I initially wanted to wait to install the R180 before the sway bars, but the mod bug got the better of me. Also, the R180 will probably require more parts than I initially anticipated. I have a full STi suspension, so I picked up the sway bars from RSD via Kyle at Subiewerks.
The first step is to disconnect the end links. I am keeping the stock STi end links for now. I prefer the ball and socket design.
Next, we can remove the jack plate. For whatever reason, Subaru made the rear bolts easy with captive nuts, the fronts are not, and it is a tight squeeze to get a wrench in there. I might throw a couple of rivet nuts in there one day.
With the jack plate out of the way, we can drop the sway bar by removing the two front sway bar mounts.
In the photos, the Cusco 22mm bar almost looks like it is the same size as the STi 20mm bar. In person, the Cusco bar is noticeably bigger. It weighs around a pound more than the STi bar.
The install is reverse of removal. The Cusco bushings are rubber, but I put a little bit of grease on them anyways.
The rear sway bar is more or less the same as the front. Disconnect the end links and then remove the sway bar mounts. You may have to remove the gas filler cover to access the bolts.
As in front, the rear Cusco bar looks similar in size to the stock STi 20mm in the photos. It weighs almost 2lbs more than the OEM STi sway bar.
For the install, I also have new hardware for the sway bar mounts. As mentioned in the previous post, I somehow had two left sway bar mounts. FastWRX sells a hardware kit, which includes new brackets, mounts, and fasteners.
We can now replace the parts with shiny new ones.
And then install the rear sway bar.
I decided to use the softest setting on the rear sway bar as a baseline. I generally prefer a neutral handling car. I will probably leave it in the softest setting until I install the R180.
Overall, this is a fairly subtle mod. The WRX is flatter in the turns; however, I haven’t pushed it hard yet. One thing that surprised me was how much smoother the ride was. I am running STi struts with RCE Yellow springs. Compared to the stock setup, the RCE Yellows got rid of a lot of the bounciness in the stock springs, especially at speed. This feels like more of the same. Low-speed uneven surfaces seem a little harsher.
I was hoping for more turn-in, but I didn’t really notice any change there. In the turns, the rear end seems more willing to follow the front. With the R180 and the plated LSD, the rear end might play an even greater role in handling. It does feel like the rear sway bar is sliding around a bit, so I ordered some lock collars.
Also, the fit and finish of the Cusco sways are more or less like OEM. Everything lined up as it was supposed to, and there were no modifications needed to get anything to line up. I am not a JDM-fanboi, but I am starting to understand why people like Cusco parts. It is unfortunate that sway bar options for the GD chassis have dropped to Whiteline, Cusco, and Eibach.
I’m not sure what’s next for the Bugeye besides the sway bar collars. I have been doing a lot of small things here and there. Most of which aren’t worth making a single blog post about. I’ve got a lot of plans and no money, haha.