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Old 12-30-2006, 11:36 PM   #1
ericd735i
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Default RCE springs on a wagon

**edit**I've been speaking with Myles and if there are at least 25 people who will buy he can run a wagon-specific spring for us with the same rates as the current STi springs. Reply below and let me know what you want for ride heights. We are discussing the ride height only, initial feedback indicates everyone wants the firmer rates. Changing the rate also complicates things to the point where it isn't easily do-able.







For reference the car is an '05 Saabaru, wheels are 16x8 et48 Rota Slipstreams, shocks are Koni inserts. Swaybars are stock 20F/16R.

So far my impression is very positive. Ride is FIRM, but I like it, not harsh at all. Still playing with Koni settings. However the front has bottomed out a few times on harder edged bumps and holes. It's a bit low for my taste and the loss of travel up front is a concern, but the tradeoff is great handling. It finally feels more like my dearly departed '95 m3. I'd like another 15mm of ride height if Myles were ever to contemplate a wagon-specific offering, but other than that, so far so good.
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Last edited by ericd735i; 01-04-2007 at 02:11 PM. Reason: feedback
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:57 PM   #2
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Ouch, that thing looks low. Can you take some measurements for us? I've got a set still sitting in the box waiting to go on the car, but now you've got me concerned that the height might be just too low for me. Nice car btw.
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Old 12-31-2006, 03:11 AM   #3
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Looks like the local guys car these springs. Did you do anything with the bump stop when you did the Koni swap?....those tires look very "bubbly" what size are they?..just curious.

Myles
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:26 AM   #4
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Wow! The front bottomed out? That is scary.

What happened that the front bottomed out? With my current setup the rear has bottomed out but never the front.
I guess the Konis could be the reason for the front bottoming out?

I wanted to ask you to get a couple people in the back and hit some bumpy roads to see how the rear would hold up to some extra weight, since I am very concerned with the rear bottoming out.

Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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When I've hit a couple of bigger, sharp edged dips there is a solid feeling bang from the front. Nothing scary happened, just loud. One spot is where a fancy paver sidewalk crosses the asphalt near where the pic was taken, but it's a poorly paved brutal dip. I've had no rubbing at all from the rear. The bubbly tires are 225/50-16.

I did not cut the bump stops. The Koni question is interesting, I never considered losing bump travel. I went back and looked at the Koni instructions and it doesn't appear any bump would be lost, no more than a few mm anyway.

Quick measurements are 13.5 front 12.5 rear. It is lower than I'd hoped, but I knew this was an experiment. So far the handling is worth it, but if Myles wants to make a spring with the same rates and more ride height I'd swap again, although I'm running out of excuses to give the wife on why I keep taking my car apart. Maybe a "high-rider" spring for wagon guys and STi guys that want closer to stock ride height?

**Edit** I re-measured and it's actually closer to 14"front and 13" rear. It was late when I took the first measurements, or maybe Myles has made a spring that actually raises as it settles.

Last edited by ericd735i; 12-31-2006 at 11:39 AM. Reason: Re-measured
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Old 12-31-2006, 11:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericd735i View Post
When I've hit a couple of bigger, sharp edged dips there is a solid feeling bang from the front. Nothing scary happened, just loud. One spot is where a fancy paver sidewalk crosses the asphalt near where the pic was taken, but it's a poorly paved brutal dip. I've had no rubbing at all from the rear. The bubbly tires are 225/50-16.

I did not cut the bump stops. The Koni question is interesting, I never considered losing bump travel. I went back and looked at the Koni instructions and it doesn't appear any bump would be lost, no more than a few mm anyway.

Quick measurements are 13.5 front 12.5 rear. It is lower than I'd hoped, but I knew this was an experiment. So far the handling is worth it, but if Myles wants to make a spring with the same rates and more ride height I'd swap again, although I'm running out of excuses to give the wife on why I keep taking my car apart. Maybe a "high-rider" spring for wagon guys and STi guys that want closer to stock ride height?

**Edit** I re-measured and it's actually closer to 14"front and 13" rear. It was late when I took the first measurements, or maybe Myles has made a spring that actually raises as it settles.
Stock, our cars sit at 15 1/2" Front, 14 1/8" Rear.
Those numbers are kinda low. It's good you're on Koni's.
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericd735i View Post
The bubbly tires are 225/50-16.
This is why it "appears" so low. They are very bubbly visually. Makes a difference.

As for measurements, I would do it again on concrete, or something SUPER level. Remember we have a 36,000 view, 1050 post thread on IWSTI that has about 20 pages on ride height comparisons and after a while not have realized that asphalt is the most inconsistent surface to measure or look for ride height differences on AND that most concrete isnt level either.

Yes the rear is lower than desired, but no worse than JDM Pinks.

I WILL SAY THIS NOW, before the responses start:

These springs are intended for the 04-07 STI, so some wagon owners( we are happy they did) decided to try this out.

So I am curious about the Koni side of this equation, because we dont have STI's bottoming out like you describe.

I think if you are using an insert you are going to lose some travel. Prob more than a few mm, prob more like 10-15 mm.

The other thing here is( and I dont know if you had STOCK prior) is that if you went from OEM to these, YES it is going to be ALOT firmer with ALOT more NVH...no way around that. This side of Ohlins fixed perch, there wont be a super firm, yet non jarring ride from a strut....but then again...thats the KONI side of the ride, not the springs.

I ran Koni's and Bilsteins on all my euro cars from 1985(yes) to current and Koni ALWAYS has had a HARD initial jolt versus Bilstein has the opposite, simply by design.

So your impression is spot on, these very firm springs mated to Koni's will be (IMO) more harsh than say STI struts and or Ohlins struts with the RCE springs.

Oh and to be clear, since it might sound like I am mad or being defensive, I am not,...I am just clearing some things up and giving my .02 cents worth.

ALOT of people dont know these things and so I am just putting it out there.

Myles
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericd735i View Post
When I've hit a couple of bigger, sharp edged dips there is a solid feeling bang from the front. Nothing scary happened, just loud. One spot is where a fancy paver sidewalk crosses the asphalt near where the pic was taken, but it's a poorly paved brutal dip. I've had no rubbing at all from the rear. The bubbly tires are 225/50-16.

I did not cut the bump stops. The Koni question is interesting, I never considered losing bump travel. I went back and looked at the Koni instructions and it doesn't appear any bump would be lost, no more than a few mm anyway.

Quick measurements are 13.5 front 12.5 rear. It is lower than I'd hoped, but I knew this was an experiment. So far the handling is worth it, but if Myles wants to make a spring with the same rates and more ride height I'd swap again, although I'm running out of excuses to give the wife on why I keep taking my car apart. Maybe a "high-rider" spring for wagon guys and STi guys that want closer to stock ride height?

**Edit** I re-measured and it's actually closer to 14"front and 13" rear. It was late when I took the first measurements, or maybe Myles has made a spring that actually raises as it settles.

I doubt you're bottoming them out, I think it's the high speed compression damping, there's too much of it, so therfore the shocks dont move much, therfore you're feeling the "harshness" or jolt. I have the same problem, small sharp edges makes a crashing sound but the car doesnt move much.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceComp Engineering View Post
This is why it "appears" so low. They are very bubbly visually. Makes a difference.

As for measurements, I would do it again on concrete, or something SUPER level. Remember we have a 36,000 view, 1050 post thread on IWSTI that has about 20 pages on ride height comparisons and after a while not have realized that asphalt is the most inconsistent surface to measure or look for ride height differences on AND that most concrete isnt level either.

Yes the rear is lower than desired, but no worse than JDM Pinks.

I WILL SAY THIS NOW, before the responses start:

These springs are intended for the 04-07 STI, so some wagon owners( we are happy they did) decided to try this out.

So I am curious about the Koni side of this equation, because we dont have STI's bottoming out like you describe.

I think if you are using an insert you are going to lose some travel. Prob more than a few mm, prob more like 10-15 mm.

The other thing here is( and I dont know if you had STOCK prior) is that if you went from OEM to these, YES it is going to be ALOT firmer with ALOT more NVH...no way around that. This side of Ohlins fixed perch, there wont be a super firm, yet non jarring ride from a strut....but then again...thats the KONI side of the ride, not the springs.

I ran Koni's and Bilsteins on all my euro cars from 1985(yes) to current and Koni ALWAYS has had a HARD initial jolt versus Bilstein has the opposite, simply by design.

So your impression is spot on, these very firm springs mated to Koni's will be (IMO) more harsh than say STI struts and or Ohlins struts with the RCE springs.

Oh and to be clear, since it might sound like I am mad or being defensive, I am not,...I am just clearing some things up and giving my .02 cents worth.

ALOT of people dont know these things and so I am just putting it out there.

Myles
Let me also make it clear that I knew these springs were not designed for the wagon (or even the WRX sedan for that matter) when I bought them. Myles and crew have been very helpful and this was an experiment on my part.

I chose the 225/50-16 size specifically because I knew it would give the illusion of a larger tire and let me keep a little extra sidewall for comfort and the occasional pothole. As for the ride quality I do not think it's harsh, and that's coming from stock springs. It IS very firm, but I personaly like it.

Ride heights were measured in my garage on concrete, not at the photo site. It's pretty flat but not perfectly level by any means.

Still not sure about the bottoming issue. It definitely felt like it was bottoming out - hit the bump, suspension compressed, then the bang. I had a buddy measure an uninstalled Koni insert and he measured the body at 13 5/8 inches long. Anybody have a stock strut that they can measure? Figure add an 1/8" for the material thickness at the bottom of the stock strut and the total length should be about 13.75". I'll be surprised if a stock strut is much shorter, but I suppose it's possible.

Let me clarify again that I really like the way the car handles with the RCE springs, enough that I can live with the ride height for the forseable future. My previous setup was stock springs, Konis, and Cobb sways. With the RCE springs the handling is kind of uneventful - it just goes where it's pointed, period. Looking forward to my upcoming track day and getting it to an auto-x.

Now I'm going to have a beer and celebrate the new year!
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:25 AM   #10
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Default Happy New Year!!!

And thanks for being the guinea pig. If I had the time and money I would probably be doing this already.

I can't wait to hear more impressions as you get used to the springs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericd735i View Post
Let me also make it clear that I knew these springs were not designed for the wagon (or even the WRX sedan for that matter) when I bought them. Myles and crew have been very helpful and this was an experiment on my part.

I chose the 225/50-16 size specifically because I knew it would give the illusion of a larger tire and let me keep a little extra sidewall for comfort and the occasional pothole. As for the ride quality I do not think it's harsh, and that's coming from stock springs. It IS very firm, but I personaly like it.

Ride heights were measured in my garage on concrete, not at the photo site. It's pretty flat but not perfectly level by any means.

Still not sure about the bottoming issue. It definitely felt like it was bottoming out - hit the bump, suspension compressed, then the bang. I had a buddy measure an uninstalled Koni insert and he measured the body at 13 5/8 inches long. Anybody have a stock strut that they can measure? Figure add an 1/8" for the material thickness at the bottom of the stock strut and the total length should be about 13.75". I'll be surprised if a stock strut is much shorter, but I suppose it's possible.

Let me clarify again that I really like the way the car handles with the RCE springs, enough that I can live with the ride height for the forseable future. My previous setup was stock springs, Konis, and Cobb sways. With the RCE springs the handling is kind of uneventful - it just goes where it's pointed, period. Looking forward to my upcoming track day and getting it to an auto-x.

Now I'm going to have a beer and celebrate the new year!
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:31 AM   #11
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The Konis do noticeably reduce bump travel, someone had a special Koni bump stop extender that would increase bump travel by an inch or so with the Koni inserts, try searching...

Edit: Not positive the Konis reduce bump travel by an appreciable amuont, I was thinking of the Konis + GC coil over sleeves and lack of bump travel issue. The Koni bump extender mod does work, though!

Last edited by drees; 01-01-2007 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:59 AM   #12
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The Konis do noticeably reduce bump travel, someone had a special Koni bump stop extender that would increase bump travel by an inch or so with the Koni inserts, try searching...
WOW...thats kinda what I figured.

Myles
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:24 AM   #13
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WOW...thats kinda what I figured.

Myles
....and the loss of bump travel is the HUGE pitfall that many do NOT consider when making a choice for part of their suspension system.

Last edited by Uncle Scotty; 01-01-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:50 AM   #14
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I have a set of each (Koni inserted and stock). I'll take some measurements and get back to you. BTW, the jounce travel can easily be compared by measuring the distance from the upper strut clevis hole to the jounce bumper strike surface. If this is equal, then the jounce travel is too. The rebound travel is not as easy because you have to measure the length of fully extended strut rod, also from the strut clevis bracket mounting hole. This usually requires that the strut is removed from the car.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by drees View Post
The Konis do noticeably reduce bump travel, someone had a special Koni bump stop extender that would increase bump travel by an inch or so with the Koni inserts, try searching...
here it is

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...ni+bump+travel
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:39 PM   #16
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I have a set of each (Koni inserted and stock). I'll take some measurements and get back to you.
Thanks. Put up a pic if you can.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:16 PM   #17
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sorry the Koni's aren't appreciably reducing bump travel- Koni's + GC sleeves will reduce travel- that's what that thread posted above is discussing (and a solution to help).

The Koni's do have rather firmish high speed compression- this was confirmed w/ a long chat w/ Koni and also my experience w/ running firmish springs w/ Konis ( a higher rate spring can get by w/ LESS high speed compression). There is a fellow on the baords from AU that had his Koni's revalved to reduce high speed compression- he was very satisfied w/ this- unfortunately cost is prohibitive IMO- the same as the cost of the struts~ $150/corner. High speed compression will "impact" ride quality- especially w/ little seams and the like.

As far as ride height if your second measurements are accurate your ~ 31mm lowering than stock front and 46mm lower in the rear. That's fairly predicatble as your running a sedan spring on a wagon.

IMO the 31mm up front is fine (that's probably as low as you'd want to go however), 46mm in the rear is too low.

A relatively simple fix if RCE wanted to make wagon specific springs is keep the fronts the same and add some free length to the rear- this is exactly what STi did w/ their WRX pink springs.

Mike
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:22 PM   #18
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sorry the Koni's aren't appreciably reducing bump travel- Koni's + GC sleeves will reduce travel- that's what that thread posted above is discussing (and a solution to help).
I stand corrected, though having actual measurements would help verify. I forgot that the thread was really talking about the lack of bump travel with the GCs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGSKYWRX View Post
A relatively simple fix if RCE wanted to make wagon specific springs is keep the fronts the same and add some free length to the rear- this is exactly what STi did w/ their WRX pink springs.
I suspect you'll also find sedan owners w/wagon springs for those guys looking for the "even fender gap look" as well to account for the sedan's slightly higher cut front fenders.
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGSKYWRX View Post

As far as ride height if your second measurements are accurate your ~ 31mm lowering than stock front and 46mm lower in the rear. That's fairly predicatble as your running a sedan spring on a wagon.

IMO the 31mm up front is fine (that's probably as low as you'd want to go however), 46mm in the rear is too low.

A relatively simple fix if RCE wanted to make wagon specific springs is keep the fronts the same and add some free length to the rear- this is exactly what STi did w/ their WRX pink springs.

Mike
what about some rear top mounts that raise by a few mm
much like the RCE camber plates that lower the front by a few, but the opposite

something like this would allow wagon owners to run sedan springs if they didn't want to mess w/camber plates, and hopefuly such an item would be less expensive than camber plates
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:27 PM   #20
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Most plates whether camber adj or just plain pillowball will add height- on the low end 3-5mm on the higher end 8-10mm- you generally do lose some travel w/ these type of plates however
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Old 01-01-2007, 07:37 PM   #21
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you generally do lose some travel w/ these type of plates however
While you do lose some bump travel with taller plates, you're not really losing it unless you decrease your spring free length since you're just trading bump travel for ride height.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:41 PM   #22
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If the plate increases stack height over the oe top (which most camber plates do) your losing bump travel- no?
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:51 PM   #23
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Jounce travel is determined by the distance between the top of the strut tube (the strike plate) and the jounce bumper. Adding height to the top mount moves both the jounce bumper and the upper spring seat down relative to the strut tower, since Subarus and other vehicles with a single-path strut mount design have the upper spring seat and the jounce bumper cup integrated into a single stamping. Moving the upper seat down also moves the lower seat down an equivalent amount since the spring maintains the same length. Thus, the jounce travel is not changed.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:55 AM   #24
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dont know if I over read any thing...but would these springs be suitible/alright for the stock wagon struts...
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:12 AM   #25
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would these springs be suitible/alright for the stock wagon struts...
No, they're designed to go with STi struts.
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