('06-'08) '06 XT - Simple modded daily driver (Aus) - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Mosquitocoils' Black '06 XT Lux - My daily driver (Aus)

Hi guys, thought I would start keeping a record of what I've done to my car for a couple of reasons. Everyone here on Subaruforester.org and the guys over at OzFoz have been super helpful with info, so I'm going to document how I've done the things I've done so far - maybe it will help someone doing something similar one day.

My plans for the car have changed dramatically since purchase. I have broken this main post up into sections so if you want to see how it used to look, scroll to the end and work your way up.

So this is how she looks currently:









Current goals:
- Hardwire Varex into dash switches
- E-tune - currently progressing

Current Setup

- VF48 STI turbo (2012, 30,000kms old)
- GR STI TMIC (2011, 50,000kms old)
- 3" Xforce turbo back exhaust
- High flow cat
- Xforce varex oval muffler (remote adjustable)
- MAC 3 port boost control solenoid
- Cobb SF Intake
- PSR silicone Inlet
- PSR short fat bit
- Resonatorectomy
- DW200 fuel pump
- Cusco brake master cylinder brace
- KYB Excel-G/GR-2 struts with Swift Springs
- Whiteline KSB554 front strut bar
- Whiteline BSR35XZ rear sway bar + KBR16 endlink supports
- 2010 Liberty GT 18" wheels + plastidip
- Pumpkin android head unit, multiple inputs etc
- Custom subwoofer enclosure & 2 channel amp, bridged
- Reverse cam
- Dash cam (starts recording automatically on head unit)
- Sony subwoofer with Response amp
- SAAS boost gauge
- Innovate wideband AFR controller & DB gauge
- Upgraded all interior lights
- Tactrix Openport 2.0 for logging
- eTune from Dan @ The Rumble Shack in Sydney, Aus



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Previous Setup - 169kw (Virtual Dyno)

- Standard TD04 @ 16psi
- Kinugawa adjustable wastegate actuator 10psi spring
- Standard XT TMIC
- 3" Xforce turbo back exhaust
- High flow cat
- Xforce varex oval muffler (remote adjustable)
- MAC 3 port boost control solenoid
- Cobb SF Intake
- Logpro silicone Y pipe
- Logpro silicone throttle body coupler
- Logpro silicone short fat bit
- eTune from Dan @ The Rumble Shack in Sydney, Aus







-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The Beginning - 127kw (Virtual Dyno)

I was looking around for ages to find a decent condition black XT luxury, leather, moonroof, manual etc... finally found this one for an ok price.

My goal is to be fairly stealthy - most of my mods will be done keeping in mind that local police, while good most of the time, like to do random roadside defect stations. I had enough trouble getting pulled over in my skyline all the time and I don't want to get back into that situation again - so keeping things out of sight or keeping things fairly quiet is a priority.

I don't have any crazy goals for this car. I had a modded skyline that (at the time) I loved but then grew up... The forester is a great car with plenty of room (I have a lot of guitar gear that I need to cart around) and is great to have a bit of fun in.

These are the dealership pics:









Table of Contents:
- Post #1 - Intro/Before & After Pics
- Post #2 - Boost Gauge Install / Wastegate Actuator Adjustment
- Post #3 - Android Head Unit Stereo Install
- Post #4 - Reverse Camera & Amp/Sub
- Post #5 - TurboXS Diffback Exhaust & BOV
- Post #6 - Dash Cam & Resonator Removal/Modification
- Post #7 - SJ Forester 17" Wheels
- Post #8 - Interior Light LED Upgrade
- Post #25 - Xforce 3" Turbo Back Exhaust
- Post #27 - Subwoofer Boot Install Ideas
- Post #32 - Varex Remote-Controlled Muffler
- Post #33 - Process West Cold Air Intake
- Post #37 - Innovate LC-2 Wideband & DB Gauge install
- Post #41 - Silicone Y-Pipe & SFB
- Post #42 - Whiteline Rear Sway Bar install
- Post #43 - Fuel Filter replacement
- Post #44 - Cobb SF Intake
- Post #46 - Custom Subwoofer Enclosure
- Post #53 - Android Stereo Wifi Upgrade (super nerdy!)
- Post #55 - Kinugawa Adjustable Wastegate Actuator
- Post #58 - MAC 3 Port Boost Control Solenoid DIY
- Post #60 - 10 psi Wastegate Spring Upgrade
- Post #61 - KYBs Struts/Swift Springs Install
- Post #67 - 2010 Liberty GT 18 Wheels
- Post #79 - ECU Green Test Connector Relocation (for ECU flashing)
- Post #90 - Front o2/AFR sensor replacement
- Post #99 - DW200 Fuel Pump
- Post #104 - VF48 Install
- Post #105 - Throttle Body Coolant Bypass
- Post #108 - PSR Silicone Inlet
- Post #110 - 2011 GR STI TMIC
- Post #114 - Cusco Brake Stopper
- Post #131 - DIY Splitter Mod for 08+ STI TMIC - Part 1
- Post #131 - DIY Splitter Mod for 08+ STI TMIC - Part 2
- Post #138 - DIY Splitter Mod for 08+ STI TMIC - Part 3
- Post #147 - DIY TMIC Spray - Part 1 - Plumbing
- Post #148 - DIY TMIC Spray - Part 2 - Wiring
- Post #157 - Whiteline KBR18-22 Heavy Duty Rear Swaybar Mounts

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Last edited by mosquitocoils; 04-24-2017 at 03:51 AM.
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post #2 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Boost Gauge Install / Wastegate Actuator Adjustment

One of the first things I wanted to do was figure out what the rattling sound was as I would come onto light boost (approaching 0 anyway). I quickly found here on SF that the wastegate actuators can get weak and would be a cheap/easy place to start the search.

In order to see what was happening I installed a boost gauge the first week I had the car. The install was pretty easy - I tee'd into the stock BPV line and ran the cable around the engine bay, through the firewall where the clutch cable is and then into the centre console.



I removed the ashtray and very carefully cut a slit in the remaining plastic so that my gauge would fit in that spot.



I toyed with the idea of getting a replacement ashtray bezel from Subtle Solutions, but I really wanted to be able to 'close' the ashtray lid and hide the gauge away when I wanted to.

Once that was done I set to removing the turbo heatshield. It was a massive pain in the *** (as I was new to learning where everything is on a Subaru boxer engine!) but I finally got it off.

Turbo heat shield removal that was the thread that got me started and the instructions from the legendary Peaty were very helpful.

The biggest pain was just finding all the bolts that hold it on. Had to remove 2 or 3 from underneath the car around the back of the downpipe. The rest were just around the top in 'kind of' easy to find locations - having small hands helps for this haha.

Also some tips in this Youtube video, mainly to get a general idea of what's in the area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm8g1FM4HLA

Once that was off I cracked the bolt on the wastegate actuator and removed it from the turbo wastegate, shortened it and hooked everything back up. The sucking, rattling noise was still there but a little less - so I kept going back and shortening it more and more until the rattling went away - but ended up with some boost creep as a result as the preload on the diaphragm was messing with the exhaust pressure.

Discussion on NASIOC

I have since picked up a wastegate actuator from a 2000 wrx and swapped that in. At first I was still getting some rattling but now after a few adjustments (shortening/tightening) the rattling is very unnoticeable and I can build (and hold) boost mostly steadily now.

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post #3 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Stereo Install

I love music and I needed a more current system fairly quickly. I've lost or thrown out most of my CDs over the last few years and used a USB stick in my last few cars so the stock stereo had to go!

I also like android and have used the Torque Pro app before so I knew I wanted to go with a double dinn android head unit. After reading a lot on the net and also here on SF I pulled the trigger on a Pumpkin Head Unit. This thread Pure Android Head Unit Install has a LOT of information about the units themselves, some install tips and reviews, they are really great so have a read over it to get a better idea of them. There's also information about getting the steering wheel controls working on that thread.

Pumpkin Best Android 4.4 kitkat Double Din 6.2 Inch Car Stereo Head Unit with TV at www.autopumpkin.com



The system came with a harness that goes from the head unit -> ISO so I went and picked up an ISO -> Subaru harness and hooked it all up. All worked straight away, great!





I went to put the centre console back together and realised that the head unit is SLIGHTLY bigger than the stock size.... sigh. So I started cutting the panel out bigger with a dremel. It was slow going and I kind of messed up in a few spots so I am planning on buying a replacement centre console and cutting it out more carefully next time haha.



After a few test fitments I got it all together. The head unit gets the approval of my sister - she got to play Subway Surfers on it hahaha. I also got Torque Pro installed and working with my bluetooth OBD2 adapter and set the outer light colour to green to match the rest of the foz dash haha. Looks awesome!



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post #4 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Reverse Camera & Amp/Sub

The head unit has a whole lot of features, one of which is reverse camera input - so after finding a few people here on SF who did this as well, I picked up a forester-specific camera that replaces one of the rear number plate lights: 170 CAR Rear View Reverse Backup Parking Camera Subaru Forester Impreza Sedan | eBay

I thought it would be easy to just pop out and put the new one in... but I kept investigating and all the rear interior panels had to come out - tailgate interior + the sides so I could run the cables through the car. I took the opportunity to also install my power wires + RCA cables for my amp and sub from my previous car - it made sense while I had all the panels removed.

This in-depth thread was super handy and showed where everything goes and comes out. You have to remove the garnish which is a bit tricky if it's never been done but once it's been done once, it will come off again easily.



Drilled a hole in the metal and filed down the rough edges then put a little paint over it to stop rust (no pic of this). It's covered by the garnish anyway so the paint colour doesn't really matter.



Once I had the cables through for the reverse camera I spliced into the reverse light +12v wire (which triggers the camera to turn on when you go into reverse), soldered everything and wrapped everything in tape ala stock and tucked everything away behind the interior panels.

Then I ran the thick gauge amp power wire from the battery, through the firewall and down under the carpet all the way to the boot, as well as the amp 'turn on' wire from the head unit down the same side. Then I ran the RCA cables from the head unit down opposite side of the car (don't want any nasty interference!). Tucked everything under the carpet and reinstalled the door step panels.



Once the wires were all in and tested, it was time to figure out how/where to mount the amp/sub. I decided to leave the amp mounted on the back of the sub box (this setup has followed me from car to car for about 8 years now haha) and just place the box in the boot area, strapped to the side temporarily.



My eventual goal is to mount a 10" sub in the stock location (having since removed that shitty 6x9 'sub' speaker anyway) ala this thread/kit.

I removed the sub from the box to check the posibility of mounting it inside the spare wheel - but it's a little too high without having to make up a false floor:
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Last edited by mosquitocoils; 10-17-2015 at 09:20 PM.
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post #5 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Diff Back Exhaust Install & BOV

Next, I wanted to make the car a BIT louder. I wanted that subie rumble but not an overly loud exhaust. After a lot of searching I found a 2nd hand TurboXS diff back exhaust for a good price. As I'm not too worried about making max power I figured this would be a good start. It was a bolt-on system so was very easy to install.

Arrived well packed.



I got under the car and sprayed the exhaust bolts with some penetrant as they were tough to crack. I let them sit for 10 minutes or so then got a breaker bar on one side and ratchet on the other and they both came off.



After that it was simply a matter of getting the rubber hangers off with some WD40. Stock exhaust dropped:



Side by side:



Rolling the TurboXS in:





All done!



Exhaust sounds perfect for what I want - definite bassy rumble and if I stomp the accelerator you can hear it open up, but if I'm just cruising or driving normally it's just a nice note.

About a week after installing this I found a Turbosmart Dual Port blow off valve so cheap I couldn't say no. I have it set very hard and it only vents to atmosphere once I get to around 7 or 8 psi or higher, the rest of the time it just recirculates like normal which is awesome. Like with the exhaust if I just drive normally you wouldn't even know it's there.



^^You can see where I tee'd into the BOV line to get my boost gauge reading.



I did remove the actual 'trumpet' from the venting port so it's less easy to recognise. Still makes the same noise but looks less like a blow off valve, and I've actually decided to put the crappy plastic engine cover back on so Mr Officer doesn't see any sign of something that shouldn't be there haha. With the trumpet attached you could definitely see it when looking side-on at the BOV location, so I'm a lot happier about this now.



BOV? What BOV?? :)

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Last edited by mosquitocoils; 11-16-2015 at 02:07 AM.
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post #6 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Dash Cam & Resonator Removal/Modification

The Pumpkin head unit I bought has a bunch of inputs and additional stuff you can buy - one of which is a dash cam. It plugs in via USB into one of the two supplied USB cables, and it seems that only the "Pumpkin" brand camera they supply will work with the system. No biggie, only $30-$40 on ebay (incl shipping from HK!)

So I plugged it in to test that it worked. Once I was happy with that I started to figure out where to route the very long USB cable it came with.

I started by removing the map light enclosure, it was very easy with only 3 screws holding it to the roof.



The A-pillar trim was the biggest piece of **** to try and remove. If you search this, everyone seems to have big problems here. So instead of actually removing it altogether, I managed to undo one of the three or four clips, then pry it away from the chassis just enough to poke the wire down.





Once it was inside the pillar trim I fed it so the USB connector end fell down behind the dash - I grabbed it from underneath the glove box and pulled it all the way through. This was much easier than trying to argue with the damn A-pillar trim haha.

Then I mounted the camera behind the mirror and drilled a small hole in the map light enclosure for the cable to sit in. Very happy with the results.







While I was out looking at my car on this day I pulled out the air intake silencer and hacked it up.

I started by removing the wheel, peeling back the arch liner, unbolting the resonator from the top (engine bay) and bottom (inside the wheel arch) and slowly, painfully maneuvering it downwards around the metal bar that it sits on.





Then I cut it in half



I wanted to put the direct air feed back in, but without the big bulky resonator - so I cut a piece of the resonator box out with my dremel so it would cover the hole in the bottom of the air feed





After lots of dremel-ing I finally ended up with a piece that fit snugly. A little (lot) of silicone to hold it in place and also seal it as much as possible



While I was waiting for the silicone to dry I read some more about resonator replacement and it seemed like a good idea to drill some small holes in the bottom in case of water etc. Don't know how necessary this was but the stock resonator did have it so I figured it must be worthwhile.



Sitting in place in the stock position - minus the resonator box itself



This is how it looks from the engine bay with the filter removed so I could grip it and move it properly into place.



I then replaced the stock intake air feed from the front of the engine bay as well.

The sound is noticeable now. Not a HUGE difference but I can definitely hear it spool up when I come onto boost. I drove around for a day with the air feed out while I was waiting for the silicone to dry and I was too lazy to put it back in straight away - I have to say I much preferred this noise. Spooling sounded great and the BPV dump sound was quite audible too but not a massive *crack* sound like a real BOV, a little more subtle. I dig it.
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post #7 of 160 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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So I've seen a lot of pics of very nice black FXT's, standard ride height with black rims - so I always knew I wanted that black-on-black look. My inspiration:



^^Very nice bit a little too $$ for me just yet.



^^Stock SG9 wheels painted black - this gave me some ideas. So I went and got a couple of quotes ~ $400 seemed to be the average to take my stock wheels, strip and paint black.



But while I was trying to decide if I wanted to do that, some '14 Forester wheels popped up for sale. The guy worked for Subaru and bought them cheap to respray and fit to his WRX wagon. Then he was offered a nice JDM set for a decent price so took that offer and I bought the Forester rims.

'Stock' '14 Forester, base level rims:



Sprayed black and fitted to my car:



Wasn't a fan of the silver wheel nuts so replaced them with some chunky black ones, along with some ebay spec black valve caps, which leads us to (crappy photo):

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post #8 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Interior Light LED Upgrade

So my curiosity got the better of me. I found a kit on eBay which was a 'full interior LED replacement for xx - xx forester' for about $15. Seeing as my main interior light had died, I thought I would give it a shot.

Also sorry about the photo quality, it was very hard to take decent night shots

The kit contained 4x festoon type LED bulbs and a couple of T10 bulbs. I was amazed at the size of the T10 replacements, they were massive!



So I put the new main interior light (festoon) in the ceiling, worked great.



Next was the map lights, each of these is also a festoon which surprised me. I was expecting them to be T10s.

Before:



After:



Before:



After:



I feel like this photo doesn't do it justice. It's a nice colour and brightness in person.


Tailgate/rear hatch was a single T10 bulb.

Before:



After:




The kit came with two for the rear licence plate light. Because I already installed my fancy reverse camera/licence plate light on one side the lights looked wonky.

Before:



After:



Still not evenly lit, but at least both sides are now the same colour haha. I'm not sure if there's a way I can get more juice to the camera light.


Parkers with whatever bulbs were in before:








This is with the LEDs in:


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Last edited by mosquitocoils; 02-17-2016 at 03:16 AM.
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post #9 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 10:13 PM
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Coming along very nicely indeed!

MY'03 XS AT offroad; MY10 Triton GLX-R

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post #10 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 07:08 AM
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well done man!!
how can u see the gauges in the screen?
ted


6speed DCCD 2.5STI. Fully forged with GTX....
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post #11 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 07:16 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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it takes the numbers from the OBD??
thanks again!

6speed DCCD 2.5STI. Fully forged with GTX....
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post #12 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Yes, Android screen with ODB II (Bluetooth) connector using the "Torque" ap. I have it on my phone; works well and you can also clear fault codes with it too.
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MY'03 XS AT offroad; MY10 Triton GLX-R

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post #13 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-14-2015, 03:48 PM
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Great mods so far! Keep it up.

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post #14 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 03:35 AM
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Looks great! What part of Australia fo you live?
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post #15 of 160 (permalink) Old 11-15-2015, 11:06 AM
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It's a "Queensland" rego plate; so "somewhere" north-east perhaps?

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