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Old 12-28-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
Snowphun
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Default Replacement strut options for MY02 wagon?

Just picked up a MY02 WRX wagon with 195k miles on the original struts, seems like a decent item to replace. I have no need to lower the car nor stiffen the suspension significantly, so I'm looking for OE-like replacement suggestions. Used parts are likely too old/high mileage at this point, replacement struts from Subaru are pricey. Does Tokico make a decent solution for wagons? I'd rather not go through the hassle or cost of Koni inserts, and I'm new to wagons.

Thanks.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #2
mhoerath
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there's a couple of threads for wagon suspension set-ups. On my 03 hatch are tokico spec d's and luv them.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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Tokico D-Specs are probably overkill for the OPs needs.
KYB Excell-G does make a wagon specific strut that is reasonable and will do a good job. The Tokico HP(Blues) are probably a better strut but they are not wagon specific and you would need to modify them to get your alignment within spec. The modification is not difficult (there are several methods), but they are not plug and play.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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I have GR2/Excel G shocks, they're better than a no name stock replacement and do a good job. I have a 99 wagon they work well with OEM springs.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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For what its worth, I wasn't sure about stiffening my wagon but went with D-specs and sti springs when a strut failed. I wish I had done it the day I purchased the car since I enjoy the car much more with the current setup.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:38 PM   #6
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I put the Koni Sport inserts in the front and rear of my '02 WRX wagon, along with a few other suspension mods, and I was amazed at the handling changes (for the better).

It was worth the time (and fear of screwing up) to cut open the old struts and replace the guts, although I cheated by purchasing a huge tubing cutter from Harbor Freight so I could make clean cuts on the struts.

Worked like a champ!

If anybody wants a cheap, used strut cutter, give me a holler.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac View Post
For what its worth, I wasn't sure about stiffening my wagon but went with D-specs and sti springs when a strut failed. I wish I had done it the day I purchased the car since I enjoy the car much more with the current setup.
STI sedan springs fit the wagons? Did you need different top hats?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
STI sedan springs fit the wagons? Did you need different top hats?
gd sedans and wagons use the same tops and springs

the front assemblies are mix/match do whatever ya want..straight swap

the rears....kinda complicated...the tops hafta match the springs...so ya wanna use 04+ springs...ya gotta use 04+ rear tops
ya wanna use 02-03 springs, ya gotta use 02-03 rear tops

and....

the rear 02-03 struts are different...slightly....from the 04+

this means that if you wanna use 04+ springs on 02-03 struts(the dspec struts are 02-03)....ya gotta use the matching 04+ rear tops and the 'scooby921' spacers from TiC to make the tops happy with the struts


and ya gonna have a bit of neg camber loss...so it is best to slightly slot the strut holes to get some more neg camber using sedan struts on wagons.....its pretty easy and can be done with a dremel in a few minutes
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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Awesome info, thanks. Your post reminded me of when I did all this on one of my MY02 sedans probably seven years ago, I put MY04 springs on it and must have used different rear tops hats. I recall using a collection of larger washers as spacers.

Finding some takeoff STI springs and tophats might be a nice, cheap improvement.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowphun View Post
Awesome info, thanks. Your post reminded me of when I did all this on one of my MY02 sedans probably seven years ago, I put MY04 springs on it and must have used different rear tops hats. I recall using a collection of larger washers as spacers.

Finding some takeoff STI springs and tophats might be a nice, cheap improvement.

sti front strut tops are no different or better than the rest of the garbage tops.....if you dont get the group n tops...get the com c whitelines or some camber/caster tops
the rear tops wont matter what ya use, really

im running the noltec solid front tops and would NOT dream of going back to a 'regular' front strut top....they just impart too much mush to the whole front suspension...and i dont really notice any increase in nvh at all

too many out there think wrongly about what is and is not good for these suspensions and solid tops have virtually no drawbacks other than cost.....but offer MANY benifits....like extra caster that we so desperatly need
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
sti front strut tops are no different or better than the rest of the garbage tops
The thought of getting sti tophats was so I could use STI springs as I'll need newer top hats to use the MY05 springs. But Group N mounts are in consideration.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:06 AM   #12
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Wrx and STI top hats are the same. They are soft and sub par for performance.
Group-N is much better for performance.

In your original post you said you wanted a stock ride. Now it seems like you are looking for more.

D-Spec struts are excellent but you will have to address the loss of negative camber if used on a wagon. Easy to do with something like a Whiteline Com-C top or slotting. The D-Spec are sedan specific, but that does not mean they won't work great on a wagon. It just takes an additional step to do it right.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikelok View Post
In your original post you said you wanted a stock ride. Now it seems like you are looking for more.

D-Spec struts are excellent but you will have to address the loss of negative camber if used on a wagon. Easy to do with something like a Whiteline Com-C top or slotting. The D-Spec are sedan specific, but that does not mean they won't work great on a wagon. It just takes an additional step to do it right.
Stock like ride would be fine, Excell-G seems to be the way to do that. Those looked to be ~$550 for a set, and a number of people I trust had little good to say about them. I was able to get a new set of D-Specs for $600, hard to pass up the better product for such a small difference. I added Com C strut mounts, the install is done and while the stock wagon springs may be far too soft for most people, this feels like a setup that will work well for ice racing, which is the main reason I bought this clunker.

I am a bit dissapointed with the amount of negative camber I now have (no alignment yet so things could improve a bit): -.7* front, -.6 rear. This is with Com C mounts and no camber bolts in the rear. I need to get more front camber before adding bolts to the rear.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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Slot the struts. The bottom hole 2mm outward will do wonders.
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