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Old 10-31-2005, 03:21 AM   #1
JDM addict
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Default Ohlins fixed perch struts for '02-'06 WRX and '04 STi

I have found the best all around suspension for a daily driven WRX/STi that most people are looking for. The combination of aggressive even front and rear lowering, little body roll in turns, and very comfortable during the daily commute. Somehow this is very difficult to achieved due to the inferior stock struts Subaru put on the 02'+ WRX/STi, and very limited selection of aftermarket struts available on the market. Tons of people spend many thousands of dollars and still not able to obtained what I achieved with my set up, I like to share this with all of you.

My set up:

OHLINS struts
TEIN S-Tech springs
Stock top hats
ZERO/SPORTS sway bar

18x8.5 +45 on 265/35/18

Looks: As you can see in the pics below, even front and rear, aggressively lowered to look good without being too low to look dumb and scape everywhere.

Ride: This is the best quality of this struts, it control the motion of the springs extremely well while still providing a very compliant ride. The dampening rate of the struts is so well matched to the springs, there are zero underdamped oscillation and zero overdamped harshness, it is so perfect, I still can't believe how good it is after driven on it daily for a few months. The best description for the ride is the same as a BMW 3/5-series with the factory sport tuned suspension, which I believe is the best in the world as far as having the best balance between sportyness and daily comfort.

Handling: There is very little body roll, turn-in and response is better then stock. Ultimate grip is very high due to the 265mm wide tires. Balance is more natural then stock due to the stiffer rear sway bar, but still have a hint of understeer, which is my preference for safety.

Myles from www.racecompengineering.com is the stud who discovered these sweet struts from Ohlins and imported them. These babies are not cheap, but worth every penny in my opinion, tons of people have spended many times more on their suspension and still are not happy with their set up. These struts fit all 02'+ WRX and STi.

As far as I know, www.racecompengineering.com is the only vendor in the world that has access to these. And my experience with them along with most people on this forum, has been excellent.

You can buy them here:

http://racecompengineering.com/coilover.html

Another related thread:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...2&page=1&pp=25

Pics of my car with TEIN S-Tech springs:






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Last edited by JDM addict; 05-19-2006 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:22 AM   #2
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Pics of the struts:








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Old 10-31-2005, 03:23 AM   #3
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Pics of Myle's car on STi "Tuned by Arai" 6k/5k pink springs:




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Old 10-31-2005, 05:50 AM   #4
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$2000 dollars is a whole lot of money for some struts.
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raslian
$2000 dollars is a whole lot of money for some struts.
I agreed, but I know tons of people have spend many times of $2000 and still don't achieved what I got. The fact that this option exist is already really nice.

The Koni insert has similar performance, but for STi guys, you have to buy some used WRX struts with the Koni inserts, when is all said and done, the price difference is not a whole lot.
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Old 10-31-2005, 02:34 PM   #6
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So what's the rebuild rate on those Ohlins? May sound dumb, but it's a big consideration since the Whiteline Group 4's say there is no rebuild.

Obviously I find this hard to believe but I am still curious.

Your car looks great btw. Great ride height etc!
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zevil
So what's the rebuild rate on those Ohlins? May sound dumb, but it's a big consideration since the Whiteline Group 4's say there is no rebuild.

Obviously I find this hard to believe but I am still curious.
Ohlins USA told Myles @ www.racecompengineering.com rebuild is not require if they are use for street driving. Obviously nothing last forever, that just means they last a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zevil
Your car looks great btw. Great ride height etc!
Thank you, I simply loves it
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Old 11-01-2005, 02:01 PM   #8
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I love the top portion of your wing What is it? Where did you get it? Does it just attach to the bottom portion of an STi wing?

Sorry to get off topic
Geoff
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM addict
Ohlins USA told Myles @ www.racecompengineering.com rebuild is not require if they are use for street driving. Obviously nothing last forever, that just means they last a long time.



Thank you, I simply loves it
Ok addict, you truely have me intruiged now. I was contemplating getting either some prodrive springs for the stock struts (and save money for other mods) or get some Whiteline Group 4 coilovers. I have heard excellent ride quality things abou tthe whitelines.

Now that you have brought this combo up I am confused. Have you ridden on the whiteline's? Is it possible that your roads there in Cali are waaaay better than mine here in the midwest and in turn I would be creamed by bumps with your setup?

I am sure the Prodrives will make the car look nice but I really want a great setup without killing my ride quality. Either setup will be compimented with sways etc. The thought of the Whiteline's just keeps bringing me back to a coilover or strut/spring combo.

I hope you get the idea of what I am saying.. it's been a looong day at work and I am tired

I would really like to hear your opinions.

Thanks bud!
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:38 PM   #10
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It looks like Racecomp Engineering advertises them as "compatible with version 7 and version 8 WRX and STi". Also, the Ohlins website lists a single part number for '01+ WRX (http://www.ohlins.com/car_product_gu...nd_track.shtml ).

Looks like you've got a 2004 STi. How did your rear struts attach to the newer strut tops? The pictures of the Ohlins struts look more like the '02-'03 earlier rear design with two chamfered sections. Did you need to add washers to the tops of the struts?
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:32 AM   #11
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Hey JDM addict, some guy with a legacy wagon says you've attained "the perfect street setup." haha He also said I'm very close with my Koni/Prodrive setup as well.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25power
I love the top portion of your wing What is it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25power
Where did you get it?
http://www.fastwrx.com/rearwing.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25power
Does it just attach to the bottom portion of an STi wing?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ej25power
Sorry to get off topic
Geoff
No problem.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Zevil
Ok addict, you truely have me intruiged now. I was contemplating getting either some prodrive springs for the stock struts (and save money for other mods) or get some Whiteline Group 4 coilovers. I have heard excellent ride quality things abou tthe whitelines.

Now that you have brought this combo up I am confused. Have you ridden on the whiteline's? Is it possible that your roads there in Cali are waaaay better than mine here in the midwest and in turn I would be creamed by bumps with your setup?

I am sure the Prodrives will make the car look nice but I really want a great setup without killing my ride quality. Either setup will be compimented with sways etc. The thought of the Whiteline's just keeps bringing me back to a coilover or strut/spring combo.

I hope you get the idea of what I am saying.. it's been a looong day at work and I am tired

I would really like to hear your opinions.

Thanks bud!
I know exactly what you are wondering about since I just went thru all these myself.

Yes I have driven a WRX with the whiteline group 4 coilover. In my opinion, my Ohlins/S-tech combo has slightly better ride quality. I agree the Group 4 is one of the best riding coilover on the market, you might also want to check out KW coilover, in my opinion KW ride even nicer then Group 4.

I say if you want the adjustability from coilovers, get either the Group 4 or the KW. If not, my Ohlins/S-tech is excellent. Since you got a WRX, a very good/slightly lower price option for you is Prodrives springs with Koni shocks. The only thing is the Prodrives springs don't lower your car as much as TEIN S-tech.

Hope that help.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yobtah
It looks like Racecomp Engineering advertises them as "compatible with version 7 and version 8 WRX and STi". Also, the Ohlins website lists a single part number for '01+ WRX (http://www.ohlins.com/car_product_gu...nd_track.shtml ).

Looks like you've got a 2004 STi. How did your rear struts attach to the newer strut tops? The pictures of the Ohlins struts look more like the '02-'03 earlier rear design with two chamfered sections. Did you need to add washers to the tops of the struts?
You are exactly correct. These Ohlins struts are made for version 7 strut tops, I had to add a washers to the top of the struts to make them mate to version 8 tops.

So far after a few months and about 4000 miles, still zero issue with the washer fix.
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Old 11-03-2005, 05:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevendhappy
Hey JDM addict, some guy with a legacy wagon says you've attained "the perfect street setup." haha He also said I'm very close with my Koni/Prodrive setup as well.
Yes I am extremely happy with my set up and Ritchie agree to it.

I also think your Koni/Prodrive set up is excellent as well, it just sit slightly higher then my TEIN springs. I would have gone with the Koni as well if I have WRX struts.
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM addict
I know exactly what you are wondering about since I just went thru all these myself.

Yes I have driven a WRX with the whiteline group 4 coilover. In my opinion, my Ohlins/S-tech combo has slightly better ride quality. I agree the Group 4 is one of the best riding coilover on the market, you might also want to check out KW coilover, in my opinion KW ride even nicer then Group 4.

I say if you want the adjustability from coilovers, get either the Group 4 or the KW. If not, my Ohlins/S-tech is excellent. Since you got a WRX, a very good/slightly lower price option for you is Prodrives springs with Koni shocks. The only thing is the Prodrives springs don't lower your car as much as TEIN S-tech.

Hope that help.
Thanks for the reply, I don't think that I need the adjustability but price is also an option. Both the KW's and the Whitelines are cheaper. Seems strange but they are. I have some more thinking to do I guess.

Thanks for your insight anyway! Enjoy your car. It looks magnificent!
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Old 11-04-2005, 11:56 PM   #17
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I was very curious about these struts. I emailed Ohlins USA with no responce. I notice that the Ohlins site mentioned that their struts are made in Sweeden & Japan; I assumed that these, and the steel coilovers were Japaneese (hi qual, hi rate proudtion, ect), and the alumunium were Sweedish made. Thanks for the test, now this answers so many questions... bty very cool STi .
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:16 PM   #18
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Ohlins Japan has been instrumental in the development of the Japanese "hot cars"( Evo and STi), as well as the use of Ohlins on Porsche and BMW GT cars in years past. The fixed perch Ohlins were developed for the WR1 and yes we now know they used version 7 tops and special spring rates on the WR1 that was in Rally magazine.

Sweden's say in any of the Ohlins for Evo and Sti , and or any damper developed in Japan is of course the valving. I have driven on many grey market Ohlins and can tell you the ride quality is always what you notice first.

The build process and craftsmenship that go into Ohlins made in Sweden and Japan is the same. The Flag series was developed for the world market, with attention to detail placed on the res being located on top and more accessible. The fixed perch struts were developed for the end user who wants the damping adjustibility without the noise of coilovers. So they are really good with identifying the world market and not just the " JDM " scene.

As for rebuilds. Its very relative. If you are bouncing off curbing at the track and run your shocks cranked up 2 clicks before full hard, then yes you may need a rebuild at some point, but it wont be like a coilover where its very much every 36 months. The FPU's are ( fixed perch units) not valved as such to need that anyway.

Myles Williams
Racecomp and GTWORX.com
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Old 01-05-2006, 04:47 AM   #19
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Get the KW V3's! Double adjustable, only about $2000, awesome for the street, QUIET, and working just great at the AutoX along with the Strano 32mm FSB. It is only my driving recently that is holding me back from winning now. No rebuilds needed, and KONI has involvement with KW. Oh, and Tom Edge from KW is in NorCal, and is ALWAYS there to answer any questions you have. And if he don't have the answers, he'll get them for you from Germany! He also is personally into motorsports, so is not just some executive "suit" or desk jockey.

And though Ohlins might be different, be very leary about too much hype. A certain other *Z* brand was hyped to me (and many others), and now I can't even GIVE them away!
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Old 01-05-2006, 05:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z3coupe
And though Ohlins might be different, be very leary about too much hype. A certain other *Z* brand was hyped to me (and many others), and now I can't even GIVE them away!
How can it be a hype when every review is excellent?
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Old 01-05-2006, 07:14 AM   #21
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Depends on who does the reviews. Too many on here think that if they survive a canyon run, or can do high speeds on exit ramps, can paint their brake calipers, they are real racers and experts. Todd runs the "Ring" a ton of times, so he is one who's review has cred. KC and trhoppe are both current or ex national SCCA champs. GotPink, Arnie, DrBiggly, and Egan are also extremely excellent drivers and knowledgeable. They are known and proven resources. No hype and a zillion taste tempting pics, just facts. Some even go as far as having shock dyno charts and have worked with the mfgr to custom valve shocks and test spring rates. Pics of a car sitting still and nicely lowered don't tell the whole story, its standing still. Showing pics of the car's attitude in various types of turns DOES tell a story though. And of course, getting an actual ride in cars with various setups is way better than just word of mouth. And since you are maybe nearby in SoCal, you are most welcome to try my STi with the KW's and the new Strano FSB, which by the way, is amazing!!!!!!!!


Also a thought about not wanting double adjustables - companies who make single adjustable shocks are making major compromises in the combo of bump and rebound valving. Some try to make up for it by overcompensationg with too harsh of a spring rate. If you do a search on the KW posts, Tom Edge from KW explained their philosophy on shocks - its all in proper valving, and keeping all 4 wheels on the ground at all times. And you know what? It works. These are extremely comfortable on the road, even over ripples and bumps (try the I5 down south of Tustin as a perfect example!!!), yet are just as amazing on a course under pressure and high G-forces. And all the while, no squeeks, rattles, or clunking

Last edited by z3coupe; 01-05-2006 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:04 AM   #22
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Actually, I dont disagree about the KW's . They are well made and offer a great ride. The V3's offer an affordable 2 way adjustable unit. we tested these for 6 weeks last summer and they fall in that same category of high quality European based suspension damper manurfactures who place more emphasis on offering a damper that can adapt to a wide range of road and or track conditions.

So far though, no one offers a fixed perch unit for these cars that has this range of soft to hard. And NOW we have the 2005 -2006 STI versions coming by the end of the month.

Myles Williams

Racecomp Engineering

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Old 01-05-2006, 09:41 AM   #23
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I wish more of the brands we have all come to expect good things from would produce a fixed perch replacement STRUT for these cars. Esp since SUbaru has the issues with the rear clunking. So far Ohlins has been the only to do this for the STi, esp with the 05-06 coming.

mw
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Old 01-06-2006, 11:08 PM   #24
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Ok. I already have the prodrive springs on my 04 STi, but the struts are basically getting shot. Should I simply goto the Ohlins struts or the group 4 whiteline coilovers? I need something that soaks up the nasty streets of Milwaukee yet still performs well and lasts awhile...
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti 3vom
Ok. I already have the prodrive springs on my 04 STi, but the struts are basically getting shot. Should I simply goto the Ohlins struts or the group 4 whiteline coilovers? I need something that soaks up the nasty streets of Milwaukee yet still performs well and lasts awhile...
Thats a coin toss really. Both cost about the same. The Ohlins would allow you to retain your Prodrive springs. Yet the Whiteline would allow you to set your ride height however you want. Either way you go, you would be fine. ITs your call.

I thought I returned your PM about 5 days ago . You were asking about Milwaukee streets,..Ithougt It sounded familiar.....

Myles
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