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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have tein RA, cusco front/rear sways, front strut bar and my handling hasnt been right lately. I brought it in for alignment 2 times in the past month and the handling still seems edgy or even dangerous at high speeds. Sometimes when I change lanes or go over a groove in the road the steering wheel moves abruptly to the left or right. At first I thought it was just a bad alignment job, then I heard a camber kit could fix this. Does anybody know if my problem is camber related? If so, which ones do you suggest for my setup? And who is the most reliable vendor to buy from? Thank you very much.
 

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My wagon has been lowered on Whiteline springs by about 1.5 in. I've added whiteline downlinks on the swaybars, front and rear. The rear sway bar is 20 mm (from a sedan). Eibach camber adjustment bolts are also installed when it was aligned. Koni Sport shocks an all four corners are very mildly adjusted, about a 1/4 turn front and rear.

The handling of the car is great at relatively low speeds, under 70 mph. But at higher speeds, I experience the same thing you report.

Maybe Prodrive MS can help out on this one.

misterx
 

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Sounds like bump steer. If that is the case, then a camber kit will not fix your problem. Bump steer comes from a difference in geometries between the suspension and the tie rods. Basically, the tie rods swing through an arc while the suspension travels through a different arc. As the rods swing through their arc, they will pull the wheel inward as the suspension goes into bump. Subaru should have designed the suspension so that this is not an issue. However, the alignment shop may have adjusted the tie rods so much that the change in length could be causing the rod to swing through a different arc than stock. If it is a problem with poor suspension design on Subaru's part, then everyone with a lowered car will experience the same problem. Has anybody else had this problem after lowering their car?

Another thing that it may be although not as likely is that you may have a toe out condition. Check with the alignment shop on your specs.(You want zero toe and be sure to check the tolerances as some shops will align to +/- 8 degrees or more) Toe out in the front makes the car very responsive to steering inputs. It may seem fine at low speeds, but the car could become a handful to keep going straight at high speeds.

I would like to see how many people have experienced this same problem before giving a definite answer.

Alin
 

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G'day everyone,

We were invited to comment on this post by one of the forum members. Frankly we did not realise this forum even existed so we're delighted to get a chance to participate.

"GasolineAlley82", without knowing your current alignment settings or spring height its hard to comment as it could be so many things. Bump steer is only a real issue in our experience if the ride height is excessively high or low. It sounds more like an alignment issue and I agree that toe setting is the most likely candidate. I'd suggest you get an alignment check done and make sure that your car is not lowered excessively. Did you happen to change the wheels at some point? Incorrect offset will affect the scrub radius which could explain your symptoms as well.

There are many other possibilities, difficult to diagnose conclusively via remote. For example, poor bump travel through excessive lowering or mismatched bump stops could lead to the chassis rebounding off the bump stops resulting in front nervousness.

"MisterX", the fitment of our ALK (anti-lift kit) would actually reduce steering nervousness as it increases static positive caster by 0.5 degrees with an approximate +1.0 degree dymanic imporvement thru the use of a lower compliance poly bush. This is a side benefit to the kit that many people don't realise. We do state in the fitting instructions that you must have a wheel alignment after fitting the ALK as it will toe-in the front wheels by around 4 mm. However this would actually lead to more benign steering behaviour.

Hope I've helped.

Cheers
Jim Gurieff
 

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Thanks for the information Jim.

Since I bought my ALK used, how do I tell which bushing is in the kit? I understand the comfort bushing is most desireable for a daily driver like my wagon.

misterx

edit - The kit is not used in the sense that it has never been installed. I was purchased form a retail custome who did not install it.
 

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Can you post the last report from your alignment shop? They usually give you a printout showing before and after alignment specs. If they didn't make sure they do next time. We'll be able to help more if we see it.

And welcome aboard, Jim. Great to have you. As you probably can guess, we get a lot of talk about your products around here!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your attention towards this matter Jim. My car is lowered about 1 1/2 inches and yes I did change my wheels and tires. I know offset is not a problem because the wheels I have are subaru only. I was told getting my car 'corner weighted' might solve the problem. Do you think that might help at all? Thanks.
 

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Here's my diagnosis:

Camber is way out.

Ruined a new set of tires.

This is depressing and I'm beginning to second guess myself.

I have to put the RE92s back on because my tires are so bad they cant align it properly. Figure another $230 to put thinigs back in order.

Now, who has the best price on 17" Rota attacks?

misterx
 

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G'day everyone and thanks for the warm welcome.

GasolineAlley82, I don't think corner weighting will address this though it is usefull for setting up coil-overs for serious use. We don't install coil-overs with out it.

Corner-weighting involves settings individual ride heights relative to the weight over each wheel on the car. This is done for a number of reasons, adjusting for driving weight, assymetric track setup etc.

You mention a lowering number but these are a little dangerous as it does not mention a starting point. We measure ride height from the centre of the wheel up to the fender lip as this gives us an absolute number irrespective of wheel size etc. If you can provide that number we may be able to rule out another point. Assuming the offsets are correct, I believe it will come down to alignment angles and or bump clearance setup.

GV27 is spot on with his comment re alignment settings. It is essential that people ask for a before and after print-out when getting an alignment done. Its the equivalent of getting the old parts back after a service or repair job. Apart from that, it helps others diagnose problems by remote.

Cheers

Jim Gurieff
Whiteline
 

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Interesting about scrub radius. Increasing the scrub radius generally results in higher steering effort and better steering feel due to the increased effort to move the wheel off center. A negative offset(moving your wheels outward) will increase scrub radius. I have never set up nor driven a car with negative scrub radius but I assume the effect would be the opposite? A wider rim may have positive offset in order to help clear the fender thereby giving a negative scrub. Good thing to check.

Mismatched corner weights will not give any of the problems descibed. Do you have ajustable coilovers? If not, then you wont need to worry about corner weights. They are check when a car is lowered using coilovers. You first set your desired ride height, then put the car on scales with a driver in it(or ballast weight in the drivers seat). Corner weights are then checked and if necessary, changed by adjusting the coilovers up or down. Lowering the suspension on a corner will increase the weight on that corner. After the weights are set to your liking, the ride height is checked again. If the ride height at each corner varies dramatically, then you have to get tricky and use the roll bars or something to preload certain corners to achieve the desired corner weights and ride heights. When everything is set up correctly, then the car should pull the same lateral acceleration going left or right and it should feel better balanced in the corners. It won't, however affect the twitchiness of the car.

Personally, it sounds to me like your problem is bump steer but I may be wrong. Please post your alignment settings when you get a chance as that will help to diagnose your problem. Things that can cause twitchiness: Scrub radius, toe out, bump steer, loose/worn suspension, not enough caster.

Alin
 

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G'day everyone,

Alin, we see a lot of modified cars with scrub radius modified towards the negative (or reduced positive). In fact, many aftermarket wheel suppliers "downunder" work on the premise that if the diameter is right and the PCD/hole centres match then it must be the right wheel! Typically a 1/2" wider aftermarket wheel will grow outward from the centre or hub resulting in increased "tram-linning" as we call it.

GasolineAlley82, in a relative sense, fitting a squarer shouldered, wider and lower profile tyre and wheel combination will also feel very quite different. We've had many situations where customers have complained of "off alignment" or steering after fitting wider wheels and lower profile tyres, even if they're factory alternatives.

Anyway, as Alin say, the alignment settings are the first step.

Cheers

Jim Gurieff

Whiteline
 

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what would be a good amount to lower the stock wrx to avoid these problems? I want to go 1.5" lower in the front and maybe 1.3" lower in the back. also is 1.5 degrees camber adjustment going to be enough to combat the excess camber(Offset bolts) or should i get a top plate camber kit?
 
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