Reader Question: Lowering Crosstrek?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Mark asks: Per your great review I purchased a manual 2017 Crosstrek. Love it!  Everything you said. It’s not a rocket ship but its not that slow either if you keep it in the power band.  One thing – with the extra ride height and the moderately wide wheelbase its a little floaty at 60-80 mph for my taste. Was thinking of lowering springs for a modest height reduction and a bit stiffer ride. Thoughts?

My reply: One of the draws of the Crosstrek is, of course, its snow day/bad road capability, which is a function of its AWD system and its ground clearance. Lowering it would detract from that somewhat, which you probably know but I wanted to mention it.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that when pondering any significant suspension change, the effect on the rest of the vehicle’s suspension and the vehicle’s handling dynamics should be considered first. Will there be tire scrub? Issues with rebound? Keeping in mind that Subaru set up the Crosstrek to have more-than-usual clearance (8.7 inches).

There is a discussion on one of the Subaru forums I check that may interest you; it’s here.

. . .

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  1. eric, my 93 K3500 wasn’t exactly harsh but it wasn’t ThAT smooth and cornering left something to be desired. I knew the shocks were worn out so when I got ready to replace them I had done lots of research. It appeared Edelbrock IAS performer shocks might just be the thing. I worked a deal to not pay what they retailed for at the local O’Reilly’s. I told him if he was still making money and I paid less, how could that be bad? He might just sell a lot more word of mouth. So I bought some for the front and when I first started down the road they had that motion like an old Caddy that says we want to make you comfy….and they were. But the first corner I came to they stiffened up and it felt like I had a huge roll bar on the front except it wasn’t rough. So I bought the rears and I never had a shock before or since would just smooooooth along in a straight line and revert to Corvette like steering at the least little turn. I never dreamed any shock could be that good. More research showed they reacted faster than computerized shocks and it wasn’t hard to believe. They had some sort of valving in the top that shut off the fluid to which ever way you turned. I was taking my cousin to the hospital and as we got up on a curve marked 60, he was over there still as a board and obviously fearing for his life.

    We went around that curve with nary a hitch and I asked what his problem was. He said he knew we were going to crash and his surgery might be cancelled since a dead man needs no new shoulder. I asked why he thought that and he said his son’s new Dodge, the equivalent of that K 3500 wouldn’t have made that curve under any circumstance. He was simply astounded and I agreed they were mighty fine shocks.

    When I got another pickup, my first thought was those shocks so I went online to see if I could get them as cheaply as I had the first time(they had gone up in price). I nearly broke down crying when I read that Edelbrock had sold their shock manufacturing and there was no longer a shock like that available. I’ve been broken-hearted ever since. People would ride in it for the first time and ask what in hell I had done to it. Everyone was amazed since everyone in this country drives big pickups and rarely anything else except maybe a Surburban.

    Now women often drive and Excursion or similar but that’s the car to haul chilluns and women. It would probably be a mistake to install a gooseneck hitch in anything other than a pickup.

    I was about to start building lightweight gooseneck trailers for lighter pickups since you don’t have that tail wagging the dog with one but the price of steel has gone up to the point I just wait and watch.

    If it were me with that Crosstrek, I’d buy an aftermarket (much larger than stock)swaybar and that’ll take a lot of that slop out. If you want to go rock crawling I wouldn’t buy that vehicle anyway. I installed a big swaybar on the rear of a friends Tahoe. He called me up a few years later and said it saved his life. On 46 between Boerne and Luckenbach, there are many little paved roads that cross that two-lane death track. He was coming up on one of those intersections(I can see it in my mind since I’ve often wondered how many people had be killed there)and one side of the road there is a steep, deep gouge that would probably kill you if you went to the bottom of that V at 20mph. He was doing 60 and this idiot pulled out in his lane to go the same direction he was but it was right dead in front of him. He made a hard right and a hard left and got around that fool without eating that ditch since the traffic was always bumper to bumper.

    The first time I saw something bad at the intersection it was blocked off with emergency vehicles and about 200′ from the last vehicle I saw, among other fluids, a wide trail of coagulating blood that had run that far down the hill. I didn’t even want to know what had happened. By the way, when I got a new computer I had lost my password for EPA so I signed in and it said check your inbox for your new password and specifics. It never came and I’ve tried many times to do it since but it never shows up. I don’t recall ever having that happen on any site. Ideas? I have to enter my name, email and check the notify box every time I comment. It gets to be sort of a pain.


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