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Old 02-28-2003, 12:57 AM   #1
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Default wondering if steering response was a consideration for STi

I have driven a few WRX's, and the only thing I was unimpressed with was the steering response. Compared to other cars that I've driven, like my Supra and my S2000, all you have to do is "think" where you want to go, and the car just goes there - the trademark of a true "driver's" car, where as the WRX took more effort to steer.

I was wondering if anyone knew anything about if they've re-designed the steering system to address this issue, as it will definitely be needed with close to a 50% increase in power.

I'm putting on the flame suit anyway just in case I'm alone in my opinion about the "mushy" steering offered by the current WRX.
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:12 AM   #2
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Mushy steering is a combination of factors, from power steering racks to the bushings inbetween the car and the road. The tyres on the standard WRX alone is going to make it feel mushy.

The STi has a faster steering rack, smaller steering wheel, and a lot less mush between the car and the road. You'll be surprised on how well it turns in.

Cheers,

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Old 02-28-2003, 02:24 AM   #3
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I wonder why the STi doesnt have a quicker steering rack
It's currently at 3.0 turns lock to lock and the SpecC is at 2.6
But the Evo is at 2.1 turns lock to lock and that's super quick!
Just a little flick will turn the car
I think the STi will benefit a lot from a quicker steering rack
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Old 02-28-2003, 04:59 AM   #4
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My car started out very mushy... But Its not mushy anymore I'd let you drive it to compair if you were around my area, lol!
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Old 02-28-2003, 08:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by RA29
But the Evo is at 2.1 turns lock to lock and that's super quick!
Just a little flick will turn the car
I think the STi will benefit a lot from a quicker steering rack
While the Evo's lock-to-lock might be great for autocross, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want it on my daily driver, especially for long trips.

Here's what Subaru UK says about the face-lifted STi and WRX steering (from p. 4 of http://212.134.82.184/news/articles/...a_20030103.pdf):
Quote:
The STi also has improved front suspension thanks to strengthened mounts for the transverse linkages and new cross-performance rods. As a result, handling and steering response are even better thanks to a reduction in geometry change during hard cornering.

Both the WRX and naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre Impreza also have crisper handling characteristics, with increased steering precision already highly praised by road-testers and customers alike.

Also helping sharpen handling are sophisticated new shock-absorbers featuring multiple-layer valves. This means damping forces are optimised in various speed ranges, with enhanced ride comfort as an added bonus.

All new-look Imprezas also have revised steering. Now with a variable-capacity steering pump, the system combines even greater straight-line stability at speed with a lighter, more sensitive feel during low-speed manoeuvring.
I suspect steering response will be good.
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Old 02-28-2003, 10:00 AM   #6
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As soon as you get rid of those damn RE-92s, your turn-in will be dramatically increased. Especially when I put my R-comps on for auto-x. Turn-in is instant.

The STi with a stiffer, lower suspesion and those sticky RE070?s will have a totally different feel than a stock WRX.

-BrianK
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:57 PM   #7
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The new PS pump may help but the ratio in the rack is the same as the WRX. In my opinion the STi should have gotten a quicker rack.
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Old 02-28-2003, 06:13 PM   #8
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taken from impreza.subaru.com....

The WRX STi employs a quicker steering ratio than the standard WRX model-15.0-to-1 for compared to 16.5-to-1 for the WRX.
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Old 02-28-2003, 06:19 PM   #9
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You could also pay a visit to www.Rev-Lab.com if those new tires aren't good enough.

Their solid front droplink replacements for the swaybar will help turn-in, and if that's still not enough, get their Quick Steering Rack system.

I'd get one for my RS if I had the green.

-S2-
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Old 02-28-2003, 06:36 PM   #10
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16.5:1 vs 15:1 isn't much of a difference. The STi's in other parts of the world get a 12.5:1 or 13:1 ratio.
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Old 03-01-2003, 02:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by gravel
16.5:1 vs 15:1 isn't much of a difference. The STi's in other parts of the world get a 12.5:1 or 13:1 ratio.
The Spec RA's do - but not the standard STi.

And I doubt very few people outside of autocrossers and track racers are going to wish for darty, nervous feeling 13:1 ratio rack. It's great when you are blitzing apex's, it's a bit of a pain when you are driving on the freeway or normal roads in general. And having driven both cars with both racks, there was no "oh darn, I'm in the slow-steering standard STi" when I was on the track.

There's a reason the press keeps referring to the STi as more useable in normal driving in comparison to say, the Evo.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:17 AM   #12
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The US STi is more like a spec-C, and so the 13:0 or even the 11:0 steering ratio would be much better for such a track/race car.

If I want a comfy road car, the STI isnt exactly the best choice.
The wrx would be better then.

Also, the suspension setting on the Evo is much harder/stiffer than the STi, thus the Evo isnt as comfortable on the road. Read any car review and the reviewers all love the sharp steering of the Evo and they all criticise the slower STi steering, in the UK at least.

In fact, in the US, lots of cars have a 13:0 ratio.
The Acura RSX has the 13:0 ratio and no one ever said that is sucks to drive that on the road.
The Evo actually has a 11:0 ratio and even then, driving on the road is fine . . .unless you have a hamburger in one hand and a drink in the other.
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:56 AM   #13
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huh? 12.5:1 ratio racks "elsewhere" in the world? Well, 13:1 is the fastest offered by Subaru AFAIK. And who has driven cars with the different racks back to back? Paul has - add the new rack (they are not talking much about having upgraded it) and you have pretty smart handling car. Stir and mix with the new rear end, upgraded bushes all round and there is a heck of a lot more fun to be had.

Also, comparing lock to lock is not always useful (and usually misleading) - the Evo has a wider min. turning circle of 5.9m vs 5.4 for the Impreza. Subaru could always make the lock to lock smaller for the catalogue I guess

I can't wait to hear the complaints about NVH next

Cheers
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Old 03-01-2003, 03:56 AM   #14
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Theres also stuff like the whiteline steering rack bushings that help a little...
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Old 03-01-2003, 05:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by shirokuma


The Spec RA's do - but not the standard STi.

And I doubt very few people outside of autocrossers and track racers are going to wish for darty, nervous feeling 13:1 ratio rack. It's great when you are blitzing apex's, it's a bit of a pain when you are driving on the freeway or normal roads in general. And having driven both cars with both racks, there was no "oh darn, I'm in the slow-steering standard STi" when I was on the track.

There's a reason the press keeps referring to the STi as more useable in normal driving in comparison to say, the Evo.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen

My brother has a Mini S as a daily driver... no complaints....
Mini S has a 13.1 ratio... and Mini 12.88
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Old 03-01-2003, 09:29 PM   #16
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The Mini is a good example - a car described as "nervous feeling" by Road and Track on the freeway, though a blast on the twisties.

The STi is a great car because it is (relatively) comfortable under a vast variety of conditions.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
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Old 03-02-2003, 12:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by shirokuma
The Mini is a good example - a car described as "nervous feeling" by Road and Track on the freeway, though a blast on the twisties.

The STi is a great car because it is (relatively) comfortable under a vast variety of conditions.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
Haha.. sounds good to me... as always
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Old 03-02-2003, 02:03 AM   #18
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Default steering issues..........

Paul Hanson--

Perhaps you could shine some light on an issue that was topic of discussion today at the track. The S202 and RA spec-c are both reported to have 15 mm of additional caster designed in their front suspension geometry. Is this a result of.......

A) front control arms
B) strut top mounts
C) adjustable rear control arms
D) all of the above

A journalist from Apex-Japan reported the differences to be night and day and reported that the understeering was eliminated in the Spec-c type RA.

In Fuji Heavy Industries Sept.2002 press release they vaguely speak of alot of changes to the front suspension of the 2004/2003 JDM cars and a much improved handling car.

Last but not least, when I visited the North American Auto show I noticed the standard WRX suspension felt MUCH stiffer when pushing down on the fender than my US 2003 my WRX. Does this correspond to the other description in the Fuji press release that makes mention of revised shock valving throughout the WRX and STI lineup for " better handling over a wider range of conditions".

As in the past Paul, I look to you for the real insight on these things.


944 turbo guy.

P.S this discussion started because I passed a fellow instructor in the rain coming into a 80 mph turn with my stock WRX. He didnt think the car would turn in, becuase he has driven them before and didnt like to wet turn in. ( I run 2.2 degrees nagative camber)
Otherwise car is 100% stock.
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Old 03-02-2003, 09:27 PM   #19
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Ah, for one, I'm that journalist...

Subaru did change the front geometry in a similar manner to the ALK kit that's been sold for WRX's and Legacies. (Anti-Lift Kit). It is a different mount for the front lower control arm that adds .05 degree of castor to the front arms. Possibly because of our talks with STi after using them on our Legacies (apexjapan is an all-subaru crew so far) and experiencing the day/night difference in turn-in (we provided them with one of our cars), STi started incorporating this idea, but bettering it bye incorporating it from the start. They experimented with it on the S202, and encouraged by the results, have made it part of the RA package.

That's not all of it, though - the rear suspension geometry on the STi and WRX has been changed to eliminate the toe change problems back there. Along with some different suspension tuning here and there (solid stabilizer links in the rear, for example, whith standard links in front), they've removed much of the understeer from even the standard STi model. The WRX had much improved turn-in and handling too, also the Forester. It looks like they are incorporating the rear suspension geometry changes into all new models, along with a host of other improvements. Shock valving has been slowing improving over here, the difference between the A revision Legacy and the D revision is dramatic. I expect that's found it's way into the WRX also.

Personally, when driven correctly, even the current USDM WRX can be quite quick around the track. The key words here is "driven correctly", and the amount of people experienced with the WRX style is still fairly small at this point. I find the best method for standard setups is the brake-tap-and-turn method. Trying to simply go in smooth after braking leads towards understeer. Of course, then there is Shimizu-san who simply hammers the brakes while turning, then slamming on the gas to go around the corner in a 4-wheel drift. He doesn't have to pay for the cars, though...

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
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Old 03-02-2003, 09:43 PM   #20
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Default Feels good for once........

Quote:
Originally posted by shirokuma
Ah, for one, I'm that journalist...

Subaru did change the front geometry in a similar manner to the ALK kit that's been sold for WRX's and Legacies. (Anti-Lift Kit). It is a different mount for the front lower control arm that adds .05 degree of castor to the front arms. Possibly because of our talks with STi after using them on our Legacies (apexjapan is an all-subaru crew so far) and experiencing the day/night difference in turn-in (we provided them with one of our cars), STi started incorporating this idea, but bettering it bye incorporating it from the start. They experimented with it on the S202, and encouraged by the results, have made it part of the RA package.

That's not all of it, though - the rear suspension geometry on the STi and WRX has been changed to eliminate the toe change problems back there. Along with some different suspension tuning here and there (solid stabilizer links in the rear, for example, whith standard links in front), they've removed much of the understeer from even the standard STi model. The WRX had much improved turn-in and handling too, also the Forester. It looks like they are incorporating the rear suspension geometry changes into all new models, along with a host of other improvements. Shock valving has been slowing improving over here, the difference between the A revision Legacy and the D revision is dramatic. I expect that's found it's way into the WRX also.

Personally, when driven correctly, even the current USDM WRX can be quite quick around the track. The key words here is "driven correctly", and the amount of people experienced with the WRX style is still fairly small at this point. I find the best method for standard setups is the brake-tap-and-turn method. Trying to simply go in smooth after braking leads towards understeer. Of course, then there is Shimizu-san who simply hammers the brakes while turning, then slamming on the gas to go around the corner in a 4-wheel drift. He doesn't have to pay for the cars, though...

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
Paul--

it feels good for once to be on to something that makes sense. I know that the anything that comes from Fuji inthe form of a press release is very subtle and you have to read between the lines.

So in that same article ,..since you're " that journalist",..it speaks of alot of torque inthe new twin scroll engine,..you even go on to say it feels like a larger displacement engine,..?end quote."

When I read it I thought,...hmmmnnnnnnnnnn,..something is fishy here,..yeah I'm sure the twinscroll is great , but who's to say they didnt switch a 2.5 car and just not tell anyone?...maybe I'm reaching, but you can see how I was thinking...lol.

Oh, last but not least,..perhaps you can assist in the part number for the Spec-ca type RA front spoiler? and almost last question,...
whats the difference in the shocks and springs on the spec-c type ra,..can I import those, as I will be bringing my STI up to S202 spec-c type -RA specification shortly after it's June birth. Along with 14.5 front brakes.

Your opinion DR.--

944 turbo guy
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Old 03-02-2003, 09:49 PM   #21
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Default S203 370 hp,...

DR. Paul-

would one be getting ahead of themselves in thinking that the next variation of "S" models from STI might be an S203 2.5 liter with the boost turned up to 18 psi, and upgraded ECU, high flow cats, and sport muffler? ( maybe even 18 inch BBS, and 14inch brakes. This combo should be good for ,..oh ,say,..355hp, and 345 ft lbs of torque.

thanks Paul h.

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Old 03-02-2003, 10:12 PM   #22
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In general, I would ignore the S202 for now. The STi 8 RA that I drove was nearly as fast, or possibly faster, than the S202. If it had the wide-open exhaust of the S202, it probably would be quite a bit faster. I haven't driven them back-to-back to get a fully accurate feel, but the overall suspension improvements in the newest RA put it ahead of the S202 in suspension setup alone.

The differences between the STi 7 and 8 are astounding in the engine department. I might have been extending the hyperbole a bit in calling it a small "V8", but then again, that might be accurate. In comparison to say, a STi 7, the 8 had so much more torque and response that, in conjunction with the revised suspension, it was capable of overcoming the traction of the 070's quite easily via injudicious throttle input while going around corners. I would have been hard-pressed to do the same on the 040's in the STi 7. To be honest, I don't think I could have done it - one reason the tail on my car went wiiiiide was because I expected it to be, well, a Subaru of my past experience, and it's not.

I hate to admit this, but I find the reaction to the WRX turbo in America somewhat amusing - it is fairly slow by Japanese standards! Not anybodies fault, really, but with the gas quality and the emission hoops to jump through, there's not much else that could have been done. And American's like rubber that lasts a long time, cheap brakes, etc., so there are a lot more compromises to a USDM WRX turbo than a Japanese version. I think the jump in performance between the WRX turbo and the STi in the States is going to be a lot larger than most people will believe right now.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
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Old 03-02-2003, 10:15 PM   #23
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Default Re: S203 370 hp,...

Quote:
Originally posted by 944 turbo guy
DR. Paul-

would one be getting ahead of themselves in thinking that the next variation of "S" models from STI might be an S203 2.5 liter with the boost turned up to 18 psi, and upgraded ECU, high flow cats, and sport muffler? ( maybe even 18 inch BBS, and 14inch brakes. This combo should be good for ,..oh ,say,..355hp, and 345 ft lbs of torque.
The S203 and S402 should be quite amazing. Even if they stick with the 2.0-litre motors (and they probably will), STi should hit around 330-340hp, albeit with lower torque figures. If they do go with 2.5-litres, well, it depends on their limits. A 2.5 in a similar state of tune as the standard STi in Japan would probably be around 350-360hp - if they went the S202 route, more than that.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:17 PM   #24
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The Spec C has no special aero on the original version, and the latest is "de-aero-ed" (is that English Mr. Ed? ) to save weight.
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:23 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by shirokuma
I think the jump in performance between the WRX turbo and the STi in the States is going to be a lot larger than most people will believe right now.

Cheers,

Paul Hansen
I agree completely, exept for the folks who are driving around in 300+hp WRX's right now
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