This review is the second part of the install portion that can be found here.
Eibach Pro-Plus Kit Install & Review - Warning: bandwidth hungry, lots of photos
Initial impressions, I immediately noticed an increase in NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness). The car defiantly feels more stiff. More vibrations are transmitted to the cabin that you feel over each crack and bump in the road. Personally, this is not a bad thing to me. Just like people and cars, roads have their own personalities and characteristics. After driving a particular route over and over again, you'll begin to feel comfortable with the road. Cracks and new bumps you feel are clear indications of the road deteriorating or shifting due to weather and old age. The increased NVH is something most get used to over a few weeks.
If you're a person that already cannot stand how "rough" the WRX or STi is stock, this defiantly is not a mod you're going to enjoy. Any benefits will shadow your feelings toward the decrease in ride quality. Again, if I want a soft riding car, I'll buy a Camry. The annoying points of having a lowered and stiffer suspension setup are potholes, speed bumps, and getting up and over steep inclines or dips. Small potholes that normally you wouldn't think twice after running over feel like a small crater as the change in your change tray shake. You'll have to start learning how to take certain roads slower or at a 45 degree angle as inclines could cause you to scrape or some will have to avoid particular roads entirely.
Of course, no one sane would take all these downfalls without the advantages. I will say this to start. This car is so much fun to drive now. I get frustrated in traffic or a vehicle in front of me is in my way because I just want to take every turn at speed. The car effortlessly glides thru them as if the the Subie was a rollercoaster following a track.
I've been driving it for at least a week trying to push the limits on every day driving and taking back roads here and there. But, I got my buddy Mikey to give me a hand. He rally's every now and again and participated in many more autox's than I have. We decided to conduct or test on a back road from our small town in WV to an even smaller town in PA. There are plenty of twists and turns - one of my favorite roads.
Test was done on Falken Azenis RT-615 225/45R-17 on warm dry road.
I started off the run hitting the turns as much as I felt comfortable with. Having a 30-50 foot drop around some turns wasn't the most reassuring feeling, and it's been several months since I last drove on this path. My buddy gave me a few pointers as he scouted the road for debris for his run. Car felt great. There was little body roll, and the car handled each turn fabulously. There wasn't a point in time where I thought I was going to lose control, realizing I probably wasn't even pushing the car hard enough.
When we hit Point Marion, PA, we pulled over and switched. Mikey has owned quite a few Subarus and competed in enough sanctioned events that I was quite comfortable handing the keys over. I gotta say, he beat those turns mercilessly. Flying around those turns was an adrenaline rush. The most fun was probably hitting the switchback. The car hit the 1st turn, and swung around the second portion of the S like clockwork. The handling was very neutral, unlike my setup before with just a rear sway bar. You can almost feel all 4 wheels pushing against the turn.
Sadly, even with the aggressive driving we did that day, we never pushed it far enough to ever think we were going to break traction. It probably wasn't until several days later I was coming up past a turn, I decided to throttle it a little harder. I could feel the tires breaking away slightly, but i felt in control. Finished off the turn and the car came around without a problem. It almost felt as if the tires were biting into the road harder in the short time I felt the tires start to lose grip.
Needless to say, I find it hard to see someone not impressed with this setup. The only thing that would complete this package is a set of shocks. Keep in mind, I do have a few more suspension pieces already installed on the vehicle, but this kit is most everything you need. Pick up an anti-lift kit down the road, and you're ready for the track.
Feel free to visit the Eibach site for more information here: http://performance-suspension.eibach.com/