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Old 07-14-2006, 09:56 PM   #1
bigdweeb
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Question tophat interchangeability?

I did a little searching, but I couldn't find a thread that had a list of which tophats can be used on which chassis. I didn't see anything in the FAQ either. Here's what I think is correct:

Front:
-'93-06 all use the same tophats?

Rear:
-'93-01 all use the same tophats
-'02-03 all use the same tophats
-04+ all use the same tophats

Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 07-14-2006, 09:58 PM   #2
Subie Gal
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in regards to the Impreza model

the above is nearly correct

1993-1997 - the rear top hats will vary
2wd vs AWD

1998-2001 = same rear top hats

Jamie
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:20 PM   #3
bigdweeb
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Thanks! Forgot about the 2wd vs awd thing... not a concern of mine but it's good info for others.
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Old 08-01-2006, 06:03 PM   #4
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2006 WRX top hats are different from the '04 and '05 top hats. Diameter of the coil spring is different. I installed perrin springs (made by eibach imsc) for and '04 to '05 WRX. Had to change top hats to fit the "older" style springs.
Several months later, a friend of mine called.
He was trying to install aftermarket springs for an
'06 onto his '04. Did I still have my top hats ('06)
that I had swapped during my spring install? Yes, I did. I donated them for free to my friend in his time of need. Cause that what subie friend are for!

Craig
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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I posted this in a Legacy FAQ and I suppose it's applicable here:

Until recently all front tops were the same. 05+ Legacy and 08+ Impreza/Forester have changed though. Also they are rotated slightly in second gen cars so that will affect camber plates and strut brace fitment.

None of this applies to the rear of 00+ Legacies because it's way different.

Rear FWD tops should be very similar to AWD but the center hole is at a different angle.

The AWD 90-91 Legacy has a tapered rear spring with an integrated spring perch and top, like this:


thanks for the source image, THAWA
FWD apparantly has a separate top and smaller perch. So you could probably use those perches with 04 Impreza springs and stock/GN tops in a BC/GC.

The AWD 92-94 Legacy and 93-01 Impreza have straight springs and a separate top and perch, like this:



The 02-03 Impreza and 95-99 Legacy has a straight spring and a top and perch this:


thanks for the source image, oakos

The 04-05 Impreza has a tapered spring and an integrated top and perch like this:



The neat thing is that tapered springs are interchangeable and straight springs are interchangeable so there is a strut top for any spring for any 1st or 2nd gen car.

A 90-91 Legacy top/perch will fit on an 04+ Impreza spring. The top will fit into any BC/GC.
A 92-94 Legacy and 93-01 Impreza perch will fit on any 02-03 Impreza spring.

All the front tops have the same bolt pattern, and you can use any front strut with any front top and any front upper perch, assuming there is a spring that fits.
BC/BF rear tops have the same bolt pattern as a GC/GF.
BD/BG rear tops have the same bolt pattern as a GD/GG.

You can just get the rear tops and perches that correspond to the set of suspension you want to put in, and it will work. You probably need to do the washer mod to prevent clunking while using 04+struts with older tops because the shoulder on the top of the strut is slightly different.

95-99 Legacy rear springs are the same shape as 93-03 Impreza and 92-94 Legacy.

I have heard you can use any spring on any strut (and therefore any spring on any strut in any car, with the right tops), but I'm not sure about that.

Last edited by jamal; 05-07-2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equipment junkie
2006 WRX top hats are different from the '04 and '05 top hats. Diameter of the coil spring is different. I installed perrin springs (made by eibach imsc) for and '04 to '05 WRX. Had to change top hats to fit the "older" style springs.
Several months later, a friend of mine called.
He was trying to install aftermarket springs for an
'06 onto his '04. Did I still have my top hats ('06)
that I had swapped during my spring install? Yes, I did. I donated them for free to my friend in his time of need. Cause that what subie friend are for!

Craig
I can't say I've noticed any difference between 04/05 and 06 rear top hat on the 06's I've worked on.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:43 AM   #7
Subie Gal
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Yeah no....

WRX and STi 2004-2006 rear top hats = same part, same part number

however,

2004-2006 RS and TS models do use a different rear top hat from that of the WRX
different part number, same bolt pattern.

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Old 08-11-2006, 03:39 PM   #8
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Yeah, those TS tophats are really soft! I was surprised what a difference there was in durometer between a TS and a WRX tophat there was.
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:29 PM   #9
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So essentially a 98-01 could use a 02-03 tophat because they share the same design?
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:36 AM   #10
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only the front top hat. not the rears.
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:14 AM   #11
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OK, I'll post in this thread instead of cluttering up the main forum:

What about this combination?

- 1995 L sedan 1.8 AWD (2620#)
- GC RS Struts (and springs?) -or-
- GC RS Struts with 05 STi springs? Too stiff? Fit? Will I be riding too high in the front due to the much lighter drivetrain? What about the much lighter rear diff setup (R140 in a 1.8 vs. R180 Sti)? Will I destroy the RS tophats?
- currently no rear swaybar on car. i need to get one. WRX wagon or GC RS are both immediately available. Fit?

Thoughts? Thanks! I am a suspension neauwb.

Last edited by Fuzz541; 08-24-2006 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 08-28-2006, 06:28 PM   #12
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Any difference between the STi (off 04/05 STIs) and group-n front tophats?
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Old 08-28-2006, 08:18 PM   #13
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Group N is harder rubber. I don't know the durometer of either though.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:32 PM   #14
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ok, i am a little slow with these things. I have an 02 wrx. Can i use any suspension setup (springs and struts) from any wrx/sti as long as i have the tophats from those respective vehicles? for instance, can i use a ver8 sti spring/strut combo on my bugeye if i get the tophats with it too?
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:43 PM   #15
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You can use any USDM WRX or the USDM 04 STi... you can't use 05/06 STi but that's for other reasons (the mounting is different at the hub end)... and you can't use the older v6/5/4 etc. imports (rear tophats were different again).
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UkNuck View Post
You can use any USDM WRX or the USDM 04 STi... you can't use 05/06 STi but that's for other reasons (the mounting is different at the hub end)... and you can't use the older v6/5/4 etc. imports (rear tophats were different again).

oops, i should have been more specific, i kinda knew that the older models would not fit. but i can use the 04 usdm with the tophats? that is good to know, thank you!
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:30 PM   #17
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So if I buy 04 STi springs for my 05 RS. I would be best off getting the 05 group N tophats?

Will this work with stock 05 RS struts?
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:06 AM   #18
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04+ top hats are all interchangeable. Between RS/WRX/STI (version 8 and 9)
and for both front and rears.
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:15 AM   #19
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Thanks

How about the struts and springs being matched together? Will the 04 STi Springs sit right in my 05 RS strut perches?
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:34 AM   #20
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yeppers. though the 04 STI springs may be too stiff/rough for your 05 RS struts !

Don't think your struts will last too long =(
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:03 PM   #21
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Alrighty then.

If thats the case, I might as well upgrade the whole thing. Will a complete 04 STi suspension will be fully compatable with my 05 RS?

Struts, springs, tophats.. anything else?
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:27 PM   #22
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Yep. Thats what I did with my 06 wagon. I got a complete set of 04 STI suspension and got Prodrive springs and 04 STI top hats.

looks like this guy in the bottom of the thread has some for sale

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1179925
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:23 PM   #23
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Thanks for the heads up, already pm'd the poster.
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:37 PM   #24
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so if i get '04 sti springs can i use my factory '02 RS tophats?
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:53 AM   #25
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no. 02-03 and 04+ springs and top hats are not compatible. If you want 04 sti springs, just get a whole take-off set. Then you have struts that can handle them and the whole assembly bolts right in.
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