Can Adding Stiffer Engine Mounts Improve the Handling of a Subaru Impreza WRX STI?

You’re a proud owner of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, a car that’s revered for its unmatched performance characteristics. You love the thrill of driving this beast on the open road, the whine of the turbo, the grip of the AWD system, and the way the STI takes the corners with utter confidence. As you further explore the world of Subarus and performance driving, you’ve heard whispers of a performance upgrade that could take your STI to the next level. You’ve heard that adding stiffer engine mounts can drastically improve the handling of your car. But is that true? Let’s delve into this matter and decode it step by step.

The Role of Engine Mounts in a Subaru

Before we delve into the specifics of how stiffer engine mounts can impact the performance of your Subaru, it’s essential to understand what engine mounts are and their role in your vehicle.

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Engine mounts, also known as motor mounts or engine brackets, play a pivotal role in the performance and comfort of your Subaru. These components connect your vehicle’s engine to the body of the car, helping to secure it in place. They also help lessen the impact and vibration of the engine’s movement on the rest of the vehicle.

Subaru uses OEM (original equipment manufacturer) engine mounts in the WRX STI, which are designed to offer a balance between comfort and performance. However, as your Subaru ages, these mounts can wear down, leading to increased vibration, excessive engine movement, and decreased handling performance.

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Stiffer Mounts: The Performance Factor

Now, let’s dig into the nitty-gritty of stiffer engine mounts and the impact they can have on your Subaru’s performance.

Stiffer engine mounts, such as those produced by Perrin Performance, are an aftermarket upgrade that can improve the handling of your WRX STI. These mounts are designed to reduce the movement of the engine within the engine bay, providing more direct power transfer and improved throttle response.

When you’re driving your WRX STI, especially during spirited driving or track days, the engine can move around more than you’d like. This can lead to a loss of traction, poor handling, and decreased performance. By reducing the movement of the engine within the mount, stiffer engine mounts can help your Subaru feel more responsive, stable, and easier to control.

Price and Warranty Factors

While the performance benefits of stiffer engine mounts could be alluring, you should also take into account the price and warranty conditions.

The price of stiffer engine mounts can vary depending on the brand and model. For instance, a Perrin Performance engine mount kit for a Subaru WRX STI may cost more than the price of comparable products from other brands. However, the Perrin product is often revered for its superior quality, durability, and performance enhancement.

Warranty is another aspect to consider. Some aftermarket parts manufacturers offer a limited warranty on their products, which can provide peace of mind when investing in these high-performance parts. However, installing an aftermarket part like a stiffer engine mount may potentially void the warranty of your Subaru if the part causes any damage. It’s best to consult with professionals or your car’s manufacturer before proceeding with such modifications.

The Impact on Other Parts of Your Subaru

Adding stiffer engine mounts to your Subaru WRX STI may also impact other parts of your vehicle.

For instance, the added stiffness can lead to increased vibrations in the cabin, especially during idling or low-speed driving. This could be a turn-off for those who value comfort as much as performance.

Furthermore, stiffer engine mounts could potentially put more stress on other parts of your Subaru, such as the transmission mounts and bushings. This could potentially lead to more wear and tear in these areas, requiring additional maintenance and repairs down the line.

Despite these potential drawbacks, many Subaru enthusiasts and performance drivers swear by the benefits of stiffer engine mounts. They claim that the increased handling performance and improved driving experience are worth the trade-offs.

So, to answer the question of whether adding stiffer engine mounts can improve the handling of your Subaru Impreza WRX STI, the answer is a resounding yes. However, it’s important to weigh the potential performance benefits against the cost, potential warranty issues, and the impact on the comfort and durability of your Subaru. It’s always recommended to do your research and consult with professionals before undertaking any major modifications to your vehicle.

Interaction of Stiffer Engine Mounts with the Subaru’s Transmission

The interaction between stiffer engine mounts and your Subaru’s transmission is another important factor to consider.

The transmission, like the engine, is a crucial part of your Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Stiffer engine mounts can affect parts like the transmission mounts and durometer bushings, and that’s something to take into account when considering this modification.

The function of the transmission mount is similar to that of the engine mount. It supports the transmission and dampens vibrations. When you install stiffer engine mounts, it increases the stiffness in the engine bay, and this can transfer more vibrations and shocks to the transmission mounts and bushings.

When the transmission is subjected to these conditions, it may result in an accelerated wear of the tranny mount and durometer bushings, which are softer than the billet aluminum used in stiffer engine mounts. This could lead to more frequent maintenance and potential repair costs in the long run.

Moreover, the increased vibrations could cause discomfort during the ride, especially during low-speed driving or idling. Therefore, while the stiffer engine mounts may improve handling and stability, it could compromise the comfort and tranquility inside the cabin of your Subaru Forester.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Decision

Adding stiffer engine mounts to your Subaru Impreza WRX STI can indeed improve its handling and overall performance. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Remember, every modification has its pros and cons.

We’ve established that stiffer engine mounts can reduce the movement of the engine in the mount, leading to improved throttle response and better handling. They can make your Subaru WRX STI feel more responsive and stable, providing an enhanced driving experience.

However, this modification can also increase the vibrations in your car, potentially impacting the comfort of your ride. It could also put more stress on parts like the tranny mount and durometer bushings, which could lead to more frequent maintenance and repair costs down the track.

Moreover, you should consider the cost of the stiffer mounts and the potential impact on your vehicle’s warranty. While the product from Perrin Performance and other high-end brands may provide excellent durability and performance enhancement, they come with a higher price tag. Also, installing aftermarket parts like stiffer engine mounts could potentially void your Subaru’s warranty if the part leads to any damage.

In conclusion, when contemplating whether to add stiffer engine mounts to your Subaru Impreza WRX STI, it’s essential to weigh all these factors. Understand your driving style and what you want from your vehicle. Are you willing to trade off some comfort for enhanced performance? Are you prepared for the potential additional maintenance costs? It’s always advisable to consult with professionals and do extensive research before making such a decision. Remember, the key to enjoying your Subaru Impreza WRX STI to its fullest is to understand and appreciate its capabilities and limitations.

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