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It might help a little, from what i understand the front towers being so close to the firewall make the upgrade mostly a cosmetic item. Please let me know if your exp. says different.
I installed one in my miata and noticed an ever so slight quicker turn in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have heard that this one is mainly cosmetic, but I might try and purchase one from ebay and try it, some of them are selling for only $29.
I heard front strut tower bar mixed with anti-lift kit will significantly reduce understeer for better turning
 

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The WRX is blessed w/ a truly rigid chassis. With the possible exception of a rear strut bar for the GG (wagon) I'd hold off on the temptation. There are a lot of options that will make your car handle better short of coilovers. You've got a good start w/ stickier tires and firmer springs. Have you got an alignment yet? Increasing the negative camber in front will make a marked improvement in handling. If you want to dial out understeer (more neg camber in front will help) then you'll have to explore sway bars. Increasing the diameter of the rear sway in relation to the front will dial out understeer, you can also decrease the front sway and get similar results. Firmer suspension bushings will also give increased performance and there still compatible w/ a future coilover upgrade.

Big Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No I havent got an alignment yet. How much negative chambers should I run on the front?
With the lowering springs, I think I got slightly negative chambers on the rear. The car handles great right now, with the exception of understeer when I enter the corner. So I literary have to lift off and hit the gas again after my rear slides.
 

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I'd reccomend at least -1.0 in front (oe is -0.25), you can get as much as -1.3,4ish out the oe eccentric bolts. You probably have increased neg camber in the rear (which unfortunately contributes to understeer). If its over -1.5,6ish (oe is -1.3) you might want to consider camber (eccentric) bolts for the rear. If you do I'd reccomend about -1.0 fro the rear. I run 0 toe front and rear as a good compromise between turn at low speeds (autox) and stability in turns and braking at high speeds.

Big Sky
 

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S-WRX said:
The car handles great right now, with the exception of understeer when I enter the corner. So I literary have to lift off and hit the gas again after my rear slides.
I am not sure I understood this. Do you mean that when you about to hit the apex and apply the throttle, the frontend slides out but breathing the throttle tucks the nose back in?

If so, you should be able to dial that out with frontend negative camber with those tires. But be forewarned that even if you stay within the limits of the OEM hardware (@1.0 degree), expect uneven tirewear. I took my WRX (no power mods) to the track (TWS) with Falken Azenis and 1.0 degree negative camber. The car was able to handle all the corners with no problems. The only time I encountered understeer was on a slippery wet corner I took to fast. Because of the Falken's soft rubber, I encountered excessive uneven threadwear. If the Falkens are your daily tires, I do not suggest maxing out your negative camber. The inside thread will be gone within a couple of thousand miles. That could get expensive. FYI, stock camber is -.25 degree +/- .45 tolerance.

Also expect an increase in bodyroll. Enough bodyroll to counteract some of the negative camber. Stiffer antiroll bars could help with that. I understand with enough negative camber on the frontend, the understeer from the front antiroll bar can be dialed out. I cannot confirm that.

I plan to set the camber back to stock spec and dial it in myself for my visits to the track. I also plan on adding camber/caster plates and stiffer antiroll bars. I was looking at the Anti-lift kit but still undecided.

Lightbringer
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lightbringer, you are correct, that is exactly how my car handles (At least at the last trackday event I went). If I ease on the throttle, my tail will slide a bit. I know maxing out negative chamber will give me uneven tire wear, but I'm wondering if it will be a good trade off.
How long do you think Falken will last running negative chambers.
 

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S-WRX said:
Lightbringer, you are correct, that is exactly how my car handles (At least at the last trackday event I went). If I ease on the throttle, my tail will slide a bit. I know maxing out negative chamber will give me uneven tire wear, but I'm wondering if it will be a good trade off.
How long do you think Falken will last running negative chambers.
I can't speak to the Azeni's as I run T1S's, but I'm running -1.4 camber front and I am actually getting more wear on the outer edge of the tires (from autox), than the inner. I'm actually going to be remounting the tires (they're directional) so the inner edge will be on the outside to even wear. I would say that w/o a doubt
the extra camber is worth it and IMO almost required for anyone concened about handling.

One has to be careful on making camber changes (at the track for example) as you will also be changing toe at the same time. Toe changes at speed can be very unpredictable to say the least. There are some rather inexpensive camber and toe gauges that can be used, but take some practice to use.

Big Sky
 

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I do not for sure how long the Falkens will last. My inside thread was bald with in 1.5K miles that included about 500 highway miles. I dialed back the camber to -.20 for the next 3.5K miles and rotated the tires. Then I bought a second set wheels and tires. The Falkens now sit in my garage for the next track event with a whisper of a thread. I am afraid that if I had not dialed out the camber, the inside thread would have been worn down to the cord in another 1K miles.

Lightbringer
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow, bald within 1.5k miles? I financially very restricted now to buy another set of tires, let alone performance tires, so I might have to wait on the chamber adjustments.

Thanks for the replies bigsky & lightbringer
 

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Lightbringer said:
I do not for sure how long the Falkens will last. My inside thread was bald with in 1.5K miles that included about 500 highway miles. I dialed back the camber to -.20 for the next 3.5K miles and rotated the tires. Then I bought a second set wheels and tires. The Falkens now sit in my garage for the next track event with a whisper of a thread. I am afraid that if I had not dialed out the camber, the inside thread would have been worn down to the cord in another 1K miles.

Lightbringer
That's too bad. I could understand if someone was really running aggresive camber- 2.5-3.0, but -1.0 is not that aggressive. I guess there's trade offs w/ everything- the Azeni's really stick like nobodys business and they're very reasonably priced- long lasting evidently they are not. I chose the T1S as a compromise, I knew there were a couple of tires stickier- Azenis, KD's, but I also needed uncompromised wet performance as well. I looked hard at the SO3, Pilot Sports and the T1S and went w/ the T1S based upon wet/dry performance, sidewall stiffness, treadwear and they happened to be a lb or two lighter than the competetion. I'll likely be getting another set when I wear these out.

Big Sky
 

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S-WRX said:
wow, bald within 1.5k miles? I financially very restricted now to buy another set of tires, let alone performance tires, so I might have to wait on the chamber adjustments.

Thanks for the replies bigsky & lightbringer
Have you considered a stiffer rear rollbar? I believe if you leave the front sway bar at stock and get a much stiffer rear bar, you will dialout the power understeer and increase oversteer. I would suggest an adjustable bar in case you need to dial back.

Since the goal is to keep the tire patch flat while cornering maybe a front antiroll bar may help. It may be counterintuitive but if there is so much bodyroll that it is dialing out the current camber in the frontend, a stiffer front rollbar will dial out the roll and keep the tire patch even across the tire. This would require more input from those that have installed one though.

Big Sky WRX: Now that I have harder rubber, I am considering setting the camber back to -1.0. If the tirewear does not get as drastic as the Falkens, I will keep it at that setting. How many miles do you feel you will get out of T1S? I am going to look for the stickiest tires that will last 15K-20K for daily use while using Falkens for the track.

Lightbringer
 

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The T1's will give you 15,000 easy, especially if reserving them for street duties. I'm going to get 15,000 out of mine w/ 15 autoxs and a two day driving school! I'm hoping to get a pair of MRT's caster/camber plates and will bump my camber in front up to -2.0- 2.5. My tires will actually wear better w/ these settings.

You'll like the T1's as they will have the same "feel" as the Azenis (they have a good stiff sidewall), not quite as sticky, but very conifidence inspiring in the wettest of conditions. They ran the T1S in both the Touring Car and GT Speed Challenge last year (the GT class will be going to RA's this year) and while obviously not a R compound tire, the drivers seemed to pleasantly suprised by them.

Big Sky
 

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Big Sky WRX said:
the Azeni's really stick like nobodys business and they're very reasonably priced- long lasting evidently they are not.
Big Sky
I have nearly 20k miles on my Azenis. Three track days and a fourth coming up this weekend. After that, they will probably be toast. They've actually lasted longer than I expected. The drawback is that they've gotten progressively noisier over time. Butt dyno says they don't grip quite as well as they did on that very first track day, been heat cycled several times, but they're still very good.

I have not adjusted the camber from the factory settings. The tire wear is fairly even. For this season, I will get a performance alignment and set the camber as you recommend. I think a little more uneven wear will be a reasonable tradeoff for better handling, though I wouldn't care to see portions of the tires going bald in 1.5 - 2k miles (saw enough of that on my motorcycle already).

Getting back on topic, the consensus is that the front strut tower brace doesn't do that much for the WRX. But what the heck, it won't hurt anything either. Every small increment of improvement adds to the end result.
 

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I didn't really feel much difference with mine, but I just got it for the bling factor ;).
 

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Arrrrgh!

I need to make a correction to my previous post about my tires losing so much of the inside thread. I recently took my car to a different location for an alignment because I was seeing similiar wear in the inside of new RE92s even after dialing out the camber. To my amazement, toe out was set to a total of -14.9mm even though I was told it had been set to -2mm. This was the culprit and not the -.9 camber that caused the inside wear. The camber may have contributed but nowhere as much as having the Toe out set so high. Sorry about the misinformation.

Lightbringer
 

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Re: Arrrrgh!

Lightbringer said:
I need to make a correction to my previous post about my tires losing so much of the inside thread. I recently took my car to a different location for an alignment because I was seeing similiar wear in the inside of new RE92s even after dialing out the camber. To my amazement, toe out was set to a total of -14.9mm even though I was told it had been set to -2mm. This was the culprit and not the -.9 camber that caused the inside wear. The camber may have contributed but nowhere as much as having the Toe out set so high. Sorry about the misinformation.

Lightbringer
That much toe out must have been a little squirrely. Time to dial back in the neg camber.

Big Sky
 

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Murchie said:
can i run -1.0 in front and back for the camber and be ok even if i dont auto x.. or is it really gonna eat my tires?
Tire wear will be fine- that's really not much neg camber, the oe setting in the rear is -1.3.

Big Sky
 
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