Wagon to Sedan Suspension Conversion (Sedan trac on a wagon.)
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This is a discussion on Wagon to Sedan Suspension Conversion (Sedan trac on a wagon.) within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; Purpose: My reason for changing the wagon trac to the wider sedan trac was to gain some performance advantage and ...

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    Wagon to Sedan Suspension Conversion (Sedan trac on a wagon.)

    Purpose: My reason for changing the wagon trac to the wider sedan trac was to gain some performance advantage and to allow the use of inexpensive STI sedan takeoffs that are now floating around. Well, it just seemed like a cool thing to do and it seemed easier than fender flares.

    Prelude:
    When I got my wagon, I asked about the STI sedan. Then I found out that there was an STI wagon in Japan. So I hoped against hope that when the STI sedan was brought to the US that SOA would also bring me a USDM STI wagon!

    ...Well we all know that they didnt "bring it". (Sorry had to do it.)

    So instead of buying an STI sedan I have been converting my 2002 MBP wagon into an STI wagon. It will not be authentic, more of a Frankenstien type conversion, nevertheless I am calling it "STI".
    So far, I have the RA V. 6 gearset with a Cusco 1 way LSD on the front wheels, STI engine and transmission mounts, and PowerFlex poly bushing set.

    I got the idea for this mod from this thread: here.

    Tutorial: So this is what I did and the problems I ran into.

    Sedan parts that need to replace wagon parts:

    - front sway bar with sedan end links(I used the 19mm STI part with PolTec adj. sedan links. )
    - front A-arms (I found used sedan arms for a good price)
    - rear lateral links (found used)
    - rear axles (used)
    - front axles ( I didn't change mine and so far they are holding up after about 4000mi)
    According to Big Sky there is a difference in length and I will eventually change them when they fail.
    - rear endlinks ( I think these have to change also, even thought the rsb can stay. I used PolTec adj. links and my Cusco 22mm adj. sway bar.)

    In addition to these necessary parts I also used PowerFlex bushings in the lateral links, rear diff mount, and the front bushings on the A-arms. I did not do the rear A-arm bushings because eventually I will get the Sport ALK.
    Last edited by chudlo; 02-18-2005 at 08:14 PM.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Removal and Installation:

    I used a lift, air tools, and my wife. Yes, she is a mechanic and we used her stall on a Sat. Veeeery convenient, if I do say so myself.

    Well despite haveing almost everything you could possibly need the install took about 8hrs and was not complete. Poor planning on my part in not knowing the proper way to remove front/rear axles and how to remove the lateral links.

    So here is how we started:

    Front Remove - wheels, plastic undercover, subframe, fsb, A-arms. [The front wagon axles should be removed and replaced by the sedan axles. I didnt do this yet and do not know how, so you will need another tutorial for this part of the process. Sorry.]
    The A-arms can be removed by removing the bolts at the chassis, loosening ball joint bolt, and then by prying a big screwdriver into the slit near the ball joint. It should fall out, but may need a little help.

    Front Install - the Sedan A-arms, sedan fsb and endlinks, subframe, plastic undercover (Leave wheels off if you are changing the suspension, of course.)

    Rear Remove - wheels, end links, lateral links. ( To do this I needed to partially remove the axles to get the inboard bolts out. I was not counting on this and did not know how to re-install the axles.) We also needed to partially remove the exhaust to get to the Toe bolt on the left side.

    Rear Install - lateral links, axles, endlinks (leave wheels off)


    After establishing the wider trac we then tackled the strut and spring swap. I wont go into detail here of the strut & spring removal/installatin as it has been covered better elsewhere.

    We lowered the car and removed the stock wagon struts and springs.
    Then we installed the JDM V.8 takeoffs that I bought for $500.

    We then put the wheels back on and lowered the car. Even if we had been able to re-attach the rear axles, the car would still not have been driveable. The front tires looked "pigeon toed" the camber was off and the rear wasnt much better. You WILL need an alignment when you get done!

    You can eyeball the alignment if you are comfortable making the necessary adjustments. This may be good enought to get you to an alignment shop. We tried to do it but gave up hungry and tired.
    Last edited by chudlo; 12-06-2004 at 08:15 PM.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Pictures!!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_6202.jpg   IMG_6203.jpg   IMG_6205.jpg   IMG_6204.JPG  
    Last edited by chudlo; 02-18-2005 at 08:08 PM.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    I have to work all weekend and will have to finish this later. I need to take "after" pics but it is raning.

    I suck.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    ^
    You don't suck, you kick ass for posting some great info on what is a cool swap.

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    Thanks for the support, hypa! With Christmas approaching, I forgot about my little post here.

    I still need to take after pics and re-edit everything above for accuracy, grammar, and spelin.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Talking

    so is that all you needed? any updates?
    wagon...thats right

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    Update: Finally added some pics!

    The front axles are still holding up well.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Axles still holding up well? I'm debating doing this to my car. My 2002 service manuals say that the front axles are the same between sedans and wagons; I guess there's enough play for them to hold up with the wider track. Rears are different for sure.
    Last edited by GTScoob; 03-20-2007 at 02:21 PM.
    13.2 @105 with the old auto. Now rockin a 4.44 standard tranny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTScoob View Post
    Axles still holding up well? I'm debating doing this to my car. My 2002 service manuals say that the front axles are the same between sedans and wagons; I guess there's enough play for them to hold up with the wider track. Rears are different for sure.
    They held in there for a while, but I replaced them after 20k to 30k miles I think.
    I would use the wagon axles again, as I did, until they give out. It is cheaper that way and they should last a good bit depending on present condition.

    Hit me up if you need any help. I have since converted the car to a JDM V8 STi with the 6 speed, R180 diff, axles, Brembos, and wheels. Naturally I am running a sedan suspension as well.
    S202 takeoffs FTW!
    Saggy wagon butt FTL!

    RCE is makeing some springs that will solve the saggy butt problem.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Registered User GTScoob's Avatar
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    I'm running some Espelir GT springs and 04 STI struts but pissed that I cant get more than -1 deg of camber with camber plates in the front, can only get -.5 in the back. So far its not sagging, I'd say the front sits slightly higher but thats due to camber plates.
    This conversion also opens up the possibility to use any larger front sway bar, since 22mm is the largest wagon bar I've ever seen. Can also use the JDM aluminum control arms which have the free caster mod by rotating the offset bushing. Just gotta see what deals I can find on these parts. I was also thinking about the future possibility of adding brembos and the R180.
    13.2 @105 with the old auto. Now rockin a 4.44 standard tranny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTScoob View Post
    I'm running some Espelir GT springs and 04 STI struts but pissed that I cant get more than -1 deg of camber with camber plates in the front, can only get -.5 in the back. So far its not sagging, I'd say the front sits slightly higher but thats due to camber plates.
    This conversion also opens up the possibility to use any larger front sway bar, since 22mm is the largest wagon bar I've ever seen. Can also use the JDM aluminum control arms which have the free caster mod by rotating the offset bushing. Just gotta see what deals I can find on these parts. I was also thinking about the future possibility of adding brembos and the R180.
    I forgot about the FSB thing. I am running a Whiteline 24mm adj up front since i can use the sedan bars.

    I just got an alignment last week and got:

    Front
    Camber Left Right
    -1.6 -1.5
    Castor L R
    5.5 5.6
    Toe= 0

    Rear
    Camber Left Right
    -1.1 -1.9
    Toe= 0

    When I got there I had -2.2 camber on the front right wheel. So you can, obviously, get lots of camber back by doing the conversion.

    I have Noltec camber/castor plates and the Whiteline offset bushing to keep me SM legal, btw.
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Hey awesome right up,
    I have been debating this for a month or two. I have an 04 wrx wagon and will be doing the complete sti route also.
    My question is, when you get it aligned do you tell them to align it as a sedan or am I just dumb and all wrxs have the same alignment spec?
    Thanks for the great info!
    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprezaMeWith View Post
    Hey awesome right up,
    I have been debating this for a month or two. I have an 04 wrx wagon and will be doing the complete sti route also.
    My question is, when you get it aligned do you tell them to align it as a sedan or am I just dumb and all wrxs have the same alignment spec?
    Thanks for the great info!
    Tony
    Thanks.

    The specs are the same for both, as I remember. However, I would just tell them max camber front and zero toe unless you have rear camber bolts or camber/caster plates.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.

    chud
    Now with more V8 powa!

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    Sorry to brake open an old thread. But the conversion has me curious. When he says subframe what part is he talking about on the front?

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