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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 244
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: manual
First of all... I really suck when it comes to getting pictures posted!

This weekend I...
A) Straightened out the driver's side seat heater pad (and realized just how rumpled up the passenger side one is! Much thanks to Bobby (2.5x_Sleeper) for his write up giving me the courage to take this one on.

B) Installed the OEM steering column-mounted boost gauge.

C) Changed the accessory belts. No drama here except the new PS/Alternator belt was tough to get on. I ended up putting a socket on the alternator pulley and cranking the pulley around to get the belt on.

The car still hasn't really been cleaned up since LSPR, that's a big TO-DO this week, since we had our first snow this morning!

Rear sway bar links need to be replaced, and the driver's side ball joint boot is torn. I have ball joints on the shelf, and I've made sure all the nuts and bolts will come off. I think the ball joint will be a take-it-to-First Gear Garage job.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 244
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: manual
Up-Pipe and oil leak investigation, etc

First of all, it's been way, way too long since I posted here. This summer has gone by in a flash it seems, but spring felt like it was never going to end.

NF performance did the 100k service (or what was left to be done) in June: Timing belt, and water pump, mainly. I had done the plugs (what a pain!) and had covered just about everything else previously.

This weekend was a Prep-for-Ojibwe-Forests-rally work weekend, and I had a lot on the docket. The last time I changed the oil, I found there was some oil on the skip plate and I could see some oil on the back of the block, mainly right below the turbo's oil return line. I cleaned it up a bit for time being. In the mean time, knowing what I would have to take apart for the oil line, I purchased a used Grimmspeed up-pipe. For that part, I pretty much followed GS's video how-to, and was able to extract the stock catted up-pipe without too much drama (The O2 sensor didn't even give me any grief!) except for the un-ending heat shields. Every time I thought I had the up-pipe free, I found another spot where it was attached to some other heat shield.

By now the intercooler was out and the only things holding the turbo in place were the inlet hose and the oil supply line. I crossed my fingers and cracked open the oil supply line connectors and nothing broke! By removing the bolt holding the inlet to the intake manifold, I was able to lift the turbo up and flip it over to get at the (rock hard!) oil return line. It took a couple of tries to get a conventional hose clamp in there in the right orientation to not interfere with the bracketry. I did a little more oil cleanup while I was in there.

One of my long term, low priority projects is a larger intercooler, and to that I end I have, on the shelf, a brand-new never installed '04 STi intercooler. I did a test fit, but at this point, I just can't see how to get it in there and not damage the AC lines. So I'll have to come back to that later.

The only issue I ran into on this part of the weekend was a vacuum line from the inlet to the BCS had gone all brittle. A quick walk across the street to the part store and that was solved, though. Otherwise the up-pipe bolted up nicely, and I had no trouble getting the down pipe back in place.

As always, re-installing the (stock) intercooler is a royal PITA. Getting the input and the output lined up simultaneously and hoses over pipes is next to impossible without a bit of jostling and swearing. As I usually do, I'm slowing down as I keep going back over the reassembly sequence and keep making sure I haven't forgotten to tighten something.

Everything is functionally back together, so it's time to move on to the sway bar links. I replaced these last summer, but there's been a nagging clunk in the front suspension recently. Sure enough, the right side link has slop in it. The KartBoy links bolt up, again, with out much drama.

After test starting the car, and finding no exhaust leaks (how many times did I check the torque on those nuts?) I call it a day.

On Sunday morning, I start with the exhaust manifold heat shields, cutting the slot needed to install/remove it without fiddling with the O2 sensor. That bit of reassembly is unremarkable. Next is the rear swaybar links, these OEM links are solid, but the boots are trashed. I realize the swaybar itself is about an inch off-center to the right (passenger) side. Kartboy links installed.

Since things are going I decide to go ahead with the Kartboy shifter bushings. The front bushing is a snap to install, the trick I found is to use a utility knife to cut the flange off of the inside of the stock bushing. It makes pushing the pushing the old bushing through very easy. The rear bushing a was trickier just because it is harder to get at... Oh, and which way is up? The bolt holes on the bushing are just a tad narrow, but after some struggle I was able to get it bolted up by starting the passenger side bolt first. I bolted up the front bushing and gave it a test. What an improvement! Very nice feel, and combined with the KB shift lever I installed last week, the shifting is much crisper without a whole lot of extra NVH.

A test drive last night proves the shifting much improved, the clunk in the suspension gone, and by the seat of my pants, it feels like there's a little more pep from the freer flowing up-pipe.

That's it for now!
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 244
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: manual
Well, since it's been a year since a reasonably auspicious start to my member journal, I guess I should give you all an update.

Over the winter I had the various under-the-intake-manifold fuel lines replaced due to cold weather start up fuel odor. Or more accurately, "stench""!

I've been trying to chase down a slow oil leak that manifest as oil in the jacking plate, and all over the right (passenger) side of the subframe and steering rack. At first I though it was the turbo oil drain line, but after replacing that, the oil came back. We'll come back to this.

This spring I bought a GrimmSpeed catted down pipe, and a Grimmspeed cross pipe. The install went smoothly until I noticed that the turbo inlet hose had either gotten partially sucked in or was not installed properly the last time things were apart. Unfortunately, that's where things started going pear-shaped. In the process of getting the turbo inlet reseated, I managed to break several vacuum lines that in the course of ten years had become brittle.

Since things weren't going well, I decided to throw a little fuel on the fire and go ahead and install the STi TMIC I've had on the shelf, along with the GrimmSpeed TMIC plumbing kit. I immediately ran into problems with the bypass hose: it didn't fit on the bypass valve very well, the fit was exceptionally tight, and the hose itself wasn't really the right shape.

This took place over the Memorial Day weekend. I ended up taking Tuesday off and went to visit GrimmSpeed, and the local dealership to get replacement vacuum parts. After talking to the folks at GS for a few minutes, and telling them that I bought the plumbing kit on the initial group buy, they told me they made a revision to the kit for cars with fly-by-wire throttles. They gave me a replacement hose that I could tell right away was going to work better!

Neither dealership I checked with had any of the vacuum hoses I needed on hand, so a visit to NAPA and I felt I had gathered up enough generic hose to patch things up.

By Tuesday afternoon everything was back together and I had an appointment for that evening with the tuner: Nuke at NF Performance.

The car started right up as if I hadn't done anything more than change the oil and it ran well through the coolant fill. But on the way to the shop, I noticed a little hesitation.

Nuke flashed the ECU and... The car would barely run, very hard to start. We went back to a stock map, but still the same symptoms. Unfortunately we didn't have a lot of time to work on it that night.

On Friday, I was back and the first thing Nuke did was to pull the driver's side AVCS actuator. Sure enough, there was a small fragment of the hated banjo bolt filter jammed in the AVCS actuator. We swapped in a spare, and the car started right up and idled just fine. After tuning, Nuke cleared the solenoid and we swapped the AVCS actuator back.

I didn't realize that the TD04 in the Forester was given a weaker wastegate actuator than the WRXes had. So I'm still limited to about 11psi, for now.

In all this I thought I had also tracked down the oil leak. It looked like it was coming from the top oil galley plug. I pulled the TMIC, cleaned up the oil, pulled the plug, & cleaned it off. I applied some sealant, torqued it back down, and put everything else back together. The new larger IC is actually easier to get in and out than the stock unit!

THe next day I checked my work, but right away I could see there was oil, but this time I could tell where it was coming from! Next to the galley plug, there is a rubber hose that comes off a fitting on the block, turns 90 degrees to the driver's side, and connects to a hard line that Tees and goes to both sides of the engine. This hose was clamped with oetiker clamps, I replaced the lower clamp, and once again cleaned things up.

Since then, no more oil!

This past Saturday I went up to Park Rapids for the Headwaters Regional Rally, and the Forester was running great, until it stalled on me... (not again!) I borrowed a code scanner and it was showing a P0340. Cam Position Sensor. The car ran ok, but it was tough to get started.

So on Monday I was able to get a replacement cam position sensor. They are not easy to replace, it's just an awkward location, and about the only wrench I could get on the bolt was a tiny "ignition" open ended wrench. The effort paid off though, the car is back to running nicely!

Next on the list:
rear wheel bearings
Get some parts painted and installed.

I'll write another update when I tackle those items!
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
Forum Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 244
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: manual
Yesterday was rear wheel bearings. Two minor mishaps. On the first side I did, I thought it would be appropriate to orient the pusher die such that it would be self centering, with the nose into the bearing. Well it did that, but it also jammed itself onto the inboard cone of the bearing. I ended up splitting the cone with with the Dremel tool and popping it off with a screwdriver. On the other side, I forgot to take out the snap ring. That wasn't so bad, I just had to take the tool apart, switch it around as if I were installing the bearing, and push it back off of the snap ring.

It took me about 4.5 hours total, and that included dealing with those incidents and opening tool packaging and such. I used the Harbor freight bearing puller set, seal installer too, and bearing separator. I also used the Autozone loaner slide hammer and front hub adapter.

The ride is much quieter!
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