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Old 05-30-2004, 01:38 AM   #1
VR62STI
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Thumbs up Installed Whiteline Group 4 Coilovers!

My Group 4s finally came, and I had MPJ install them last week. I've been playing around with the ride height and stiffness since then, got it aligned, and spent some time today around the mountains. I've had really high hopes for these things, as I want a certain level of comfort while increasing performance; you may recall my "barf" thread where I complain about the weird jarring on the stock STI, most likely attributed to the inverted struts. I also have issues with most of the other coilover options, such as maintenance, extremely high spring rates, no US support, etc. The verdict is: the Group 4s have made me very happy!

These coilovers have a 46mm piston, non-inverted monotube design, with 275/225 spring rates. The adjusters are on the top, so the rears come with a cool knob-extension that places the adjuster slightly above the rear seat. From the back of the car you see these weird little gold knobs peaking out - very clever! The quality of the welds and brackets is much better than Tein Flex's, HKS's, and H&R's, and the main seal looks impressive; you can tell they are quality units. They have a helper spring, and shock travel is apparently MORE than the stock STI. They are height adjustable by a gold ring with an allen set-screw. The dampening adjust has 14 clicks: I have mine set at 6 up from soft, front and rear. I had the rear set 1 click softer and the car seemed to plow; at "even" the car feels balanced like stock. My car also has an ALK, but the swaybars are stock.

At full soft the coilovers feel very similar to the stock STI - which I find weird as one is oversprung, and one is undersprung - but there is a similar kind of freeway bounce. Between 3 and 6 clicks the car feels very comfortable, and this is where the adjustment will live on my car. The jarring I experienced on my commute with the stock STI suspension is gone! The car still has that sporty feel but the ride is better tuned for a street car. Taking corners is completely different; there is much better control and the lean is dramatically reduced. At 7 clicks the car feels flat and stiff. I'm not sure why anyone would want it stiffer, but there are 14 clicks total, and each one has a measurable effect.

On the way to MPJ I hit some railroad tracks pretty hard and the stock suspension absorbed everything really well. On the way back I kind of chickened out, but it seems like the Group 4s would not be so kind to your butt if you still plan on jumping the car. I had to make the decision to turn my rally car into a "versatile street" car, and I held off on the swaybars because I really don't want to give up compliancy. But now that the Group 4s are so comfortable I feel like I can totally afford to have fatter bars, so that will come next. There is one thing I will suggest to Whiteline - that is nylon or rubber washers for all the spring-to-retainer contact areas. After a week these things started making the typical "popping" noise, of road gravel crunching between the spring seats. I loosened everything and wrapped the contact areas with electrical tape and the noise is gone.

I'd really like to thank Jim at Whiteline for putting up with all my emails, hassling him about various suspension setups. His website has a plethora of articles on tuning WRX suspension, as well as general kinds of testing and data. They have certainly made a believer out of me! My STI is much more fun to drive, and feels like more of a sports car in the twistys. Big thumbs up!
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:26 AM   #2
WL Flatout
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VR62STI, we're very pleased that your happy with them.

I'm personally delighted that we didnt let you down after all the conversations we had, it certainly makes all the development hard work worthwhile.

I'll pass on your tip re insulators to the R & D guys, see what we can work out. Its not a issue that we've experienced personally but we have had one other install mention the same sort of symptoms so we'll try to corelate both to help pinpoint the issue. Could you clarify where exactly you applied the insulation?

We're going to release a "street" version with spring rates similar to STi, around 220/180. This kit would be perfect for anyone not interested in autocross or racing and just wants to maximise street control using large swaybars. The rate adjustment would be ideal to control the sympathetic virtual spring rate increase that can be felt with larger swaybars.

Many thanks again for the review and constructive feedback.

Best

Jim
Whiteline
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:06 PM   #3
FiKtIOn
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How much?
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Old 05-30-2004, 04:04 PM   #4
Arnie
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Great review. I'm very excited about these coilovers and can't wait to get a better look at them. Some hardware stores sell these large rubber washers, I might look into them before installing to minimize any noise potential. I wonder if the Whiteline spring silencers can fit on those coils?

Its nice to see that the dampers have lots of room to grow considering you are only using 1/2 of the damping rate. I think with the max 500lb springs for the track, one could use up the rest of the damping capabilities.
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Old 05-31-2004, 11:20 AM   #5
mr2guru
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Get some swaybars...make those coilovers work for you
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:23 PM   #6
WL Flatout
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Hi everyone,

FiKtIOn, we don't like to talk pricing generally on technical forums and secondly we don't have a price in US$.

We know that there are deals going on Group 4's in stock in the US and some dealrs are looking at volume buys presold at hot pricing.

Suggest you do a search on the Classifieds forums.

Cheers
Jim

Whiteline
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:30 AM   #7
VR62STI
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I wrapped the top and bottom coils of the springs with electrical tape, and that got rid of most of the "pops" but every once in awhile the suspension still creaks - it make a metal-to-metal settling noise. It must be from the top aluminum retainer against the shock shaft. Nothing that bothers me, every day I love these things more and more! I've noticed the car rotates around much better than stock; it feels flat and doesn't plow nearly as much. I've had to re-learn all my favorite corners, and I seem to be driving the car faster than I usually do. The Group 4s have made my car more addicting to drive, as I'm loving the steering feel. I wish I could get more caster though - the ALK improved the straight-centering of the car, but I'd love to have, say, 10 degrees (actually I have no idea if I'd love that, but a little more would probably feel better.) Can you Whiteline guys do that?
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:42 AM   #8
Arnie
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Jim,

Do you know if the Whiteline Spring Silencers would fit the coils on the Group 4's?

Arnie
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Old 06-01-2004, 04:48 AM   #9
grippgoat
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Are the spring rates linear?

-Mike
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:20 PM   #10
WL Flatout
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G'day everyone,

The rear spring arrangement on the GD WRX is always quite challenging due to the severe inclination of the strut and the offset of the bottom strut to hub mount. This leads to an uneven load on the spring top and mount.

Its relatively easy to deal with when using stock rubber insulators and relatively light spring rates but becomes more complex with a performance setup with coil-overs. Our spring insulator kit part # K60950 (wrap) will work fine on the top spring but we are also investigating the use of a insulating pad at the top. If succesful we will make these available FOC to any Group 4 owners.

gripgoat, the total spring pack is progressive by virture of the helper spring design but the actual rate is largely linear around the normal working range as the helper spring closes up at normal ride height. This leaves a straight linear main spring which is always preferable in our view.

Hope that covers it.

Cheers
Jim

Whiteline
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Old 06-06-2004, 05:48 AM   #11
grippgoat
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The whiteline coil-overs sound like they'd probably be perfect for me.

But uhm.... What of this thread?

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=571047


VR62STI: what year is your car?

-Mike
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Old 06-06-2004, 11:25 AM   #12
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grippgoat....I think you're SOL for the moment....
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Old 06-06-2004, 10:25 PM   #13
FiKtIOn
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Quote:
Originally posted by WL Flatout
Hi everyone,

FiKtIOn, we don't like to talk pricing generally on technical forums and secondly we don't have a price in US$.

We know that there are deals going on Group 4's in stock in the US and some dealrs are looking at volume buys presold at hot pricing.

Suggest you do a search on the Classifieds forums.

Cheers
Jim

Whiteline
Uh, excuse me?

I'm a consumer and i'd like to know how much your product costs.
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Old 06-06-2004, 11:02 PM   #14
WL Flatout
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Hi FiKtIOn,

Have asked sales to contact you via direct email with Australian $ pricing ex Australia. Our US distributors nominate their own US$ retail prices.

Jim

Whiteline
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Old 06-06-2004, 11:19 PM   #15
Arnie
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FiKtIOn - Though Whiteline has already addressed this topic, I'd like to also say in their "defense", that most reputable manufacturers avoid posting sales info, pricing, etc. in these technical forums. Its just not cool trying to make a sale when people want technical info on a product. That information is more appropriate for the "for sale" forums. These tech. forums are for info about the function, performance and other technical issues of a product.

Here is a vendor thread with for sale info on the coilovers:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=527446
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Old 06-06-2004, 11:28 PM   #16
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Thanks for clearing that bit up for us, Arnie
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:19 AM   #17
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No prob! Hope I didn't come across as too much of a jerk.
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnie
No prob! Hope I didn't come across as too much of a jerk.


......Noooo....but I would have...
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Old 06-07-2004, 03:45 PM   #19
Arnie
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so true! Heh, heh!
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:10 AM   #20
racingfish
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arnie did you move yet? are you still doing installs?

<))><
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:42 PM   #21
VR62STI
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""""VR62STI: what year is your car?""""

It's a 2004, and the spring rates are linear. I still love them!
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Old 03-30-2005, 01:27 AM   #22
DougM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WL Flatout
.....but the actual rate is largely linear around the normal working range as the helper spring closes up at normal ride height.
(I've very recently had the G4's installed)
while adjusting the ride height up to a "normal working range" it became apparant that the helper springs at the rear assemblies are going to be completely compressed. curious? conversly, the front assemblies are the opposite, the lower spring perch is almost bottomed out and the helper springs are at their maximum.

thoughts?

2004 STi.
STi/GroupN top hats.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:06 AM   #23
Arnie
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What are your ride heights (center of hub to bottom of fender)? My rear tender springs were also fully compressed at around 355mm ride height.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:49 AM   #24
WL Flatout
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Hi Doug,
Helper springs are designed to do just that, that is completely compress to a solid block at normal ride height. The amount of helper spring compression at full droop is irrelevant and varies with each application, including front and rear strut of the same car.
In short, this is normal.

Regards,
Wojtek.
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:01 AM   #25
Arnie
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Wojtek,

"problem" is, is that if I want to raise my ride height a bit more I'll start compressing the main spring. Is this a "bad" thing? Sort of losing travel or preloading the spring? Also, I was wondering if there is a correlation between the spring perch height and droop? As in, if I didn't have the spring perch wound up so high, I would get more droop?
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