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Old 11-01-2021, 06:55 PM   #1
REX_WGN
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Default Nuances and Thoughts with Anti-Lift Kits for GC/GD chassis

I rebuilt a Whiteline Anti-Lift Kit with the replacement kit. There's replacement kits for whatever stiffness you have from comfort to race. I used kit part number W0562. I called Whiteline USA and they were very helpful. I spoke to Joel specifically.

After installing the replacement and looking at a few things about the kit, I have a few thoughts I want to share. I don't recall these points were ever brought up in the older threads and nor have I looked it up. But here are the points:

1) Angle of the ALK crush tube and bushing
2) DIY ALK with Forester FLCA rear housings (transverse link) the correct way
  • swap housings side to side
  • might as well upgrade the bushing
3) Correct front metal washer for ALKs

Here's some pictures of the install and side-by side with old and new bushings:







1) Angle of the ALK crush tube and bushing

First thing I want to share about is the orientation/angle of the crush tube and bushing.

Take a look at this picture of the passenger side ALK housing:



The red line is against the chassis and, for sake of my point, consider it parallel to the ground and so are stock front lower control arms. Notice that the blue line is pointing up from rear to front compared to the red line. This is because you are effectively pulling the rear of the arm down from the chassis when using ALKs. As you can imagine, if Whiteline did not have this angle in their bushings, it would create substantial bind in this suspension point. I also have a set of used Perrin PSRS housings and the crush tubes/bushings are angled the same way. If you're having trouble visualizing this, picture a level FLCA with no bushings and a broomstick is inserted through the bushing points. The broomstick would be able to spin freely. Then picture pulling the rear of the arm down but also trying to keep the broomstick level. This is the bind.

This doesn't address the bind of the FLCA front bushing though. I guess considering there's some play in the rubber, it wouldn't matter too much. However, poly bushings may be a different story.

For those that will also replace their worn bushings, please ensure you clock or orient the bushing correctly before you press it in. Referencing the picture below, you can see that the "thinnest" part of the front of the bushing is at the 12 o'clock position. Not to add more confusion but if you're following up to this point, then you can also clock this part of the bushing to the 10:30/11 position to add some more positive caster.



In summary of point 1, the up angle of the ALK (from rear to front) is necessary in order to avoid binding of the bushing.

2) DIY ALK with Forester FLCA rear housings (transverse link) the correct way

The Impreza and Forester Chassis, GC/SF and GD/SG, are pretty much interchangeable suspension wise. The much of the difference lies in the components that make the Forester have it's ride height. One of these components is the FLCA rear bushing which is taller than an Impreza rear bushing/housing because the Forester one accounts for the front subframe drop from the chassis. You can see how these Forester housings look just like the aftermarket ALK housings. Because of this, a few members have mentioned in old threads about using these Forester housings as a cheaper ALK.







Take a look at the same side (passenger side, compared to point 1) Forester FLCA rear bushing:



Odd. Maybe the Forester chassis mounting points are not level or parallel; that's my best guess but have not been able to confirm yet with some fellow SF/SG forester owners. But back to the picture, if the housing is mounted against a chassis that's parallel or level, then the blue line angles down from rear to front, diverging from the red line/chassis.

So for those that are using these Forester housings as a cheaper or DIY ALK, then I would guess there's a really bad amount of bind.

Can anyone who has done this - use Forester housings on an Impreza chassis as oem ALK solution - chime in about your experience with this?
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Last edited by REX_WGN; 03-01-2022 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 11-01-2021, 06:55 PM   #2
REX_WGN
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Default

But imagine the same picture above is now the driver-side housing, then it would work appropriately. The issue now is that the crush tubes are oriented the wrong way; the tapered end that needs to be pointing to the front/control arm is now pointing to the rear. You'd have to press out the bushings and reverse them. But since you're pressing them out already, I would change them out with new bushings. These Forester bushings as well as a few Impreza model ones are liquid filled. Some will eventually start leaking. My passenger side 06 WRX one leaked.

Only oem version that is solid rubber / not liquid filled is part numbers 20204FE120 and 20204FE110. These are the same ones that came on the 04-06 STI. There's also the Group N versions but they have voids/slits in them.

There's also aftermarket versions like Whitelines KCA375 which is what I like to call a mini-ALK because of the offset of the crush tube; you can orient it for max anti-lift, max positive caster or 50/50. Pictured here is that kit clocked for 50/50 anti-lift geometry and additional caster:



Superpro has the same kind. Whiteline also has their non-offset version W51710 pictured here:



In summary of point 2, if you are to use oem Forester FLCA rear housings as your ALK then you should swap them side for side (driver-side for passenger side and vice versa) and press out the bushing to orient the tapered end to the front. Better yet, replace the liquid-filled Forester bushings with solid rubber ones.

Last edited by REX_WGN; 03-01-2022 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 11-01-2021, 06:56 PM   #3
REX_WGN
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3) Correct front metal washer for ALKs

So this point is mainly for the 04-06 STI owners or folks who plan on swapping in 04-06 STI aluminum FLCAs onto their vehicles. This may also apply to 07 STI FLCAs but I can't confirm.

Take a look at the installation instructions for WL's ALK.

Notice that the oem front washer, the one that's first installed on the black pin, is concaved. The front face of the WL ALK has the same concavity to match this washer. This allows the washer to make contact predominantly on the crush tube which allows said crush tube to pivot inside the bushing as the arm moves up and down during suspension travel.




Side note: the steel arms on Imprezas, WRXs and Foresters have this concavity built in so installing a WL ALK on the steel arms is not an issue.

However, the oem front washers of the 04-06 STI arms are not concaved. So when you tighten and torque down the WL ALK, this 04-06 STI washer will press down on the outer edges of the concaved poly bushing before making contact with the crush tube. This doesn't allow the bushing to pivot "freely" on the crush tube, binding on the front face of the poly bushing and causes premature wear. Take a look at this washer which was installed with the WL ALK I just rebuilt:



You can see where water was able to just sit in between the washer and bushing and corrosion just ate away at the washer - proof of the lack of concavity in these washers.

I suspect Whiteline designed their ALKs from the pre-04 non-USDM STI arms - hence the pictures in their installation instructions - and never accounted for the change in washer style with USDM 04-06 STIs.These concaved washers are found on the JDM Forester STI arms as well as the GC aluminum arms.

I was able to dig enough and find the part number for the concave washer. I verified it by actually ordering a few.
20206FA000 - concave washer from pre-2004
20205FE010 - 04+ STI 'flat' black washer

Here it is side by side with the 04-06 STI "flat" washer:




Here's a picture showing the concavity off the table:


Notice how the label for the concave washer is OG blue as well as indicating Fuji Heavy Industries.

So in summary of point 3, if you are running 04-06 STI FLCAs and want to run any of the aftermarket ALKs (or even WL poly bushing W51710), be mindful of this issue.

Last edited by REX_WGN; 03-01-2022 at 08:00 PM. Reason: verified part # for concave oem washer
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Old 11-02-2021, 09:55 AM   #4
JarHarms
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A few quick thoughts:
There are two versions of the forester transverse link housings; angled and flat plane where they mount to the chassis.
I dislike poly ALKs based on my experiences (yes all brands) since it is really dumb (yes dumb) place to use poly. The best ALK from way back was the GTspec that is no longer made.
If you must use poly then Dupont Kytox is the lube you are looking for.
Whiteline's metal hardware has always been rust prone. Stainless crush tubes are mandatory with poly to maintain the primary function mode. Stainless "large" washers would be nice also. Rusty hardware quickly chews away poly.
Subaru solid bushings work great, need no lube, will not leak, and are harder to source by now. The GpN bushings are not as firm but will not leak. Subaru liquid filled can leak obviously but I'd still rater use those than poly.
My opinion is the front bushings on the alloy LCAs have hardly any compliance to adjust for non-factory positions. Just look at those bushings compared to the steel LCA bushings.

Here is my DIY ALKs from awhile back that replaced Whiteline's ALKs. I should re-host the photos but you should get the idea. Making these was by no means a "cheaper" way to get ALKs. For me it was about ending up with the "best" (for me at least) solution. Hope some of the info contained in these are helpful

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=42888028#post42888028

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=43426760#post43426760

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=45172761#post45172761

Last edited by JarHarms; 11-02-2021 at 10:20 AM. Reason: added earlier link(s) with p/n's and end results
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Old 11-02-2021, 10:56 AM   #5
REX_WGN
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JarHarms, great to see others have seen some of the same issues as I have. I love following your journal. I have one for my FXT over on the forester forum and I always run into a predicament of deciding do I duplicate my journal entries and/or make general forum posts or not.

I did not know Foresters had, as you call them, flat plane and angled housings. I didn't look into the flat plane ones I ran into as I suspected they were cheap aftermarket. I'm glad you already looked into it lol.

What are your thoughts on the angled housings and the fact that they angle down and away from the front bushing IF installed on the Impreza chassis?
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Old 11-02-2021, 11:52 AM   #6
JarHarms
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I can offer this towards the aftermarket transverse links. I bought a set of forester versions (brand does not really matter) and they were dreadful. I expected the bushings were junk and they indeed were. All I really wanted was value priced housings to place my SpecC bushings into. Those housings were also junk; bushing bore was ridiculously out-of-round. Trash. I ended up buying factory forester transverse links from Subaru and those worked out well. Just ended up costing a bit more.

The Foresters can likely get away with more transverse link bushing deflection due to the front bushings installed in their steel formed LCAs. Just my guess though, I do not claim to be any expert.

As for the angled housings on Imprezas (or Foresters w/o the cross-member spacers); I have not personally installed those combos. I did see a photo of a Forester with all the Impreza cross-members (no spacing) and the factory angled transverse links. I saw more bushing deflection than I was comfortable with.
-I think the flat transverse links are a better choice in that case.
-Also thought about reversing the angled transverse links RHS<->LHS as you pondered earlier. So that the bushing CL points slightly upwards. That might be worth experimenting with although I have never seen that combo installed in person or by photo. It might be an advantage in cases where the front LCA mounting point is moved upwards (aftermarket front cross-members).

Honestly I would guess the majority of people installing ALKs probably don't really need them and would not notice/bother with the concerns you are pointing out. This is what makes forging ahead with these types of mods difficult, exciting, and usually thankless. I certainly appreciate your level of detail!
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Old 11-02-2021, 02:47 PM   #7
ether947
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REX_WGN, did you ever get those control arm bushings from Hardrace?
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Old 11-02-2021, 03:08 PM   #8
REX_WGN
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hah, I refrained from mentioning them here as I didn't want to add confusion to my main thoughts above. But now that you asked, I did not get them yet. I was about to order from Hardrace but then the order was put on hold as I was exploring my bushing options for my newly acquired 09 FXT. I placed the updated order about a month ago and Hardrace did warn me about the long shipping time as the parts are coming from overseas.

I do think the Hardrace bushings being sealed spherical will help with all the binding issues I mentioned above. Not trying to toot my own horn but, obviously, only the "hardcore" guys would shell out that kind of money and effort to upgrade a 20-year old chassis.

Even when I get the GD Hardrace bushings, I probably won't be able to put them on for another year or two - long story with my beloved wagon. But I'll definitely play with them a little bit and take some pictures to post here on NASIOC.
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Old 11-02-2021, 03:19 PM   #9
REX_WGN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JarHarms View Post
I can offer this towards the aftermarket transverse links. I bought a set of forester versions (brand does not really matter) and they were dreadful. I expected the bushings were junk and they indeed were. All I really wanted was value priced housings to place my SpecC bushings into. Those housings were also junk; bushing bore was ridiculously out-of-round. Trash. I ended up buying factory forester transverse links from Subaru and those worked out well. Just ended up costing a bit more.

The Foresters can likely get away with more transverse link bushing deflection due to the front bushings installed in their steel formed LCAs. Just my guess though, I do not claim to be any expert.

As for the angled housings on Imprezas (or Foresters w/o the cross-member spacers); I have not personally installed those combos. I did see a photo of a Forester with all the Impreza cross-members (no spacing) and the factory angled transverse links. I saw more bushing deflection than I was comfortable with.
-I think the flat transverse links are a better choice in that case.
-Also thought about reversing the angled transverse links RHS<->LHS as you pondered earlier. So that the bushing CL points slightly upwards. That might be worth experimenting with although I have never seen that combo installed in person or by photo. It might be an advantage in cases where the front LCA mounting point is moved upwards (aftermarket front cross-members).

Honestly I would guess the majority of people installing ALKs probably don't really need them and would not notice/bother with the concerns you are pointing out. This is what makes forging ahead with these types of mods difficult, exciting, and usually thankless. I certainly appreciate your level of detail!
Good to know about aftermarket housings! They sound like crap and I'm also weary of how well they are made composition-wise. I would worry about them cracking after a hard bump hit.

Thanks for your thoughts on the "angled" Forester housings. I'm confident swapping them side for side with the bushings oriented the right way (tapered end reversed) would work. I'm using the angle of the WL and Perrin ALKs as my basis of this argument. Only difference between the aftermarket ALKs and my swapped housing idea is that the WL/Perrin ones angle the bushing and inner crush tube while the Forester housings have the angle built into it using a "straight" bushing.

This all started when I ran across ether947's blog (another thread I started) where he cut the mounting flanges/tabs off extra Impreza transverse links and used them to shim the transverse link already on his car. My goal to resolve all of the possible binding issues is to order sealed spherical front bushing and rear bushing/housing from Hardrace.
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Old 01-01-2022, 04:47 PM   #10
REX_WGN
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So in regards to the concave washer from the aluminum arms NOT on the 04-06 STI, I believe I found the correct part number.

I was chatting it up with another member who planned on running the WL ALK with 04-06 STI arms. I decided to go on JDM parts websites and try to find the part number. Then work my way back to USDM sites to see if it's available. I purposely looked up the GC STI arms as I know for sure they had these kinds of washers. I found part number 20206FA000 and then tried to look it up on USDM subaru sites and it's actually available. I'm 99% sure it's the correct part number. He ordered the washers and will provide pictures once they arrive.
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Old 03-01-2022, 08:01 PM   #11
REX_WGN
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So it is confirmed - I verified concave washer's part number by actually ordering a few.

20206FA000 - concave washer from pre-2004
20205FE010 - 04+ STI 'flat' black washer

Here it is side by side with the 04-06 STI "flat" washer:




Here's a picture showing the concavity off the table:


Notice how the label for the concave washer is OG blue as well as indicating Fuji Heavy Industries.
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