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Advice for suspension/wheel setup


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Posted (edited)

I was hoping to get some advice on a suspension and wheel setup as I am wanting to improve handling now.

 

I'm looking at adjusting the following:

 

1. Swaybars
2. Springs
3. Wheels

I recently posted asking about size to go and 17x8 looked to be the go however I am thinking 18x8 now as 17s are SO HARD to get compared to 18s, and I quite like the look of the 18s.

Now, I was hoping to ask about a setup to achieve the following:

 

1. I want to improve handling first and foremost and eliminate body roll.
2. I want the improve the aesthetics of the car

 

Currently, I really HATE my suspension and Wheels. They sit too far inward (offset is too high for my liking) and the gap between the fender and wheel looks gross.

I do want to lower the car, however after reading a lot of FAQs and experiences, I'm unsure if I should. Apparantly from what I father, our cars do not like to be lowered. I'm not after the "Hella Flush" look, just wanting to maybe lower 10mm.

But I'm aiming to improve my suspension. Currently I am sitting on stock springs with KYB rear struts and OEM Subaru at front. My struts are starting to go so I am using this as an opporunity to get a good spring/strut setup. What would be a nice improvement. I want to improve handling but don't want to be too hard a ride.

 

As for wheels, if I am going for around 18x8 with a +35 - +40 offset would that be a good setup?

Do I need to get Forged wheels? I do not track the car but it seems like cast are prone to cracking etc. I am wanting the Kudos Tokyo, XXR 527 or Work Kiwami style (Nice concave with smaller spokes).

And finally, Im looking to upgrade the swaybars, especially rear ones first. WHat should I go for to get a nice improve in handling.

 

Basically overall, if I want to do a spring/shock, and swaybar setup with new wheels, what is a good setup to improve handling, lower body roll and improve the look of the vehicle as well!

Edited by Bugeye01WRX
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22 or 23mm rear swaybar, do the swaybar bushes and links as well as there's not much point increasing the bar rate if it's just squishing around in 20 year old flogged out bushings.

 

Then... I think the "not going crazy" option is KYB AGX struts and the STI pink springs? Slight lowering, increase in spring rate, without being heinously bouncy.

 

18x8 with presumably around a 235 will need a decent pull on your arches. I put 235/45R17 on 17x8 on my STI (which is wider? I think? Yours is a wagon right?) and I had to roll the rear guards to not rub.

 

Honestly I'd run the stock front swaybar and see how it feels. I have an incredibly w**ked suspension setup but still run the stock front swaybar with a 23mm rear and I like the balance.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, boon said:

22 or 23mm rear swaybar, do the swaybar bushes and links as well as there's not much point increasing the bar rate if it's just squishing around in 20 year old flogged out bushings.

 

Then... I think the "not going crazy" option is KYB AGX struts and the STI pink springs? Slight lowering, increase in spring rate, without being heinously bouncy.

 

18x8 with presumably around a 235 will need a decent pull on your arches. I put 235/45R17 on 17x8 on my STI (which is wider? I think? Yours is a wagon right?) and I had to roll the rear guards to not rub.

 

Honestly I'd run the stock front swaybar and see how it feels. I have an incredibly w**ked suspension setup but still run the stock front swaybar with a 23mm rear and I like the balance.

 

Thanks for this!! Yup I actually have some poly swaybar bushings from Superpro to go on when I get new swaybars!

 

Oh yup 22mm sounds good factory is 20mm right? I have a Sedan not a Wagon :).

 

I was looking at 225/40/18 tyres or is that too low profile?

 

Oh cool! I'll look into the AGX and sti pinks combo.

 

I'll definintely try the 22mm rear and stock front. That will eliminate the factory understeer I assume? Any issues with snap oversteer going with the thicker rear bar?

 

Also, probably something I need to read more on but am not very knowledgeable on is springs and struts. I get the general idea, but spring rate, ride harshness, etc etc confuse me. What I mean is, I assumed a lowered car would always ride harsh but I rode in my friends Miata that was REALLY low but it was so smooth and felt great over bumps.

 

What does a really stiff spring add? Pros and cons?

 

What are the pros and cons of softer springs/struts.

 

Also what causes "a bouncy ride," and is a bouncy ride always bad? Do you want it really firm etc?

 

Thanks!

 

 

Edited by Bugeye01WRX
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225/40 won't be super skinny, but 225/45s should fit in the guard no worries. likely wouldn't need much guard rolling if any for 235s on a sedan though.

Stiffer springs help with body roll/keeping the car flat amongst other things, but bouncy is bad for grip and keeping your teeth in your skull lol.

Spring rates etc aren't generally available for lowering springs from what I know, but you can't go too far wrong, especially not with sti pink springs

 

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47 minutes ago, MichaelJS said:

225/40 won't be super skinny, but 225/45s should fit in the guard no worries. likely wouldn't need much guard rolling if any for 235s on a sedan though.

Stiffer springs help with body roll/keeping the car flat amongst other things, but bouncy is bad for grip and keeping your teeth in your skull lol.

Spring rates etc aren't generally available for lowering springs from what I know, but you can't go too far wrong, especially not with sti pink springs

 

 

Ok sweet! Any benefit to going 225/45 over 225/40s?

 

Sweet I'm definitely aiming to reduce body roll with a nice spring/strut & swaybar upgrade.

 

What creates a bouncy car? I don't wanna go bouncy if it is bad for grip etc.

 

Also, just wondering do you go spring/struts or Coilovers? I looked and STI pinks seem to be around $400 second hand and the AGX are around $400 each here. SO that is around $2,000 and it seems I could buy a great set of coilovers at that price.

 

I always thought coilovers were better but just been reading and seems they are not worth it and sometimes worse than Daily Driving compared to shock/struts?

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Bouncy is primarily too much compression damping or not enough rebound damping, followed by excessive spring rate, followed by no bump travel.

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4 minutes ago, boon said:

Bouncy is primarily too much compression damping or not enough rebound damping, followed by excessive spring rate, followed by no bump travel.

 

Ok so it sounds like the way to prevent that is having new struts? Or could new struts do that if they were set incorrectly? Or is that from failed struts.

 

And then getting a good spring that isn't too high a spring rate then?

 

I do like the STI Pinks. However, should I get USDM or JDM ones? JDM ones seem to lower the car 30mm vs the USDM which are 15 - 20mm and are not quite as harsh as the JDM ones.

 

Thinking the USDM ones might suit me better.

 

What is bump travel?

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Most commonly from taking cheap "adjustable" suspension and turning the adjustment way up. Or fitting wildly inappropriate struts.

 

Bump travel is how far the wheel is able to move upward when you hit a bump. You need to have enough bump travel to handle most bumps you can expect to hit without running into the bump stops. When that happens you effectively don't have suspension on that wheel any more and your car can get very unsettled.

The reason this all goes together is because often what people do is they lower the s*** out of the car by just putting short springs in which leaves the car with very little useful suspension travel. Then because they get sick of bottoming out the car they put in extremely firm springs and wind the compression damping all the way up, then they think it's racecar as cos it twitches and bobbles about. Yes racecars are all twitchy at low speed but it's because they have to be sprung and valved to handle bumps at high speed which accordingly have far more energy, they don't behave like that at high speed.

 

Something like a KYB AGX is going to be valved/damped appropriately for the car for "spirited" use, and if you don't sack it on its arse you'll have plenty of travel.

 

Generally speaking you don't use the coil springs to prevent body roll. That's literally the sway bar's job - sometimes they're known as an "anti-roll bar". Appropriate spring rates is pretty complex topic but the nuts and bolts of it is that for a street car you should really be running a fairly soft spring for maximum comfort and the best handling.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, boon said:

Most commonly from taking cheap "adjustable" suspension and turning the adjustment way up. Or fitting wildly inappropriate struts.

 

Bump travel is how far the wheel is able to move upward when you hit a bump. You need to have enough bump travel to handle most bumps you can expect to hit without running into the bump stops. When that happens you effectively don't have suspension on that wheel any more and your car can get very unsettled.

The reason this all goes together is because often what people do is they lower the s*** out of the car by just putting short springs in which leaves the car with very little useful suspension travel. Then because they get sick of bottoming out the car they put in extremely firm springs and wind the compression damping all the way up.

 

Something like a KYB AGX is going to be valved/damped appropriately for the car for "spirited" use, and if you don't sack it on its arse you'll have plenty of travel.

 

Generally speaking you don't use the coil springs to prevent body roll. That's literally the sway bar's job - sometimes they're known as an "anti-roll bar". Appropriate spring rates is pretty complex topic but the nuts and bolts of it is that for a street car you should really be running a fairly soft spring for maximum comfort and the best handling.

 

Awesome that really explains it!!

 

Sorry for all the questions!! Just had one more

 

I'm just wondering now which pinks to get.

 

I'm torn between getting JDM and USDM Pinks. I am leaning more towards the USDM ones because they drop the car less (15 - 20mm apparently) vs the JDM ones which drop the car 30mm. The big reason I don't want to drop too much is my exhaust is angled and hands quite low at the flange by the muffler and midpipe.

 

Also, I'm a bit confused on what "pinks" there are. Seems like there are WRX Pinks, STI Pinks, STI Lowered Pinks, JDM Pinks, 02 - 03 USDM Pinks and 04-07 USDM pinks.

 

Or should I just go for the JDM ones?

 

Haha definitely do not want to sack it on its arse I want to be able to continue daily driving without scraping at every speed bump or driveway etc.

 

So the AGX/Pinks combo is perfect for daily driving but improving handling for the occasional spirited drive?

 

Cheers man!

Edited by Bugeye01WRX
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