Suspension vs stage vs tire contact patch
I am looking at doing some mods in the spring and have couple questions about which group of mods should take priority. *The car is a 2004 and a daily driver. I'd like to make it more fun, but still reliable. I am probably over thinking this...
Rims and Rubber
I?m looking at a wider set of rims and summer tires. Right now I have Dunlop Direzzas II (215/45R/17) on stock rims. I?m thinking that a wider contact patch might help with the cars lack of grip. The tires I have been looking at are the Michelin Super Sports ((235/40/18) or something around there, the rims I like start at 18s). I want something that offers great grip, and a will last a decent amount of time.* Any experience with these tires or any other suggestions?
The second group of mods I?m looking at is suspension. The car is already lowered on SSC springs, but I would like to upgrade to FE5. Hoping that stiffer suspension will allow less squat on acceleration, again enhancing FWD grip.
Stg 2 Vs. Stg 3
The last group of mods I?m looking into is ZZP stage 3 vs ZZP stage 2. I?ve heard some mixed reviews of stage 3, some people say that the front mount heat exchanger isn?t really effective. Does anyone have experience with this? If it is ineffective, would it not make more sense to go with stage 2?
I should mention that I already have a mid-length header and downpipe, the Dual Pass Endplate and Option B (still need to install). With either stage I would also purchase an engine mount. Would a phenolic spacer be beneficial? (Again heard some mixed reviews about if it really works or not) Does anyone have experience with it? (thought I might do this when I am installing the endplate)
Final question about the stage kits, in my area I mainly have 91 octane, and the odd 94 octane, so I think I?ll be running 91. With the supporting mods I listed could I run a 2.8 pulley? Or will that just knock?
I know the stage kit would be the most fun, but will I really benefit if I can?t put the power to the wheels without spinning them? This is why I am wondering if I should upgrade the tires and suspension first? Which group of mods should i set as priority?