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Old 05-17-2004, 02:10 AM   #1
Jeff_DML
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Default JDM V8 STi suspension takeoffs(long)

About a month ago I installed some JDM V8 STi takeoffs on my 04 WRX so I thought it was a about time to write a review.

-Why I decided on STi takeoffs( Might be boring for some people)

Suspension on the WRX was too soft for me and it rolled and understeered too much for my liking, especially during auto-x. Our other car is a 325it which I have tracked and auto-x numerous times so I a used to a more balanced car. First step for me was getting wider stickier lower profile tires, 225/45r17, on new rims, which helped hide the understeer and body roll but when pushed it just came back. After that I got a stiffer adjustable rear sway bar which reduce the understeer and actually gave a decent amount of oversteer on the stiffer settings. But that is sort of a patch, crude forceful way of fixing things. So I finally decided to get new suspension, coilovers where overkill for me so that left new springs/struts. After researching on Nasioc for options I decided on two options, Koni inserts/Prodrive springs or JDM STi takeoffs. After more research I finally decided on the STi takeoffs for the following reasons: 1. OEM engineered as complete setup 2. Retained close to stock ride height, I prefer lower for looks but decided to keep the normal ride height to maintain the WRXís all-purpose rally setup. 3. Easy bolt up install, no need to hack up the stock struts. 4. Finally Prodrive was lagging on releasing the 04 springs and that was a few months ago, glad I didnít wait figuring they still havenít shipped.

-Parts info summary:

JDM MY 04 - GDB(d) STi
Right Front strut - 20311FE300
Left Front strut - 20311FE310
Right Rear strut - 20360FE840 Left Rear strut - 20360FE850
Front spring - [2nd coil one orange, 3rd coil down, 2 purple dots]
Rear spring -[3rd coil down, 2 green dots][tapered, gray insulators at the bottom]

Springs rates if think are 188f/173r.

Edit: Above is wrong, they are
Front spring 200 lb/in linear; Rear spring 130-200 lb/in two stage progressive


-Installation

I just followed online instructions at scoobymods and Hotchkis. What was not mentioned in those instructions is that I would save the front camber bolt positions before removing the stock setup. I did not know to do it so my front camber was pretty messed up for a bit until I got my car aligned. Also for removing the big bolts on the bottom of the struts, get a big breaker bar plus extend it with a metal pipe.

-Review

First of all the ride height based on my stock 04 WRX suspension height dropped Ĺ inch in the front and no drop in the rear. I was expecting half inch all around but I am sort of happy just the front dropped because it looks better since the front had that 4x4 wheel gap, it is now less pronounced. When I first installed them and drove around I didnít feel much a difference in ride quality. My wife didnít even notice a difference after driving it a couple times. Now after driving it almost a month I there is a definite difference, you feel road bumps more, ride is a bit more bouncy, and big bumps now give the stomach roller coast effect more often. When that said the ride is perfectly fine for a daily driving, IMHO, and a good compromise. My wife now notices a difference but it is not bad in her opinion. I do find it interesting that both of us did not notice a difference for the first week or so of driving it. As for understeer/oversteer differences I noticed a lot bigger change with the new stiffer rear sway bar then with the STi takeoffs. The bigger difference I notice is with grip, that car has pretty amazing grip on the road. It has so much grip now that driving on public streets trying to test it limits is highly illegal. I tried to get in a local bmw auto-x yesterday but there was no room for me So sorry a more thorough review will have to wait until I auto-x or do a track day.

-Here are a few pics:

Comparison between the stock WRX struts and inverted STi ones




Installed rear STi takeoffs.

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Last edited by Jeff_DML; 08-12-2004 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 06-27-2004, 12:32 PM   #2
Phil Jr.
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Have you gotten to try them in an auto-x yet?

And how much did all four cost ya?


Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2004, 03:14 PM   #3
Jeff_DML
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Jr.
Have you gotten to try them in an auto-x yet?

And how much did all four cost ya?

Thanks.
>> Have you gotten to try them in an auto-x yet?

actually just finally auto-x them yesterday. I was a bit rusty so it is hard to give a very accurate review. Based on that I would say they are still a bit soft, could use a bit stiffer spring rate to handle the body roll better. But they are way better then the stock suspension. I still got some decent understeer in one corner. In some chicanes I actually got a lot of oversteer but I think that was more related to them being off camber and downhill. I am currently running the least stiff setting on my rear sway bar so I think I am going to move it up a notch for the next auto-x. Anyhow better then stock for auto-x but not the best, I am thinking maybe the 04 pink springs might be a good setup but it looks like you lose a lot of travel with them.

>> And how much did all four cost ya?

$600 + shipping + paypal fee off ebay

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

a update on my review, I do notice the bounciness now a lot more and it is pretty bouncy Not terrible but it is there but to me the stock suspension suspension had some too to give you a reference. Now when I drive my wife sport package equipped e46 bmw is feels like a luxury ride since it is more supple and handles bumps better. Again not to scare people off, it aint the bad but at first I didnt notice it much.
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Old 06-28-2004, 08:35 AM   #4
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I believe that if you want to use the 04 STi Pinks, you are going to need to change strut top hats, IIRC.

Let me know if you decide to go that route. I have been running the v7 STi complete suspension since I bought the car, and your sentiments sound similar to my feel on it. It WILL oversteer, but you have to not overdrive the car (my experience). It is a nice 'locally' competitive suspension and a good compromise autoX/DD suspension. Oh, and it soaks up any 'airborne' moments very well

Keep it coming

- dow

EDIT: Wooops!! I just noticed you were talking about the v8 take offs. My bad. You dont have to worry about top hats then. Sorry!!!

Let me know how the pinks feel anyway!!
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Old 06-28-2004, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by dowroa

EDIT: Wooops!! I just noticed you were talking about the v8 take offs. My bad. You dont have to worry about top hats then. Sorry!!!

Let me know how the pinks feel anyway!!
seems like most people upgrade their tophats when they go to pink anyhow, group N ones I think. I am going to run at least another auto-x with my current setup and probably will tighten my RSB too. Not sure if I want to spend the money and give up the travel yet.
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Old 06-28-2004, 04:47 PM   #6
splurta
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What's the difference btwn the V7 and V8 tophats? I have a set of V8 takeoffs on the way to me right now so am quite curious...
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Old 06-28-2004, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by splurta
What's the difference btwn the V7 and V8 tophats? I have a set of V8 takeoffs on the way to me right now so am quite curious...
I think the same difference between the WRX 02/03 vs 04 ones, different because the top of the springs are different. Might be other changes but not sure.
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Old 06-28-2004, 09:46 PM   #8
Craven Moorhead
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I made the same change as you with similar results but I have not changed the sway bars as of yet, I think it helps the ride be less harsh. Mine is about 10mm lower all front and rear. Happy with the change. total cost parts, install and align $775.00
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Old 07-09-2004, 04:33 PM   #9
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i picked up an sti spec c full suspension a few months ago, and while the ride is stiff (275/268), it's not too bad. the performance is incredible, and like you, i chose to get struts/springs for the durability (no rebuilding coilovers). i was able to get it directly from japan, so it didn't cost me much. stiffer springs would definitely help, 188/173 isn't much of an improvement... isnt stock like 158/141 or something?
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Old 07-09-2004, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by narenji
i picked up an sti spec c full suspension a few months ago, and while the ride is stiff (275/268), it's not too bad. the performance is incredible, and like you, i chose to get struts/springs for the durability (no rebuilding coilovers). i was able to get it directly from japan, so it didn't cost me much. stiffer springs would definitely help, 188/173 isn't much of an improvement... isnt stock like 158/141 or something?

stock is 163/119, Yeah I knew they where not going to be that much stiffer up front but I liked how the rear stiffness was increased substantially to reduce understeer.

Also I was interesting in retaining suspension travel and having very stiff springs seems to me like it would make the extra travel useless. I made this assumption based on a review by SCC magazine of the SPT/Spec C suspension. Good to hear that you like it though.
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:04 PM   #11
rlim6
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Hey Guys,

I also have an JDM STI V8 takeoffs heading my way and I was wondering what alignment numbers you guys are using.

I dont autocross or track the car and its going on an 02 WRX with everything else stock. Should I just reuse the stock aligment settings and up the front neg camber to say .50 - max deg?

Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed. Thanks.

Ray
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Old 07-13-2004, 12:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by rlim6
Hey Guys,

I also have an JDM STI V8 takeoffs heading my way and I was wondering what alignment numbers you guys are using.

I dont autocross or track the car and its going on an 02 WRX with everything else stock. Should I just reuse the stock aligment settings and up the front neg camber to say .50 - max deg?

Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed. Thanks.

Ray
stock setting should work fine. You might want to go with more negative camber in the front to help reduce understeer, I went -1 degree. Most people say tire wear will not be increased by it.

have fun
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Old 07-14-2004, 08:25 AM   #13
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I installed my version 8 STi suspension this last weekend. I went with the Noltec caster/camber plates in the front and the STi GroupN top hats in the rear. I also put a set of camber bolts in the rear in order to dial out some of the stock camber.

My alignment specs were as follows: (left and right sides are same)

Front Camber: -2 degrees
Front Caster: +4.5 degrees
Front Toe: 0

Rear Camber: -1 degrees
Rear Toe: 0

I gave up a little grip in the rear by running the camber that low, but I'm not willing to swap out swaybars so that's how it has to be. All of the additional caster in the front helps to create a lot more grip up there when compared to the rear. The car oversteers quite nicely now. I think it's a perfect setup for the street and track, but for autocross could probably gain some grip and some more oversteer from a little swaybar lovin'. Autocross isn't really my thing though.

Overall the ride of the car is great with just a little bit of the characteristic STi bounciness. The hard top mounts seem to help keep it to a minimum though. The ride height is veery close to stock in the front due to the camber plates. The loss was just a couple of millimeters in total.

I am very happy with this setup. I think it could use a little stiffer spring rates, but seeing as how nobody makes a stiffer spring that is the same height as the stock spring, I suppose I'll just have to deal with these rates indefinitely. My car sees too much off-road time and would not survive much lowering at all.
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:51 AM   #14
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narenji, how much did the Spec C suspension lower your car?
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Old 07-19-2004, 10:25 AM   #15
rlim6
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I installed the JDM V8 suspension over the weekend and got an alignment to -.6 camber up front and -1.5 rear, no toe. I prefer to start with some slight understeer and go up from there. The car exhibit more willingness to turn and shows a little less understeer. I got a .6" drop in front and .75" in rear. I am pleased with the set up so far, not too much miles on it yet. Will report back in a month or so. So far I like it, but the ride is bouncy. I think this is due to the drastic increase in rear spring rate as compared to stock. Rides sorta like a pickup with the bouncy rear. Some passengers in the back will improve this... lol. The car corners flatter and less brake dive. I seem to have more grip all around. More later..
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:16 AM   #16
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I've tried regular V8's, V8 Spec C's and V7 S202's on my car. All of the OEM STI suspensions are an excellent upgrade for the WRX. My personal favourite is the Spec C. Lowers the car ~ 0.75 inch (doesn't sound like much but it's just right) and improves the stability / handling like nothing else.

I don't understand why Subaru didn't put these STI suspensions on the WRX to start with....
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Old 07-20-2004, 12:53 PM   #17
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We all know that its the cost... and they will sell more when the regular WRX owner buys the set of STI suspension.. lol.. PROFITS!
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Old 08-12-2004, 07:01 PM   #18
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Bump for correction.

My guess on the springs rates was incorrect so fixed my initial post. They are
F 200 lb/in linear; R 130-200 lb/in two stage progressive not 183F/173R.

you can see the progressiveness in the rear in this pic



Thread where I found out

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...=1#post7276148
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:03 PM   #19
SUYA
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Does anyone know where I can find some JDM take-offs for the 03 wagon, specifically?

SUYA
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUYA
Does anyone know where I can find some JDM take-offs for the 03 wagon, specifically?

SUYA

I would try PM StevieD, he imports a lot of JDM takeoff stuff. Here is his website

http://www.jdmpartstx.com/
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