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Old 06-06-2002, 06:06 PM   #1
wrxxtc
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Default suspension experts please...thoughts on ways to improve handling...

my buddy, who doesn't have a cpu, is requesting info on improving handling on the rex without having to redo everything (springs, shocks, etc)...he has subzeros and toyo's, but everything else is bone stock...what is the cheapest and best way to make the car handle better (cornering) and get rid of the mushy feeling and increase tightness in steering.

he would consider springs and shocks, but doesn't want to sacrifice ride feeling...i agree that the car feels stock when it comes to ride is nice (not teeth jarring)
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Old 06-06-2002, 06:29 PM   #2
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Well, stiffer bushings on the end links.

Both the ends and the mounts would help. A great way to do this would be whiteline end links. While your at it you could get a larger sway bar and it would come with stiffer mount bushings.

The car would still feel stock in a straight line (a little more vibration that may or may not be felt, most people probably wouldnt notice) but when making turns the car would stay flat and be more predictable.

Id suggest a larger bar in the front and an adjustable bar in the rear so you can tune it for your liking.
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Old 06-06-2002, 06:52 PM   #3
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Default ?

what size front sway bar would you suggest?
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Old 06-06-2002, 07:10 PM   #4
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I really liked with the SPT front sway bar(sedan only) did to my WRX. It's slightly smaller than stock so it removes understeer from the front without making the back too tailhappy.

Granted I can't be sure how much it did alone since I've also got the STi struts/springs/topmount and the Aluminum A-arms and some negative camber dialed in.
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Old 06-06-2002, 07:59 PM   #5
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If he has no plans for things that will mess with the alignment like removing the struts would cause, getting a performance alignment early will help.

For best wear, just max out negative camber. For a little better turn in go slightly toe out rear. Toe will affect tire wear, but only slight changes should yield an acceptable balance between performance and wear. You definitely want to make sure you aren't running any rear toe in. Probably for the street you want to keep front toe at zero.

You'd be surprised what a performance oriented alignment can gain you.

This goes right along with the suggestions for sway bars too. They're both for balancing out the car a little better. Either or both will help.
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Old 06-07-2002, 12:22 AM   #6
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he would consider springs and shocks, but doesn't want to sacrifice ride feeling...i agree that the car feels stock when it comes to ride is nice (not teeth jarring)
*
Springs and shocks (struts) upgrades and a comfortable ride are not mutually exclusive. I've been in a rex w/ the STi/SPT setup and rides very comfortably, but also handles very nicely (unlike stock). I'm running DMS golds (180/180) and you would be hard pressed to tell it is not stock (until we get in the twistys).

He's already upgraded the tires so he has taken the first step. Sway bars, sway links (or uprated bushings) and a performance alignment would all help, but the heart and soul of your suspension are your springs/struts. Don't be put off by some of the high (some very high) spring rates offered by many manufacturers as there are alternatives. The high rate springs have there uses but are not the only choice out there.

Big Sky
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Old 06-07-2002, 12:26 AM   #7
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I agree completely with bigsky.

The stock Impreza suspension in any trim is soft enough to allow for uprated suspensions that are an improvement in tarmac performance but a long ways from brutal.

You can get brutal setups, no doubt. I had one.

DMS Golds would be a good start, small increase over stock spring rates and progressive coils matched with quality struts. Or if you want slightly more aggressive there's M2's version. Neither are remotely near the punishing you'll take with a set of 450lb/in Teins or Cuscos.
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Old 06-07-2002, 04:34 AM   #8
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Default spring rates vs dampening rates

keep in mind folks, that the cuscos feel so darn stiff NOT because of their "high" spring rates but because of the high level of high speed compression valving that'd designed into their shocks. this high speed compression dampening is what's utilized when a suspension encounters a sharp bump and needs to suddenly compress. if the high speed compression valving doesn't "blow-off", then the shock simply locks up and you feel a strong shudder in your hiney and dashboard.

the thing to realize is not that the japanese are poor engineers (we all know that's obviously not true) but more that the conditions in japan do not dictate that their shocks be designed to accommodate imperfect conditions. unless you've taken a trip to japan, you won't believe the unbelievable quality of the roads there. the suspension engineers there do NOT have to account for potholes, frost sheave and expansion joints. their roads (country or city) are literally like tennis courts. absolutely perfect. they don't even have random gravel strewn across blind decreasing radius turns. in anycase, their shocks feel stiff because their shocks have not been designed to accommodate imperfect roads like we have here in the states, especially here in los angeles.

fyi

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Old 06-07-2002, 09:27 AM   #9
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22mm front swaybar, 24mm rear swaybar, and follow Concillian's advice on alignment values.
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Old 06-07-2002, 10:17 AM   #10
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the DMS golds, are they the SPI springs?...BIGSKYWRX where is a good place to get the SPI set up you are running?

he may consider springs and shocks and whiteline endlinks and mounts...i see that one vendor has the whole SPI supsension, but it is $1500 (that is springs, shocks, control arms etc.) is this needed?
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Old 06-07-2002, 01:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Austin
22mm front swaybar, 24mm rear swaybar, and follow Concillian's advice on alignment values.
I second that. Cheapest and easies way to go.
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Old 06-07-2002, 02:09 PM   #12
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if he goes with the 22mm front sway bar, do the stock endlinks for the front need to be changed also (i have read that the stock front endlinks are good stock)
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Old 06-07-2002, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrxxtc
if he goes with the 22mm front sway bar, do the stock endlinks for the front need to be changed also (i have read that the stock front endlinks are good stock)
The stock endlinks (sedan, at least) are metal and really don't need to be upgraded, IMHO.
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Old 06-08-2002, 12:56 AM   #14
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wrxxtc-

I might have confused you. The SPT/STi set up is a srut/spring setup and can be had for ~ $1200 (shop around the price varies). You can also check AV Sports as they sell STi takeoffs (same setup) that are sourced from England?, from an outfit building rally cars. Theirs also include STi top mounts which are a nice addition. I am not running this setup but have driven it. I am running DMS coilovers (golds), unless he needs the adjustability the strut/spring setup would suffice.

Big Sky
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Old 06-13-2002, 06:41 PM   #15
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Default i have read mixed things

i have read mixed things about upgrading to front and rear sway bars...is this a good idea?.....is the 22mm front and 24 mm rear the best way to go, any opinions??
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:14 PM   #16
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bump
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:44 PM   #17
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Why not get an adjustable one so you arent stuck at one setting you may not like?
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Old 06-14-2002, 01:48 PM   #18
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Thumbs up First things first...!!!

If you really want to make the biggest improvement on the vehicle, it would be to add a set of swaybars... Granted not just anyone's but Hotchkis' of course..... The spring / strut combo is "NOT" going to make the biggest improvement from stock ride...
I guarantee you guys this... You will suffer nothing in ride quality in just a sway bar install.... And make the most significant gains in handling, beleive me... Now adding a spring / strut combo will add to the handling and will make a difference if you were to do just that on the car instead of sway bars.... But it will "Not" out handle, corner or reduce body roll like a set of our swaybars.....
You wanted an expert or professional opinion..... Here you go...
And our bars have 3 endlink adjustment settings in front and 2 in the rear....and come with polyurethane bushings......
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Old 06-14-2002, 01:55 PM   #19
wrxxtc
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hotchki, what rear endlinks would you suggest with your sway bars...what makes your that much different then the whitelines?...from your site your set of front and rear is $415??
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Old 06-14-2002, 02:05 PM   #20
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We tested the bars with stock endlinks.... We felt that they were good enough and that were going to be aftermarket ones available.... And both bars are hollow...!!!! I also have distributors that can get you our bars.... Where are you located??
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Old 06-14-2002, 02:11 PM   #21
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PA.....
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Old 06-14-2002, 02:30 PM   #22
Hotchkis
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Thumbs up

East coast..... I would have to say Titan Motorsports in Fla.....
His name is Bottle....# is 407-977-9732...... Tell him J.C. from Hotchkis referred you.... He'll hook you and all you guys on the east coast up...!!!!!
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