Ian Barton wanted to preserve the essence of the 86 as he built & drove it. So in that spirit, he wanted to reach the car’s limits BEFORE he added power. Meaning… he did not want to build the car BACKWARDS… as so many people rush out & do.
5 years ago, the car was to serve dual purpose. A commute-carver on the weekdays, and a weekend track-dayer. And that plan worked for 4 years without a glitch.
He started with coilovers, bushings, & brakes… wheels, tires… and cooling.
He chose track-focused brands that accentuated the car’s natural agility (see modlist). Then he started adding a little aftermarket aero & realized that the aero was actually slowing the poor car down a bit, as the car just didn’t have enough power/guts to out accelerate the added downforce. He had hit that wall (figuratively), and it was time to start researching some power-adding options.
After doing his research, Ian settled on the JDL V2 UEL turbo kit… with a GTX Garrett 2860R turbo. Ian was really attracted to the flow improvements of the Gen-2s, and the 2860R would give him the power he wanted, and STILL be quick-spooling & neck-deep in boost by 3,000rpm.
BEST 1st MODS FOR 86 CHASSIS
WHEELS / TIRES
The stock tires are awful. They’re meant to set the limits low, which in a way, makes the car fun. So enjoy that part of it. But if you really want to get to the real limits of the chassis, then you need a better set of tires. Match them to a lightweight (forged or flow-formed) 17X8 or 17×9 set of wheels. And avoid staggered fitment. It will tend to induce oversteer, and the car doesn’t have the power to ‘overpower’ it.
Get a nice set of properly matched springs. The 86 has a really low center of gravity (knee height), so the body-roll that you might see/feel, is most likely coming from the soft OEM springs, rather than sway bars. You can get a NICE set of coilovers if budget allows. But there are a lot of cheap/bad options out there (that just focus on ‘low’)… so do your homework.
Get an alignment with a little bit of front camber. You don’t even ‘need’ springs/coilovers to do this, as a good alignment shop can get 1 degree at stock height with stock parts.
Get out there & improve your own limits… while finding the new limits of your car.
Ian started tracking at 15 with his dad. They drove a Porsche 944. In 2011, Ian got involved in the PCA (Porsche Club of America) Instructor Program. Being an instructor yielded him free track time, so long as instructing… which he was. Things progressed, and he’s now one of the driver’s coaches at Porsche Experience Center. Ian was never on that 86 hype-train, per say. But when he first saw the production model FRS/BRZ, it totally peaked his interest & checked all of his boxes… especially after having spent so many years driving an front engine, rear drive, 4-cylinder 944. And over the past 5-6 years, Ian’s really become a subject-matter expert on the 86 platform… having tested what works, and what doesn’t.
-JDL 2.5″ two piece over/front pipe
-Torque Solutions Polyurethane Exhaust Hangers
-M-Tec Shifter Springs
-Clutch return spring delete
-ARP Extended wheel studs
-Millers Racing Brake Fluid 300 Plus
Wheels & Tires:
—Maxxis Victra VR-1 tires 255/40/17
-G Force full face helmet + HANS device
-Trunk, dome, plate LEDs