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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, so my 35th Anniversary H6 just hit 150k miles and is in need of some suspension work. I've decided to get a little bit silly and build this car into a real corner crusher. I'll be posting updates as I go along and asking many, many questions as I'm attempting to tackle as much of this myself as I can with the help of knowledgeable friends.

I bought the car 2 years ago at 111k and it's had a pretty rough life honestly. I tried not to abuse it too much but I lived on farms in the mountains where highways were twisty and the dirt roads were ROUGH so she saw her share of action, often loaded with soil or equipment. I'm back in a city now and don't find myself in the rough too often these days so I want something more road oriented. Why not sell it and buy a LGT or WRX, you ask? Considering it'd cost a pretty penny just to get it worth selling, I figured I may as well do a unique and uncommon build. Plus, I'm kind of attatched to the old girl.

Today I recieved the first wave of upgrades, a Whiteline 20mm rear adjustable sway bar with end links to match. My buddy and I will be installing that in the next couple days, seems like a manageable project.

The following few items on the list are Whiteline front links and a strut tower brace as well as KYB shocks w/ King Springs all around, and the replacing of quite a few bushings. Here lies one of my many dilemmas, do I get the "stock" ride hight springs that will end up lifting it roughly .25" or, and I'm leaning more this way, the lowering springs to bring it down about 1". I will also eventually be putting wider 17/18in wheels, depending on fitment. Any thoughts?

I also plan to replace the shot audio with a setup ordered from Crutchfield, nice components up front with 2ways in the rear, Kenwood head unit.

Eventual plans are more cosmetic, muffler for a bigger growl, HID headlights, HELLA horns, bucket seats for weight reduction and stability in tight turns, possibly a wrap and more aggressive bumpers/skirts. We'll see, the list is long and ambitious, including a long term goal of a manual swap or a turbo/supercharger that I'm toying.

Any suggestions, feedback, or advice would be appreciated!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I can't tell from the pic and it looks like the fender badge is gone or covered. Is this a Bean or VDC?

Here's what I did:
First - KYB Legacy struts with the Outback springs, Whiteline rear sway bar, Front strut bar, New FLC arm rear bushings. Tightened it up a lot. The strut bar made a huge difference. I also filled in the rear differential bushings with Window Weld. What? you say. Well, the bushings were bad and a lot of rust in the carrier would have been a PITA to swap the bushings. Window Weld went in and after it set, no more slop in the rear diff, which on the VDC made a huge difference in grip. Its been in there 30k miles and still stiff.

Now - Swapped in H&R Sport springs for a Legacy, Legacy Top Hats in the front (Have to have those for the Legacy springs). Sits lowww.

I am running 245/45-18 tires on 18x8+45 FF7 rims. Prior to the H&R install, the tires did not rub. After, tires grabbed the fender lip on tight turns, so a fender roll is in order, or 18x7+40 rims with narrower tires. (BTW the 245/45-18 tires are an exact match in circumference for the OE size. No speedometer variances.)

My 4000 lb bullet handles like a sports car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reponse! I've read your thread on your supercharger, brilliant stuff! It's inspired me to do the same someday.

It's neither unfortunately, it's the 35th Anniversary, which I actually have no idea what difference that makes over base. I'd love to have the VDC.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the extra stiffness from the sway bar and strut brace and after looking some of the other lowered outbacks around here, like BiggFella Tilghman's and MNLancaster's, I'm definitely going with the drop. Should help jn the corners more and we'll see how the 1in looks.

I have some bushings that are definitely no good, I don't think my diff ones are on that list though. I will remember that trick when they inevitably do die!

Good to know there's room for wider 18s, I did notice while shopping that the total circumference difference is negligible. I was thinking about a lower offset wheel to get a little bit more thiccness on her. Would a spacer work for this purpose too, or would all this just mess with the balance?

Thank you so much for your input!
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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With my wheel and tire size, there is about 5mm between the tire edge and the strut's spring base. They'll never contact each other unless there's an impact that bends the strut. Instead of using spacers, you could go more to the negative side of the offset. So if the wheel is +45 and you go to +40, then that moved the outside edge of the wheel away from the car 5mm. You could use your factory wheel to figure out what you want in a rim by measuring how far out you want the tire in relation to the OEM wheel's offset and subtract from there to calculate the new wheel's offset measurement. So, if your wheel is +45 and you want it to stick out 20mm further, you get a +25 offset rim. Then you don't have to mess with spacers and difficulty in centering the wheel on the hub.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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@traildogck might have some suggestions

on bushing choices etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you @cardoc, I was thinking along the same lines with a more negative onset, I like the deep dish/concave look anyway.

Eagleeye, I planned on just using OEM bushings but I'll try to ask him first, thanks! I don't think I can send PMs yet though...
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Cardoc - Did you use the Whiteline KSB550 Strut Brace?
I'm not sure who made the strut brace. It came from an Ebay seller in CA and was supposed to be off a Legacy or Lancaster, JDM, and is not stamped with a manufacturer. It was the ONLY strut brace I could find at the time that fit the strut mount studs. A lot has been made available for this car AFTER I modified it. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Finally, an update! I've been swamped in work so I haven't had any time to work on the old girl. Finally I decided to just bring her to my mechanic to have the sway bar installed, and I'm quite glad I did. Would've been a real pain without his expertise. Anyway, rear bar and links are in at last and it's a world of difference. Noticeably stiffer but not at all uncomfortable yet, and definitely a lot less roll in corners. Plus that awful clunking of shot links is gone! In the back anyway...
And of course, the most crucial mod, a sticker!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quick update, unfortunately I haven't been able to get much done the past week and a bit. Some other expenses came up but it's taken care of and I'm back on track! I decided on BC Coilovers, the BR series with the Swift Spring upgrade. They seem like a solid entry level coilover for a DD that will see occasional autocross and trips through mountain highways. I'll be ordering them tomorrow along with Whiteline end links for the front and a strut brace. She'll be turning on a dime in no time!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well my strut bar and front end links arrived so I'll be installing those as soon as I find the time, hopefully within the next couple days. Unfortunately the coilovers wont be here for another 4 to 6 weeks. I was hoping to have them before the autocross at SubieFest in southern California, but because of the spring upgrade they're "custom", thus the delay. Not sure how swapping the coils in some struts takes a month but oh well. Looking forward to it nonetheless!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Installed the strut brace today, looks great and definitely provides another increment of stiffness. Next up is installing those end links.

1 Lucky Texan, I'll have to do some research, I'm not familiar with what a master cylinder brace is. I mean, I can get an idea from the name lol. As for brakes, I have an appt with my mechanic to check some stuff out and had him order some pads to install at the same time. I think we went with EBC or Hawk, whichever would ship in time. Eventually I'd like to upgrade the brakes with either an STI or a big brake kit from Yellowspeed or something of the sort.

Not sure what the next order of business will be after the coilovers get here, whether it'll be new big boy wheels or some more Whiteline suspension components. Definitely need some new ball joints and CA bushings, probably just going to get the WL rear CA setup and ball joint/bump stop kit for the front.
 

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Goin down low you might want some added protection... that RalliTEK skid doesn't look like it would do much for adding rigidity like the all aluminum engine shields found on many modern cars. BMW has long used these as part of the vehicles structural integrity but something would probably have to be fabbed up for the subies I'd imagine.

Driving a BMW with it's underbelly off is very noticeable, as akin to the before and after effect of your installed strut brace... but I am not sure if the available skids would add to/compliment the strut brace on the subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't know about skid plates adding rigidity, but you're definitely right that it'd be a good idea to add some protection. Primitive Racing makes a nice aluminum one in two different thicknesses for the oil pan/front diff area, and I work in a machine shop so I'll probably fab something up for other sensitive areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Since I'll most likely be getting wheels first, I will definitely be doing plenty of measuring to account for the possibility of bigger brakes. I'm not sure exactly how much clearance I need though.

Btw nice JDM front end, I've been checking out the same stuff on ebay. Much more aggressive.
When you go with larger brakes, make sure the wheel clears the caliper.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Installed the front end links today, another significant improvement. Gone are the clunks and squeaks of yesterday! Well, the shocks still creak like your grandma's hip but that will be over soon. Apparently my coilovers will be here sooner than expected, now its a race to see if they'll get here early enough for Subiefest.
 

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