2005 WRX alignment problems - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-16-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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2005 WRX alignment problems

Hi Guys,

Recently, i noticed the driver side tire is kind of facing outward more compared to the passenger side. So, today i brought the car to BigO for an alignment. After a few hours of waiting they called me and said i need a new strut before they can proceed with a complete alignment because the driver side strut is bending. This is not my first time bringing my WRX to them to do the alignment. After i left the BigO i went home removed the driver side tire and looked at the strut but i couldn't see it bending anywhere. could this be the bending Rim ?

Below numbers came from their printed document for my WRX

Front: Left

*Actual************** Specified Range*
-2.3*******************-1.3 to 0.3 Camber
2.8******************* 4.1 to 5.6 Caster
-0.61******************-0.13 to 0.13 Toe
14.8*******************14.1 to 15.6 SAI
11.5******************* 12.8 to 15.8 Included Angle

*Suspension Setup*
- WRX struts with STI springs and car is at 50K miles

My questions are as follow:
1. How can i tell that i have a bending strut since i couldn't hear any noises or leaking fluid comming from the driver side strut/spring?
2. If i let go the steering wheel while driving the car will go to the right more instead of keeping straight what could have caused that ?
3. Since this is my DD car where can i go to to obtain a new set of strut at a decent price ?

Thank you very much for your help

Regards,
D
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-16-2009, 10:26 PM
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Get some 04 STi struts. You can find used ones on nasioc but you might want to just bite the bullet and get a new set. They'll last longer. You really shouldn't use those springs with your stock struts. Now you know why.

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-17-2009, 12:29 AM
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If you want some new struts....I think some Tokico Dspecs would match nicely with your STi springs.

$540 for the Dspecs from:

Helping you to enjoy your car. - Turn In Concepts

The Dspecs are 02-03 WRX fitment so you will either need 02-03 WRX rear top hats or a $23 Scooby Spacer for them to fit in the rear (front is a direct fit). I would contact TIC, Tony and Clint the owners really know their stuff.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-17-2009, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosc View Post
Get some 04 STi struts. You can find used ones on nasioc but you might want to just bite the bullet and get a new set. They'll last longer. You really shouldn't use those springs with your stock struts. Now you know why.
Hi Mosc,

Will the STI struts make the car run stiffer ? Plus i don't hear any clunking noise or anything that indicate the wrx struts are dead.

Regards,
D
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-17-2009, 10:37 AM
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Struts don't really increase stiffness much. Fundamentally, they're purpose is to dampen the spring. If your strut is stiffer, the car will restrict the spring from taking more of the bump however it won't be as bouncy. Keep in mind though that the strut is progressive by nature. A small bump should not see any difference from a stronger strut besides perhaps less bounce after the bump. The spring just isn't moving enough to really push on the strut. So I guess the initial impact of big bumps will feel bigger but the overall motion of the car will be dampened. "Stiffness" to me is more about spring rate to me. Higher springrate means that less of every bump is effectively absorbed in spring motion. More of it goes directly to the car.

The real problem I'm talking about here is that struts really get sized by the springs. Your springs are stiffer than the stock struts can deal with. This leads to too much throw and is especially bad on the rebound (it bounces). At the extreme (I don't think you're are quite that strong), it bounces of the bump stop and you've effectively removed your strut from doing anything useful. It can lead to blown struts and, combine with a bad alignment (which you currently have), it can lead to improper tire wear, pre-mature suspension component failure, and even a bent strut

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04 WRX: SOLD
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-17-2009, 10:46 AM
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The clunking noise may not necessarily mean the struts are dead... this link about how to re-grease them and keep them quiet was recently posted in another thread: STi strut lubrication procedures (pics) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

John
07 WRX
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-20-2009, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Guys,

I guess what i will do is to remove the struts and compare them over the weekend. If they look good, i guess i can leave them there for a short time before i can afford to upgrade my suspension. If they are dead i have to do something (not sure yet)

Thanks

D
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-20-2009, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

So, i decided to buy an 04 STI struts with Tein springs. Should i leave the Tein springs with the STI struts or should i remove the Tein springs and put the STI springs to the STI struts?

Thanks,
D
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-21-2009, 10:43 AM
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The Tien springs don't actually have increased springrate, they're just shorter. Utter junk. The STi springs are perhaps not as short but have increased springrate.

Stiffer struts can deal with more springrate but no strut can really fix a spring for you. The spring still needs to have the right spring ratio for it's height (more or less). The Tiens are substantially shorter than the STi springs with substantially less springrate.

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04 WRX: SOLD
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-21-2009, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosc View Post
The Tien springs don't actually have increased springrate, they're just shorter. Utter junk. The STi springs are perhaps not as short but have increased springrate.

Stiffer struts can deal with more springrate but no strut can really fix a spring for you. The spring still needs to have the right spring ratio for it's height (more or less). The Tiens are substantially shorter than the STi springs with substantially less springrate.
I didn't buy the Tein Springs. They came with the 04 STI struts. I guess i just replace the Tein Springs with the STI springsl. My car is for Daily Drive
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