Steering and suspension parts are a lot like the brake system components. Their proper operation is vitally important to the safety of the driver and his passengers, but it is very difficult to determine how long it will be before any of these components will require attention. That’s why an inspection of all steering and suspension components is required at 15 month/15,000 mile intervals. Changes to these systems may be too gradual for the driver to even notice, leaving it to you to ferret out and correct any wear or damage that has taken place.
We won’t cover all of the steering and suspension checks here. There’s too much variation between different Subaru models to do an adequate job. What you’re looking for is anything that reduces the original precision of the steering and suspension systems. Perhaps the steering has a little too much play in it or the shocks and struts don’t handle the bumps in the road as well as they did when new. Specific tests for the Subaru model you’re working on can be found in the service manual.
Check the power steering system for dampness or other signs of fluid leakage. The power steering pump reservoir is a good place to start. If the reservoir is low, the fluid has probably leaked out, as it has no place else to go. Approved fluids for the power steering system include Dexron II, IIE or III.
The primary purpose of an aftermarket pulley is to reduce the size and/or mass of the stock unit. They serve two purposes: to reduce horsepower loss and increase throttle response. Notice the use of “reduce horsepower loss”. Pulleys DO NOT add horsepower, rather they free up horsepower due to the reduction of rotational mass.
HP gain is 5-10HP. These HP figures are a range as there have been very few before/after dyno runs with lightened or under driven pulleys.
What is a lightened pulley? Generally, it is an exact copy of the OEM pulley only CNC machined out of aircraft grade aluminum and powder coated for corrosion protection and aesthetic appeal.
What is an under driven pulley? This is a pulley that mimics the function of the OEM unit, but is smaller in diameter. This will reduce the duty cycle of the pulley and proportionally the parasitic drag on the engine.
Are under driven pulleys bad? It depends on the amount they are under driven. Some under driven pulleys can lead to reduced A/C output, lighting problems, stereo problems, and other voltage issues. Some are lightly under driven and some more so.
Isn’t replacing the stock harmonic damper (pulley) bad? Subarus do not come with a harmonic damper or balancer like some other vehicles do. For other manufacturers’ vehicles, this is a legitimate concern. Proof:
“Thank you for your patience as I checked with our Technical Services Department regarding your message below. They advised that the crank pulley is a pulley and nothing else. It is not used as a harmonic damper/balancer.
Thanks for the opportunity to be of assistance. If you need any future assistance, please feel free to contact us again.”
John J. Mergen
Customer Service Department
Subaru of America, Inc.
In 2004, Subaru of America announced it would sell the WRX STi. Subaru Tecnica International’s president said in an interview with Road & Track magazine that he wished to beat the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in the US. Thus, each iteration of the US-spec WRX STi is essentially the same as the respective J-spec STi Spec C. All part numbers matched up, including the part-numbers for the glass windows and dampeners.
However, instead of the EJ207, the USA receives the first EJ257, a 2.5 liter version of the EJ207. Unlike the EJ207, it features hypereutectic cast pistons as opposed to the forged pistons in the EJ207. The steering rack is the standard STi’s 15.2:1 instead of the Spec C’s 13:1
2004 – 2007 USDM STi breakdown:
Rev. E (2005)
As with the Japanese-spec C models, US-spec STis received additional rear fender flaring in order to allow an increase in wheel size. The wheel size went from 17″ x 7.5″ to 17″ x 8″. In accordance with the increased wheel width, steering lock-to-lock turns have been reduced. Wheel hub strength was improved. The P.C.D. was changed from 5 x 100 to 5 x 114.3. The Suretrac front LSD in the 04 model was replaced with a helical unit, the rear differential remains the same clutch type unit. Torque split is set at 35/65. In the interior, the Stereo became standard. The badging has been revised and different look was given to the steering wheel, shift knob, HVAC controls, and center console.
2004 – 2007 USDM STi breakdown:
Rev. F (2006)
The US-spec STIs receive the same face lift as the Japanese-spec STIs. Mechanically speaking, the DCCD (Driver Controlled Center Differential) and the engine mounts have been changed. Like the Japanese-spec STIsengine mounts were changed from metal to liquid-filled plastic mounts to reduce vibrations into the car’s cabin. On the largest Impreza forum, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club (NASIOC), 2006 owners have had issues with these plastic engine mounts.
The manufacturer will replace them, under warranty, if broken, with the 2005 rubber and metal mounts. Later 2006 vehicles were equipped from the factory with 2005 mounts. The center differential is updated with the addition of a mechanical limited slip mechanism to supplement the electromagnetic DCCD. The torque split is changed to 41/59. The 2006 STI weighs approximately 3,350 lb (1,520 kg).
Second generation (2001 – 2007)
Second generation (GDB-F)
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
Engine(s) 2.0L H4 2.5L H4
Transmission(s) 6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2004-05: 100.0 in (2540 mm)
2006-08: 99.4 in (2525 mm)
Length 2004-05: 173.8 in (4415 mm)
2006-08: 175.8 in (4465 mm)
Width 68.5 in (1740 mm)
Height 56.3 in (1430 mm)
Curb weight 3,296 lb (1,495 kg)
Related Subaru Impreza Subaru Forester Subaru Impreza WRX
In 2001, the Impreza line received a complete update. The chassis was stiffened so that it had 120% torsional stiffness increase. The WRX STi gained 17″ x 7.5″ alloy wheels over the previous 16″ x 7″ wheels. The 5 speed manual transmission (reputed to be one of the car’s weakpoints) was changed to an STi engineered 6 speed manual transmission. The engine was retained from the Version 6 STi and still retains the semi-closed deck block and is still labeled as the EJ207, However, the turbochargers are IHI models. The interior was updated with a STi logo on the gauge. The STi’s tachometer also has a red shift light. The STi’s and optioned Type RA STi have received Brembo 4 piston front and 2 piston rear brakes while the bare-bones Type RA STi still carried the Subaru 4 piston front and 2 piston rear brakes. Externally, the STis had larger hood scoops and had foglight covers with STi embossed on them. The DCCD was updated so it can work with anti-lock brakes. During braking, when the ABS is on, the DCCD will set itself to open-mode (no locking).
The version nomenclature was dropped from the name. Japanese and other auto-enthusiasts often refer to the chassis as GDB/GDF (the STi has a ‘B’ or ‘F'(for USDM models) where as the regular WRX had an ‘A’). The fourth character of the VIN gives the revision (A to F where G is the 2007 version).
For quick and easy reference to the different exteriors, Subaru Impreza owners use nicknames based on the headlights. Each relates to a creature that has similar looking eyes: 2002-2003 are ‘bug eyes’ / 2004-2005 are ‘Tear Drop’ or ‘blob eyes’ / 2006-2007 are ‘hawk eyes’.