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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I appreciate all of the info on the forum ... always have. Been a member for a few years now. I have some questions about some upgrades I'm planning on doing.

I've got a 2013 WRX Hatch that's all stock, with almost 70k on it.

Planning on upgrading the sway bars to 22 mm adjustable in the front, and 20 mm adjustable in the back (all new links and rear bar support). From what I've ready here, that should keep the handling pretty neutral as it is now, just less body roll.

I'm also contemplating Eibach Pro Kit springs, but this is where I'm a little nervous. I've read a couple of reviews that say these springs can cause front end bounce in corners, when paired with the stock struts. Does anyone have any experience with that? And piling onto that question, should I wait to swap out the springs until I am ready to do the struts as well?

Lastly, are there any adverse effects to driving quality when going wide with wheels and tires? I'd ultimately like to throw Mach V Wickeds on there with 265/35/18s, with a fender roll of course. Improved handling and stickiness is something I am always up for more of, and I love that filled fender look.

I've dipped my toes into NASA racing and enjoy pushing my car, but the stock configuration is starting to feel a little squishy to me. But, it's a daily driver and I live in an area with some twisty and a few not so great roads (at the moment).

And one more thing, not related to this section of the forum. Is it ever too late to get into a Stage 2 Cobb upgrade? If I end up doing that @ 90k miles, am I setting myself up for a [email protected] of problems with gaskets, etc.?

With all of that said, does anyone have any advice or experiences to help me decide?
 

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If you're going that light on the swaybars, make sure you get solid bars (e.g., Whiteline), not hollow ones. Being adjustable, you can always adjust them up to 24/22, if you needed.

If your car has 70K, your struts are pretty worn. Adding springs increases wear, so when you have the assemblies apart, just replace the struts and tophats, as well. I'd strongly consider the RCE springs (either Black or Yellow) / Koni struts. RCE sells a Bilstein strut set paired for their springs, but the Koni are adjustable (so you can dial them in yourself) and $300 cheaper, which could cover the majority of tophats (e.g., Whiteline Com-C F / Group-N or OE R). You'll need an alignment any time the assemblies are apart, so better to do it once, vs again next year because the struts are shot.

Wider tires should help with handling / braking due to the increased contact patch. The additional weight will decrease gas mileage, a bit, and acceleration will be slower. Generally, I would say the pros outweigh the cons.

I wouldn't worry too much about S2 @ 70-90K, assuming there haven't been mechanical / maintenance issues that haven't been disclosed. Any exhaust seal you break should get a new gasket, with the exception of the donut gasket (between downpipe and catback), which might be able to be reused if in decent enough shape. Use the crush gasket style like OE (I use OE for all exhaust gaskets except for downpipe/catback, since they don't sell one), don't waste your time with the paper gaskets that sometimes come with aftermarket exhausts (Grimmspeed sells an 3" crush gasket if your downpipe/catback don't taper to 2.5", which is what I usually get). The Cobb AP mapping is pretty good, but if you're going to be doing racing, you may want to look into custom calibration, so you know everything is dialed in as well as possible.

It wasn't on your list, but if you don't already have gauges, you might want to look into them. At a minimum, a boost gauge (some people mount the Cobb AP for boost data, but I don't like always having a cable attached to my OBDII port; I can manage my Tactrix cable when I go out for datalogging sessions, but not every time I drive the car. A wideband would be good, as well, in case you develop a leak. From there, you could go with an Oil Temp or EGT gauge (they'd be my 3rd/4th suggestions), and an oil pressure gauge.. That said, spend the money for quality gauges; an inaccurate gauge is worse than no gauge at all. If you want digital gauges, go AEM; if you want analog gauges, Defi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great info, thank you. I have a couple of follow up questions.

If you're going that light on the swaybars, make sure you get solid bars (e.g., Whiteline yes, for sure), not hollow ones. Being adjustable, you can always adjust them up to 24/22, if you needed. Do you think 24/22 is better to start with? If the lightest setting is used on a 24mm bar, would that be 22mm equivelant? Same for a rear 22m, would that equal a 20mm if set to lightest?

If your car has 70K, your struts are pretty worn. Adding springs increases wear, so when you have the assemblies apart, just replace the struts and tophats, as well. I'd strongly consider the RCE springs (either Black or Yellow) / Koni struts. RCE sells a Bilstein strut set paired for their springs, but the Koni are adjustable (so you can dial them in yourself) and $300 cheaper, which could cover the majority of tophats (e.g., Whiteline Com-C F / Group-N or OE R). You'll need an alignment any time the assemblies are apart, so better to do it once, vs again next year because the struts are shot. Very helpful. I will ride another year out with the stocks and then go with the Koni / Street Guy combo. I read that koni now has front struts available that don't require cutting. I hope that's true.

Wider tires should help with handling / braking due to the increased contact patch. The additional weight will decrease gas mileage, a bit, and acceleration will be slower. Generally, I would say the pros outweigh the cons. Agreed

I wouldn't worry too much about S2 @ 70-90K, assuming there haven't been mechanical / maintenance issues that haven't been disclosed. Any exhaust seal you break should get a new gasket, with the exception of the donut gasket (between downpipe and catback), which might be able to be reused if in decent enough shape. Use the crush gasket style like OE (I use OE for all exhaust gaskets except for downpipe/catback, since they don't sell one), don't waste your time with the paper gaskets that sometimes come with aftermarket exhausts (Grimmspeed sells an 3" crush gasket if your downpipe/catback don't taper to 2.5", which is what I usually get). The Cobb AP mapping is pretty good, but if you're going to be doing racing, you may want to look into custom calibration, so you know everything is dialed in as well as possible. Great. It's all stock right now. I'll be saving up for this.

It wasn't on your list, but if you don't already have gauges (have the factory installed boost gauge), you might want to look into them. At a minimum, a boost gauge (some people mount the Cobb AP for boost data, but I don't like always having a cable attached to my OBDII port; I can manage my Tactrix cable when I go out for datalogging sessions, but not every time I drive the car. A wideband would be good, as well, in case you develop a leak. From there, you could go with an Oil Temp or EGT gauge (they'd be my 3rd/4th suggestions), and an oil pressure gauge.. That said, spend the money for quality gauges; an inaccurate gauge is worse than no gauge at all. If you want digital gauges, go AEM; if you want analog gauges, Defi.Great
My knowledge about ECU tuning is getting better, but I've got a lot to learn. Is there any sacrifice in reliability, cold weather start problems, with OTS maps?
 

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Hank_VA said:
Do you think 24/22 is better to start with? If the lightest setting is used on a 24mm bar, would that be 22mm equivelant? Same for a rear 22m, would that equal a 20mm if set to lightest?
24 F / 22 R is a common setup.

Whiteline front bars have two settings; what the bar is advertised as, and +2mm (e.g., 24mm / 26mm). Whiteline rear bars have three settings; what the bar is advertised as, and +/- 2mm (e.g., 20mm / 22mm / 24mm).

Hank_VA said:
My knowledge about ECU tuning is getting better, but I've got a lot to learn. Is there any sacrifice in reliability, cold weather start problems, with OTS maps?
There's always a chance for damage from increasing the power output. That said, StageII is considered pretty safe. There aren't any cold weather starting problems I've been made aware of with Cobb maps, but if you do have an issue, you can reach out to their support and get assistance resolving them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just had some work done on my car, heeding the advice on this thread and some others.

I went with 24f/22r Whiteline sway bars, some 255/40/17's on Mach V Awesomes, and picked up the Cobb AP.

It feels like a new car. The handling is amazing and the Stage 1 OTS map really does improve the car's power.

Next year I will be upgrading the shocks/springs and adding a turboback exhaust and Stage 2 map ... after all of that, the car will be bonkers.

Thanks again for being willing to steer people in the right direction on mods. One could easily throw away hard earned money by making some bad decisions.

 

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first post ever threadjack?

I've been going through some of the same questions in my head. 2013 WRX Hatch. Thanks for posting your feedback.

I have 10-15k miles on some Yokohama Y580 tires

I am thinking of switching them out for some Mich Super Sport tires

Does anyone have an opinion on whether that would be a more noticeable change to handling than the 24f/22r sway bar change? Basically, which would be more noticeable?

Hank if you had to pick one of those three things, which do you think would be best? Did you install all 3 at the same time?
 

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Fyking said:
first post ever threadjack?

I've been going through some of the same questions in my head. 2013 WRX Hatch. Thanks for posting your feedback.

I have 10-15k miles on some Yokohama Y580 tires

I am thinking of switching them out for some Mich Super Sport tires

Does anyone have an opinion on whether that would be a more noticeable change to handling than the 24f/22r sway bar change? Basically, which would be more noticeable?

Hank if you had to pick one of those three things, which do you think would be best? Did you install all 3 at the same time?
Tires are the only part of the vehicle that connect to the road; they are the most important factor in handling. If your tires don't have traction, it doesn't matter if you have $10K in modifications done to the car.

Get solid tires, see how the car handles, make adjustments to the suspension system as needed. Additional modifications help tune the car to help create better contact patch, and therefore, better handling. That said, MPSS are a great summer-only tire, for someone who is looking for top-end handling / braking performance, while still maintaining a little additional civility / tire life vs the top-end variants.
 

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Yes these are kind of my thoughts on the topic as well. Thank you for your response

I live in Houston-TX, so the only real requirement in terms of year round tires is something that can handle driving through rainstorms every now and then and something that can handle 7 days or so under 30F per year.

As much fun as it would be to get upgraded sway bars, I'm just trying to see if switching to the MPSS would be worth it vs. the Yokohama tires that I already have. If their performance is comparable to each other, maybe I would get more use from upgraded sway bars. Not sure. I am at 4 years and 50,000 miles, and it is mine, so now the fun can kind of get started I think....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to think that the swaybar upgrades had the biggest impact. Yes, all at once. Also went from high performance all seasons to summers.
 

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Tires will be the only thing to increase the amount of friction available to the ground. So a sway bar may give you a more noticable feel difference in the end you are limited by the tires absolute performance.

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XJman said:
Tires will be the only thing to increase the amount of friction available to the ground. So a sway bar may give you a more noticable feel difference in the end you are limited by the tires absolute performance.
Yup.

Suspension / Handling Order:
1) Tires. No other part of the vehicle touches the roadway (hopefully), so maximizing their grip should be #1 priority. As an added benefit to the handling department, braking distance will be better, as well.
2) Alignment. Factory alignment specs aren't setup for performance as the #1 priority. Newer cars are a little more limited in the adjustment in factory form, but dialing in some negative camber up front can really help with the understeer. As you enter a corner, and the weight of the vehicle shifts to the outside, the camber curve up there will lead to positive camber, and decreased contact patch. By adding in negative camber, as the outside gets weighted down, you roll into the "sweet spot" of the contact patch, increasing grip, and not "pushing" like before.
3) Modifications. Once you have tires and alignment setup for a better handling vehicle, aftermarket modifications can help fine-tune your camber curve so that you are doing a better job maintaining the ultimate contact patch in both straight-line and cornering maneuvers. By reducing the body roll with things like springs and swaybars, you're not losing that much negative camber as you enter a corner and the weight of the car shifts to the outside. Therefore, you can run slightly less aggressive alignment specs (assuming you aren't camber-limiited), and get the same / better results in cornering, but have the additional contact patch for when it comes to straight-line traction.

TiC talks about this a little bit here when discussing proper swaybar size:
For the front - traditional thinking has held that if you want to fix understeer you want the rear to step out more. While this does work to some extent, I feel this is the wrong way to approach it. Sure CONTROLLABLE oversteer with the back stepping out is fun, and a good thing, but the front is still going wide. As part of this traditional thinking folks scream get a bigger rear bar, and leave the front alone or go smaller. I have to disagree on this. Here's why -

First, let's look at the technical reason. The dynamic camber curve for the mcpherson strut setup sucks. It just does. That's a tradeoff of running this type of setup, and all setups have their good and bad points. What happens is this - you enter a turn at speed. Your ourside front corner gets loaded with weight. That weight compresses the suspension. When the suspension compresses the camber of that wheel, where that tire is loaded, rolls toward positive camber. If you're running very little static negative camber this will actually start to make the inside edge of the tire light, reducing the width of your effective contact patch that resists lateral acceleration. This lose of traction results in that "push" or understeer condition. This is why folks who are more into performance run a decent amount of negative front camber. Sure, they give up some straight line accel and decel grip doing this, but that's more than offset by the fact that they can maximize the width of the contact patch in turns to help resist higher slip angles due to lateral acceleration. If you lower the car any with springs or coilovers that camber curve gets worse. Oh, and the added bumpsteer sucks too. Fortunately the fine fellows at 6Gun have figured out a way to help that, but that's for a different long post I'll most like use to answer somebodies questions in the next few days.

So, what they heck the the point in my saying all that? Well, let's get back to the front swaybar. The front swaybar will increase the effective spring rate of the wheel without effecting the ride spring rate. In other words, it will help keep the suspension from compressing so much at the loaded corner. Less compression means less loss of camber. Less loss of camber means that you can tune to, and maximize the contact patch of the tire to resist that push. Now, one of the things you need to consider - just like you can't make something from nothing, you can't make a good contact patch if you have nothing to give it to begin. Because the suspension will still compress some you need some negative camber in the front to start with. See the bajillion threads on alignment specs for where to start.

Now, for the second item I'd like to bring up something I've thought long and hard about for a long time. For ease I'll call it the philosphical side of the front suspension. Here's what we've got - a car that understeers or pushes quite a bit. Sure, you could throw a big bar in the rear and get the rear end to step out to help eliminate that understeer, but I feel that this is the wrong approach. The front of the car is still pushing, but the rear just happens to be stepping out at a faster rate than the front. The net result is a wider than what I feel is necessary lateral travel of the car. In other words, the rear is whipping around to point the front of the car where you want it to go, but the front of the car is still sliding sideways and taking the whole thing sideways making for a wider path than really is needed.

See, this stems from my philosophy that move oversteer does not necessarily mean less understeer. The front is still pushing. I feel the fix for this is to setup the front end of the car to truly reduce understeer as much as possible. This will make the front tuck in more, and while your tires will be resisting more lateral acceleration taking more grip from straight line acceleration (think traction circle), you'll be able to unwind from the turn faster thus getting you back toward the acceleration portion sooner than your competition. In other words, you'll be able to drive a tighter, and more controlled line.

Additionally, by reducing understeer as much as possible you won't have to set up the car for so much oversteer. This will also lead to more control, a tighter line, and the ability to accelerate sooner.
 

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Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge and insight.

I guess the big question for me to try and answer at this point, is some objective measure or reliably subjective opinion on the quality difference between my YK580 tires and something more well regarded, like the MPSS.
 

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Fyking said:
I guess the big question for me to try and answer at this point, is some objective measure or reliably subjective opinion on the quality difference between my YK580 tires and something more well regarded, like the MPSS.
You're looking at an A/S tire that the big name online retailers don't carry vs a top-performer in its class.

That's like asking which would be a better dinner: flank steak or ribeye?
 

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Ha! Well, like I said, I'm from Texas, we really like our flank steak :D

Point taken though. Thanks for your time. That's where I was leaning, and you have convinced me
 

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I have MPSS on my 2011. Just an alignment and tire change resulted in what i feel was an absurd improvement in handling. My turn in is incredible and super crisp. My favorite entrance ramp curve saw a nearly 10mph increase before the vehicle started to run out of steering and grip. Brake performance in dry and wet increased as well. It takes much more brake effort to engage the abs than with the Yokohama as tires that were on it.

I've not taken them autocrossing but I've heard the MPSS leave a little to be desired and overheat quickly. However if racing isn't your game I can't think of a better tire I've used recently.

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Well, thanks for being friendly and helpful everyone. If I'm going to get greedy, does anyone remember any good threads for alignment discussions? Do more aggressive alignments necessarily affect tread ware?
 

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There may be a sticky, but I'm on mobile at the moment.

A super agressive alignment will.

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XJman said:
I've not taken them autocrossing but I've heard the MPSS leave a little to be desired and overheat quickly.
MPSS are not an Auto-X tire; you should be using R-Comp or Extreme (e.g., Bridgestone RE-71R) tires if you are interested in being competitive in that arena.

For a DD owner who simply likes to have some fun once in a while approaching the limit, they can't be beat.

Fyking said:
Well, thanks for being friendly and helpful everyone. If I'm going to get greedy, does anyone remember any good threads for alignment discussions? Do more aggressive alignments necessarily affect tread ware?
Friction causes wear. Alignment settings like camber and toe will affect tire wear. You will have to weigh the pros / cons to whatever alignment specs you go with, and what your end goal is.
 

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I should have specified wear pattern.

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