I have done very little chassis bracing in the rear of the WRX even though I know it helps. After installing the front Cusco Subframe Brace, I decided to order the rear Cusco Subframe Brace.
The install should have been pretty straightforward. Remove the four bolts holding the swaybar mount brackets in place, pop the brace in, and bolt everything back up. The driver’s side was easy and very accessible. Remove the two bolts and the sway bar drops down.
The passenger side was a little different. There’s the fuel filler cover that is in the way. If your car has 200k miles on it like mine does, prepare to break those little bolts holding the cover on. I would also recommend unbolting the charcoal canister to get some more room.
With everything out of the way, we can remove the passenger side bracket.
Next, you should be able to slide the brace underneath and bolt everything back up. However, I hit a snag. The bracket would not line up with the bolt holes on the brace.
It turns out, I have two left brackets on my sway bar. Looking back at my STI lateral links install, the JDM importer shipped them out like that and I didn’t catch it. I ordered two new brackets from FastWRX but they may take a while to get here. In the meantime, I decided to modify the passenger side bracket to make it work for now.
We need to remove some material to clear the gusset and to line up the bracket with the brace.
Once that’s done we can proceed with the install, which is simply bolting the brace underneath the sway bar brackets.
Like the front brace, the Cusco Rear Subframe Brace stabilizes the rear end. It feels more like a sway bar upgrade, and it kind of looks like a sway bar too. The car feels more planted and predictable in corners. Low-speed cornering feels about the same as stock; however, as you add more speed you can feel the difference. I haven’t noticed an NVH penalty, and in fact, I think the WRX is a little bit quieter. Looking at the design of the brace it doesn’t seem like it would do much if anything. I put off buying it even though I’d purchased this part before with my old 2005 STi.
I have 22mm sway bars waiting to go on, however, I think I want to install the R180 first. I found a lead on some axles that might work for a fraction of the cost of most hybrid axle options.