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Discussion Starter #1
I have been on WRX sedan struts, Koni inserts and 07STI springs for some time now. I am generally content with it, but I know I can further improve on it. I want to ride a little stiffer and a little lower. My current heights are 14.5F/14.0R. I would like to get it down to 13.75 all around.

I recently got a hold of some Swift Spec-R's and would like to replace my 07STI springs. While I will get the slightly stiffer ride I am looking for, the 1" drop between the two springs will be a little too low. Even more of an issue will be that my available stroke travel will be that much less.

Ideally, it would have been nice if the Spec-R's had a full extra coil on either end. This would have only lowered my ride 1/2". I would just drop the inserts thru the bottom housing, used some saggy butt shims where needed and call it a day. Since this is not the case, I need to find another way.

For the rears, it looks like the FXT strut lower spring perch is higher than the WRX one. If not, I could just get longer strut studs and add the saggy-butt shims since stroke travel isn't such a big concern back there.

For the fronts, it's a little tougher. I think all MY front strut lower perch height are the same. Also, since I need to preserve that precious stroke travel, using similar saggy-butt shims is the least desirable option. I need to somehow increase the distance between the upper and lower spring perches.

One solution that came to mind is to stack another top cone under the existing one. I will need to cut off half the cone of the one I am using as the spacer. Securing this with three or four hi-lok fasteners through both cone surfaces should do the trick. One could also stack the bottom perch instead, but ruining a whole strut would not be ideal. I would like to hear some constructive criticisms about this idea or a better option from the community. Be nice.

I've seen some Foz's on Spec-R's on here and I just think they are to low for good handling. I may be wrong, so please chime in.

I really don't want to go the Ground Control route unless there is no other choice. I would also like to hear the pros and cons from those that are using the Ground Control system on their Foresters. I want to know if they are reliable, clunky after a while or are they a really good system.

Thanks.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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I had RCE wagon springs which are very similar in rates and height, and thought they were too low also. I never got my car sorted out around that height, but it didn't handle as well as it does now for sure. The suspension geometry may have been off, and there was very little travel. Sure, virtually no body roll, but the ride was bad and handling was weird.

IMO you may have to go the GC route. I had a used set given to me and was planning on trying it, but ended up making them work on my Miata instead. I'm on '05 STi springs right now with 1/2" spacers all around and love it. I switched to them to gain more travel in the front. I had '05 STi Prodrive springs before that and loved that also, you may actually enjoy that setup alot. I have same strut setup as you.

Stan
 

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Hmm I'm at 13.5 (assuming you are measuring from fender edge to wheel center) all around.. looks like I'm on the bump stops all the time then.

I have a feeling that the rough ride you got, stan, and that I'm sort of getting now, is from ZERO strut travel with stock bump stop heights.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here is my solution to make the Swift Spec-R (STI application) springs work on my FXT. I wanted to road/track test this method before posting and I'm glad to report that all went well. It may be unorthodox for some of you and maybe even unacceptable for others, but it works for me.

Here is a shot of the R spring in the front struts. This setup dropped the fronts to 13 3/8 - too low for good handling. The control arms went past horizontal.



I strolled through HD looking for a solution and ended up buying a couple of hoses. The first is one that I've used on my previous oil catch can. A clear vinyl with fabric weave. The grayish one was in the electrical section. It is used for running electrical lines outdoor/underground. It replaces the traditional galvanized coil casing. It has an inner hard plastic (white - like teflon) coil and an outer vinyl (I think).

I first greased the spring and then added more grease inside the clear tubing and struggled to push one full coil onto the spring. This tubing stopped right where the black plastic shield begins on the R spring. I removed the plastic shield from the STI spring and butted it up where the black R shield ended. I then greased up the clear tubing and proceeded to insert 2 1/2 coils of the grey tube. I ended up cutting off 1 coil of this on the first spring and only inserted 1 1/2 on the second one.





I ended up with a height of 14 in the fronts. I left the rear STI springs due to time constraints. I tracked the car for two sessions on the ROVAL at Cal Speedway 3 weeks ago and then again last weekend with 9 sessions (between my son and I) at Big Willow and was very happy with the outcome.



I have about 1500 miles (street/track) since install. I checked the tubes after both track days and the they do not have any signs of damage.

With the inserts at middle setting, the foz tracked really well on both courses. The stiffer rates provided a firm and controlled handling. The rears were planted with no surprises. Daily driving the same setup gives a noticeably sportier feel than the STI springs, but not harsh. I will most likely leave well enough alone instead of installing the rear R's - maybe...

FF approved - LOL

 

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So the added height you needed comes from the electrical tubing? Haha wow. That's interesting! I might need to do this because @ 13.5 I'm also slightly past horizontal.. VERY slightly, but I can see it.

What's that actor's name? I totally can't remember any of their names but their faces I remember.
 

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2018 Forester XT 6spd/8spd/Many Gears CVT
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I am not surprised that you would be on the bump stops because you are on springs that were designed for a different car. I am surprised that you guys are using the Spec-Rs as well since we never really designed those Spec-Rs to be used on the Foresters. It was originally for the STI owners who wanted more rate but to keep comfort for daily driving.

In due time, we will have a remedy for all of you that want more stiffness with some height adjustment and a comfortable ride. ;)

Regards,
Gary
 

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I am not surprised that you would be on the bump stops because you are on springs that were designed for a different car. I am surprised that you guys are using the Spec-Rs as well since we never really designed those Spec-Rs to be used on the Foresters. It was originally for the STI owners who wanted more rate but to keep comfort for daily driving.

In due time, we will have a remedy for all of you that want more stiffness with some height adjustment and a comfortable ride. ;)

Regards,
Gary

Oh great then I'll have something else to spend money on. :icon_rolleyes:

Must resist urge to go lower...
 

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You've given me some hope on running some newly acquired springs. What are the measurements on the hoses? I'd really like to try this out.
 

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I wish someone would just make top hats that lower the spring perch (and possibly mounting studs, or they could stay with the strut mounting point to provide some lift as well) compared to where the strut bolts in. Letting you use the shorter springs while keeping you off the bump stops (and giving more usable travel)
 

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x3! Totally need that for even aftermarket struts. Couldn't it be as simple as a plate with a hole for the center bolt and the three studs? Something like a modified lift spacer?
 

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if you are unhappy w/ the ride height, get subtle's 1" lift kit. i run a similar kit w/ RCE blacks (milder drop) and i love my setup. my ride height is perfect!

edited for adding shot of ride height

 

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it's not the ride height that's the problem, it's the strut travel that's the problem and spacers don't correct any of that. the travel is just as short but you just sit higher above the strut.

e.g. me sitting at 13.5" from axle nut to fender edge means i probably have ~0.5" before I hit the bump stops (just a guess). add a spacer, the travel is still ~0.5" because the spring perch is still in the same place, even though the rest of the car is 1" higher.
 
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