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Old 09-11-2004, 12:55 AM   #1
Arnie
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Default Whiteline Group 4 Coilovers

Just another general review of these coilovers. I'm very impressed with the Whiteline Group 4's.

Let me preface my opinions with some of my suspension experience on my cars. I've had P1 suspension on my RS, driven lots on STi V7/8 (both stock RA and with pink springs) and had the STi Genome on my wagon. I've driven various TEIN, JIC and DMS setups as well. For a "standard" strut/spring combo, I've always been very impressed with the high speed handling of the STi inverted suspension. They soak up big compressions and hits quite well at speed, taking a set quickly with little drama. However, their low to medium speed ride quality leaves lots to be desired. Very bouncy and pretty non-compliant. My STi Genome suspension was a JDM import that is non-inverted but about 20% more firm than the stock WRX. So someplace in between the STi inverted stuff and stock as far as stiffness goes. I loved this suspension. Gone was the head bobbing jigglies that I used to have with the inverted STi suspension. Just supple ride qualities but still enough damping to really make the car feel much more settled and planted compared to stock. I found, though, that on high speed bumpy corners, under braking, that the damping left a little bit to be desired. Just not enough control and response. I've always found the Japanese coilovers (TEIN, JIC, etc.) to be just harsh. Nice on a perfectly smooth track but usually just unforgiving and poor handling on real roads. Their over damped, over sprung, short stroke travel just had me skating across rough corners. So they were never an option. I'd spent a lot of time talking to Jim Gurieff of Whiteline to get the details about this new coilover setup and was impressed by their spring rate choice and overall suspension tuning philosphy. So I took the plunge.

The Whiteline Group 4 coilovers use 280f/224r spring rates mounted on non-inverted struts with a 46mm piston. Very beefy. Compare these spring rates to most of the Japanese track based offerings of 4-500lb/ft springs. For a road going car, I can't imagine how people use these kinds of rates on a daily basis. But don't let this relatively "soft" rate fool you. This car corners flat and sure through any corner. Another big plus is the amount of travel. In the recommended lowering range of these struts (around 30mm), they have about the same bump travel as the STi inverted suspension! However, the real magic is in the valving of the strut. Whiteline has figured out how to get the car to ride very supple, as supple as my beloved STi Genome setup but with performance that ramps up to incredible levels. At medium damping settings, the car rides just smooth over roads and those invisible road irregularities that have most STi V7/8 owners cringing due to the constant bobbing and jiggle. They also have nice details such as adjusters on the tops of the struts to keep them out of the muck. The rears have an extension so that you can access the adjuster without pulling the backseat out on a sedan. Try that with any of the other offerings. Plus they will have rebuilding/revalving support here in the US. No hassles like sending the units back to Japan. I have these paired with STi Group N top hats as well as a host of other Whiteline bits (swaybars, ALK, rear camber bolts, steering rack bushings). These things are quiet too. No knocking noise that seem to plague most of the TEIN product, with just a bit of spring crash when taking speed bumps at speed.

Many people say that if you want to have a performance suspension you need to give up ride quality. That harshness is just part of the compromise for big performance. I think many big buck German and Italian performance cars would beg to differ. They seem to have managed to tune a track worthy suspension setup that is perfectly liveable day to day. And with this set of coilovers,you can also add Whiteline to that list as well.

I can't praise this setup enough and give them 2 thumbs up!

EDIT: for addtional suspension tidbits

Whiteline 22mm Front/22-24mm rear sway bars (rear set to 22 and 23 settings, still experimenting)
Whiteline Comfort ALK
Whiteline Heavy Duty rear sway bar mounts
Whiteline Steering Rack bushings
Whiteline HD Aluminum endlinks
Rota Tarmacs w/Toyo T1-S 225/45-17
Basic alignment spec:
Front camber -1.5 degrees, Toe Zero
Rear camber - 1.2 degrees, Toe Zero

- Wife happy cruise setup seems to be about 7F/5R give or take one click.
- Canyon carving setup goes up two clicks F/R to about 9F/7R

I'll need to get proper measurements but I'm sitting at about 3/4" below stock height. Basically what my STi Genome setup was. I really like the balance that that setup had. I've set the front about 1/4" a bit lower than that, to see if it gives me just a bit more bite on turn in. I'm very far from even fender gaps!!!! I love my larger front fender gap baby!

EDIT2: performance anecdote

I was driving a quick clip down this curvy, relatively rough road, riddled with cracks and these compressions that, when taken at a decent clip (about 70), really upset a car. In my car with the Genomes, I would hit those compressions and have a bit of that feeling of dropping kinda quick and then the car taking a set after one initial rebound jounce. Not too unsettling but definitely wakes me up. I took it the other night on the Group 4's and those same compressions were just bizarrely smooth. I'm sure most of you can recall what a rally car looks like after perfectly landing a big jump in Finland. Just a soft, smooth landing with no secondary bounce. The car just softly takes a set and keeps going. How that looks is what it felt like going through this compression. I felt the car descend into the compression but the soft "landing" surprised me. I was expecting a firm bounce and a quick set. It took a very quick set but it was just feather smooth. I was surprised and sooo impressed. I need to take that road again and see if it wasn't just a flook!
BTW I was in canyon carving damping mode of about 9F/7R.

Pics from Whiteline:



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Last edited by Arnie; 05-03-2005 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:02 AM   #2
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Great right up Arnie. The WL's look promising, because I too am getting tired of the lack of low speed dampening of my inverted setup. I wonder how it would compare comfort factor-wise to a BMW M car or an AMG Benz?
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:21 AM   #3
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If you are ever in SoCal, PM me and we can hook up and you can take the car for a drive. Lessee, how does it compare to an E46 M3?


Well, this M3 is on H&R springs and I would say that my ride is a bit smoother actually and much more controlled over bumps than this particular car. However, the M3 still feels more solid going over said bumps. Probably due to the insulation and build quality of the car. I can't, however, do much about the 150 hp difference between my car and that! At least on my poor ass budget.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie
If you are ever in SoCal, PM me and we can hook up and you can take the car for a drive. Lessee, how does it compare to an E46 M3?


Well, this M3 is on H&R springs and I would say that my ride is a bit smoother actually and much more controlled over bumps than this particular car. However, the M3 still feels more solid going over said bumps. Probably due to the insulation and build quality of the car. I can't, however, do much about the 150 hp difference between my car and that! At least on my poor ass budget.
Sweet, thanks for the offer Arnie. I just might take you up on it, as I'll be up there for tuning at Brainstorm. I forgot that you're in LA now.

There's something about the germans and suspension tuning that I love. I can't quite put my finger on it, but its great handling with confidence and without breaking a sweat. I have to carry a car seat in the wagon soon and the prospect that and my current suspension will mean an unhappy baby. I need to do something about this! Excuses to mod...
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:44 AM   #5
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Arnie as usual when you talk people listen !! Myself included. We just sold a set of these to a customer and wil be doing some set up work soon for him So I look forward to comparing your notes and observations. Great write up.

944 turbo guy

Myles Williams
www.racecompengineering.com

sales@racecompengineering.com

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Columbia, Maryland 21045

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410-730-5503 FAX
410-707-0108 mobile.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:50 AM   #6
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Hey Myles, do you have any product links, with prices? I haven't been in this forum in a while.
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Old 09-11-2004, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesmokingman
Hey Myles, do you have any product links, with prices? I haven't been in this forum in a while.
I can get some to you on Monday, we are starting to move into the new office and I have some stuff there. So where ya been all this time?

944 turbo guy
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:04 AM   #8
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Brainwashed in OT Land.
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:09 AM   #9
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Thanks Myles und der Rauchenmann! I highly respect both of your opinions! Myles, I will be very interested to see how you find these compared to the Öhlins R&T that you carry. I'm sure they will be very comparable as they seem to be along a similar vein.

Yeah, my family has always been a big fan of German cars. We used to have your usual american sedans back in the 70's and my parents just hated the floaty ride. My mom would always get sea sick in the car! So they got their first Benz and my mom was very happy with the ride quality. Comfy but firm and controlled. Heck, even their little basic C240 has a very nice sporty ride. Its always been my big question about how they do it. So many on this and other boards think that a performance suspension has to be bone jarring stiff to be a "real" performance suspension. Perhaps these kids have never had a chance to take a ride or drive some of these big buck german cars. but its so enlightening. Just to see that its very possible. The owner of that Hamann M3 also has a 996 Turbo that he let's me flog on occasion as well. Once again, just such an easy car to drive hard and fast. And so comfy at a cruise, even with his beloved H&R springs on there. What's cool is that you can really feel how just subtle changes to the setup (1 cm front spacers) have on the driving quality. The steering and confidence in turns was just totally out of whack after he put the spacers on. i had him remove them immediately. I told him to forget about how good it looks, the car handles like crap.
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:48 AM   #10
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Arnie I grew up in the same invironment, my dad bought his first Benz in 1975. A 450SEL 6.9, and man it was fast and firm. Esp if you consider the big ass tires they had on those cars. It had that self leveling hydropneumatic suspension in the rear. I remember having luggage, full tank and 3 people in the back seat and this thing was level like drywall !! My dad would take this one corner,long sweeper getting on to RT70, he would take it at like 115 and say the whole time,.." this is what the car was made for ,.." We were like yeahhh.....meanwhile my mom had a 77 270z, that I installed Turn-6 sway bars on and a Sharp racing header and muffler,..and I was hot stuff in school driving that, as most of my friends had vetts and mustangs, and CHevelles,..from that era on, all my cars were more suspension than power.

944 turbo guy
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Old 09-11-2004, 02:55 AM   #11
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Ahhh, the 6.9! That is a classic. Just a brutal but somehow lithe handling car. Loved the chase scene in Ronin using that car. I never had the money for speed so I always tried to play with suspension. The thing I like most about a good suspension, is that you can appreciate it ALL the time, at any speed. With lots of power, you can hardly ever use it. Hence most of my German colleagues asking me, "Ahhnie, why do you have so much PS? You can never use it here like you used to on the Autobahn." I just shrug and say, " ya see that there stoplight? Look how quick I cun get to it!"

What's the old saying? Its not how fast you can go, its how well you go fast!
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Old 09-11-2004, 07:49 PM   #12
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if i had the money to drop on the g4's i think id definately be installing them insted of koni struts. nice write up. hopefully i can find a used set of these someday.
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Old 09-11-2004, 07:52 PM   #13
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I hear you! but don't feel bad, you will be diggin' the Koni's. Very nice struts.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:37 AM   #14
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bump
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:38 AM   #15
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bumped
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:38 AM   #16
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bumped for a good thread...........
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:51 AM   #17
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Mini update: Just put on a buddy's P-Zero Corsa's on my car for an afternoon. No real radical driving as we are still running them in but whoowee, what a difference in grip as well as ride quality. Those stiffer sidewalls definitely changed the ride quality. I had the coilovers setup in my wife happy cruising mode and they were even smoother. Just that little bit of bounce eliminated without turning down the dampers. Nice. Size is 215/45-17. This is an interesting Corsa model as its the only "non-R-compound" of the the lot. It has, I think, a 140 treadwear rating and a deeper tread. So, still super sticky but a much longer treadwear. I wonder what Pirelli designed these for? He'll be using these as his daily drivers! I'll report back after the year to see how many miles he get's out of them.




Last edited by Arnie; 09-15-2004 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:53 AM   #18
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Your car is looking great Arnie
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:33 PM   #19
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The Type-25 (rated best handling of the bunch) uses custom-tuned whiteline coilovers.

www.type-25.com
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:46 PM   #20
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Yup, these are the same ones. And that car has been touted as the best handling Impreza evah! If you believe the magazines, that is.

And thanks Hank!
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Old 09-15-2004, 04:24 PM   #21
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The type-25 uses a lower cost version (than the Whiteline) of the AST coilover that is supplied by Powerstation. The valving is supposed to be different.

I've tried the UK type ASTs and although they gave a nice ride on smooth surfaces (not too difficult really) and on rougher roads at a modest pace (around 70), but they were underdamped for hi-speed bumps and compressions. Also they couldn't cope with spring rates higher than 285lb/in. Hopefully the Whitelines have better valving.

Edit:
Got force-velocity charts from Whiteline which shows the their adjuster affects rebound uniformly over all piston speeds. Bump is not greatly affected.

Last edited by duncangrant; 09-16-2004 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:14 PM   #22
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Wow, interesting. Yeah, the Whiteline product is hugely different then regarding the valving. These are good to 500lb springs. The adjusters make quite a big difference at high speed (over 80mph) as far as i can tell. Deep compressions as well as fast drop offs at 80-90 are very different depending on how I have the damping set. From a soft feather like landing to a sharp fast rebounding landing.
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:31 PM   #23
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Arnie,

The spring rates you mentioned, and the pictures you posted, are interesting. There was another whiteline G4 thread a few months ago, and in that thread someone from whiteline said they were, I believe, 280lb/in front and rear, linear. The picture has a helper on the front (makes it act a bit progressively in some situations), and the rear is obviously a progressive spring (as evidenced by the varied coil spacing).

But.... can't argue with results.

I also don't think the whiteline Group 4's are available for 2005 STIs yet. Although I've heard whiteline was soon getting / got a 2005 STI, so maybe they'll be out soon.

Also, you said the whiteline Group 4's use stock top hats... The picture illustrates how it works in the back, but how does it work in the front?

Have you ever used / experienced Tein SS? Judging by price, features, and spring rates, it seems like a decent option for me, and will be available in november. I'm wondering if they'd still suffer from the japanese "too damn stiff" problem, or suffer overly from "cheap-ass" sloppy valving. KYB AGX with ground controls were pretty nice on my integra, both handling and ride, so results can definitely be had on a budget.

How much did you pay for the whitelines? I've seen the MSRP on them in $AUS, but have never gotten a quote for a street price from a US vendor.

-Mike
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:55 PM   #24
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Hey Mike, nice to hear from you. Yeah, the official spring rates for the WRX, as far as Whiteline's PDF are concerned, are the aforementioned 280f/224r. Mine actually have helper springs both front and rear. Linear springs. Those pics from Jim are from a development set, I believe. I'll take some pics of the front adjuster tonight and post later. My set is also a used development set but much closer to production spec. So they were a bit cheaper than full price.

http://www.pdm-racing.com/products/subaru_corner.html has them for sale for $2199 I believe. Check out their site as they have some interesting comments that a lot of folk on here could learn a thing or two from regarding spring/damping rates. I haven't been on the SS. At least I think I haven't. I was in kwyjibo's car briefly the other night. Lots of knocking from the top hats and pretty jiggly. He might have the SS's. I've had a bit of time in the new flex's. Despite their insanely high rates, at full soft they aren't too bad on a smooth road. Problem is they have a reallllly short stroke. And you just go through the travel on the smallest bumps. That's kinda the problem with all of the japanese product. Very short stroke designed for the track. I personally can't deal with that ride quality.

I'm using the STi Group N tophats. I won't be needing the extreme camber that plates would afford. I'm sure you'll get a bit more harshness through those. The Group N's are silent.

yeah, unfortunately the 05 STi spec is not yet available. maybe we can contact Jim directly.
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Old 09-15-2004, 11:17 PM   #25
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G'day everyone,

Thought I'd jump in and try to help with some answers.

The comments re adjusting range is generally correct, its there to allow for variations in driving style, swaybar choice, tyre choice and even tyre pressures. It allows tuning around a relative base line of spring capacity. That's why we offer up to 4 variants for some cars like drift, drag, race and road to compensate for spring rates and the unique demands of each specific discipline.

When we started the development of this product, we looked at what a lot of the opposition products were doing. We looked at how they were setup and found some very interesting situations. Like the same basic spring and shock cartridge used for 2 different vehicles with entirely different absolute weights and weight distribution. It was clear that a lot of the product was "cosmetic" based as the manufacturer expected the customer to accept whatever spring and shock was practical for the manufacturer and expect it to be just as effective for every motorsport discipline. Needless to say we thought there was a reasonable opportunity for something like the Group 4’s .

Mike, the main springs on all our WRX and Sti Group 4 kits are linear and are supported with 2kg helper springs both front and rear. I guess that makes them “dual-rate” but we do not usually refer to them as progressive because they do not have a progressive transition curve. Not sure about the picture you have of the rear showing varying spring gaps, it may be an early prototype or custom job….? Perhaps you can send me a link.

With respect to the MY05 Sti kit, here’s an extract from a post to MRT Forums on the MY05 Sti (http://www.mrtrally.com.au/forums/to...TOPIC_ID=18900 )
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We made a point of getting in early in obtaining our own MY05 STi project vehicle and development is well underway. The good news follows in that the following parts are available now (except where noted):

Subaru WRX STi MY05 GD 08/04-on

1K4042 - Group 4 height/rate adjustable kit coil-over kit (coming)

Front
KSB599 - Alloy adjustable strut tower brace
80066 - Control lowered springs
83028A - Flatout superlow springs
BSF33 to BSF33XZ series swaybars from GD1 apply
KCA414 - Race camber bolt kit. (minor OE adjustment)
KCA359 - Anti-lift caster kit (also KCA359M & KCA362)
KLC32 - H/duty OE link replacement kit

Rear
KSB511 - Alloy adjustable strut tower brace
73194 - Control lowered springs
73195 - Flatout lowered springs
BSR37 to BSR37XZ series swaybars from GD2 apply
KCA414 - Camber bolt kit
KBR20-20 - Heavy duty swaybar mount kit
KSB751 - Front of rear diff support lock kit
KLC32 - H/duty OE link replacement kit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The 1K4042 Group 4 kit is well under way and we hope to have some stock within 45 days. The prices and details are the same as for the other GD kit 1K4039

With respect to front and rear strut tops, the same principle is used on the front with the spring supported by a top cap that is in contact with the centre tube of the stock strut top.

I this helps

Best

Jim

Whiteline Automotive

PS. Arnie, cars looking good!!! We’re SO pleased that your happy with them, it makes all the effort worthwhile.
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