Subaru Impreza STi WedsSport Wheels SA15R Progress Group Kartboy Go Fast Bits Short Shifter Anti-Roll Bars MotoIQ Gen 3 project
14

STi Weds SA15R Kartboy Crawford FMIC

Project Gen 3 STi - Wheels, Bars, and Bits

by Wes Dumalski

It's single digit temperatures outside and the car is under the knife for a HUGE round of modifications! It doesn't run, we have gotten 14" of snow in the last 48 hours and what are we doing? Why using our daily driver to tow it out of the garage to shoot pictures of our new goodies from Weds Wheels, Progress Suspension, Go Fast Bits, and Kartboy. We risk frost bite to bring you this latest installment of Project Gen3 STi, luckily for you the internet is warm. 

Despite the record cold here in Wisconsin, that does not slow us down on our projects! It may alter our tire selection for a car that gets driven year around, but we will not compromise on our component selection and we begin this installment with some automotive erotica from our friends at WedsSport. For our car we knew that the OEM BBS wheels were light, however more than one of our wheels showed "out of round" characteristics and the 8.5" width was a limiting factor for our future tire choices; we employed the Weds SA15R. Weds is known for producing very high quality wheels that are subjected to extensive strength testing to exceed very strict JWL and VIA safety standards. They also designed the SA15 to be affordable and to have a very distinctive appearance in comparison to other wheel offerings. Yes you read that right, Weds wants function AND form. There are plenty of nice looking wheels on the market however Weds desires to stand out and in order to do that they specifically use the Advanced Metal Forming process; let's delve in to exactly how that works.

 

WedsSport AMF advanced metal forming process

 

The AMF process starts by designing a specific wheel face and creating a casting. This allows for more intricate designs than forging permits and is how Weds is able to achieve their distinct styling. They do not simply cast a wheel though, the shape of the casting is designed with the second step in mind as the casting is very narrow with a lot of material placed in specific areas for the second step. The casting is supported by a rim mold and then it is heated and spun while a roller stretches the material over the mold to achieve the desired rim width. The grain pattern of the aluminum is more dense when roll forming versus a simple gravity cast wheel. This allows for greater strength and a thinner profile resulting in a wheel that is lighter and stronger. Depending on the wheel design Weds performs any post mold machining  as the final step in the production process. What you wind up with is a wheel that is strong, light weight, looks killer, and is cheaper to manufacture than forged wheels. We are in no way saying this is superior to a fully forged wheel, but for Weds to achieve their company goal it is the ideal process and one that we will take to the track without hesitation. Weds wheels are widely used in motorsport competition in Japan  including the Super GT series.

 

WedsSport AMF Advanced Metal Forming Diagram SA15RAs you can see in the above diagram the initial casting is VERY specific to the Roll Forming process. It begins as a very narrow and thick piece that is supported by a mold and roll formed over it. 

With the tech out of the way we chose the SA15R in the 18 x 9.5 +38 5 x 114.3 variety. These wheels weighed in on our scale at 19.6 lbs which is a very respectable weight for a wheel that looks this good, is this strong, and costs less than $395. The color we chose is the GBC offering which stands for Gunmetallic Bronze Clear and the color is hard to describe as it changes based on lighting; aside from GBC, Weds also offers a Blue Light Chrome finish as a more expensive option. Included with the wheels are alloy valve stems as well as center caps.

 

WedsSport Weds SA15R MotoIQ STi ProjectThe GBC color looks very different depending on the lighting. It has a deep bronze hue in sunlight while taking on a gunmetal base tone in the shade, it is a really slick finish that attracts a lot of attentoin without being blaze yellow!
WedsSport Center Cap SA15R Weds includes center caps as well as black alloy valve stems with their wheels. You can also see some of the intricate rib designs that are part of the casting. These serve to add strength to the spoke design as well as to set their overall appearance apart from other rim designs. 
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Comments
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 3:36 AM
You notice how little corrosion there is on this all weather daily driver in the salty east? I think our project Mustang might die quick out there.
jeffball610
jeffball610link
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:33 AM
I'm so glad I don't live in that climate. Couldn't do the cold or deal with that rust. Mike says "little corrosion". I say, a bolt shouldn't be rusty even after 10 years.
The project looks great. Let us know how the parts work if it ever thaws out up there.
lemming
lemminglink
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:53 AM
I can't really say I've been very impressed with Subaru's rustproofing on the GC/GD era cars I've owned. Maybe it's gotten better in recent years, but they had a recall that affected '02-07 Imprezas and '03-08 Foresters. The front control arms, made of stamped-and-welded steel, had a tendency to rust out and fail.
Supercharged111
Supercharged111link
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 8:19 PM
Nothing any manufacturer can do will prevent the rust. No coatings, no nothing, it's just going to happen period. It may take longer for you to notice it, but it'll still be there. I hail from north of WI where they get a lot more snow, there just is no stopping it.
urbanjacup
urbanjacuplink
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:25 PM
Nice update, always a fan of the tc105N (RR)...but great wheel/color choice w/ the DGM.
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:19 AM
I hate how much corrosion is on the underside of the car and all of the cast bits look ugly. I even take pretty darn good care of the car although having bought it used a lot of it was already there. Luckily it has not gotten any worse since I have owned it for the last 2 years.

Thanks for the compliments on the wheels. We do like how they set the car off in comparison to the stockers. We will of course keep you updated as to how it feels when the snow subsides and the sticky shoes get installed.
SM_Clay72
SM_Clay72link
Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:54 AM
A lot of new cars don't even bother with paint on the underside. Just a thin layer of primer like on areas of your Subaru. They cheap out more these days in areas where they think you'll never see or notice it. Can't get away from it unless you are buying something very high end it seems.

All bolts on the underside of my 30yr old toyotas are cadmium coated and look great. And I'm in Canada. Plus there are strategically placed rubberized coatings and full on body paint. I would not expect the same from a new Toyota though.

Looking forward to the turbo upgrade article. And nice choice on the wheels.

Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Thursday, January 16, 2014 11:38 AM
@ Supercharged111: I suppose they could start putting sacrificial anodes on everything... :)
538
538link
Thursday, January 16, 2014 2:34 PM
There's so many Wisconsin MotoIQers here it seems!
Wes Dumalski
Wes Dumalskilink
Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:35 PM
Hell yes there are WI members here in force and notice most of them are posting on the Subaru project?

Hey Rockweed here is you rust prevention system.

http://www.rustevader.co.za/

I had one of these on my Nissan Hardbody pickup that I bought new in 1994! I only had the truck for 2 years before I got the 200SX so I never got to explore if it actually worked ;)
538
538link
Thursday, January 16, 2014 6:51 PM
Nice! Just moved to WI from CA myself. Though not a Subaru owner!
Supercharged111
Supercharged111link
Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:58 PM
@ Wes

I'm betting your gut told you it was a hoax. They had those things all over in Okinawa and the cars still rusted from the top down. Just as pathetic as the "ion rocks" some schmuck taped to his intercooler pipe. Maybe they do make a difference, but it's not nearly enough. Oh and uh, nice wheels. :D
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Friday, January 17, 2014 6:58 AM
Another Wisconsin Subaru owner on MotoIQ here. ;)
Rockwood
Rockwoodlink
Friday, January 17, 2014 11:31 AM
Sacrificial anodes are known rust inhibitors used by ships (big steel things floating in the way saltier ocean) since they've been made of metal:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_anode

Should've seen some of the anodes they'd stick on big ass oil rigs. Not a hoax. :)

Technically, that box SHOULD work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathodic_protection#Impressed_current_systems
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