Replacement strut advise...
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This is a discussion on Replacement strut advise... within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So the car is at 86k miles and while I have it on the lift Friday, I'm gonna take a ...

  1. #1
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Replacement strut advise...

    So the car is at 86k miles and while I have it on the lift Friday, I'm gonna take a look at the struts. I know I'm at about the failure point for factory struts, so in preparing for the worst, I'm looking for advise on replacements. I have been out of the suspension tuning game for a few years. I have had STI springs on the car for 70k miles or so.

    My Needs:

    My car is a DD with 0 track use. It has 22mm adjustable sway bars front and rear. It has group n mounts for the engine, tranny and pitch stop. I'm happy with the ride quality and height it is at now. I have had rear diff bushings to put in for a few years now so I may end up doing those too on Friday. Not interested at the moment in changing springs.

    I know I'll probably need new top hats too when I do replace the struts.

    I have owned 3+ sets of coilovers on various cars over the years, and am not interested going that route on my WRX.

    Whats a good strut to use with the STI springs on a DD?

    On other makes/models I have used in the past (but not on a WRX):

    Tockico HP's
    KYB GR2's
    KYB AGX
    Koni Yellow
    Koni Reds

    Any of these good on the WRX? Am I missing any I should consider?
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

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  3. #2
    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    GR2s are a good OE replacement strut, with a little better dampening and slightly better tolerance for aftermarket springs. STI takeoff springs would work decently with them. AGXs or Yellows would be better, but for the money, I'd say just go the GR2 route.

    When you get your alignment done, pick up a set of camber bolts to adjust the rear. Max out the front camber (-1.25+ wouldn't be unheard of), and dial the rear back a little bit (-1.0 range). This will help with removing some factory understeer from the car.
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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Damn looks like $375 for struts and $375 for mounts.

    For $750 I'm getting into coilover territory that replaces the top hats.

    Are there any good DD coilovers that allow me to keep ride height near factory levels?
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    Damn looks like $375 for struts and $375 for mounts.

    For $750 I'm getting into coilover territory that replaces the top hats.

    Are there any good DD coilovers that allow me to keep ride height near factory levels?
    I've been researching the Coilover thing to high hell lately as I'm probably going to go that route myself. But for any kind of coilover that you would want, you're still going to be spending near $1200-$1300 for something like the Eibach Pro-street coils, the H&R Performance Street coils.

    Cheapest I would look into would be ST Coilovers. Kronos has them for $950 shipped right now...and they are made by KW who is VERY reputable. They are supposed to be near quality with the valving and dampening as the KW V1s ($1500-$1700 depending on where you get them), which I had read are about as good as you can get for streetable coilover performance (similar dampening to stock STIs from what I've read).

    You will still need top-hats though as these are made to work with the "stock" tophats and don't come with any (same goes for the Eibachs mentioned, and KW V1s).

    I was thinking of just going the BC coilover route like everyone seems to love to do (I have a couple buddies with them and they are pretty good)...but I've found better out there for only a little more money.
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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    Damn looks like $375 for struts and $375 for mounts.

    For $750 I'm getting into coilover territory that replaces the top hats.

    Are there any good DD coilovers that allow me to keep ride height near factory levels?
    No good coilovers anywhere near that price.


    No need to do the tophats. If you are, look at the whiteline com C which brings a nice step in the alignment (camber and caster) and the higher durometer of the group N. Fronts have the bearing, so if you're doing any I'd say just them.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    Registered User oguitar's Avatar
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    I have koni yellows and STi struts installed. I love this setup. It is not harsh and the combo works well together. As long as the top hats look good skip changing them out.
    Life is like riding a bicycle in order to keep your balance you must keep moving.

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Hummm when this day comes, it will be a harder decision than I thought. I loved my koni Yellows on my old car, didn't mind the GR2's, wasn't in love with the Tockico HP's, and thought the KYB AGX were overpriced and harder to adjust than the koni yellows.

    We'll have to see what the stock ones look like on Friday.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Konis are good sauce. They would also put you in a position to run RCE black springs. Just watch out when assessing their drop specs as they are vs. an STi which is already lower. I knew that going in but mine dropped a smidgen more than I would prefer still.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
    "The stitch is lost unless the thread is knotted." - Italian proverb

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    Registered User mmiller2002's Avatar
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    What's a Koni Red?
    '02 WRX Wagon
    RCE wagon springs
    Koni inserts
    Com-C Top Mounts
    Kartboy Endlinks
    Sedan rear swaybar
    Others little stuff

  11. #10
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmiller2002 View Post
    What's a Koni Red?
    Koni Red's were pretty much what the name implies, a red shock made by Koni. The difference between the reds and yellows being that the yellows were more expensive and offered more adjustability, and external adjustability. The Koni red's had 5 pre determined postions and required strut removal to adjust. They were slightly more expensive than a KYB GR2, but their adjustability allowed you some tuning leeway to play around with spring rates. A KYB GR2 has fixed rebound/damping set at around 30% stiffer than stock, which is great for use with stock springs, but you can quickly over power them with some stiff spring rate choices. The reds were cool because they were comparably priced to the gr2's, were a good street strut, and worked for most peoples needs. You'd save $200 a set minimum over the yellows.

    It looks like they no longer sell them.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

    COILOVER TABLE
    TURBO TABLE

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    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Well checked the struts when I replaced the clutch. There are no visible signs of leakage anywhere, so perhaps they are getting weak, but they aren't blown out yet.
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

    COILOVER TABLE
    TURBO TABLE

  13. #12
    Registered User mmiller2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06wrx4me View Post
    Koni Red's were pretty much what the name implies, a red shock made by Koni. The difference between the reds and yellows being that the yellows were more expensive and offered more adjustability, and external adjustability. The Koni red's had 5 pre determined postions and required strut removal to adjust. They were slightly more expensive than a KYB GR2, but their adjustability allowed you some tuning leeway to play around with spring rates. A KYB GR2 has fixed rebound/damping set at around 30% stiffer than stock, which is great for use with stock springs, but you can quickly over power them with some stiff spring rate choices. The reds were cool because they were comparably priced to the gr2's, were a good street strut, and worked for most peoples needs. You'd save $200 a set minimum over the yellows.

    It looks like they no longer sell them.
    Hmmm, interesting. Never heard of them for a WRX...
    '02 WRX Wagon
    RCE wagon springs
    Koni inserts
    Com-C Top Mounts
    Kartboy Endlinks
    Sedan rear swaybar
    Others little stuff

  14. #13
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    No good coilovers anywhere near that price.


    No need to do the tophats. If you are, look at the whiteline com C which brings a nice step in the alignment (camber and caster) and the higher durometer of the group N. Fronts have the bearing, so if you're doing any I'd say just them.
    /\ Yup. And if you do need the mounts but want to save some $$$ Rockauto has some for as low as $20 ea.
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  15. #14
    Resident meany-rator 06wrx4me's Avatar
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    Ok the suspension is really bumpy now, the struts are definitely weaker. We aren't at the perpetual motion machine yet, but we are definitely unsettled.

    Are there any good affordable springs that drop the car about .5" lower than the STI take offs I have on here now?
    2014 Ford Fiesta ST

    06 WRX, HAWKEYE # 001 <T-boned and sold>

    COILOVER TABLE
    TURBO TABLE

  16. #15
    Registered User Obeisance's Avatar
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    Just a slight interjection here since I will eventually want to upgrade my springs/struts from the stock ones that I currently have. You have been running the STI takeoff springs for quite a while but want to change them... are they not stiff or low enough for you? I'm interested in why you want to change because it may affect my future interest in the STI takeoff springs.

    Thanks.
    David - '05 WRX

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