If you haven't heard about Doc Race then you should pay attention a little more. For the past three or four seasons they have been producing some of the most badass manifolds known to man! Let's dig deeper...
Now I know that is a bold statement with so many good manifolds on the market these days, but let's take a look at the facts. Platteform AG set a record a few seasons back at button willow. Running a 1:48 isn't taken lightly.
Not only are they a force in the time attack world, but look at the Formula D arena. We all know in FD that horsepower is taken very seriously. Long gone are the days where a 400hp SR will get you on the podium. When people like Mike Essa need to make as much power as possible and spool just as fast, he leaned on Doc Race to produce such a turbo set up.
All manifolds are made in house with superb attention to detail. Look above at how beautiful those welds are. Besides its beauty I'm sure you are wondering how much power do these manifolds compare to their competitors. The dyno plot below is on a 2JZ at 32PSI (sorry I don't know what turbo or supporting mods at this time).
I'll be running a Doc Race manifold next season on my S2000. Even though it doesn't put the turbo in an ideal location for a time attack car (next to the engine so a V-mount intercooler/radiator would be easier). I simply couldn't miss the chance to have a quality unit like this!
How could I pass on spooling faster, making more power while keeping stock valve train. I was ensured that 500hp with a GTX30 would be easily achievable while still being manageable on track!!
Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates on products they have a 135i turbo kit coming out soon. Hopefully they will make an intake manifold for F series. Don't forget to mention Ninelives Racing when you make a purchase or inquiry.
Next on our list of shops/company reviews is TF Works/ Stance suspension USA. TF works also known as Touge Factory has been around the S chassis community for a very long time. They have built or been apart of many magazine featured vehicles.
The owners of TF (Dave and Mike) both participate in Motorsports (drift, time attack, and road racing) which is important to me when looking into a shop. I desire someone that knows the struggles and stress of competing in order for me to leave my car with them. TF and Stance have been a part of my program from the very get go. One of the few companies to give me a chance to prove my worth. Although I am a sponsored driver this review will be honest and express my true opinion.
When you pull up TF Works you will usually notice there is always at least two cool cars outside. Rather, it is an employees car or customers, I just felt like you demanded to know that cool point. As soon as you walk in and down the entrance you see a rack of wheels in front of you and covering the wall plaques of all the awesome cars they have ramped up. It's a truly amazing site to be honest. Gets you all tingly like you just walked into an exclusive shop that you shouldn't be there for short lug nuts..
The show room is pretty big compared to every shop I've been in, lots of things to look at and touch from seats, aero pieces, and even apparel. The sales representatives are very friendly and unlike most places actually know what they are speaking about. If they don't know the answer they will at least attempt to find it out for you. It's nice not being pressed to buy buy buy as well. I can actually sit and hold conversations for hours with them even though one of the representatives (Nick) can't beat me in Forza but had this delusion that he can.
TF is also Stance Suspension's USA headquarters. You can take your stance coilovers to get serviced there, customized and optimized all in house. They also have a part of their show room displaying some of the coil overs that are on professional drivers such as Forrest Wang and bill Washburn' 240sxs. I personally feel that stance coilovers are the best bang for their buck unless you desire to spend 5k on JRZ or ASTs. I've personally run the same (if not faster) times, then similar TTC/TTB trim S2000s on ASTs and KWs with great drivers piloting them.
I did experience an issue that occurred on my car this year after it left TF and after talking to MIke, made them a lifetime shop to deal with. Instead of putting the blame on me or someone else he simply told me he will take care of it. He didn't have to ship my car from ATL to their shop but he did. He didn't have to reach me as soon as he saw that I had an issue but he did. That character of customer service is what makes me a lifetime customer, it shows me that they care about their customers and take pride in their work and if something goes wrong they want to go out their way to make it right.
So here is a quick pros and cons of TF works and Stance that I believe you will find helpful! I'll break it down from someone that tracks perspective.
-Real world advice from experience
-Fair prices on parts
-All in one shop, parts specialist, and vinyl design work (its proper)
-High quality work
-Can perform custom alignment And corner balancing
-Labor rates are premium
-Not open on weekends (which is common, but I don't like it)
-Great price for single and two way coilovers
-Great coilovers and rivals coilovers that are triple the cost
-Can be optimized to your tire compound
-Endless amount of spring rate options
-Off the shelf not valved for competition on R Comps
That's it for this week guys. I appreciate Tf works support throughout the years and I would recommend them to anyone that wants things done right and with great caliber. Any comments feel free to say them below.
I'm now inspired to try something new. To review shops and company I encounter throughout my tracking journey. First up is Speed Freaks, LLC.
I am not sponsored by speed freaks so these thoughts aren't influenced by anything but my personal experience. I've called Anish several times to discuss set ups. I've often left the conversation with a bunch of more ideas of things I could possibly manage (sometimes making my decision harder). I frankly never had a bad experience with speed freaks. Easy transactions, fast shipment, friendly service. Like I expressed above, it's very important to get advice from someone that knows your chassis and knows it very well! That speed freak delivers. You want somebody to help you get you where you need to go on track contact them! You never know you might get off a telephone call not needing anything but seat time!
That's all for the first review there will be a new on every Monday! Well I'll try and write one every Monday. This will most likely get some people upset (like the competition clutch review) but I feel like if you listen to what I have to say, or you appreciate my opinion, then the least I can do is steer you in the right directions. I've come across a lot of companies and shops in the last three years. So time for me to spread my experiences! Till next time folks, ciao!
I'll commence with a brief history on this clutch and flywheel set up. I originally purchased this from TF works to have a fresh clutch to go in my "new to me" engine after I received an oil starvation situation back in 2012. Since then I have put around 10k miles on the car and maybe 10 days on track.
And then fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I had barely passed a mustang on the back straight of Gingerman raceway and id finally had some open track to really feel how the car feels and practice my driving without traffic. I observed that while down shifting into fourth, then third that it felt really notch you and my clutch than was softer than I expected. I go to up shift on the front straight and can't get it into gear. Right then I knew my day was over. I limped it around the track in fourth pointing everyone pass of course. I manage to come back in the pits and jam it out of gear and cost to my pit spot. I jacked the car and looked at the slave and saw some fluid coming from it and thought that's what it must be. So I bundled up and headed home, rev matching (who said track driving didn't help on the street) and being careful not to get caught by red lights. When I did get caught at a red light I had to shut the car off and start it at first.
I eventually get time to change the slave and in the bleeding process to realize that's it's not anything in the hydraulic system. Thus, it must be the clutch. I take it all off and look what I find...
I don't imagine that spring is supposed to
Be in between the pressure plate and clutch disk. I did a little more research and found out this is a problem with competition clutch clutches. Considerably, I'm glad I know that now, DOH!
Now to be honest and fair this clutch most likely would have held up for years to come on a normal driving conditions. I know I can be very tough on equipment. The fly wheel revs very fast and if you have driven a stock Drivetrain on s2000 you would instantly recognize that it's different and much more responsive or what my dad would call crisp.
My next clutch will be an ACT unsprung 6 puck, might as well step up to a race clutch in a race car right?
Adam and I set out to gingerman raceway last weekend for some well needed track time. Adam has been fabricating custom aero for his S13. It's far from a stock S13 at this point. It's a time attack monster to be honest. The real reason Adam is on Ninelives Racing is because the passion he displays for driving and doing what he wants to do. I've never met someone so focused to building a car in his image of what the ultimate driving machine is!
Back to the track day! I arrived late on Saturday, only because I over slept that morning. I'd been working on the car literally all night doing little things here and there and helping my shop mate out with his. Going into this HPDE with 3 Balls Racing I was looking to build some confidence in my driving and the new setup.
Adam had a ton of fuel problems, I blew up my slave cylinder. Oh yeah the car is faster and a lot more stable. The new Powerflex bushings are honestly making huge difference. The new aero has everything so much more balanced.
Someone snapped this as I arrived
These two look great together even after taking a beating on track
Adam trying to shake out the fueling issue.
I am shocked by how small the AEM Infinity is! It is about the same size as the fuel pump box you see in the photo. Planning on using this to its full potential. We won't be using anti lag like I originally wanted to, due to the fact that I do not have the funds to replace an engine before its time.
You see some extra sensor in this photo (fluid pressure, fluid temp, and boost control solonoid) I want to have the AEM do most of the work that was I can just plug in the aim Strada and boom its all there. I'll be using an AEM E85 pump as well in the radium surge tank. My intake pump is a Walbro 255 that I have been using for about two seasons now.
AiM Strada, do I need to say more! Great quality part. The reason I choose this over a racepak is because of its ease to communicate with the Infinity right out the box. I also got a hell of a deal at OG racing as well. This will make monitoring everything on the car a lot easier. When I see a light go off, shut it down!
Even stock power some S2000s run into fuel slosh issues which can (will) cause your engine to go boom. When you get a blurb of unplanned air in your combustion chamber, then things get real. With the turbo going on I felt with the amount of tracking that I'll plan on doing with Sheri, it would be a no brainier to get one. It also came with a full install kit.
You also see a fuel rail that's not needed for my power level, but it cleans up some of the engine bay. The more spills and dirt I can see, the more things I can fix before its too late. Not to mention it looks awesome!
The last thing is the second oil catch can to pair it with my first one. This one will be routed off my PVC (which gets most of the blow by anyway) so this should eliminate my James Bond smoke screen completely!
Special Thanks to
This was our problem at Road Atlanta and Gingerman. Burning oil (smoking) on hard right turns from oil going into the intake and the intake manifold.
So we teamed up with Radium Engineering who has been working with a lot of lotuS elise teams. They now make parts for Evo,M3,FRS, and S2000.
Their cans filter oil coming into the can. Well put together pieces might be over built for a catch can but I'm not complaining
Nice mounting spot....excuse my engine bay nastiness
Temporary intake inlet for the catch can
And to the crankcase all and all simple straight forward install.
We went to Autocross with it and no smoke!!! Which is awesome still awaiting photos though.
Well, first I want to say I have used multiple splitter set ups on the S2000 throughout the years. From ARP to custom plywood ones. This is my second go around with a carbon fiber one and coming in, I was just hoping it worked out a lot better than my APR one. My Apr one died my first time going off track and that's just not good in terms of sturdiness. Then my plywood splitters began to bow in the middle or on the edges over a few months.
Here is an example of a common spot where my splitters would break.
First photo of the side diffusers and splitter installed, and oh my is it much nicer then my plywood splitter!
Not just the splitter itself but you can tell they took their time on the brackets.
First time with everyone on in public and my did it look good!
Finally, testing it out on track at Gridlife! Guess what? It did not disappoint. I went off hard in turn 1 pretty much where you see the dirt kicked it to where you see the car is now, and usually my wooden splitter would have cracked or exploded. The wasp splitter did not! It also creates a nice amount of downforce in comparison to my plywood one, it blows my APR splitter out of the water!
Can survive a beating
Blows any S2K splitter on the market out of the water when it comes to function
Price (but going down rapidly!)
Made to order so you might have to wait a week or 2
Might not sustain me standing on it like my plywood one would
To put it all together, this splitter is race proven by many hardcore track guys; Justin Taylor from RSG, Tony is dominating in Redline Time Attack in his, and Wynn in NASA south east! We all know what it takes to be on the podium and if you feel you need a splitter (which you most likely do) WASP is for sure recommended!
I first approached Mike at redmist about doing a custom bar expecting to get a price of 900 plus. Well I was wrong and not only that he added two more bars then his typical race roll bar.
First time with it on the track and the craftsmanship of the roll bar impressed a lot of people and not one person thought it was done for over $1000. This review will be short and to the point, redmist is amazing at cage work so there really is no reason for you to go anywhere else!
Buddyclub honestly did the world a huge favor, well the car world that is. If you are a fan of loud cars, that has a race car tone, then this exhaust is for you. Not just for the S2000, this exhaust sounds good on any car. So light and the stainless steel gets that golden color as well, over time. A true race car exhaust!
Installation was simple to be honest with you, unbolt from the cat bolt right back to the cat. The hardest thing was with the last bushing on the hanger, putting it over the nipple sucked, but what ever. As you can see I took it out for a spin before putting it back on jack stands, and oh my is it loud & I loved it, caused me to do a few donuts in the intersection that's why it is so dirty in this photo.
Want to know how it sounds? Here you go! Turn 12 at Rd. Atlanta shifting into 5th at full throttle.
All and all this is a great exaust, I'm in love with it but my neighbors aren't, need I say more?
Its really loud
Easy to install
Loud even at 3K RPM
If you use factory hangers it rattles sometimes (we upgraded to slightly stiffer hanger bushings)