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Old 04-21-2003, 09:35 PM   #1
slater
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Default comfort ALK and noltec steering rack bushings installed...

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


install:
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 ).


impressions?

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!

peter
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:02 PM   #2
ScreaminFast
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Thats great man, I'm glad to hear it....I can't wait to put those on my car...
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:29 PM   #3
tora
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Just curious, why did you get the "comfort" bushings?
I've never understood why people get these as the regular bushings seem fine to me (I've got them), are not noisy and are not overly stiff.
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:33 PM   #4
slater
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Quote:
Originally posted by tora
Just curious, why did you get the "comfort" bushings?
I've never understood why people get these as the regular bushings seem fine to me (I've got them), are not noisy and are not overly stiff.
i've had the 'sport' bushings on my old 2.5RS and they were fairly harsh on the street, especially on expansion joints, etc. nothing i cared to live with.

the comfort appears to give me about 85% of the performance of the sport kit, and seems to ride better than stock.

ding! we have a winner.

peter
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:36 AM   #5
Arnie
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Quote:
Originally posted by tora
Just curious, why did you get the "comfort" bushings?
I've never understood why people get these as the regular bushings seem fine to me (I've got them), are not noisy and are not overly stiff.
bling bling! guilty party here! It was do to my bitching (and a few others) that got Jim to develop the comfort bushing. I was living in San Francisco at the time and the roads are primarily rough concrete with very misaligned expansion joints between the slabs. Sometimes you would get a 2 inch heigth difference between each slab! The Sport bushing would just slam hard against this hard edged surface. They sound and feel like you had no struts and the suspension was bottoming out. Highway reflectors (Botts Dots) felt like massive blocks of concrete on the road. I just loved the performance of the Sports but it was just painful. So thankfully Whiteline whipped these boys up for us in a matter of months and they were the answer to our cadillac-cruiser-butt prayers!

As Slater said, about 85% of the performance and 110% of the comfort. Its just nice to have the option. By all means try out the Sport or even Motorsports version and then say "Aaaaahhhhh" when you try the Comfort version. I would have stayed with the Sport version if the roads were better (like smooth asphalt).

If you are curious to how the Comfort Bushing came to be, search under my name in suspension along with ALK and you'll get the whole huge thread.

BTW Slater, glad you like the Comfort version.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:50 AM   #6
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arnie, how can I get just the comfort bushings? I think its time to give my butt some comfort.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:21 AM   #7
Arnie
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Dan, you can order just the bushing upgrade straight from Whiteline though some local vendors might have them as well. I can look up part #'s etc. tomorrow. They're pretty cheap.

Install/removal of the bushing is challenging. i got one off and gave up on the second. Just brought it into a shop with a bearing press and they installed it for $15.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:53 AM   #8
slater
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnie


bling bling! guilty party here! It was do to my bitching (and a few others) that got Jim to develop the comfort bushing.
<snip>
BTW Slater, glad you like the Comfort version.
me too. and thanks for 'inventing' it!

i totally recommend the steering rack bushings too, i don't want these to be forgotten!

peter
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:42 PM   #9
nekard
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Where did ya pick up the steering rack bushing at?
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Old 04-22-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
slater
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Quote:
Originally posted by nekard
Where did ya pick up the steering rack bushing at?
i got them from david @ oakos.com. great guy to deal with!

peter
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:05 PM   #11
Arnie
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yeah, did the steering rack bushing this weekend as well and it really does make a difference. I put in just the passenger one and took a drive and there was a distinct difference between turning left and right, turns to the left were more immediate and crisper. turns to the right felt slower and softer. i actually could feel more g's with same amount of wheel turn to the left than to the right.

Then I got the driver's one on (quite challenging) and the steering is crisper both ways. Its like the car starts to turn sooner than before. Usually when you first turn the wheel a few degrees nothing happens. Now something does. you don't feel it when you first start the car, take off and turn the wheel (but maybe the power steering hasn't got all the fluid moving?). But as soon as you are on the road and turn the wheel you are immediately going in that direction. Feels very good with no perceptible increase in NVH.

My tip on installing the driver's side. For me, getting the bracket and bushing off was really easy, it was sliding the new bushing on that was tough. The thing will be very slimey from the grease so its really hard to hold onto but the grease aids in sliding the bushing on. I tried sliding/rotating it on from both directions (rear of the car to front and front of car to rear. You'll know what I am talking about once you are down there.). I found sliding/rotating it on from the front of car to the rear of car easier. It helps to get the bushing into its normal shape on the steering rack mount. As in, not bent or anything because those bends or flattening of the bushing prevent it from sliding "freely". Once you get the bushing around the top of the rack mount it starts to snake around towards the backside and will be stopped by the bolt attachment point. You will need to wiggle the rack a bit back and forth while pushing the bushing through. I found it helped to completely remove the bolts from both sides of the rack so that there is lots of movement possible in the rack. for me, the key to it getting that slimey sucker past this point was being able to really grab ahold of it. I was able to grab and edge with a small vice grip. I just locked on and slid the bushing further and further while pushing the rack towards the front of the car to give it some room to move past the bolt mounting point. With the vice grip I was able to move it pretty easily. Note, you won't be able to grab much of the bushing, perhaps 1/8" but its enough.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:40 PM   #12
nekard
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Did you cut the bushing in order to install it? I know that one of them has a slit in it and the other one doesnt. Did you have to disconnect any power steering lines or just take down the brackets? Has anyone purchased any of the other bushing made by Noltec?
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:00 PM   #13
Arnie
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the Whiteline bushing is pre cut on both drivers and passenger side. I had to pull the lines down a bit but not much to wiggle the bushing out of the way on the drivers side. Not much give on those lines but it was enough.

Spiral Smurf - here is a quote from jim at Whiteline when we first had the comfort bushing made with all the different part #'s etc. Hope it helps!

G’day everyone,

We’ve just put some part numbers together for the new COMFORT option anti-lift kits including covering all model Impreza, Liberty and WRX from 1994 to 2002.

Here’s a table of the part numbers etc. (*All prices in A$ exclude GST or taxes)

KCA319A MY94 Anti-lift/caster kit-NEW $199.09
KCA319AUG MY94 Anti-lift/caster kit-NEW UPGRADE OFFER $99.09
KCA319M MY94 Anti-lift/caster kit-Motorpsort $213.64
KCA359 MY01 Anti-lift/caster kit $235.45
KCA361 MY94 Anti-lift/caster kit-COMFORT bush $199.09
KCA362 MY01 Anti-lift/caster kit-COMFORT bush $235.45
W0562 KCA319A BUSH KIT-NEW (60319WLE) $53.63
W0562UG KCA319A/359 BUSH UPGRADE ONLY $22.27
W0563 KCA361 BUSH KIT-COMFORT (60319WLE-70D) $53.63
W0563UG KCA319A/359 COMFORT BUSH UPGRADE ONLY $22.27

I know that’s a heap of info but we’ve created a heap of options in light of the positive feedback from testers and the North American market. The key part numbers using the new 70 Duro comfort bush are:

KCA361 MY94 Anti-lift/caster kit-COMFORT bush $199.09 (
KCA362 MY01 Anti-lift/caster kit-COMFORT bush $235.45
W0563 KCA361 BUSH KIT-COMFORT (60319WLE-70D) $53.63
W0563UG KCA319A/359 COMFORT BUSH UPGRADE ONLY $22.27

It will take a little while to get these part numbers onto WebStore and our dealers web sites but they are valid on our system now. A key point is that all bushes will be “yellow” in colour, regardless of hardness or design. However, each bush has a unique code moulded into the domed head. (refer earlier picture post). The codes for the various bushes are:

60319WL is old style non-grooved bush in 80 Duro
60319WLE is NEW style grooved bush in 80 Duro
60319WLE-70 is NEW COMFORT grooved bush in 70 Duro

Best regards and thanks for your help in getting this resolved.

Jim Gurieff
Whiteline
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:11 PM   #14
slater
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Quote:
Originally posted by nekard
Has anyone purchased any of the other bushing made by Noltec?
well, IIRC noltec makes the bushings and some other bits for MRT (i could be totally wrong on this, but some of the noltec/MRT products are IDENTICAL). i bought the noltec adjustable rear lateral links (w/ harder bushings) from david @ oakos auto, but haven't installed them yet.

they look like fine pieces, but i'm not sure if i'm even going to install them because honestly, there are no 'good' alignment shops around here, and whatever backwoods hillbilly mechanic that is going to align my car is going to scratch his head for an hour trying to figure out how these things actually work.

so i may sell them and buy the fixed, albeit much more expensive STi lateral links (the 6-piece set).


arnie,

glad you like the steering rack bushings, too! and i'm also glad you have a tough time with the driver's side, i knew i wasn't in agony alone underneath my car this past weekend.

peter
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:35 PM   #15
industrial
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Was looking to buy an alk from oakes (seems they're out?) and bam, there's the comfort bushings on the clearance rack. Here's the deep link. I'm not affliated with them but they are good people.

http://www.oakos.com/Merchant2/merch...gory_Code=2000
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:43 PM   #16
slater
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actually i don't think david is selling whiteline stuff anymore... ?

he just happened to have one comfort ALK left when i contacted him.

peter
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:19 AM   #17
Uncle Scotty
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I have a new, un-opened, W0562UG KCA319A/359 BUSH UPGRADE kit that needs a home...PM me.
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