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Old 12-16-2002, 12:06 PM   #1
bgsntth
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Thumbs up ALK "Comfort Bushing"

Installed the WL replacement comfort bushings. Till now I had the original bushings that were extremely harsh, with every little ripple in the pavement being transmitted into the cabin. You know, when you grit your teeth and tense up as you approach a pothole, expansion joint, or broken pavement. Needless to say, although I revelled in the performance improvements brought about by the ALK, it was not suitable for everyday commute duties.

I got the replacement bushings from Rob @Mofugas for $16. I ordered before they were available, but Rob put me on the list and emailed me when he shipped them out. Easy and painless.

The new bushings literally transform the car. Gone is the harshness of suspension impacts and general NVH. Even my wife is amazed at the difference, and has lifted her boycott of the car. The ride is still solid and firm, just not harsh. Amazing that two bushings can so dramatically alter a car.

The steering is still "weighted" as w/ the original bushings and it does not seem like I have lost anything in performance. Of course, I probably won't notice any differences until I go to the track.

In any case, I consider this a must do performance "downgrade" modification for all but the most extreme enthusiasts. Meaning, anyone who does not autocross competitively or take their car to the track at least monthly.
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Old 12-16-2002, 12:29 PM   #2
hkwan
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Had my racing version ALK installed last night and have couple of question for you:

Did you have to take out the sub-frame for the installation? Doesn't look like the factory unit can be slided off without doing so.

I've this REALLY LOUD cracking noise even with the supplied lub put on. Did you experience this?
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Old 12-16-2002, 01:30 PM   #3
bgsntth
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With a 2 year old my garage time has been eliminated, so I had my friends at the Swiss garage do the swap. But to answer your question, you have to take out the subframe and put in the WL supplied spacers to fit the ALK. This drops the subframe down about an inch or so.
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Old 12-16-2002, 06:33 PM   #4
DrBoy01
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Wait,

So you do recommend the comfort ALK for daily drivers and street use, or you do not? I'm a little unclear..
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:09 PM   #5
bgsntth
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Amazing that I could be so longwinded in my original post and still be unclear

I would recommend the ALK with the comfort bushing for aggressive daily driving and street use. If the original ALK bushings were 100% stiffer than stock(for dramatization purposes), than I would put the comfort bushing at 30% stiffer than stock, but still providing the same weightiness in the steering that the original ALK bushing provided. In my opinion you have to drive pretty aggressively for the benefits of the ALK to come into play. If you were just commuting with some spirited driving, I do not think the ALK is a worthwhile mod considering the scope of the installation.
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:30 PM   #6
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I guess it depends on what other suspension mod's you have on the car, I've notice the difference right the way, especially when taking off and braking. I wasn't driving that aggressively either. The benefit was pretty noticeable.
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Old 12-25-2002, 01:06 AM   #7
Andrew Bacon
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I have the hardcore version on my RS with struts/springs/rear bar/poly rack bushings/rear subframe lock bolts. The ALK was the last mod to go in. It sure is harsher over rough surfaces, but I noticed an instant improvement in handling. It even steers better when putt-putting around in a parking lot. At high speed, it just makes the car more stable, more "on the ground" and transient steering response is improved. I'd say it's as worthy a mod as a heavy rear bar...I love what it did!
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Old 12-27-2002, 01:48 AM   #8
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i ordered the alk a long time ago, and have yet to install it. i also ordered the 'comfort' bushings, but they look the same as the bushings already on the alk. is there any appearance difference that i may recognize just to be sure that i really got the comfort bushings? can't wait to install them.
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Old 12-27-2002, 02:12 AM   #9
Andrew Bacon
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This is posted on another subaru site thanks to Arnie. It is from Jim at Whiteline and should address any questions about different models of ALK...

> Other than the spacers, is there a difference between
> the ALK for the GDA and the GC8 chassis? A geometric
> difference perhaps?

Totally identical. KCA359 suit the later model and includes the spacers
for the lower brace.

> Did the older ALK's come in a silver body with black
> bushing?

This is the motorsport version to suit both early and late variants.
Most people using these on late models don't worry about refitting the stock
brace.

> How does the motorsports version compare to these
> older ALK's (if they ar indeed silver/black)?

The mounts are plain extruded alloy with no anodising. The bushes are
black 95D Shore A hardness engineering grade polyurethane, ultra low
compliance.

> Is the hardcore motorsports version still available
> (part # and part # on bushing)?

As above, part number is KCA319M. Plain casting, black bush, can't miss
it.

> I helped install an ALK on a GC8 chassis that was
> obviously from a WRX kit as it had all the spacers
> with it (chap got it second hand). Everything fit
> okay, as far as I know, but will he be having problems
> down the road?

None at all, same mount, just don't need the spacers.

Here a summary table of the various options as they currently stand:

Impreza WRX GC chassis (94-00)

KCA319A Anti-lift/caster kit
KCA361 Anti-lift/caster kit-comfort
KCA319M Anti-lift/caster kit-Motorsport 95D

Impreza WRX GD chassis (01 onward)

KCA359 Anti-lift/caster kit
KCA360 KCA359 spacer kit only
KCA362 Anti-lift/caster kit-comfort
KCA319M Anti-lift/caster kit-Motorsport 95D

> Thanks for your help as always. No need to reply to
> the thread directly, as I can can just pass on the
> info. however, its always super cool and impressive
> when you guys take the time to reply.

No problem, we'll try to join up in the meantime.

> Hope you are well and are getting your holiday
> shopping done! I know I'm not.;-)

.. and all the best to you for the holidays. Thanks for all your help
this
year.

Best
Jim
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Old 01-01-2003, 02:01 PM   #10
spike
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ok, i have the kca359, which is the standard kit. when i ordered my alk, i also ordered what the site had listed as the comfort bushings, part no. W0562UG. when i look those up on the whiteline website, they only list them as upgraded bushings, and nothing about comfort. now, assuming they are the correct bushings, how the heck to i switch them with the original kit?

Last edited by spike; 01-01-2003 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 01-01-2003, 10:11 PM   #11
Arnie
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I was able to get one bushing out and the new one installed but it was really tough. Pressed the inner sleeve out with a hammer and screwdriver and then just my weight on the screwdriver. I can't even remember how I got the bushing in. Lots of lube! So I just took the second one to a shop and had it pressed in. Taking it to a shop is probably the easiest thing to do. Cost me about 10-15 bucks.
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Old 01-10-2003, 02:37 PM   #12
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I just got my car aligned yesterday after installing the ALK last weekend. I got the comfort version as per advice of threads like this one. My suspension is otherwise stock. Here are my comments:

1. There is a VERY slight NVH increase - mainly at low speeds on small ridges in the road. I doubt my wife will even notice. On bigger bumps and at higher speeds there seems to be no real difference in NVH.

2. The steering wheel weight is better as noted above. The stock steering was always a bit light for my tastes. This is much better.

3. Lift under acceleration is much less. Dive under hard braking seems greater. I did not expect the added dive after reading the discussion paper by Jakub Zawada on the Whiteline website, but fully admit that some of that stuff was over my head and the added dive it is really not a big deal. I am happy with the results in this area.

4. Removal of the bolts on my subframe was way too easy. It maybe required 15 ft lbs and some were less. Removal of the bolts that hold the stock rear A arm mount to the frame is a different story. You need at least 2 feet of leverage on those bolts. I used locktite blue on all nuts and bolts and did not drive the car for 24 hour after the installation to let the locktite fully cure.

5. As per Whiteline, the installation of the ALK results in about 4mm of added toe in. By some really rough calculations, I believe 1/4 turn of the tie rod on each side would just about correct this (1/4 turn out). Of course a real alignment is probably the right answer, I just mention this because you may not notice as much differnce in handling if you just slap on the ALK and go for a test drive.

-my 0.02
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Old 01-10-2003, 06:29 PM   #13
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Spike - here are the part codes molded onto the "domed" part of the bushing head:

60319WL is old style non-grooved bush in 80 Duro
60319WLE is NEW style grooved bush in 80 Duro
60319WLE-70 is NEW COMFORT grooved bush in 70 Duro

Hkwan- by the way, if you got the motorsports version of the ALK. i don't think it comes with spacers for the subframe because this is normally left off in competition cars. Your large cracking noise may be due attmeting to attach your subframe without the spacers or you may have installed your ALK upside down. As a tip to install, the "right, left" stickers should not be visible after the install, the kit is installed sticker side "up" against the chassis. another member mounted it upside down and got metal to metal contact from the control arm rubbing on the frame!
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Old 01-10-2003, 06:52 PM   #14
bgsntth
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So Arnie, when is Whiteline going to put you on their payroll in the guise of their US consultant? I swear you know more about their bits then 99% of the vendors, who rarely reply with installation and product nuances anyways.
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:49 PM   #15
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thanks arnie. now i have to figure out to get the old bushings out, and the new ones in.
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Old 01-11-2003, 07:21 PM   #16
Arnie
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I do seem to be a post whore about their stuff! i just like the company and their stuff. Of course i think the cusco stuff is sexier but i prefer to support these guys since they have been so good to us over the years. There are the occasional niggels about fitment/quality so i like to help out where I can, if folks have concerns. I think it benefits all of us when other vendors/manufacturers see how well Whiteline actively supports their product on these boards. I'm also just reposting info Jim Gurieff either mailed me or posted in the past. I just still remember where he posted! Besides, I kinda view the comfort bushing alk as my baby as it was made primarily due to my bitching and moaning about the harsh ride of the standard grooved bush! I shoulda got a caddy!

Spike, just take your stuff to a shop with a big ass bearing press. They can pop those out and slide the new one's in pretty quick. Or do a search for Scooby Don't, he did a little how to on installing the replacement bush. I think it was posted at the end of my initial alk thread in the suspension forum.:

Last edited by Arnie; 01-11-2003 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:56 PM   #17
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Thumbs up

er... Does Rob @Mofugas has a web site? How can I contact him?

Comfort needed asap; pain is all over my back
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Old 01-14-2003, 11:28 PM   #18
Arnie
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Their site is down and I'm not sure if they are still around. Try contacting Whiteline directly. The parts ship pretty quick and shipping won't be that much from Australia for just the bushings.

Pain in your back? Lucky you, I think I lost a filling or two!
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