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Old 07-02-2002, 01:22 AM   #1
traskw
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Default A Suspension Story (AGX and More)

“I found myself rather disheartened with the handling of my 01’ Legacy Sedan today. Normally I small grin would have come across my face as I pushed my V rated tires through a near by 180 degree exit ramp at 55mph, but instead I wanted more. No, it had nothing to do with test-driving a WRX the day before at the Exeter meet. I was quite pleased to step back into my Legacy, feel the low-end torque again and thus, I wanted for nothing. I rode home happily and even arrived early. With plenty of daylight left I finally had the time to bleed the brakes on my Wife’s ’97 Legacy wagon, which had been sitting idle since the suspension install the day before. AGX struts, Dobinson stock height springs, and Cusco front and rear strut tower braces. I also replaced the single piston calipers with dual units for good measure. I then proceeded to test-drive our newly revamped wagon to seat the brakes, and once satisfied that they were breaking in properly I began to push the car through corners and see what it could do. Very impressive, but not pushed too much, as it was to be aligned the next day. Monday and the alignment is complete, no longer feeling the need to hold back I push the car through the windy corners that are the roads which lead home. I have to remind myself that I’m in a wagon, an L no less. Later in the day and I have to run to the hardware store for my ’92 project car, I jump in my sedan and this story begins…”

“I was satisfied, now I am not.”

Notes: The front struts are identical. The rear AGX struts are slightly shorter (.75” to 1”) but with the stock height Dobinson springs the ride is actually higher than before, which is good because the rear end of the car was starting to sag with the old suspension. Overall I’d say the car has been returned to stock height and is very even front-to-back without that rear dragging look some of the 95-99 Legacies have using the AGX struts and lowering springs. The car really hugs the road and the ride is stiff and sporty, but not rough or uncomfortable as the Dobinson springs (from Australia for those wondering) are fairly progressive. I do think that the extra .75”to 1” in the rear would allow the Dobinsons to react even better, as they may be slightly tensioned due to the strut difference. Stopping is also finally up to par, not that it was that bad before, but a worthy conversion.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:18 AM   #2
MY99 2.5GT
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I must be missing something, but what exactly are you not satisfied with?
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:22 AM   #3
2001LegactGT
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I am guessing his 01. They drive great but could always use a little bit more help
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:15 AM   #4
traskw
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Default

My '01, which prior to the swap easily out-handled the '97, felt great through the corners and changing its suspension never even crossed my mind. People who have rode in it even comment on how well it handles. It is not completely stock, but the suspension is. My point was that even after driving around WRX's I did not see a noticeable difference in handling, maybe a tad more body roll, but was able to achieve similar speeds through corners with my '01. However, now the '97 flies through corners with only the slightest hint of body roll, is a wagon, and only has H rated tires so I'm thinking, "What can I do with my '01 sedan if there were more suspension options for it?"
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:16 AM   #5
Legacy777
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ok.....glad I'm not the only one that came away a little confused........

Which one got the suspension upgrades, your wife's car? or your 92 legacy project car?

And yah.....what are you not satisfied with, which car, and why?

Josh
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Old 07-02-2002, 11:29 AM   #6
traskw
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Default

The '97 received the suspension upgrade; the '92 has a coil-over kit for off road use. My '01 is a great car, I love the clean lines and it handles great, but now the '97 out handles it despite being a lowly wagon with H rated all season tires. I knew the AGX’s and Dobinson springs were a little overboard for the wagon, but damn they sure paid off. Sorry for any confusion, just trying to post with a little variance from the norm. This is also the first AGX/Dobinson combo I know of and a solution for those seeking a stock height suspension on their 95-99 Legacies that really performs. There has also been some confusion on the difference between the AGX struts (made for the Impreza or 90-94 Legacy) and the 95-99 stock struts. The fronts are the same, the stock rear 95-99 are longer and also have a slightly lower perch with longer overall springs. With lowering springs the backend ends up being lower than the front, something I did not have a problem with using the Dobinson springs.
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Old 07-02-2002, 12:21 PM   #7
tora
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I'm surprised that you though the '01 handled well. It's a family car, and the suspension and tire combo is pretty weak in my opinion. Definitely in need of some suspension work, which you have now noticed. So, why not go for coilovers? If you don't want to go that extreme try Whiteline springs, sway bars and maybe an ALK. I presently have the ALK and springs and am please but am awaiting sway bars. I wish there were shocks because that would make it just perfect for my daily driving/auto-Xing. If you are unhappy with the suspension...why don't you change it?
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Old 07-02-2002, 02:23 PM   #8
traskw
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Default

The tires are not stock, but V rated low profiles on 16" rims and the sedan does in fact handle quite well. I am not unhappy, I was just making a point as to how well the AGX/Dobinson combo worked out for those seeking this route. I even compared the handling to the WRX because I had driven all the cars with in a 24 hour period. The '01 wagon does not have the same spring/strut combo as the sedan; I believe there is a sticky on that. My only real option for upgrade are coil-overs and I will in fact go that route at some point in the near future. Sometimes if we continually keep are minds in a technical setting we loose the abstract. I guess I should have been less creative and stated: I put struts on today. They are real good. They do not make AGX struts for my '01 sedan=(

Last edited by traskw; 07-02-2002 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 07-02-2002, 02:55 PM   #9
traskw
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AtlanticBlue, Red, Silver

Default

I know people are trying to be helpful, but sometimes I wonder if people even read through everything before they post.

Are V-Rated tires stock?

I am not looking for suggestions, just commenting on my findings. It may say newbie on the left, but just because I do not post often does not mean I do not know what I am doing.


Anyway, for those looking for a great almost-affordable stock-height solution for their 95-99 Legacy, the AGX/Dobinson combo gets my thumbs up.
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Old 07-02-2002, 09:43 PM   #10
tora
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Whiteline does have a spring kit for your car, but as I did you may have to alter the front perch. and top mount.
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Old 07-02-2002, 11:43 PM   #11
traskw
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Default

Tora, thanks for the input, I knew they had been in development last I was on the forum a while back. But if I'm going to take the time to disassemble my struts I sure as heck want to be able to add new struts at the same time as the springs. I am getting pretty proficient at it, having done Legacy struts three times now on different vehicles, but it is still a bit of work. How do you like the ride on the Whitelines? Sometimes they can be to stiff for the application. I will probably end up using coil-overs as we may soon be carrying them.
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Old 07-03-2002, 12:54 AM   #12
tora
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It is definitely an improvement over stock, however ideally I would want a stiffer shock to match it. I don't have my sway bar installed or any strut bars, so we'll see what kind of difference those make to the setup.
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Old 07-03-2002, 09:33 PM   #13
traskw
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Default

My '92 has 500lb fronts and 400lb rear springs. It corners extremely well for having bald tires and being 2 extra inches off the ground. However, I would never want it as my daily driver. Stiffer springs work, but there are better solutions for making a car handle. Larger sway bars will go on first, then maybe a set of DMS golds with 180lb springs. Afterall, I want to get the most out of my '01 without having to sacrifice my rump to much =)
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:51 AM   #14
dupel
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Spruce Pearl

Default Dobinsons or Whitelines?...

traskw: how do you find the height of the Dobinsons? Does it stand in the way of better cornering? I understand that you do not have Whitelines, but perhaps have driven a car with ones?..
I am split whether I should get them or Whitelines Controls (~1' drop).

Other i-club regulars:

I see the following potential pro et contra:

Whitelines' NASCAR look
but presumably less roll than Dobs due to lowered height...

ride quality on bumpy roads presumablybetter with stock height dobinsons..
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Old 07-09-2002, 03:24 PM   #15
traskw
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Default Re: Dobinsons or Whitelines?...

Quote:
Originally posted by dupel
traskw: how do you find the height of the Dobinsons? Does it stand in the way of better cornering? I understand that you do not have Whitelines, but perhaps have driven a car with ones?..
I am split whether I should get them or Whitelines Controls (~1' drop).

Other i-club regulars:

I see the following potential pro et contra:

Whitelines' NASCAR look
but presumably less roll than Dobs due to lowered height...

ride quality on bumpy roads presumablybetter with stock height dobinsons..
The height is just that, stock height from the factory. Rear springs had lost some pep and were lower with the stiffer rear sway bar, so actually brought that up a bit to where it should be. Car is very even front to back.

Cornering has no ill effects due to the stock height, car is very stable and flat when cornering. Will corner as well as the tires allow, much less body roll than my '01. This car ('97) also has an 18mm rear bar.

On the wagon at least, I like the extra clearance when hauling around a lot of groceries.
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Old 07-09-2002, 03:49 PM   #16
traskw
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Default

On lowering springs I think it is more of a personal preference. These cars already have a pretty low center of gravity due to the engine and drivetrain arrangement. Lowering the vehicle 1” will not improve the cornering ability anywhere near as much as stiffer springs and sway bars will. Those that swear by them (lowering springs) usually do not have experience with anything other than the stock springs, which are fairly soft. On my ’92 I can raise or lower it anywhere from +2” –2”, it does not handle any better at –1” or –2” than it does at 0” to +2”, the stiff springs are what makes the difference and keep the car from rolling much in the corners. For my ’01 I will not be using stiffer springs, but will use the stiffest sway bars I can find and even when I add coil-overs I will only be using 180lb springs. My vision is a Sports Sedan with a balanced suspension, not a rock hard one. I plan on a WRX as the next project and since I will be keeping my ’01 as a daily driver, I can go a little more radical on the suspension.
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Old 07-09-2002, 04:34 PM   #17
dupel
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Thumbs up

Thanks a lot, that's a very informative answer!
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