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Old 08-09-2003, 05:14 AM   #1
I am Imprezed
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Member#: 41488
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Vehicle:
1999 WRX
WRC Blue

Default Mods List - What else should I get?

Currently looking into purchasing:

Cobb Drive Train Kit Stage 1 (short shifter etc.)
Cobb Cold Air Intake
MRT Exhaust Setup
Sway Bars
Strut Braces

Question: would strut braces and sway bars noticeably improve the handling?

Any other suggestions on what I should get would be good!

(04' 2.5RS)
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Last edited by I am Imprezed; 08-09-2003 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 08-09-2003, 09:53 AM   #2
bigdweeb
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I have a Cobb CAI on my '00 RS, and absolutely love it. I would buy it again.

As for handling stuff...
Pre 2004, the RS had a larger front swaybar than rear. This would bias the car towards understeer. As Subie Gal pointed out in this thread, Subaru changed this in the 2004 model year. Now your car has the same size (13mm) bar front and rear, so the car is more neutral. If you want to reduce body roll but keep more neutral handling characteristics, you would have to upgrade both front and rear together.

As for strut tower bars, the front bar (at least on the GC8) is just for decoration... the rear can help some though.
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Old 08-09-2003, 01:55 PM   #3
Andrew Bacon
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigdweeb
....As for strut tower bars, the front bar (at least on the GC8) is just for decoration... the rear can help some though.
I would say the opposite, that the front has some limited functionality and the rear has almost none. The front strut towers are a few inches away from the firewall and thus are somewhat "floating" without rigid chassis structure across the towers to tie them together. This is worse on other cars where the towers are farther away from the firewall.

The rear towers have some rigid chassis structure right across them, so adding another bar is king of like reinforcing a 2x4 with a tooth pick.

A larger rear anti-sway bar has a PROFOUND effect on chassis stability and turn in, as does a Whiteline anti-lift kit. (ALK)

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2003, 03:37 PM   #4
BAN SUVS
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Bacon
I would say the opposite, that the front has some limited functionality and the rear has almost none. The front strut towers are a few inches away from the firewall and thus are somewhat "floating" without rigid chassis structure across the towers to tie them together. This is worse on other cars where the towers are farther away from the firewall.

The rear towers have some rigid chassis structure right across them, so adding another bar is king of like reinforcing a 2x4 with a tooth pick.
This is backwards. The front strut brace is quite debatable, since the strut towers are practically touching the firewall. The rear, however, can definitely make improvements to chassis rigidity. The stiffer your suspension, the more noticeable it is. And with wagons, it is absolutely true that rear braces stiffen things up. Just keep the tools in your car to remove the crossbeam on the occasions that you need the cargo space.

Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Bacon
A larger rear anti-sway bar has a PROFOUND effect on chassis stability and turn in, as does a Whiteline anti-lift kit. (ALK)

Good luck!
This is absolutely true. The larger sway bar (especially on RS, TS, and WRX Wagon Imprezas) has a more noticeable effect on handling characteristics than the mounts and links alone. However, there is still enough merit in changing endlinks and mounts to warrant replacing them as well.
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Old 08-09-2003, 05:37 PM   #5
Andrew Bacon
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Quote:
Originally posted by BAN SUVS
.....The front strut brace is quite debatable, since the strut towers are practically touching the firewall. The rear, however, can definitely make improvements to chassis rigidity....
I don't understand your reasoning. The front towers are ALMOST across a rigid structure, (the firewall) but they are not. Yet the rear IS across ridid structure. (in non-wagon Imprezas)

If your resaoning is that the firewall is a solid piece, top to bottom and side to side, where the rear is open behind the rear seat, then I can see merrit in your point.

Yes, in wagons obviously the rear strut bar is essential. There is nothing there! I always forget the concerns of the wagon owner since I have a coupe.

FWIW, kudo's on one of the coolest screen names on the boards.
Ban 'em NOW!
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:58 PM   #6
BAN SUVS
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I believe both braces can have benefits, just under different circumstances. I had to go to a pretty stiff suspension before I noticed the difference with the brace up front (including STi strut tops). In the rear, however, I could tell the difference after simply having a sway bar installed. When I first got my car, the rear window seal would creak when I went over driveways crooked or whatever and one wheel was higher than the other. This lasted maybe 1000 miles before it "broke in" and went away. Then, down the road about 20,000 miles when I finally added the 20mm FHI sway bar, the noise came back. This time it stayed over 5,000 miles. At that point, I installed a Whiteline rear strut brace, along with Prodrive World Rally suspension, and the noise totally went away. It's subjective, but I can think of nothing else that caused the rear chassis to be stiff enough to no longer flex around the rear glass. In the front, I only noticed slightly quicker turn-in, which I attribute more to the strut tops based on what I've heard from others.

Bottom line is, both work if you do enough mods, but the rear works sooner and more obviously.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment.
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Old 08-09-2003, 07:52 PM   #7
I am Imprezed
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Ok well considering I am looking at the Sedan, I will just go for a MRT front strut brace (alluminum, adjustable), would the brace be a problem to fit if I have the Cobb CAI??

As for the sway bars.. I guess front and rear MRT 20mm Sway Bars would be the way to go.
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Old 08-09-2003, 08:07 PM   #8
Andrew Bacon
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Quote:
Originally posted by I am Imprezed
...As for the sway bars.. I guess front and rear MRT 20mm Sway Bars would be the way to go.
No, sir. If you want faster turn in and reduced understeer, you want a significantly stiffer bar in back than in front.

Infact, leaving the stock front bar and just adding front poly mount bushings and front droplinks is fine for street and entry autocross use.

It's the rear you want to beef up, and I'd highly recomend an adjustable Whiteline 20mm-24mm bar with their heavy duty bar mount for peace of mind. A heavy rear sway bar can bend or break the flimsy OEM mount, or the bolts can pull out of the chassis.

Also get Whiteline's or somebody elses solid rear droplinks.


These folks have very good prices on whiteline parts.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:12 AM   #9
BAN SUVS
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The strut brace will fit over your Cobb.
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Old 08-10-2003, 05:57 AM   #10
I am Imprezed
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Quote:
Originally posted by BAN SUVS
The strut brace will fit over your Cobb.
Thanks for the info Ban Suvs
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:01 AM   #11
DanzBorin
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The rear strut tower bar does make a greater improvement than the front...

Spend the money you would spend on the front one elsewhere...
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