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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Looking to start building my 18 STI suspension setup. I had a lowered STI on unknown coilovers in the past and swore them off on the new STI as the ride was horrible and junky.

This has changed since reading the reviews on the Ohlins coilovers and I am willing to take the risk of ride quality for the more aggressive stance and better handling capabilities of being lowered/stiffer.

My question is are there any other parts or linkage I should install with these that some of the more experienced suspension builders now consider a "must-have" with their car? Like the meatballs to the spaghetti? Any veteran information will go along way and will be highly appreciated.
 

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Ohlins are your best bet for any Coilovers that will have a more tame ride than most, but as an owner of an 18 with the Ohlins, I’d suggest you at least try to find someone in your neck of the woods with them on an 18+ to go for a ride. If I wasn’t tracking my car, I’d be looking to go back to stock suspension, but part of that is where I live. SF Bay Area has some of the worst roads Ive ever driven on. There are some sections of Freeway that I just won’t drive, because it feels like it will destroy the suspension.

I understand you want the car lowered to have a better look, so if that’s what your goal is, then definitely the Ohlins over any other options for the tamest ride quality. The chassis on the 18’s are already very stiff, so I wouldn‘t do much more, based on your stated goal. When the car was bone stock, it was already lifting the rear inside tire when pulling into almost any driveway. But, if your going to lower the car, you’re also going to want an aftermarket set of rear lower control arms so you can adjust camber. I went with SPC, but I will eventually find something of better quality with a turnbuckle style camber adjustment, rather than and eccentric bolt.

If your goal to have a balanced suspension setup, you should also be doing sway bars and several chassis bushing upgrades, but that will make the car much stiffer, although like I said, more balanced to take advantage of the Ohlins.

You‘ll be tempted to run the Ohlins adjustments to the softer slower settings for your family, but then it’s just going to be very bouncy as the springs are stiffer and are better matched to a firm setting.

Your going to read people saying the Ohlins are smoother and more comfortable than factory struts, but that’s BS. They are, however, more responsive so your suspension will have a better response. Although I have been guilty of this myself, people over dramatize how great some mods are to justify the expense.

All in all, the Ohlins are a quality product and you will not be disappointed with fit and finish.

I suggest purchasing from Arcflash LLC who is also a member here. I’m sure he will chime in shortly. He sells the Ohlins and runs them on his own street and track cars and provides amazing support. I am constantly bugging him with questions, but Joshua is a very patient and helpful person. He wants you to be successful and happy with your setup.
 

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Performance suspensions are not inexpensive. and comfort is not their priority.

There are crappy lowering suspensions and expensive performance suspensions available. Used to be lowering springs with Swift as a first choice in comfort though I have no experience with them. Just saying they are probably available and for a lot less than performance suspensions - and they aren't that difficult to remove and replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So far great information guys! I'll reach out to Arcflash LLC.

I am a construction worker in SF Bay Area and have commuted over 200,000 miles in lowered vehicles from job site to job site so trust me when I say I understand these freeways. There was a point when I knew every pothole on 680 and 880 and would be lane changing to avoid all the holes.

Fortunately I have a work truck, so the STI is the weekend warrior family adventure vehicle and reason the Ohlins seem attractive is ride quality reserved (thanks for the BS heads-up). If I went rear control arms I would greatly appreciate the recommendations of brand/part you are thinking, as I would hate to have to replace with a different set. If it's a personal "feel" per driver, then we can leave it at that, but like I said, any of these "I did this but should have done that" is what I am really looking at.

Also, as much as people say they would go back to stock ride, if you are anything like me it's fun but you always look out of the corner of your eye to go back to that life 😂.
 

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So far great information guys! I'll reach out to Arcflash LLC.

I am a construction worker in SF Bay Area and have commuted over 200,000 miles in lowered vehicles from job site to job site so trust me when I say I understand these freeways. There was a point when I knew every pothole on 680 and 880 and would be lane changing to avoid all the holes.

Fortunately I have a work truck, so the STI is the weekend warrior family adventure vehicle and reason the Ohlins seem attractive is ride quality reserved (thanks for the BS heads-up). If I went rear control arms I would greatly appreciate the recommendations of brand/part you are thinking, as I would hate to have to replace with a different set. If it's a personal "feel" per driver, then we can leave it at that, but like I said, any of these "I did this but should have done that" is what I am really looking at.

Also, as much as people say they would go back to stock ride, if you are anything like me it's fun but you always look out of the corner of your eye to go back to that life 😂.
Well, if that's the case...You are welcome to take my '18 for a spin if you like. I have more than just Ohlins for suspension upgrades, but it may give you an idea... I live in Los Gatos and work in Fremont, so I do the 880 lane dance, as well, but also have my Tacoma that is mostly daily driven. I won't even get on 280/680 between Hwy 17 and Mission Blvd cut over. It's like a mine field. I live in the mountains just above Lexington Reservoir, so I get to play on Old Santa Cruz Hwy every day...
 

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If I went rear control arms I would greatly appreciate the recommendations of brand/part you are thinking, as I would hate to have to replace with a different set. If it's a personal "feel" per driver, then we can leave it at that, but like I said, any of these "I did this but should have done that" is what I am really looking at.
I don't have anything picked out, but I would just stay away from SPC and the like. I'm feel like the eccentric bolt adjustment is a recipe for slippage and loss of setting. SPC also has a bit of a reputation among the shops I've spoken with about not holding alignment settings.

Joshua may have his own input, and I would trust him as he doesn't really sell anything he doesn't use, himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, if that's the case...You are welcome to take my '18 for a spin if you like. I have more than just Ohlins for suspension upgrades, but it may give you an idea... I live in Los Gatos and work in Fremont, so I do the 880 lane dance, as well, but also have my Tacoma that is mostly daily driven. I won't even get on 280/680 between Hwy 17 and Mission Blvd cut over. It's like a mine field. I live in the mountains just above Lexington Reservoir, so I get to play on Old Santa Cruz Hwy every day...
Man that is really generous of you. Maybe we will have to set up a little drive through your neck of the woods and check it out. I will reach out to ArcFlash LLC and see if I can get him to create a shopping cart with what he would recommend and then go from there. I think adjustable rear control arms would make total sense.
I really just want to do this once and not have to feel like i skimped out and have that nagging to change it out.
 

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I suggest purchasing from Arcflash LLC who is also a member here. I’m sure he will chime in shortly. He sells the Ohlins and runs them on his own street and track cars and provides amazing support. I am constantly bugging him with questions, but Joshua is a very patient and helpful person. He wants you to be successful and happy with your setup.
Ha, thanks Eric!

So far great information guys! I'll reach out to Arcflash LLC.

I am a construction worker in SF Bay Area and have commuted over 200,000 miles in lowered vehicles from job site to job site so trust me when I say I understand these freeways. There was a point when I knew every pothole on 680 and 880 and would be lane changing to avoid all the holes.

Fortunately I have a work truck, so the STI is the weekend warrior family adventure vehicle and reason the Ohlins seem attractive is ride quality reserved (thanks for the BS heads-up). If I went rear control arms I would greatly appreciate the recommendations of brand/part you are thinking, as I would hate to have to replace with a different set. If it's a personal "feel" per driver, then we can leave it at that, but like I said, any of these "I did this but should have done that" is what I am really looking at.

Also, as much as people say they would go back to stock ride, if you are anything like me it's fun but you always look out of the corner of your eye to go back to that life 😂.
We have a few options on the Ohlins from OTS, just like they build them in Sweden to our own Track Packages with our custom valving and tailored spring rates. We started developing the Track Package almost 10 years ago. I did 65 track days on these over 2 seasons refining the valving and spring rates.

Depending on what exactly you want to do I'd suggest rear LCAs at a minimum to get your camber dialed in. Front roll center/bump correction if you're going to lower the car at all. Then swaybars (Eibach or RCE) and drop links if you want to corner balance (SPL).

We run the same Track Package you can buy from us on our 600whp sequential tranmission STI track car with 285 slicks.

We're working on Street Package with less track oriented springs and valving that still has our "balance" in terms of rates. Pricing will be the same, ETA late summer.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here we go.. thanks man. I think I was mainly looking for the roll centre and rear lca's, that a pretty good starting point to get dialed in. I definitely want to see where the street setup comes in but have a feeling for my needs (maybe if I'm really lucky I get 1 track day) the swedish version may be fine.
 

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Ha, thanks Eric!



We have a few options on the Ohlins from OTS, just like they build them in Sweden to our own Track Packages with our custom valving and tailored spring rates. We started developing the Track Package almost 10 years ago. I did 65 track days on these over 2 seasons refining the valving and spring rates.

Depending on what exactly you want to do I'd suggest rear LCAs at a minimum to get your camber dialed in. Front roll center/bump correction if you're going to lower the car at all. Then swaybars (Eibach or RCE) and drop links if you want to corner balance (SPL).

We run the same Track Package you can buy from us on our 600whp sequential tranmission STI track car with 285 slicks.

We're working on Street Package with less track oriented springs and valving that still has our "balance" in terms of rates. Pricing will be the same, ETA late summer.

You don't mention SuperPro. Is it because you don't sell them? I prefer SuperPro over Whiteline (for my '07's and '08 STI's). I've never tried any SPL. I have Agency Power LCA's on the '08. Is SPL mostly arms for the rear? I had to modify my LCA's to get them to work with my MCS two-way shock's fittings and have not been 100% happy with the design. Are SPL better?
 

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Super Pro whats? Roll Center kit? I don't have anything against Superpro or Whiteline, most of their suspension parts are loaded with poly bushing that we just will not use. The roll center kit is just about the only thing we sell that WL makes.

We've been working with SPL for years and run their suspension parts on all of our race cars. SPL makes just about everything for the rear, bump steer for the front as well as adjustable drop links all around. Hopefully a front control arm with caster adjustment soon. The SPL rear LCAs have mounting provisions for ride height sensor and recently they changed the design per our specs to allow shocks, like Ohlins with a large dia lower, to fit in the lower ride height position on the LCA. Previously we were machining these all in house to clear.




You don't mention SuperPro. Is it because you don't sell them? I prefer SuperPro over Whiteline (for my '07's and '08 STI's). I've never tried any SPL. I have Agency Power LCA's on the '08. Is SPL mostly arms for the rear? I had to modify my LCA's to get them to work with my MCS two-way shock's fittings and have not been 100% happy with the design. Are SPL better?
 

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Super Pro whats? Roll Center kit? I don't have anything against Superpro or Whiteline, most of their suspension parts are loaded with poly bushing that we just will not use. The roll center kit is just about the only thing we sell that WL makes.

We've been working with SPL for years and run their suspension parts on all of our race cars. SPL makes just about everything for the rear, bump steer for the front as well as adjustable drop links all around. Hopefully a front control arm with caster adjustment soon. The SPL rear LCAs have mounting provisions for ride height sensor and recently they changed the design per our specs to allow shocks, like Ohlins with a large dia lower, to fit in the lower ride height position on the LCA. Previously we were machining these all in house to clear.

Thanks for the response. SPL looks like good stuff! I went with some urethane and some solid because I am not out to win any TA events and I'm trying to make the car last a little longer.
BTW, I have an 818R I'm trying to find time to finish.
 

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Honestly, stock. Maybe find some bilsteins off an RA or S209 via part number (must get springs too). But frankly, the following are what I did and for non-track I found it to be sublime:


stock 2019 (may be updated from the preRA stock cars' valving...feels smoother...)
and get 18" wheels that can handle 265/35 michelin pilot sport a/s 3+ or 4....


(I went with a flow forged wheel from fastwrx.com)


Have heard ohlins can be horrendous on this car.....so be cautious with them. People like the fortune coils at a lower price....I'd likely call them and talk needs/wants...they will do things custom.

But I sort of don't have a need for that. Stock is amazing at anything legal/safe on the street speeds.....aroudn here at least.

Net saving per corner about 8.6 pounds tire/wheel. Much more comfortable. Better feel to me.....same width as the S209....tiny poke.....love it. Best bang for buck around. No warranty issues.....sort of a plus. No suspension clicks/noise...hated that on a prior car...almost always a side effect of coilovers.....

Now, if a track car, that is different.

Done.

jb
 

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The best suspension is the stock suspension since it's designed for everyday driving and way more enjoyable on the street.

I had put Cusco Zero 2R coils on my 2002 wrx and it ruined the ride. Yeah sure it handled like it was on rails...but even drinking a coffee was ridiculous cause it would always spill haha.

In my 2018 STI i just avoided coils since it's not just enjoyable especially now with a wife and 2 year old in the car seat.

I'd personally focus more on little things that could create a more enjoyable experience by doing those chassis brace parts, springs etc.... though those parts also can create a harsh ride. If money is not an issue or you want the best....STI parts cataloge from Japan has a lot of OEM goodies that would make the car handle better but keeping the ride OEM comfy.

For me, I just did the front and rear Cusco tower bars and it made the car lose all it's rattles and made the steering more direct.
Another thing that could benefit a lot is lowering springs...like the STI optional springs from Japan, or sway bars. However both springs and sway bars can create a very harsh ride if you don't choose wisely. I wanted to do Cusco sways to complement my cusco front and rear tower bars but my mechanic told me it would make the ride very harsh so I decided to not bother. He did say Whiteline would be more comfortable.

Another thing to add, on my 2015 FRS, I did the STI lowering springs and wow...that was surpsingly a huge difference. So see even just springs on a 100% stock suspension can create a huge difference. In fact the STI springs in the FRS improved ride comfort since even though it was stiffer, it didn't bounce as much.

So yeah, spoken from experience, I wouldn't want coils on my family/everyday car ever again haha. I don't even daily my STI..it's a weekend summer car only and even so...I'm avoiding coils like the COVID-19 =P
 

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I can't see that this comment excerpt makes much sense. If nothing changes but going to stiffer, shorter springs I would think it would just change the frequency of the bounce, not lessen harshness, unless the stock, non adjustable shock tuning is (oddly) better at a higher frequency with less travel. The rest I can agree with.
... Another thing to add, on my 2015 FRS, I did the STI lowering springs and wow...that was surpsingly a huge difference. So see even just springs on a 100% stock suspension can create a huge difference. In fact the STI springs in the FRS improved ride comfort since even though it was stiffer, it didn't bounce as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I really appreciate everyone's points and opinions. I totally understand that stock ride is the most comfortable, but man it's slick when it's lowered and imho it looks the way it should.

I think my opinion has changed to how do I lower the car and reap those benefits, and still keep the same ride quality or make it better. (I know, that's what you guys are saying cannot be done)

The object of my car build is to make it a family version of a street STI, and I completely understand sometimes you will sacrifice ride quality, my goal is to minimize it or increase it.

Never said this would be easy, and I am pretty sure my goals will lead me to be a completely custom setup.

Definitely will be looking into the Japanese catalog, S209 and RA parts, but am glad to know what components will be necessary when the car does get lowrred, and the recommended, peer tested parts that all of you guys have experience with.

Keep the opinions coming because every time I read this I am learning for sure.
 

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If your pockets are deep then get all the TSS Fab subframes and these Full Spectrum Performance aluminum uprights to go with them. Then light wheels and two-way shocks. It could be lowered a lot with no ill effects and could ride so much better.
 

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I can't see that this comment excerpt makes much sense. If nothing changes but going to stiffer, shorter springs I would think it would just change the frequency of the bounce, not lessen harshness, unless the stock, non adjustable shock tuning is (oddly) better at a higher frequency with less travel. The rest I can agree with.
Your probably right haha. It made it less bouncy.

Definitely will be looking into the Japanese catalog, S209 and RA parts, but am glad to know what components will be necessary when the car does get lowrred, and the recommended, peer tested parts that all of you guys have experience with.

Keep the opinions coming because every time I read this I am learning for sure.
Yeah it's why OEM+ parts tend to cost more since they usually factor in comfort when more aftermarket parts focus more on performance.

That being said, the STI springs would give you a 10mm drop.

 
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