Jerry UltraDork
June 28, 2017 9:00 p.m.

So I finally bought a 2002 WRX a couple months ago. I tried to find a 1-stock 2-world rally blue 3- rust free or minor 4-local 5-bugeye and gave up. I ended up finding one that had been modified, but at least by a reputable shop in Columbus.

One thing that concerned me, ride height. It's said to be on Eibach springs, dunno what shocks/struts. I was a little concerned it might be too low.

But I had it parked next to Subarust once before it sold, and it didn't look THAT low in comparison. The above photo was at an autocross when the rallycross got rained out. Threw the all-season's back on and said let's at least see how it handles. And it was quite fun.

Missed the next event volunteering at a Humane Society event, but last weekend was finally it's rallycross debut. I was concerned about height and also the exhaust makes a bend underneath the rear axle... One seriously muddy event later, with some pretty deep ruts, the only casualty was a front wheel well liner (along with about 8 other cars though).

The action shot doesn't look too low. But I'm wondering my options. A craigslist ad not far away has 2004 STI springs and shocks asking $300. Not against coilovers, I'd like to hold onto this car for quite awhile and don't mind putting a little $ into it. Seems like quite the gamut of manufacturers and prices to choose from.

This might have been covered, I apologize, I normally search topics out first but it's late and I'm tired. I also want to see where GRM's rallycross Focus goes. What are my best options? Anyone have $2500 they can lend me for Flatout suspension hand-built coilovers?

NGTD UberDork
June 28, 2017 10:09 p.m.

I would do some research before I bought any of those Flatout's - from what I understand most customers have been "less" than satisfied. (Paid and 6 months later still no suspension) - see North America Rally Racing (Discussion Group) on FB and Search Flatout

Forester struts with STi springs - gives extra ride height with firmer spring rate.

Jerry UltraDork
June 29, 2017 6:57 a.m.
NGTD wrote: Forester struts with STi springs - gives extra ride height with firmer spring rate.

So would that STI spring and strut CL ad be a good deal at $300?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperDork
June 29, 2017 7:21 a.m.

In reply to Jerry:

In your position, I'd jump on them for sure. I think rally coilovers will be overkill for rallycross use, and may actually be too stiff- the JVABs on my XR4Ti don't really smooth out until you're going 50mph+

Jerry UltraDork
June 29, 2017 9:09 a.m.

Possibly dumb question, how can I verify that they are in fact STI springs? Will there be any markings to look for?

ProDarwin PowerDork
June 29, 2017 9:15 a.m.

Its been a while, but IIRC there is a difference in tophats so you will need 04+ tophats for them to work on your car.

Also I recall STIs seem to sit pretty much right on the bumpstop from the factory so you won't be gaining any compression travel.

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/gd-general/65985-all-lowering-springs-even-stock-springs-ride-bump-stops.html

Knurled MegaDork
June 29, 2017 11:23 a.m.

I still remember the day Miles and I destroyed SA in his 2.5i, at National Trails, with rear shocks so blown that the back of the car was porpoising hard enough to bounce completely off the ground on rebound.

I think too stiff is way worse than too soft...

rslifkin Dork
June 29, 2017 11:30 a.m.

Too stiff on shocks is bad and hurts grip. You can go fairly stiff on springs and be fine, as long as your shocks are well matched to the springs. Coilovers give the advantage of being able to control ride height independent of spring rate, which might come in handy depending on how far you want to go with optimizing the setup.

wae Dork
June 29, 2017 11:44 a.m.

They can be big bucks, but coilovers have some nice advantages. I like that the springs are all pretty much standard. You can get 2.5" springs in multiple lengths and strengths (weights? springy-ness?) and they're pretty inexpensive and relatively easy to change. You can add helper springs if you need them to really dial it in. You could even have a set of springs that are super stiff for trackdays and another set that are much softer for rallycross. I don't think you'd want to change the springs for every rallycross and autocross because it's not quite THAT easy.

Another big advantage is that you can adjust ride height without compromising the amount of travel in the strut. At least with mine, the adjustment pushes the whole strut up and down as it relates to the knuckle instead of jamming a taller spring between the perch and the top mount which can remove a bunch of travel.

The downside is that most coilover setups that I've seen are designed to bring the car down, not raise it up. Consider that I was shopping for 1st gen Neon stuff, though, so the fact that Subarus are a little more commonly seen off the pavement, your choices might be a bit better.

Jerry UltraDork
June 29, 2017 12:32 p.m.

Almost sounds like I might be better off going with stock springs & struts? I'm thinking I'm going to check on those STi springs and struts, and the Forrester strut idea. Like @wae said it seems like coilovers are mostly to bring the height down...

Hal UltraDork
June 29, 2017 2:44 p.m.

There are combinations of stock Subaru parts that will raise your car up about an inch or so(which should be enough for rallycross). I don't know which parts(just getting into Subaru's myself) but you could check out some of the off-road Subaru forums and FB Groups.

NGTD UberDork
June 29, 2017 3:20 p.m.
Hal wrote: There are combinations of stock Subaru parts that will raise your car up about an inch or so(which should be enough for rallycross). I don't know which parts(just getting into Subaru's myself) but you could check out some of the off-road Subaru forums and FB Groups.

Forester struts give you 1.5". STi springs take away 0.5". Net is a slight increase in spring rate with a 1" increase in ride height. For rally-X where I am - win-win. It depends on where you run, but our course ruts up so the extra ride height is valuable.

YMMV

NGTD UberDork
June 29, 2017 3:21 p.m.
Jerry wrote:
NGTD wrote: Forester struts with STi springs - gives extra ride height with firmer spring rate.

So would that STI spring and strut CL ad be a good deal at $300?

STi stuff attracts extra costs, so that deal is probably okay, but I am a cheap bastard.

Knurled MegaDork
June 29, 2017 4:51 p.m.

Sens-A-Trac quick struts at all four corners

Gaunt596 New Reader
June 29, 2017 5:33 p.m.

Another option, since you can get coilovers all the way aroubd, is the BC Racing coilovers, way less money than most of the others and they'll do custom spring rates and valving for no extra charge for the first set

cghstang Dork
June 29, 2017 5:54 p.m.

Sti springs with almost any new struts were the recipe of choice among much of the OVR crowd. I know that's what Tim had on his RS, Draco on his wrx, and I think Chris S. on his black RS. Oh yeah, Gary's legacy too.

Bob had some King Springs on his wrx that lifted it a little bit and had a higher rate. They weren't bad. I don't know what struts he paired them with. I drove it before (stock springs?) and after. It was way better after.

Knurled MegaDork
June 29, 2017 6:36 p.m.

FWIW, I would NOT use any kind of 2.5" coil over. Small diameter springs need to be extremely long in order to get enough travel. This is why the OEMs use 4-5-6" diameter springs.

For reference the 14" long coilovers on teh RX-7 have less travel than the stock springs on your Subaru. Ride height is pretty much dictated by where the spring goes into coil bind vs where the strut bottoms out. There is maybe 1" of dead travel at the top end where the spring rattles free if the suspension droops that far.

Jerry UltraDork
June 30, 2017 6:59 a.m.
NGTD wrote:
Hal wrote: There are combinations of stock Subaru parts that will raise your car up about an inch or so(which should be enough for rallycross). I don't know which parts(just getting into Subaru's myself) but you could check out some of the off-road Subaru forums and FB Groups.

Forester struts give you 1.5". STi springs take away 0.5". Net is a slight increase in spring rate with a 1" increase in ride height. For rally-X where I am - win-win. It depends on where you run, but our course ruts up so the extra ride height is valuable.

YMMV

This is valuable information. With the exhaust running under the axle I'm thinking an extra inch will be valuable. #thatswhatshesaid

Advan046 UltraDork
June 30, 2017 7:22 a.m.

This is probably what you want: Tein DSS28-W1LS2 HG Coil-Over Damper

You could do a combo with taller springs on some Subaru family taller dampers.

Taller springs my friend has bought these but a while back now. Time flies....raised King Springs

Jerry UltraDork
June 30, 2017 1:19 p.m.

In reply to Advan046:

Hmmmm if the STI springs in Columbus don't pan out I like the King Springs. Thanx for the link.

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