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Old 07-19-2002, 01:09 PM   #1
Ginseng
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Location: NoVa
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2002 WRB WRX Sedan
2011 Sky Blue Forester Pr

Default A Question About Swaybars for 98 Forester

Hi Guys,

I am interested in upgrading the rear swaybar on my wife's Forester and would like to know if you recommend the 18mm or 20mm. Also, do you think the 20mm bar from my WRX sedan would fit?

I installed a Cusco rear bar on my WRX and loved the changed. Would like to do something to tame that nose-happiness in the Forester.

Thanks,
Wilkey

PS. I did search a bit. I couldn't really find all that much. I do seem to recall that 18mm was the recommended size. Also, where did you get yours? Teague's, iSR?
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Old 07-19-2002, 02:52 PM   #2
tselway
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You will want at least a 20mm for the Forester. I tried an 18 once.

I am using a Cusco adjustable 19/20/21 bar set to 21.

Got it from Cobb.

Forester uses the same rear bar as the pre-my02 impreza. Not sure if the my02 is the same fit. 20mm? I think the wrx oe rear bar is 17. I know the pre-my02 is 13.



TonyS
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Old 07-19-2002, 08:54 PM   #3
Ginseng
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Tony,

Thanks a bunch for the info. I'll look into the Cobb.

Wilkey
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:41 PM   #4
tselway
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whiteline bars are good too.
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Old 07-20-2002, 02:11 PM   #5
Ken S
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I installed an 18mm Subaru OE swaybar in my 98 Forester and like what it did to the handling. I haven't driven the Forester with a 20mm bar, but the 18mm feels like a good trade off for improved handling while keeping the tail in control on snowy/icy roads.

In the snow, the 18mm definetly makes the rear break away faster than with the stock 13mm bar. I would imagine the 20mm would even be more pronounced.

I purchased my bar through the now defunct QSubaru.

Ken
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Old 07-20-2002, 03:37 PM   #6
lakepop
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Have the 20mm on my 01 Forester. Am pleased with the handling....have never got the rear end to move out even at some agressive off ramp speeds and lots of winter driving. Note that I also have a front strut brace and the two seem to complement each other....kind of like CAI and free flow exhaust make the engine breath better.
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Old 07-20-2002, 04:58 PM   #7
Ginseng
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tselway,

My buddy has Whiteline bars and I am underwhelmed with how they look after just a few months. The paint is damaged in multiple places and there is lots of rust. I'd much rather pay up for Cusco. But functionally, I guess they work fine. On another point, I prefer the rubber bushings on Cusco and FHI products. Less problems with noise and cracked bushings.

Ken S,

I think the 18mm is going to be my choice. Since it's primarily my wife's daily driver, I don't want it too edgy. And besides, there's not likely to be any more mods to compensate for a dramatic decrease in understeer.

Wilkey
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Old 07-20-2002, 06:46 PM   #8
tselway
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Can't say the paint is much better on the Cusco. Only half of mine is still blue. I am thinking of taking it off and painting it. I have had no problems with the bushings.

TonyS
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Old 07-20-2002, 10:49 PM   #9
okamikatekore
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nomatter what brand you get,it will look like crap after a few months its inevitable.i use the whiteline 20mm rear,and 22mm front.beware that the bigger you go,the more chance you have of breaking a mount.whiteline do make excellent products,except for the issues with the swaybar links snapping.basically.....if you can justify the extra cost of cusco,go for it
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Old 07-21-2002, 01:21 PM   #10
ForesterPerformance
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I have the FHI 18mm bar on my Forester. It was the first thing that arrived when I placed my order, so it was the first mod. I was impressed at the difference it made alone. The addition of the Cusco front & rear strut bars and the Cusco lower bar made it even sweeter. (Plus lowering it didn't hurt either.) If I had it to do over again, I think I would go with the 20mm though, but then again I drive pretty aggressive... even on the daily 20 mile (45minute :P ) commute to work.
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Old 07-21-2002, 03:37 PM   #11
Ken S
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Wilkey,

I think the 18mm will do just great. Again, it lessens the amount of understeer, but won't get you into trouble. Also, it's the same black color as the stock bar so it's harder for techs to spot it under your vehicle.

Ken
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:31 PM   #12
Whiteline
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G'day everyone,

Swaybar finish;

Ginseng, I appreciate your concerns re bar finish and its something we are very sensitive to. A little bit of background here, the Australian climate is generally dry and warm with very little snow in the built up areas. As a result we do not have salt used on the roads nor the extremes of cold temperatures that work so well at ruining a paint or powder coat finish. I guess, in a nutshell, we simply don't see these sorts of problems in our home market.

As we sell more to the Northern hemisphere, we're learning a lot about other climates and the demands they place on product fit and finish. Obvioulsy we havent got it right yet but we are working on it. The good news is that most of the products at risk use either alluminium or spring steel, both of which are fairly stable from a corrosion point of view compared with mild steel. All our alloy components (undercar) are anodised for protection and spring steel (used in swaybars) is inherently more resistant to rust. It may discolour on the surface but functionally it remains perfectly servicable for a lot longer.

That doesnt help those people that aren't happy with the look of their bar but we are working to improve it.

Rear links;

okamikatekore,

Our rear HD links were originally designed (mid '98) in response to complaints from MRT and other customers re broken factory plastic type links. We had not seen any here but our volumes through the R & D workshop are comparatively small. Some study and homework did however show up a fair bit of lost motion in the OE links when under load. That is, the amount of distortion of OE link/bush from side to side was significant enough to suggest the need for a performance low compliance type. (currently compiling some fresh data on this, will post when done)

The design parameters of our links was originally based around a cost effective solution as we were unsure how the product would go. Using a simple design of spring steel and poly bushes, we did however find that extra high loads (racing and/or big effective bar sizes) would test the integrity of the steel. Surface defects or rolled inclusions in the bare steel rods were potential weak point that could fracture during heavy use. This lead to an unacceptable number of failures that we needed to address. We didn't want to be hardline about "not warranted for race use" etc so we've been replacing failed links as long as its to the original purchaser.

We apologies for any inconvenience caused but we have spent a fair bit of time modifying the design recently to reduce the potential weak points. The continued evolutionary improvements should eradicate this problem completely. However, we'll be there to back up any problems if they arise.

Thanks everyone and I hope this helps explain some of the issues raised.

Regards

Jim Gurieff
Whiteline
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Old 07-22-2002, 12:21 PM   #13
Ginseng
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Default

Hi Jim,

Thanks for responding. It's nice to see a vendor get involved outside of the usual sales-related scraps. I definitely understand about the Australian conditions. That's one of the reasons why I tried and then eventually rejected the DMS Gold coilovers. Different products for different markets (where engineering concerns merit) really is the key to global satisfaction. The information you provided was most helpful. You know what they say, an educated consumer can be a pain in the a$$.

18mm it is. Now where did you folks get yours? I was just thinking of going to iSR but their prices seem not to be the lowest. Can I get it from a dealer like Exeter of Subaru?

Wilkey
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Old 07-22-2002, 12:53 PM   #14
ForesterPerformance
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Mine was purchased from a vendor that is no longer in business, but when the box came, it was shipped from Troncali Subaru in Georgia. They seem to have some of the best prices around, and "Sugar" here on i-Club works there in the parts dept. and is always helpful. You might give them a call.
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Old 07-22-2002, 01:23 PM   #15
lakepop
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Bought my tweeters from Sugar and my window visors from Exeter/NH.
Well pleased with both vendors....good service ...fast delivery. I'd recommend either one......but perhaps Exeter because of the NE connection.............
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Old 08-01-2002, 01:01 AM   #16
Evilphil
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I have the Cusco 19/20/21 set at 20, and love it. I also have the front and rear strut tower bars...

It makes a huge difference. Like night and day. I would recommend going with the Cusco. Hell, I might even push mine up to 21 this week...
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