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Old 05-01-2001, 01:18 PM   #1
MY99 2.5GT
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05 Legacy GT 06 Armada

Post How do I make the car want to turn?

I posted this in the Legacy forum because I figured we have ot set our cars up a little differently than the Impreza guys do.

My car feels like it really wants to understear. What can I do to make it a little more stear happy?

I have an 18mm FHI rear sway bar with version 5 struts and H&R springs. I was told that getting a stiffer rear sway bar would maybe help.

What do you guys think? What is the stiffest sway bar you could safely fit to a 99 Legacy GT? What else can I do?

Thanks
Brad
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Old 05-01-2001, 01:33 PM   #2
Jason
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The cheapest way is: slow down more or carry a bit of brake into the turns.
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Old 05-01-2001, 01:56 PM   #3
JoeT
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Hi There,

Here's a tip:

Wheel alignment setup:

Left Front Toe = 0
Right Front Toe = 0
Right Rear Toe = .5 degrees out
Left Rear Toe = .5 degrees out

Thrust Line = 0

Left Front Camber = Negative .75
Right Front Camber = Negative .75

Left Rear Camber = 0
Right Rear Camber = 0

Print this out and take it to your nearest mod friendly alignment shop, and enjoy!!!

The top bolt holding the hub on the front suspension is a "Cam" bolt that allows the camber adjustment for both your front wheels. The negative .75 camber is significant enough to make a heck of a differenci in both turn in and cornering, but not significant enough to overly wear your tires out un-evenly.

The Toe out on the rear of the car will make the back of the car a little "Happier". This will help in getting the rear end to react to the steering inputs a little quicker. 0.5 degrees is not too extreme but just enough to make a difference.

You may notice that the car, using this setup, will act a little bit more nibly.

When you take it to the alignment shop, make sure that you get a "Before" and "After" print out of the settings.

Other things to consider if this isn't enough:

Thicker rear sway bar
Anti Lift Kit

Hope this helps...
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Old 05-01-2001, 01:58 PM   #4
DLC
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Check this.

My 93 Touring Wagon has an 18mm rear bar.

Stock.

It's hardly large enough for a full sized car, much less a wagon.

I'm getting a CUSCO 21mm rear and perhaps an MRT 18-22 and comparing them (maybe). 22 is probably just right if you want a little naughty side-step every once in a while
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Old 05-01-2001, 02:05 PM   #5
gavin
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Mucking with your alignment will have an adverse affect on your tires.

I'd try a stiffer rear bar, first, as suggested. Get an adjustable so that you can set it exactly where you want it.
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Old 05-01-2001, 03:12 PM   #6
hillman
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Mucking with your alignment <strong>may</strong> have an adverse effect on your tires.

On the other hand, if you are, say, autocrossing or driving the car hard regularly you may find excessive outer shoulder wear with a stock alignment ( little to no static camber ). Increasing the negative camber will normally reduce this uneven wear, and make your tires last longer.

There are too many variables involved to make a pronouncement like "non-stock alignments will eat tires".

Specifically, the numbers provided do not sound like a recipe for excessive tire wear, although I haven't tried them, so <strong>YMMV</strong>.
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Old 05-01-2001, 03:39 PM   #7
nuburu2
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Brad, I didn't see upgraded strut end-links on your list of mods. From my u/s they improve the response time of the bar. I installed the WhiteLine links with my 18mm bar and was impressed with the improvement. Personally I wouldn't mess with the alignment, but, are you certain they got it right after the spring/strut upgrade?

<FONT face="Comic Sans MS">Glenn O</FONT f>
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Old 05-01-2001, 04:31 PM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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A more aggressive alignment will definitely help, and should have minimal effect on your tire wear (if it has any effect at all). I have my front camber maxed out, which is somewhere from 1.0 to 1.2deg negative on both sides, and I have ZERO problems with excessive wear on the inner shoulder.

A little bit of toe out in the rear will help get the rear end to step out when you drop the throttle or trail brake. You can improve your initial turn-in response by using a bit of toe out up front, too. Just be advised that if you plan to really put the car through its paces (i.e. attend an open track event) you do not want toe out at either end of the car. The suspension already tends to pick up some toe out up front under heavy braking, and the added static toe out (front and rear) will make the car very squirrely. Hindsight being 20/20, I think that's part of what contributed to my crash at Lime Rock - I still had my normal street/auto-x alignment dialed in and didn't appreciate what a bad idea that was.

Last but not least, sway bar bushings and/or sway bar end-links will help things out. I installed Kartboy end-link bushings a few weeks back and the car felt a bit better. Last week I added Powerflex poly rear sway bar bushings, and now the car is wonderfully neutral at speed. It will still transition to power-on understeer in slow corners (i.e. at an auto-x), but at speed on my favorite back roads it is an absolute joy to drive.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 05-01-2001, 07:51 PM   #9
JoeT
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The specs I posted will "definately not" affect your tire wear. Nothing there is radical.

For those indicating that this type of alignment setting will adversely affect your tire wear, I suggest you do a little research (with all due respect, of course, not meant to be a flame).

If you look at the post closely, you'll notice that the front toe is set at 0 degrees, no wear on tires pointing straight.

Camber is set just .15 degrees negative out of spec. I thing Subaru spec is -.6 indicated in the tolerances.

Thrust line = 0 means that the car will not "dog track" = no funky wear on the suspension components.

Rear toe is set at 0.5 degrees out this too is withing Subaru spec, max out = 0.5 degrees max in = 0.75 (I think)

This setup is actually for mild autox, this will still present a little understeer for safety, but the car will handle more neutral.

Anyways, first rule of thumb when getting your car to behave the way you want:

"Add" more grip to the front to reduce understeer.

"Add" more grip to the rear to reduce oversteer.

It's too easy to try to cure things with "Sway Bars" etc. Work with what you've got first, then if it's not enough, spend on the performance parts.

Note: Sway bars can reduce grip on the end you put them in.

Example: Adding a big huge sway bar in the front of your car will promote tons of understeer..

Why, cause it reduces grip by transferring weight from the inside wheel to the outside wheel, sometimes lifting the inside wheel. The less rubber on the road, the less grip.

We won't get into spring rates, dampening rates, etc. in this session.

PS, I drive with 17 x 7 ADR IKON w / BFG G-Force KD tires with this setup and frequently beat 2.5 RS's in their own game (autox). This is also my daily driver and I've put on 30000 Km on this set of KD's with no adverse tire wear.

Hope this helps... No flames intended...



[This message has been edited by JoeT (edited May 01, 2001).]
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Old 05-01-2001, 08:59 PM   #10
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Brad,

Have to jump in here coz that was my beef with the car, too (I had a BG5 GT-B). I will back Glenn and vote for links as number one.

To help cure understeer I splurged on the expensive links we get here (there are cheaper ones now). Many people baulk at the fact that it is hard to believe what a difference a little part like that can make - the WhiteLines are significantly cheaper I hear. The poise they can bring is like witchcraft!

Take a look at Jeff's legacy B4 site, most of the sus tweaks were to get rid of the USteer w/out camber changes etc (we're not against them, it is just tough to get it perfect without making the car sensitive - esp under braking - to ruts and road camber/irregularities etc - don't flame me for that...please - ducking now).

I also added some lower arm stiffeners to sharpen things up a bit more...and have you thought of/done a rear tower bar?

Cheers. Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2001, 11:03 PM   #11
gavin
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Yes, as hillman pointed out, I left out the crucial word 'may' . I was typing faster than I was thinking.

In either case the subies are designed to have some natural understeer, and I do think a bit beefier rear sway is in order, as well as the links.

I've also heard good things about the Whiteline ALK's.
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Old 05-02-2001, 09:25 AM   #12
gtguy
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I'm running DMS Golds on P1 wheels with Dunlop 9Ks. My rear bar is a 19mm bar from a turbo Legacy, and my front camber settings are -1.0, with stock toe settings.

My car turns in like a fiend, without a hint of push. I thought about ALKs, and links, and stuff like that. But when I whipped into a corner with my current setup, I decided not to change a thing.

Kevin
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Old 05-02-2001, 09:37 AM   #13
gavin
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Well, I think I'd try $150 on a rear sway before $1800 on DMS Golds .
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Old 05-02-2001, 10:01 AM   #14
remarcable
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I found that running with 2-3 pounds LESS air pressure in the rears really cured alot of my understeer woes.

I am now running 35 front and 32 rear

I think that is also why I got stuck! Need to deflate those suckers before going offroad next time.
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Old 05-02-2001, 10:51 AM   #15
MY99 2.5GT
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I think Beefier rear bar and links are going to be my choice. By the way what are DMS Golds???? And why do they cost $1800?

Whiteline links seem to be the concences. How about for the rear bar(s)? I think I would like an adjustable 18-22 or 20-24mm bar. What do you guys recommend?? Don't forget about the upper bar?

Thanks
Brad
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Old 05-02-2001, 02:51 PM   #16
dvancleve
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Question

Anybody have an opinion on JoeT's alignment suggestions vs. the Whiteline ALK? I am off base in thinking that both are working toward the same goal? Does a car with good alignment need to be realigned after installing the ALK?

Thanks, Doug
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Old 05-02-2001, 04:19 PM   #17
MY99 2.5GT
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hillman,
I have 17X7s with 215 45 17 Pirelli P7000SS with some fairly stiff sidewalls. This is not a grip issue the car itself does not want to turn. I felt like I was on ice today as I tried to get the car to oversteer around a sharp turn.
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Old 05-02-2001, 06:49 PM   #18
gtguy
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Uh, MY99, DMS Golds are coilovers. Rebound and damping adjustable, as well as height. They're $1800 because they rule!

Sounds like a bigger rear bar might be in order first, then get fancy with stuff like the Whiteline kits. I went to a 19mm bar on my wagon, so that both front and rear bars are 19mm.

And check that front camber.

Kevin
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Old 05-02-2001, 07:34 PM   #19
JoeT
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Dvancleve;

I have the ALK on my 2000 Legacy GT. The having done the alignment with and without the ALK, I would say that you get more bang for the buck with a proper alignment. The ALK helped on accelerating out of tight Solo II (autocross) corners. Where before, I would just spin the inside front wheel, now it seems to grab better and swing you around the corner.

Read Patrick Olsens post. The alignment setting I listed above will still understeer (barely) Patrick's setup is a little more radical.

I agree with his post, for track setup, you do want a little understeer (Solo I). For Autocross setup you want oversteer dialed in.

Seriously, try the alignment setting, if you are uncomfortable with the toe out in the rear, keep the rear toe at 0 degrees. You will still notice significant improvement in handling.

How much does a 4 wheel alignment cost in the USA anyway? Here in Canada it ranges from $60.00 Canadian to $80.00 Canadian. A lot less than sway bars and ALK's etc.

Try it you'll like it...

As far as getting an alignment when you make changes to the suspension, absolutely!! The Whiteline ALK's have an oblong mounting hole assembly, it is in your best interest to adjust the castor to as close as possible on both sides of the car. The oblong mounting holes are precisely for that purpose. The more positive caster the better.

As a rule: Anytime you modify the suspension geometry of your car, springs, non factory struts, disconnect the tie rods, or add ALK's, you should do a proper alignment.

Since you are doing the alignment anyway, why not dictate the specs.... The goal here is to have better handling, isn't it?

This is just from years of racing experience (CASC, SCCA in the US) free of charge. It almost sounds like I make money from this eh!! Not!!

Good luck and have fun...


[This message has been edited by JoeT (edited May 03, 2001).]
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Old 05-03-2001, 12:29 AM   #20
hillman
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No one has mentioned tires yet, which can make all the difference in the world.

I switched from OEM Bridgestones to very sticky, very stiff Yokohamas on my wagon. With no other changes, 'inherent' understeer was sufficiently reduced that I spun it twice while autocrossing.

The alignment and everything else was completely stock, and it oversteered. As such, I think claims of 'inherent' terminal understeer are exaggerations.

As JoeT mentioned; add grip first, use swaybar band-aids last.

[This message has been edited by hillman (edited May 02, 2001).]
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Old 05-03-2001, 11:43 AM   #21
lucien2
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So are we agreed that an 18mm bar in back is what the car needs with stock springs and struts?
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