I've installed this setup on my 2001 2.5RS, my daily driver.... my baby!!! I've had a couple of different suspensions. As you may or may not know, I've driven a multitude of different setups including: STi, TEIN, DMS 40's, Cusco and more - and have personally owned and daily-driven on more than one suspension.
I've been always in search of "that perfect suspension" that can suit my wants, my needs. I want, what a lot of performance minded Subaru owners want, a suspension that can perform, yet is compliant enough to take your grand-mum for a ride to the grocery store if needed.
Does it exist??? When I heard of the "new" Whiteline Group 4 coilover kits, I was intrigued!
Whiteline Group 4's have a fantastic design and a new approach for performance suspension. Old School suspension train of thought: less bump travel + shorter struts + higher spring rates = competitive tarmac car.
Sure,but the ride is murder on the streets, and 500lb spring rates? Who wants that in their daily driver? Not I... but I want the car to BEHAVE as if it had those springs!!
With the Group 4's design, you get plenty of travel, allowing for use of less abrasive/harsh spring rates, but you still achieve the same effect.
So I figured I had to try them.... and that's exactly what I've done
Whiteline Specs and my Set up
GC Body Kit Part Number: 1K4004
Strut/Piston Size: 46mm
Strut spec: Non-inverted mono tube design - Steel body
Spring rates: 280Front 224 Rear
Kit description: Road/Track Spec Coilover kit
Adjustability: 14 varying settings
Current Setting: 3 clicks from full soft front and rear
Ride Height: 3/4" lower Than Factory Height
Accompanying Suspension Bits:
Front sway bar: OE 19mm
Rear Sway bar: IPD solid bar 19-23mm adjustable with HD Mounts and HD Endlinks
Strut tops: Sti Group N hardened mounts
Tires: Dunlop Sport5000's 40psi f/r
Previous suspension setups
KYB/AGX with H&R Sport Springs
Detailed Description of Group 4's
Whiteline has described these struts as designed to have more bump travel than standard struts, yet still maintain 80% of the factory overall bump and extension travel range. This means, I can drive comfortably through the torn-up pot-hole city streets of Seattle at normal city speeds, and not look nor feel like a bobblehead!
Yet... (and this is the good part....) on the weekends, I can make a few, simple damping adjustments and take this same car to a track day or performance event (auto-x etc), corner with precision and ease and be competitive.
This is a new design product from Whiteline. These are not a rallying coilover, and are not "just" a track car kit - these.... are what I've wanted for Y E A R S ! A nice blend of a USEABLE suspension which can also be a sweetly competitive weekend toy for Auto-x or Track or a good thrashing about the countryside.
Why not use DMS, STi or KYB/AGX's??
I can honestly say that many of the other coilover kits I've driven on are completely over damped, entirely over sprung - which resulted in a hopping feeling - Meaning a skipping-jarring and bouncing down the road. Inverted struts have the tendency to "jiggle" - for lack of a better word. You will feel some bouncing, jarring feedback - especially prominent with those kits which feature higher spring rates. Also I should note that inverted coilover designs (such as my 50mm DMS on my race car) will need rebuilding, sometimes as often as once per year - an added expense to your suspension investment.
While I use DMS 50mm's for my rally car, I really hated them in my street car. ( To be fair: My DMS were rally-valved - spring rates of 225front / 180 rear) The Design is good... but not Great, not Perfect... I want more.
Day after day of bobble-head like skipping down the road - makes for a horribly uncomfortable ride. I love my DMS off road on my rally car - but they're DESIGNED primarily for off road use, and are not extremely compliant on the street. The entire design (inverted) leads to less compliancy and more harshness (jiggling again) even on smooth pavement @ highway speeds.
Same basic rules of suspension dynamics apply as well to any inverted design... such as the STi or KYB/AGX struts. While fairly smooth at higher speeds, I've found these strut/spring combo's to be completely lacking at regular street / city speeds - especially here in Seattle, which is pothole heaven!! Thus the need for that performance suspension to be compliable at low speeds on rough terrain.
The most frustrating thing about the short stroke inverted design (strut / spring) is full compression. Imagine being on the track, or on the street: mid corner, cornering HARD, outside suspension/wheels are fully loaded with the weight of the car when... BAM! there's a bump....! With a short-stroke inverted suspension, the car will be completely unsettled, bumped OFF of that bump - as there is no further travel left. Arrgghh!
After trying a few different suspensions, I put the stock Subaru 2.5RS suspension back in place, and waited patiently for something to come along that would suit MY wants, MY needs.... and 24mos later, here we are!
**many thanks to my pal Mike for helping me get these suckers installed!!!**