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Old 11-10-2003, 08:48 PM   #1
02R6
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'02 WRX '04 350Z
Cause We Are The Aquateen

Default AGX's and RSR's: Thoughts and Pictures

I did a small search and didn't turn up too much information on the combination. So, I thought I would share some thoughts and pictures about/of the setup to help those in the market.

Remember, this is my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I should mention that I have no other suspension modifications on my car. Also, it sits on 17x7.5 wheels with 225/45-17 tires.

I don't know that I really need to go over the install as it's about six bolts per corner, remove stock hardware, swap interchangeable parts, and install new hardware.

Before the shocks and springs were installed the front of my car (measured from the center of the center wheel cap to the bottom of the center of the fender arc) sat at 1ft. 4in; the rear (same method of measurement) sat at 1ft. 2in.

After the shocks and springs were installed, a proper alignment was done, and some miles had been driven, the front of my car (again, same measruement procedure) sits at ~ 1ft. 2in., add maybe an 1/8 to that; the rear sits at 1ft. 1 and 1/4in.

Once we thought we had everything installed correctly, I decided I couldn't wait until my 9:00am alignment appointment and took the car for a short spin. Immediately, the car clunked like crazy and things didn't seem to be going well. We called it a night and decided to see if the alignment guys could tell us anything.

Sure enough, the 19mm (up from 17mm on the stockers) nut that holds the shock to the top hat was not tight enough on any of them. The guys tightened them so that two threads can be seen (at all four corners) and the clunking disappeared.

I picked up some camber bolts (from The Tire Rack) just I case I would need them, however, the company that aligned the car determined that I did not, based on the kind of driving I do (occasional spirited driving, with auto-x to come next season). Apparently the following settings are not too aggressive, so they said they would "tweak" some things when it comes time to race next season and maybe install the camber bolts depending on what I tell them the car does or does not do on the track. If I remember correctly, I think they only had to make some adjustments to the toe setting. So, the specs could be mostly stock. The following specs are from the printout the company gave me after they aligned the car:
Code:
Front            Left        Right

Camber          - 0.4        - 0.4
Caster            2.7          3.2
Toe             - 0.02      - 0.01
Total Toe              - 0.02
Set Back               - 0.07

Rear

Camber          - 1.6       - 1.5
Toe               0.10       0.01
Total Toe              0.11
Thrust Angle           0.04
With everything properly tightened and aligned I spent some time driving around with all of the shocks set on position "3." Driving over potholes, bumps, smooth pavement, fast corners, slow corners, and everything in between, I decided "3" was pretty decent. The ride wasn't too terribly punishing and I found the car cornering pretty flat and producing some predictable understeer.

I had a date that same night, so I made the predictable switch to "1" all around and the car felt almost stock again. Even on setting "1" there was a noticeable increase in stiffness that my girlfriend even commented on. That said, I found "1" to be great if I wanted barely better than stock performance. Body roll was apparent (although reduced) again and the ride was much more comfortable.

I switched things up to "4" the next day I'll be damned if I didn't feel EVERY bump in the road. The ride was harsh, and the car bobbled and hopped over bumps. But, the car has never cornered better, I was amazed. The car stayed almost completely flat through hard, fast corners and it felt like there was a little less understeer than in the other two settings I had tried (although I think that could be due to difference in corners). If I could live with the harshness, I would leave it at "4" all of the time. It's just a little much for daily driving and public roads.

Finally, I switched everything over to "2" and, as I suspected, have found a nice compromise beyween civility and handling. The car doesn't corner like it did in position "4" and even "3," but the trade off is, basically, better absorption of road imperfections. I'm pretty sure I will leave it at "2" for daily chores.

In any case, no matter what setting, I have found the handling to be improved in every aspect. Be it flatter cornering, more predictable behavior, less dive and squat, you name it, I like the way the car behaves much better now. I can only imagine what coilovers are like.

So far, I have not bottomed out or rubbed. With the stock suspension, I think I scraped the front maybe once. That big-ass exhaust has touched about three or four times, though. Needless to say, I have been trying to avoid areas where I am almost positive the car/exhaust components will scrape.

My one and only gripe is the fact that you have to remove the the rear seats to adjust the rear shocks.

Here are the pictures I promised (I apologize for the quality in some of them):

Before:




After:




Sorry about the length. Feel free to comment, flame, praise, add, whatever.
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Last edited by 02R6; 11-10-2003 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 11-10-2003, 08:55 PM   #2
supermarkus
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Default

torque spec for the top nut is 41 ftlbs

They set your car to almost exactly stock settings, it'll love to push through corners. I'd go for something like -1.5 to -2 up front if I wanted to dial out some understeer. I hate the stock settings. I'm running -1 front and -2 rear right now, sometimes I wish I'd gone more aggressive up front but the car grips like mad as it is and with winter coming up, I don't think I want the car to be tail happy.
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:06 PM   #3
02R6
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Thanks for the spec, I'll check it out. And thank you for the aligment insight, I will keep that in mind for spring. I assume you're talking about -1.5 to -2 degress of camber up front and -2 degrees or so of camber in the rear?
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:20 PM   #4
supermarkus
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correct. I'd go with somewhere around -2 up front, -1.5 rear if I autocrossed or wanted more oversteer. I ran with -1.5 f, -1.2r for a while and the car felt kinda tail happy, I could actually get the rear end to slide out on dry pavement if I was driving like a hooligan. It's much more difficult to get the car to slip now with -1f, -2r.
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Old 11-10-2003, 11:12 PM   #5
02R6
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Default

Cool. I could definitely do with some more oversteer. Thank you.
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Old 11-10-2003, 11:37 PM   #6
Vortechcoupe
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i'd rather say, less understeer. But yes i'd also add more neg camber up front. -1 should be poss with the springs and the stock adjustment bolts up front. I'd also leave the rear the same. -1 in front wont be hard on tires, you said you just drive hard sometimes, no hardcore racing correct?

Justin C
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:31 AM   #7
02R6
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Justin,

You're right, less understeer probably would have been a better way to put it. And right now I don't do any racing, although that will probably change with the onset of nicer weather.
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:57 AM   #8
supermarkus
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Toe out will be tougher on tires than -2 degrees up front, from what I've seen. But yeah, smart money is keeping the setup near stock and biasing a bit toward understeer for bad weather. -1 to -2 up front will give you plenty of grip for anything outside autocross or track driving.
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Old 11-11-2003, 09:59 AM   #9
02R6
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How long have you been running that camber and how have your tires done comparatively?
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Old 11-13-2003, 03:11 AM   #10
supermarkus
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I've only been running that camber for a couple of months now with no discernable increase in wear. These tires were pretty worn to begin with but the tread depth is still uniform across the tire.
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Old 11-13-2003, 09:57 AM   #11
02R6
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That's good to hear. Thanks.
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