Before I went on the long trip to Gunma, there were a few things I needed to change and take care of to make sure the car would make the long trip.
Project µ B-Spec Pads
My car was going to need brakes, and one day one of the calipers stuck, so it was time to get most things taken care of. These pads I have been sitting on for some time now, and I knew that it was time to try them out. Whatever ‘stock’ pads were in there before were OK for daily driving, but when it came to anything more, they were lacking. My MR2 is the second revision, so it comes with the larger brakes, but I still needed more. After these pads, I can if needed lock up the wheels now. For daily driving, they are very smooth and make no noise, but sometimes, they are a little slow to engage fully, but when going down a mountain and when they are warm and getting some regular use, they do come to life and are much more aggressive than stock pads. I think that my HP+ pads that I had on my AE86 were more aggressive, but these are different cars, this one being heavier, and that one being a distant memory at the moment, so it is hard to tell. These pads are very nice though and do give a good amount of confidence when coming up to a tight curve.
Price: ¥12000 (I think, I got them at the Tokyo Auto Salon on special)
This is easily one of the best seats I have ever sat in. The stock seat had lots of adjustability, where this one only has recline, yet this one is infinitely more comfortable, and more comfortable than the old Bride in my other car as well. I went with a reclinable seat as this is a daily car and I knew I was planning to go on long road trips. It is a little heavy, so for a car that is going to be track only, then this isn’t a good choice, but a daily and spirited driving car, this is amazing! The style matches my 90’s car, and the shame really holds you in. I have a 4-point Sparco harness I need to add still, so I am happy that it has the holes for it. If you read the last post, I drove to Gunma, Yokohama, and back, but what I left out is that I did the whole 15h drive back in one shot, only stopping for gas, and after all that, I had 0 back or butt pain, which amazes me. I should say I am not small, and most seats in Japan are too small for me, but this one is perfect. The only slight downside I have is that this is an old seat, and I had to get it used from Upgarage, which in turn means they are hard to find, and also, that it does show its age in one area. When I drive over bumps, it slowly reclines. Slowly enough that you don’t notice until you look at your mirror and you aren’t seeing out of it like you were before, but this is such a small thing to deal with when it comes to how nice the seat feels to sit in for so long.
Price: ¥23990 at Upgarage
Cusco Street Zero-A Coilovers with Solid Rear Mount
These coilovers were rated for daily and track use, which is exactly where I want my car to fall. They come with two main choices, one being spring rates, the other being that you can get them with a rubber rear top hat, or a pillow ball one. I chose the slightly more expensive pillow ball for no reason other than thinking it would be slightly stiffer and more desirable if this ever becomes track only. What I expected was not what I got, but I mean that in a good way. There are not many reviews for these online, especially not in this car, but I like my other Cusco stuff and I wanted to see what these were like so I took the shot in the dark and tried to be the guinea pig. I went with the suggested spring rates that I can’t remember at the moment, but there are a few options for stiffer or softer. I went with them to test the middle and if I want to upgrade, I will find some swift springs later to try. I do think that a slightly stiffer rate than what they suggest would be fine as these coilovers are comfortable. They are like night and day as far as handling, but compared to other back-braking, teeth-shattering, girlfriend-complaining coilovers I have run, these are so nice on a daily. I do love them, and find them a huge improvement over stock. They handle the mountains well and what was rough on stock suspension now feels smother. I am very pleased with the quality of the drive. They are 40 way adjustable, and I have them cranked full hard on the front and a tad softer on the rear, but they still feel comfortable. I had the camber set front and rear (rear I used Toyota camber bolts), but I see that you can almost not use the front camber plate at all. I am not sure how the garage set it up, but they did give me 2.5° in the front and 1.5° in the rear with the bolts. Compared to a lot of other options and reviews from other people, I do think these are a nice coilover and the only one that offered street and track performance.
Price: ¥139968 from Yahoo Auctions with the rear pillow ball mounts shipped to me
Momo Tuner Wheel
I love this wheel! It is very comfortable, and the smaller diameter is nice for fast turns. Compared to many other wheels I have felt, I love the shape of this, but the sides are slightly lowered on each side, which was different and took some getting used to. I did get a different horn button, the proper hub, a different fitting for the horn button and then had to tape the button in to get it to fit snug, but I prefer this look.
Prices: Wheel ¥12500 Button ¥950 Hub ¥2606 Button Ring ¥864
Things continue to change on my car, but I am enjoying driving it for now!