More to the Legacy Spec B

Last weekend we brought in the Subaru Legacy Spec B into the shop for a suspension update.  As you may recall from our previous entries, our adventures with this car started with swapping out the stock rear anti-roll bar with one from Perin.  This helped to reduce the amount of body roll that was in the car as it came from Subaru.  The Spec B came with Bilstein struts but the springs allowed for excessive body roll.

We were reluctant to swap out the spring for some shorter ones because their installation would result in lowering the car’s roll center as well.  What happens then is that while the center of gravity is lowered the roll center gets too low and produces understeer to a higher degree.

Whiteline came out with a kit to compensate for the drop in the roll center when STi springs were installed.  That consisted of revised lower ball joints and tie rod ends that brought the lower control arms and tie rod geometry up where is belongs.

While the car’s handling was sorted out by all these changes the rear bar was acting up by causing a bind as the suspension went through its full range of motion.  So off we went to find a better solution for an anti-roll bar.  We found the Cobb makes a set of bars for both the front and rear of the Spec B that were tubular in design.  Tubular bars are particularly nice since they are lighter in weight, yet provide just about the same roll stiffness as a solid bar.  Keeping weight off the car is a goal that should always be kept in mind especially unsprung weight.  Since most of the work of an anti-roll bar is done at the outside diameter of the bar, making it out of tubing is the most efficient design.

The Cobb bars were a perfect fit, too.  To get to the stock front bar the splash pan had to be un-bolted as well as a stamped metal brace.  The front Cobb bar came with new bushings and brackets that had grease fittings installed.  Synthetic grease was the only kind to use as regular grease would be flushed out with water. 

The rear bar replaced the Perin bar and included reinforcements to ensure that the mounts wouldn’t flex as torsion was put on them during normal suspension movements.  It also had grease fittings built in to the mounts.

The results was a noticeable improvement to the handling and feedback that a driver feels.  The only downside was the noise from the bushings.  Even though we applied a very liberal coating to the inside of the bushings they still squeaked.  So we ordered up a synthetic grease gun kit from the folks at Green Grease.  That should quiet things down.

With the warning about the noisy bushings the Spec B was returned to the owner who was very impressed with the handling improvements.  He also found the bushings too noisy, but is willing to wait for the Green Grease to arrive and solve that problem.

Thanks to Tim Supples for the photos!

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16 Responses to More to the Legacy Spec B

  1. Tim says:

    It was great to be there and see just how much work it will take to get my LGT up to spec 😉

    So what is this grease gun kit supposed to do? Is grease not grease?

  2. jimsgarage says:

    Grease is not grease, just like not all oil is alike. Some kinds are waterproof and others are water soluble. Typically the hard aftermarket bushings used in anti-roll bars require a synthetic grease and come with some to start with.

  3. jimsgarage says:

    We received the Green Grease kit and used the fittings supplied on the Cobb bar mounts to grease up the bushings. The owner was very pleased with the results. We found that to get the best grease coverage we had to loosen the bands that clamp down on the bushings. That means that a couple of bolts had to be loosened up. We are happy that the owner is now pleased and we really liked the Green Grease kit.

  4. William says:

    Hello,

    I have a 2008 spec B and I would like to lower the car. My friend has some sti springs that I would like to install, I wasn’t quite clear do the sti springs lower the spec B? Thanks for the help I really appreciate it.

  5. jimsgarage says:

    The STi springs that were used were the “pink” springs. Critical to the change in springs was the addition of the Whiteline roll center correction kit. The STi springs do lower the Legacy GT Spec B about an inch.

    Check out the entry on the spring change:
    https://jimsgarage.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/project-legacy-gt-specb-part-2/

    Let me know if you need any other information.

    Jim

    • William says:

      Jim,

      Thank you very much for the info. I understand what must be done when I install the sti springs, I want to upgrade the car properly!

      Any suggestions for a reasonably priced brake upgrade for 08 spec b? The brakes are brutal on the legacy.

      Cheers
      William

      • jimsgarage says:

        William –

        ScoobyTuner.com has some upgrade options if you feel you need a lot more braking capability. It has a kit to put STi front brakes on for about $1500.

        If you are looking for improvments to what your car came with I would look to braided stainless steel hoses, high quality rotors such as Brembo makes, and brake pads such as Satisfied GS or Akebono. Use Ate brake fluid for enhanced heat tolerance.

        Hope that helps,

        Jim

  6. Ashley says:

    Your articles were great. I just did my first auto-x in spec B and whoa body roll. I think I’m going to start with the Cobb kit before going too crazy.
    However….. Cobb’s website does not say they carry a sway bar kit for this vehicle? Did you use one from an STi?? Or did they discontinue?

  7. jimsgarage says:

    The ones used came from the Cobb site. Here is the link:
    http://cobbtuning.com/products/?id=2451

    Also search for some good end links to complement the bars – Cobb is another good source.

    Jim

  8. jojo says:

    Hi there, I came across this site and thought u might have the answer to my question. I just got an 07 spec b and before that I had an 05 legacy gt. I bought an X02 racing catback exhaust for it and it fit perfect and sounded amazing. I’m just wondering would that exhaust fit the spec b or is it any different because of the 6 speed transmission or anything else that would be an inconvenience for it to fit. Thanks

  9. jimsgarage says:

    jojo –

    To be honest I haven’t done any exhaust modifications on the Spec B yet. I have encouraged the owner to consider upgrading, but he is concerned about noise levels.

    Perhapse there are some Subaru forums that would help or you might have some luck contacting the manufacturer directly. In any case please share your experiences.

    Jim

  10. William says:

    Jim,

    Once again thanks for the all info it has been very helpful.

    I’ve come across a Brembo brake kit from a 04/05 STi. Rotors, calibres pads etc. Any idea if this will fit my car…. 08 spec B?

    Thanks again Jim your feedback is greatly appreciated!

    William

  11. jimsgarage says:

    Sorry William, I haven’t gotten into that area of the Spec B yet. My best advice would be to check out the Subaru forums or ask Brembo.

    Jim

  12. William says:

    Jim,

    I’ll check it out, thanks.

    I’ll also forward some pics of the car after I’m done.

    Regards
    William

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