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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, i am in the process of planning suspension upgrades, and want to do some basic stuff that will help the handling, and not beat me to death on the roads. From what i have found, i think that i am going to go with a set of springs (Eibach seems to have the right drop), some koni or agx inserts, and a rear sway and endlinks. Some questions that i do have are as follows. Do i need a front sway bar as well? will the addition of a rear put added stress on the front? Also, is there anything (besides the dreaded steering bushing install) that i could do to improve the steering response? Thanks in advance, and sorry for any dumb noob ?'s
- DC
Oh, also - any and all advice is appreciated, as well as suggestions.
 

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For a nice street setup I think your on the right path. If your new rear sway bar starts at the lowest setting above your front sway bar (which is 20mm) you might consider a front bar to allow for a near stock setting for winter driving. Example- your considering a Cusco 22- 24 mm rear sway bar. Your currently at 20mm front 17 or 20mm rear, going to that rear sway bar at the lowest setting gives you 20 f/22 r at the lowest setting, going to a 21mm front sway bar will give you a closer to oe balance for those times where a oe setup might be advantageous- ie winter.

You don't mention tires so I have to assume you have the very best hi-po tires on your car already- this is the foundation of handling and braking thus not optional IMO.

A alignment is also critical w/ any setup, for a nice street setup consider bumping up the neg camber up front to -1.0ish, the rear is no adj and can be left alone, 0 toe front/rear. It's also very important for the alignment shop to adhere to strict cross camber/toe settings- in other words they need to match left and right.

Many opt for a ALK, which swaps out the rear transverse link bushing, for one that is designed to increase positive caster (about .5 degrees), this is a pretty good move as caster increases help out camber settings in a turn (dynamic). The USDM STi utilizes a very similar setup that gives them ~3/4 of a degree more caster than the WRX.

Other than that, I'd say your in good shape.

Big Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bigsky - that helps a lot - thanks. I live down south, so i really dont have to worry about winter driving. As far as "OE setup" - i have to confess to complete ignorance as to what that means. I am trying to get the car to be more agressive than stock - ie - turn better, and give more feedback from the road. Also, in regards to the ALK - would that be a good mod to start with, or should i hold off until all the other pieces come together? (i am still in school, so i cant do this all at once)
- thanks,
DC
 

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I think Big Sky WRX gave good pointers.

For low budget, the most immediate way to improve handling and responsiveness would be to install front and rear anti-roll bars and front strut brace. All this can be accomplished for under $600. All of them can be performed in one's own garage that would also save you installation costs. These would make a noticeable improvements in handling and responsiveness.

Additionally, one option can also be steering bushings. It truly changes the steering feeling.

In terms of the anti-roll bars, if you decide to stay with stock springs or go with STI Pink/Eibach springs, I would recommend Cobb's 25 mm tubular A/R kit. That setup complements softer springs quite well.
 

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The "oe setup" I was refering to was the comparo of the front sway to rear sway diameters. I't either 20mm front and 20mm rear or 20/17 in it's oe form. SOA decreased the size of the rear sway bar (in 03) as folks who weren't experienced w/ lift throttle oversteer were sometimes wrecking. Going to a smaller rear sway bar dials in more understeer- safer for your average driver. In winter driving I like to have the sways near matched, thus my suggestion for increasing the size of the front (as you increase the size of the rear- at your lowest setting in the rear you'd have near "oe" balance (as far as sway bars anyways).

The ALK can be done at anytime, if at all. It's best (although not always practical) to make suspension changes one at time and then evaluate that change.

Again spare no expense on tires and pay attention to alignment as well.

Big Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah, this tire issue - i went with 17 inch wheels, and kumho supra ecstas - have been enormously happy with them - made a huge difference right away. The "lift throttle oversteer" that you refer to - i assume that is the way the back end will come around if you back of the gas to fast going into a turn? I have never had that problem, and have an 02. Anyway, going to check out some prices, and see what i can come up with.
thanks for all the input.
- DC
 

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Listing possible parts and discussing settings of swaybars and the like are useless if the poster doesn't mention what points he actually wants to improve on. Driving style for example would dictate whether a more OEM setup of sways would be preferrable or not. Turn in feel can in fact be improved by harder rack bushings, but it doesn't actually mean the car is more keen to turn in.

It's always easy to say well this strut-spring combo and these swaybar kits and so on, will improve the car....but only for a given driver. The poster at no point said he experiences too much understeer, oversteer, etc and at what instances they occur at. These are the factors that dictate what sort of modifications are useful.

Those who have wrecked from unintended lift off oversteer, get it because they either aren't letting off early enough and try to turn while hard decelerating or they aren't smooth with their inputs... ie the first setup, is actually analysing and evaluating one's driving skill than to blame the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm, I stand corrected. Anyway, what i am looking for right now is a tighter feel on steering, and a LOT less body roll. There are a lot of fun roads to drive around here (they just repaved one of the best - new asphalt) with really nice curves and I go and drive them for fun - i dont really compete, its just for $hits and giggles. The body roll can be solved with sway bars - i got that much, but i was trying to clarify how i can get a bit stiffer steering response and less sloppy feel around turns.
 

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The 712's while a good tire, doesn't have the stiff wall of the upper echelon of the hi-po tires. Some of the sloppiness your feeling is the tire wall flexing and rolling over. What tire pressures are you running? Many folks are running too low of pressures. A little more camber and caster up front will also make turn in more crisp.

Start w/ tire pressures.

Big Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok - bigsky - thanks a lot! I went and got the car aligned with the -1 camber, and am running 35psi all around now, and it made a good bit of difference - crisper around turns. I have a set of eibachs on the way, so that should help some too. If anyone has a used perrin rear sway and some endlinks that they dont want toooo much $ for, let me know! Thanks for the help.
- DC
 
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