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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I have a 2016 WRX base and I love this car. I traded in my Focus ST for this car because I'm a car nut and just haven't been able to hold onto one car for more than a year or two. This car however, is definitely going to break that trend. I've only had a few "complaints" if you wanna call them that, and those would be the brakes and the suspension. While the brakes aren't bad by any measure they just don't give me the same confidence that the stoppers on the ST provided. Those brakes would bite hard and stop quick, these brakes feel a tad squishy in comparison. But I've found plenty of threads on fixing that. Suspension however I've had less luck finding information on. I don't necessarily want a full suspension tear down but I just want to tighten up the handling. The ST darted into turns with authority and was confidence inspiring up the limits where it then got a little worrisome. The WRX by comparison doesn't quite give that same initial confidence going into turns but once committed it keeps confidence high right up to the limit. So I'm not sure if maybe I should be looking at maybe sway bars or strut tower braces?

TL;DR Will sway bars or strut tower braces tighten up handling without severely impacting daily drivability
 

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From what you're describing, swaybars and endlinks is probably your best bet. Strut tower braces do nothing, so don't waste your money on one of those.
 

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Honestly, I would start with tires.

In comparison to the Goodyear F1 Asymmetrics that come on the OEM Focus ST, the Dunlop Sportmaxx SP tires are a little greasier and less confidence-inspiring. I know this from direct comparison on the AutoX course. Plus, the OEM Dunlops on the WRX (and also my STI) take quite some time to warm-up compared to most performance summer rubber.

The sway bar isn't a bad idea, but I don't think the car needs a swaybar to start. Begin with better rubber and DEFINITELY an alignment (Subaru OEM alignment is extremely conservative) and then assess the differences.
 

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Like Zax mentioned the stock Dunlops although summer tires aren't the best. After just 10 minutes of spirited driving they started to turn into jello causing them to lose grip.

Swaybars helped quite a lot but I opted to do them last along with kartboy endlinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just realized I didn't even touch on the tire issue. I still have the ST's goodyears mounted on aftermarket rims that I'm STILL trying to get rid of and when I took off the dunlops for winter I was able to line them up next to each other and though I'm no tire expert, even sort of, there was a clear difference in the tread pattern and they even felt different. Downside is the goodyears wear out silly fast.
I'm just one of those people that have a hard time justifying spending a lot of money on tires when my dunlops are still good so I'm trying to get an idea about other options that can help until these things wear out.
 

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I'm just one of those people that have a hard time justifying spending a lot of money on tires when my dunlops are still good so I'm trying to get an idea about other options that can help until these things wear out.

That's how I am.. even though good tires will make the biggest difference in performance, I'm not going to throw away a new set of tires just so I can replace them (at least not on a daily driven car). I even have a hard time justifying paying for expensive tires when I do need new ones.. ever since my $1150 Potenza RE-01s got trashed at around 10,000 miles because one of them got a screw stuck in the shoulder.
 

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Just realized I didn't even touch on the tire issue. I still have the ST's goodyears mounted on aftermarket rims that I'm STILL trying to get rid of and when I took off the dunlops for winter I was able to line them up next to each other and though I'm no tire expert, even sort of, there was a clear difference in the tread pattern and they even felt different. Downside is the goodyears wear out silly fast.
I'm just one of those people that have a hard time justifying spending a lot of money on tires when my dunlops are still good so I'm trying to get an idea about other options that can help until these things wear out.
Truthfully the tires are your weak point. You can throw on sway bars , but that will make the ride more jittery, slow you down on anything but very smooth tarmac, and end up with the same limits anyhow.

Start with the alignment. Big big improvement for not so much money.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Truthfully the tires are your weak point. You can throw on sway bars , but that will make the ride more jittery, slow you down on anything but very smooth tarmac, and end up with the same limits anyhow.

Start with the alignment. Big big improvement for not so much money.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
I've gotta say, thank you! Your input has been very helpful in this matter thus far. Step one will definitely be looking into an alignment. Once the dunlops wear down to where I won't feel like I'm throwing away money I'll invest in better tires. I guess my last question would be, are sway bars a good choice post alignment and tires?
 

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I've gotta say, thank you! Your input has been very helpful in this matter thus far. Step one will definitely be looking into an alignment. Once the dunlops wear down to where I won't feel like I'm throwing away money I'll invest in better tires. I guess my last question would be, are sway bars a good choice post alignment and tires?
Sway bars are chosen in complement with the spring rates and damping curves of the OEM suspension. I'd always suggest to match all together to ensure the best response to the typical road surface. That being said, most cars are under-barred in the rear from the factor to incite understeer. Understeer is safe so preferred for most manufacturers.

In short, a slightly larger rear bar (22mm or so) might give the car a slightly more neutral feel, but don't overdo it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sway bars are chosen in complement with the spring rates and damping curves of the OEM suspension. I'd always suggest to match all together to ensure the best response to the typical road surface. That being said, most cars are under-barred in the rear from the factor to incite understeer. Understeer is safe so preferred for most manufacturers.

In short, a slightly larger rear bar (22mm or so) might give the car a slightly more neutral feel, but don't overdo it.
Well that answers that! Thank you, I've genuinely appreciated all the knowledge. I now have a solid plan to go forward with but with winter here I think that'll be a spring time endeavor.
 
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