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Old 04-11-2003, 11:56 PM   #1
Soon2Bgreat
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Default Lacking structural integrity?

Ok, so you get a cheap L, swap in an sti motor, throw on some suspension, make some body mods and you have a great car right. Well, my question is, these cars most of the time have over 100k miles, they can't possibly be as structurally stiff as if swapping into an RS right, Is there any way of fixing that short of seam welding (how much does that cost anyway).
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Old 04-12-2003, 01:39 AM   #2
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well i'd like to think that if you had the car stripped of everything it would be fairly cheap. I don't know what kind of prep is necessary if you have to strip paint where the welds are or not... good question...
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Old 04-12-2003, 02:45 AM   #3
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Other than the transmition cross member, I dont think any "structural supports" changed between 93 and 01.

Plus there are strut bars, the cusco V-brace, underbody support beams that you can all install to improve it. I have strut bars and the cusco rear x-member brace on my L and it is very sturdy with just those. Seam welds would only be neccesary if you were VERY serious.
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Old 04-12-2003, 01:24 PM   #4
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fair enough, what are these underbody supports though, Do you have a site i can see them at. Who sells them, and how much. Thanks.
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Old 04-12-2003, 03:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kostamojen
Other than the transmition cross member, I dont think any "structural supports" changed between 93 and 01.


I'm almost positive your wrong on this statement as apparently with the refresh in 97 the structural integrity was improved something like 20-30%. What they did I'm not entirely sure but it may have been more spot welds along the chassis and frame.
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Old 04-12-2003, 05:50 PM   #6
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'98 and up definitely got some structural improvements. You can look at any previous auto articles reviewing the '98 Impreza RS and find this fact.

That's one reason why strut bars, sway bars, etc has more of an effect on pre '98 cars. I've owned a '93, '94 and '99 RS Imprezas and can tell the difference in chassis rigidity.
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:31 AM   #7
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Well I havent seen anything while working on the cars, exept perhaps that one bar that goes across the inside of the car if that even counts... Ill look harder next time I see a 97+
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Old 04-14-2003, 01:03 PM   #8
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I believe they are integrated into the unibody itself so it will really be hard to see anything unless you start cutting things up and have a digital calipers handy. ;

Have you ever seen the structural difference between a normal Protege and the Mazdaspeed Protege in the Ad? Sort of like that.
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Old 04-16-2003, 12:14 AM   #9
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my friends RS has less slopp than my 94 L but that may be just he has better suspension and whiteline swaybars. He chassis does fell a litlle stiffer but not worth foing through the trouble of seam welding your chassis...unless you're going to be doing some serious racing or something
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Old 04-16-2003, 03:20 AM   #10
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Well, other than a few bushings, my car really has very little "slop" right now I think that even with serious racing i'd rather have that weight rather than the more solid frame... Seems solid enough to me
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Old 04-16-2003, 10:42 AM   #11
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Nothing a rollcage won't fix

At the point where the rigidity would really matter, I think you would be considering the rollcage anyhow. For me, I noticed a serious difference between my RS and my WRX and then my L. However, the biggest contributing factor to the looseness has been the suspension. But man, my RS got rickety with the really stiff suspension on there.

I'll be at 2600lbs and proud of it. I'll take it anyday over the solid stuff. The WRX felt more composed but I definitely felt the heft working it around the cones.

-Jon
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Old 04-16-2003, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
noticed a serious difference between my RS and my WRX and then my L
Me too.

Also, chassis stiffness goes hand in hand with additional weight. If the car weighs more, it's only natural to make it stiffer to control the extra weight. The L model's sub 2800lb(or sub 2600lb like me ) can get away with a less stiff chassis. But remember that stiff and refinement are two separate things.

'02 WRX = Refinement
'98-'01 = Less refined
'93'-97 = Race tuned if made stiff
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:35 PM   #13
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i was reading an issue of turbo magazine from a few months back....
anyways the article was on the sentra se-r that theyre working on. they injected the frame rails with handi-foam(not the cheap hardware stuff) and it's supposed to stiffen the car up.....
would this work good on an older L?

also, how did you guys get your weight down to 2600? I have a 95 L AWD and i've done stuff like the stripping the trunk out, no spare, took insulation off back of carpet, sound tar out of the trunk, etc....
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Old 04-16-2003, 02:51 PM   #14
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My car came in with 2800lbs from the factory. I've removed the roof rails, the spare and jack, and ditched the heavy steelies. My car has power mirrors but no cruise, no power doors, and no power windows.

I'll be putting in the STi bumper beams and an aluminum hood.

Some of the older cars are blessed with an even lighter starting weight.

-Jon
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Old 04-16-2003, 06:17 PM   #15
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roof rails? never heard of those..... how much do they weigh? and are they there for rollover protection?

i want to do the bumper beams soon also....

edit: nevermind..... i dont even have roof rails......
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Old 04-16-2003, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
they injected the frame rails with handi-foam(not the cheap hardware stuff) and it's supposed to stiffen the car up.....
Some racers do this but I don't think it's really practical on a daily driver considering climate changes that might lead to trapped condensation between the foam and other metal parts.

I'm just going to buy a Mig this summer and start going crazy with it at the seams.
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Old 04-17-2003, 01:51 AM   #17
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A quality roll cage would probalby be the best route... I dont know for sure, but arent there some pretty light-weight ones out there?
I'd also think that maybe something like the Cusco V-brace would help as well, but I have yet to try it myself
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Old 07-01-2006, 06:15 PM   #18
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im a noob, but i know roll cages aren't practical for road cars, because if you dont have a helmet and get in a wreck, ur head can get messed up even worse if it hits part of the cage.
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yumbeef
im a noob, but i know roll cages aren't practical for road cars, because if you dont have a helmet and get in a wreck, ur head can get messed up even worse if it hits part of the cage.
I too like beef...i'm also a believer of yumfish.
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