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Old 01-06-2003, 02:50 AM   #1
Arnie
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Default STi Genome Wagon Suspension installed

Initial Impressions:

Install:

This was my first suspension install and I found it to be surprisingly easy with just a couple of stumbling points. The rear 19mm bolts/nuts are really difficult to get off. Those things are really torqued on there. Basically you have to unscrew the bolt rather than the nut because the nut is pretty tightly surrounded by the rotor/CV joint, etc. The fronts were really easy to put on/take off. We did, however, like so many others, over-torque and break one of the bolts on the strut tops. Damn! But good news, you can rescue that STi strut top! You just have to knock out the broken piece out of the hat with a hammer, then replace it with one from the OEM hat. You need to knock out a good one from the OEM hat and then hammer/press it into the STi hat. Works like a charm. Nice and snug. I'll keep an eye on it and report back if anything goes wrong. I also still need an alignment though I did set the camber bolt at max neg. camber.

Ride height:

Unfortunately I forgot to take stock measurements. The new measurements are:
Rear: 13 1/2" from center of rim to edge of fender
Front: 14 1/2" from center of rim to edge of fender

The Ride:

I've only had a few short spins around the block. I'll report more after next week after my drive up to San Francisco. Very supple and just a bit more firm over normal undulations and potholes. Very comfortable. No bounciness so far. It is definitely softer than my V5 setup. With the V5 I couldn't even push the car down from the fender or bumper. With this suspension you can push the car down a bit. Still some body roll but less than stock. Noticeably less rise and dip on hard acceleration. I would agree that its about 20% more firm than stock. I'd say if you want closer to go-kart handling go for the STI/SPT suspension kit or coilovers, of course. The V7 struts are much firmer than the Genome struts. But if you want to maintain the stock cushy ride but with a bit more body control this might be your suspension. Its a good intermediate step before the STi/SPT suspension. Perhaps it's a solution for those with significant others who complained about the stiff ride of the STi suspension. We’ll see how my wife likes it after the SF road trip.

My other suspension mods:

Whiteline F/R swaybars- 22mm/22-24mm set in the middle
Whiteline ALK comfort bushing
Whiteline Endlinks F/R
Whiteline HD rear swaybar mount
Rota Tarmac 17 x 7.5 w/AVSi’s 215/45-17
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Old 01-06-2003, 10:51 AM   #2
gtguy
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I'm glad that everything went on well. The genome stuff sounds nice, and 20% stiffer sounds pretty close to perfect for a daily driver.

And regarding those rear bolts, now you see why I bought air tools. You put the air gun on the bolt, a 19mm box end on the nut, and zip, zip. Off it comes, slicker than snake snot.

Keep us all posted, once you get it aligned and all that. How much drop did you end up with? I'll have to check my stock measurements, but it sounds like you did get some.

Kevin
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:31 PM   #3
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Yeah, it would have been great if we could have fit the impact wrench in there but we had a pretty large electric unit so no go. I noticed how much smaller the air versions are. Would have been nice

Drop seems to be a cm or two even all around. This setup does not provide even fender gap, if that is what folks are looking for. So it still has more gap up front. Typical STi. If people want even fender gaps all around in a quality spring, then the Prodrives are the way to go. I would like to take a drive in a Prodrive equiped car sometime for comparisons sake. I'm wondering if it gives that "tall rear falling into a turn" feel with the front so low.

Yes, I think its going to be a great daily driver, sporty enough to be fun but still very comfortable for long hauls or sensitive butts.

If I hadn't mentioned this before, these things are not the inverted strut design. They are about the same piston diameter and design as stock. Valving may be a bit different, as they feel a little stiffer. Spring rates are also stiffer than stock.

Oh, just a comment on those eccentric cam bolts in the front: they are so cool! I was just rotating them in the hole for a few minutes watching the rotor angle in and out. Neat stuff!

Last edited by Arnie; 01-06-2003 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:51 PM   #4
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excellent Arnie. Glad you made out ok.

as you and I have been discussing (as well as with gtguy - thx btw) the suspension does seem to have a street tune to it. This is exactly what I am looking for. Basically something that will control the body of a car in many aggressive driving situations, but still be able to cruise over railway tracks and other changing road surfaces.

a proper alignment and more time behind the wheel will really give you a good sense of the dynamics of this setup.


please keep us posted as I'm sure we're all interested.


btw - does anyone know the proper torque specs for the suspension swap?


cheers.
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Old 01-06-2003, 12:59 PM   #5
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top 3 bolts are about 14 lb/ft, the bottom two 19mm bolts are about 110 lb/ft? Something like that, I need to check the specs again.

As far as aggressive driving goes, there still will be a bit of roll, probably more than the STi/SPT, but coupled with the larger sway bars its probably a decent compromise.
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Old 01-06-2003, 10:43 PM   #6
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Top bolts are indeed 14 lbs, 19mm are 129 ft lbs (as tight as you can them). Couple of question on the genome (I first saw these at japanparts.com the other day). One you answered- piston diam and inverted or not.

Is Genome a line carried by FHI like STi? Are the springs progressive? Are the fronts significantly stiffer than the rear like stock (168 vs 112) or closer like the STi (212/192)? Are you running oe tops or STi?

This may be a good choice for something between stock and v7. I'm guessing they're cheaper then v7 setup?

Sorry about all the questions, but my curiousity was really picqued when I saw them the other day and now I've found someone who actually has a set?

Thanks

Big Sky
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Old 01-06-2003, 11:37 PM   #7
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I'm interested in the Genome suspension.. Where does one get it and how much do they run, and do they come with the STI tops?

Also, did you have much of an issue with rear camber at all? (I assume ths kit is designed for the sedan)
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Old 01-07-2003, 12:38 AM   #8
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I picked this set up used from a chap in Japan. So new prices will be as quoted in the japanparts.com site, I guess.

The way it was explained to me, Genome is the dealer upgrade to STi parts in Japan. You can still get aftermarket STi but this is the upgrade straight from the dealer. Are the springs progressive? Hmm, don't know. Remind me how a progressive spring looks compared to a linear. Front rates are stiffer than rear and from the feel of them, they are pretty close to the STi rates BigSky quoted. Though I don't have an alignment, I have it set at max neg camber but the front toe is still a bit off. Anway, I'm finding I am understeering a bit more compared to stock. May be the alignment but it may be the stiffer rear spring rate to front spring rate proportion. Perhaps the stock front/rear spring rate proportion (much softer rear) gave me a bit more oversteer. I compared one rear spring to a Whiteline rear spring I had sitting around and it was stiffer than that. Check Ravensblade's site to check what the spring rate was for the Whiteline. I am running STi tops. The struts feel a bit stiffer than stock but nothing as stiff as the RA 40mm struts that everyone gets.

I think this indeed slots somewhere in between stock and the V7. The ride is softer compared to the V5 setup I had before and that is pretty similar to the V7. I think they are a couple hundred cheaper than the V7's plus they are that groovy orange. Mine was complete with all the hardware except for the hats so you would have to transfer the stock stuff, like dust boots and washers over.

No issue with rear camber as this kit was from a wrx wagon.
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Old 01-07-2003, 08:03 AM   #9
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Hmmm, these sound very interesting. I wonder where their damping rates would fall relative to the STi 4-way adjustables for the WRX wagon? Based on others translation, the third setting on the adjustables is closest to that of the of the SPT/STi kit for the wagon. I wonder if the Genome units are closer to the first setting or second setting?

Arnie,
I would definitely like to hear more once you,ve gotten some long highway drives under your belt. Having had Ver 5 struts myself on my 2.5RS, your use of that setup as a reference works well for me.
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Old 01-07-2003, 10:05 AM   #10
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They do indeed sound interesting. Found a pic of the genome and it looks like it has progressive springs in the rear (same as the oe and sti setup):

http://www.japanparts.com/New_web/SU..._002/00602.JPG

Price appears to be about $820 (probably does not include shipping). I would think a vendor or two would want to look at these as it definitely fills a niche inbetween the oe and v7 setup.

It also shows it lowering 20mm, another reason some don't care for the v7 is no lowering- this one does- albeit not a lot, but ~ 1".

Big Sky
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Old 01-07-2003, 10:44 AM   #11
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Just wanted to chime in and post my comments from another thread again:

I just installed STi V7 Wagon Springs that I purchased from Rallispec. They are not supposed to lower the car (I haven't measured since I am letting the car settle still), but it doesn't appear to be any lower.

So far I am real happy with them (1-week installed). It's been wet and yucky up here so I haven't tried any real "g-force" runs, but ride comfort is much better than I expected, dare I say better at low speeds (25-30 mph on local crappy roads up here in Boston). Turn in feels much better, and i still have my front sway bar disconnected. That car seems very "flat" in regaurds to body roll, but I am also on snow tires.

Please note I am running Koni adjustable inserts in stock WRX wagon strut housing though. The Koni inserts are a bit more stiff at the "softest" setting than the stock struts where. I have not adjusted the Koni's any higher than full soft yet. I am also using stock top hats.

The part numbers for the springs I have are:
Front = 20330 FE130
Rear = 20380 FE680
Which I got right of the bags the springs came it. I'll snap some pictures soon, and measure the ride height again too.

Spring rates are ~200 lbs/in front, and ~190 lbs/in rear (appoximate rates, I don't have any hard data to back that up, just what I was told), which is comparable to the STi sprort spring set I think (but that Sport springs lower the car).

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, fire away.

Paul G.
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Old 01-07-2003, 12:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scottie
Hmmm, these sound very interesting. I wonder where their damping rates would fall relative to the STi 4-way adjustables for the WRX wagon? Based on others translation, the third setting on the adjustables is closest to that of the of the SPT/STi kit for the wagon. I wonder if the Genome units are closer to the first setting or second setting?

Arnie,
I would definitely like to hear more once you,ve gotten some long highway drives under your belt. Having had Ver 5 struts myself on my 2.5RS, your use of that setup as a reference works well for me.
My wife finds it more comfortable compared to the V5/Whiteline set up we had before on the RS, however the last couple of days she has been sitting in the back seat (while a guest occupies the nav position) and she says its stiffer compared to stock in the back. I don't know if she's just exaggerating but if the spring rates in the rear are that much of a jump up from stock (192 v112) then I can see why she feels something. I don't notice a change in harshness from the front seats at all. But I'll give another update after this weekend as I'll be able to put on about 1000 miles of highway cruising on our road trip.

One question, does anyone think that the difference in spring rate proportion(stiffer rear) compared to stock can contribute to the understeering? Maybe my rear toe is a little bit off. I tried my best to align the hats correctly but it may be off a hair. How do they adjust rear toe upon alignment?
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Old 01-07-2003, 02:37 PM   #13
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Arnie, you adjust rear toe at the lateral link.

Without knowing what the spring rates are, it's difficult to know if that's what's causing the understeer.

Kevin
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Old 01-08-2003, 02:10 PM   #14
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Thumbs up

Arnie,

Thanks for posting this. I'm still leaning towards the V7 setup as I had a similar package on my RS (V5) and liked it alot.

This would be a good alternative to those that want a slightly softer ride while keeping the sporting nature of the STi setup.

BTW, Adam (Z1 Performance) said he can source these... price is similar to the V7 STi/SPT set.

-Mike.
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Old 01-08-2003, 08:34 PM   #15
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Good writeup Arnie,,i also like the comparison with the ver5 setup because i too had that on my RS.Just to toss this in,considering the price ,I wonder how these struts would work with the Prodrive springs?? Another option?? Opinions?

Thanks
Rudy

Mike ,,Adams price sounds high IMHO
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:21 PM   #16
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I was thinking about pairing these with the Prodrive springs but got too anxious to put these on (or was I too poor to buy some extra springs?). The struts seem to be about the same dimensions as stock, probably similar travel as well. So I would think that, since the Prodrives are designed around the stock strut, they should be pretty good with these. probably better, as they seem to be a wee bit stiffer than stock. So they should hold up longer with the Prodrive spring. Also you probably won't have to worry about the springs being too short for the strut.

As far as Adam's price goes, try emailing japanparts.com for a complete price plus shipping to the u.s. they respond pretty quickly. shipping might be a bit of $$$, so that could put you around the price of the STi/SPT set up. In the end, this set up shouldn't really be about finding a cheaper alternative to the STI/SPT set up, rather, a more compliant/less harsh set up. If you want cheaper then just use the Prodrive springs on stock struts and be done with it. In a couple of years, you can put on new struts when the OEM one's wear out. That way you can spread the expenses over time.
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Old 01-09-2003, 04:04 PM   #17
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Thanks Arnie,,myself im not looking fr cheaper,,just something a tad stiffer to go with my Prodrive springs.My wife also found the ride in my MY00RS version5 setup a bit stiff(her words), i loved it.
So far she hasnt commented about the ride in the rex with the Prodrive springs and 18s.So a strut with a little less bounce when pushed would suit me just fine
Rudy
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Old 01-09-2003, 06:18 PM   #18
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Ideally the adjustable STi would be your best bet. That way you could guarantee a damping setting that fits your situation. But, they are pricey.

When I was pushing down on the strut piston it felt pretty close to a stock MY2000 RS strut (I had one laying around), as far as resistance to pushing. Pulling up on the piston was much more difficult compared to that stock RS strut. Not sure how the WRX struts compare to the old RS struts. So maybe these struts have a bit more rebound damping? Just a guess. I did not take apart the stock WRX suspension to compare the struts/springs to the Sti Genome. Too lazy to break out the spring compressors.

Edit: model year

Last edited by Arnie; 01-15-2003 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 01-09-2003, 06:37 PM   #19
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Its too bad one of the reputable aftermarket companies selling Subaru stuff doesn't have a Shock dyno and spring rate tester. It would be nice to see actual damping curves and spring rate curves (for the progressive springs) for all the options available to us.

Especially in the case of something like this Genome suspension and some of the other FHI/STi stuff. The Genome is obviously not inverted. My next question would be whether or not it is of the Mono tube or Twin tube design. If it were a twin tube with similar damping to one the inverted mono tube unit available, then it would be interesting to see how the ride qualities compare. I believe it was Jim from Whiteline that has stated that the "bounciness" some of us have experienced with Ver 5 and SPT/STi kits is a character of the mono tube design. A comparison as I described here, between a twin tube and mono tube design of basically the same damping, would certainly answer such a question once and for all.

Last edited by Scottie; 01-09-2003 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 01-09-2003, 06:44 PM   #20
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Yeah, that would be great to finally undrape the mystery of all the various spring rates and damping rate/curves of all the stuff out there. Maybe Whiteline would be willing to help us out. But I think we would need to supply them with the parts. So a vendor with all the parts already would be ideal if they had a shock dyno. I wonder if AVSport or Vivid has a shock dyno?

Last edited by Arnie; 01-09-2003 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 01-15-2003, 08:23 AM   #21
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Arnie - having spent more time behind the wheel (assuming the road trip went ok?) - do you have any new impressions of the suspension setup?

Have you had a chance to get an alignment yet?

cheers.
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Old 01-15-2003, 01:07 PM   #22
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Hey guys,

Sorry to neglect this thread. I did get an alignment a few days ago and its so much better.

Alignment specs: I've got 1° of negative camber up front with 0 toe all around. Rear camber is close to stock. (Don't have the exact numbers on me)

Handling: Car tracks fine, no longer super sensitive to tramlining. It feels much more planted in the corners and turn is better. Can get on the throttle sooner or stay on the throttle longer in a corner. I need to play with the air pressures a bit still or the rear swaybar, as I can't get the rear to flick around at will as easy as before. I still feel a bit of the weight transfer that gives the WRX less of a nimble feel compared to my RS. Body roll is more controlled. Its still there but its not bad. I think the front outside wheel will still get a workout. So not quite as "small and nimble" feeling as my RS but the trade off in daily driveability with non racer passengers is worth it to me. Especially since the accident, my back is more sensitive to harshness.

Ride Quality: Intial impressions were spot on. It is a bit more firm than stock. Large depressions in the highway are soaked up nicely. Not quite as immediate a settling as with the V5 but faster than stock. No smooth highway jiggle that I had with the V5/Whiteline/OEM tops. Just smooth. My wife mentioned that the rear seat is much harsher than before but I have had no seat time back there so I can't say or even compare now.

Summary: I think this, as stated before, is a good setup for those not wanting to go as "sporty" with the RA/V7 setup. It firms the stock ride up nicely but still gives great comfort for long distance cruising or rough surfaces. If you are looking for the go kart handling then you will be disappointed. If you had the harsh setup and are looking to please that significant other but still not embarass yourself on the twisties, this might be good. As an aside, I'm thinking that this setup might be better than the RA/V7 for Rally Cross as it has more travel and its more compliant.

Last edited by Arnie; 01-15-2003 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 01-15-2003, 03:09 PM   #23
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Arnie- thanks for the nice update. I'm glad you have the v5 background as it is very close to the v7 setup, so it makes for a nice comparo. I think your correct that this setup might be "the" rally-x setup- ofcourse I autox alot in addition as well as track when able to, so I'll be sticking w/ the v7. This does make a nice alternative to the v7 and nicely fills a niche between oe and the v7 setups. I think many will find this fits the bill for them.

Big Sky
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Old 01-15-2003, 07:38 PM   #24
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Thanks bigsky!

I think the ideal setup would be some STi or Prodrive spring with the STi adjustables struts. I think they give just enough range to tune for varying conditions but not enough that you tune yourself silly like with coilovers! Since its STi/Prodrive, the ride height would be perfectly set for the rollcenters of this car and then you would be good to go. Too bad they cost sooo much.

On a completely unrelated note: Some fool on his cell phone just backed into me while I was driving past in a parking lot. Dented and scratched the drivers side fender and door. I am so pissed! I just got some estimates and made sure to have them replace the door and the fender in the estimate. I want no dent pulling/bondo on this car. $1700 was the estimate. Plus 2 weeks rental car for about $400 on top of that. God, its 4 months old!!! The body guys were saying the door, for example, is technically"repairable" by pulling out the dent and then using putty/bondo to fill in. No way. I want new metal! But the guy said no insurance would pay to have a door replaced for how minimal the damage is. And it is pretty minor, actually...just a crease. But definitely visible. So they would argue that it only needs pulling and bondo. Can't wait to talk to the adjuster. Arghhh!

Okay, sorry about the OT, just had to vent.
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Old 01-15-2003, 09:01 PM   #25
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That sucks! I can relate however, my rex was one month old and got hailed on by ping pong size hail. There was a silver lining however, I used a dentless repair place- good for hail type damage- not so good w/ creases I hear and had a few extra $ to put back into the car. Good luck w/ your situation.

Big Sky
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