('14+) A newbie's journey - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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A newbie's journey

So, I bought my 2016 Forester XT Touring the first week of January. I had decided that I was going to customize this car but I am completely and totally ignorant of what to do.

I think, at times, maybe other people come to these forums who are new like me and have no real firm vision of what to do to make the car 'mine'.

So this thread will be me just logging and documenting...

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post #2 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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First things first, I am NOT technically savvy nor am I going to tinker with my car myself (mechanically, plugging in an OBD II is not tinkering IMO). Secondly, I have no clue whom in my area works on these cars and would be able to tune it or provide recommendations or much of anything. I posted on the Chicago thread in the Midwest forum but that was never responded to... I tracked down Cobb Tuning and so far 2 locals responded. 1 said "buy an AccessPort" that they'd install for a fee..(ugh)... the other responded with, "we don't tune but we'll install your parts"...the rest ignored me (somewhere Alec Baldwin is giving his Glenngarry Glen Ross speech)...

So, I bought the Accessport from Cobb and installed it (literally plug in the device, and follow the instructions). It works as described... I've attempted to run the cable as best as I can. With the new leg air bag, I am already nervous that my cord is getting in the way. I followed how @HotShot308 described, so I think I am ok... I have a 93 octane BP right by my house, so I mapped to the 93 Stage 1... the problem is, Cobb doesn't support anything else because in their testing they hit a wall with the CVT... meaning, either I go the protune route or I'm done spending one more penny on this car...

That being said, I don't want to drive stick.. personal preference. Couldn't I theoretically swap out the Forester CVT for the WRX CVT (the sport).... I don't like air intakes and have watched enough debunking videos on them to know... so I really want an exhaust. I read online that turbo back is the best, cat back is the second, axle back being the least impact (more sound then mashing)... however, since Cobb Stage 1 is for stock, if I add a whole turbo back... I won't have a map... I might trash my CVT....

I love my forester and really want to go as far as I can... so I'll keep emailing and calling local shops in hopes to find someone...

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post #3 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:22 AM
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Congrats! I was pretty much in the same situation a couple months ago. Since I got my DGM XT touring, I have done this-
-had front windows tinted to match the rear and back
-installed sport grill
-installed rallyarmor mud flaps
-installed weathertech all weather floor mats
-yellow vinyl overlays to the fog lights
-installed invidia q300 catback exhaust
-installed STI front lip from japan-parts
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post #4 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyers1kak View Post
Congrats! I was pretty much in the same situation a couple months ago. Since I got my DGM XT touring, I have done this-
-had front windows tinted to match the rear and back
-installed sport grill
-installed rallyarmor mud flaps
-installed weathertech all weather floor mats
-yellow vinyl overlays to the fog lights
-installed invidia q300 catback exhaust
-installed STI front lip from japan-parts
Thanks for responding, I am so totally incapable of 'installing' anything on my own that I throw money at it lol.

1. A very good friend of mine works at my local Subie dealership (what a surprise that I bought from them too!) I ordered the Sport Grille and he's doing it for a good deal and installed..but they don't have a dyno or any real way of doing pro-tuning... I'm afraid to task them as warranty issues might arise...
2. Weathertech is here in Bowlingbrook (near me, kinda). I drove to their showroom and bought them, that's a must have for any car..
3. I want to do exhaust but having read about Cobb tuning, if you start adding exhaust it might negatively impact the car... so I'm stuck there...
4. For now, I am going to stick to the stock mudguards... but have a follow up for you below...

Why non-stock mudguards... is that working in addition to the guards or in replacement of it...

I want to lower the car a little to soften the ride a tad... I want to add a sway bar because it's more fun driving then any off road (other than camping with my daughter)

Anyways, I'm scheduled to get the cosmetic stuff installed on Wednesday and I'll post updated pictures then....

All I have is money to throw it... lol

Last edited by nogard; 02-22-2016 at 06:40 AM. Reason: corrected a few things that I mistakenly posted.
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post #5 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 08:22 AM
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I was in the Beta group for the Cobb.

I have had the Invidia N1 cat-back on since before installing the Cobb and sent several data logs as such. My car runs much better with the Stage I 93 tune than it does on the stock tune. There are no worries either way as I have it right now. I un-install the Cobb when I take it in for service.

You will be fine with Cat-back exhaust, you don't really need a custom tune, as the catalytic converter provides enough back-pressure. you can do custom if you want more power, but the Stage I keeps me happy for now. ( I toasted a 5.0 'stang the other day.. his buddy in the passenger seat was laughing at him.. )

I am not going to worry about a custom tune until I either do a CAI, or a j-pipe with cat delete.

Everything's better with Bacon!
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post #6 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotShot308 View Post
I was in the Beta group for the Cobb.

I have had the Invidia N1 cat-back on since before installing the Cobb and sent several data logs as such. My car runs much better with the Stage I 93 tune than it does on the stock tune. There are no worries either way as I have it right now. I un-install the Cobb when I take it in for service.

You will be fine with Cat-back exhaust, you don't really need a custom tune, as the catalytic converter provides enough back-pressure. you can do custom if you want more power, but the Stage I keeps me happy for now. ( I toasted a 5.0 'stang the other day.. his buddy in the passenger seat was laughing at him.. )

I am not going to worry about a custom tune until I either do a CAI, or a j-pipe with cat delete.
Back in the day, I had a CAI and wide open catback on my M45... at lower RPM it was...slow... but gosh when you hit the hammer down... good times.

So far, I've been running the Cobb for about a week on 93 stage 1. The car is definitely peppy, in S# I noticed the biggest difference (having driven in I, S, and S#).

Since it is body shop work, I shouldn't have to uninstall the Cobb from the ECU (not sure why they'd be checking that crap if all they are doing is installing the stock mud guards and the sport grille)

I was debating between the nameless and the invidia N1. Since it doesn't require a tune, any thoughts to asking the dealer to do it or should I hit up the local shop?
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post #7 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogard View Post
Back in the day, I had a CAI and wide open catback on my M45... at lower RPM it was...slow... but gosh when you hit the hammer down... good times.

So far, I've been running the Cobb for about a week on 93 stage 1. The car is definitely peppy, in S# I noticed the biggest difference (having driven in I, S, and S#).

Since it is body shop work, I shouldn't have to uninstall the Cobb from the ECU (not sure why they'd be checking that crap if all they are doing is installing the stock mud guards and the sport grille)

I was debating between the nameless and the invidia N1. Since it doesn't require a tune, any thoughts to asking the dealer to do it or should I hit up the local shop?
If you are at all handy with wrenches, I would say do it yourself. The N1 came with full instructions. A few wrenches, a can of WD-40 and a set of ramps for the back wheels is all it took. I took the whole stock exhaust out as a complete unit.

Otherwise, I would use a local shop, the dealer will likely want too much for the labor.

Everything's better with Bacon!
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post #8 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotShot308 View Post
If you are at all handy with wrenches, I would say do it yourself. The N1 came with full instructions. A few wrenches, a can of WD-40 and a set of ramps for the back wheels is all it took. I took the whole stock exhaust out as a complete unit.

Otherwise, I would use a local shop, the dealer will likely want too much for the labor.
Sounds like you are digging on the N1... they told me just to have the exhaust shipped to them and they'll do the install.
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post #9 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Today and Tomorrow

Used some coupons and some connections... my Forester has a new smile today

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post #10 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 07:28 PM
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I'm happy to see the another red Forester out there. I've been unable to update mine due to financial reasons but hoping to make some changes soon

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post #11 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 05:25 AM Thread Starter
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I'm happy to see the another red Forester out there. I've been unable to update mine due to financial reasons but hoping to make some changes soon
I fell in love with this color... I saved up enough to buy 2 things... this grill (got it for a great deal and installed)...

The only other thing I can afford right now is the rear sway bar... however, I'm broke so it's going to be me installing it... (I've gotten the appropriate information... I've have NEVER installed anything on a car before...)
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post #12 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nogard View Post
So, I bought my 2016 Forester XT Touring the first week of January. I had decided that I was going to customize this car but I am completely and totally ignorant of what to do.

I think, at times, maybe other people come to these forums who are new like me and have no real firm vision of what to do to make the car 'mine'.

So this thread will be me just logging and documenting...
You and I are in the same boat. I've got my '16 Forester XT on order (was promised by mid-May ) done a radio install on my '00 forester but that was with Crutchfields great documentation. Looking forward to working on my '16 I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread.
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post #13 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JGMendez View Post
You and I are in the same boat. I've got my '16 Forester XT on order (was promised by mid-May ) done a radio install on my '00 forester but that was with Crutchfields great documentation. Looking forward to working on my '16 I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread.
My first real attempt will be the rear sway bar. It's still a bit cold here in Chicagoland, so I might not make the attempt until it warms up a bit more (though it is supposed to be 60 deg F this weekend) My driveway is slanted and my garage is tiny, so I'll need to find a good spot to do the work so that the car doesn't roll.

I'm going to hit up the local Sears to score the tools I'll need... ordered the ramps and jack stands from amazon (I went with 3 ton, which is hugely overkill for the FXT, but never too cautious)
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post #14 of 245 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyers1kak View Post
Congrats! I was pretty much in the same situation a couple months ago. Since I got my DGM XT touring, I have done this-
-had front windows tinted to match the rear and back
-installed sport grill
-installed rallyarmor mud flaps
-installed weathertech all weather floor mats
-yellow vinyl overlays to the fog lights
-installed invidia q300 catback exhaust
-installed STI front lip from japan-parts
Any chance you are selling your STI front lip from japan-parts???
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post #15 of 245 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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So, thought I would update...

After talking to about 5 different dealers including a subaru installer... I ended up getting the HS15STIGTT Invidia. They say the 11 model does fit but the 15 is designed to fit better (and they claim it does, so I'll share once it's installed)

I also have the sway bar from subaru online parts... (20 mm)... will be installing on my own soon...(or I might not, kind of intimidating to try any install solo)

Thanks to a forum member, I found a supplier who has the under spoilers here in North America and it's about 300 USD (including shipping) cheaper than from japan.

I'm not willing to install the exhaust on my own... if you know me, even if the instructions are specific... I'll still screw it up... contacted a few local shops but so far my dealer has been competitive with rates... my only complaint is when they installed the mud guards (they were out of stock so it was a week later), they didn't wash the car first. I'm not sure if there is salt or other 'crap' under those guards.... (they did the grille too)

Anyone know an installer in and around Illinois/Chicago that won't give me a hard time about buying parts and having them do the install? (the only guys I contacted were a bit frustrated when I went out and bought the parts alone)
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