Why are cars so addictive to some of us? For many, they are a way of life. Many of us have careers in the car industry and we eat, drink, and breathe cars. We work hard to get the car within our means, and when they're not broken, they bring us peace. To be able to have the freedom to get in your car and escape to your nearest canyon, local race track, drag strip, oRead More
Why are cars so addictive to some of us? For many, they are a way of life. Many of us have careers in the car industry and we eat, drink, and breathe cars. We work hard to get the car within our means, and when they're not broken, they bring us peace. To be able to have the freedom to get in your car and escape to your nearest canyon, local race track, drag strip, or Saturday morning cars and coffee is highly liberating. They are not just machines to get us from point A to B, they are extensions of our personality, and they are viewed as art in motion. The way they look, the way they sound, the way they age, and represent the time from which they came. They are so rich with fascinating qualities that arrest our attention as they are essentially large toys for adults.
The entire idea of car modification as being a hobby and what borns someone into an enthusiast is narrowed down to some of the main quadrants. You have ENGINE performance modifications that make your car faster, louder or maintained. You have the EXTERIOR which is highly vast. You customize the outside of your vehicle with a larger wing for more downforce on your track-dedicated race car or add more color or carbon fiber, or anything else that makes it unique to your liking. The same can be said about the INTERIOR and how you can renew, restore, or modernize with custom components.
This brings us to the next major pillar of what makes car ownership and the certain cars we choose to drive which is, Suspension.
If you notice on this website, our central focus is on the Subaru platform. Mainly WRX and STI models, and similar vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Evolution. But why? Rolling off the assembly these were rally-inspired vehicles driven by world-class race teams and by legendary names such as Colin McRae and Ken Block. In the early 2000s when some of us were younger adults and many of you were young children, we enjoyed watching rally racing on dirt and snow throughout many European countries as Subaru and Mitsubishi battled each other through the most arduous of conditions along with fellow competitors in other models such as Lancias, Peugots, Audis, and other all-wheel-drive platforms. We read about these cars in the likes of the extinct but never forgotten Sport Compact Car and Turbo Magazine. Many of us drove first-generation all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX and Eagle Talon TSI models, as well as early Subaru Impreza models because that were the closest examples we had. At the end of 2001, the Subaru WRX made its debut on US soil, and just a few years later, RallySport Direct was established in 2003, the same year the Mitsubishi Evolution was released for the US market, and the STI followed shortly in 2004.
These cars were the strongest force in the sport compact industry at the time, and the driving experience was next level. From the factory, the Evo was one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive in stock form, and the STI models had one of the best driver-focused seating positions when compared to anything else at the time. Both cars dominated local autocross and weekend track events in stock form. The all-wheel-drive chassis on both models provided a strong connection and driver feedback during higher speeds, and you didn't want to stop driving the car. As Porsche said in one of their brilliant marketing ads, it was like owning your own personal amusement park.
More than two decades later, these cars have been through a lot. The Mitsubishi Evolution X models ended in production in 2015, and thankfully, the WRX and STI models are still in production, however, the next generation of STI is rumored to be all-electric.
Within this time period, the earlier WRX and STI models, as well as the early Evo models became very affordable. Almost too affordable at one point in time. Many Subarus fell victim to distasteful interior and exterior modifications, as well as irresponsible engine modifications that lead to many broken motors, part-outs, and cars sitting under covers and on jack stands. The 4G63 in the Evo 8 and 9 models had proven to be stout, but many owners chasing dreams of running single-digit 1/4 mile times ended up with forward-facing turbo kits with bad tunes and detonated pistons.
Now not all of these cars ended up this way. Read that again not all of them ended up this way. And for many of you Subaru owners who may have been guilty of wrapping your headliner with felt zebra print along with some kind of ridiculous shift knob who can't see out of the windshield because of vape and some thoughtless windshield banner while dragging your frame on heavy tilted wheels you are growing out of it, so congratulations on that. But guess what? The cars that are clean and have been restored back to normal are gaining value again. They are the last of a dying breed in our lifetime.
And it's not narrowed down to Subarus, or Evos. The 350Z is getting old too, as well as the 370Z. And it's not about getting old either. If you want to renew the handling and ride quality of your old WRX, if you want to run faster lap times in your A90 Supra, or if you want to run over all of the things in your lifted Forester, you're in the right spot.
Again suspension is very vast and very versatile to accommodate all driving conditions. Let's talk about the main areas of suspension where we can improve the right quality of your daily driver. Get a more unique look on your weekend show car, run faster lap times on your dedicated race car, or restore the factory parts on your older WRX. Let's begin.
SUSPENSION BUSHINGS: Bushings are a wear-and-tear item just like anything else, and in your suspension when bushings wear out, it can have an effect on the handling while making the ride quality much worse. If your control arm bushings are worn down to the point where there is any play, your ride will be very rough, followed by an annoying knocking sound and feel over every bump you drive over. The subframe bushings are known to also be an annoyance in WRX and STI models which also will generate unwanted and excessive movement. Your sway bar bushings are exposed to the elements the most, and when these wear, you will have a lack of suspension performance as your sway bars could lose their mounting support causing more over or under-steer. In this section, you will have many options that feature durable and longer-lasting urethane construction. The result will be a tighter feeling suspension with better handling and driver feedback during high-performance driving conditions, with much better ride quality.
AFTERMARKET BUSHINGS: These are very plentiful and available for virtually all suspension bushing locations for the most popular makes and models in our catalog. The factory bushings feature soft rubber construction that becomes worn due to a combination of dirt and friction, followed by constant suspension movement will cause them to become weak, and eventually, you just get used to it, until you can't anymore. The examples we carry are brought to you by only the most familiar brands that include but are not limited to Whiteline, PERRIN, Cusco, Super Pro, and Torque Solution just to name some of them. The majority of the bushings will be made using durable and longer-lasting urethane construction that is available in a variety of urethane stiffnesses. We also carry solid units in some applications for those of you with race cars. Many options are available to restore and improve the handling and suspension performance of your vehicle.
BUSHING KITS: These will include bushings not only for key areas in your suspension but high-wear areas as well. These are put together for your convenience as trying to figure out what bushing goes to where can be a tedious process because, for most of us, we aren't replacing suspension bushings on the regular. You will find quality kits brought to you but not limited to Whiteline, Cusco, and Super Pro. These are available for several Subaru models, and you can find kits for Volkswagens, and other enthusiast models as well.
CASTER ADJUSTMENT: These components will be especially helpful for those of you with lowered vehicles. You will find anti-lift kits that are perfect to help restore the suspension geometry especially if you have really low suspension. Otherwise, your vehicle will feel like it will bounce all over the road and feel uneven. Additionally, you will find new control arm bushings that you will have to replace if your old units are worn and there is no getting around that. And like all of the bushings we carry, the majority of these that we carry will be available in strong urethane construction. These bushings compared to most, will greatly have an effect on the overall handling and performance of your vehicle, if these are worn, your car will almost be undrivable. They need to be inspected and addressed if you sense that these are on their way out. When it comes to the handling, and the feedback, keep your tire's footprint on the ground, on the road, or on the track, making sure the bushings in the caster element on your vehicle are 100%.
SUBFRAME BOLTS: These need to be mentioned and addressed especially on the Subaru platform. The factory subframe bolts on earlier WRX and STI models tend to back out. This happens because of age and miles of road and suspension vibration. If your subframe becomes loose because of the factory bolts you have what feels like a derailed train on the hack of your vehicle. Your rear differential mounts to your rear subframe so your drivetrain can be greatly affected. We carry simple replacements that will support your rear subframe brought to you by the likes of Whiteline, Torque Solution, and Kartboy that will secure your rear subframe in place, The result will be an improved shifter feeling because your rear diff and rear driveshaft won't be over vibrating. And a locked rear subframe will also improve the handling as your related suspension components will also be supported.
CHASSIS BRACING: The stiffer your chassis is, the more resistance and swaying will happen during high-speed cornering and less wrestling against gravity. Chassis bracing has been designed to reduce the amount of chassis flex during high-performance driving conditions. By strengthening the overall rigidity of the chassis, the body will react quickly with the suspension for better handling and feedback at higher speeds. This will be beneficial, especially when driving on weekend track days at your local road course or at your local autocross where setting up your entry and exit lines when apexing, high-speed banks, S-curves, and all of the turns force the weight of your vehicle against the current. We carry a vast amount of chassis bracing options to strengthen many areas beneath the chassis, inside the cabin, in the trunk, and in the engine bay to really improve the handling. These options will optimize the overall function of the rest of your suspension components while improving the driver feedback and overall driving experience for the road or the track.
CONTROL ARM BRACES: Control arms are one of the pillars of your suspension system as they control and reinforce the upward and downward movement of your suspension knuckles on all corners. We carry a large amount of control arm braces that will either install on key points beneath your vehicle that will bridge both control arms together. This will increase the footprint of your tires during high-speed cornering which will increase the overall traction. We also carry smaller profile control arm braces that almost act like gussets to further reinforce the control arms, and we have control arm brace kits that will include multiple pieces to really reinforce the bottom of your suspension. From the most famous brands that include but are not limited to Whiteline, Beatrush, Cusco, and ISC Suspension, we have a great option available for you.
CROSSMEMBER BRACES: Just like the rest of the chassis bracing components, these have been designed to install on specific points of your chassis to reinforce your body and the suspension. Ever seen an Evo 8 or an Evo 9 and they have that cool-looking brace behind the mesh grille? That's a cross-member brace. The designs of these are highly versatile in terms of being available for the front and rear suspension and chassis areas. The majority of these components will be presented to you by the suspension experts at Cusco, but are also available from other quality brands that include the likes of Carbing and Beatrush. Also available for the most popular rally-inspired models outside of the Evo such as the WRX and STI, among other models as well.
SUBFRAMES: These are available for those of you who want to take your suspension to another level. You either have a competitive race car or a rally car and you want to save weight, gain more alignment settings, and get more chassis rigidity. Or you are just a demanding enthusiast who wants nothing but the best to make you feel good inside, and in today's society, this is very important. We carry subframe options brought to you from Mooresport or MSI who are actually secret military physicists who make race car parts on the side using their mathematical and engineering genius to rest their minds while making you faster.
SUBFRAME BRACES: It is known that the rear subframe on earlier Subaru WRX/STI models and even earlier Impreza models have issues with excessive rear subframe movement. This can happen because of the subframe bolts backing out, worn bushings, or worn suspension components attached to the subframe. The Subframe braces will help reinforce the rear subframe which will not only help reduce excessive movement, but these will also prevent premature wear on other components while improving the overall handling. Additionally, these braces will improve the shifting and drivetrain performance as the more stable your rear diff is, the smoother the driveshaft movement will be which will also help transfer more power to the tires.
FLOOR BRACES: These will either install on the interior floor in the backseat area to reinforce and bridge the B-pillars, or they will install underneath the chassis with specific mounting points to strengthen the bottom of the chassis. When entering a high-speed corner, your chassis will naturally lean with lateral forces, and suspension upgrades will certainly help navigate the corner at higher speeds. But floor braces will strengthen the chassis underneath the vehicle to really sharpen your steering response allowing you to get through those corners easier while allowing you to focus more on the road.
STEERING: After all, you're the captain of your own ship, or Subaru, make sure it goes where you want it to go. However, over age and miles, there are just a few wear-and-tear items that can become rather annoying within your steering system. If your steering rack bushings wear out, your steering can feel spongy and not as responsive. Additionally, you can experience excessive movement that could send you into a rabbit hole of inspecting and replacing suspension components. Your tie rods connect to your front knuckles and although your steering wheel and steering rack are the main components of your steering system, the tie rods depending on the design make the main steering connection to the wheels. Because of these reasons, we have many great options to further improve the steering response and feedback on your vehicle.
POWER STEERING LINES AND FITTINGS: Because the factory power steering hoses in your Subaru are made using rubber materials, over time and miles the lines will increasingly get harder because of the fluids and eventually they can crack causing a really messy leak. And whether you use automatic transmission fluid or standard power steering fluid it can become a mess, and depending on the fluid, a flammable disaster. We have aftermarket hose options made from multi-layered heat-resistant silicone construction, and we have stainless steel oil lines and fittings for those of you who need to run special routing.
TIE RODS / BALL JOINTS: A very important piece to the steering puzzle as these will link your spindle to your steering rack. However, the wear and tear stems from the ball joints on these units that can make your steering feel terrible, generate excessive suspension movement and sound, and if they break while on the road it can cause a catastrophe as one wheel will go the opposite direction of your other front wheel. We carry replacements from the likes of Whiteline, SPL Parts, COBB Tuning, and Super Pro just to name of few. These options include long-lasting urethane ball joints, and in some cases, Teflon-lined FK ends for those of you who want that directly connected feeling. All of these choices make for excellent upgrades over the factory tie rod ends that will not only improve the ride quality, but these will also help to improve the handling as well.
SUSPENSION HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Here is where many of the enthusiasts will congregate. What makes the sight of a race car so appealing? Especially if you see one in person you can't help to glue your eyes on one. From Formula One Indy cars, classic IMSA factory-built road race cars, NASCAR's, pretty much any car that is sanctioned on a road surface will have one major aspect in common. They are slammed to the ground. And you want the same look for your vehicle. However, suspension lowering is so versatile in terms of doing more than just achieving a race-inspired look. Keeping your car closer to the ground during higher speeds at your local race track will improve the aerodynamic refinement of your exterior components. Stronger spring rates will certainly help with improving the handling during higher-speed cornering. And depending on what kind of setup you have, you could even improve the overall ride quality.
Regarding suspension lowering, there are 3 main avenues enthusiasts can choose from, and let's take a deeper dive into the pros and cons of these main areas.
LOWERING SPRINGS: Lowering springs are ideal for enthusiasts who want to keep the suspension as close to stock as possible while slightly getting that lowered look because, with some factory suspension setups, you could look like you're in 4x4 mode. Lowering springs typically can lower the front or rear suspension setups on your vehicle 3/4 of an inch, to about 1.25 inches. There are several spring rate options that you can choose from, but all options will have a stiffer spring rate to compensate for the lowering. And enthusiasts may opt for lowering springs because perhaps they just don't want the inherent aggressiveness with coilovers, or they aren't ready to invest in coilovers. Because lowering springs are designed to work with factory shocks, you are going to retain a more comfortable ride quality. The cons with lowering springs are that these are fairly labor-intensive to install only if you aren't satisfied with the look and want to go lower. You would have to get the car on jack stands, and remove wheels, depending on what make and model you have you would have to undo control arm bolts to gain more clearance to get the strut off the spindle. You would have to get a spring compressor tool so that the top hats don't literally punch your face off as trying to remove the top hat with tensioned springs is highly dangerous and should never be performed. And that is why coilovers are preferred 9/10 times because adjusting the height is a matter of loosening the spring perch and twisting the strut into the threaded lower mount.
COILOVERS: Where to begin with coilovers? Coilovers are arguably the most popular suspension upgrade available to the entire automotive industry. If you have ever installed lowering springs, or have paid another shop to install lowering springs, then you know how labor-intensive the work can be. You rent a spring compressor from your local auto parts store. Then you have to begin the process of removing your stock spring and strut setup. Depending on your make and model this can either go two ways, and that is straightforward and somewhat simple, or you have every tool sprawled out in the garage or driveway, fighting over that extremely long upper control arm bolt, just before trying to fight with the entire knuckle and axle assembly to get enough clearance to get the spring and strut assembly out. All for 3/4 to a little over an inch of difference with lowering springs. Now, the same installation method is required for coilovers, BUT, at least you have a wider range of adjustment if you are not satisfied with the height, and it takes a fraction of the time to make adjustments when compared to lowering springs. Let's dig in.
WHAT CAN COILOVERS OFFER?
HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: One of the main reasons why enthusiasts have coilovers at the top of their mod list is because coilovers are versatile enough to lower the car at lowering limits that greatly surpass traditional lowering springs. And, you don't have to go through the arduous process of removing your entire strut assembly when compared to installing lowering springs. The height of the coilover can be set by loosening the spring perches with the supplied coilover spanner wrenches. The majority of the strut bodies on the coilovers will simply thread into the lower coilover mount so you don't have to modify or mess with spring preload. However, on entry-level coilover setups, the height can be adjusted by lowering the bottom spring perch. A much easier process that can be performed within an hour on all corners of your vehicle.
RIDE QUALITY: Most coilover systems will have damping and rebound settings to adjust the ride quality and strut stiffness. There will be a knob or an adjustable nut located on the top or bottom of the strut body, and you can turn to stiffen the strut clockwise, or you can go counter-clockwise to soften the strut. And adjust the damping can benefit a variety of driving conditions. If you daily your vehicle then set the damping to your liking on all corners to a softer setting. If your vehicle is lowered for weekend track events, you would want to stiffen the struts to adsorb the crown of the road at higher speeds. Or if you even drag race your vehicle, you would want to raise your vehicle just enough to where you've got an inch and a half between the tires and the fenders so that your vehicle will have enough squat to properly launch. You would also want to run a soft setting to absorb the launch and driveline shock. Whatever your driving style or purpose, you can set the damping levels to accommodate your comfort and driving style.
PERFORMANCE: Lowering the center of gravity combined with stiffer spring rates is a great way to improve the handling, driver feedback, and response from the rest of your suspension components. From spirited canyon drives, weekend autocross events, or driver education or competition sessions. Coilovers will simply endure high-speed corners where major lateral shifts in the chassis put a lot of weight and stress on one side of the suspension. When compared to lowering springs, you are limited by your stock struts. With a proper stance and alignment, the chassis of your vehicle will remain planted at higher speeds to provide the driver with more confidence to drive comfortably within their limits.
WOULD I NEED OTHER SUSPENSION MODIFICATIONS TO RUN COILOVERS? Of course not. BUT, suspension modifications for enthusiast vehicles such as the Subaru WRX/STI. Mitsubishi Evolution, A90 Toyota Supra, and anything else, suspension modifications, upgrades, and maintenance are limitless. Anything else you perform to your vehicle such as SWAYBARS, NEW BUSHINGS, especially STRUT TOWER BARS will enhance the performance of your coilovers, and all-new, maintained, and upgraded suspension components will work hand and hand to drastically improve the handling of your vehicle.
IS THERE A SUSPENSION SETUP MORE AGGRESSIVE OR OFFERS MORE ADJUSTABILITY THAN COILOVERS?
AIR SUSPENSION: Air suspension will be hands down, the most versatile setup you can install on your vehicle regarding ride height. When compared to coilovers, you have to raise or lower the strut body for ride height. Still leaps and bounds easier than installing lowering springs. But you can adjust the ride height on air suspension with a push of a button in your interior, just like that. Additionally, you can lower the chassis much lower than coilovers. If you go to a weekend car meet, you can drop the chassis on the frame. And when you're ready to go home, you can air back up and have a very comfortable ride home. Now the installation method is highly involved when compared to coilovers, and you have to run air lines through the chassis. You have to install an air compressor and air controller, along with all of the electronics to complete the installation. But air suspension is for enthusiasts who are committed to a higher standard of upgrades.
WHAT IF I WANT TO JUMP THINGS?
LIFT KITS: Overlanding has really taken off in the last 5 years and why shouldn't it? The Subaru is an all-wheel-drive vehicle with some models coming from the factory with a lifted look. We carry options from the likes of LP Aventure, Crawford, and ReadyLIFT among others to allow you to get more ground clearance for the offroad, as well as the proper clearance needed for larger wheels and tires. Your oil pan is exposed to the elements of the trail, dirt, as well as gravel. Make sure you have proper protection with a SKID PLATE to avoid large rocks or tree stumps. Check out our selection of LIFT SPRINGS for those of you who want to alter the overall height as well. Also for those of you building a rally car or a rally-inspired car, we do carry lifted coiloves to absorb uneven surfaces during higher speeds.
WHAT OTHER SUSPENSION UPGRADES WILL BENEFIT MY CURRENT OR FUTRE SUSPENSION NEEDS?
So there are other components that you can purchase for your existing coilover setup such as upgraded springs. And if you decide coilovers are too aggressive to your driving style because some prefer comfort over everything, then there are lowering springs. Let's talk about the options.
TOP HATS: With certain coilover setups, you may not get a set of top hats. And this could be due to the actual design of the coilover that wants you to utilize your OEM strut mounts. However, we actually carry top hats that are camber adjustable to allow owners to reach deeper levels of camber. And we also have a great selection of top hats that are OEM-like with stiffer technology, All of the options will work with many different levels and brands of coilovers to suit your needs.
SUSPENSION LINKAGE: Here, we explore some of the best suspension modifications that you can perform especially if you have an all-wheel-drive platform as the extra differential weight and other suspension alterations you may increase or decrease the under-steer or over-steer. With that being said, you will find sway bars, end links, lateral links, control arms, and all of the related hardware and/or components to work with these components. Sway bars are very popular and one of the most coveted suspension modifications on the Subaru platform especially, as they will spread the lateral loads evenly across the suspension to reduce the amount of body roll during high-speed cornering. This will maximize your tire's grip and makes for an excellent modification for the street or the track. We have replacement control arms if you don't want to go through the arduous procedure of replacing your control arm bushings. To maximize the efficiency of your sway bars, the end links are mountains better than the failure-prone OEM units. But the easiest suspension upgrade that you can also find in this section, is the strut tower bars.
SWAY BARS: Again one of the most popular suspension modifications as larger sway bars reduce body by spreading the lateral loads across the entire suspension setup. The typical recipe for an all-wheel-drive setup is a larger front sway bar with a smaller diameter rear sway bar. Now vehicles that have fully modified suspension will have the same size upgraded front and rear sway bars to assist when you're driving 10/10ths on a race track, and you are throwing the weight of your car around right on the edge and you need your suspension to be as stiff as possible. But a street setup with a larger front and larger rear setup will drastically improve the handling for daily driving use but for especially spirited canyon drives and track use. We carry fine examples from the most familiar names in the suspension industry that include but are limited to Whiteline, Faction Fab, PERRIN Performance, Eibach, and Cusco among many others. Many examples are also adjustable to suit your driving style and comfort levels as well. However, something to consider about sway bars, especially in Subaru models, is that these vehicles have end links that are prone to becoming weak over time, and will affect the overall efficiency of your sway bars.
END LINKS: When the factory end links do wear out, you will lose the efficiency of your sway bars which can affect your overall handling. The examples we carry all feature much stronger construction as the factory units are made using weak materials. Even if you want to keep your factory sway bars, upgraded end links will improve the handling by strengthening your sway bars which will improve the chassis, suspension, and steering response. And when combined with upgraded larger sway bars, you have another level of handling and performance. We carry several options brought to you by Whiteline, PERRIN, Kartboy, and Cusco among many others that will include long-lasting urethane bushings, and in some cases, FK bearings for those who need the highest load capacity. Many of which are also adjustable to work with a variety of different sway bar sizes.
SWAY BAR MOUNTS: If your sway bar mounts break, then you will lose pretty much all functionality of your sway bar. There are a few instances where you would need to replace your sway bar mounts. You may have an older model where the factory mounts could be rusted and have lost their hardware and may have broken. Or your mount bushings have worn allowing for excessive sway bar movement. We carry many stronger examples that are required especially if you have upgraded to a stronger sway bar. Now, most aftermarket sway bar examples will include their own mounts, but we have replacements. We have forged aluminum units, billet aluminum units, urethane bushing kits, locks to prevent your sway bar from moving side to side, and mount support braces so that your sway bars have full support to operate as they were intended.
LATERAL LINKS: These are especially beneficial for those of you with purpose-built race cars that need special alignment settings, and they are also ideal for enthusiasts with lowered street cars or weekend show cars and need more camber and toe so you're not chewing away your tires. Lateral links with a proper alignment will also make sure that you are getting the most contact patch out of your tires for better grip. We carry both front and rear lateral links, and we carry lateral link kits to help you get that suspension geometry back in range to maximize the suspension performance while improving the handling.
SUSPENSION PACKAGE DEALS: Here, you will find suspension linkage package deals that contain some of the main upgrades and components for a variety of Subaru models, as well as other makes and models that include Volkswagens, and even Ford Mustangs and Ford Focus models. These will include sway bars, end links, and bushings, and some kits will also include lowering springs. All of these have been methodically pieced together to improve and renew the handling, the stance, and the overall driving experience for those of you who like to enjoy spirited weekend drives or autocross events. However, these components will improve the overall daily commute to work or on the run to your grocery store. These kits are also brought to you by the most trusted brands in the industry that are motorsport-grade, and will certainly meet or exceed the demands of OEM build quality.
This covers the majority of the main suspension components that will improve the handling, stance, and ride quality of your vehicle. If it's to restore, renew, or improve your suspension, all of the components we carry will improve your overall driving experience on the road and on the track. All of these are made using the strongest and most durable materials to prolong the life and performance of your suspension.