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Old 06-03-2012, 08:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Huey's 06 FXT Limited

Ever since my college years in the mid 2000s I've wanted a Forester. My older brother who at one time was into the Honda scene pointed out the 2007 FXT Sports while at my parents place during Christmas break. I've been eying this car since then next to a Legacy GT.

At the time I was driving a 2003 Toyota 4Runner Sport V6 2WD. I upgraded the suspension to Bilstein 5100 struts and OEM FJ Cruiser springs along with some Toyo A/T tires. It did great for snowboarding trips, and it could haul a bunch of crap. What I didn't like was it wasn't 4WD, and with 265/70-17s I was getting around 18-20mpg. Not bad for an SUV, but I'm single, the only time I loaded the car full of crap was when I was moving something or going on a trip with the homies. 80% of the time the car was empty and I was getting around town.

So in the summer of 2011 I started looking for a Subaru. I knew I wanted a turbo and something in manual. After a few months searching for a FXT or Legacy GT that had decent miles and wasn't modded like crazy was super difficult to find.

On Sept. 9, 2011 I headed to South Coast Subaru in Costa Mesa because they had a Legacy GT Wagon, 06 FXT, and 2 2011 FXTs on the lot. I ended up picking the 06 FXT as it was $8,000 cheaper than the 2011, but I had to settle for the 4EAT. The trade off was that it had 36,000 miles on it and was a Limited (yes leather).

Here it was the day I got it:


I knew a week after looking on the forums what I wanted to do, at the time I was thinking, keep it simple and stylish. It only took a few weeks before the mod bug hit me. Before I got my registration stickers I was on my 2nd suspension setup which were now BC Racing coilovers, STI RSB, and STI axleback. And that's when it started...

Here it is today:



May 2013:



Subiefest - October 2012:


S3 - June 2012:


Engine

Cobb Catted DP
Milltek 3" catback (Link Video)
STi v7 TMIC (Link Link 2)
IHI VF48 Turbo
STi PnP exhaust manifold
APv3 tune by Shamar @ Infamous Performance
Cobb SF intake with airbox
Moore Performance Splitter
DeatschWerks DW200 Fuel pump
Grimmspeed AOS
Kartboy battery tie down
Kartboy lightweight pulley
B&M Supercooler transmission cooler
Koyo Radiator and Samco Hoses

*Subtle Solutions Splitter
*Opensource Stage 2 Etune by TurboTek Tuning
*Accessport (Link)
*STI axleback (Link)
*SPT exhaust (Link Link 2)

Suspension, brakes, and wheels

Tokico Dspec struts
RCE "regular guy" black springs for +04 STi
Whiteline Com-C front tophats
STi Group-N rear tophats with Paranoid Fabrications 3/8 spacer and longer studs
STi non-caster adding control arms with Whiteline front and rear bushings
STi rear lateral links with Group-N bushings
STi trailing arms boxed in by Paranoid Fabrications with Group-N bushings
Kartboy front/rear endlinks
Kartboy Botox subframe bolts
Kartboy Outrigger bushings (comfort) (Link)
STI OEM rear sway bar mounts
Whiteline 24mm front sway bar
Whiteline 22mm adjustable rear sway bar
Subtle Solutions trunk brace (Link)
Subtle Solutions fender braces (Link Link 2)
eBay H brace
5x100 STi BBS on Hankook V12 225/50R17 (Summer) (Link)
OEM XT Limited rims on Continental Extreme Contact DWS 225/55R16 (Winter) (Link)
eBay hubcentric 3mm spacers (Link Link 2)
Subaru 06/07 WRX red 4/2pot calipers (Link Link 2 Link 2 Link 3)
Centric Premium Rotors w/ OEM Subaru Pads
Stoptech SS brake lines
Kartboy rear 2 pot caliper adapters
06' STi master cylinder and brake booster (Link)
Grimmspeed master cylinder brace (Link)

*OEM 06 STi springs
*GTSPEC H brace *I broke it :(
*Swift sport springs (Link)
*FHI front strut bar (Link)
*WRX takeoffs (Link)
*BC Racing coilovers (Link)
*STI rear sway bar (Link)

Interior/Electronics

Subaru all weather mats / trunk mat
Subaru Legacy SpecB MOMO steering wheel stitched red
Kartboy A/T shift knob
Clarion CZ501 headunit and HD Radio module (Link)
LED bulbs from superbrightleds (Link)
Rockford Fosgate Punch amp powering 8" Kicker CVT subwoofer mounted stock 6x9 location using sea-scooby's subkit. (Link)
3M matte black vinyl wrapped center console (Link)
RAAMmat / Ensolite applied to rear doors/cargo area/trunk. (Link Link 2 Link 3)
DRL disable and independent fog light mod (LInk)
AEM boost and UEGO wideband gauges
Subtle Ashtray gauge bezel
VUMAXX gauge cup mounted on steering column

Exterior

No name hood struts
JDM rain visors
JDM STI hood scoop (Link)
Subtle Solutions STi TMIC splitter (Link)
FXT Sports Grill
FXT Sports front bumper conversion (Link)
JDM Sports bumper lip
JDM aero spats
FXT rear spoiler (Link)
08 FXT Sports head lights
08 FXT Sports tail lights (Link)
30% tint on the back 5 windows
SF.org front license plate adapter
Lamin-x fog light film on the Limited bumper (winter) (Link)
3m matte black vinyl on rear hatch trim (Link)
Yakima snowboard racks on stock crossbars
Hella 500 Foglights with lightbar (Link)

**Replica Polyurethane STI V-Limited Lip (Link Link 2)
*Rally Armor UR mudflaps (Link)
*Painted 06 FXT headlights (Link)

*Parts I installed that's no longer on the car

Future Mods: (probably 2014)

- Transmission temp gauge
- STi steering rack


Thanks goes out to all those people on the forums posting tutorials and information to make 90% of my mods DIY friendly. Considering the Forester is not a common car to mod, those who taken the time to experiment and figure out what's compatible and what's not, has made finding the right parts a lot easier for the rest of us.

Last edited by hueyduey; 03-26-2014 at 10:03 PM. Reason: updated
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Pretty car, congrats on the find! Looking forward to what comes next
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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09/19-9/23 - WRX Suspension, air filter, STI RSB - When the air filter went in, I did what Bobby (2.5x_sleeper) did and took a hacksaw to my snorkus. Thanks goes to wadejg for putting up the post How to turn better than an STI for cheap! That's where I got the inspiration to do the suspension mods. I got the WRX suspension from another SF.org member Jared Perry. He dropped them off at my place in his wife's 08 FSXT. That car was so sexy.



The STI RSB I found on ebay. I picked up some new bushings from the local Subaru dealership to go along with the
sway bar.



10/2 - I ordered some 3/8 saggy butt spacers earlier in the week from Subtle Solutions and then did the install of the WRX suspension and the STI RSB. I also got the Forester Sports grill installed. I also got around to doing the regular maintenance and changed all majority of the fluids, coolant, oil, and rear diff. There was service records for these around 29k, but to be safe I did it myself. I didn't have the Torx for the tranny/front diff, so I took it into Subaru to have that done. I've also had a bad experience with a A/T Honda before. I did a drain and fill and then it locked the A/T transmission. To play it safe I took it to the dealership.



10/14 - The LEDs came in from Superbrightleds I pretty much swapped out all the interior LEDs for cool white. Here's what the map lights looked liked.


Last edited by hueyduey; 06-03-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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10/22 - I wasn't satisfied with the WRX suspension. It felt squishy and soft to me, I also was hoping for a little more clearance as snowboarding season was right around the corner so I went with BC Coilovers which I ordered from Import Image Racing.



I also found a STI axleback on NASIOC. During that week I went to visit Kartboy which happens to be down the street from where I work. I picked up some long exhaust hangers and rear endlinks.




11/4 - Here's some pictures of the BCs on the car. A week after initially installing the BCs I thought it was too low for snow chains so I raised the car up for the winter time. At the same time I got some muffler paint and painted the STI axleback section black.













This is the only picture I have with the car on BCs (notice I still didn't have license plates yet.)


11/6-11/11 - I stole another one out of Bobby's journal and soldered up my stereo harness. I also ordered a single din pocket as the OEM headunit was double din and the new Clarion unit was a single din. Considering I soldered the harness a few days in advance, the install was a piece of cake. A couple of screws and plugs. Reading Bobby's how-to made the job easy, and I knew what was involved before I started taking my center console apart.




Last edited by hueyduey; 06-04-2012 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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2/1-2/18 A few months past by. Snowboarding season and the holidays took up much of my time. February rolled around and I was back at it. I picked up a used Cobb Accessport off NASIOC and a FHI strut tower bar from hyogong57.
The OTS Stage 1 tune was fun. It wasn't a noticeable at first, but when I drove a friend's stock 2010 FXT, I did notice that my car had more torque and was more responsive. For me though the Accessport was a necessity for my future mods.

Did I mention when I was looking for a Forester I wanted a Sports? Well after doing my research I ordered the parts from my local Subaru dealership. I couldn't find a used JDM Bugeye hood scoop, so I searched for one around the internet and purchased one from PRERacing. I also came across a used replica polyurethane STI vlimited lip in my area.




Here's a picture of me mocking up the vlimited lip to the unpainted sports bumper.



3/6 - As much as I liked the larger JDM scoop, I'm a believer of the function over style. I didn't want floss the large hood scoop with nothing behind it so I went searching for a STI TMIC and I found a used one of NASIOC.



3/17 - I was on travel for work in Washington. I had the weekend off and I spotted a slammed SG at Snoqualmie Pass. It had snowed 4-6 inches through the day. The highway had about 4 inches of snow/slush on the ground. I can't believe this guy made it to the mountains. Then again I'm from California so I don't see as much nasty weather as you guys up north.



3/25 With nothing to do after work at night in Washington, I came across more used goodies on NASIOC. This time it was a Cobb Catted downpipe and SPT Exhaust. I was happy with my STI axleback, but I was tempted by the condition it was in and the discreet look of the muffler. I didn't snap any pics this time around, but I did take one comparing the stock forester axleback to the SPT axleback. This was to give me an idea of how much work was necessary to extend it if I was going to run this exhaust permanently.

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Old 06-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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3/27 - I got around to dropping off my hood scoop and front bumper to a local auto body shop. They did a great job as color matching and painting the bumper. I couldn't be more satisfied and they did a great job at masking off the areas that were supposed to be left unpainted.




A few days later I got off work early to install the front bumper and hood scoop. (I can't tell you how much I hate those 2 piece plastic tabs.)

Before:


During:


After:


3/31 - While driving around with the Stage 1 OTS tune, the fozzy threw a CEL for misfiring on cylinders 1 and 3. To be safe I decided to swap out the spark plugs. Yeah they weren't due until 60k per maintenance, but the car was 6 years old on the original plugs. After seeing how much of a pain this was going to be, I took my car to Infamous Performance in Escondido. Mike and Todd did a great job on my car. They also installed my DP, front sway bar, and TMIC. I also know how they were able to get to the drivers side spark plugs. So next time I have an idea of what kind of work is involved.

I was debating on getting a proper tune, but after loading up the OTS stage 2, Mike plugged in his Tactrix and drove it around the block. He said everything checked out fine. And driving it for 2 months on the OTS tune it I'm satisfied until I go with a larger turbo. (whenever that happens)

The TMIC doesn't fit like a glove with the A/C lines being in the way, and more so with particular strut tower bars. So here's a picture to give you an idea of how I ended up running both. There's a sliced piece of tubing for the vertical part of the A/C line, and I used copper pipe insulator (the squishy foam stuff you use for water heaters) for the horizontal part of the A/C line. Since the strut bar does touch the A/C line, I wanted a softer material to prevent scuff marks on the bottom of the strut bar.



Last edited by hueyduey; 06-03-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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4/5 - I wasn't satisfied with my BC Coilovers they were just too stiff for daily driving. I debated between getting Swift coilover springs for my BCs to imitate the Feal Suspension. But one of lifes lessons I've learned was don't toss more money at something that doesn't work and expect results.

So I ditched that idea and purchased Forester specific Swifts from Mann Engineering. The good thing was that I could take my time and assemble these as my car was still drivable. And with that said, I did have to go buy a set of pass through sockets to reassemble the struts. I took my time and cleaned the stock struts, by the time I was done they looked brand spankin' new.



4/7 - I swapped my suspension for the 3rd time in 6 months. This time I was satisfied. Comfortable daily driver with minimized body roll due to the upgraded sway bars. I noticed a bit of understeer while accelerating through corners though because the front sway bar was a 24mm and the rear was the stock STI. So while up in Orange County for Easter, I managed to pickup a used Whiteline 22mm adjustable. I also got around to detaling my car with the Meguiars 3 stage waxing system with a DA polisher. Here's how it came out.




4/18 - Waiting for replacement Whiteline bushings to arrive for my rear sway bar, I picked up some goodies at Kartboy. Outrigger bushings and subframe lockout "Botox" bolts. On the weekend I installed everything. Including the Whiteline KBR16 which I picked up from Mann Engineering at the same time as my Swift Springs. I was now very content on how the car handles, while still maintaining a comfortable daily driver and not having to worry about my beverage spilling on the way to work.


Last edited by hueyduey; 06-04-2012 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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4/28 - I had the hardest time finding a replacement gasket for the SPT exhaust. While being a Subaru part, you'd think they'd have this cataloged in their system. Unfortunately 2 dealerships could not find the part number for the midpipe to exhaust gasket. I bit the bullet and picked up a Grimmspeed 3 inch 2 bolt gasket. I had to dremel out the bolt holes in the gasket to fit the narrower bolts found on the SPT exhaust.



I pulled the Kartboy XL hangers off my STI axleback to find out they were too short for the SPT exhaust. None of my roommates were home so I jerry-rigged the hangers with some zipties and went to Pepboys to pickup some longer hangers. Fortunately they had 2 that worked. Considering the job was close to complete I didn't want to hassle with trying to take off the Kartboy hangers. These things are super solid polyurethane, and the hanger ends on the SPT are larger than whats on the stock STI axleback. There was no way I was going to save the Kartboy hangers, so I busted out the dremel once again and just cut the suckers off. Finally it was mounted.



Earlier in the week I got my rear spoiler in from subaruonlineparts. So I threw this on as well. In was pre-painted and it came with instructions and templates. The problem was that the instructions and templates were correct, but the studs on the spoiler were not. So what should have been an easy 30 minute job took 1 hour as I spend 20 minutes or so using the dremel to widen out the 2 inner holes. Talk about install day hell. If you look closely, the dremel skipped out on the hole a couple times and I scratched my paint, but that part is covered by the spoiler anyways. I purchased the dremel aka rotary tool just a few days prior, and on this day the tool proved to be a life saver.




5/2 - Time to get this vlimited lip on. I started by making the cuts and sanding down the lip. Here's a pic of it sanded down. I also went through the trouble of using a dremel to use the existing endcaps on the pieces I cut off to glue them back on to improve the rigidity and overall look.



Mocking the end caps up to fit into the cut end.


This is after I used epoxy to glue the caps in place



Bondo/Epoxy filler to smooth out the ends



I sanded the ends smooth and used clear adhesion promoter and then black trim paint.

EPIC FAIL: So between the time I originally mocked up the lip to the time I made my cuts was probably a month. I used a piece of masking tape to mark where I needed to make my cuts. I ended up cutting the wrong side of the tape! So the ends were about 1 1/2 inches too long. All that work for nothing. It was pretty though. While actually installing the lip I was frustrated and cut the ends off and mounted the lip to my bumper.

I used binder clips to hold it in place. Then used self taping screws with speed nuts on the backside. I did drill pilot holes and tried my best to use existing holes in the bumper. Overall it turned out okay. I did have to modify my fender liners a bit. For 1/4th of the cost of genuine FSXT lip it does the job.
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's a lot Member Journal posts for your first day!

Your Forester is looking good! Keep up the great work!

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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5/2 - I decided to take the task of painting my headlights. I followed the tutorial posted by MikeyMike How to remove 06+ headlights and disassemble for paint or clear corners I honestly didn't think it was going to take that long. But I got in done in a day. The hardest part was peeling up the masking tape.

Here's how it looked before I started: (I just noticed that the lip wasn't in these pictures. Though it was painted I didn't install it until a few days after I did my headlights.)



Masked off:


Primer coat:


1 down 1 to go:


When I disassembled my lights I noticed the haze on the outside lens. A little bit of Meguiars Plastix and some headlight protectant, they were new again. Here's the side by side pic.


Reassembled:




From the pictures you can't tell, but there's some minor blemishes. So the following week I opened them up. As I was sanding them down to give them a fresh coat of black, I used a supposed clean rag to wipe down the dust. The rag must have had some kind of chemicals on it, because it started to rub off the chrome. FML. So I ended up painting the whole housing black. I did a better job this time around, but I liked how the rings were chrome. That's what you see in the 1st post with the headlights totally back except for the inside reflectors.

5/18 - 3 weeks of having the SPT exhaust on I decided go with a Forester specific exhaust. I ended up picking the Milltek Exhaust from Mann Engineering. Here's the dilemma, I wanted something noise-wise in between the SPT and the STI axleback. But ever since I owned the car, it has this deal when the car is cruising around 38-40 mph and the engine's in low rpm, the car kinda sputters and jerks. From what I've read it's normal for Subarus to do this, b ever since I went 3 inch exhaust, those symptoms disappeared and I've also noticed smoother revs. It's like the engine can breathe now. The Milltek is extremely well built. All the welds are clean, and less drone than the SPT exhaust.

Here's the SPT for the last time:


A few shots of the Milltek before install:






And once it was installed:




Alright, I think I'm caught up on my mods right now. As the new ones roll around I'll be posting them up.

Last edited by hueyduey; 06-03-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim_Jim View Post
Pretty car, congrats on the find! Looking forward to what comes next
Thanks Jim, I hope the stuff I just posted will hold you over for awhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5x_sleeper View Post
That's a lot Member Journal posts for your first day!

Your Forester is looking good! Keep up the great work!

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
Thanks for props and helping me find ways to spend more money.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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hey man goo looking journal!!! where in socal are you?
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:50 AM   #13 (permalink)
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hey man goo looking journal!!! where in socal are you?
Thanks! I'm in San Diego and occasionally in Huntington Beach.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow I haven't updated my journal in 2 1/2 weeks? Well the latest news are that my 04 STi BBS Rims are getting cleaned up and powdercoated original silver. I've decided to go a different direction with my wheels went with something not so flashy. Yeah the rays gram lights would have been nice, but I think it would have attracted too much attention. I wish these would be done before S3, but instead I'll have to wait until next week.

I also have all the necessary hardware and electronics to install my sea-scooby subkit. That might go in pretty soon. I'm just not too eager to tear out my interior though. With 2 cars to wash and wax before S3. We'll see if there's time to install this.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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do you know what company made the lip your using.
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