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2019 Crosstrek Manual Trans
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried installing a hydraulic handbrake lever into a crosstrek?
How does that affect the ABS system or traction control, and is there a way around it?

 

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2021 Subaru Crosstrek
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217 Posts
I think it would probably trash your viscous coupling if you used it much, because the handbrake only acts on the rear brakes. IIRC its been done on STIs, but also somehow linked up to the DCCD so that the AWD is decoupled when the handbrake is used. Or something like that?

So maybe STI transmission swap first, then this :D
 

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Doesn't this type of set up typically require a second brake master cylinder just for the parking brake?

also, drifting a crosstrek is probably a bad idea. It's not like our car has enough juice to do a 4 tire slide.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Outdoor - "Trekov"
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148 Posts
also, drifting a crosstrek is probably a bad idea. It's not like our car has enough juice to do a 4 tire slide.
I disagree. This is provided we are talking about drifting on loose or low-traction surfaces. And I wouldn't call it a 4-tire slide. It's more a controlled, 4-tire sideways weight transfer in a grab for traction. And there's ample juice, even with the FB20(D).

It's relatively straight forward to drive the Crosstrek with the "tail hung out" on low-traction surfaces (gravel, dirt, ice, heavy rain). No hydraulic E-brake or "business-up-front-party-in-the-back-mullet/ball-cap-in-the-locked-position" is needed.
(Liability warning: If you muck this up, you'll likely stuff yourself into the ditch, provided there is one. Attempt at your own risk).

Turn off VDC. Put the CVT into manu-matic mode. This way you are able to simulate downshifts/upshifts in order to employ engine braking as well as the ability to maintain/wind-out engine revs when needed.

Then, as you begin to roll at speed into your first gravel road corner, implement the Scandinavian Flick. Leave room on the outside of each corner for the tail-end of your Crosstrek by picking a line through the corner that's just slightly outside of the road's center (i.e. not a " go-wide-then-clip-the-apex" racing line). Prepare for deft use of counter steer since traction will likely not be constant through the entire corner. If the road has multiple lefts and rights, develop a relaxed, controlled "see-saw sort of rhythm" through the series of corners. It also helps immensely if you are familiar with the road and know where the apex is for each corner.

And here's a tip for not only driving on low-traction road surfaces; it applies to ALL road/non-road surfaces:

Always, always, always ... focus onto where you want to the car to go and not to where your puckered ******** thinks you'll end up. This alone is all the difference between making it unscathed to your destination or "F-bomb ... that ain't gonna buff out."
 

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2019 Crosstrek Manual Trans
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your contributions. A bit off topic here. Conclusion to date: nobody has tried installing a hydraulic handbrake lever on a crosstrek. I should have started asking about locking center diffs for crosstreks.

And for those who ask "why", or "you are kidding"... there's people who own their own crosstreks and are not looking to install big fat wheels and lift kits because how cool the car looks. If you want to lift your crosstrek because it looks cool, go ahead man its your car. If you want to learn to drive a slow crappy car sideways like this feller down there, good for you! (as long as you are not being a dick to anyone else that is).

Before you point out how the car in the video is much more suitable than the XV, there's more videos with crappier cars doing essentially the same, this video I just happened to have on hand and it depicts very well what we are talking here.

All Im saying, if you know the factual answer to someone's question, please share and let's learn from your experience and knowledge. If you think you know the answer and you must share your opinions to ... a community of enthusiasts, well go ahead but dont go judging people.

To the debate whether it is ok to pull the HB or not on a viscous coupler differential (VCD found on subaru manual transmissions since forever), there's an old post on this forum that talk about it* but somehow inconclusive. Some people claim they spoke to subaru engineers who say "go ahead, pull on the handbrake all day long" (followed by a disclaimer message). Others point out a real concern and how you shouldn't do that. The real answer probably lays somewhere in between, like what the feller above mentions. I don't have any docs supporting this supposition.

Piece!

*Applies to All Model Years - Handbrake turn in an AWD...
 

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2022 Canadian Sport trim (6MT // 2.0 )
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I suspect the VCD will fail.. eventually. It's not a very strong unit, from what I've read. It's designed to lock itself when it heats up (due to the rotational speed differences of the two axles. It works well when one axle spins freely while the other is on a surface with sufficient tracking to move the vehicle. Wheel rotational speed is slow, torque loads are fairly small, and the locked-in operation won't have to last long. Most importandly, when it's locked, it stops heating up

E-brake drifting will cause the VCD to heat up, and try to lock - resulting in it being the stress point in between the blocked rear wheels and the axle spin from the front wheels, pushed by maximum engine torque. Sooner or later something inside it will break. Mind you, you could replace it with a stronger unit..

STI Heavy Duty Viscous LSD
Centre Differential
Differential Information Thread - NASIOC
Viscous Coupler test???
 

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A practical answer: I'll answer this while completely staying away from the transfer case issue. While this will work for a short while, it will both warp the drum part which is the parking brake and wear down the shoes really fast. Why do I say this? I used to use the parking brake to save my other brake pads because I thought they'd last just fine. This was during regular stops for stop lights on my regular commute. With the parking brake handle pulled up for a small amount of time (button held in), I warped the drum portion. When I pulled things apart to swap the rotors, the pads were toast. I don't know how many times I pulled the handle, but it wasn't all that many. I sold the car (GC8) with 30k miles on it so it wasn't like I put 100k miles of parking brake stops on it. That being said, the other dozen Subarus I've owned (including a 13 and 19 Crosstrek), I've never had to replace parking brake pads. My 13 has 176k miles on it.

So if you do want to do a rear hydro brake, look into how to get another caliper on the rear like all drift cars have or somehow replace the rear caliper with a Honda/Acura type where it uses the regular rear caliper for the parking brake.
 
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