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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have researched this site and the internet extensively and I just want to make sure that Swifts on stock struts are the way to go. I want to gain some performance such as reducing body roll, improving cornering and reduce the size of the wheel gap. But I do not want a harsh uncomfortable ride or slam it and loose it's functionality as this is my daily driver. I was considering Forester specific pinks or STI take offs but I am afraid that the STI's will be to low and the forester specific pinks will be slightly to harsh. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
Ride quality is subjective, but Forester Swifts on stock strut is a popular setup around here. They will address the 3 goals you've listed. STi takeoffs will lower the car alot, but are still fine for a daily driver. There will be alot less suspension travel though, and it will feel stiffer.

Stan
 

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2013 WRX Limited Manual
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563 Posts
Swifts will do all of the positives listed in your posts. The STI pinks would do all of those as well. You really can't go wrong with either. I am on swifts and I really enjoy the ride. I also recommend the STI rear sway and mounts to compliment the swifts.
 

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Pleiads' biggest leghumper
04's 2 FXT's.
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9,325 Posts
I would also put the STi rear swaybar on your list also.


joe r
 

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Premium Member
07 Forester XT
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6,792 Posts
I've had STi struts + JDM Pinks , switched to coilovers and have driven an XT with Swifts on OEM struts. From what you state it sounds like SWIFTS are the ticket.

- STI + Pinks = slammed + bouncy ride.
- Swifts = slight drop + nice comfortable ride
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. What is the biggest difference between forester sti pinks and swifts? I am planning to get the STI RSB. I am planning to find parts and stock pile through out the winter and install in the spring.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,106 Posts
The Swifts are just a tad softer than the pinks. It's something I appreciate at lower speeds/city driving, as the Swifts soak up bumps and uneven pavement better than the pinks, but at highway speeds over road undulations they can sometimes feel a bit floaty.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,752 Posts
I'd go with GR2s instead of stock struts (unless your stocks are nearly new), as Swifts are much harder than OEM in the rear, and even with GR2's I feel that the rear is significantly oversprung (or rather, underdampened).

Other than that - the Swifts, in my opinion, are a good (and cheap) all-around solution.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I second the feeling of the GR2's being underdamped with the Swifts, but strangely enough I never had that impression with the stock struts. The ride just seems bouncier with GR2's... not quite to the point where it's annoying, but just enough to notice the difference.
 

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2008 FSXT M/T
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4,170 Posts
swifts are the ticket for you and any1 else just looking to stiffen things up and lose some wheel gap. if you want to get more serious in2 handling, well maybe you should re-think the sti take-offs.

imho, just get the swifts!
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Sti take-off's will drop my car much more than the swifts, correct? How much more? I think I read about a 2 1/2" total drop.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
You can use strut spacers to get within an inch of where you'd be with the Swifts. Main difference is you'd have less suspension travel and firmer springs and struts -- handling will be better, but it will ride "different".

Another problem with STi struts is only '04 fits and they are 5 years old now. You could pick an aftermarket strut and build around that, but by then you are into the setup for at least twise the cost of Swifs.

Stan
 

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2014 Forester XT Touring CVT
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800 Posts
to be honest.. i wanted to make sure swifts/kyb gr2s were the ones too.. i bought em n installed em.. 1 month later i wanted to change my setup.. dont get me wrong.. def nice n comfy for a DD but when i wanna push it.. not enough performance-wise for me.. also i would like the car dropped maybe .5" more... i dont track the car.. i have kids.. but would def like more oomph out of this setup which it doesnt give enough of...

im really thinkin about rce blacks on tokico d-specs although unsure of exactly how low the drop is so, im debating..

point is.. i think swifts are good for a mild drop n some performance.. but when u wanna take a turn/twisty.. ur gonna want a better setup.. i know sway bars could help.. but nothin beats a good strut/spring combo that youre lookin for..

but then again, maybe i was just expecting too much out of them

just my .02 cents
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
^^Agreed. Also depends on your driving abilities -- I've followed people that were very fast on Swifts, in the twisties and on the track. I'm not as good, so I have to over-compensate with better suspension, but I'm a good bit faster now than I ever was on Swifts, the car just feels more confident.

IMO, the problem with Swifts is having to use Forester struts and there just aren't many choices. But, it is a great upgrade from stock.

Stan
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Tau137 my struts have about 29000 miles on them. How much of a difference will I see with new struts?
Pleiad7 what do you mean when you say bouncer with GR2's?
Should I just consider upgrading my struts when the springs are installed?
Thanks again for all your input!
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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1,670 Posts
I second the feeling of the GR2's being underdamped with the Swifts, but strangely enough I never had that impression with the stock struts. The ride just seems bouncier with GR2's... not quite to the point where it's annoying, but just enough to notice the difference.
GR2 are geared more for stock replacement. The damping are changed a little bit to suit wear and tear on stock suspension. This usually mean more compression damping but less rebound to stay within worn stock spring/bushing behavior better. Combine that with stiffer aftermarket spring then you will notice that is bouncier.

My dream next upgrade would be WRX Koni (Bilstein if I could find one) insert in Forester shock housing with Forester Swift. Based on the dimension of Koni insert that I got from them it should be fine in Forester application even without additional spacer.

For 1st step I would recommend just Swift spring. That is one of the best bang for your buck on Forester suspension. I think you would be pleasanly surprised with just proper spring upgrade. 29K on stock strut should be fine. They should last 80-100K miles under normal use.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,106 Posts
GR2 are geared more for stock replacement. The damping are changed a little bit to suit wear and tear on stock suspension. This usually mean more compression damping but less rebound to stay within worn stock spring/bushing behavior better. Combine that with stiffer aftermarket spring then you will notice that is bouncier.

My dream next upgrade would be WRX Koni (Bilstein if I could find one) insert in Forester shock housing with Forester Swift. Based on the dimension of Koni insert that I got from them it should be fine in Forester application even without additional spacer.
Makes sense. And I was just thinking about Konis in the Forester strut housing in combination with Swifts. I think it might work... dadscruizzzer just went this route, I believe.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,887 Posts
It might, it might not. I have not read of any successful attempts to do this, but heard of 2 questionable ones. The inserts aren't designed for longer Forester strut bodies or the Forester-specific springs.

Honestly, I don't see a benefit of using them in anything other than a WRX strut body with Impreza springs -- there are more springs to choose from, anyway. You are not gaining any travel, so why? But, if it works, that's great.

Stan
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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1,670 Posts
Here the data I got


The reason I want koni are:
1. Do not want to go any lower
2. No off the shelf performance strut available for Forester
3. Do not want maintenance with Coilover

If you are willing to go lower then it makes sense to go with WRX strut housing or D-Spec.

I might have to run Koni on its lowest rebound setting and would not be able to get the maximum performance as with WRX body but it would still be better that the next other option based on my specific requirement.

My belief with being able to run KONI without spacer is this TIC strut extender that some people have to use to regain travel with lowering springs.
 

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08 2.5x
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462 Posts
I'm looking at swift springs too with my stock struts. Is any one running them with a 1in lift do stay at stock hight? I want get my car to handle better but I cant lose the ground clearance. I work in construction and I have to drive on to unfinished sites all the time.
 
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