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Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar + STI Lateral Link review
Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar + STI Lateral Link review
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Old 01-31-15, 05:31 AM   #1
dlheman
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Default Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar + STI Lateral Link review

I just completed the install of full S206 chassis enhancement parts and Rigid Collar.

For some (or many) of you these are controversial parts to install, but there may be some of you who are interested to know and I hope I can be of some help to assists in your decision making. The reason why I choose to use full S206 chassis parts and Rigid collar are based on experience, philosophy in car tuning, and curiosity.

Let's begin with the list of part numbers:

STI FLEXIBLE STRUT TOWER BAR(SG517FG101)
STI FLEXIBLE SUPPORT REAR(ST20156ZR000)
STI Flexible low stiffer RH/ LH(ST20118ZR000)


The above 3 parts can be ordered as a package under STI Performance Package, and the three parts above are 2011+ specific WRX STI. Pre 2011 STI have a different combinations of parts and is explained in Japanese STI website.

STI 20107C SUPPORT FRONT KIT(ST20106ZR000)
STI FLEXIBLE DRAW STIFFENER, REAR(ST20168ZR000)


The support front kit is actually a part of STI Performance Package for pre 2011 WRX STI, while the rear flexible draw stiffener is a part STI Performance package for Subaru Forester STI. The 5 parts above completes the S206 chassis enhancement parts.

SPOON SPORTS RIGID COLLAR KIT, FRONT(45230SN0100)
SPOON SPORTS RIGID COLLAR KIT, REAR(45230SN0200)


So why those STI parts?

I have a philosophy that a sports car should be a fun and easy car to handle for the driver, and therefore the car must be comfortable, communicative and responsive. It is important for me to know where and what the tires are doing and where it is pointing at from the feel of the steering and seat. Stiffening up the chassis and suspension leads to this, but the art is how to increase the performance while retaining or even improving the level of comfort also, because after all the car is a street car.

Thankfully STI did all the homework for me, because a long time ago I was reading about S206 STI and the reviewer(s) praised the level of poise and sharpness of its handling and yet somehow it is a comfortable car.

Subaru Impreza STI S206 review | Evo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPWqOH-A72o

I could have go on my own way by applying what I know from past successful experience in achieving this goal into my STI, but as far as I know STI is the only manufacturer who use flexible parts to improve the chassis. I admit it takes awhile to digest the STI's tuning concept as it contradict to everything I know about suspension/chassis tuning, but as soon as I understand the concept I decided it is worth to give the STI parts a go, and experience it for myself. And why not, because their philosophy is in-line to mine.

What about the Rigid Collar you asked? Does it really work?

Well, I also own a Golf MK6 TSI 1.4L Twincharger - and anyone who used to own or own a MK5/6 Golf would know about its shifting subframe issue. And the reason why it shifted is because of what Spoon have shown in their video about Rigid Collar.

https://www.youtube.com/v//watch?v=zWyUD6UXfog

Back then I was really pissed off with the issue of shifting subframe and was willing to try anything to fix it - and let me assure you the only way to fix it is by the use of rigid collar (the version I use for my VW is by Tyrol Sport). What surprised me was the increased level of comfort, more feel of the chassis, and the suspension feels like it grew a new set of muscle to handle - and it does all that while fixing the shifting subframe issue. Ever since then rigid collar mod is one of my essential must-have, because it really work.


Does the STI really needs all those parts?

As much as I like my STI - this car in standard form is pretty muted. There is no sense of communication between it and me. The steering is vague, the suspension feels inconsistent, and it doesn't turn to the rate of the steering input. I am not a professional driver like Tommy Makkinnen who can bring out the best out of the car, so I need help from the car to at least talk to me and let me know what its doing.

So to me, yes the STI needs all those parts in order to be acceptable to me. And I didn't give up on it because I know despite my complain about the car, the car has talent waiting to be discovered.


Added STI Lateral link https://www.iwsti.com/forums/gr-suspe...ml#post4112600

Last edited by dlheman; 02-14-15 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 01-31-15, 05:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

So the first thing to do is to install the rigid collar, and this involves lowering the subframe so it is enough to slide in the collar between the subframe and the chassis.


There are 4 bolts for the subframe, 2 on each side of left and right and each bolt gets 2 collars. One above the subframe, and the other one below the subframe.


Once done, carefully tigthen the each bolt in cross manner and torque it to spec. Job done, it is time to move on to the STI front subframe support.

There are three parts to install; 2 rod bars and one plate at the front. The kit comes complete with nuts, bolts, washers and spacers.



Piece of cake, but I should add the Cusco steering rack brace is too thick for the rod to be bolted in - however it is possible to bolt it in as the rod will bent ever so slightly. I just slowly tighten the two bolts on each end of the rod, and in it goes.

Once done, it is time to install the front flexible draw stiffener (FDS).

Install the brackets and line up the FDS and secure it into place. Loosen up the FDS adjustment lock nut as there is adjustment to be made for the FDS to suit 2011 chassis.


The manual stated for type A~B give 4.5mm pre-pre tension, while type C give it 3.0mm pre tension. So what is A~B and C? Well, if we look at Japanese STI website Type A~B is the 2008 - 2010 STI, while C is 2011+ STI. So looks like 08 to 10 STI can also be mated with this kit with the right pre-tension adjustment of the FDS.

To adjust, simply turn the rod turnbuckle until the groove begins to move, and keep going until there is a 3.0mm gap (or 4.5mm gap for pre facelift) between the groove and the bulk head of the FDS. Once done, tighten the adjustment lock nut, and make sure each balljoint is facing dead center to its respective direction (just like adjusting an adjustment endlink). The FDS is like a suspension. If you pull it out and then release it, the rod will slide back in. There's quite a bit of force in there too.


Put the cover back on and the job for the front is completed! Easy!


Moving on to the rear, and unfortunately I forgot to the a photo of the rigid collar install. The rear rigid collar is installed on where subframe bushings are. Like the front, there are 2 collars for each of the 4 bolts, and the process of the install is exactly the same.

Now here's another party piece of the STI Performance Package, a flexible rear support replacing the OEM rear support. Confused? So do I, but installing it is a matter of replacing the old with the new. Oh, it comes with new bolts too.


And now it is time to install the final piece; the rear FDS. Ok so this part is part of Forester SH STI Performance Package, but it fits because the SH shares the same chassis floor with the GR/GV. It comes with 8 brackets in total, and some stacks on top of each other.


Like the front FDS, the rear FDS needs to be adjusted also and the manual stated 3.0mm pre tensioning. Once done, tighten up the lock nut and trim the under carriage cover.


And once done, take some irrelevant but cool shot of the car before taking it for wheel alignment.


Wheel alignment result is very good. I do not have the print out with me so I can't show any picture of it. The left and right camber/caster are basically the same for its Left and Right, and likewise the rear camber. Before the rigid collar I have slightly lower caster value for the front right, not anymore! The rear camber before rigid collar was slightly off on the left I think, and now is sorted. Time for a drive.

Other handling modifications done for the car:
Superpro 22/22 swaybar, front set to hard rear on medium.
Whiteline F/R adjustable endlinks - swaybar preload removed.
Superpro caster bushing
Superpro Roll Center Adjuster
Superpro rear subframe bushing inserts
Superpro Steering rack bushing
Group N engine mounts set
Cusco steering rack brace

Wheels & Tires:
Enkei GTC-01 19x8.5 +42
Yokohama AD08R 245/35/19
Tire pressure 35psi front and 32psi rear

I never provided any review for the rest of the suspension modifications - but they have improved the car's handling also. The key important part is remove the swaybar pre-load. Given the choice I would go for soft setting for the rear, but the whiteline endlink don't really match the rear swaybar holes position and I haven't found the happy setting for using soft swaybar setting yet. So at this point medium setting is the better choice as I am able to remove the pre-load in that position.

The driving impression below is after adding the STI and Spoon's parts on top of the parts above.

Low speed driving impression

The road in where I live is pretty uneven and plenty of bumps and holes to be avoided. The ride comfort is so much better now as the car quickly settles down and absorbs uneven road like a champ. Prior to this, the car would shake and bounce in unsettling manner. Oh yeah and I have this buzzing noise on the dash and it is gone too. I have no idea what was buzzing on the dash whenever I was driving on the road, but it is gone and that's the end of one other problem. The steering is meaty and much more precise to the turn, and since now I can feel the chassis and tires it is a lot easier to place the car where I wanted it. The car just feels composed and relaxed. Hell it feels like a different car.

High speed driving impression

There is no speed limit in where I live, so I am free to do whatever I want at my own risk. So to have fun with speed I hop into the toll way and went for it. Now it feels proper as just like during low speed driving, at high speed driving the car just settles nice and quick. Not only that, the steering at high speed is very direct now. Prior to this, whenever I try to zig zag my way through traffic at high speed, it feels like there is a delay for the car to actually change lane after I turn the steering wheel. It made me having to think during cornering, but not anymore. Now I do not have to think as I simply just have to aim and turn - and the car will go to where I want it to and it can immediately change direction fast and smooth as soon as I commanded it to. Since I know where the 4 tires are, driving the car at high speed feels a lot safer too, and I gained a lot more confidence in driving the car.

So obviously I am very happy with the purchase, and hopefully it can be of some help for any of you guys who are interested with the STI parts and Spoon's Rigid Collar parts. What the reviewer(s) experienced when driving the S206 - I now experienced the same thing they experienced with the combination of STI and Spoon's rigid collar parts. It really turned my STI into something that is more refined and it just feels right. The suspension reacts and responds better, the chassis is feelsome and communicative, the steering is direct and responsive, and the level of comfort is improved - and I am still on standard spring/shock.

It is too bad I missed out for the Bilstein/STI NBR Challenge damper kit as it is now discontinued, but I can always go for something else as there are many to choose from as an alternative. But whatever spring/shocks/coilovers I would ended up with later, I now know for sure the chassis is ready as it now has the level of excellence to allow upgraded shocks/springs/coilover to work as intended as stiffer suspension works better on stiffer chassis.

So that is all from me, and I hope it can be of some help for you guys who are interested in the STI and Spoon's parts, but perhaps still undecided or need more information about the products.

Last edited by dlheman; 01-31-15 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 01-31-15, 08:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Very awesome, wonder how this compares to the new 2015 STI chassis. Never knew about the rigid collars, that was every educational.

Some S206 love
https://www.youtube.com/v/cPWqOH-A72o
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Old 01-31-15, 08:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Actually I forgot to add the strut bar photo, but everyone knows the STI flexible strut bar right?

Well here goes:

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Old 01-31-15, 08:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Quote:
Originally Posted by LinsanityFan View Post
Very awesome, wonder how this compares to the new 2015 STI chassis. Never knew about the rigid collars, that was every educational.

Some S206 love
movie

Yes that is the video that I watched and the way it handles bumps and how it corners convinced me to try the STI S206 parts. They're not making things up~!
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Old 01-31-15, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

The front setup (braces/rods) looks like it is similar in mounting/purpose as the common "H" braces used on the GR.

I wasn't 100% clear but do you use the collars on the 4 front frame bolts?

Which WL end links are you running? The KLC 039 wiki reach all holes...you can find them on eBay and Cygnus Perf.

Last edited by jaboyd; 01-31-15 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 01-31-15, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Each subframe bolt will enter through 2 collars, and the collars are installed on:

1. between the chassis and the subframe
2. below the subframe.

I use KLC182, balljoint type adjustable endlink.

If I position the endlink for soft setting via the gold spacers, the balljoint end stud falls between soft and medium. No good. Likewise if I move the endlink for medium setting, the balljoint end stud would not line up to meet the middle hole. I can make it reach the soft setting by slightly forcing it - but if I do this I could never find the no pre-load setting.

However if I position the endlink for soft swaybar setting, and if i move the swaybar slightly towards the front of the car, the balljoint end stud can enter the middle swaybar setting. This way I can find the no preload setting via adjusting the adjustment endlink's turnbuckle. This is much2 better than selecting the softest swaybar setting. The ride is much more comfortable than if I force it to enter the soft swaybar setting.

What I think will work is the use of spherical balljoint as this would allow the endlink to tilt back and forth on the arm, allowing more angle and range to reach the holes on the swaybar bar. But I can't find any endlink with spherical balljoint that provides dust boot for protection.
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Old 01-31-15, 03:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

I use these and they work great...discontinued by WL.

Whiteline Sway Bar End Links Subaru Link Kit Adj Spherical Rod End KLC39 | eBay
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Old 01-31-15, 03:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Yeah, spherical would definitely work, but I would prefer it if the spherical is made by Aurora as the last time I use Whiteline's spherical joint the damn thing just won't last.

But nevermind the endlink for now.

Right now I am just amazed with the positive changes made by the STI parts~! : D

If we look at TRD and STI tune for GT86 and BRZ respectively the TRD parts are about solid chassis bracing, while STI stick with flexible chassis bracing, and I wish there is a review for the TRD GT86 vs BRZ STI Ts.

I know it would be difficult for me to choose if I own GT86/BRZ because I am a big fan of TRD parts also as I used to own MY00 Celica GT-S with a selection of TRD goodies installed. And now I am a big fan of STI parts also. Choosing between the two would be diffficult!

Actually, now that I think about it...TRD, Nismo, STI and Mugen, they all made excellent parts based on my experience.
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Old 01-31-15, 05:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Complete S206 chassis enhancement parts + Rigid Collar review

Where did you purchase your collar sets? Do you have a link?

Can you explain the specifics of the front collar installation a little more? Did you do this on a lift (chassis lift)? What other components besides the cross brace were removed or detached to install the collars? For example, did you need to remove or loosen the inner mounting point of the lower control arms, steering rack, etc? I assume that you loosened one side at a time and installed the inserts, then did the other side...if not how did you install and how did you support the cross member during the process?

Really interested but need to better understand the procedure. Thx.

Last edited by jaboyd; 01-31-15 at 05:42 PM.
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