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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wanted: Knowledgable input for suspension & brake mods (Warning small novel ahead)

Hey all, so I got me a nice performance bonus check which I'm going to blow on car parts b/c when I get married, I highly doubt the woman will let me do something like that.

So, I've gotten input from several different people (thanks to dR, WRC_Obsessed, Weasel55, Victor), have narrowed down some of my choices and would like to share my plan and get other peoples thoughts.

Mods being considered: New Struts/Springs & Brakes

Goal=After I am done paying the car off, she will become my Rally X car so I'm thinking long term to a certain extent.

Suspension
So there have been a number of options placed in front of me, including STi V7's, STi RA Spec C, AGX's, Tein EDFC & STi Adjustables.

Tein and STi Adjustable is just out of the question b/c of price and the fact that the Tein is coilovers....not good for rally.

I hear that the STi struts live longer and of course they are made specifically for our car. I was looking to get input on the following set up:
1) STi RA Spec C which has linear STi springs on it. Somebody is looking to sell theres and it seems like a good price for everything.. NOW, would this be good for Boston roads and rally? I would think w/ linear springs I would feel every bump in Boston, and that although it would suit for Rally X I might feel as if I am bouncing all over, but of course would be firmly planted. Is it worth it for the extra dampening force that the RA Spec C's provide? Is this Rally capable?
2) STi V7's w/ Prodrive springs. No adjustability, which blows, BUT, they supposedly last longer than the AGX's and give me Progressive springs. I would think that I'd feel less of the road, but wouldnt get the dampening force of the Spec C's. What r peeps thoughts?
3) An option I've missed?

PS Group N mounts would be purchased for both options.

Brakes
Thinking Subaru 4pots up front. I have to redo everything b/c my oem brakes are on its last leg.
My thoughts are, get the 4 pots, either Carbotechs or Porterfield R4S pads all around, slotted Stoptech rotors for the front, oem rotors for the back and stainless steel lines.

Is this a good plan? Will this provide me enough stopping power for a future Stg 4?

So, THANK YOU for everyone who read this and even more thanks to those who respond w/ solid feedback. I really do appreciate your time and your knowledge.
 

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If you are going to rallyX, and if it's permissible, you might want to look at giving the rear more brake. The car is very stable under braking meaning it's predictable but it won't easily pivot.

The H6 rears (or maybe you can get your hands on the older WRX style vented rears - I think a few versions back the cars had them, so new parts should be available) might give you that extra oversteer under braking, if you decide you want it. When the H6 upgrade was first discussed a while back, I had a hard time understanding how it'd affect balance with an ABS system, but you'll probably disengage that anyway.

Maybe you should select a suspension that keeps the car up high where it is now, but is firmer. The STi stuff will do that depending on the springs you get. I've not tried this though, sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the thoughts. I have considered and am more than willing to hear more about the H6 upgrade so if anyone knows about it, PLEASE speak up!.

As far as struts/springs go, I would definetly pick ones that dont drop the car too much, as clearance is key in rally :D
 

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The H6 upgrade is basically just a larger diameter rear rotor and a new caliper bracket. You reuse your existing caliper. You may or may not be able to reuse your existing pads depending on when your car was built. And its only about $200 for the rotors and brackets so its not too much more than just replacing the rear rotors. The 4-pots are a good brake upgrade if you will be running wheels that will clear them or use spacers. Since you want to do rally-x used wheels from a 98-01 RS would be a great match. Cheap and Strong.

For the suspension setup I wouldn't go with the prodrives as they will reduce your ground clearance. I'm also pretty sure that they aren't progressive. The AGXs have the advantage of being adjustable but I'd go with the extra sturdyness of the v7 (or v8) STi struts. If you're concerned about stiffness you could go with the non RA setup, but even the RA setup isn't really stiff. I have the regular v7 Wagon setup and don't find the ride bad at all. I don't really know what roads are like where you are but the roads here aren't good and I don't mind the suspension at all. Plus if you speed up it just gets smoother :D
 

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I run the RA springs (not spec C) with AGX'es. I've rallycrossed, ran gravel TSDs, and generally beat the crap out of them on gravel roads. I have absolutely no problem reccomending these to you for rallycross, and daily driving (even on rough roads). They're stiff, but not too horribly stiff so you'd have back pain or anything like that. They do fairly well at autocross as well.

AGX has a lifetime warranty, so the durability shouldn't be a horrible issue. I've had mine almost a year now, and push them hard, with no issues.

General stiffness thoughts...
Stiff worked pretty well on the rallycross courses, and generally improves the feel of the car quite a bit. I wouldn't want to rallycross on 500# springs, but any of the options you mentioned would be fine. Just don't go too low unless you've got underbody protection. You can get a skid plate and diff guard pretty cheap.

I'll add more later.
Jay
 

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For rally x the inverted STi (v7 or v8) struts are tough to beat. Big beefy 40mm pistons w/ lot's of travel.

Springs- for rallyx I think the "regular" STi springs would be the best suited- oem height v7, v8 10mm lower. Rates 188/173. IMO these would be the best choice for rallyx, daily driving is not a problem obviously as these are oem springs.

Groupn N tops- yes.

Four pots w/ either Carobotech's or Porterfields would be a good choice (do ss lines and upgrade your fluid at the same time).

I would definitely consider the "H6" upgrade as well, moving the bias slightly rearward is beneficial on gravel as well as tarmac.

For rallyx I'd also look at the 19mm STi front sway bar- dials out a little understeer while still maintaing independence left/right- very important on the bumpy stuff.

These are simple upgrades that will yield a very comfortable daily driver, a very good rally x car and won't be a slouch on the tarmac either.

Big Sky
 

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I got cut off at work while I was typing that previous response, so it was not really what I wanted it to be.

For braking, I run the stock calipers/rotors, with ss lines and axxis ultimates. I don't see the need personally to spend any money on fancy stuff there for rallycross. Use the money you'd spend on 4-pots and get some rally wheels. I'll give you a set of old rally tires either free/cheap (mod discount :) ). That'd be a better mod than 4pots, IMO.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #9
U guys r amazing, seriously. I needed advice and I knew I could count on you guys to deliver well thought out, solid information.

Thank you guys for your input, and if anyone else wants to add some thoughts, please feel free.

Once again, big ups to Bigsky and TCC for their time and advice. :thumbup:
 

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thechickencow said:
I got cut off at work while I was typing that previous response, so it was not really what I wanted it to be.

For braking, I run the stock calipers/rotors, with ss lines and axxis ultimates. I don't see the need personally to spend any money on fancy stuff there for rallycross. Use the money you'd spend on 4-pots and get some rally wheels. I'll give you a set of old rally tires either free/cheap (mod discount :) ). That'd be a better mod than 4pots, IMO.

Jay
Agreed- a nice set of 15" rally wheels and tires, very best bang for your buck in the dirt.
 

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thechickencow said:
I got cut off at work while I was typing that previous response, so it was not really what I wanted it to be.

For braking, I run the stock calipers/rotors, with ss lines and axxis ultimates. I don't see the need personally to spend any money on fancy stuff there for rallycross. Use the money you'd spend on 4-pots and get some rally wheels. I'll give you a set of old rally tires either free/cheap (mod discount :) ). That'd be a better mod than 4pots, IMO.

Jay
Agreed- a nice set of 15" rally wheels and tires, very best bang for your buck in the dirt. I hope to score a set by summers end:)
 

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Hey all, so I got me a nice performance bonus check which I'm going to blow on car parts b/c when I get married, I highly doubt the woman will let me do something like that.
Hey, I hear you. I'm not married, but in a long-term relationship...and I'm sad to say that her inability to grasp my need for playing around with my car and starting arguements over it is likely to become the deal-breaker.

AGX has a lifetime warranty, so the durability shouldn't be a horrible issue. I've had mine almost a year now, and push them hard, with no issues.
i'm in the shock market right now too and after considering the V7 takeoffs I decided to go with the AGX's. The AGX's come with a lifetime warranty...they do as good a job on the street/track/off-road, and come with the knowledge that I'll probably never have to BUY another set of struts. The V7's are take-offs and don't even come with a garantee regarding the milage when they were taken off.

As soon as I can get a REALIABLE list of part #'s for an 02 wagon (i need different fronts than the sedan WRX) I'm getting some.

Brakes...

again I too am in the same predicament.

I think the 6-pot monster brakes are really not necessary for rally driving, and might hurt you by adding unneeded weight.

Check out the Perrin 4-pots. they're about $650 for the set, and don't come with rotors (since you're going with slotted anyway).

In the rear, check out the "Turbo Legacy rear brake upgrade". Basically, same size rotor, but its vented, and the pads on the calipers are larger than the WRX's. Its still a 1-pot caliper, but the extra brake pad area will shift the brake bias back...between that and the H6 upgrade...don't know what to tell you. They both work well...maybe its a matter of preference and brake feel.

When you change your brake lines get some AEM super blue fluid or some kind of synthetic DOT5 fluid...the blue stuff makes it easier to flush the system because when you start pulling blue fluid with your vaccum you know you're done...and don't forget the clutch cable/fluid while you're at it.

oh and as for light rally wheels check out Kosei K1's. The 17's are 13.5 lbs each (stock 16's are 16 lbs) and they run about $200 each.
 

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As for the AGX warranty I'm sure there is some sort of "abuse" clause in there. I know that you aren't covered by the warranty if you lower more than a certain amount and I'd highly doubt they'd cover strut failure due to rally-x. They probably don't even cover normal wear and tear as struts are not designed to last forever.

And there is no way I'd look at 17" wheels for a rally-x car. Aside from the fact that they're going to be much easier to damage than a 16" or 15" wheel 17" gravel tires are very hard to find and aren't going to be cheap. With 15s (and to some extent 16s) you can often buy partially used tires from a rally team that will last for a long long time as rally-x tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For wheels and tires, there is no way on gods green earth that I would choose 17's for a dirt rally. I still have my RE92's and will probably use those for now and when the car is paid off and used specifically for Rally X events, then I will go w/ a good set of Rally tyres.

Anyone else out there have an opinion on this setup?

Thanks.
 

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driggity said:
As for the AGX warranty I'm sure there is some sort of "abuse" clause in there. I know that you aren't covered by the warranty if you lower more than a certain amount
kayaba claims to cover any drop that does not exceed 2 inches from factory height
 

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I second the "absolutely not" on any rim above 16" for gravel use!

The downside to using stock rims is that they're 16" and not 15" -- if you find some 15"s to use, you may be able to find a nice semi-pro team from which to buy used dedicated rally tires from. G compound tires make a tremendous difference, but they are of course 15"s (and I assume your class will allow their use but don't know for sure).

Some teams might be nice enough to give you a tire or two, you never know. Others will sell you their old stuff that won't make 3 consecutive stages any more but will suit you for half a season or more.

I think the turbo Legacy vented rear brakes are the same setup the pre-V6 or so Impreza used too, incidentally.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Hey guys-

It seems from a lot of people I've spoken w/ that the STi V7 is an excellent way to go an and while I was thumbing through the vendor section, I saw these little babies.. I called Gruppe S and they've got 2500 miles and come w/ black springs (which I believe is OEM) and STi top mounts. I figure ditch the top mounts and get some Group N ones instead and I'd be sittin pretty.

I wont have the adjustability of the AGX's which is sad, but having a "beefy piston" as bigsky put it, would be top notch as well.

Thoughts, notions from u guys?

BTW, Bigsky I do have a SPT 19mm bar that I am waiting to install. Its such a bugger to get to (removing all the plates etc) that I might wait till its up on lift.
 

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when you have the sti struts apart in your hand youll be glad you got them vs the kybs. i think going that route isnt bad at all. theyre pretty badass struts and if they werent so expensive i woulda bought some takeoffs vs. my kybs

are the STI tophats beefier than wrx or do you have to buy the aftermarket sti tops? sometimes i get confused between what is stock and whats aftermarket with sti...
 

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Those look good, they're v8 "regular" STi struts/springs- you'll get a ~ 10mm drop which isn't enought to worry about IMO. If you go this route be sure and get v8 rear mounts.

Mike
 

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RumbleBee said:
kayaba claims to cover any drop that does not exceed 2 inches from factory height
:confused: The warranty info on their website says 1.5". They also say "under normal operating conditions" and that cars used in racing applications are not covered. I am surprised to see that they do cover wear-out for the life of the vehicle (assuming that it stays with the original purchaser of the shocks).
 
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