I just performed one of the easiest and cheapest upgrades to my 2002 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. I read on some other forums that a simple upgrade that you can really feel is by adding or upgrading the rear sway bar. My Outback Sport came with a measly 13mm rear sway bar. I found a 2002 WRX 17mm rear sway bar for $40 on Craigslist. I know that some of the WRX's have the 20mm rear bar but that same forum said that the 17mm was good because it still allowed full use of the AWD system without adding too much rear axle stiffness. I am not sure about that but I do know that going from 13mm to 17mm, a 31% improvement, was something that I easily felt.
The upgrade was really easy. I raised the drivers side rear and then started loosening the sway bar bolts. There were (4) total, (2) on the frame and (1) each on the lower control arm end links. None of the bolts were loaded ad the sway bar came off easily. I did have to remove the muffler from the rubber hangers to allow the old and new sway bars to be removed/installed. That allowed the muffler to hang a little lower that gave me the clearance I needed. Check out the pictures of the installed sway bar and the old one for comparison.
|2002 Impreza with 17mm WRX Rear Sway Bar|
|Subaru 13mm to 17mm Rear Sway Bar Comparison|
|2002 Subaru Outback Sport with WRX 17mm Rear Sway Bar|