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JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 05:01 AM

Initial Review - Koni's + Whiteline LCA Bushings + Cobb Sways
Alright there's alot of caveats on this review. My 08 LGT has 82.5k miles on it's original suspension, except the cobb sways were on there. Koni's were swapped in and set on FULL SOFT. Whiteline LCA bushings were put in.

An alignment was NOT done yet - I was advised to put a few hundred miles on the suspension to get it settle in and then align it. I can't wait as I think the toe is out on one side. I'll do a totally comprehensive review in about 1-2 weeks with details on bump steer, stability, etc.

Lastly, i am riding on High performance all seasons: Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S in 225/45/17 - these have some softness to them and they do roll a bit. Overall though they are very nice performers. They have 27k miles on them and have plenty of tread left.


Initial ride quality on full soft: When I pulled out of the shop, ride quality was a bit firmer/harsher than stock. I put 100 miles on the car on the drive home and by the end I would say ride quality is EQUAL or very slightly better than stock. Again, this is on full soft. It absorbs certain bumps better while others seem to transmit more harshness.

Handling/Steering: OMGWTF do not leave home without this setup.....DAMN!
Fellow forum members, I am not shitting you when i say that this setup makes an LGT handle and steer better than a 3-series w/ sport package.

I swear the car was transformed into rally car hotness on the way home. I was taking turns at obscene speeds. When large openings allowed, I was doing fast transitions across 2-3 lanes at 80-90mph just to marvel over the fact that it was being done in complete confidence. There was never any feeling of weight transfer - the car felt athletic and balanced.

The car turns in instantly. Understeer in pretty much gone. This car is f'ing neutral. The steering is instantaneous with no dead zone and feel has gone up a few notches. It's TOO twitchy right now, but I'm going to try to dial that down with the alignment, some very slight toe-in, and maybe a slight reduction in caster.


I am still hoping the struts are breaking in - I'd like a bit more softness as this is my wife's DD. And I need to get it aligned.

But without hesitation if you are looking for outstanding handling & steering: Koni's + Whiteline LCA bushings + Sway Bars = gold.

If you are doing the work yourself, you are looking at maybe a $800 investment too.

Underdog 04-24-2012 05:28 AM

Nice review Joe. I would suggest that some of the harshness you are feeling may be a result of the Koni's damping being set too low. Remember, you are only adjusting rebound damping, so the firmness associated with suspension compression will be constant. It is just as important to control the rebound of the suspension adequately, so that the corners don't slam down into road surface imperfections.

With my Koni/EE setup I found that the middle of the range (1 turn) to slightly over (1.25 turns) was optimal for comfort. I would imagine that since you are using the stock springs you might need slightly less damping, but I would still recommend starting at 1 turn and adjusting from there.

JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 05:32 AM

Thanks UD. You know I value your experience in suspension (as opposed to, say, which checking account is best for me) :)

I vaguely remembered some members finding more comfort adjusting firmer the struts. Couldn't remember why or how much.

Since it's soooo easy to do, I'll start with 1/2 turn at each corner first (which I believe is about 25% of the range of adjustment) and then go to 1 full turn to feel the difference.

Underdog 04-24-2012 08:23 AM

Yeah, I couldn't tell you jack about checking accounts, since I can't hold on to my money long enough to even think about putting it in the bank. :lol:

As far as suspension stuff goes, it's all just trial & error plus a little critical reasoning. Besides, how much stock would you put in someone who has owned a car going on six years (:eek:) and is still changing his suspension?

See my (rather long-winded) post here from almost three years ago where I attempted to illustrate the "jacking down" phenomenon.

When you bought the Konis you bought - in my opinion - the nicest adjustable, fixed-perch shock available for the Legacy. Making adjustments is simple (maybe less so for the rears) so it would behoove you to take advantage of what you paid for. I think you should make a more drastic change, go straight for one turn, so you can more clearly assess the difference.

JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 08:48 AM

Thanks. Your comments on the dartiness and the alignment I think are spot on too - I'm going to get an alignment by a subaru dealership (Suby Bucks baby!) and I'm going to request very slight toe-in (like .02) upfront, zero toe rear, stock camber settings, and like a half degree of extra caster in the front from the stock setting (now that the LCA bushings are caster adjustable).


Underdog 04-24-2012 11:09 AM

I haven't experimented with toe-in up front, so I can't comment on that.

Keeping the stock camber settings is fine. Additional caster will reduce the amount of dynamic camber gain, slightly, and will improve the on-center feel of the steering. Personally I think leaving camber on the table up front is pointless... you can't get too much negative camber with the stock setup, especially at stock height. However, if you are never pushing it to the point of understeer, then you really don't need to improve front-end grip.

I would go for as much additional caster as possible while keeping it within reason between the two sides. Again, I don't think you can get too much caster with the bushing kit alone and more is definitely better unless you want super light (read: vague) steering.

whitetiger 04-24-2012 11:13 AM

FYI, caster INCREASES dynamic camber gain, not decreases. Due to that, it allows you to run less static camber since camber increases faster as you turn the wheel.

Underdog 04-24-2012 11:18 AM

Sorry, I confused everything by saying "reduces camber gain" to mean reduces the amount of POSITIVE camber gain as a net effect of steering and suspension compression.

Since the phrase "dynamic camber gain" means the increase in NEGATIVE camber as an effect of the wheel pivoting on it's steering axis, my sentence is wrong.

Otherwise, would you say my assessment is more or less correct, Josh?

Bolksey85 04-24-2012 03:48 PM

Looks like AZP treated you as well as they treated me. I want/need to convince myself to get on this soon. She's been feeling a little boaty lately.

Edit: Joe, on factory springs still or did you jump to something like Epics?

whitetiger 04-24-2012 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by Underdog (Post 3863029)
Sorry, I confused everything by saying "reduces camber gain" to mean reduces the amount of POSITIVE camber gain as a net effect of steering and suspension compression.

Since the phrase "dynamic camber gain" means the increase in NEGATIVE camber as an effect of the wheel pivoting on it's steering axis, my sentence is wrong.

Otherwise, would you say my assessment is more or less correct, Josh?

yes. i would say that you can never get too much front grip as that is always lacking in our cars due to its weight and weight distribution. as for caster, some say that too much positive cast decreases quick transitional response since, though dynamic camber increases, dynamic toe decreases per amount of turned wheel. this is only theory though. i haven't personally experienced it

Bolksey85 04-24-2012 04:06 PM

While I'm at it, did you wait and get everything done or was this a 2 day ordeal? If I can convince myself at some point, I would need it all done in a day between springs, struts, and alignment.

JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 07:41 PM

Bolksey - AZP treated me well. One of the very few surprises was that they don't do the alignment in the same day unless told to by the customer (against their recommendation).

They asked me if i could come back for the alignment and I was surprised because this was a 100 mile/2 hour drive for me, but they said it will make a difference in letting the new LCA bushing settle in.

So right now my car is un-aligned and let me tell you - the steering wheel is slightly off center and it's pulling to the right a bit, and I can't get into a shop again for a week. Sad thing is that i'm going to wind up putting ~1000 miles on the car before i get it aligned, so hopefully I'm not creating a high wear spot on one or more tires.

I showed up at 9:30 and left at 4:30 and they easily knocked out the Koni install, LCA bushing install, and replacing my front sway bar clamps & bushings.

Bolksey - I forget where in PA you are but I'll be happy to give you a ride once I get it aligned and sort out the setting on the Koni's. Also, I'm on stock springs.

JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 07:43 PM

One additional observation for general consideration: I'm fairly certain that the whiteline bushings are notably increasing interior sound levels from road noise and "harshness" associated with the tire slap of hitting a bump. I'm realizing that the ride quality is definitely a tad bit better than the OEM struts after 82.5k miles, but that I'm hearing a good amount more road noise and noises associated with hitting imperfections. And when I do hit a jarring bump, it SOUNDS worse than it feels.

While they are wonderful, I am asking myself right now if I would do them again vs. putting in the crappy OEM bushing, which would tear again in 60-80k miles. This is my wife's DD, so I want a controlled ride with good handling but I don't want any increase in NVH.

JoeFromPA 04-24-2012 08:00 PM

Just adjusted my Koni's one full turn from full soft. Amazing how easy it is in this car to adjust front and rear. Putting 200 miles on the car tomorrow - hopefully I like the setting. Bringing a knob with me in case I can't stand it :)

goneskiian 04-24-2012 11:09 PM

Great write up Joe!

I've been on my Koni/Eibach combo for a couple years now and I think I must be getting used to it as I've been thinking about a change to some coilovers or at least adding a sway set. I've got the JDM rear bar and OEM front on there currently.

Oh yeah, I've also got the AVO offset bushings (increases caster I believe).

Anyway, thanks for your impressions!


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