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Old 07-24-2008, 12:29 AM   #1
Scooby Guru
Member#: 4021
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Natick, MA USA
1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Default Advice request: Lowering springs.

I recently bought a set of lowering springs that improve cornering largely by lowering the centre of gravity. I mentioned this to a buddy who at one time worked for a car care service chain company. He mentioned to me that anytime you install new struts/springs you really need to do a full four-wheel alignment and then he started rattling on about camber,caster, and toe-in, and the need get special camber/caster plates as these things aren't normally adjustable.

I am only going to be dropping the car an inch (2.54 cm) in back, and 1.2 Inches (3.05 cm) in front. With the drop I can imagine its likely to cause the camber to change SLIGHTLY, but for the life of me I don't see how a new set of struts and springs are going to change the caster or the toe-in. While I had planned to have my alignment CHECKED after the new struts and springs are installed, I wasn't expecting to have to worry about such drastic changes.

Those of you that had new springs installed... Did you have your alignment checked afterwards ? Did anything change ? Was this "buddy" of mine giving me good information, or just scarring me ?

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:37 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 53410
Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Tucson, AZ / Port Angeles, WA


Likely you'll need your alignment done, and not checked. I've never heard anybody tell me different. The before and after stats for all of my post-strut/spring installs have shown that toe and camber were effected.

Besides the fact that lowering changes all the angles(namely camber), in order to install springs you need to remove the struts...the bolts of which have a lot to do with camber and toe.

Camber plates are optional, but not necessarily needed. Camber bolts may be needed if you don't want an aggressive alignment (which can be hard on the indside of tires).

So.....plan on getting a good alignment(make sure you take it to someplace good!) a few weeks after the swap. Keep camber bolts in mind if they come back and say "I couldn't get camber any closer to 0 than -2).

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Old 07-24-2008, 12:53 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 74907
Join Date: Nov 2004
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: salem, OR
98 cam'd EJ251
Wrx Tranny,slowr than ish


If you are only lowering an inch, the stock eccentric bolts should be able to adjust that out. You want a little bit of neg. camber in the front anyway, not a whole lot, just about half a degree. For the rears, you might want a little bit less. But for toe, you want zero toe all the way around. Make sure to have the alignment shop show you the print out of what they were able to put it at.

The term "within factory specs" can mean many things. If you have to, be assertive in what you want. Be sure they get it the way you want it.

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Old 07-24-2008, 07:51 AM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 36735
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
99 GF8 Impreza 2.0
2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT


"factory spec" for Subaru's is a HUGE range.

Get the alignment done. It's peace of mind.
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