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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to increase the handeling capabilities of my stock suspensioned FXT, primarily body roll.

I have looked into wrx wagon suspension along with FSTI springs.

Question is which rsb should I go with and which suspension system would be both better handeling and keep a somewhat easy ride. I dont want a harsh ride or a bouncy one.

Thanks
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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FXT said:
What endlinks do you recomend?
The PolTec box endlinks are very beefy and seem to be well suited to prevent lateral link tab breakage down the road.
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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I am currently running '03 WRX wagon springs, GR2s struts for impreza, WRX tophats, 20mm RSB, poltec adjustable endlinks + collars, 225/50/17s and recently upgraded to whiteline steering rack bushings. I also have -1 camber in front. The WRX upgrade is a good cheap alternative and I have a drop of 2.5" and still can cruise over speed bumps with no worries. The whiteline steering rack bushings makes it even better by greatly improving steering response. The rear strut tower brace also helps.

I previously had the JDM F-STi springs on stock struts but realize that the ride height was an issue after a few spirited runs through the mountain passes. The boat sway was still there. The F-STi spring has a higher spring rate than the WRX setup but the lower center of gravity with the WRX setup and shorter strut travel is that much better. My car handles much better than before the F-STi springs but I encountered a weakness with the WRX setup recently. Lower spring rates in the rear is the culprit.

300 lbs in the cargo = sinking rear end madness :x

The rear tires were scrapping. This is where the JDM F-STi wins. I regularly load roughly 300 lbs in my Forester and with the F-STi I only had the rear sink a little more than an inch and plus there was more room in the fender to play with.

Rate-F-R(lbs/in)
JDM F-STi spring rate is 194/166 F/R
WRX Wagon spring rate is 163/144 F/R
USDM Stock Impreza STi spring rate is 224/194 F/R
Swift Sport Mach Wagon spring rate is 196/166 F/R

I will be fixing this problem with either USDM STi or Swift Sport Mach springs fairly soon. The springs will just go on the GR2s.

I recommend the WRX setup for a good compromise between handling and comfort but if severe rear end sag with carrying a load is not your thing then you might not like it. F-STi with stock strut setup is good but height is still an issue for performance spectrum.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
What about tien htechs? I think they have a higher spring rate than the fsti springs and the drop is the same. Would h tecs front strut tower, and an sti rear sway bar be a pretty good step in the right direction?
 

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Harbor Fright
2005 XT
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I have stock XT struts with WRX front springs and Tein H-Tech rears, which complement the WRX fronts nicely- gone is the sag whether laden or not: variable rate is 110-182 lb/in rear. I replaced the Tein fronts after not caring for the height (or feel) of the front H-Techs.

Once the springs were settled in, the STi RSB no longer seemed up to the task, so I have also added a Whiteline 20-22-24 solid rear bar, set at 22 for winter (with MoBoost's "weldment fix" braces to strengthen the lateral link mounts). I re-used the STi RB mounts and bushings- just removed some of the bushing's material with the Dremel. No troubles so far, and the balance is very neutral.
 

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2006 RX8
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FXT said:
What about tien htechs? I think they have a higher spring rate than the fsti springs and the drop is the same. Would h tecs front strut tower, and an sti rear sway bar be a pretty good step in the right direction?
I have a set of the Tein H-Techs for the WRX/WRX wagon/Sti application. Not the same as the H-techs for the Forester Xt that have been used by at least a couple of folks on this forum. Currently have them in a box along with a new set of Koni adjustable strut inserts for the 04/05 WRX. Also have the Sti RSB and bushings but haven't put any of it together yet so can't really provide any real-use data yet.

Here is the WRX H-Tech spring data, they are very simialr to USDM Sti rates, but the drop in the rear is less than that of the front. Either way they are both shorter than the stock WRX springs:

According to -=> http://www.tein.com/htech.html<=- they will fit 2004 STi's and 2004-2006 WRX's (sedan and wagon).
Part# SKS60-BUB00

Front Spring Rate: 4.1 kgf/mm - 229 lbs/in
Rear Spring Rate: 3.5 kgf/mm - 196 lbs/in

SUBARU Impreza GDF 04 HTECH Info WRX STI 2004 Year Model (Rim P.C.D.=100) SKS60-BUB00
Drop Front: -26mm / -1.0inch
Drop Rear: -9mm / -0.4inch

SUBARU Impreza GDA 04+ HTECH Info WRX SKS60-BUB00
Drop Front: -46mm / -1.8inch
Drop Rear: -19mm / -0.7inch

SUBARU Impreza GGA 04+ HTECH Info WRX SPORTS WAGON SKS60-BUB00
Drop Front: -26mm / -1.0inch
Drop Rear: -23mm / -0.9inch

As mentioned the spring rates are similar to the USDM Sti, or the WRX wagon pinks. Maybe a bit soft, but with the adjustable Koni's it should be workable, and if I change them out later, I can adjust the struts to stiffer springs such as the ProDrive's or Critical Racing which are more like the JDM pinks rate-wise.
 

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tre36 said:
I am currently running '03 WRX wagon springs, GR2s struts for impreza, WRX tophats, 20mm RSB, poltec adjustable endlinks + collars, 225/50/17s and recently upgraded to whiteline steering rack bushings. I also have -1 camber in front. The WRX upgrade is a good cheap alternative and I have a drop of 2.5" and still can cruise over speed bumps with no worries. The whiteline steering rack bushings makes it even better by greatly improving steering response. The rear strut tower brace also helps.

I previously had the JDM F-STi springs on stock struts but realize that the ride height was an issue after a few spirited runs through the mountain passes. The boat sway was still there. The F-STi spring has a higher spring rate than the WRX setup but the lower center of gravity with the WRX setup and shorter strut travel is that much better. My car handles much better than before the F-STi springs but I encountered a weakness with the WRX setup recently. Lower spring rates in the rear is the culprit.

300 lbs in the cargo = sinking rear end madness :x

The rear tires were scrapping. This is where the JDM F-STi wins. I regularly load roughly 300 lbs in my Forester and with the F-STi I only had the rear sink a little more than an inch and plus there was more room in the fender to play with.

Rate-F-R(lbs/in)
JDM F-STi spring rate is 194/165 F/R
WRX Wagon spring rate is 163/144 F/R
USDM STi spring rate is 224/194 F/R
Swift Sport Mach spring rate is 258/218 F/R

I will be fixing this problem with either USDM STi or Swift Sport Mach springs fairly soon. The springs will just go on the GR2s.

I recommend the WRX setup for a good compromise between handling and comfort but if severe rear end sag with carrying a load is not your thing then you might not like it. F-STi with stock strut setup is good but height is still an issue for performance spectrum.

So the Steer Rack Brushing makes a difference and worth the PIA to install?
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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zee lee, yes the upgraded steering rack bushings are well worth it - more so with upgraded suspension bits.
 

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2004 FXTi
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764 Posts
The cheapest way to go is to get a full takeoff spring/strut/strut top takeoff from a 2004/2005 WRX. In 2004 they redid the WRX struts and they are much nicer. If the takeoffs are already assembled install could be done in your driveway in only 1 hour with sockets and a breaker bar with some PB blaster sprayed on the bolts the night before. You would get a 2.5 inch drop and much improved handling. I've seen these takeoffs with only 1K miles for $200, cheaper than springs alone and way better package. Then for only another $100 you can get the STI rear swaybar with mounting brackets. And another $150 for Poltec endlinks so you don't break the stock endlink mount on the lateral link.

For less than $500 you would have a much better handling car.

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi
 
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Discussion Starter #13
wadejg said:
The cheapest way to go is to get a full takeoff spring/strut/strut top takeoff from a 2004/2005 WRX. In 2004 they redid the WRX struts and they are much nicer. If the takeoffs are already assembled install could be done in your driveway in only 1 hour with sockets and a breaker bar with some PB blaster sprayed on the bolts the night before. You would get a 2.5 inch drop and much improved handling. I've seen these takeoffs with only 1K miles for $200, cheaper than springs alone and way better package. Then for only another $100 you can get the STI rear swaybar with mounting brackets. And another $150 for Poltec endlinks so you don't break the stock endlink mount on the lateral link.

For less than $500 you would have a much better handling car.

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi
That sounds like a pretty good direction to me. I have heard the wagon and sedan have different rear springs. Do i need to get the wagon set or the sedan set?
 

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tre36 said:
I previously had the JDM F-STi springs on stock struts but realize that the ride height was an issue after a few spirited runs through the mountain passes. The boat sway was still there. The F-STi spring has a higher spring rate than the WRX setup but the lower center of gravity with the WRX setup and shorter strut travel is that much better. My car handles much better than before the F-STi springs but I encountered a weakness with the WRX setup recently. Lower spring rates in the rear is the culprit.

300 lbs in the cargo = sinking rear end madness :x

The rear tires were scrapping. This is where the JDM F-STi wins. I regularly load roughly 300 lbs in my Forester and with the F-STi I only had the rear sink a little more than an inch and plus there was more room in the fender to play with.
I have a similar set up to what TRE36 used to have. However, not sure about you guys in the US but our FXTs have self-levelling rear suspension. The JDM pink STi springs dropped my front about an inch (barely noticeable) but the rear did not drop at all. I also have a solid Whiteline 22mm adjustable rear sway bar, heavy duty rear mounts, steering rack mounts and front strut brace. The new Whiteline spherical bearing end links, front and back, on their way and rear end link support brackets (from the group buy at GTrydaz.com) coming too. As a package, I am very happy. Sure the ride would be better if it was lower, but then it takes some of the functionality out of the vehicle. Good combination if you want to keep pretty much stock ground clearance but have a car that handles MUCH better as a street car.
 

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2004 FXTi
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FXT said:
That sounds like a pretty good direction to me. I have heard the wagon and sedan have different rear springs. Do i need to get the wagon set or the sedan set?
Hmmm, I'm honestly not sure if it might be better to get the wagon rear springs which are a bit longer. Our car gets a teeny bit of "butt sag" with the STI sedan takeoffs. However, for the struts you would want the sedan takeoffs since the wagon pieces would make getting the proper camber more difficult. Another cheap option, that would REALLY make your car handle is simply the WRX STI takeoffs. I've seen them for as little as $400, but this would lower the car even more. I think you would likely be very happy with the 2004/2005 WRX takeoffs for very little $$$.

Tre36, I'll be doing a writeup next week after my alignment. Good stuff to come for those looking to make stock STI's look stupid in the corners.

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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wadejg said:
However, for the struts you would want the sedan takeoffs since the wagon pieces would make getting the proper camber more difficult
True. Although I have wagon springs, I used sedan struts. The sedan struts also have a wider stance.
wadejg said:
Tre36, I'll be doing a writeup next week after my alignment. Good stuff to come for those looking to make stock STI's look stupid in the corners.
I will look forward to it.
 

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tre36 said:
wadejg said:
However, for the struts you would want the sedan takeoffs since the wagon pieces would make getting the proper camber more difficult
True. Although I have wagon springs, I used sedan struts. The sedan struts also have a wider stance.
wadejg said:
Tre36, I'll be doing a writeup next week after my alignment. Good stuff to come for those looking to make stock STI's look stupid in the corners.
I will look forward to it.

BTW Tre
With regards to the STI RSB. Getting the STI clamps and mounts are optional. I should be able to use my existing Forester clamps and mounts?
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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zee lee said:
tre36 said:
wadejg said:
However, for the struts you would want the sedan takeoffs since the wagon pieces would make getting the proper camber more difficult
True. Although I have wagon springs, I used sedan struts. The sedan struts also have a wider stance.
wadejg said:
Tre36, I'll be doing a writeup next week after my alignment. Good stuff to come for those looking to make stock STI's look stupid in the corners.
I will look forward to it.

BTW Tre
With regards to the STI RSB. Getting the STI clamps and mounts are optional. I should be able to use my existing Forester clamps and mounts?
Zee Lee, get the STi clamps and mounts. There have been two reports of broken mounts with the STi bar. I originally used the stock bits with my STi bar but upgraded it a while ago.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
So is it safe to say that getting an 04/05 wrx suspension take off would be fine for a daily driver? I'm not into taking the corners hard, but i just want a lower look without losing all the functionality that our Foresters give us.

-Andrew
 

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2012 camry se 6AT
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Ubuster, for a daily driver the 04/05 WRX takeoffs would be a good choice. Many WRX owners upgrade so you can find used takeoffs farely cheap.
 
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