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Old 05-03-2004, 01:30 PM   #1
anti.team
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Default D-Stock Swaybar Choices?

Ok, I bought my MY02 WRX a few months ago and had my first autocross in it a couple of weeks ago. It was great and I want to be faster.

I'm running in D-Stock as I currently have no mods. I am planning on getting soon:

1) R compound tires
2) front swaybar / droplinks
3) catback exhaust
4) allignment

I'm planning on getting used (to learn on) V700 Victoracers on some stock wheels. What I'm not sure about is what sort of swaybar to get. I've been leaning towards the Cusco because of it's adjustability and that fact that it's pretty thick. I've also been thinking about solid endlinks.

Is the thickest swaybar that I can get the best idea? What is the thickest bar that I can get? I figure the thicker it is, the flatter the car will stay. I've read in other threads that doing this doesn't create any more understeer. Is that true from your experiences? What swaybar do you use in DS?

Also, is there anything else that you know of that I should do?
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:50 PM   #2
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I believe that under SCCA rules rear sway bars aren't allowed to be changed in D Stock. You might be able to change the front to a smaller bar, making the rear feel stiffer in comparison. An allignment with all the camber you can muster in front will help reduce understeer.

someone correct me if I'm worng on this
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElGranBanò
I believe that under SCCA rules rear sway bars aren't allowed to be changed in D Stock. You might be able to change the front to a smaller bar, making the rear feel stiffer in comparison. An allignment with all the camber you can muster in front will help reduce understeer.

someone correct me if I'm worng on this
Sure....

1) He never mentioned anything about a rear swaybar. (But you're right there... they're not allowed in stock)

Quote:
Originally posted by anti.team
I'm running in D-Stock as I currently have no mods. I am planning on getting soon:

1) R compound tires
2) front swaybar / droplinks
3) catback exhaust
4) allignment[/b]
Front swaybars are free. Generally, you want to go BIGGER on the front bar to help keep the camber and transitions quicker. I have a Whiteline 22mm sway bar and Whiteline endlinks since it was one of the 1st available for the WRX 3 years ago. Never changed it. There's quite a few vendors out there for front bars that are much cheaper than the Cuscos and do as well a job.

2) The front swaybar doesn't make the rear feel stiffer in comparison. That's not the reason you go that way. Actually, if you go smaller on the bar or disconnect it, you'll get more oversteer. (not to be confused as making the rear seem stiffer)

3) Camber itself does not reduce understeer. That's a function of the nut behind the wheel controlling the go pedal and the turn thingie. What it DOES do is allow under steady state cornering a better contact patch to make full use of the tire contacting the ground.

--kC

Last edited by KC; 05-03-2004 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC
3) Camber itself does not reduce understeer. That's a function of the nut behind the wheel controlling the go pedal and the turn thingie. What it DOES do is allow under steady state cornering a better contact patch to make full use of the tire contacting the ground.
...And (hopefully) help you get more than 2 events out of your front tires, in a camber-challenged Rex!

p.s. Actually, I think Tom was still going through a front set of Hoosiers every other event in D-Stock. Of course, that's just Tom...
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by KC

That's a function of the nut behind the wheel controlling the go pedal and the turn thingie.
Thanks for setting me straight KC. I should try to articulate what little I know better in future posts.
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:33 PM   #6
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Can you change end links in stock classes? This thread doesn't mention end links until you get to STS.

I would recommend changing the order of your plans. Tires are always good, but I'd say do the alignment first. In stock form, the WRX (especially 02-03) contains what I term "a festival of understeer." This is not going to be helped by going to a larger front sway bar, quite the opposite probably. An alignment alone will do wonders to bring the tail end around. Do that first, then maybe run two or three more events and decide how you like the feel.

If you are in a learning mode, I'd recommend you lean more towards Azenis. You don't yet have the skill to squeeze everything you can out of R-compounds, so save the $$$ in the meantime (although you did say used, so if you find a good deal, more power to you). With an alignment and Falkens alone, I was able to be quite competitive in D-Stock last year, even chasing down people on R-compounds (but also got spanked several times by R-compounds). Koni inserts brought my times down a smidge, but I have since decided that they were a huge waste of money. I wouldn't bother with the exhaust unless you just have a burning desire to get something louder. Take the money that you save on mods, and enroll in an Evolution school.

YMMV, of course. I know what it is like to get beat, drop $$$ in the car and still get beat, drop more $$$ in the car and still get beat, etc. In the end, the $50 alignment probably did more for handling than the rest combined, although the Falkens certainly helped, too. Time, patience, experience, and speed will come. If there are mods that you want to do to enjoy on the street, go nuts, and then figure out what class they place you in. But trust me, limiting yourself to the mods available in D Stock is extremely frustrating when you are still losing. You drive the car 7 days a week. You only autocross a few times a month, at most. Make sure you're happy on the street.

Oh, I forgot to add that one time, even with all of my mods, I got smoked by a guy in a bone stock WRX sedan on RE-92's. It was only his 2nd autocross, although he had been involved in other forms of motorsports. Talk about frustrating. Point is that you don't have to spend money to make the car go fast.
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
what I term "a festival of understeer." This is not going to be helped by going to a larger front sway bar, quite the opposite probably
maybe i should post excepts from the runs this weekend that myself and a certain Mr. Carpenter made in my car from the drift competition, err, i mean, auto-x

anywho, FSB is well worth the money. solid endlinks are a good thing too oh, for the record, if you read the rulebook instead of an online summary, you will find that the fsb and associated bracketry is completely open. you can remove it, you can change its size, you can add one if the car didn't come with one, etc. free is free. email doug gill if you don't believe me.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:30 PM   #8
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I understand that a performance alignment is a good idea, but I have two concerns:

1) I'm not exactly sure what specs I would have it alligned to, and there doesn't seem to be a consensus amongst people from what I've heard. I've heard " all the negative camber you can get" and "no camber, hell-of rear toe out" etc. So what would be best for auto-x?

2) How would this affect street driveability and tire wear? I don't want to kill my street tires with all sorts of uneven wear.
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:58 PM   #9
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I'll see if I can find the specs I had, but basically it was as much front camber (inward) as they could get. I seem to recall being told that the rears couldn't be adjusted, and I also seem to recall being told that they removed some camber from the rears because the rear end was sticking too well (hence the understeer). I want to say the fronts were around 2.5 degrees - negative, if that's the direction that inward is. I forget.

Yes, it will affect tire wear, but not quickly. I had nearly 30,000 miles on my Pilot Sport A/S's before uneven tire wear started to be noticeable. Actually, I found the alignment to be rather disappointing on the street. I drove it home thinking that they hadn't really done anything. First autocross afterwards, holy cow I spun the car.
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:15 PM   #10
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Im assuming you are not talking about an alignment on a stock wrx BSLICKOH. -2.5 degrees in the front of a ds wrx and you are doing somthign illegal in there.

You want as much negative front camber as you can get, maybe a little toe out. And for the rear if you want to get the car to rotate better you loosen the strut bolts and push as hard as you can and tighten the bolts to get as little negative camber as possible in the rear. And then run alot of toe out in the rear which will kill your tires in daily driving.
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:19 PM   #11
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The most you can get out of the stock front adjustment bolts is around 1 deg negative camber, give or take a few 1/10ths. I have driven 15000 miles like that with zero tire wear problems.
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:57 PM   #12
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I think this post just confirmed my thoughts on struts.
I was thinking of changing to like a koni and R-compounds
for my next event. But it sounds like struts are a waste of money?
BTW does anyone else hate running with type R's?
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:59 PM   #13
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Who said struts are a waste of money?
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:25 PM   #14
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If you read BSLICKOH's reply he said he only gained a little time off the change. For the money is it worth the switch for a DS class car? If anyone thinks so please post so.
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:32 PM   #15
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Depends what a little time is worth to you. If you know what you want out of shocks, getting them degassed and custom valved to your specs can help alot.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:07 PM   #16
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Sorry, I don't remember what my alignment specs were, and can't find the printout. I'm reasonably certain that the negative camber was more than 1 degree, but I don't remember how much more. And I didn't do anything illegal.

Struts> I upgraded the struts for one reason, and one reason only: I was still losing, and I was frustrated. I spent something like $1200 (installed) for Koni single adjustables (that was roughly half for parts, half for labor). This makes them easily the most expensive mod I had ever done, including tires. When I picked up the car, before I had even gone a mile, my first thought was "my god, what have I done?" Those struts were rock hard, and I immediately regretted the loss of ride smoothness. Over the next few days, they eased up, and on the lightest setting, gradually became not-too-terribly stiffer than stock. And over time I came not to mind so much. To be perfectly honest, I can't say that the car felt much different while autocrossing, even on the stiffest setting. I did manage to squeak past an RSX on R-Compounds that had been routinely beating me, but the improvement was less than a half second. He was normally just-barely beating me, and I manged to just-barely beat him. And he turned around and beat me the next time. And I got waxed at a different club by better drivers. I can say with complete honesty that if I had spent that money on an autocross school instead, I could have gained a lot more than the Koni's got me. I spent a lot of money, made a sacrifice in daily comfort, and really didn't gain that much on race day. The first thing I immediately noticed when I got my 04 was how smooth the ride was. I won't be doing Koni's again on a daily-driven car.

Maybe I'm getting softer in my years, but I put a lot of miles on my car each day. I've spent the last 2 years holding myself back on mods, like a turbo back exhaust, that I could enjoy every single day, because I wanted to remain D Stock legal. Instead I focused on D Stock-specific mods. In hindsight, I would have spent the money much differently.

I'm not telling anyone not to do something that they really want to do. All I'm saying is that I regret some of the choices I have made as far as modding for autocross goes. If you're expecting shocks to make your car into a D Stock weapon, you're wrong. Same goes for R-Compounds. Practice, practice, practice. I spent ~$50 on an alignment, and found a set of used stock wheels and Falkens for about $450. Those two alone did far more for the performance of the car than the Koni's, or the brake pads, or..., or....
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
For the money is it worth the switch for a DS class car?
You can only answer the "is it worth it" question by looking at what else you would do with that money and what each thing means to you. Clearly the potential for a couple of tenths off an autox time means nothing unless you are at the Natl level. For me, the money didn't break the bank and I have more fun at events thinking I have a well preped car. That's my definition of being worth it.

I hope that helps!
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:18 PM   #18
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BSLICKOH did you just put in standard koni inserts or were they custom settings?

You can get a little more then-1 on a stock wrx but theres no way to get -2 or more.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:59 PM   #19
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YMMV

I used a 22-24mm adjustable Perrin/Progress front bar. It made the car transition quicker, turn-in faster and just plain easier to drive. You could fix mistakes more quickly, and you didn't have to plan as far ahead. In addition, I felt that the faster turn-in allowed me to pitch the car into a corner quicker and get it to rotate a little faster than it did before.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:13 AM   #20
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I'm going to auto-x school in a few weeks, because I know that's going to help a lot. I just want some supporting modifications (i.e. stickier tires, maybe a swaybar)

From what I've heard, adjustable shocks are not going to make a huge difference and are more for fine tuning the handling.

So I want as much negative camber in the front as I can muster, as little negative camber in back as possible. And these won't kill my street tires? Some rear toe-out will help to rotate the rear, but that will kill my street tires?
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:19 AM   #21
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I'm using a Whiteline 22mm bar as well, and I would also like to know if changing the endlinks is legal in stock class because I'm just not that good at interpreting the rules.

I can't seem to get enough negative camber out of my car though, and it's killing the edges of my tires! I am seriously considering just wailing on it with a rubber mallet to see if I can change anything that way. Arg! I did loosen the top mounts and push them in, but that only helped a tiny bit. At best I'm somewhere around -.5 and then I've got -3 in the non-adjustable rear. Why can't I get that reversed!
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by anti.team
I'm going to auto-x school in a few weeks, because I know that's going to help a lot. I just want some supporting modifications (i.e. stickier tires, maybe a swaybar)
At least do the school on street tires! We just had a school up here where 2 people corded a brand new set of Hoosiers in the front, 1 drove a WRX, even with maximum (stock) camber. Once you cord your tires, no more running your car.

The whole idea of the school is to teach you how to drive different elements of the course, looking ahead, car placement, and looking ahead. Only if you have money to throw away, THEN go ahead and run r-compounds. Like someone said earlier... get some Azenis... they will last much longer.

Quote:
Originally posted by anti.team
From what I've heard, adjustable shocks are not going to make a huge difference and are more for fine tuning the handling.

So I want as much negative camber in the front as I can muster, as little negative camber in back as possible. And these won't kill my street tires? Some rear toe-out will help to rotate the rear, but that will kill my street tires?
Struts are for fine tuning the handling, and are an improvement over stock.

Yes, as much negative camber in the front, there is no adjustable camber in the rear... it's not adjustable. Toe will accellerate wear on your tires on the street. But that's a comprimise. You'll get better roatation on an auto-x, but the Azenis tires may last about 10-12K miles.

--kC
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by 10th Warrior
oh, for the record, if you read the rulebook instead of an online summary, you will find that the fsb and associated bracketry is completely open. you can remove it, you can change its size, you can add one if the car didn't come with one, etc. free is free. email doug gill if you don't believe me.
http://moutons.org/sccasolo/Rules/stock.html#s137

It's possible the rules have changed since Moutons was last updated, but as far as what is listed here, I don't see where you are getting your interpretation from. I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just saying I don't understand how you are getting there.

13.7 Anti Roll (Sway) Bars

A. Front anti-roll (sway) bars:
1. Substitution, addition or removal of any front anti-roll bars is permitted.
2. Substitution, addition or removal of anti-roll bars may serve no other purpose than that of an anti-roll bar.
3. The use of any bushing material is permitted.
4. No modification to the body, frame or other components to accommodate anti-roll bar addition or substitution is allowed, except for the drilling of holes for mounting bolts. Non-standard lateral members which connect between the brackets for the bar are not permitted.

B. Rear anti-roll (sway) bars:
1. May not be removed, replaced, or modified in any way.

Compare these rules to the specifications for ST:
Moutons again

17.7. Anti-Sway Bars
A. Any anti-sway bar is permitted. Bushing material, method of attachment, and locating points are unrestricted. This does not authorize removal of a welded-on part of a subframe to accommodate the installation. Components such as anti-roll bars and strut housings which serve dual purposes by also functioning as suspension locators may not be modified in ways which change the suspension geometry or steering geometry.

I see no justification for the claim that "associated bracketry is completely free" according to stock rules, unless you are lumping end links under "any bushing material." Seems to me that #4 would specifically ban end links.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by BSLICKOH
I see no justification for the claim that "associated bracketry is completely free" according to stock rules, unless you are lumping end links under "any bushing material." Seems to me that #4 would specifically ban end links.
I understand what you are saying. The rules clarification of it all, and it has withstood protests, that endlinks are a part of the swaybar. Some cars can even switch their endlinks to heim joints.

It's fully legal.

Again, if you wish, you can contact Doug Gill, dgill@scca.com, and ask him.

--kC
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:03 AM   #25
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*shrugs*
I'll trust you. 10th Warrior was being smarmy, implying that a simple reading of the rules would clarify the issue. I read the rules, and didn't find that interpretation.

I don't personally care, since I'm in STX this year. I was just trying to make sure that anti.team didn't inadvertently do something illegal. But, apparently it's legal, so ok.
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