Help!!! Wrx gone mad!! - Subaru WRX Forum
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#1 Old 07-31-2014, 01:18 PM
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Help!!! Wrx gone mad!!

So I've had my 02 wrx wagon for about 2 weeks. I bought it completely stock with 140,000 miles, the only things I've done to it are a Snorkus and muffler delete. Me and my friends all like to drive our cars hard. However I have noticed that my WRX under steers terribly even with good performance tires on it. Then if I'm going around a turn and hit a bump or have to swerve hard and fast the rear end looses its mind and I find myself 4 wheel sliding all over the road. What will correct this best besides an alignment and tires?

I don't need no woman, I have a SCUBARU!!!
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#2 Old 07-31-2014, 01:44 PM
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Welcome to the community.

Im gonna be a DAD for a moment then I'll help you fix your issue.

/DAD SPEECH/
When you buy a new car (or one thats new to you) you need to treat it like a wild animal. Show it respect and approach slowly, learn how it moves and what it does when its happy/mad. Understand its strengths and its shortcomings, Not to sound like a hippy but you need to be one with your car BEFORE you go out and smash yourself into a pole.

I know its not new but I still recommend a break in period. Keeping the RPMs relatively low, cruise control off and just drive the car, take it for highway drives and around town, Burn a few tanks of gas before you really step on it. That way when you need to make reactions your not all over the place.
/Dad speech/

On to the Fix

For many drivers who are new to Subaru there is a whole new driving method to learn. AWD handles totally differently than anything else on the market and when you get the hang of it theres no going back.

Under steer in many cases can be corrected by adjusting your braking curve to pre-load the front suspension. You can do that by braking into the turn slightly later and releasing more smoothly. When Im teaching people how to drive I tell them to feel the energy of the car pass your outside shoulder then take loop around your back as your turn. Its not the easiest thing to explain in text but think of a giant pendulum over your car while you drive.

There is also the possibility that your suspension is 140k miles old and it may be hindering your cornering performance. If you learn how the car drives and you feel like the ride is bouncy or rough, suspension is the first thing to look into. Start with the struts and make sure everything down thereis working correctly. Once you know that the suspension is in proper working order you can correct some under steer by correcting the body roll that allows the front inside suspension to open up. That usually means thicker anti-sway bars front and rear with a more aggressive setting in the rear. In most cases a 22mm front and a 24mm rear will make the cornering feel more neutral. I always recommend whitelines for sway bars just because they are so easily adjustable and pretty cost effective ( dont skimp on end links though)

TLDR - Take some time to learn your new car, and try transferring the weight to the front more when you are turning. If that doesn't help try swaybars : )

Again welcome to the community, If we can do anything to help let us know.
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Last edited by arcticscythe; 08-01-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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#3 Old 07-31-2014, 04:04 PM
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Sounds like either

A) your driving dangerously past the limit.

Or

B) you have major suspension damage like broken endlinks or something even worse.

An alignment is not a bad idea either.

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#4 Old 08-01-2014, 02:28 PM
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Also note that subaru's are typically less forgiving of driver error than a lot of other cars.

Its a 50/50 split between axles, if you come from rwd or fwd or certain other awd/awc's there is going to be a learning curve. Oh, and don't dump or kick the clutch.
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#5 Old 08-01-2014, 05:25 PM
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You picked the wrong car to literally throw into corners at high speed. However, if you can slow it down a bit you will find that this car is a good tool for developing precision driving techniques. Trying to find the limits of a car's traction by first exceeding those limits and working backwards towards the threshold is a good way to break your car, injure yourself, or both.

We would like to continue to see you contribute to this fine group of Subaru enthusiasts, so please take a safer approach to exploring the limits of your car!

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#6 Old 08-03-2014, 03:31 PM
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Thank you all for inputs. I came from rwd so it is a big learning curve, however upon inspection my suspension again and giving it the "bounce test" it turns out my struts are basically toast. Not to say that some of the problem isn't me of course, "however I do believe coilovers are in the near future, any recommendations? The car is a dd and I'm much more focused on performance than style.

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#7 Old 08-04-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twrxwagon02 View Post
Thank you all for inputs. I came from rwd so it is a big learning curve, however upon inspection my suspension again and giving it the "bounce test" it turns out my struts are basically toast. Not to say that some of the problem isn't me of course, "however I do believe coilovers are in the near future, any recommendations? The car is a dd and I'm much more focused on performance than style.
-- If your car is a DD then the best recommendation I can give you is to skip the Coil overs, Decent coil overs will cost 3-4 times what a decent set of struts/springs will cost and the benefit of the additional adjust ability is wasted unless you have your car up on a lift every weekend. Unless you are tracking the car every weekend look at struts first. A great set of struts and good springs go a hell of a long way towards making the handling better. Combine that with some anti-sway bars and end links and maybe bushings while your down there and you would have a very nicely handling machine. As far a decent struts for 02-03 I like the KYB AGX struts, they had damper adjustment knobs on the sides of the strut that let you dial them in without tools. at just over a hundred bucks a corner they were a pretty good bang for your buck too.

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#8 Old 08-04-2014, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticscythe View Post
-- If your car is a DD then the best recommendation I can give you is to skip the Coil overs, Decent coil overs will cost 3-4 times what a decent set of struts/springs will cost and the benefit of the additional adjust ability is wasted unless you have your car up on a lift every weekend. Unless you are tracking the car every weekend look at struts first. A great set of struts and good springs go a hell of a long way towards making the handling better. Combine that with some anti-sway bars and end links and maybe bushings while your down there and you would have a very nicely handling machine. As far a decent struts for 02-03 I like the KYB AGX struts, they had damper adjustment knobs on the sides of the strut that let you dial them in without tools. at just over a hundred bucks a corner they were a pretty good bang for your buck too.
Really? All my friends are saying to coilovers it's so much better, one of them does have an 06 sti on teins however it never sees bad weather and is basically a race car. If I do go struts and springs I would love to have kyb agxs, I would just have to put in camber bolts since their for a sedan and not a wagon. On springs though I'm thinking tanabe gf210, or swift wagon specific sport springs (I want rce yellows but I don't feel like spending an extra 200-300 bucks for the 04 sti top hats). Any experience with these 2 springs?

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#9 Old 08-04-2014, 08:17 PM
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Tanabe Springs are a really solid option, They dont break the bank and they are not crazy harsh on the road. Dont get me wrong coil overs are amazing if you are going to use the modulation and adjust-ability enough to justify the price. But cheap coil overs are worst than decent struts, and in most cases you can get sway bars and endlinks to go with your struts and springs for less than going for coil overs. As for your friends Tiens If he uses his STi as a racecar then he probably spends enough time at the track to justify the 2-3 grand for coil overs.

Jason
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#10 Old 08-05-2014, 01:34 AM
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Yeah they weren't cheap haha. And I gotcha, the only decent coilovers in my price range are apexi n1 exv's as far as I can tell, it would be nice to be able to control the height. But I figure if the apexis are about 1000 and springs are 250 and struts are about 600, would it justify the extra 250? The apexis are on rallysportdirect if you want to look at them, and again thank you
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#11 Old 08-05-2014, 09:39 AM
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I was also thinking about rce yellows or blacks now that I can find top hats for a decent price
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#12 Old 08-05-2014, 02:10 PM
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I've gota check my feelings at the door. I had some really poor customer service with Apexi in the past and I personally would never do business with them again. That aside Those coil overs get some really good reviews for their price. I don't usually recommend such cheap coil overs but everything I found on them seems positive.

The big difference you will find is that the springs that are integrated into the coilovers are not nearly as supple or progressive as the tanabes your looking at. Youll have better adjustibility on the coil overs but better modulation and ride comfort on the spring/strut. Its your call, if you plan on tracking it those coilovers might not be a bad idea.

If you decide to spend they extra cash on the coilovers please do a write up so we can all benifit from your experience.

Jason
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#13 Old 08-08-2014, 11:06 AM
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Will do and thank you for all your help!
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#14 Old 08-08-2014, 01:15 PM
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coilovers have only one advantage: They can be adjusted. If you plan to regularly adjust them for track conditions, they're invaluable. Seriously. Racing is about adjustments. If you plan on setting them and driving to work this month, to the grocery store a few times, go on vacation, go out on a date, etc without touching them every time your car starts up they're TERRIBLE. They have terrible ride quality, durability, value, and often paired with an otherwise fairly stock suspension system detract from your handling capability.

Oh, they do add value if you want your car to ride so low that you'd rather use your back as a shock absorber than the suspension. They work fine for that. So would a steel bar for a strut too, just don't ask a passenger to get in either.

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#15 Old 08-12-2014, 06:31 PM
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But coils can also make you sexy
RCE springs or epics are just what you're looking for as far as I can tell.
BCBR coil overs are only a grand and I personally know a few guys running them that love them, Mosc does as well :P

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