Main St, Unit 6
Kingston, PA 18704
Race Tech and Info Page for Street Touring autocross competitors.
(by Chris Shenefield)
2005 SCCA Solo2 National Championships - Will Kalman's 2nd run in
the RedShift sponsored Civic (split screen!
In car and spectator vantage). His third run was a little faster, but it was
dirty. This was Day 1 when the cat was 9" downstream of stock location. The
car got protested within minutes of this video. Fair or not, it was illegal
(honest mistake...long story), and arguably the best STS performance of this
years Nationals got disqualified.
CLICK HERE TO SEE IT!!!!
1988-1991 Honda Civic Si
Setup for Street Touring
"Must Read" Update 12/14/11:
Andy Hollis has provided a mountain of 88-91 Civic autocross setup info he
has learned through his campaigning the now multi-time national championship
89 Civic Si. This new info is a must read and is available on his
Facebook site under the "Notes" section
thanks to Andy for sharing!
original info follows below and is still great info for the weekend warrior
There is so much to discuss
when it comes to how to set a car up. What you find is that every car falls
within a set of dynamic rules that you learn over time. More and more I find
that practice is the most important thing, not only to hone your reflexes and
driving skills but to further your understanding of the car you drive and how
to make it faster. Much has gone into Civic autocross development over
the years, and the current Civic prowess all started in Street Touring with
Jason Tipple's 2001 National Championship win in the 1989 Civic Si that I
purchased and continued to develop. The following information is
a good collection of basic information about what makes a fast Civic.
With that, I
should mention that the following is a "stream of consciousness"
overview of the things I have personally found to work on the 88-91 Civic,
and it's not meant to be an all-encompassing study on the subject; so use it
for what it was meant to be.... and easy read to help you understand what I
know about the subject. I've always been open about my setup,
and more importantly I've always tried to say what changes I like and what I
don't like. So, perhaps there is something I say that clicks with you
regarding setting up these car. And frankly, this same
info applies to other FWD cars to a large
extent too, especially it applies to any 88-2000 Civic or Integra. But it is specific to the 1988-1991 Honda Civic in the SCCA's
Street Touring class.
First, the overall cost of
preparing a nationally competitive 88-91 Civic for STS starts around $5,000 not
including the car. It is easy to double that with some fancy parts like
monotube shocks and custom headers. I would say the following is a list of the things you
should do. Of course, we sell all this stuff, but then we sell everything; so
it's not what I can get and throw on your car.... this is solid proper setup
info and you will want to consider it in your plans.
Cost Est. ($)
||A car -
Civic Si (this is the best year because it's around 40 lighter than the
90-91..... no Civic Si in 1988)
12/14/11 Update: Best wheels I know of now are the
Cheap and LIGHT...and several different sizes that work great on the
wheel for the money is the Enkei RPF-1 that we sell for $215 per wheel.
There are other wheels but nothing that is as good as the Enkei in my
opinion. In STS, you can use up to 7.5 inch wide wheels, but these are
hard to find. Definitely run them if you can find them, but they are
usually expensive..... why I like recommend the Enkei to most (the Enkei
RPF-1 15x7, 9 lbs). Lastly, the offset of the wheel makes a difference.
Anything above 40mm is ok, but several wheels are out there at 35-38mm,
and that's not as good. The 35mm offset Kosei, for example, really
doesn't work too well because it doesn't have good fender clearance....
you'd practically have to rip the fenders off with the fender roller to
lower the car as much as have with the SSRs.
12/14/11 Update - tires are constantly evolving.
Lots of new options. The basics as I understand it now is the
Hankook RS-3 is the best for a heavy car and works best when hot (and
can be bad in the cold or before they heat up)...and they last a long
time. For the lighter cars, the Toyo and Dunlops are the most
popular because they work well even when ambient temps are cold, on
lighter cars, and on first runs.
There are several articles through Grassroots
Motorsports; so you can google the info. One such article is
really 3 levels of shocks.
What you don't want: If you
have Tokico HP "Blues", Tein Basic or SS, OE stock, or eBay crap, you
will want to take them off the car absolutely as fast as you can.
The worst thing you can possibly do it have bad shocks on the car.
This is Level 0.... throw Level 0 in the garbage and get good shocks.
Level 1 - Good on the street and competitive and won't break
the bank??? Koni Sport "Yellows" are externally adjustable
shocks and by far the best shock for the money!!!! If you line up
100 people that have used ebay or cheap coilovers (up to $1000) on their
car and then switched to a good Koni setup, you will have 99 that say
the Koni setup is FAR superior and the $1000 coilovers were a waste of
money. The 1 guy that says he likes the old Coilovers better will
be in last place and have no friends. haha. Seriously, I
cannot stress this enough. And why??? Mostly because the
cheap coilovers have too much low speed "compression" valving and will
make the car ride like a brick when you adjust the shock higher.
Konis allow you to adjust only rebound, so you don't have to increase
your "bump" valving in order to control the mass of you car in
transitions better. On the cheap shocks that make you adjust
"bump" and "rebound" together, the only way to turn the shock up is to
increase the "bump" (aka compression) valving and that causes the tire
to lose traction on anything but very smooth surfaces. Koni Sports
can handle up to 500 lb/in on a street car as a daily driver and 600
lb/in on a race car. If you don't want too harsh a daily driver,
I'd stay with rear rates closer to 350 or 400. So, for the street
on a novice car, I'd recommend 350/350, or 400/400...and maybe go 50
higher in the rear. If I were trying to build the fastest STS(2)
car I could with Koni Sports, I'd run 400/500 on a Civic or CRX.
Level 2 - A few years ago, Koni came out with the Koni
Yellow "RACE" valved version of the Koni Sports for all of us lucky
Honda/Acura owners . Why, because they are the same great shock
but with increased valving to handle higher spring rates you are likely
to want as you get more competitive. These are often referred to
as "SPSS Konis" because they based on the "Street Prepared Showroom
Stock" racing Koni NA Motorsports Director Lee Grimes frequented back in
the 80's. These are a bit more expensive, but you'll find these
are standard at National events. They can handle spring rates up
to 1000 lb/in, but I would run 400/400 up to 600/800 depending on your
driving style and needs. For an 89 Civic/CRX in STS(2), the rates
I would run for my own car are 450/600 because Heartland Park, KS (where
the Solo2 National Championships is hosted) is not an overly grippy
surface; so you are better to have less spring rate than more.
Level 3 - Having run Penske, JRZ, Advance Design, and Koni
monotube race shocks on various cars in the past, I can say for certain
that they give you an advantage, but only if you really know what you
are doing. Most people who run a monotube shock car can't really
tell the difference, especially with street tires. The latest
shock spec on Cy Lee's car (the one I help setup and drive with him) is
an aluminum bodied Koni 2812 Monotube Race Shock with the
standard 233 valving, and they are very good. How much faster are
they than the Level 2 Koni RACE Shocks??? Hard to say... it's not
that they are faster, but they offer some tuning capability (and it does
require a bit different setup of hard parts on the car....springs and
swaybars). At $3800 for the set, they are about 3 times what the
Koni Yellow RACE shocks go for and obviously not for everyone. If
I had to estimate how much faster they are than the Koni Yellow RACE
shocks, I'd say they are more than 0.1 sec but probably not more than
0.2 sec faster.
||Springs - Ground
Control Coilovers - don't be mistaken, these are the best coilover sleeves
on the market. Whatever bad you hear about them is mostly because of
installer error. Very minimal squeaking (or none if installed correctly)
and the ability to custom pick spring rates. For a basic setup, I like a
400/450 rate to 450/600 rate. The 450/600 rates are surly a bit much for
some people on the street; so if you want to drive the car everywhere and
not get beat up, consider a 400f/450 spring rate or even softer.
Level 1 -
Suspension Techniques 22mm Rear Swaybar
($175) is the standard. It has 3 settings but I usually run it at
full stiff. I highly recommend starting with full soft though for
your safety. ;) If using the Koni shocks with this swaybar,
you should tack weld the swaybar bracket to the lower shock bracket so
that the swaybar bracket isn't allowed to spin. I've also seen
people drill a small hole and install a 2nd screw between the swaybar
bracket and lower shock bracket to keep it from spinning.
Level 2 - ASR Race Swaybar is a great rear swaybar for
Honda/Acura cars, but it's not as affordable....big surprise ($510).
But it provides for as much stiffness or more than the Suspension
Techniques bar above with less weight. We run this ASR bar now and
I like it alot. It uses a different design than the ST bar above;
so you cannot run a full exhaust with this ASR bar (like you can with
the ST bar). We offer a modular exhaust in center dump or LCA dump
configurations for those that need a good exhaust that dumps under the
car (but behind the driver to stay SCCA legal).
Previously, I had posted that attaching the bar to the middle mounting
point on the lower control arm was preferred, but this has caused so much
controversy. When prepping my 1988
Civic in 2003, the ST adapter kit for a 1988 Civic mounted the bar half-way down the arm (similar
location to hole on 89-91 rear arm), and I thought it would be a great setup.
And it was ok until tires started getting better and we started needing
more front role bar stiffness. Stick with mounting it to the
bottom of the shock now for full effectiveness of the swaybar.
As for the front swaybar, the CRX HF bar is not as stiff as the stock
Si bar, which really helps the traction at the front. The HF bar is
also lighter because it's hollow. It's a GREAT setup to include
that, but many people now run no front bar (including me) because tires
have dictated it. The downside is you can feel a little vague-ness
with no front bar as compared to the HF or stock bar, but with good
bushings, springs, shocks, etc, the vague-ness goes away.
||Tie Bars - This is
another point of confusion for many people. Many people say tie
bars don't do anything, but they do. They help tighten the chassis
of the car so the suspension pickup points don't move relative to each
other during transitions. The more you keep the suspension pickup
points from moving relative to one another, the "tighter" the car will
feel (it's flexing less). Still, we don't run any tie bars on our
STS/X car anymore for the weight, and we are doing just fine without
them... these tie bars are good for those who are just starting out, but
you'll find more and more front runners without them as weight plays a
more and more important role.
bushings - These are important for a car of this age. The stock
bushings are likely shot. Poly bushings make the car feel much better.
The feedback you get from the car is much easier to understand. Poly is a
little harsh for a street driven car in the everyday, but if this is
mostly a weekend car or if you are young, it's probably ok. I'm getting
to old to run poly on the street! :) Either Energy Suspension or Prothane make a good choice for bushings,
and they are about the same price. We sell both, but I have always
used the Energy
Suspension Master Kits on my cars..... so you can be a lemming or not...
it doesn't much matter in this case.
||Header - a good
4-2-1 Ceramic Header, like the one from DC Sports, is a good choice (as of
5/1/08, DC Sports is now owned by APC/Pilot, and for some reason they
are not stocked anymore at our distributors...looking into it).
There are a couple other makes that are cheaper and almost as good, but
I wouldn't get the really cheap ones because they are often crappy build
quality; so you are on your own there.
For the fastest guys in the US,
the HyTech Race Header has become something of a norm. At $1400,
it's probably the most expensive single part you can put on your car,
but it's worth it. We've seen 2-4 hp gains over the DC Sports
header, which doesn't seem like much, but that's a 2-4% improvement in
forward acceleration everywhere. In ST classes where wins often
come down to the thousandths, this header DOES make a difference.
Then again, it's probably the last modification you should make to your
car because power if by far not the most important thing in STS.
||Cold Air Intake - I
like the AEM Cold Air Intake, but anything that pulls cold air is going to work well.
The white Civic that won the 2001 and 2002 Nationals just had a modified
stock airbox in those years. Again, power isn't the most important thing.
We run an AEM Cold Air Intake on ours.... and they come in Polished,
Silver, Red and Blue... so you can bling up your engine bay! :)
||ECU Reflash - you
can pick up horsepower by getting the ECU modified with a RedShift chip. This also is
your chance to raise the rev limiter, something these cars need a bit of.
Of course, if you do up the rev limiter, you are on your own as far as
blowing the thing up. I think you can go 500 rpm over stock ok. And make
sure you run 91 octane or better when you change the ecu tune. Our
current tune makes an extra 2-5 hp throughout the rev range. Our
chip is $99 and we can "socket" your ecu for $65 if you send it to us.
This socketing allows you to run any chip you want to run, even the E85
chip mentioned below. Our socketing procedure also allows for use
of datalogging functionality with the purchase of the $100 datalogging
option (laptop and some prior datalogging experience is recommended).
You may be able to squeeze another 1 hp out of your setup if you tune
your specific setup on a dyno, but it's not likely worth it until you
have that fancy Hytech header.
An interesting things has happened recently with E85 Ethanol becoming
a legal fuel. On a 1989-91 Honda Civic Si, we only run about 2/3
of injector capacity on gasoline and plan to do testing with E85
Ethanol. And normally we could do this without changing the
injectors, but the 240cc injectors in the Civic are the same size as the
injectors in the Integra Type R; so there is actually room to run more
fuel. E85's stoichiometric point is about 8.8:1 (as opposed to
gasoline's 14.7:1); so it needs more fuel, but I believe we have the
room to make E85 work in the usable rev range of the engine). This
chip is NOT available as of 5/1/08, but we will have it for sale when we
have it tested (so we know we aren't going to blow anyone's engine).
(12/14/11 Update: We never made an E85 Chip and don't intend to at
this point. Sorry.)
||Bump the ignition timing
on a stock ECU
(advance it). It is important to know your base timing. Your
stock timing is listed on a label under your hood, and you can advance
timing 2 degrees and pick up a little bit of power as long as you are
using good fuel.
a million exhausts out there. Only 2 stand out as the ones to get.
If you want to run the best full exhaust around and have no interest in
short race exhaust setups, then the Thermal R&D CL Exhaust is the
best one and $500. If you want to remove an extra 10 lbs off the
car, RedShift manufactures a line of RedShift "Modular" Exhausts
(some refer to them as RedShift LCA Exhausts because they dump right
before the "Lower Control Arm").
12/14/11 Update: The RedShift exhaust is no longer
available. The Thermal one is best full exhaust still by far.
Or you have to make your own. The power improvement of one
2.25" exhaust on an STS(2) Civic or CRX to another is so small that it's
not an issue. Run the 2.25" exhaust of your design choice without
concern for power because they all flow plenty well for the 100-115 whp
that most ST Civic/CRX competitors are making. The exhaust
decision become more a issue of what rear swaybar you want to run (ASR
Race Swaybar requires no rear exhaust), your lifestyle (do you care or
are you driving to events?), and weight (RedShift is the lightest in
||Lightened Crank Pulley -
Unorthodox makes good ones. There is the R pulley if you don't have power
steering or a/c for around $180.... and there is the S pulley for everyone
else that goes for around $210. There is some discussion about removal of
the stock crank pulley/dampener in favor of a non-dampener style pulley
can cause premature wear, and the testing has merit. If you want your car
to run to 500,000 miles, then don't autocross. :) I'd run one of these
because they offer a solid 5 hp. Don't use the accessory pulleys along
with this though... .you'll be double underdriving the accessories, which
is bad. Unorthodox makes a pulley kit where the crank pulley is smaller
but the accessory pulleys are stock size; so if you want them for looks,
that's the kit to get. For more info
on the wear issue, go to
http://www.dinanbmw.com and look in the white papers section
for Dinan's research on this.
||These cars are notorious for having bad brakes. But the
brakes on my cars are amazing!!! Here's why. You have to make sure the
hardware is new. The old worn out brakes will feel horrible. Get good
street pads for the front and new OEM style rotors. Get stock rear shoes
and new drums. And service the front and rear calipers and cylinders.
New hardware will solve a mushy brake pedal, and it's not too expensive.
Also, swap out the rubber lines on the car with Stainless Steel lines.
And bleed the crap out of it to make sure NO air is in there.
The Hawk HPS
is a perfect match to the rear stock shoes on the autocross course. Don't
get too good a pad for the front because it'll screw up your brake
balance. The Hawk HP+ is too much pad for the stock rear shoes.
||New rear OEM shoes -
I've never found anyone making performance shoes for the rear of
this car. I don't think you'd want anything more than the stock shoes
either. (1/1/04 update: I've been told that someone does make a rear shoe
for the Hondas in a race compound, but I have also forgotten which is
it.... maybe Carbotech or Porterfield? Anyway, I've not used them;
so I cannot comment on them. The stock rear shoes perform
perfectly on our cars.
||Front Rotors - the
OEM spec rotors are fine at 10 lbs. Slotted rotors are a bit of an
improvement in general, and Powerslot is the leading slotted
rotor (9-10 lbs). You can also use cross-drilled rotors, but most
are not street worthy because they can crack. If you run them, be
careful on the street not to overheat them too much. There are a
number of cross-drilled rotors out there and they are all basically the
same weight (8 lbs). If you are really weight conscious, you can
cut them to minimum manufacturer's thickness... some do this.
||Stainless Steel Brake
Lines - We offer the Russell kit. It's great quality and
||Rear drums - get
new OEM drums if you have braking issues in the back.
||Rear brake cylinders -
these are the little actuators that sit inside your rear drums and push
the shoes into the drum. Absolutely without question buy these
when you redo the brakes..... no exceptions! Seems like most old
cars need at least one, and they are cheap so just get them both and
NEWEST SETUP ADVICE.... by the
For the trailered car....one you want to
be as fast as possible...run this:
Front Camber 3 deg
Front toe 1/4 out total
Rear Camber 2.25-3.25 deg depending on tire and driver
Rear Toe 1/16 in - 1/8 out total (Depending on surface and driver).
We run a hair over 3 degrees negative on our car.
For aggressive street setup I would recommend
something a little different:
Front Camber 2.5 deg
Front toe 1/16-1/8 out total (the more you go, the more
wear you'll see from road driving)
Rear Camber 2.0 (what you'll get from normal lowering without any camber
Rear Toe 1/16 in total
For conservative street setup I would recommend
something a little different still:
Front Camber 2.0-2.5 deg
Front toe zero
Rear Camber 2.0 (what you'll
get from normal lowering without any camber parts)
Rear Toe 1/16 in total
You don't really have to run any camber adjustment on the car because
you get a good camber setting just from lowering the car. If you
need to be more precise though (like racing), you should get adjustable
alignment parts to make that happen. With the standard 1.5-2"
drop, you will already have something like 3 degrees negative on the
front and 2 at the back. 2.5 is ok in front too if you aren't as
low, but I prefer the more aggressive camber in front to really help the
car dig in at corner entry (and I don't like to lower the front as much
as some do).
There are 2 front camber kit designs. First is the inner slotted
bolts on the front upper control arm. The 2nd is the adjustable
upper ball joint. I prefer
the inner pivot for a single important reason.... it was brought to my
attention by Allen Kugler (CSP/FSP/EP Civics/CRXs) that the aftermarket
adjustable ball joints don't have the range of motion that should have
and that they cause the ball joint to bind when the front suspension
compresses all the way. And he is right. Even the new Skunk2
upper front arm with integral adjustable ball joint has this problem. Definitely
use the inner slotted bolts (we like the Ingalls parts) and not an
aftermarket ball joint. If you need to change the ball joint, you
need to get a new front arm and it's around $140 for that! bugger!
And the Ingalls front upper inner slotted bolts are $65 each, $130 for
the pair on our site.
The rear camber adjustment is also an important tuning tool. These are
threaded upper control arms with rubber or polyurethane bushings (or
brass... but that's not legal is most classes) from Ingalls. If you don't run enough
rear camber, your car will overheat the outer edge of the tires, which
changes the balance of the car significantly during a run and certainly
from run to run or with a co-driver. The difference in running
enough camber in back can be the difference between being mid-pack and up
front for sure. And btw, the Ingalls rear alignment adjustment arms for the
Honda/Acura cars are $126 per pair on our site.
||The front works best with a little bit of toe out... maybe
1/8 inch total. As much as 1/4 can be used if it's a trailered car. That
1/4 toe out on the road is a little freaky because the car wanders and
tugs all over the place. Plus the more toe, the faster your tires wear
In the rear, I'd run a little toe in. Perhaps the ideal toe in is
around 1/16 per side. Some people like 0 toe. And if you are a racer and
want more rotation, then a little toe out can work well.
||I think the ultimate no-no is to run the front shocks too
high. A FWD needs to be able to drive hard into corners and then power
out of the corner. It's a delicate balance. If you run you shocks too
high in front, then you'll have a problem with grip and corner entry, and
the car won't come out of the turns as quickly or easily. I run full-soft
on the fronts with most shocks. There are times when you want to run a
little bit of extra rebound valving to settle the car in a particular
section of the course, but this an unusual exception. On the Advanced
Design shocks I ran on the red car in 2003, I found the front compression
valving was a bit too high, especially low speed valving (meaning how the
shock was damping the car under dive and roll ...braking and cornering).
And I ended up having to take the front swaybar off the car to get the car
to be able to enter corners aggressively. So, if you have some sort of
custom shocks or fancy Japanese shocks, be advised that you may be tuning
around a fundamental shock valving problem. Many of the shocks sold as
high-end race shocks are very stiff.... too stiff. It's not good. I'd
much prefer a off-the-shelf Koni with a slightly soft suspension to a
stiff-as-crap setup. Stiff isn't
usually a good thing in the front.
On the other hand, the rear of the car does benefit from being stiff.
I tend to run as stiff as possible in the back with an off-the-shelf Koni.
Or close. You want the rear of the car to be stiff and follow the front
in a way that is comfortable and controllable. Just be careful with
running too stiff on a slippery or bumpy course.
So, a quick thought to summarize my feelings..... if running
off-the-shelf Konis Sports, run 1/4 to 1/2 turn from full soft in front
and and run full stiff in the rear (or 1/4 turn from full stiff as they
recommend never run full stiff on those shocks). On the Koni SPSS Race
shocks, you may still want to run this same setting, but you will also
usually be on slightly stiffer springs; so it all works in the end.
||Determining tire pressures is fairly simple. Start at
front and 32 rear on just about any tire. From there, lower the rear
pressure to get the car to rotate suitably for a given course. I ran 24
psi in the rear when I won nationals in 2002. I usually run around 30 psi
but have gone up to 32 to try to get a little more grip. I think 32 is
ideal for grip, and ideally you'd want the grip in the tires and just
change the setup a little bit
elsewhere (like toe out), but when you are in between runs, you don't have
much time, and taking a little pressure out usually makes the car faster.
But you can still go back up to 32 if you need that grip. If you run
really high pressures to get the car to rotate, you will find the car will
have more of a tendency to snap oversteer. Running lower pressure as a
means of getting rotation will afford less "snappiness" at the limit
because the tire is softer. Furthermore, the lower pressures in back
allow a slightly higher slip angle at all lateral acceleration levels; so
the tire has more lateral movement throughout the entire turning sequence
(from low g to high g), and that's usually what you are after. High
pressures induce oversteer by actual slip of the tread (oversteer), which
is a little harder to control and can catch you off guard, especially on
by fast courses.
On the newer and stickier tires, it's common to run
even lower rear pressures because the car doesn't want to rotate as
easily. I regularly run around 18-25 psi in the back, while still
at 36 in front.
||If you total all the
prices up, you get around $5,500 or so
(without the car). And that doesn't include labor. If you only
have $1000 to spend, put it into the suspension (Konis, Ground Controls,
rear swaybar) and run 14" tires. If you have another $850 to spend, get
some 15x7 wheels (and another $300 for 15" tires). Then start piecing the
rest of it together after you've done those 2 most important thing.
||please email me at
if you have any questions. I'm happy to help. Good luck to you all!!!!
it's been a pleasure running with the ST crowd! And now as part of
Street Touring Advisory Committee (STAC) through 2012, I am part of a
group who is doing it's best to keep the rules fun and fair.
CATALYTIC CONVERTER TEST
Here's is the results of dyno testing the 3 most popular
converters for Street Touring "S" Civics. The results
show a very small increase in horsepower for both the
Catco and Walker catalytic
converters over a 100,000 mile OEM Honda Cat.
Testing was performed on a 1989 spec Honda Civic Si
engine with side exit exhaust, DC Sports 4-2-1 header, and
an AEM short ram intake (getting lots of cold air on the
dyno).....all else is stock (including ecu, crank pulley,
Testing was performed on our Mustang 1750DE dyno in
inertia mode only. The order of the
test was OEM,
Walker, Catco, OEM. The final OEM pulls netted 1 hp more
overall than the first OEM pulls; so we used these
slightly higher numbers for the stock OEM dyno numbers.
First is a graph of wheel horsepower and torque.
Second is a graph of the increase/decrease in wheel
horsepower for the Walker and Catco
converters. Shows the Catco is actually a better cat!
So it's obvious that the new OE cats from Walker and
Catco are a little better than the old stock cat. It
would be good to get a brand new OEM Honda cat and see if
there is a difference. What do you think about the
legality of these cats???? Or what do you think about
allowing them to be legal? :) That's the data for
you....draw your own conclusions.
Chris at RedShift.......................
2002 STS National Championship Civic
Solo II STS National Champion!!
Chris has been autocrossing since 1991, when he first heard about the
sport from a friend. And he's never been quite right since! Since that first
autocross, Chris has driven and raced many types of cars including several
FWD cars, RWD cars, and a purpose-built autocross formula car (FSAE).
He ventured into road racing for a year in 1998 with a 1995 Neon ACR, but it
proved to costly while in graduate school; so he's been autocrossing ever
since. Chris has now attended the 1994, 1998, 1999, and 2002 Solo2 National
Chris started out 2002 in a 1996 BMW 328i in STS competition, but it
quickly proved to be an uphill battle of too much weight on the spec 225mm
width tires. So, in the interest of finding the optimal
weight/performance/tire combination, Chris changed his weapon to a 1989
Honda Civic Si. In fact, he was able to purchase the same Civic that had won
the 2001 STS National Championship in Jason Tipple's hands, but because it
was purchased only a few weeks before Nationals, Chris had time for just new
springs, simple suspension tweaks and new shocks.
The big Topeka event was extremely competitive, but Chris managed to
take the top trophy position in STS for 2002. The 1989-1991 Honda Civic Si
has proven to be a particularly lethal choice of vehicle in STS, and it
seams likely that Street Touring will continue to develop over the next few
years into and even more competitive group of classes.
Lastly, Chris is pursuing his dream of opening a sport compact
performance tuning shop in northeastern Pennsylvania starting October 15,
2002. Look for activity at his company's website
http://www.redshiftmotorsports.com in the very near future, and
you can be sure you'll get quality advice and product offerings there. Chris
can be reached anytime at
Chris' 1989 Civic Si is setup as follows:
205/50-15 Falken Azenis tires
15" X 7" SSR Competition wheels (43mm offset)
Eibach Race Springs 400f/450r (2.5")
Koni single-adjustable shocks (off-the-shelf) with threaded
perches (runs shocks full soft in front and full stiff in rear)
22mm ST rear swaybar, stock front 1989 Civic Si swaybar
Neuspeed front upper chassis tiebar
custom exhaust with big-ass chrome muffler (cause the chicks dig
Unorthodox crank pulley
Short throw shift kit
Momo pedal kit
Momo steering wheel
Grandma-brand driver's seat cover (cause the chicks dig it!)
camber = 3.25 deg negative in front, 2.3 negative in rear
toe = slight toe out in front (depends on tightness of course) and
zero toe in rear
tire pressures = 41 psi front, 25 psi rear
lots of touch up paint!
Update: Feb 03
- This was my setup at the 2002 National Championships in Topeka, KS.
I have some thoughts on additional development.
First, the stock Si front
swaybar is too stiff. I am changing the front bar to a CRX HF
bar (hollow and smaller) before I deliver this car to it's new owner
next week. (4/9 update)... I co-drove the Civic with Tad
(it's new owner) with the new front swaybar and it's FAST! Tad
is continuing the tradition of fast Civics!!!
Second, I'm not sure so
much negative camber is needed or preferred in the front. I
would recommend playing with the front camber a little. Perhaps
pulling it back to around 3.00 deg negative and adjusting from there.
The car has to be driven
smoothly but aggressively. My 3rd run on the first day at Topeka
2002 (the one that really won it for me) was really hairy. I was
driving very aggressively, but you really have to drive it that way to
make it as fast as it can be. And I don't mean stupid
aggressive..... I mean as close to disaster without "overdriving" as
you can. It's a VERY fine line. The part of that run that
best represents that run is the end of the back slalom where I drove
the car out of the slalom and I had so much speed coming out of the
slalom that I nearly lost control of the car and slid the back of the
car nearly halfway through the following turn (probably a good 50
feet). And I don't mean sliding nice.... i mean the kind of
slide where you can contemplate how much speed you are loosing while
in the middle of it.... know what I mean?