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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I drive an '85 NA and went to my first autocross last weekend. I'm hooked now and need to upgrade my suspension.

Currently using stock springs wih KYB GR-2 Cartridge inserts. I've changed them twice already and the set in there now is about to go.

What are my options for upgrades?

I want adjustable shock absorbers, lower the ride height about 1" front/back, and stiffen the springs some, but not too much since this is still my daily driver. The less fabrication the better, since I'll have to outsource all that work.

Edit: what are good strut bar options?
 

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Do you want to be competitive in your class, or just go faster?

If you want to be competitive, your best bet is to stay in (or get in) ES - unless you want to spend oodles of $$, and have a marginally streetable car. The '85 NA is, arguably, one of the two best ES cars out there - second only (and on some courses) to the '91 or '92 MkII. It is easily the best of the MkI's - so you have a good base to work from.

That said, in ES you are pretty much limited to upgraded shocks and tires. And of course, making sure everything in the car is stock and top-notch. And make sure the alignment is setup for autocross. (Of course, a HOT autox alignment will make the car treacherous on the street . . ..)

How much do you want to spend. For about $2000, in ES, you can turn a clean stock MkI into a very competitive autocrosser. If you pick another class, the sky is the limit - and you will most likely not have a chance to start with.

Budget solution: Get a set of good tires (Azenis, maybe), and make sure everything on the car is as it should be - bushings, bearings, alignment, etc. Forget the struts for now. Instead, spend your $$ entering enough autocrosses that you learn how to drive them well.

And before you go off - and tell me what a wonderful driver you are . . . the top autocrossers have been doing it for YEARS. Being a good autocross driver is not something that just happens. You don't just come in off the street and start winning autocrosses, any more than you walk on to an NBA court and become an instant star. Being good in any form of motorsports is a combination of natural talent and years of refinement of the nuances. After all, racing is about hundredths of a second.

I might suggest, also, that you check out our autocross (solo) sub-forum in the "racing" category.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I entered in the autocross class STS2 since the PO had a header put on and I have 15" wheeles.

What is the difference between ES and STS2? am I just competing against different cars? or is there a handicap put on my finishing times?

What are good adjustable shocks? Can I upgrade balljoints and still stay in stock class?
 

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MR2aniac said:
Well I entered in the autocross class STS2 since the PO had a header put on and I have 15" wheeles.

What is the difference between ES and STS2? am I just competing against different cars? or is there a handicap put on my finishing times?

What are good adjustable shocks? Can I upgrade balljoints and still stay in stock class?
Konis are probably the best for the money, Tokicos are close, but sometimes break, and then theres the GC Advance Design which ITA has that cost 1600 for all 4 shocks i believe

STS2 youll be racing against generally alot faster cars, sometimes unbelievably fast in their own respects(well at a local level it seems unbelievable), you probably wont win, but that would be like being hired by NASA and then expecting to become the best man there the first day in, so dont worrie about it
 
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