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Old 12-30-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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Default WRX handling

I figured it would be ok to post this in b.s.

A guy in our local SCCA region autocrosses his SAAB (whatever), it's a WRX. He is in ESP, with the following mods: USDM STI PINK progressive springs, 235-17 rcomps, Cobb Front and Rear Sway bars, Rear set to tightest spot.
Front Strut tower brace, rear strut tower brace, STOCK dampers. He's probably the most enthusiastic new member, and he really wants the thing to handle better, but is on a very tight budget.

It doesn't seem that he has enough experience to really decipher what is wrong with the handling, but at very least we all know that the thing tricycles like a ************. Lots of member have been telling him to start by softening/removing the rear bar, and stiffening up the front bar to make it lift the inside rear less. Also, we have told him to max out the camber available with the stock setup.

I would really like to help him. Anyone have any suggestions on a good and cheap setup for this car, especially with respect to springs and dampers, especially for autocross? I'm talking about something similar to getting a used bilstein with ebay springs, then revalve and use ISC/fcm tophats for a Miata. BTW, this is also his DD.

Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:07 AM   #2
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more droop, less compression damping, and I don't know enough about sway bars on AWD vehicles to comment on that piece.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:10 AM   #3
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Are you talking about the Saabaru (Saab Aero 92-X) wagon? I.e., sexier than the WRX wagon?

I had an 04 wagon and found it wasn't that much fun to autox compared to my Miata. My times were not that different b/w the two cars. The Miata definitely shined on the smaller, tighter courses.

Anyhoo, I was extremely happy w/ the Koni inserts (need to hack the stock struts) and Eibach springs. I don't recall what rates the springs were. I ran w/ big FSB and smaller adjustable RSB. I also had the Whiteline strut tower bars (front and rear - rear was a quick release like a bicycle wheel).

From what I recall, the STi pinks (USDM) were not that aggresssive and didn't really do too much for a serious autox setup. What he should do is read up on NASIOC. There's a lot of great racing info there. Then, post up his current setup, ask for suggestions, then narrow it down. A true coilover like the KW v3 are great (at least on the STi/WRX sedans). Stay away from JIC (worst customer support turnaround time). Racecomp Engineering in Maryland has done a fair amount of research on setups. I think they've done the Saabaru (or at least the WRX wagon).
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saint_foo View Post
Are you talking about the Saabaru (Saab Aero 92-X) wagon? I.e., sexier than the WRX wagon?
That's the one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint_foo View Post
I had an 04 wagon and found it wasn't that much fun to autox compared to my Miata.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint_foo View Post
Anyhoo, I was extremely happy w/ the Koni inserts (need to hack the stock struts) and Eibach springs. I don't recall what rates the springs were. I ran w/ big FSB and smaller adjustable RSB. I also had the Whiteline strut tower bars (front and rear - rear was a quick release like a bicycle wheel).
How much $ was your Koni/Eibach setup? How is the used market on these things? Available with adjustable perches? In looking quickly, I found a supersexy Zzyzx setup, which uses Koni inserts in a custom setup. This was $1800, so out of this guy's price range, but obviously a high-end setup for these cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint_foo View Post
From what I recall, the STi pinks (USDM) were not that aggresssive and didn't really do too much for a serious autox setup. What he should do is read up on NASIOC. There's a lot of great racing info there. Then, post up his current setup, ask for suggestions, then narrow it down. A true coilover like the KW v3 are great (at least on the STi/WRX sedans). Stay away from JIC (worst customer support turnaround time). Racecomp Engineering in Maryland has done a fair amount of research on setups. I think they've done the Saabaru (or at least the WRX wagon).
The Pinks are 223#F/195#R, which are about 1/2 to 1/3 as light as serious ESP setups. I think more than anything he is getting confused with all the input, and the size of NASIOC makes the info overload even worse. At this point he's convinced about switching out his VLSD for a Cusco 1.5 way, and changing out strut bars. This, before doing dampers/springs, which I am trying to convince him not to do.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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I honestly don't recall since I paid wholesale and got the springs free. I would buy the Konis new, since when they need to be rebuilt, Koni requires a sales receipt, request from the original owner, etc. This is for the free rebuild, which many folks do, unless they get custom revalving.

I wonder how much the Ground Control setup would be? That's a decent solution, although never as good as a dedicated coilover. It looks like ~$1900 (I'm guessing he should call to confirm w/ the wagon).

Ground Control - Street and race suspension systems for your car!



For the amount of money he'll spend on that wagon to get it "that much more" competitive, he probably should consider keeping the wagon close to stock and buy a prepped Miata or Civic Si (something in STS). I think that class is a lot more competitive and fun. You can really test the limits of a car while getting a lot more feedback from the body, brakes, tires, suspension setup, etc. I feel that my wagon wasn't telling me as much as the Miata does when changes are made (tweaking suspension, tire pressures, lines taken, etc).
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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camber bolts, koni inserts, ground control
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:48 PM   #7
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camber bolts, koni inserts, ground control
And not the fancy LSD at this point, right?
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:55 PM   #8
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I think a good CHEAP upgrade for him would be to step up from those crappy stock shocks to the sti ones. They're usually about 200 for used good condition ones and the difference is fairly big.

The cobb sway bars are great for those cars. STi pink springs are not that great. He should check out RCE yellow springs or Tanabe Gf which both have decent rates for those cars from what I remember.

WRX's tend to understeer like ****'s in stock form. Add on stiffer springs and it gets better but still there. Add on sway bars and its completely fixed but still there a little bit.

Front LSD will make the car better in auto-x but is a HUUUUGE pita to install. People that do that usually just upgrade the whole shebang to the STi transmission/diffs/axles.

WRX's come STOCK with adjustible camber bolts: WTF are you talking about Jacob? Unless you're going for some crazy *** 3" drop or something, you don't need camber bolts upgraded.

KONi inserts and gc springs/perches are NOT popular in the subaru community at all, and rarely do you ever see anyone using them. Don't know if its from them not being good on subaru's or what.
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