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2004 Forester XT
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok so first off, I am very new to the mod game but have been doing a LOT of reading about suspension, which I am looking to do very soon for my 04 FXT. Basically, I know there are loads of options and it seems like no two people run the same set-up, which makes things a bit confusing to someone so new to the game. So, I will take you through some of my needs/wants out of a suspension and talk a little about what I am leaning towards based on research. All of you suspension wizards please feel free to chime in and make your recommendations or if necessary make me an example of a newb who knows nothing...i think they call that pity?

Needs/Wants:
  • DD suspension set-up. This car will not be doing any tracking at all.
  • I definitely want a pretty significant drop without sacrificing comfort. STi suspension is too low for me and from the looks of it, I feel that Forester Swifts just don't give the drop I am looking for. That said, looking for something basically lower than Swifts/JDM Forester Springs.
  • Needs to be cost effective. Unfortunately I don't have the budget for D-Specs or even close because I am also getting wheels and tires too <gulp> (pretty sure those will be Rota SVN's). So I think it needs to be OEM takeoff or something close to it.
  • Heres where I am basically confused: spring rate and stiffness. For a DD and for someone who will not be doing off-roading or even aggressive turning, I am not looking for stiff stiff. I want to be able to handle turns at a nice clip without getting body roll while not feeling every road bump that I cruise over.
Through research:
I am liking what I read about doing a stock WRX/wagon take-off. From what I gather, the front struts for a WRX and wagon are identical while the rear struts on a wagon will give more negative camber due to the narrower stance in the rear vs the WRX. I also know that the wagon springs have a slightly higher rate which will eliminate the saggy butt.

Questions:
With all of this said, would you recommend doing a front WRX suspension and a wagon rear? Is there any difference between the actual struts of the WRX/wagon besides the bolt alignment in the rear? Would a sway bar (front or rear, don't really know too much about them) help with body roll around turns while still maintaining softer suspension for DD? Lastly, what do you think of this suspension set-up for my personal needs? Again, not looking to get slammed at all but looking for something about 2"-2.5" dropped while still maintaining comfort. Show me the way suspension gurus!
 

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2013 BMW X1, Impreza Spt 5MT
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403 Posts
I am running a WRX wagon suspension on my Forester, it feels just as comfortable as stock, and it sits nice and low. The only things I would recommend is having some decent tires, and an STI rear sway bar. I don't have an STI rear sway bar, but I think I will get one in the near future. Here is a picture with 215/55 17 size tires.



After you swap suspensions, I would definitely recommend an alignment.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh yea that sits nice for sure. So that would be a direct bolt on right? Would I need top-hats for it? I assume you just purchased someone's stock suspension and directly bolted it up.
 

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2005 Base 2.5x foz
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896 Posts
I have WRX wagon KYB's and tein H tech springs and the ride is astounding. People love my car, my friend likes it more than his wrx set up by miles. Ride is smooth but firm and great through turns. A bit lower but wonderful overall and a great set up for a performance minded DD
 

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2013 BMW X1, Impreza Spt 5MT
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403 Posts
Oh yea that sits nice for sure. So that would be a direct bolt on right? Would I need top-hats for it? I assume you just purchased someone's stock suspension and directly bolted it up.
I used the top-hats off my old suspension, but everything else bolted up. I like the way it sits, not too low, not too high. To me it feels comfortable, no too stiff. It seems to handle fine with the appropriate tires. An STI rear sway may be a good option to further enhance handling, which is something I do not have yet, but I think would like to get eventually.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
What you are asking for does not exist for our cars, you'll have to sacrifice somewhere.

Stan
Stan, are you referring to my post? I do realize that any suspension I put on is unnatural to the original modifications of our cars and of course that makes all of our lives a bit more difficult. I am just looking for that every elusive "happy medium". If it was easy I suppose we would all be doing the same thing. :icon_cool:

Chiguy I do like your stance and am pretty sure this might be the best bet for me. I agree that a rear sway bar would probably be the way to go also.

Subie_roo, I checked out those spring and they do seem to put you kind of low. Are they lower than stock WRX springs? I would assume so...got a pic?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
I've been looking for a happy medium for a few years now, and most WRX options end up being to low and/or harsh. You may be happy with WRX takeoffs though. I didn't like the wagon springs, but I was running them over Konis which were valved differently from stock struts. Just keep in mind, the newest Impreza takeoffs are still from '07, 4 years ago.

Stan
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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292 Posts
Sorry for the Newb question. Can the '03 WRX Sedan Springs be used on the '04 FXT using '05 WRX Wagon or Sadan OEM Struts or KYB GR2 ? I just saw a set on Craigslist for $30
 

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I am running a WRX wagon suspension on my Forester, it feels just as comfortable as stock, and it sits nice and low. The only things I would recommend is having some decent tires, and an STI rear sway bar. I don't have an STI rear sway bar, but I think I will get one in the near future. Here is a picture with 215/55 17 size tires.



After you swap suspensions, I would definitely recommend an alignment.
I like the setup. I have an 05 foz and just ordered 04 wrx wagon springs and GR-2 struts. Have you had any camber issues or saggy but issues after things settled in? From what I've been reading on the forum wrx wagon springs/struts combo will give negative camber and most people prefer to use the sti strut with wagon spring.
How much negative camber we talking? Negative camber can be a good thing in the 1.5 area. Maybe camber bolts in the rear can dial everything in. Any feedback would be great!
 
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