The team at 034Motorsport has a goal to take the already capable OEM+ RS platform and fine-tune its handling characteristics for an even more responsive driving feel. The first place they began was to eliminate drivetrain slop by replacing the standard rubber suspension bushes with stiffer polyurethane bushes from Hardrace and Polybush.
Upgrade the Suspension
A well-tuned suspension system can make a huge difference in how your car handles. It can give you a more comfortable ride and improve the handling of your vehicle, whether you are driving on the road or at the track. In addition, a good suspension upgrade can help to reduce body roll and give your car a sleeker look.
There are a lot of different suspension upgrades available, so it is important to choose the right one for your car and driving style. Some factors to consider include: the intended use of the car, the type of driving conditions you typically encounter, and your performance goals.
Your budget will also play a role in your suspension upgrade decisions. You can find affordable suspension upgrades that will provide a noticeable improvement in your car’s handling. For example, you can replace the factory rubber bushings with high-performance polyurethane bushings from brands like Hardrace or Polybush. These bushings are much stiffer than the factory ones, and they will give your car a tighter feel.
Another way to boost your car’s handling is by installing sway bars or strut bars. These can eliminate body roll and increase your car’s cornering capability. For more serious drivers, you may want to install adjustable coilovers for a more refined suspension experience. This option is more expensive, but it can be used for both drag racing and road course use.
You can also upgrade your car’s suspension by replacing the control arms with a performance-oriented replacement. For example, QA1 control arms feature a low-deflection UHMW bushing, which is less rigid than the factory rubber bushings but still allows some deflection to keep your suspension from breaking down under load. This will help your car handle a wider range of driving conditions, from smooth roads to bumpy ones.
When you’re ready to install a new suspension, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a certified mechanic or technician if you have any questions. Using the wrong tools can damage your vehicle’s suspension, and it’s important to follow torque specifications to avoid damaging your car’s components. You should also have a professional perform a wheel alignment after the installation to ensure your tires wear evenly.
Upgrade the Brakes
The brakes are the car’s most essential safety component. They slow the vehicle and keep it pointed in the direction you want it to go. But, the stock brake system has a lot of limitations. Adding the right performance components can unlock your car’s true potential.
A rotor and pad upgrade are the most straightforward way to improve your car’s brakes. But, not all rotors and pads are created equal. Economy pads work well on the street but struggle when pushed to the limit at the track. They have a high initial bite but quickly fade, which is no good for performance driving. A high-quality performance pad like the AP Racing Radi-CAL offers a better balance of temperature tolerances for consistent, fade-resistant stops.
If you want to take things a step further, consider a caliper upgrade. Aluminum, fixed-piston, opposed calipers are lighter than OEM cast sliders and can offer a significant weight savings on top of their improved brake performance. They also tend to have more efficient cooling features than OEM units.
Replacing the standard rubber suspension bushes with stiffer polyurethane items from Hardrace or Polybush is another big improvement to your car’s handling. This upgrade may not provide the same level of performance gains as a complete brake or suspension rebuild, but it will make your car feel far tighter to driver inputs.
Many brake upgrades will shave weight, which is a great thing for any performance oriented car. But, it’s important to understand what you need from your brakes and how you plan to use your car before making a significant investment in this area. For example, a huge brake kit might be overkill for most autocrossers and will add unsprung weight and rotational mass to your car. It’s best to talk with an expert before buying a brake kit. The Essex Know Brakes videos featuring our Performance Division Manager Jeff Ritter will help you decide what you need to upgrade your car’s braking system. Check them out below!
Upgrade the Tires
The tires’ four small contact patches determine just about everything that happens with your car. They harness the engine’s power, let the brakes do their job and tell the car whether it can turn easily into a parking stall or race through an exit ramp at high speed. You can browse high-quality mag wheels in Australia at CSA Wheels.
Tires also can make a huge difference in how much your vehicle feels nimble and responsive. Look for touring tires with lower speed ratings (S, T or H on the sidewall) that are optimized for comfort and a smooth ride. You can usually get away with a Plus 1 size upgrade (from 16- to 17-inch wheels) without running into any handling problems.