i installed a 'comfort' version of the whiteline ALK and some noltec steering rack bushings (courtesy of oakos - thanks dave!) on my MY02 WRX sedan this past weekend.
current suspension mods:
- STi V7 struts and top mounts
- H&R springs
- cusco adjustable rear swaybar, set on '22mm'
- whiteline endlinks (rear)
- 17x7.5" rota SDRs
- 225/45/17 falken azenis
the steering rack bushings were an interesting job. the passenger side took 5 minutes, and the driver's side took about 45 minutes. thanks to north ursalia's instructions i finally got the driver's side on.
the ALK actually went on easily, took me about an hour. for those that haven't done it, on a WRX, whiteline supplies spacers and longer bolts that you need to install on the U-shaped subframe brace... and you need to remove this enormous thing to install the ALK anyway. it actually took about 5 minutes to take off. i was able to break the 4 19mm bolts that bolt the OEM 'ALK' piece to the chassis with my 1/2" breaker bar with ease (well, i have some arm muscles, and they all came out without trouble
). i broke out my new air compressor and impact wrench for the big-ass 22mm nuts that are at the end of the control arm, and they would NOT budge!! i was pissed. so i got out the ol' breaker bar, and mustered all of my strength and actually broke them free! so, i'm effectively stronger than my impact wrench.
(what i need to do is return the impact wrench for a stronger model
WOW, the steering feel is MUCH improved - it feels a lot heavier, and tracks amazingly well. it truly is 'point and shoot' now. and that was just around town! i later took it on a spirited mountain run, and all i can say is DAMN.
it feels perfect. no NVH increase at all with the comfort bushings in the ALK - in fact, i think it actually soaks up imperfections in the pavement better! the comfort bushings are still quite a bit stiffer thank the stock bushings.
one thing i also noticed was that the azenis tended to 'pull' with road imperfections a lot less
now, which is most definitely a good thing - so, less twitchyness, and a heavier steering feel - rock on!
bottom line: these two mods are WELL worth the money (~$160 total new... ~$135 for the ALK and ~$25 for the bushings).
i can't wait to get it aligned!