Autox with 2.4L Ion3 - help w/ suspension
Being that this is my first post, a little background. I've been autoxing for 7-8 years in my 2000 Trans Am. Started in ESP, then CP, now XP. However, I've since started road racing also. The TA is a trailer queen, and will soon be kept at my local track (too expensive to haul back and forth).
I bought a 2006 Ion3 with the 2.4L. Because I bought it as a daily commuter, I got leather, sunroof and an auto - I never foresaw myself racing it. However, with the TA at the track, I get the itch to autox during the off-season.
I ran this car back in Sept 07 in HS because it was bone stock (down to the tires). I finished 7th in PAX, and only 1 second behind a Mini Cooper S in GS that went to Nationals 1 month later and trophied. I'm thinking that classing this car in HS is a mistake on SCCA's part. If I'd attended Nationals and finished 1 second slower than that GS Mini, I'd have beaten the 1st place HS time by 1/2 second. And, all this is without taking into account the advantage from race tires!
Anyway, I've already bought new brake pads for the car (Hawk HPS - used to run those in ESP and they worked well). I also bought some Miata rims and used Toyos for tuning purposes (Miata rims are 10x cheaper than Saturn rims, but you have to machine the hub-centric hole on the wheels another 5mm).
Now I'm trying to decide on suspension. I see that GM makes the FE5 struts that bolt right in on the front. However, there are also a few threads here talking about putting Koni's on the front. I've got Koni's on my TA, and they work very well. But, for this car, are they 2x better than the FE5 struts, since they cots 2x as much as Ebay FE5 struts? Also, Iv'e seen threads about "3-bolt" tops on the FE5s - will they even fit my car (haven't looked at the top lately)? My point with all this is that I don't want to spend $400 on Koni's, just to find that I've miscalculated how competitive my car will be.
As for the rear shocks, I've got that covered. Once I get the rest of the car sorted, I'm going to test it out. Based on that testing, I plan on getting a set of Afco rod-ended shocks. They sell split rate shocks (for example, 4 compression/7 rebound or 6/4, etc.) at a fraction of the cost of double adjustable. I have their 3/7s on the rear of my TA.
Anyway, what's the general concensus on FE5 and/or Koni?
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW - What a ride!!" - unknown