Do I Need a Spring Compressor for a 2011 WRX Wagon? - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 07-07-2012, 11:15 AM
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Question Do I Need a Spring Compressor for a 2011 WRX Wagon?

My car is currently in need of an alignment and new tires, so I think I'm going to use this as a time to replace the springs on it as well. The car is a fully stock 2011 WRX wagon. This YouTube video shows how to install RCE Blacks on a 2008 STi:


In the video, they disassemble the strut assembly with two dudes and an air wrench without a spring compressor. Once they get the nut off the top, the spring is completely unloaded.

Question 1: I have a 2011 WRX (non STi). Can I expect my stock springs to be fully unloaded as well once I take that nut off of the top of the spring assembly?

Question 2: I've been told by the shop that I plan to have perform the alignment that the stock struts will work just fine with lowering springs for the 2011 model year. I've seen a lot of discussion in here about how lowering springs destroy stock struts quickly, but the claim the shop made was that the 2011 stock struts work just fine (They recommended Epic Engineering springs). Is it the general consensus here that the stock struts can handle being dropped about 1"? I'm considering either the Epic Engineering or RCE Yellows.
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#2 Old 07-07-2012, 11:23 AM
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Also…

I forgot to mention that my primary goal is to stiffen the suspension overall. I realize that sway bars are the most noticeable suspension enhancement, and I do plan to add those next. The only reason I am starting with springs is that my car's alignment is already bad, and I figured I might as well do the springs now to sort of "double dip" on the value of the alignment.

I used to drive a 335i (which sucked at not needing to be repaired at least once a month, even when it was new but handled like a dream). I realize that I can't achieve exactly the same handling, but I miss the stiffer handling and suspension in that car. I realize that springs have more to do with straight line driving than cornering (which the sway bars will help with). I do experience undesireable suspension movement when hitting bumps in straigt line driving, so I'm hoping the springs will make a significant difference there. I also expect they will make a little difference in body roll (again, with the sway bars making the bigger difference). Please feel free to expand my knowledge here!
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#3 Old 07-07-2012, 07:32 PM
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Also, Question 3: I have read various accounts where it is claimed that lowering can harm handling performance. I understand that extreme lowering would have this effect, but would the RCE Yellows (I think 1.2" on the front, 1" on the back?) lower enough to harm handling? My goal is to improve handling, not to harm it. If the handling is harmed, would the RCE blacks be a better choice?

I'm new to car modding, and I've tried to do as much reading and searching as I can. If my questions have been answered a thousand times and I've just been unable to find the answers, apologies for the noise.
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#4 Old 07-07-2012, 09:43 PM
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Im not sure about the 2011, but my wifes 05 WRX did not need spring compressors to swap the strut/springs out. And I dont know the struts or anything really suspension related for the newer WRX. If you have any doubts, wait for someone on here to chime in, or contact the guys at Turn In Concepts, they are suspension gurus for subies.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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#5 Old 07-08-2012, 11:21 AM
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Without a spring compressor tool you are chancing the nut flying off and losing an eye or the spring not coming off correctly again chancing a stripped nut or a loss of eye use. This of course is going off previous cars 1 of which was an 07 STi and my Speed3

Paul
2007 XT
2007 MS3
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#6 Old 07-08-2012, 11:49 AM
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On my 02 the compressors were of help, I did it the first time around with out them and they popped....oh the suspense of have a spring nut at its last thread..A bit scary indeed.
When I used my compressors it was like cake work. You can get a cheap set on EBay that will work just fine.

Justin will chime in about what shocks you will need. Listen to him!

Randy-
2002 blaze WRX- sold:(
2004 Wrx-sold
2011 Wrx limited
99 Fozz- sold
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#7 Old 07-08-2012, 04:33 PM
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I dont know if you two (Paul and Randy) did it by yourself or not. But I did it with another friend, with air tools. But you can also "rent" them from autozone and places like that. Wont cost you a thing once you turn them back in.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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#8 Old 07-08-2012, 07:03 PM
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I did it by myself( front only) with hand tools. Took me just over 1 hour, start to finish.

Randy-
2002 blaze WRX- sold:(
2004 Wrx-sold
2011 Wrx limited
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#9 Old 07-08-2012, 07:19 PM
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Thats not too bad. It was me and a friend, air tools and all 4 corners. Took us a little over 2 hours. But we ran into several set backs (i.e loosing the new nuts in the grass, him not believing me that you had to take out the whole back set to get to the rears, lol). But it has me anxious to get me some tokicos and RCE springs, when the money is around again that is, lol.

Joshua
"2007 WRX- PPG'd, 20G- Tim Bailey tuned
Stage 2 2005 WRX
Cobbtuning.com"
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#10 Old 07-09-2012, 05:49 AM
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I rented the tool as well from AZ..... And just kept a new set on hand for whoever.

Paul
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2007 MS3
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#11 Old 07-09-2012, 06:41 AM
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Use a spring compressor. You can buy a decent set for $50 and learn how to do it in the process. Then you can charge your buddies $100 to do suspension work and it'll pay for itself.

As for what springs to use. Pretty much RCE Regular Guy Springs are the only ones that will work well with the OEM struts. The RCE yellow's need upgraded struts to work, or they'll kill your oem struts pretty quick.

-Chris
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#12 Old 07-09-2012, 10:22 AM
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I used a "spring compressor", though it was not sold as such. Compressing springs doesn't require the worlds fanciest gismo.

04 STi 16G powered lagless fun
04 WRX: SOLD
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#13 Old 07-09-2012, 12:01 PM
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Were they "vise grips" Mosc?

Paul
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#14 Old 07-09-2012, 12:48 PM
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The friend I was mooching off at the time had a woodworking shop. We borrowed from there.

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04 WRX: SOLD
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#15 Old 07-09-2012, 01:19 PM
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Harbor Freight sells spring compressors for $15. They were on sale for $10 when I bought them in the store and I had a 20% off coupon, so $8. They work well if you oil the threads a little with some WD-40 so the threads don't bind. They did the job and I've used them again on an EVO spring install. Cheap insurance to keep you from taking a spring to the face.

MacPherson Strut Coil Spring Compressor Set

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