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Old 06-03-2001, 06:36 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 623
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dorkland NZ / MTL, Qc, Can
2000 WRX STi 6 wagon
Mellow Yellow

Post Handling, think about it, you need it.... we all do !

let me piece together a subject the has been around in seprate parts.

Handling, my favorite feeling...

as some of you might know, i love handling over power so much. I'll always look into top hadling and braking before i look at power in any situation. So if you're the "how can i get the next bit of power?" kind you might disagree with this whole discertation.

in all the cars and bikes i've had i always wanted theat perfect handling possible before i started thinking about power. sometimes i had to repair the motor and in doing so it gave me the oportunity to crank it a little while doing the mandatory repairs but that's the only times i put more power before handling and usually wasn't much. a car (or bike) feels so much better when you can actually exploit the amount of power you have before adding more.

i did this exact exercise on my RS last year and am working my WRX this year. being the same body shape there are things i already know and can take more experienced approach towards the chassis itself. the choice of going 18" instead of 17" was very vain, they look good but with top Falken tyres and 300bhp they are still too big and have way too little rubber on them. so i will get myself a set 17's for the track since my new brakes will not fir 16's.

last year on my RS i had: Prodrive 17" wheels, Kayaba AGX shocks, Tein S-Tech springs, WHiteline castor kit, sway bar links and bushings, strut tie-bars, STi Motor and suspension mounts all around, willwood Dynalite calipers and a WRX 21" rear sway bar. That made my RS phenomenal, i loved it and that's when i started addressing power issues.

this year is a whole new ball game because my WRX has around 300bhp (i was told it had more but i still say it's about that) and needs some diffrent, more harcore components. i feel like sharing this because i owned an RS and did motsly everything people tlaked about to it and know what it is to own one. you guys are getting more and more power out of it too now and also getting the almighty WRX too.

my first reaction was to get the suspension lowered for vanity reasons because the original STi one is amazing but i found out that there was room for improvement. and soon remembered that the WRX an RS were nothing but regular little family cars turned into fun sport rice-burners and that Subaru had overlooked one main thing that BMW didn't when making the first M3. the front suspension castor angle... i had the castor kit on my RS but forgot about it when i got my WRX IT_NEEDS_IT_TOO ! hehe... i now have the new model from whiteline and it is lighter and gives more castor than the first model they made. now the sway bar, in North America we all wanted 18mm and 21mm WRX bars and loved them too (i tried both). and some of us couldn't beleive how big the WRX owners were going on theirs... well i just got the adjustable Whiteline one and it's set to the middle. it feels so much better and i really whish i had tried it on my RS. now for the icing on the cake..... i finally tried the Prodrive alignment specs, WOOOOOHOOOOO ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! .... DAMN ! it's hot, it keeps your steering much tighter, more responsive and takes care of all the nasty understeer that we don't really think we have on an Impreza until we've gotten it fixed. here are the specs:

-FRONT camber:MAX 1.5 or 1.2 degrees depending on model year.
toe-in: 1mm

-REAR camber is not adjustable unless you have the CUSCO OR STi arms.
toe-in: 1mm

i'll tell you, it whips the car insde of a turn as you punch it out of an apex and it also lets you brake a tad later because of the added handling. and if your garage finds those settings weird just tell hime to go to hell. now i need a rear strut tie-bar as i remember how much of a difference it made on my RS coupe so in a wagon i MUST have one. that's all for now... i just wanted to lay out my jam on suspension and handling and would really recommend the Prodrive alignment specs but NOT to anyone with OEM tyres. GET SOME GOOD TYRES FIRST ! it's the first step.


[This message has been edited by ownly (edited June 03, 2001).]
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Old 06-03-2001, 06:46 PM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 420
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: The LBC, CA, USA
2001 Cr-V


You are stoked. (that means happy and excited because of a decidedly positive situation, vis-a-vis your motor vehicle)
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Old 06-03-2001, 06:51 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 252
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: San Antonio, TX
2001 Arctic White
Camaro SS #1800


ownly, you've put into words what I've been thinking. I'm in the middle of a personal debate. Do I add more power to my measly RS or do I make it handle better? I still don't know. I can go much further with the handling aspect, but the rush of power from a turbo would be more gratifying on a daily basis (whereas the handling would be more gratifying those 15 or so weekends a year I'm autocrossing or out on the track; hell, even a quick run through the hills would apply). So much to do, so little money
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