Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review : Kartboy Driveline Bushings

As I mentioned previously, I received a "care package" from Kartboy that included a white Delrin shift knob, an oil filler cap and some bushings. I had to wait until after the Washington Auto Show to have the bushings installed, and because of prior commitments (okay, okay, I had hockey games and hockey class to go to), had to wait almost a week after dropping the car off at IAG Performance before I could pick it up.

I also had IAG install a set of Whiteline steering rack bushings at the same time.

I've had the chance to put some miles on the car in the last week, and figured I'd give a quick review on how the car feels with the upgrades.

Bear in mind that the rear differential outrigger bushings and the transmission cross member bushings really just completed the Kartboy driveline ensemble I'd started when I ordered the front and rear shifter bushing combo from Turn In Concepts at the time I was installed the double adjustable MODE Racing shifter. Kartboy also sent a set of their pink exhaust hangers.
Kartboy PINK exhaust hangers for the WRX

Since picking up the car last Friday, I've logged over 400 miles, combining highway, rural and stop-and-go traffic along the way. My impressions :
  • There is a lot less clutch shudder when starting off from a stop sign/stop light. I didn't ask what the condition of the stock cross member bushings was, but I have to wonder if they were "dead," so to speak. There is still some shudder, but the whole "movement-of-the-drivetrain" is certainly minimized now.
  • I can't get away with lugging the motor at less than 1800rpm. I'm guessing this is due to the exhaust hangers and so the exhaust is vibrating. It's a bad habit of mine from driving a torque-monster Camaro Z28 anyway, so it's better that I don't do it.
  • I should have upgraded all of the transmission bushings (shifter, cross member, etc.) at the same time. Piecemeal wasn't the right way to do it, but hindsight is 20/20.
  • I'm not noticing much from the steering rack bushings, but maybe I need to be in a more aggressive setting, ie., an autocross.
  • Overall, I'm happy with the changes so far. Hopefully, the upgraded bushings will aid in keeping the transmission a bit happier this year than last. If it goes... I'm likely looking at taking the car to Street Modified with an upgraded unit (PPG gear set or even an STi six speed) rather than dealing with repeated rebuilds.
So, thanks again to Kartboy and IAG for the parts and the installation. I'll update my thoughts once I've played with the car on race rubber.

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