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Old 04-06-2002, 04:09 PM   #1
sybir
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05 STi, 97 Leg OB

Default Bloody hell....OB/GT conversion

So the OB is staying at stock height, for the time being;
got the old suspension out, was all prepped to put the RS struts in, for a ~2 inch drop, and I'm looking at the RS struts, then mine , and noticing that the shafts on mine are ~10mm thicker; ok, no biggie.....but the damping on the OB struts is way higher than RS/GT struts, becuase the spring rates on OB springs are apparently much higher, too; at the installfest, all the guys with aftermarket stuff on their imprezas remarked that the spirngs and shocks were much stiffer/higher damping/higher spring rates, then their aftermarket stuff, with the exception of Tein HA's.....

So, not wanting to look like a civic and be all underdamped and bouncy, we bolted the stock stuff back on.

Lessons learned:
OB struts are much beefier than stock RS, AGX's and GR2's

OB springs have higher rates, as evidenced by the higher damping (much, much higher damping; i weigh 250, and it took all my weight to compress the strut a little bit, while I could compress stock RS, and AGX struts at low-medium firmness between my hands)

So i don't know what path to do now;
all of you who have swapped out suspension on normal legacies, did you notice a difference in the strut shaft thickness? My bumpstops were far, far too big for AGX or RS struts, but I'd never heard this, so I'm not sure if the Legacy suspension is beefier, or just the OB

I may try whiteline superlow wagon springs, or maybe the lows; i'm thinking the superlows lower what, 3 inches? So that ill put me at stock GT -1 inch or so, which might not be too bad.....

opinions, thoughts, questions?
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Old 04-06-2002, 07:33 PM   #2
limeylight
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I put gt suspension on my OB 12 months ago and am surprised at your misgivings.

I used new KYB GR2 struts and they were much firmer than the OB original struts with 60,000 miles on them. Maybe yours are newer.

The shafts at one end, I forget which, were a LITTLE smaller and the bump stop is now loose. It may be 2-3mm less. I didn't consider this a problem, but it made me wonder wether the OB suspension is intentionally beefier than the Legacy. I didn't envision doing anything other than you would do in a GT (including rally-X) so I didn't worry about it.

I did wonder if the OB springs are stiffer than stock as the front did not come down as much as I anticipated. If I remember correctly (unusual) I asked if anyone on this forum new what rates they are but had no response. I now have 325/285lb Ground control coil-overs on the car and can say with confidence that they are a lot firmer than stock OB springs.

I would be very interested in your futher observations and experiences with this project.

Paul the Limey
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Old 04-06-2002, 07:38 PM   #3
limeylight
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Just re-read your post and want to add.............if you lower your OB 3" on stock struts I think you will soon run out of suspension travel.

Following my experience so far I would suggest using an after market Legacy strut to get the initial drop then a coilover conversion to fine tune the drop and personalize the spring rates.
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Old 04-07-2002, 12:45 AM   #4
sybir
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Yeah, i'm not real optimistic about runnig just springs to get the kind of drop I want.

The difference I noted was on the back; I'm not sure if the front's have the same thick shaft, I probably should have checked, but I really didn't want to be underdamped, especially in the back, where I carry a lot of stuff.

I'm not particularly worried about strut thickness by itself; I'm confident that AGX's or GR2's are designed to stand up to the tougher side loads, and the main concern I had was a lack of adequate damping. The OB springs are definitely a higher rate than the other cars in the legacy family, not to mention the Impreza chassis. It may also have been that my RS struts were worn out; while they supposedly had only 12k miles on them, they clanked when they topped out, and my ~103k OB struts were still solid and silent.

In the back, the bumpstop had ~1cm of play side to side, it just kinda got me thinking

I figure I'd rather have it handle well, and be able to drive over anything, then have it look better, bu bounce around like a honda on curt springs, while still knowing that I wanted more of a drop.

Realisitcally, I'd love to find some FHI V5 struts and maybe put some whiteline springs on, or do GC's with like 250/225 rates. the AGX's are also a possibility; how satisfied are you with the GR2's?
I'm also interested in how you like the GC's, in terms of setup, ride, vibration/rattling.
And what is your camber like now that you're running more than 2 inches lower than stock? any problems?

Your car was one of my inspirations to try the swap, I've got a 97 OB limited in black
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Old 04-07-2002, 07:39 AM   #5
limeylight
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I didn't see any black Outbacks when I was looking for one. Now every bugger's got one!

I am sure I have nothing like 1cm of play in my loose bump stop. Jus a few mm's. I think I measured for Ground Control at 22mm but, like I said, I have no memory worth speaking of. It does sound like Impreza struts are way smaller though.

With my fairly stiff springs and 20,000 mile GR2's am am very happy with the level of damping. If I had AGX's on I would probably up it a little but I am no expert in this area and have been known to compensate for wimpy springs by over damping in the past.

One observation with the Grond Controls. With the fronts lowered almost max and the rears at max height resulted in near standard GT looking ride height. This is fine for me but doesn't give much adjustment beyond this. Longer or shorter at one end would probably be an improvement depending on how slammed you want it.

I haven't checked the alignment yet but it still looks fine. Ride is nice, not harsh. Passengers don't even notice, or at least they don't say.

You know, Ground Controls would be a great enhancement to an Outback with standard struts if you didn't want to lower it.

I'd say go for it. You can always put the old stuff back on.
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Old 04-07-2002, 12:07 PM   #6
Sobelizard109
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i was talking to one of the guys at rallispec, and he said that he can get a set of STi springs for 360 to lower the ouback about several inches.
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Old 04-08-2002, 02:25 PM   #7
gavin
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If you just want to improve handling performance, and not the drop, DMS will make a set of Gold's with the correct spring perch for an OB. Just email them for details.
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Old 04-08-2002, 03:34 PM   #8
maciek
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Just installed my KYB AGX impreza shocks on my Legacy L. The shafts were exactly the ame diameter where the bumpstops fit perfectly. If you have a 95-99 Outback, I believe it is the same body as the Legacy...so if you repalce the springs and shocks togerther you should be fine.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:21 PM   #9
rallysquirrel
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This is the kind of info I needed. Thanks. I'd like to get a set of GC's but need to take care of some problematic areas first (engine coolant smell).

Who knows, but I'm bringing it back to the dealer to get it checked out. I hope it's just a hose, since my car doesn't overheat.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:30 PM   #10
gavin
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Quote:
Originally posted by maciek
Just installed my KYB AGX impreza shocks on my Legacy L. The shafts were exactly the ame diameter where the bumpstops fit perfectly. If you have a 95-99 Outback, I believe it is the same body as the Legacy...so if you repalce the springs and shocks togerther you should be fine.
No, the strut mount/spring perch configuration is slightly different, on the OB. If you do a search, we went through this question fairly exhaustively, about a year ago.

You're also correct about the dampening, Sybir. I emailed Cobb about the AGX's, a while back, since they indicated they would work on an OB. They steered me away from them, for that reason. The have an OB exclusion statement, on their new website.
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:52 PM   #11
sybir
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Default

Ok, I've actuall had them out to compare; the disclaimer on Cobb's site is to keep people from thinking that the ~1 inch drop is also going to apply to OB's, as this isn't the case. The perches are identical, my springs fit perfectly on the RS struts, the perches are just higher up (but not by ~45 mm, as some have reported.)

This has led me to believe that there's a lot of travel increase due to the stiffer, possibly taller springs

I'll find out for sure when I buy some Whiteline Lows for the wagon this summer, and put them on the stock OB struts, before trying AGX's
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Old 04-08-2002, 04:55 PM   #12
sybir
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Default

I should clarify, I have RS wheels/tires on my car, so I had no issues with rubbing, but I've been told this is a problem with stock OB tries/wheels (too tall)

Basically, everything bolts up, but the stock impreza stuff doesn't have enough cojones
no big surprise, it just took the wind out of my sails for a cheap (free) upgrade
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Old 04-08-2002, 08:03 PM   #13
AGscooby
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gimme Legacy TPH wagon!

Arrow Whitelines...

sybir - I'd be interested to see the results of Whiteline springs on stock Outback struts. I was considering this in the future, but with all the talk about possibly higher spring rates for the Outback, I'm not sure now. Interestingly enough, Don at PDM Racing informed me that Impreza Whitelines would work on an Outback as one of his local customers is running that setup. I find that hard to believe as the Impreza springs run lower rates. I'll keep my eyes out for your findings.

AnthonyG
May the B4 be with you!
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Old 04-10-2002, 05:06 PM   #14
remarcable
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Hopefully I will be doing this too, over the summer.

We are currently amassing hordes of GT-ized Outbacks and will take the impreza world by storm.

I don't want to deal with the stock suspension at all though. I think I will replace the struts and springs along with a swaybar or two.
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Old 04-12-2002, 12:14 AM   #15
seowitz
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puke

Default oooo

Man this is great to see!

I wish I wouldn't have run out of money last summer to do the conversion.

I was going to do it a month ago, but decided that I'm gonna sell the outback. Sooo I sold the 17's a few days ago, the JCS Chip, gotta get rid of a few other things too....

I can't wait to see the results of your coversion though.

sybir, could you post some pics of your car? I'd love to see it. I saw a black 97/98 ish lowered outback in my work's parking lot this fall......it was for sale too....they took the outback badge off of it, and put a "L" badge on it though.....

I think I could be the only fool to autocross a outback

Erik
www.team-arg.com
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Old 04-12-2002, 12:38 AM   #16
sybir
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here ya go



i'm going to autocross mine, the bald RE92's need ot go first though


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Old 04-12-2002, 12:44 AM   #17
seowitz
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Default nice....

here's mine...


limeylight: you got pics of yours with the GC's on the car???




Erik
www.team-arg.com
www.seowitz.com
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Old 08-31-2002, 02:28 PM   #18
limeylight
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Default pictures

I've been away so I lost touch with this thread but I just took some pictures with the coilovers on and will post them soon. I must say..........it looks cool.
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Old 08-31-2002, 05:19 PM   #19
rallysquirrel
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For the people running GC's what spring length did you get. The 8" or the 10".

I wanted to do this conversion in the spring, but with the wedding coming up, all my money's going there.
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Old 09-04-2002, 06:26 PM   #20
limeylight
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Fianally have pictures of my Ground Control equipped Outback.

Go to http://photos.yahoo.com/limeylight for a look.

I have 230mm, 315lb/in on the front and 200mm, 250lb/in on the rear. Currently the fronts are at their lowest seting and the rears near the highest so you have to judge what you want yourself.

The vehicle handles really nice but I think the KYB GR2 strut is a bit underdamped.

My autocross times still suck but that may be me.
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Old 09-04-2002, 06:40 PM   #21
rallysquirrel
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So to have the car neutral height, what spring length would you recommend to us "inexperienced" Outbackers. Would it be getting the 230mm length springs in the front and the back.

Also wondering what the ride is like at slow speeds, highway, versus dirt roads.


Jan
Drooling at the thought of better suspention.

Last edited by rallysquirrel; 09-04-2002 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-04-2002, 07:21 PM   #22
The Real Oaf
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Limeylight:

Did you remove the 1" spacers between the front & rear cross members?

Paul
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Old 09-04-2002, 07:27 PM   #23
limeylight
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No I didn't remove the spacers.

They just correct the camber in the raised Outback so lowering the car gives you more camber than a GT. I like camber and so do my tires.
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Old 09-04-2002, 07:31 PM   #24
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I don't feel comforatable recommending spring lengths however, if you think you would want the front any lower than mine you will need a shorter spring and if you want the rear much higher, you will need a longer spring there.

The ride is fine. Controlled firm but not harsh. I think my GR2 dampers are soft though so i will be looking for some stiffer ones soon.
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Old 09-04-2002, 08:29 PM   #25
rallysquirrel
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What's the difference in the lowest to highest setting on the GC's (lowest on your front to highest setting in the back).

That should help me answer my question, cause I love the way your car sits as it is, but in the winter I'd like to raise it a little.
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