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Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?
Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?
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Old 08-14-11, 08:53 AM   #1
Scargo
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Default Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

I chronicled my 2011 STI build here.
Then I totaled it at WGI when I dropped a front suspension LCA ball joint.
I am trying to decide whether to buy another GR or go with a cheaper 2005 or later GD STI.
I will have some aftermarket parts I can salvage off the GR. Shocks, brakes, exhaust, shifter and a few bushings and mounts. I think the rear Agency lower arms and Whiteline toe control arms are OK. However, I could always sell the parts and start from scratch...
Pros and cons abound, but empirical evidence is hard to find. I read the GR suspension is more sophisticated and an improvement. The DAVCS (dual adjustable valve control system) is on the '11's and seem to be on '08+ STIs (though I'm not positive).
GR's have a lower CG? The engine/drivetrain is lower. The roof is supposed to be taller... The 2005 is 121 pounds lighter than the GR's. 2006+GD's are not that much lighter, perhaps 50 lbs.
Gearing: GD five speeds seem better suited to the track but need the RA-width gears to be bulletproof (?), and/or the close ratio Japan gearset upgrade for the track. Final 3.90 gearing seems the same... (cars101.com)

It's easier to get more caster and camber out of a GR (I believe), but I think the GD can get to where it needs to be with aftermarket parts, as can the GR's. Mainly, the GD has a 3.3 inch shorter wheelbase. This seems preferable and is quite often noted.

What about aftermarket part availability? Seems there are more parts available for the GD, especially when compared to the 2011 sedan. Many of the aftermarket parts may not be relevant to racing, but I had trouble finding a 2011 GR front bumper for racing...

I believe the GR Brembos are better than any GD brakes that were offered, but neither are acceptable beyond moderate HPDE's.

What about what wheels/tire combos will fit without major work? Really, flares are not a big deal...
I was able to rather easily fit 255x40x17's on my '11 GR. Will one fit a bigger tire more easily?
What about strength of components when it comes to racing?
What have I missed? I may have unknowingly made mistakes in the above specs. I'm sure not a Subie expert...
Please advise and the less seat of the pants, subjective arguing the better. Unless you have a lap time, HP, torque, mods list, weight, etc. then please don't state absolutely that your X is better than his Y. Dig? Stastical data from races, TT's, etc. might be relevant.
Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Scargo; 08-14-11 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Clarity and accuracy
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Old 08-14-11, 01:14 PM   #2
yman
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

I would go with an older model for the price and ease of tuning, which will allow you more time to "set it and forget it" and focus on improving your driving skills. Plus if you stuff it you lose less $$$

I don't have any seat time racing open track sessions in either car, but autocrossing both I would choose the GR if I could again. It just felt more solid, the things I like about the GD are the turn-in feel, and it feels easier to drive, but the 08 provided better results.
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Old 08-14-11, 01:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

No experience with a GD...except riding in one (track prepared), at LRP. Actually, not true: I test drove a '03... and was disappointed with brake fade and poor power.

Autocross is so different! Mine plowed like a byatch, no matter what I did, even with R-888's.
On the track it was pretty neutral (after all the mods I did). With a little trail braking I even induced a little oversteer on some corners.
What do you mean by "ease of tuning"?
Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-14-11, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

I am sorry to be that guy. I have had my car for now over 6 years and have loved every minute, but if your sole purpose is to race, I would say go with an evo 9, or a used c6 (depending on whether you want awd or rwd).
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Old 08-14-11, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

Not nice to throw an Evo into the mix.
I think I forgot to say that I am pretty committed to getting another Subie. I know it could be an M3, etc. I felt very comfortable on the track with the AWD. Not sure if I would be as good as I used to be in a RWD. I came close to keeping up with some slower driven Z06's and passed a lot of Bimmers. I did about 130 on the back straight at WGI. I don't need to be in a lot faster car.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:11 PM   #6
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I own a 2005 STi and a 2011 STI sedan, they feel very different. The 2005 has a ton of modifications and feels more mechanical than the 2011. The new sedan feels like a Cadillac compared to my 2005.
I would get a GD if you plan on heavily modding it. I use my 2011 as my daily driver because it is only stage 1 right now, 2005 has a Blouch Dominator 3.0 XTR with all of the supporting mods and suspension work.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

From what I understand, with the GD having only one avcs and less computer stuff to deal with (vdc, si drive, etc) it allowed for less restriction. For example, the aftermarket steering racks complicating things on the GR, the increased amount of tuning involved to correctly dial in the GR, the tricky rear suspension toe-in problems on the GR, and the increased weight of the GR.) Those are the reasons for getting the older one. I suppose an aftermarket ECU would solve the computer issues..

The GR- decreased overhangs on the hatch, natural downforce created because of the body shape without increasing drag, ability to easily fit fatter tires, and with framed windows a slight increase in structural rigidity. Slightly longer wheelbase makes it less twitchy at high speeds, and it just feels less "crashy".

Just my opinion based on owning both.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scargo View Post
No experience with a GD...except riding in one (track prepared), at LRP. Actually, not true: I test drove a '03... and was disappointed with brake fade and poor power.
There was no 03 STi in the US. The bembo's are the same between years AFAIK besides appearance differences. Power output was also basically the same, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

I'm with ymen about wheelbase. Shorter isn't really better on a track.

Last edited by blu_; 08-14-11 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 08-14-11, 04:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blu_ View Post
There was no 03 STi in the US. The bembo's are the same between years AFAIK besides appearance differences. Power output was also basically the same, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

I'm with ymen about wheelbase. Shorter isn't really better on a track.
Hey may have test drove an 04 in late 03.
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Old 08-14-11, 04:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: Race a 2005+ GD STI or a GR STI? Which one is best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pharo View Post
Hey may have test drove an 04 in late 03.
Good call
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