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Old 03-16-2004, 10:01 AM   #1
BSLICKOH
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Thumbs up 1st AutoX with the 04 WRX, and...

I must say I'm impressed. Either I'm getting braver/better, or Subaru changed more on the 04 than I realized. Maybe both.

My previous car:
02 WRX wagon
Koni single adjustables
Hawk HP+ front brake pads
K&N filter
Falken Azenis
autocross alignment

Current car:
04 WRX wagon
bone stock, except for same Falken Azenis
(Looooooooooooove the Azenis!)

The new one felt equal-to or better-than the 02, despite being completely stock. I figured that the understeer that absolutely haunted me in the early days of the 02 would be back. Happily it was not. The car was rotating really well. I did lose to a lowered MSP, but I was far more competitive than I thought I would be.

So I'm trying to figure out how this can be. I'd be interested in hearing comments from others who have run their 04s. If you have an 02 to compare to, I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

1. I'm just that much better than last year so I can overcome the car's weaknesses.
-> I doubt it. I only did like 5 events last year. I did 17 or so the year before, and still felt like I was fighting the car at the start of last year.

2. I wasted a lot of money on mods last year. All I really needed was the tires, and maybe an alignment, since the rest didn't make much difference.
-> I'm leaning this way. I do feel that the mods improved the car for autocross, though. Once I got the Koni's, I finally beat this stupid RSX that had been routinely spanking me. I'm just amused/annoyed that I'm getting similar autocross performance, while having the much-smoother ride of a stock car.

3. Subaru changed more on the 04 than I'm aware of.
-> This one gets my vote. I'm aware of ECU changes. (Only too aware, actually....it is a problem, as discussed in this thread ) Did they change the suspension or alignment, too?

At any rate, I'm simply amazed. I don't know where to begin in terms of mods (I'm running in STX this year, so I have more options certainly). In previous years, it was really easy: "Man, this car plows like a government mule!" "Get an alignment." "Man, this car leans like a sunovagun!" "Can't do much in DS, maybe some shocks." I'm so thrilled with how the car performed this past weekend, I'm really tempted not to change much at all (which is good, because I don't have much of a mod budget this year). Maybe a larger sway bar or something.

So what are the "need" areas on the 04 WRX for autox? They were really easy to identify on the 02. Maybe the Evolution school next weekend will help me identify some for the 04. Any comments from other 04 folks?

I suppose this carries over to the street as well. I had Michelin Pilot Sport A/S's on the old car, and still have the RE-92's on the new one. I can't honestly say that I feel I have lost much in terms of street handling.
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:44 AM   #2
DrBiggly
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Interesting. I have no idea, other than to wonder if there is a significant difference in the alignment on the new one versus the old one? I haven't heard that the '04s have different spring rates/shocks but that doesn't mean I can't be wrong again.

Have you had the new car on an alignment rack to see what it's specs are and compare that to what you had? That's all I can think of. Otherwise I'm just as as you are.
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:50 AM   #3
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Hey, I noticed you are in CIncinnati as am I. I am also running STX with my 04. Wasn't there last weekend, but will be there this coming weekend as long as the snow is gone.

As far as changes go I know the RSB is smaller, went from 20mm to 17mm I believe. Also, I have heard that the 04's have stiffer struts which could account for some of the decreased understear.

Did you have tires on your 02? If not that is definitely where the majority of the extra control came from. There is no comparison between the Azenis and the Re92's when it come to handling.

Hope to see you out there next weekend. Just look for the black 04 with clear headlights and silver Rota Torques.

Tony
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Old 03-16-2004, 10:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by subieworx
Did you have tires on your 02? If not that is definitely where the majority of the extra control came from. There is no comparison between the Azenis and the Re92's when it come to handling.
Quote:
Originally posted by BSLICKOH
My previous car:
02 WRX wagon
Koni single adjustables
Hawk HP+ front brake pads
K&N filter
Falken Azenis
autocross alignment

Current car:
04 WRX wagon
bone stock, except for same Falken Azenis
(Looooooooooooove the Azenis!)
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:08 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm blind.
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:28 PM   #6
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I think I read on here somewhere that the 04s have new struts. One of the vendors mentioned it in a thread about lowering springs.

What was the temperature while you were running? At my last event I was putting up real good times compared to everyone else, and I started thinking was it me or the cold weather keeping the Azenies cool? I hope it was me
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:47 PM   #7
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The 04 have a new multi-valved strut that is derived from technology that was implemented on the WRC car (the year before, they used multi-valed struts on the WRC car for the first time). I also remember the suspension points either changed location or were stiffened.
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Old 03-23-2004, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BSLICKOH
3. Subaru changed more on the 04 than I'm aware of.
-> This one gets my vote. I'm aware of ECU changes. (Only too aware, actually....it is a problem, as discussed in this thread ) Did they change the suspension or alignment, too?
Hey BSLICKOH,

I'm considering trying out auto-x and have a couple newb questions.

Does the "'04 drivetrain shock on throttle lift" issue bother you a lot when you are autocrossing? How about shifting from 2nd to 1st? These two factors are troublesome enough in daily driving that I think they would drive me nuts in an autocross.

Thanks
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:31 PM   #9
BSLICKOH
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angulimala
Hey BSLICKOH,

I'm considering trying out auto-x and have a couple newb questions.

Does the "'04 drivetrain shock on throttle lift" issue bother you a lot when you are autocrossing? How about shifting from 2nd to 1st? These two factors are troublesome enough in daily driving that I think they would drive me nuts in an autocross.

Thanks
I posted in the "shock" thread that at my first autocross, I did indeed encounter it, roughly once per run.

Since then, I have attended an Evolution school, and neither I nor the instructor encountered it. So, at this point, all I can say is that I need more track time. If it starts becoming a routine issue during competition, believe me I'll get vocal about it.

Shifting from 2nd to 1st...don't bother. Ride 1st for as long as you can or as long as convenient, shift to 2nd, then stay there. Yeah, you'll bog a little in some corners (although I haven't noticed bogging in the 04...might be related to ECU changes), but you'll waste more time - or cause more damage - trying to ram it back into 1st.
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Old 03-23-2004, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
How about shifting from 2nd to 1st
That should not be an issue - just stay in 2nd and avoid the temptation to downshift.

Edit: yea, kinda like BSLICKOH just said while I was busy thinking
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Old 03-23-2004, 07:56 PM   #11
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Shifting is easy from 2-1 in the 04's. I have heard that they added synchros to first gear in the 04's. I agree though about shifting back into 1st, pretty pointless. It bogs slightly, but if you shift back into first and jab the gas you will just spin the rear tires. I have been running better times leaving it in 2nd aposed to whifting back into 1st.

I have been doing quite well though in the 04 this year. I am really enjoying the AWD turbo feel aposed to FWD. Much more controllable.
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Old 03-23-2004, 08:44 PM   #12
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smart realization, that all you ened are some tires to be really competative.

eveyrone who i try to get to autocross doesnt want to saying they need to install this and that and some more of those before thwey can race


my results before and after getting azenis say eevrything.

im going for first place HST chapionship this year instead of 3rd place like i got last (only 2 races of 7 with the azenis)
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Old 03-24-2004, 12:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1st AutoX with the 04 WRX, and...

Quote:
Originally posted by BSLICKOH

2. I wasted a lot of money on mods last year. All I really needed was the tires, and maybe an alignment, since the rest didn't make much difference.
-> I'm leaning this way. I do feel that the mods improved the car for autocross, though. Once I got the Koni's, I finally beat this stupid RSX that had been routinely spanking me. I'm just amused/annoyed that I'm getting similar autocross performance, while having the much-smoother ride of a stock car.
I think you just helped me avoid a lot of unnecessary expense. Thank you very much.
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Old 03-24-2004, 04:57 PM   #14
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after switching to a tire like azenis, how many seconds can you expect to shave off of your previous time?
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by AlpineFD
after switching to a tire like azenis, how many seconds can you expect to shave off of your previous time?
It depends on the course; on a 60 second course it's probably worth 3 seconds or so. Really significant!
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Old 05-09-2004, 08:51 AM   #16
jcroy66
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Quote:
Originally posted by subieworx
Shifting is easy from 2-1 in the 04's. I have heard that they added synchros to first gear in the 04's.
I know this is an old thread, but I was doing a search for info on alignments and came across it. And this quote matches exactly a question I have: Do the '03 and earlier WRXs have a first-gear synchro? I had my 03 in the dealer this past week. I was getting the cruise control retainer clip recall done, and while it was there, I asked them to check on the grinding when downshifting to 1st. The car has NEVER liked to downshift to 1st (even at or under 5 mph). The service manager claimed that that was "normal" - that the car can only shift to first gear at a complete stop. But he also said "yeah, the car has synchros, but it's not designed to do that" or something along those lines. This sounded like complete BS to me, and since I kept disagreeing with him, he recommended I return on Monday (tomorrow) to discuss it with an expert tech.

But this thread got me wondering. Is it possible the 03 WRX simply doesn't have a first-gear synchro at all?? Seems totally implausible to me, but I suppose stranger things have happened. So, anyone?
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:23 AM   #17
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1st Gear in '02-'04 WRXs have single cone syncronizers. There were no revisions from the '02/'03 to the '04 in terms of syncros.

However, the new '05s are getting double cone syncros, so that should definitely improve shifting performance.

I'd like to hazard a guess that since the car was still new or something, that it could still shift a little from 2->1. I can do it too, its just that I have to pretty much be only rolling along.
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:28 PM   #18
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04s wagons also have a 20mm sway in the front, where as the 02/03 I believe had a 17 in the front and the back.

Not that that should help with the understeer, but at least it's keeping things a little tigher up front.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:20 AM   #19
DrBiggly
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Quote:
Originally posted by gibjer
Not that that should help with the understeer, but at least it's keeping things a little tigher up front.
It should help with understeer just because it helps on the camber curve; i.e. it allows less body roll and thus less camber change. There IS a point where you can get too big on a front bar and start to cause more understeer (like we need that right?) however nobody has seemed to find it yet on stock springs/struts.
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by NeoteriX
1st Gear in '02-'04 WRXs have single cone syncronizers. There were no revisions from the '02/'03 to the '04 in terms of syncros.

However, the new '05s are getting double cone syncros, so that should definitely improve shifting performance.

I'd like to hazard a guess that since the car was still new or something, that it could still shift a little from 2->1. I can do it too, its just that I have to pretty much be only rolling along.
I drive a 2003 and downshifting to first from second can be a bit tough if you are just trying to push in the clutch and slam it into first.

Try double clutching and rev-matching and you will probably find that it slides into first with no problems.
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by gibjer
04s wagons also have a 20mm sway in the front, where as the 02/03 I believe had a 17 in the front and the back.

Not that that should help with the understeer, but at least it's keeping things a little tigher up front.
No, the '02-'03s had a 20mm in the front and a 17 in the back.

The '04 wagons have a very nice setup. I test-drove one, and sure, my SPT-suspended car was better, but not by a lot, where the SPT kit made a night and day difference on my '02 wagon.

The current setup is definitely a very nice one.

Kevin
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duffman1
Try double clutching and rev-matching and you will probably find that it slides into first with no problems.
For the most part, that's what we've found with my car. But it seems like double-clutching shouldn't be necessary, if it were performing correctly. I understand that the 1st gear syncho is a common problem area on '03 WRXs. My question was directed more to if that was EXPECTED/"correct" behavior, per Subaru's specifications.
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