Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Monday September 15, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
Click here to visit TireRack
Brakes & Suspension Forum sponsored by The Tire Rack

Losing traction? Need new tires?
Click here to visit the NASIOC Upgrade Garage...
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Technical > Brakes, Steering & Suspension

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-06-2013, 02:30 AM   #1
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default '03 WRX Wagon - What's the best bang for the buck street suspension mod?

Ok, I spent a couple hours reading the FAQ. Also read a few of the 203 pages of the Wagon Suspension thread:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=478371

Here's my car:
2003 WRX Wagon
Cobb Stage 2 Access Port
Helix Catted DP
2006 WRX 17" wheels with S-Drive 225/45/17
Tires front and rear show excessive camber wear on inside tread.
Stock suspension with 100k miles

I've owned the car since new. Has always plowed in turns but now having owned other sports cars that have great turn in, the wagon just feels like it plows too much. (understeer and lean)

I don't want to invest in a full suspension overhaul. Given that, should I bother doing ANYTHING?

Some options I was considering:
Eibach springs: http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Eiba...edan-2002-2003
Cusco Rear 22mm Sway Bar: http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Cusc...-WRX-2002-2003
Cusco Rear Strut tower bar: http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Cusc...-STI-2002-2007

Each option is around $200. I have budgeted for a new alignment already. Don't want to dump $600+ into my suspension.

Lowering springs would give a nicer look to the car, but from what I'm reading might wear out my struts and give me a worse ride. And it wouldn't solve my understeer problem.

Moving to the back, it seems the rear sway bar would do the most good, but not fully beneficial with stock end links. I don't want to spend $$ on end links too.

The strut tower brace gets good reviews but may not help with the understeer.


Should I bother upgrading the rear sway bar with the stock end links or wait until I can do both? (endlinks are another $200?! which would replace a later upgrade - ie springs or strut tower bar)

Or since I'm not willing to do a full strut replacement with front and rear sways, endlinks, springs, tophats, bumpstops, etc - should I just leave it stock and slow down in the turns?

With any of those mods, would the front still wash out on initial turn in? Or would I end up rotating and sliding in a 4 wheel drift? My goal is to not lose traction, have a sharper turn in, and neutral cornering.

Street use only, no track days, but there's lots of times in daily driving that the car understeers - negating the joy of the Stage 2 power. (no fun if you can't turn!)
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 03:10 AM   #2
oguitar
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 206720
Join Date: Mar 2009
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque NM
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

Your dampers are probably dead. Upgrade those first. Koni yellows will work nicely.
oguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 06:10 AM   #3
A-man07
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 271525
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BagEnd
Vehicle:
07 STi
424whp/382wtq GT3076

Default

Your budget is inadequate to do anything meaningful. Get the alignment and save for some grippier tires. Sell me the car when you can't take it anymore.
A-man07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 06:47 AM   #4
mhoerath
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 131379
Join Date: Nov 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: richmond, va
Vehicle:
2003 354 ftlb@3k rpm
justablue hatch

Default

as said dampers are probably bad, how many miles?

IF the damps are OK rear sway bar.
mhoerath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
edsonmassao
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 291430
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vehicle:
2006 WRX wagon
Black

Default

maybe refreshing your suspension bushings give some good results.
edsonmassao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 07:15 AM   #6
Uncle Scotty
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 16200
Join Date: Mar 2002
Vehicle:
OK Houston
we have an Uncle

Default

it aint camber that is killin the tires....its the toe being other than 0

and sell the car....it needs WAY more than $200 bein 10+yo now
Uncle Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
isotopesope
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 265783
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: colorado springs
Vehicle:
2008 wrx

Default

i would determine if your struts are bad first thing. they are probably close. they're much more important overall than lowering springs and strut bars. that should be your priority over racecar.

also, if you're on a budget, looking at the foxy gucci stuff isn't helping. forget the cusco stuff. whiteline is more affordable. check out their swaybars.

they also offer their steel endlinks that are way less expensive:
http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Whit...-2002-2007-WRX

i had these front and rear on my 02 OBS and they worked great. of course, when i bought them years ago, they were only 70 a pair. not as foxy as aluminum, but they work. much more go than show. at least just replace your dummy rear plastic ones.

rallitek.com has ONE LAST pair of rear AVO endlinks:
http://www.rallitek.com/AVO-Solid-Rear-Endlinks/p-4488

i had front and rear strutbars on my OBS. i didn't notice a difference really with the front, but did so with the rear. granted, that should be one of the last things you do, imo. it's not some secret holy grail mod. bushings and subframe lockout bolts are way more benefical.

Last edited by isotopesope; 06-06-2013 at 10:04 AM.
isotopesope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

First - THANK YOU to all that replied! I appreciate the help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oguitar View Post
Your dampers are probably dead. Upgrade those first. Koni yellows will work nicely.
Car still rides nice over bumps and uneven surfaces. Not saying they're not worn, but I think this would be a possible ride improvement but not address the understeer issue, that the car had since new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A-man07 View Post
Your budget is inadequate to do anything meaningful. Get the alignment and save for some grippier tires. Sell me the car when you can't take it anymore.
Alignment already planned AFTER any changes. If no mods, I will still get an alignment. Yokohama S-Drives are summer tires with decent grip, though the sideway feels a little soft at 36 psi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edsonmassao View Post
maybe refreshing your suspension bushings give some good results.
No doubt the bushings are likely worn as well as every other wear item on the car, but I view those as part of a total rebuild, not a stand alone only mod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
it aint camber that is killin the tires....its the toe being other than 0

and sell the car....it needs WAY more than $200 bein 10+yo now
Thanks for the tip. Either way, the alignment shop will help fix the wear issue. Not selling the car yet - it's my beater and my hauler (Home Depot, Ikea, bass amps & cabinets, my 4yr old son, etc).

The "way more than $200" comment leads back to my original thought: if I can't put $1,500 (or whatever) into a full new suspension, should I bother adding any new upgraded parts to an old system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope View Post
i would determine if your struts are bad first thing. they are probably close. they're much more important overall than lowering springs and strut bars. that should be your priority over racecar.

also, if you're on a budget, looking at the foxy gucci stuff isn't helping. forget the cusco stuff. whiteline is more affordable. check out their swaybars.

they also offer their steel endlinks that are way less expensive:
http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Whit...-2002-2007-WRX

i had these front and rear on my 02 OBS and they worked great. of course, when i bought them years ago, they were only 70 a pair. not as foxy as aluminum, but they work. much more go than show. at least just replace your dummy rear plastic ones.

rallitek.com has ONE LAST pair of rear AVO endlinks:
http://www.rallitek.com/AVO-Solid-Rear-Endlinks/p-4488

i had front and rear strutbars on my OBS. i didn't notice a difference really with the front, but did so with the rear. granted, that should be one of the last things you do, imo. it's not some secret holy grail mod. bushings and subframe lockout bolts are way more benefical.
Is there an easy way to tell if my struts are shot? Again, the car rides nice - but would the excess cornering lean indicate struts are going, or is that more of a soft factory spring and small sway issue?

Thanks for the link on the cheaper endlinks. $90 i can stomach better than $200. Also is it worth the $30 in savings going with a cheaper bar than the Cusco? Just as good for my needs?


As a bit of history, I had a mint 60k mile NA Miata that I did a full Flying Miata suspension on (springs, rear top hats, bump stops, adjustable Tokiko) as well as frame rails. Running summer 15" tires. A bit punishing at times but could put the car on a dime on the road.
I sold that car and bought a BRZ last year. No mods on that yet - I've got some in mind but I'm waiting - plus it hands my WRX it's butt in the twisties as it is. Going from the BRZ to the WRX feels like the leaning tower of understeer.

Right now I'm leaning [sic] towards cheaper rear endlinks and sway and alignment. That's about $400 shipped and done.
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
Bikelok
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 Wrx wagon 5mt
PSM

Default

Find some used sway bars, STI take off springs (can be found real cheap to free), and some new struts. I would not even worry about the end links unless they break.
Then get the alignment. Set front to max negative camber EVEN! About -1.5 and as was said zero out all toe.
You can probably do what I said for <$500 going used/new and install it yourself. These changes will be good cheap fun.

Edit: you will need to take into account that the STI springs require 04-07 rear top hats. Again used top hats are not optimal, but these can be found cheap used too. You will also need 921 spacers, also very cheap.
Eh, probably closer to <$600, but if you do some searching and work at it I'm sure you can beat the $500 mark.

Last edited by Bikelok; 06-06-2013 at 12:47 PM.
Bikelok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

Quick question in quality and fitment:

White line rear 22mm sway bar is $200. Steel endlinks $90.

Eibach has both combined in a kit for $210 ($80 savings).
http://www.rallysportdirect.com/Eiba...edan-2002-2003
But it says "sedan" and they can't guarantee fit on a wagon.

Also with such a large price difference, is the quality much less as well? I don't want to go cheap to save a few bucks and then be unhappy. Rather spend a couple more bucks and do it right the first time, within my budget.

I was considering a used bar, but there's definitely a convience factor of using a credit card, getting it shipped to my door, and coming with a warranty - so I'm sold on getting a new bar.

Thanks!
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 01:52 PM   #11
isotopesope
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 265783
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: colorado springs
Vehicle:
2008 wrx

Default

The less expensive whiteline endlinks just have less expensive manufacturing process, since they are zinc coated bent steel wire with poly bushing, rather than machined aluminum with poly bushings.

Sure they aren't as bling looking, but they do their job just fine, especially for a daily driver. I had zero complaints about mine. I would've bought them again for my wrx, if they made them for my car, but I am now running inexpensive steel rallitek ones.

Grab that last pair of AVO ones from rallitek! They're super cheap! No personal experience with them myself though.
isotopesope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #12
isotopesope
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 265783
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: colorado springs
Vehicle:
2008 wrx

Default

i'm not sure of the size, but you can get the STi wagon rear sway bar for 135 from here:
http://heubergersubaruparts.com/suba...atalogid%3D205

select it from the dropdown.

they also sell the Group N tophats for a great price.

the fronts are 60 each:
http://heubergersubaruparts.com/suba...atalogid%3D205

the rears are 105 each:
http://heubergersubaruparts.com/suba...atalogid%3D205

they have the best prices on OEM stuff that I know of. and they're local to me.
isotopesope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #13
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

The AVO ones are $85, down from $95. The Whiteline ones are $90. Are the AVO's any better?

Re: Struts. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place, but new struts all around are about $600 for parts. And I'm still not sure what new struts will do for me. Can someone explain? I know their purpose - to work with the spring to help control compression and rebound and eliminate bounce - but if I'm keeping the stock springs, and my ride isn't bouncy, what would this investment help fix? Wouldn't the car still lean and understeer?

Used parts - I'd love to find "almost free" parts, but I haven't seen any available. What I don't want to do is go down the path you started: use XYZ part not designed for my car, then buy top hats, and this bolt and that arm etc to Frankenstein a setup that works. I'm more interested in buying a part that was designed to bolt in to my car. Once you start changing stuff, then it gets confusing if I need the 2004-2007 suspension parts or the 2002-2003 ones, based on the parts.

About the only "free" mod I would bother with would be to put an '03 sedan stock rear sway in - as i understand it, they were bigger than the stock wagon ones. But I don't see any around locally, and I don't want to deal with buying and shipping 10 year old used parts that could be bent/damaged/worn.


Anyone have input on the Eibach sedan kit for $210 vs the Whiteline sway & endlinks at $290? Saving $80 pays for my alignment, but I don't want it clunking around or to be back on the forum in a couple weeks and everyone saying I should have bought the Whiteline setup, as the Eibach clearly says sedan.

Again - thanks for everyone's input!
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 04:58 PM   #14
edsonmassao
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 291430
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Sorocaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Vehicle:
2006 WRX wagon
Black

Default

edsonmassao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
Bikelok
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 Wrx wagon 5mt
PSM

Default

OP, why are you so fixated with endlinks?

For your budget and what you are trying to do, that would not be my priority.

Do endlinks matter? Yes, but in your case I would first get stiffer (stiffer, not lower) springs (like I said, you can sometimes find STI springs for free) and fresh struts. Then sway bars, then end links. If the money is still there.

My 2cents.
Bikelok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #16
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

For my budget, I'm trying to dial out the understeer. As a secondary effort, I'd like less lean and sharper turn in. Just for street driving (including canyon cruising).

The reason why I mention endlinks is bc I've read (here) that a stiffer rear bar (say an adjustable 22mm) is only as good as what it's bolted to. So 10 year old OEM plastic endlinks probably won't hold up (either flex or break) to high cornering loads. Thus if I'm doing the rear sway, I need endlinks.

(Fresh struts seem to run $600-1,000 for a complete set - way over budget, and doesn't address understeer.)
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #17
Bikelok
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 Wrx wagon 5mt
PSM

Default

I understand what you are trying to do.

Tokico HP (blues) are about $450-475 a set.
KYB Excell-G are about the same, perhaps less.
Match that with some cheap/free STI springs, used 04-07 rear top hats and 921 spacers.
You are looking at <$600.
I think that will give you a much better starting point to perhaps later get sways and endlinks.


Also, just getting a better alignment will help. Max front camber negative and set toe at zero.

I do understand that you might not be able to scrape up enough money for what I'm suggesting. Sways and links alone will work too, but that just leaves you with sloppy springs/struts to worry about later.

Again, just my 2cents.
Bikelok is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2013, 09:05 PM   #18
ashtray
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 354841
Join Date: Apr 2013
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Ventura County
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Wagon
Silver

Default

It's not so much a matter of scraping up funds, but rather justifying them being spent. My other car is a BRZ that handles circles around my WRX. Do I bother to do upgrades, and if so where do I stop? What you suggest makes sense - is there a good source to find "free" springs and tophats and whatnot? Local Craigslist (Los Angeles) doesn't seem to have any people selling, and none on the SCIC classifieds either.

I might start with a sway bar and then see where my "throw money out the window" budget is after the summer. Definitely doing the alignment now though, even if no parts hit my car.
ashtray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 12:24 AM   #19
Bikelok
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 254851
Join Date: Aug 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Nor-Cal Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 Wrx wagon 5mt
PSM

Default

I understand. You have to be on the look out for the free/super cheap stuff. It does come along, but you have to have patience.

Perhaps do the sways and slowly get your hands on all the other stuff. Make up a nice collection and put it all together over time.

I always like to start with a good foundation. That's why I was suggesting the struts/springs first. At 100k, the struts might not be blown, but I'm sure they are very tired.

Oh, I usually keep a weekly look out on NASIOC classifieds, Craigslist and my local I-Club classifieds for stuff. It's all out there, you just have to look.
Bikelok is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.