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Best setup for Autocross

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  • Best setup for Autocross

    I have read and re-read all the suspension posts I can find. There are posts that use one thing and then another that differs from that. I am not looking to re-invent the wheel. I have two Capri’s one regular, one XR2, and access to an Aspire for whatever I need. Just looking for someone who has been racing a Festiva in autocross.I am switching from my Lincoln Mark VIII to the Festiva for next year. I would like to do the XR2 motor but figured I would start with brakes and suspension. As far as brakes go .... XR2 or Aspire. Again I have seen so many differing opinions. Looking for the racing side of the house.

    Thanks in advance for any help

  • #2
    The original Advance Suspension setup has been working well for me, and it's easy to find the parts to build it. The newer style with camber/caster plates and Tbvechi struts does handle a little better for better lap times but it's not ideal if it's going to be a dual purpose street and autocross car.

    You'll want-

    Kia Rio top hats.
    MK3 Golf/Jetta front Raceland coilovers. These are super cheap used, maybe even free if they're blown. MK1 rabbit strut inserts fit them if they're blown.
    MK1 Cabrio rear shocks
    Smallbody coilover sleeves and adjuster nuts from Southwest Speed (pay with paypal, not a credit card)
    New beetle ('99) rear bump stops- (4)
    120 pound 10x2.5" springs for the front (150 pound if b6t)
    105 pound 10"x1 7/8" rear springs.
    3.5 or 5 degree rear camber plates from The Festiva Store. 3.5 for a dual purpose car, 5 for autocross only.

    Stock brakes will be plenty strong enough for autocross and street, no need to swap to aspire brakes- they're heavier. If you plan on tracking the car then the vented aspire brakes would be usefull. Capri brakes are much too big and heavy, and require at least 14" wheels. Stock brakes in good condition will lock up sticky track tires at 80 mph no problem so they're plenty strong enough, and you won't fade them at an autocross.

    Look for 13x7" wheels, around 20-30 offset. You'll have to roll/pull the fenders and quarters to make them fit. Nankang AR1 tires come in 175/50-13 and 185/60-13. I've tried both, the 175's are shorter and lighter and work really well on tighter courses but you'll be against the rev limiter earlier on big courses. I have a carb car, so no rev limiter, so that's not as much of an issue as it would be on an efi car.

    -4 camber, 1/16" toe out front, -3.5/5 rear and 1/16" toe out if its autocross only. The car will toe in the lower it is, so I set my toe to zero for daily driving at a slightly lower ride height, then if I need toe out to help it rotate better I raise the rear about an inch to gain a little toe out at the event. Having the rear slightly lower than the front will help with stability.

    Stick with the stock b3 if its running for your first season of autocross- you'll learn the car better and you'll be really suprised at how competitive you are with a b3. Mine has a b3 that makes 75-80 hp and it's easy to drive on course, the b6t will make it a lot easier to over-drive the car, especially when you're trying to learn the chassis.

    Last edited by theastronaut; 11-20-2020, 10:23 PM.
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    • #3
      Very impressive driving Mr. Glenn because as well as you have your Festiva dialed in it all comes down to your driving skills. Good job dude!
      '88 Festiva LX 5 speed, A/C, Carb, restored $$$ body paint, badly wrecked @ 200k.
      '93 Festiva L, 5 speed, Aqua, bought from the original owner,.Zero rust but very nasty otherwise. Awaits the B6T.
      '91 Festiva L, 5 speed, bought to drive while putting the B6T in the '93. now B6ME powered.