by the end of the day, but that's probably expected since they don't know your car too well and 2 runs is not enough to learn it.
I think you 're taking this sport a litle too seriously too soon and you 're experiencing some great disappointments. The Divisionals being one of them. It takes at least a couple of seasons, and more, before you know how to drive and really learn your car. About 3-4 seasons to excel in that same car. Also like I said, you have to adjust the Konis for the type of course you 're racing on, and it doesn't look like you 've been doing that. This is what I mean about "knowing your car". I know exactly how my car is going to behave with every 1/2 line movement on the Konis. The Integra is a FWD car and not the best car to auto-x in, even with a modded suspension. It takes time to build the skills needed to properly auto-x an Integra and to learn to recognize its weaknesses & strong points. Just the Konis alone, how they 're set up, can mean 1-2 seconds off your time, or added to your time. So just slow down and have fun. Don't get stressed out about this stuff.. You 'll get better over time and everything I 'm saying will make more sense with time.
How many cars were in STS at your Divisionals? What car came in first?
Aug 28, 2001 (3:45 pm)
Yep, I do need to chill out a bit, relax, and enjoy the learning process. That's one of the realizations I came home with from Divisionals. There's a whole lot for me to learn, and I've got to keep on reminding myself that I've only got 5 events under my belt. My lack of patience rears it's ugly head once again... Autocrossing is just too much fun! Regarding your comment about adjusting the Koni's -- I don't disagree with anything you've said, and very much appreciate your willingness to provide constructive advice. There are couple of notable differences between me/my car and you/your car that are worth mentioning though. I've got a sedan, and you've got a hatchback, and so I've got 2" more in wheels base. I carefully followed your advice from the beginning about shock settings and it did not produce the same results for me as it seemed to produce for you. Even with identical cars that are identically prepared, we're likely to encounter differences with the way they behave while autocrossing. So, I started trying different things with the Koni settings. In Atlanta, we get 4 runs max with no time for fun runs. So my ability to tune and test is really limited. I'll admit that my driving is VERY inconsistent at this point, and your skills are beyond mine. Even still, there is no one universal and right way to drive in autocross; the Evolution instructors acknowledged that. People develop their skills that suit their abilities and that of their cars. It also sounds like the autocross courses where you live are VERY different that ours -- yours being very tight and our being really wide open. The soft Koni settings don't seem to work right now for me. Also, my racing buddy advises me to set my car up to oversteer and learn to drive it that way. So, you'll probably think I'm crazy, but the settings I'm using for my Koni's now that seems to be close to what will work best for me on fast and open courses is 3/4 turn up front and 1 1/4 turn in the rear. With these setting and when I'm doing things right, I can get the car to rotate around really well in the tighter turns. In long sweepers, the car gets a little squirrely but it hasn't been too big a problem yet (except for my spin out!). Even one of my Evolution instructors commented that he thought my car was set up pretty well and liked the way it handled. So, I think you've provided me with solid guiding principles about driving and car prep, but I also think there are many other variables that make it difficult for a "one size fits all" approach. Now, I'm going to keep on playing with different shock adjustments to see if I can develop the same ability you have to customize for a given course. In the mean time, I'll just keep on pluggin away.
#28 of 1734 you 're on the right track..
Aug 29, 2001 (11:43 am)
I set up my Konis almost the same way you do at these 2 clubs I race at (M-Club & NASA, non-SCCA). They have many long sweepers and are fast courses. On those I run about 2/3 firm up front and at least 1 full turn in the rear. The other 2 SCCA clubs I go to, have smaller parking lots and the courses are not as fast with maybe only one small sweeper. They 're mostly slaloms, Chicago boxes, many quick transition gates, etc. I 'm glad to see what I 'm talking about. Yes, higher speed courses and long sweepers require firmer settings for the shocks, definitely. Only 5 events so far eh? My friend you have a long way to go! I only have 30 under my belt and the other seasoned drivers call me a rookie when we joke around! Seriously though, many have done what you just did though.. This sport can be very addicting and people easily get carried away. It's just like anything else. It takes time and lots of practice to be good at anything, and auto-x racing is no different. So what did you think of this guy that beat me? See, even the "best" of us get beaten There's always someone faster than you out there..
#29 of 1734 you didn't get whooped!
Aug 30, 2001 (4:54 am)
Harry, I meant to say something about your race last weekend, but forgot! So, yeah, you didn't get whooped. Finishing .3 secs behind a car that has a prep level way beyond yours is very respectable, some might even say good enough to be called a moral victory. If you think about it, that guy's car with stiffly sprung coilovers, 8" wheels and Hoosiers, 4 point roll cage (can you say "stiff chassis"?) and a big ass rear sway bar could have/should have been much quicker. But it also sounds like you drove the piss out of your car, too. Sure sounds like you responded to the competition! Speaking of competition, the SCCA Solo II nationals starts next week in Topeka. At the Divisional event I was at last weekend, two of the DSP big boys were competing -- Steve Hoelscher and Brian Flanagan. Boy, can they drive! The only national DSP hot shot who was not there is the guy you've seen compete, Mark Daddio. Should be very intersting next week to see who comes out on top. Flanagan ended up beating Hoelscher last weekend, but it was by a .1 sec or less!