Okay here we go! Our prototype sport springs were installed on the test LGT wagon (which is 100% stock except for those Rota's and the 225 tires) late yesterday afternoon and I've put 115 miles on them so far. First, pictures:
Sorry they're not so great (especially the before ones). ...was a bit of a rushed day for me and the sunlight in those first pics was just killer
First, I was floored by the ride. The thing rides as nicely as stock. I'll need to have the owner test it out when he's back from Mexico (for the WRC event!!! Lucky guy) to get a better stock vs. Crucial ride impression because I honestly didn't put all that many miles on the car when it was still stock, whereas he's very used to it obviously. I tried to go over some specific spots of road, rough and otherwise, around the shop and take a few corners and keep in mind how it felt, and I'm truly just shocked at how amazingly nicely these Crucial springs ride, because they are
stiffer than the stock rates by a decent margin. I'm very confident that the ride is at least as nice as stock though, and it might even be quieter on the highway.
The drop is pretty conservative. It's NOT slammed or anywhere close, but it looks a lot cleaner than stock. I went over plenty of steep speed bumps and up steep driveway/parking lot entrances that I drive over regularly around here, all of which just destroy my 350Z if I'm not going 0.5 mph at a 45 degree angle
, and there was no scraping. Clears a normal curb with the front bumper. Drop is nice and even, too. No complaints. We definitely didn't want to slam the LGT too low... it makes for a pain in the butt daily driver.
Brake dive is reduced quite a bit. It says decently flat even under very hard braking. Nice improvement here vs stock.
Balance is better. I can now get the car to begin to oversteer in a corner by lifting throttle or changing steering input. It definitely doesn't want to understeer like it used to, and getting it to simply push outwards is much, much harder. It's still extremely safe though. This car is NOT going to come around on you without you wanting it. With the addition of an adjustable rear sway you could easily dial in more oversteer if desired, as it's now quite a bit more neutral than stock.
There is NO bounce. I can tell that these springs are just
at that point where if they were any stiffer you'd start to get a little bounce with the stock struts. Right now they're handling the springs perfectly well at any speed over any type of bumps, but I can juuussst feel that they're at their limit of what they can properly damp. I think we're getting away with it because of how the progressive rates are done. They're not very aggressively damped struts/shocks for sure. For a daily driver that sees occasional spirited romps through the twisties, this would be a perfectly fine setup. You'd have a drop that looked clean but you don't have to worry about scraping on driveways and speed bumps, a ride that is as nice as stock, and better cornering performance. If you're thinking of hitting up auto-x or want some more performance out of them, they're perfect candidates for nice struts like the Konis, which will definitely make a difference (and are going in this car next week).
Response is improved, max grip is improved, and body roll is improved. Personally, I'd want stiffer springs on my own car but my 350Z rides like a MAC truck and my Legacy has insane coilovers on it so I'm sort of used to a car that corners FLAT
. There's still some roll in this wagon. Less than stock, yes. With our Impreza springs, they're so stiff that before-and-after body roll with the addition of sway bars is almost the same. I think these LGT springs are at the perfect spring rate where there's just enough body roll left that you can completely get rid of it with a sway bar(s) and retain the really nice ride. Much softer and it would still roll with sways or you'd have to upset the balance with too-thick swaybars, and any stiffer with the springs and you'd surely comprimise the ride. These aren't track springs, but I think they've definitely hit our LGT spring goal right on the head, which is to say make something that's sportier but not so aggressive that it ruins the point of buying an LGT vs. an Impreza -- i.e. a little more upscale luxury yet sporty car. With sways and struts, I KNOW these springs will hold their own for auto-x and light track use, but the goal was definitely sportier springs for a daily driver, not a track car. ...which is great, because so far the interest in e-mails and PM's was for springs with a conservative drop and a nice ride, which we've done. They also most definitely kick the performance up a notch as well
...so that's my impression of them so far. I'm SHOCKED at how freakin' amazing the ride is. It's quiet, smooth, soaks up bumps WAY better than I could have imagined. I'm very happy with the improvement in brake dive, grip, and balance. There's still just a touch more roll if you're doing slalom-type manuevers in the car than I would like, but it's improved enough that it's right at the point where a sway bar(s) would be hugely effective at getting rid of that. Obviously in a sedan instead of this wagon I'd expect it to be flatter to begin with...
Fitment was great btw. No issues. OH!!!
That reminded me that we put GroupN strut top hats on the front (he had them from his WRX that he sold). Makes the quiet, nice ride even that much more impressive to me
Sound promising? Anyone in the Bay Area want a ride in this car (drive if the owner is okay w/ it)? We definitely want some 3rd party impressions! It's with me until Monday night...