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Subaru Drive Performance WRX Part 4 – Mechanical




For both the lower chassis brace and the exhaust system, Hetzel had the benefit of using a lift. The chassis brace ties together four points of the front suspension system to add to its rigidity.


To install the brace, Hetzel removed the nuts from the rear bolts holding the lower suspension arms. He then removed the nuts and bolts from the front lower suspension arms. 


The brace attached at those four points, with the rear nuts tightened to 81.1 lb-ft and the front mounting hardware to 70.1 lb-ft.




In order to install the larger-diameter exhaust, Hetzel first removed the original-equipment system. Connection points for the mufflers of the two systems are different, but the SPT exhaust is designed to utilize the stock hangers once it was assembled.


Hetzel unbolted the two mufflers and then the tailpipe from behind the catalytic converter. Then he slid the original system off the hangers.


Reversing the process, he replaced the tailpipe with the SPT components, then attached the two mufflers at the rear.



The system improves the flow of exhaust gases, helping to increase horsepower. Plus, the difference in sound is dramatic. The recognizable Subaru exhaust note is pronounced throughout the range of engine speeds. It takes a while to become accustomed to it, but it’s bound to bring a smile every time the ignition is switched on.




Installation of the strut tower brace began with the removal of the three nuts from the top of each strut tower. The brace’s base plates fit at the top of the towers, over the three bolts. Hetzel fastened and tightened the six nuts to hold the plates in place.


Then the brace’s bar was attached to the plates by bolts on each side of the car. 


Hetzel tightened the nuts over the tower to 14.5 lb-ft and the two bolts to 35 lb-ft. 


The brace contributes to a more rigid foundation for the suspension system.

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