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Old 12-15-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
motohippy
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Default So if the excel-g is garbage...

What are my options for a stock-like replacement for my '00 OBS? I was under the impression that the excel-g IS the OEM replacement, but if it's as bad as claimed, I guess I need an alternative for my DD/gear wagon. New job has me driving about 50 miles a day on Maine back roads, and the ones on there are getting scary.
Thanks in advance
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:18 AM   #2
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I've heard nothing but good things about the gr-2 / excel-g's. They are the oem replacement. I'm ordering a set in the next couple of days to pair with my swift springs.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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The Excell-G are valved on the harsh side. The GR-2 was a better strut, but no longer available (if you are very lucky you may find some old stock). KYB says they are the same struts, but with a different name. Turn In Concepts has opened them up to prove otherwise (perhaps they can chime in with the actual differences).

The Tokico HP (Tokico Blues) are a better option than the Excell-G. The only problem is they do not offer a wagon fitment. Wagon owners would loose some negative camber. This can be fixed by slotting the struts (10 minutes per strut with a Dremel), or camber correcting strut tops (like Whiteline's Com-C tops), or (not my favorite) aftermarket camber bolts. The HP's are a very nice OE type strut. They go well with any of those mild lowering springs too, like Mach V, Swift Sports, etc. etc..

For what it's worth I have a mix of Excell-G front struts and GR-2 rears on my wife's Leggy Outback. The Excells are harsher than the GR-2 but for my wife it's not even noticeable. I can tell the difference but she can't.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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I've got Gr2 on the back and Excel G on the front of my Fozzy and I honestly can't tell a difference..

The Fozzy has/had a harsh'ish ride from the factory anyway if you ask me, funny because I actually bought my fist RS over a Fozzy because of it...
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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It's very subtle. It does not bother me and I have to concentrate on it to tell the difference. Perhaps it's worse on a Wrx then a Legacy Outback.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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The gr2's are black and the excel g's are silver correct? I might call KYB about this mystery.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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Gr2s are silver, G's are black
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake-n-Bake View Post
The gr2's are black and the excel g's are silver correct? I might call KYB about this mystery.
You can call KYB, but I am sure they will say they are the same struts. Call Turn In Concepts as they have opened them up to compare. TiC can tell you the difference.

Yes Aaron's correct. GR-2 is silver, Excell-G is black.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #9
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If any one goes and orders a set of GR-2 and does not want Ecxell-G, be careful, as many received Excell-G instead. Any one who is looking for left over GR-2 should ask specifically what model they are getting from the vendor.
I don't think there are many, if any GR-2 left at all.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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They are not the same. The GR2 is slightly stiffer than stock while the Excel G is much stiffer. Oddly enough the Excel G does not seem to work well with any spring that we have put to them. They are always harsh which leads many customers to pulling them back off.

The GRs's are silver and the Excel G's black.

The change came when Japan had that earthquake last year. There was a problem with production and the Excel G's started to be shipped as replacements for the GR2's. The GR2's have been gone since. Many sites still sell the GR2's, but when the customer receives the product finds they have gotten Excel G's.

Tony
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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I have a set of Excel-G's with H&R sprigns and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying them over stock. Definitely valved harsher than stock but my car needed it, stock was horrible. When I called Tire Rack and also KYB I was told they were replacements for GR-2's which have been discontinued and that the Excel-G's will be upwards of 10% stiffer than OEM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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I ordered a set from tirerack. Will post up what type is shipped to me.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:18 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for the input...
The tokico's do sound good, just sort if a pity that there's so few stock traveler options out there
I've never appreciated the Subaru quite so much as when driving a 10 foot uhaul in snow and ice...
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:02 AM   #14
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Shipment from tirerack came in. I received the excel-g shocks. Will post back my experience with these matched with swift sport springs.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shake-n-Bake View Post
Shipment from tirerack came in. I received the excel-g shocks. Will post back my experience with these matched with swift sport springs.
how are you liking your excel-g's?
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
how are you liking your excel-g's?
Haven't installed yet. However this Friday the swift springs and excel g's get installed. I'll report back Saturday with impressions.
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Old 02-02-2013, 01:30 PM   #17
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*Update*

Swift sports and KYB Excel-G's installed. Very happy with the ride quality. The ride is more responsive and yes a wee bit harsh, but this is to be expected. Overall very happy with the purchase. The wife even said she liked the ride better(had a blown shock so it bounced). It will take about a week or so for everything to settle in. Ill post back impressions once settled and I get the alignment. But happy with the excel - g shocks.

Here's what I had installed:
Swift sport wagon springs
Kyb excel-g shocks
Kyb tophats
Mach v 1/4 saggy butt spacers for the rear

Before the springs:


With Swifts and Mach V 1/4 Saggy Butt Spacer:


The ride so far is prefect. I've done turnpike and around the town driving.

Last edited by Shake-n-Bake; 02-04-2013 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Added photos
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:52 AM   #18
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Do you have sway bars? Should be next. Car looks good!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:16 AM   #19
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How would these struts pair with RCE Wagon Springs?
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtothescene View Post
Do you have sway bars? Should be next. Car looks good!
Yes sir. Next on the list is Hotchkis sway bars and Kartboy rear end links.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discodan View Post
How would these struts pair with RCE Wagon Springs?
They would be under damped.
You would need a Tokico D-Spec, Koni insert or a set of 04 STI struts for those springs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:17 AM   #22
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Thanks for all the input, everyone...
Sadly, I'm now on generic NAPA OE replacements after a failed inspection forced the issue...
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post

They would be under damped.
You would need a Tokico D-Spec, Koni insert or a set of 04 STI struts for those springs.
Thanks. That's what I thought. How is there no option in the $100/strut range for these cars? It's maddening! It goes from KYB ($70) to koni/tokico ($200 +/-). The Konis are inserts causing more labor $$$! Dspec are only for 02-04 requiring spacers for 04-07, etc etc Why no bilstein? Tokico HP? Koni FSD? Aaaaand I have a wagon! So annoyed
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discodan View Post

Thanks. That's what I thought. How is there no option in the $100/strut range for these cars? It's maddening! It goes from KYB ($70) to koni/tokico ($200 +/-). The Konis are inserts causing more labor $$$! Dspec are only for 02-04 requiring spacers for 04-07, etc etc Why no bilstein? Tokico HP? Koni FSD? Aaaaand I have a wagon! So annoyed
It might be because many go the coilover route perhaps. It does suck. I was worried these kyb's would be junk, but the next option was the Koni inserts and was just too much money for me at this point.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #25
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thanks for the review. i loved the gr-2's with tein h-techs i had on my 02 obs. just was curious about the reported harshness of the excel's.

i have been trying to decide between koni's paired with some stock 2012 wrx springs (217#/194#) i have sitting around, or just going the more affordable route of excel g's, to upgrade my 08 wrx's super soft suspension (151#/136#). i have the stock 2012 struts too, but the fronts are going to be a pain, due to some strut geometry changes, so i just want to upgrade to aftermarket pieces all around.
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