The Subaru Impreza is a great handling car right out of the box, but there’s always room for improvement meaning a huge range of suspension upgrade parts are available including Shock Absorbers, Sports Lowering Springs, Coilover Kits, Anti-roll Bars, Drop-links and much more.
A popular upgrade for the Subaru Impreza models is to upgrade the original suspension by changing suspension springs, shock absorbers or both.
The factory fitted Subaru suspension spring and shock absorber setup can become tired and worn over time, adversely affecting the performance and it’s fairly common for the front or rear shock absorbers to start to knock at low speed and if left can stick or even seize if left for long enough. Less common is for the coil springs to snap, but this is something we’ve seen previously.
As the cost of replacement genuine Shock Absorbers is usually as high or close to the cost of an adjustable coilover suspension kit, many owners replace both springs and shock absorbers all round with a Coilover Kit, meaning you can adjust both ride height during installation and damping rate with an easy turn of an adjustment screw resulting in a more or less firm ride. A Coilover kit includes both springs and shock absorbers in one unit or on the later models as a separate spring and shock assembly.
Coilover Suspension kits are manufactured by a dozens of companies and prices, performance and quality can vary greatly. We stock BC Racing, Tein and Pedders Coilover kits – all have an excellent proven track record in the Subaru market by incorporating great design, quality components, proven performance and good after-sales service.
BC Racing and Tein allow for custom ride height setup, meaning you can set your Subaru to sit as low or high as you wish, within reason. Most owners choose to drop the ride height down by 20mm-40mm over standard height resulting in a more aggressive stance and what should be much better handling.
You can see the BC Range of Coilovers here https://scoobyparts.com/subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-coilovers-springs-braces/bc-coilovers-subaru-impreza-wrx-sti
If choosing Tein Suspension their Flex Z Coilover kits are also compatible with their EDFC kit – or Electronic Damper Force Controller, meaning that you can adjust the damping or firmness of the ride from inside the cabin with the option of leaving it on auto to allow Teins computer controlled system to actively adjust ride damping as you drive. It does this by operating small motors on the top of each suspension strut to adjust damping and takes speed into account using a GPS sensor. This is an excellent piece of engineering that works really well for both road and track cars. Teins EDFC can be added to their Flex Z coilover systems at any time following fitment, meaning you can fit their Flex Z kit to begin with then add their EDFC kit at a later date. As of the time of writing the Flex Z kit is around £840.00 and the EDFC from £489.99. Check here for Tein products mentioned in this article https://scoobyparts.com/subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-coilovers-springs-braces/tein-suspension-subaru-impreza-sti-wrx
Coilover suspension kits are available for Subaru Impreza 1993-2000 Classic, New Age WRX and STI 2001-2007 and the later Hatchback WRX and STI models and the newer STI Saloon models. Most garages will charge around 2-3 hours labour to install Coilover Suspension kits, plus wheel alignment, which we cover later on this in this article.
Most Coilover Suspension Kits come with a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty with spare component parts usually being available following that, meaning that you can replace a faulty spring or top mount in the future at relatively low cost without having to replace the complete strut assembly.
Besides Coilover kits owners can choose to simply replace worn shock absorbers with an aftermarket product such as the KYB or Pedders shock absorbers, sold individually and in pairs. Both are a direct replacement for the original factory parts and will cure the dreaded suspension knock, if it’s being caused by worn shock absorbers. With prices starting from around £255 per pair for the KYB Shock Absorbers these are a good solution for worn shocks. Pedders products can be found here https://scoobyparts.com/subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-coilovers-springs-braces/pedders-suspension
The other popular suspension upgrade option is to replace the factory fitted springs with sports springs from the likes of Tein, Whiteline or Eibach which generally stiffen the ride and lower the Subaru in one go. These are fitted alongside the original shock absorbers and a cost effective way to improve a tired Subaru suspension, assuming the shock absorbers are in good order. Tein Sports Lowering Springs start from £131.99 at the time of writing this article, see here for more https://scoobyparts.com/advanced_search_result.php?search_in_description=0&keywords=springs
We strongly recommend that any changes to the suspension springs or shock absorbers are followed by a four wheel Alignment and Geometry setup. This will ensure that the vehicle handles at its best, whilst avoiding unnecessary tyre wear and make the most of new components. Its best to choose a garage to carry this out that have experience in setting up a Subaru Impreza, including camber adjustment to ensure you get the right results. Expect to pay around £125.00 for this alignment work.
Other Subaru Impreza upgrades include such products as Anti-roll Bars, Droplinks, Mounts, Anti-lift kits, Polybushes and Strut Braces from manufactures such as Whiteline, Powerflex, Superpro, Eibach and KYB. We’ll cover these in our next article on suspension parts or see our website at this link https://scoobyparts.com/subaru-impreza-wrx-sti-coilovers-springs-braces
As suspension parts can work out to be quite expensive we would always recommend taking your Subaru to a reputable and experienced specialist prior to spending your hard earned money. They should then be able to suggest the best upgrade path depending on your needs, whether they be road or track based and can also advise on worn components and cost for replacement. For example what you might believe to be worn shocks making a knocking noise at slow speeds could be simply a worn droplink or anti-roll bar bush, or vice versa. Most specialists will charge upwards of half and hour labour to put your Subaru on their ramp and advise on replacement parts needed or suggest an upgrade path, but this is usually money well spent.
Take a look in our suspension section for more product specific details on our range of suspension upgrades whether it be Lowering Springs, Coilover kits or Shock Absorbers.