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Old 05-24-2004, 08:28 PM   #26
Richard Sierra
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I believe KanosWRX is correct. We installed the top mounts with the springs compressed and my car does not clunk.

Arnie, maybe you can take a picture or measure the amount of visible thread for comparison.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:48 AM   #27
nickster
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I have v7 STi RA struts, 04 Pinks, and group n top mounts on my wrx. Is this clunking sound you guys are talking about really noticeable or is it slight. I sometimes here very slight noises coming from my rear suspension when I drive on really bad roads. These noises do not sound like metal clunking though. Are these sounds just the stiff suspension working? How do I go about checking these strut bolts. I have never worked on a suspension before. Are they easy to access?
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:22 PM   #28
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Richard - We will hopefully get a chance to disassemble the strut this weekend. I'll take some pics of the exposed threads.

Yeah, I can see how the weight of the car might force the piston farther into the hat than just smacking down on it with the impct wrench, especially when not using spring compressors like we did.

nickster - the clunking started pretty subtle but got louder as time went by. I think it will depend on how far you got that shoulder to seat into the hat. I think in our case, it did not seat down far enough so there is lots of play.
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:48 PM   #29
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If you want to check to see if the threads are all the way through all you have to do is take out your rear seat and use a socket wrench to try and tighten down the strut bolt more. If its loose then thats your noise problem, if its tight, then most likely its something else. Also watch your strut while you try to tighten it. If it spins your gonna have to use an impact wrench to tighten it, or hold the strut somehow to prevent it from moving. I didn't have a problem with my strut spinning, but I think arnie did.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:04 PM   #30
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Thanks Kanos.
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Old 05-27-2004, 04:22 PM   #31
asno
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Hey, I think I'm having this exact same problem with Koni inserts on my '04 wagon. I started another thread here about it. My problem is that the shaft is spinning and hitting it with an impact wrench from inside the car doesn't do anything (except spin the shaft). I think the problem is that maybe the top nut loosened, then the strut top 'popped' off that shoulder, and now it won't go back on. Anybody here have an idea of how to get it back on?
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:05 PM   #32
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What you could try is getting the rear up on jackstands. Take the wheels off. Carefully jack one corner up at the hub/knuckle to compress the suspension. You might actually see the piston pop back into the hat like we did. With the suspension now compressed you can get a helper to hold onto the piston from below while you whack away from up top with the impact wrench.
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Old 06-02-2004, 01:39 PM   #33
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Update: we finally got around to taking a look at my friend' rear struts.

He had an extra set of 04 hats as well as 02 hats and a strut. On comparing the two hats on the strut, both slide over the shoulder part quite easily. no need to force it in or anything. The 04's are a bit more loose. the big problem is that the 04 hat bottoms out exactly on the last thread available. Basically, the bottom of the "well" where the 17mm nut seats is flush with the last thread. I think with production irregularities, etc. the 17mm nut might not seat some 04 hats on some 03 struts all the way. Just not enough threads. I think this is what happened with his struts. Producing the knocking and play. Unfortunately, all this play actually ovalized the hole in the hat! As well as wear a good bit of material away from that shoulder of the strut piston.

Our ghetto solution was to use spacers. However, not underneath the hat as in the above diagram. All we needed were spacers right underneath the nut, on top of the hat. This positioned the nut a bit higher so it had more threads to grab onto. So far, the knocking has been eliminated. he is happy. We shall see how it is long term and I'll report back here.

Oh, BTW, our pistons spun while trying to tighten inside the car. so we just removed them.
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Old 06-02-2004, 04:43 PM   #34
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I'm not sure it really matters if you put the nuts above or below the top hat. I stick mine under and the top nut fits nice and tight now. No more rattle. Its a ghetto solution, but works. Putting the washers on top might be a bit safer, but either way, the top hat still has play in it, which is not good long term. My Koni insert was fine (that shaft is made of some strong metal!), but there are fine metal shavings from the top hat all around it, and obvious scoring of the metal inside the top hat from the strut shaft sliding around in it.

All I know is I better get some new inserts from Koni (they say they have a different part # for STi vs. WRX, my thought though was, "who the hell puts an insert in an STi strut!? STi struts are awesome!").
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:23 AM   #35
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Could I use the 04 rear struts, 02-03 springs and tophats on my 04wagon. Or will I need the 02/03 strut housing. Are the 02/03 strut housings the same as the 04.

I have some tein h-techs and really need to upgrade the dampers before I bounce off the road.

Not sure what I need to get in order to get the koni's installed in the rear.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:20 AM   #36
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I am not sure about using the 04 struts with 02/03 top hats, the actuall lip that is the cause of all this tlak that is on the 02/03 struts might have a use in the 02/03 top hat, if you use a 04 strut you might move the strut to far up into the top hat, or it might be to loose. The reason you can use the 02/03 struts with the 04 top hat is, you can actually fit the lip into the strut top with some extra pressure and then tighten it and it won't move anywhere. But you could deffinetly give it a try, I could be wrong. I haven't seen it so I can't be 100% sure it won't work, let us know though.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:43 PM   #37
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So let's say I want to put usdm sti take-offs on my 03 wrx and I want to upgrade to Group N mounts. Would I buy 04+ Group N mounts, or would I buy 02/03 Group N mounts? I would assume the 04+ from what you say.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:52 PM   #38
asno
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You'd want to buy whatever top mounts match the year of your STI takeoffs. If you have 2004 takeoffs, then get 2004 top mounts, if you have 2003 or 2002 takeoffs, then get the 2003 top mounts. All the top mounts will fit in your car just fine, it is just the top mount-->strut shaft area that is the problem.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:02 PM   #39
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OK, I have V. 7 takeoffs and want to install 04 springs. All I need is 04 tophats and nothing else, correct?
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:06 PM   #40
Arnie
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Correct. Just keep in mind some of the difficulties some of us have had with the hat/strut compatibility and what some of the solutions to potential knocking might be.

Last edited by Arnie; 06-16-2004 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:55 AM   #41
dogWagon
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hey guys, I have an 04wagon, installed springs on the stock struts.

Now I am installing koni inserts.

The koni's should be fine for the fronts but I believe I will need some type of spacer for the rear. I have a machine shop that can do it.

my question is: How tall should this spacer be?

I was thinking the same height as the shoulder on the piston top.

thanks
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Old 06-16-2004, 03:19 AM   #42
Arnie
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dogWagon - if you can get a spacer machined, try to match the heighth of the shoulder, the interior diameter of the hole of the shoulder and the same outer diameter of the piston. Try to get the spacer made out of high strength steel because the weight of the car and impact forces will be resting on this spacer. Basically, IMO, I would think that it needs to be as strong as the piston material.

The other technique, the one we used with spacers on top of the hat, allows the hat to seat past the shoulder and onto the piston. There might not be enough threads to seat the nut onto the hat properly. So using washers on top give a few more threads to use. But these washers should be pretty hard as well because if you tighten down on them and they flatten or flex, the hat might be a bit loose and you'll get the knocking.

I don't have any scientific proof one way or the other as to which method might be better. Guess folks will just have to try and see for themselves.

good luck.
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Old 06-16-2004, 09:22 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnie
Correct. Just keep in mind some of the difficulties some of us have had with the hat/strut compatibility and what some of the solutions to potential knocking might be.
Thank you.

*runs off to order 04 tophats.*
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:51 PM   #44
BIGSKYWRX
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Is the consensus that the v7 struts will work w/ the v8 rear hats as long as they are "properly" seated? Looks like this could be checked while in hand using a spring compressor?

Someone I know is contemplating some new STi wagon lowering springs (v8) to be used in conjunction w/ v7 GGB struts

TIA

Big Sky
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Old 07-21-2004, 04:01 PM   #45
Arnie
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You know what? Myu buddy just picked up some V8 struts to replace the knocking V7's. We were taking another look at the V7 struts and compared them to the recently purchased V8 struts and when we put the 04 hat on the V7 and then on the V8, the V8 fitment was just spot on. When you press down on the hat, it is a solid connnection. On the V7 strut, the hat wiggles around, even when seated past that shoulder. This is all without having a spring, just putting the hat on the strut. It sort of rocks back and forth. As if the inside of the hat was "rounded". It just would not sit flat like on the V8. If you compare the two available "areas of seating", you'll see that the 04 (without the little shoulder) has a wider area compared to the V7. I'm convinced that this area adds stability and the proper fit that we need to keep the hat from rocking back and forth.

I dunno, some folks have had good luck with this combo (02/03/V7 strut/04 springs) and are knock free. In hindsight, I would personally stick with an 04/V8 strut paired with the appropriate year spring and hat.

As an aside, the v8 struts were significantly more supple compared to the V7's. Still very firm but quite a bit of the bounciness was eliminated that we had with the V7's on his pink springs.

YMMV!
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Old 07-21-2004, 09:03 PM   #46
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Not what I was hoping to hear. Unfortuantely they're are no v8 GGB struts out there (that I know of anyways). I may just have to wait and see. They've got springs now, maybe struts are in the works as well.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:33 PM   #47
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Mike, he could go ahead and give it a try. There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of people saying it doesn't work. Its just my personal experience. Do you have a chance to do a comparison with an 04 hat on an 02/03/V7 strut for yourself? It would be good if you had it in hand to see what I saw and determine for yourself if it would work.

heck, at the least, getting the GGB struts are a good thing to have anyway due to their rarity. Plus there are a few spring options out there. The STi springs that come with the SPT wagon kit, Prodrive, TEIN (ugh. ) Tanabe, I suppose.

Last edited by Arnie; 07-21-2004 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 07-21-2004, 10:44 PM   #48
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Arnie- the fellow is me . I've got the GGB springs on it now and love it, but they just came out w/ 04+ specific pink springs for the wagon- w/ very good rates too- 233/192 almost perfect.

The vendor is pretty good to me, he might let me try them- assembling one strut should give me a good idea.

I guess worse case scenario I could take the rear struts to a machine shop and have them pull down and round the shoulder like the v8 ones.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:03 PM   #49
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Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on your posts and thought it might be you. Yeah, those new STi springs look great. Man, if you could get your struts machined down, that would be awesome. The overall piston diameter is the same size, all you'd have to do is machine that shoulder down and add some threads if possible. Try to get ahold of an 04 strut so that your machinist can have a point of reference. Also you'd be able to compare the hat fitment that I have been whining about.
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Old 07-22-2004, 08:09 PM   #50
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I think I'm going to try plan B before machining the strut piston tops. The v8 rev E's (JDM 05) WRX's- both wagon and sedan, now come w/ inverted struts. I don't have details yet on damping or piston diameters, but would have to guess if they went this route- they'd be at least a touch firmer than our non inverted offerings. These may be the perfect match for these new STi springs.

I have to think that they (FHI) designed these new lowering springs w/ a strut other than ours, based on the rather firm rates- 223/190- those are firmer than the v7 RA ones. Would not be a very good match IMO w/ our oem struts. So either their designed w/ the new WRX inverted struts or possibly there is an upgraded STi strut set we haven't seen yet?

Mike
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