Not much has changed since my last post, at least with the car, the plans, those have changed rather dramatically.
To begin with, 1/2 of that list of wants is being overhauled entirely, the other half will get done at some point, your best is as good as mine as to when.
First things first, I’m cutting corners, instead of spending $1100+ on the J’s Shock/Spring combo, why not buy Swift Springs & KYB GR2? Similar valving on the dampers, fairly similar drops and spring rates, but over $400 less expensive? That just sounds like a good idea to me. So why am I raising the car (for those that don’t know, the drop on Swifts is not nearly as dramatic as Tein S-Techs & blown OEM dampers)?
The answer to that is simple, coilover options for the GD3 are limited. When spending under $1500, there are no quality options to be had; when spending over $1500, the options do not satisfy my wants enough to justify that added cost. Sure I could give HKS and be mega low, however, I don’t trust their durability, nor their comfort. Conversely, KW’s are great, however the inability to go as low as my springs have without compromising travel entirely does not sound appealing. AMR Engineering, the last of the coilovers in that price range, has a history of lacking customer service and from the very few people who have used the Fit application, the fitment has not been perfect.
So to sum up my options, here they are:
A) Buy new dampers, keep Tein springs. Deal with bouncy ride height and a shortened damper life span.
B) Buy new dampers, buy Swift Springs. Deal with dorky ride height, enjoy improved handling & livability.
C) Buy cheap coilovers (Tein Basic, Buddy Club, D2, etc.). Deal with poor ride quality, short life span, start this process again in a few short years.
D) Buy mildly pricey coilovers (AMR, KW, HKS). All quality products, still not perfect for me. Oh and this costs double what option B costs.
To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what my final decision will be on this front, either option A or B, coilovers just do not seem like a good option for a daily driven car in WI at this time in my life. Continuing on with the post, what else has changed from my last update? Wheel & tire selection!
I’ve realized I don’t want to pay ~$1000 for brand new SSR’s that I’m not head over heels in love with, I also don’t need the extreme summer grip provided by the Dunlop ZII, no matter how incredible a tire it may be. If I keep my Teins, I’ll be using a 205/50/15 Dunlop DZ102; if the Swifts are my spring of my choice, I’ll be using the 195/55/15 breed of the DZ102.
Why the DZ102? The DZ101 got good reviews for a daily driven, semi-capable summer tire; the DZ102 is its replacement, has a higher wear rating AND a really good looking tread design. This is the stuff that matters folks, functionality combined with aesthetics, the >$100 savings while still picking up a quality product are nice as well.
As for wheels, what will I be doing? Again, I have no idea. Nothing mind blowingly awesome. Ideally? Ram’s Racing PR6 or Regamaster EVOs; classic time attack wheels built to the highest standards. Those options come with a hefty price tag, options that still fit my style as well as my price range?
A: Kosei K1 15×7 +38. $105/wheel. That’s hard to pass up, especially on a known quantity like the K1.
B: OZ Starlight 15×7 +32. Who knows how much. Pretty rare. Pretty cool. Pretty good option.
C: Some random used wheel that comes up for sale and intrigues me. This is the most likely option.
Wheel hunting is fun, I look forward to doing it soon; however, for the first time in my life, I’ll be looking to buy a set of wheels with the intention of keeping them for years, having never owned a set for more than six months at a time.
In addition, I don’t believe I’ll be able to leave the aesthetics of the car completely as they are, the car looks goofy with a OEM Sport rear lip and no front lip/side skirts. Additionally, with the OEM grille and rear spoiler, the car does not please my eyes in the slightest.
On that front, I’d like to acquire either a J’s or Mugen grille, to go side by side with OEM sport lip/sideskirts. To top those items off, a Spoon duckbill; the most cliche of choices, and for good reason.
In summary, I’m a bit of a nut who can’t make up his mind. I’m also a graduating college senior who is trying to continue with the hobby he loves while being financially responsible. For years, I’ve been back and forth on selling the car; always wanting something sportier, more fun, better to drive & look at. However, I’ve come to realize, that life does not end at 30 years old or when one has a family; so with this I’ve come to the conclusion that the Fit needn’t be a visual stunner, needn’t drive like an Amuse demo car or do any other one thing incredibly well.
What I need is a reliable car, which I can afford, which I can trust to get me where I need to be, rain, snow or shine, and that is still the fun car that I so lust after as a car enthusiast. With these pieces, I seek to attain all of those things, the ride height will be a bit higher than it is now, it will also be comfier, more family friendly (a good thing), and it’ll be more fun!! I am not done modifying the car, that day will likely never come, at least not until I’ve actually done everything that the car’s spirit demands.
I do apologize for this near thousand word rant, I hope there were at least a few points that made sense. I’ll update the site again when I actually make a decision and have some parts in my hands. Until then, go out, enjoy cars, car life and the people around you, whether car friends or not, they’re what truly matter.