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Old 12-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
kilfarsnar
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2006 WRX Ltd Wagon
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Default Feal Inserts for '02-'07 WRX struts

I recently had Feal inserts installed on my WRX wagon. I haven't found too many people running these inserts, so I thought I'd type up a quick review. They can be found at http://www.rallyracingsuspension.com/page19.html. I am running these inserts with USDM STi wagon "pink" springs, Group N front top hats, and Whiteline adjustable wagon sway bars.

My stock struts were worn out at 74,000 miles and needed to be replaced. After researching my options it seemed that strut inserts were the easiest way to go to keep my camber and gain adjustability. So it came down to Koni's or Feal's. The Feal inserts are a little more expensive than the Koni's by about $300. But they are a monotube design, as opposed to the Koni's twin-tube, and have 40 clicks of adjustability without needing a tool. I figured they would be more durable and a little easier to adjust. Also, the 1-way adjustment affects both compression and rebound in about a 1:1 ratio, as opposed to the Koni's rebound only adjustment.

I bought a pair of donor struts from a member and sent them to Feal for the installation. Feal installed the inserts for only $20 and turned them around in just a few days. I had the struts installed by the excellent fellows down at Dent Sport Garage. I set the damping at 20 clicks from full firm to start out, per advice from Feal. The improvement over the worn out stockers was immediately apparent.

The bouncy, bobble-head feeling is gone. The suspension feels firm and the springs are well controlled, settling quickly after turns and bumps. The car is very stable in turns now, and body roll is reduced. I found the struts to be a little harsh at first, but I have put about 700 miles on them and they have softened up. After playing around with the settings, I have settled on 18 clicks from full firm as a good daily driving setting. The suspension is tight, but small to medium sized bumps are absorbed nicely and the car feels very composed. You won't mistake the ride for an Audi or BMW, but I think it's a good compromise between comfort and "sportiness". And since they are adjustable I can soften them up a bit when the girlfriend is going to be in the car for a long drive.

The only complaint I have about them is that they are loud over medium to big bumps. Small bumps are handled quietly. But you hear a sharp thunk when going over sunken manhole covers or small potholes (I avoid the big ones). I thought it might be the top hats, but I hear it from the front and rear, and the rears are stock. I spoke to Feal about it and they indicated it was normal. My wagon was never really quiet, even stock. But these struts are noticeably louder than the stockers.

Overall I am happy with these inserts. The suspension feels tight yet compliant, and the car feels very controlled through hard corners and braking. Feal's customer service was very good as well. They answered all my questions and gave me some guidance on setting the struts for my springs.

Recommended!

UPDATE:

I had these inserts on the car for about 6000 miles, when the front driver's side strut blew. It made a rattling sound and did not control the motion of the spring at all. I removed the struts to find they were all leaking oil. I contacted FEAL and sent the struts back to them to have the inserts rebuilt. Odi was very accommodating and gave me a deep discount on the rebuild.

I have put these rebuilt struts back on the car and they feel even better than the first set! The ride is tight and controlled, but more comfortable than before. The suspension seems to soak up bumps better than before, and is less harsh overall. They are quieter too; no more clunking.

While I was surprised the struts failed so quickly, with just daily driving, I really appreciated the customer service from Odi and his team. They had to take me at my word that I had not done any track or off-road driving, which was very nice of them. As of now, I am even happier with the way the car handles.
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Last edited by kilfarsnar; 08-19-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
rexworx
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Nice Odi is the man!!!

Ian @ Performance Auto Solutions
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
CrashBandit
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Interesting..I'm looking to get a spring/strut combo eventually, this info helps. Do you have any pics of the new set-up?
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
kilfarsnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrashBandit View Post
Interesting..I'm looking to get a spring/strut combo eventually, this info helps. Do you have any pics of the new set-up?
I'm glad it helps! I don't have any pictures, unfortunately. There are pics of the inserts on Feal's website. Otherwise, on my car they look like stock struts with a Feal sticker on them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
hella_sti
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would these work with rce wagon springs?
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:28 PM   #6
kilfarsnar
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I don't see why not. They are adjustable, and those springs aren't ridiculously stiff.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:38 AM   #7
newtothescene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hella_sti View Post
would these work with rce wagon springs?
Yes. I have a set with RCE yellows. It's all in the shocks!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
fourdegrees
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I currently have Feal revalves on my STi. I previously had some big name coilovers on the car. After 4 or 5 years of going back and forth with spring setups, revalving, and rebuilds, I finally decided I had had enough. I looked into the Feal revalve and went ahead and took the plunge.

I am currently running stock springs with Group N tophats. The ride is much better. Much of the fidgeting at low speeds is gone. My coilovers would find every ripple and imperfection in the road. The Feals do an excellent job of maintaining a sporting feel while smooth out the ride. No more bobblehead, which I still had with the coilovers, on the highway anymore. I do feel a bit more body roll, but much of that is now controlled with 24mm front and rear sways.

I would advise anyone who is considering coilovers in the $1000 range to go ahead and get Feal revalves instead. Even if your considering high cost coilovers, especially on a road car, consider the Feals first. They have really done a great job with the valving. In addition, you're keeping OEM quality materials, instead of using suspect materials on some of the cheaper coilovers.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
kilfarsnar
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To be clear, the inserts are different than the STI re-valves. They are also different than what Feal does for the '08 and up WRX's. But I have heard nothing but good things about those products as well. Seems you can't go wrong with Feal!
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:35 PM   #10
fourdegrees
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True, different products. I'm just really impressed by what these guys offer. Especially at the prices they offer it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:30 PM   #11
96accord
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What would the benefits be over going this route compared to getting a set of their coilovers for MY07 WRX?

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
kilfarsnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96accord View Post
What would the benefits be over going this route compared to getting a set of their coilovers for MY07 WRX?

Thanks
I am not an expert by any means. There is a lot of good info in the Brakes Steering and Suspension section.

My understanding is that coilovers are expensive, tough to dial-in and harsh for everyday driving. I was looking to get a proper DD setup for my wagon without spending too much money.

For me, the advantages over coilovers were cost and stock fitment. Us wagon folks don't have nearly as many options for suspension as sedan owners. That's why I liked the insert option; I could use stock strut housings. A good set of coilovers will run at least $2,000, and I don't need the height adjustability or the really stiff ride. My springs are mild by performance standards, and they are as heavy as I'd want to go for a DD.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:15 PM   #13
kilfarsnar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourdegrees View Post
True, different products. I'm just really impressed by what these guys offer. Especially at the prices they offer it.
Agreed! Feal has great products and fair prices.
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