It was time to upgrade my stock 2013 Scion F-RS. First priority was tending to the ride height. Then there was the cracked front right 19-inch Stance SC-5ive wheel currently installed. These wheels came with the car at time of purchase from the dealership. At some point during daily driving a crack showed up in the inner barrel of the wheel. I set out to fix both of these issues.
An enthusiast can spend hours deciding on which wheels to rock. Personally, I love the mesh look and because of that I went with Avant Garde's M220 18x9 +30 all around. These shoes give an old-school touch to the modern and much loved Scion FR-S. Avant Garde uses the latest in computer-aided engineering when manufacturing its wheels. By applying Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Avant Garde tests the strength and durability of the wheels during the production process. Unfortunately, after installing the new wheels I had to rock them under the veil of a stock ride height until I could afford a lowering package. No bueno! I've heard it all: 4x4 stance, moar low, sky-high off-roading FR-S, too much wheel gap!
It's been said time and time again, the first modification anybody should make to his or her car is the suspension. Whether you're planning to slam your ride to the ground or make it a track beast, it's essential to lower the center of gravity for improved handling and performance. The time came to fix my high rolling FR-S though and the results were worth the wait. I choose to drop it low, but not so low that the Avant Gardes tucked under the wheel wells.
Our friends at Johnston Research & Performance sent us a set of HSD coilovers for the project. I couldn't be happier with how they've performed after our friends Young Tea and Meng Tea at FRS 86 crew assisted with install during one of their home "install parties" in Los Angeles, CA. We decided to drop it 45mm over the stock ride height. Take note that after lowering your car it's imperative to get an alignment to avoid chewing up tires.
The monotube design and large oil capacity provides excellent heat dissipation providing consistent handling under prolonged hard driving conditions - found out during weekend drives the in canyons and a 400-mile road trip. The high-capacity, large valve monotube dampers feature floating pistons for a quality ride along with 16 different stage-damping adjustments; I'm running a mild 10-clicks from the softest damping stage, all around. The kit also includes adjustable front anti-sway bar end links because the OEM units are too long with the new setup.
I tested the new parts on a seven-hour drive up north to Sacramento shortly after the HSD coilover install. For a car that's now slammed it wasn't bad at all. Aside from large bumps and potholes, which caused underbody scraping on the freeway, it was comfortable and smooth like the OEM variant. Scraping hasn't been an issue on city streets but I do though plan to slightly raise the ride height to avoid future underbody abuse during the daily commute.
With the wheel and suspension upgrade my FR-S now carries an aggressive stance closer to the asphalt and the mesh style of wheels is closer to my taste. Big thanks to the FRS86(http://www.frs86.com/) crew Young and Meng Tea. What do you think of the car so far? What should I do next? Keep in mind I'm only running on an Associate Online Editor's salary. Which means a Vortech Supercharger, a Greddy Turbo, a Rocket Bunny Kit, or Varis kit are out of the question!
HSD Coilovers MSRP is $1,350 for the featured FR-S kit.
Avant Garde wheels go for $250 each.