So now that the cage is finished and the inside is all pretty what’s next? Well I decided at this point it was finally time to start getting some of the beautiful suspension components on the car that have been hiding away for far too long. Much like safety, suspension components are often overlooked in favour of more power as it’s easier to justify $XXXX to get 100HP more vs. adding a setting of $3000 coilovers and not having empirical data like a dyno sheet to back up the change. While I may accelerate the plan for the cars power, my first focus will always be to get the chassis, suspension and brakes all sorted out before worrying about adding huge amounts of power. Sure you can go quick at a track with gobs of power and crappy suspension but with a well sorted suspension and less power you can usually go just as fast. So we’ll start off at the front of the car as that’s where we first went to work. The first task was to pull off the old stock components that were place holders while the car was getting caged and painted. I didn’t want to risk the pretty stuff getting damaged while it was out getting caged and painted so the OEM STi components I had purchased were installed and now it was time for them to vacate!
In the last picture you might notice that I had Ryan do some stitch welding in the area where the commonly referred to Anti-Lift Kit mount is bolted in. As you’ll see shortly this is necessary when installing the specific components we’re installing due to the stresses transferred to this area by the new components. The first item we’ll look at is these beautiful front lower control arms from Mooresport (MSI). These are motorsports level control arms that are used around the globe by some of the top teams in tarmac and gravel applications. MSI is so confident in these arms that if you managed to break them they will replace them for free! These are significantly stronger then the factory WRX steel control arms and the STi aluminium control arms which translates to less flex in the suspension. The front inner joint is a full spherical bearing to eliminate geometry changes caused by movement of rubber or even polyurethane bushings. The outer point on these specific arms comes with adapters allowing you to use a factory style balljoint. I may change to the spherical bearing outer version down the road but these will work great for now. The design has 12mm of caster built into it which should help on track after we dial in the alignment for the car.
The next component for the front suspension is the MSI Motorsport DSS Kit which is a one piece Billet T6-6061 aluminium mount with a spherical bearing instead of the typical bushing. The Motorsport DSS also has built in caster and anti-lift/squat geometry and with the spherical bearing this will be consistent for as long as the bearing is in good shape. This piece is not meant for the road car and is the reason we had the mounting area stitch welded as per MSI’s instructions. Without the reinforcement the load transferred through these solid pieces can tear out the mounting locations. With these 2 pieces we could assemble them together and then proceeded to mount up the arms to the chassis. I can never get tired of the beauty in these pieces. The simple clear anodizing on the CNC aluminium parts and the 2-part grey epoxy powder coat on the welded components is flawless!
Next up we have the front knuckles which I had JP over at Stripping Technologies blast and coat in a strong black powder coat to clean them up a little. No real performance gain here but they look much nicer then the factory cast iron look…especially after they start to get surface corrosion. In the Knuckles we installed the balljoints from the Whiteline Bump Steer/Roll-Center Correction kit. These balljoints are longer then the factory pieces to correct the suspension geometry when lowering the car to correct against Bump Steer and improve roll resistance. The other half of this kit are extended tie rod ends which are necessary just like the balljoints. We also installed some ARP Extended wheel studs into the hubs as they are stronger then the factory pieces, easier to get wheels on/off and will allow us to run spacers if needed.
The last piece to wrap up the front end, and arguably the most important, is the dampers/springs. For this I turned to our friends over at AST Suspension to get a set of their “entry level” 4150 series coilovers. I use the term entry level lightly, as while these are the lowest model they offer these are better dampers then the “top of the line” offerings from many of the typical coilover brands around today. The 4150’s (now named the 4100’s again) are a 1-way dampening adjustable coilover that only adjusts rebound. Well you might be saying “Chris, why would you get a one-way adjustable coilover when XX brand has 3-way adjustable coilovers with 5000 clicks”. Well the first reason is I wanted to use components in the major areas that are obtainable for the average enthusiast. Secondly I want to show that having a 1-way adjustable damper with proper valving and adjustments that actually make a difference is better then having too many adjustments that don’t actually do anything. The 4150’s have many features that have trickled down from their motorsports line of dampers which gives you a really high end package in a lower budget coilover. I had AST revalve the dampers based on the spring rates I planned to run as it was quite a bit higher then the off the shelf rates. To go with the AST coilovers I contacted Swift Springs to get the coilover springs and helper springs to install on the AST’s. We have been a long time Swift Springs dealer and believe they make the best springs for the consumer market today. The lightweight design and quality of the springs is unmatched and you will find many coilover companies that offer Swift Springs as an upgrade over their standard springs. And to cap them off we used a set of Mooresport street front camber plates. This is another place where I want to show how much value you get with a product like this. The MSI street front top mounts are by far the most affordable top quality camber plate on the market. While the adjustability of the motorsport versions would be nice we feel showing how strong and capable the street plates are is worth the small sacrifice. They use top quality pillow-ball bearings, CNC machined from certified aircraft grade aluminum. Unlike many other plates on the market they also have fixed adjustment positions giving you consistent adjustments in fixed increments so you can make quick and easy changes at the track with no worry of the bolts slipping like other designs.
Lastly we mounted everything in place and torque everything down for the time being until we get to installing the brakes and drivetrain components. Next time we’ll cover the rear suspension which is just as nice as the front…maybe more!
————————–THE MOD LIST————————-
- Mooresport N12 Front Lower Control Arms – Mooresport
- Mooresport Motorsports DSS Kit – Mooresport
- Whiteline KCA313 Roll-Center/Bump Steer Kit – Whiteline
- AST 4150 Series 1-Way Dampening Coilover – AST-USA
- Swift Coilover Springs – Swift Springs
- Swift Helper Springs – Swift Springs
- Mooresport Street Front Camber Plates – Mooresport
Wheels & Tires
- ARP Extended Wheel Studs
- Powdercoated Front Knuckles – Stripping Technologies
- Removed Full Interior, Sound Deadening, HVAC System
- Custom Gold Painted Roll Cage with White Interior – Uni-Body Collision
- Engine Bay Painted Low Gloss Black – Uni-Body Collision
- Stitch/Seam Welded Chassis – Rally/Race Developments
- Full Roll Cage – Rally/Race Developments
- Welded in Seat Mounts – Rally/Race Developments