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2008 XT Sports
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I've read through some of the stickys regarding handling upgrades for a forester but I've read some conflicting (or maybe just too much information) regarding what I can do to reduce body roll. Basically this is a summary of what I'm trying to do and I'm looking for suggestions regarding what and where I can order the parts to achieve my goal:

Car: 2008 Forester XT Sports 4EAT
Goal: Reduce Body Roll
Want to Keep: Original ride height (springs) and shocks

From what I have gathered I basically need front/rear sway bars. My questions are:

  1. Which sway bars do I need, front, rear, both?
  2. Size of bar(s)?
  3. What sway bars should I get? I see that there are many options (Cobb, Perrin, WhiteLine, etc).
  4. What supporting modifications do I need? Endlinks, upgraded bushings, LLWS, etc?
  5. Where can I order these parts? Ideally I would like new ones.
  6. Are there any DIY instructions on how to install these myself?
Basically I'm looking for the most aggressive roll resistance as possible with keeping my stock ride height and shocks w/o compromising the life of the stock springs/struts too much. I would also like a setup (along with supporting mods) that will hold up for the long run. Kind of like a set-it and forget it type of thing.

Keep in mind that all I'm really trying to do is reduce body roll. I'm not looking to handle like some type of F1 car or do auto-X or anything like that. Just something thats streetable and allow me to toss the car around a bit.

Any/All suggestions welcome!

Thanks,
--yamsta
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Only option you have is using bigger-than-stock sway bars. I'm not sure if it will meet your final goal since best way to reduce roll is by lowering the car on stiffer and shorter springs, but you can try and see. You could try 22mm rear and 24mm front adjustable bars, Whiteline makes some nice ones. Cusco is also good, others will probably work well too. I'd get a sold bar and stay away from the hollow design (Cobb).

Stan
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,924 Posts
I prefer the standard riding height on my Forester. I started out by going with a wider wheels/offset & tires to give me a wider stance. Then I did some research & decided to install a COBB 25mm rear sway bar & Whiteline KBR16 support bracket kit. It didn't reduce the body roll enough (for me) so I installed a COBB 25mm front sway bar.

The handling is much better, but it's still not as tight as I want it. My next MOD will be installing subframe locking bolts. :smile:

As to where to buy the parts, I search the internet for the best deals. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2008 XT Sports
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Only option you have is using bigger-than-stock sway bars. I'm not sure if it will meet your final goal since best way to reduce roll is by lowering the car on stiffer and shorter springs, but you can try and see. You could try 22mm rear and 24mm front adjustable bars, Whiteline makes some nice ones. Cusco is also good, others will probably work well too. I'd get a sold bar and stay away from the hollow design (Cobb).

Stan
I prefer the standard riding height on my Forester. I started out by going with a wider wheels/offset & tires to give me a wider stance. Then I did some research & decided to install a COBB 25mm rear sway bar & Whiteline KBR16 support bracket kit. It didn't reduce the body roll enough (for me) so I installed a COBB 25mm front sway bar.
Thanks for the replies guys. I guess thats what I meant when I read conflicting views. Some say to get a solid bar while others say to get a hollow (Cobb) bar. Which is the best way to go? Pros/Cons for each? I think I saw some pdf article floating around somewhere about this but it was too long and got too technical for me to follow.

Lastly, where would be the best place to order Whiteline or Cobb products. When I checked Whiteline's website for Forester suspension/sway parts I get a whole list of parts which I'm not sure which ones to order. And I dont even see sway bars on Cobb's website? Also, is there no need to upgrade the endlinks when upgrading sway bars?

--yamsta
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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1,670 Posts
Are you still running stock Geosqualer tire? That tire sidewall are very soft and would fold under hard cornering. I put my swift and STI roll bar before I change my tire and it was a bit handful to handle. The rear seems very easy to kick out with stock tires. Before you change the swaybar I would suggest getting better tire first.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
Tire will do nothing for body roll. I'm on stock Geolanders right now for the winter, with probably 15K+ on them. Solid bars will be heavier. Hollow bars will be larger in diameter for same stiffness and less strong, but lighter. I've heard of Cobb bars snapping, never heard of any solid bars snapping, but YMMV.

Check out oakos.com, Dave's a good guy.

Your approach of reducing body roll by using sway bars first isn't conventional, usually people do the springs or springs/struts first then fine-tune with sway bars. Nothing wrong with your approach, just pointing it out.

Stan
 

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Yes it would not affect body roll but it would affect the way the car react in sudden maneuver. My rear end tend to kick out with just swift and STI bar on stock tire.
 

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2008 XT Sports
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179 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the info everyone. I do plan on switching out the stock "geosqueelers" with something a little wider and capable. I plan on sticking to something that offers traction for all seasons as I only plan on having one set of wheels/tires. Any tire recommendations?

I'm not trying to go all out handling mind you, just something that will reduce the current body roll without having to lower the car.

What size/setting of sway bars would you guys recommend? I know playing around with suspension is more like a science than just picking parts and throwing them on. I know its all about balance, change one part and you'll have to tweak the other to compensate, etc. So given stock springs and shocks, whats the best diameter and setting sway to go with front and rear?

Also, what about endlinks? I read somewhere that they may be a weak point? The Whiteline KB16 rear sway bar link support bracket kit seems to be a good buy as well.

Any other sites you guys would recommend?

Thanks,
--yamsta
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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You will need the lateral link support brackets. I have the MoBoost ones, but they were made in limited quantities and are hard to come by. Whiteline does make some as well.

Kartboy endlinks here, I like them. I bought them from Kartboy directly.

Most go with a larger rear bar first, like the stock STi one (19mm?) You could start with that. My thinking is, it's nice to have an adjustable bar for a bit of extra money. I put off upgrading the front bar for a while even though I had it, once I installed it I was amazed.

Stan
 

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2008 XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #11
You will need the lateral link support brackets. I have the MoBoost ones, but they were made in limited quantities and are hard to come by. Whiteline does make some as well.

Kartboy endlinks here, I like them. I bought them from Kartboy directly.

Most go with a larger rear bar first, like the stock STi one (19mm?) You could start with that. My thinking is, it's nice to have an adjustable bar for a bit of extra money. I put off upgrading the front bar for a while even though I had it, once I installed it I was amazed.

Stan
Thanks. Actually I think the "LLWS" and the "Whiteline KBR16 support bracket" pretty much do the same thing right? See this pic (thanks bobby ;):



If so, I think my list pretty much consists of the following

  • Front and Rear Sway bars (brand yet to be determined). Looks like for simple setups that use the stock springs/shocks its best to go with a more mild sway bar like a 22-24mm with the possibility of adjustments
  • Front and Rear Sway bar end links
  • Mo-Boost LLWS or Whiteline KBR16 support bracket
I'm liking the WhiteLine sway bars as I heard that they come w/ their KBR16 support brackets in their kit, is this true? Where can I find WhiteLine products? Their website seems pretty convoluted in terms of which products I actually need...

Let me know what you guys think,
--yamsta
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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I am running Falken Ziek 912 which is excellent 3 season tire but suck on snow. I heard good things about Yokohama Advan S4.

I would get Ixiz concept ixizRelinxsup which is actually a copy of moboost LLWS than whiteline. Off course I just build mine from angle iron stock and a couple of u bolts.

Based on your description I believe you would be satisfied with just STI rear swaybar. Anything bigger need front update too.
 

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2008 XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #13
I am running Falken Ziek 912 which is excellent 3 season tire but suck on snow. I heard good things about Yokohama Advan S4.

I would get Ixiz concept ixizRelinxsup which is actually a copy of moboost LLWS than whiteline. Off course I just build mine from angle iron stock and a couple of u bolts.

Based on your description I believe you would be satisfied with just STI rear swaybar. Anything bigger need front update too.
Thanks for the tire rec. I would ideally want something that can handle all season including snow. I know this is not ideal for performance, but its just a pain in the neck changing wheels for the winter especially with the 2008+ subbies b/c each wheel now has to have the TPMS sensor...thats additional $ for each wheel.

Where can I get those LLWS you speak of? Or where can I get the parts to make my own? The WhiteLine's do look like they were made from parts that can be found at Home Depot...:icon_cool:

--yamsta
 

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the only ill side effect of not changing the tpms sensors is a light on the dashboard... and good luck piecing together your own llws, just give in and get the whitelines they are great!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oakos.com has Whiteline bars, check under STi section.

Stan
Thanks, but I was reading that the Whiteline bars actually rust pretty quickly. I might do either Perrin or Cusco, any recs for those?

Also, does anyone know what these Perrin "Stout Mounts" do? Lastly, do I need to purchase any type of grease for the bushings--I would think they come w/ the grease?

 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Haven't used Perrin, have a Whiteline and a Cusco, both about 3 years old and are okay. Surface rust will appear on a scratch, can check which bar looks worse. I'm in California though, they don't salt the roads here.

Rear bar you've posted above has only 2 adjustment holes, my rear Cusco has 3 and the front Whiteline has 2.

Stan
 

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2008 XT Sports
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Discussion Starter #19
Haven't used Perrin, have a Whiteline and a Cusco, both about 3 years old and are okay. Surface rust will appear on a scratch, can check which bar looks worse. I'm in California though, they don't salt the roads here.

Rear bar you've posted above has only 2 adjustment holes, my rear Cusco has 3 and the front Whiteline has 2.

Stan
Yeah I'm worried about rust b/c here in the DC area they salt/sand the roads during the winter. I'm not too worried about adjustibility. Any idea where I can get the Cusco bars then? Also, which model WRX/Sti should I be looking for? There are different categories like 02-04 Sti vs 02-07 WRX vs 08+ WRX vs "Forester"...

--yamsta
 

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Thanks, but I was reading that the Whiteline bars actually rust pretty quickly. I might do either Perrin or Cusco, any recs for those?

Also, does anyone know what these Perrin "Stout Mounts" do? Lastly, do I need to purchase any type of grease for the bushings--I would think they come w/ the grease?

The stout mounts replace the stock mounts. The stock forester RSB mounts SUCK. However there are many choices for them, and most kits come with them. I just went for the STI ones as they're pretty beefy especially compared to the stock forester ones (the stock ones are like thin sheet metal straps bent into a U with no bracing) and I'm at wrx ride height. If you're going to be using this at stock ride height, I would get a taller RSB mount, as the STI height ones may lead to the bar being too far up and the endlink/swaybar could "flip".

For tires, I'd go with the continential extremecontact DWS. Amazing all around tire.

I went with wrx takeoff suspension (I realized I was just breaking stuff offroad, so I didn't mind lowering it lol). And then installed a 19mm (matches the stock front 19mm fsb) STI rsb with the sti mounts. I got the rsb for $30 from a local guy, and then sanded and repainted it with self etching primer and a few coats of gloss black paint. KB endlinks all around. No weldment support as the 19mm all around doesn't seem to put too much force on them (have had it for a few months now and no issues). I'd put some white lithium great in the bushings around the bars to reduce squeaking.
 
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