('03-'05) "The Other Woman" 04 FXT - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Car Year: 2004
Car Model: XT
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"The Other Woman" 04 FXT

Under Construction!



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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Car Year: 2004
Car Model: XT
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The Car To-Date 2/7/17

Mod/Repair List:

Interior
Plasti-Dip Black Lower Dash
Husky Floor Liners
Cheapo Booooooost Gauge (Existing, Relocated)
Momo Shift Knob (Existing)
OEM HU Aux Input Mod
Sound Deadening Everywhere
Misc Refurb'd Interior Bits
Refurb/Upgrade Driver Seat
Red LED Map Lights

Exterior
Tint (Existing)
Sport Grille
RokBlokz Rally Flaps
7-Spoke Outback OEM Wheels
LED LP Lights (Existing)
Yellow Fog Lights, Independently Controlled Switch Mod

Mechanical
Cobb AP Stage 2 Tune (Existing)
Maddad Whisper 3" In Process 2/7/17
Cerakoted Sti Exhaust Manifold + Invidia Catless Up-Pipe
Snorkus Removal
Redneck Heated Washer Mod
Fancy Blue Timing Belt
DIY Grounding Kit
DIY Catch Can
Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings
LIC Motorsports Halfmoons
Perrin Intercooler Coupler
DIY Subframe Locking Kit
DIY Diff Bushing Upgrade
DIY Pitch Stop Stiffening
Stoptech Slotted Discs
Fancy coated SS brake lines from FastWRX
Cool Blue reman CV shafts from MWE/FW1



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Last edited by Fire14; 02-22-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:17 AM
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you should be able to click edit, on each individual post. if its your post...itll pop up next to the button that say quote in the lower right.

welcome from PA!


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Background

My family's first Subaru was an Impreza L, which was beat to hell, rusted out and eventually wrecked by some dumb highschool kid (me) ages ago. Once that became the hand-me-down car my mother decided to get something with more cargo capacity, but also fast. Thus Forester 1.0 was purchased - a brand new XT.


~200k miles & one blown turbo later Forester 1.0 becomes mine, just in time to discover rusted away rocker panels and broken reverse gear. After totaling up the cost to restore the car to DD condition, I ended up searching for another:


The car was found on Craigslist (strike one) and had some mods (strike two). After a visit and test drive we found the car was quite clean underneath, no accidents, and no large mechanical issues. It did however need new tires (strike three) and new tie rods (strike four), was covered in terrible stickers (strike five), and had some cosmetic damage (strike six).

I don't know if it was the lack of clean, standard XT's available ANYWHERE (seriously, they're all rusty, blown turbo, or autos) or the combination of mediocre tint, massive exhaust, and autozone boost gauge stuck on the dashboard with duct tape but I was in love.
^It's actually the first thing.

I made an offer on the car, which was just enough for the kid to get out of his crappy loan (strike seven) and after some phone calls, paperwork dancing, and waiting the bank sent the title over to me after getting the balance paid on the loan (strike 3406734). Seriously, sketchiest way to buy a car ever.

End result was I had a "diamond in the rough" with an identical parts car. Time to clean her up and add some fun bits!
sls2121 and dmcmunn like this.


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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FXTerrific View Post
you should be able to click edit, on each individual post. if its your post...itll pop up next to the button that say quote in the lower right.

welcome from PA!
Wonder if it's tied to post count or something? I do not have that function next to the quote button, and Posting Rules at the bottom of the page says I may not edit my posts.

Thanks for the welcome! I do on occasion drive across PA to visit relatives in the 'Burgh.

Edit 2/22/17 - looks like 19 posts is the magic number to get editing privileges


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Last edited by Fire14; 02-22-2017 at 09:03 AM.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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Forester 1.0

Over the years a few things were done to the first FXT - usually, it was to try and fix some problem that cropped up over the miles.

This one was just for fun - made a custom grounding kit out of leftovers from a school design project:







All this eventually made its way over to FXT 2.0.


After a winter mishap involving the plow truck it was discovered the hatch was quite rusty under all the new dents. Since drastic measures were called for and the car was still the family workhorse, I opted to wire brush, POR-15, bondo, then do a few coats of truck bedliner. It actually came out alright:








FXT 1.0 still lives at the parent's house, waiting to be parted out. In the meantime, she enjoys retirement poking around the property's logging trails. So long as you plan ahead, reverse is never needed!


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire14 View Post
Wonder if it's tied to post count or something? I do not have that function next to the quote button, and Posting Rules at the bottom of the page says I may not edit my posts.

Thanks for the welcome! I do on occasion drive across PA to visit relatives in the 'Burgh.
good call...id imagine once you get a handful of posts itll then pop up.


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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Un-Roughing the Diamond

Back to the new car - FXT 2.0. The first thing that happened after we drove away from purchase was to stop at the nearest gas station and change the oil and coolant. No pictures, but suffice to say the oil was as black as the paint on the car. We also ran a can of seafoam through, which caused at least two people to stop by and ask if the car was on fire. People getting gas were not pleased with the smokescreen either. With freshly topped off gear oil and PS fluid the car made the long trip home with nary a hiccup, wandering serenely across the twisty two lane roads on blown tie rods.

Step two was to take all the stickers off the back. Went from "stancenation bro" all over the window to this:


Since the coolant and oil were so crappy I pulled some things off and gave them a good flush.

Good thing too, all the vent lines were clogged & it looked like tar. I wish I had a picture, but it was too horrifying.

Pulled the Sears edition catch can off FXT 1.0 and put it on the new one (pic from old car).


More to come...


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Interior Refurb Part 1

The car came with crappy universal floormats, cigarette burn in the driver's seat, and about 600 black tree air fresheners scattered throughout, poorly masking the smell of smoke.

The pep boys boost gauge was re-plumbed and re-wired to now sit in the little cubby door covering the fuse panel. I reused the fish tank vacuum line, but ran it through the firewall instead of past the door trim. The old forester sacrificed some trim pieces to replace those that were hacked up in this car to route the lines. I also cleaned up the wires as best I could, using proper connectors and soldering where necessary - the PO had simply twisted bare wire together and covered in electrical tape!


A dremel made room in the cubby for the gauge, which lost it's stupid little mounting bracket. Some black paint to touch up the scrapes on the dash where it was living previously and the relocation was complete.


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Last edited by Fire14; Yesterday at 09:00 AM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Interior Part 2

Since I swapped the aftermarket HU into the Impreza, the old OEM 6-disc went back into this car. This gave me power to the trunk "subwoofer" again, but lost the aux input. A trip over to Scoobymods and some small purchases later, and I had a CD full of silent tracks and an input cable.

Professional Grade Workshop.

Discovered the CD changer was eating CDs, so that had to come apart. No idea whats wrong, but after playing with the fiddly-bits it took the CD (just one) and let it play.


Connected up the appropriate wires to the input jack, which was a PITA. How does anyone else do this? You need four hands and microscope vision.


Test run (it worked!):


Wired up the input connector "permanently" with electrical tape and heat shrink as the strain gauge, since the provided one refused to fit over the bulky 14-pin din cable. Bottled it all up and routed the cable through the change tray in the dash... Presto - aux input in an OEM Subaru HU, letting me drop the beats through the OEM trunk subwoofer.




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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Interior Part 3

Since I had to pull the HU, I decided to go nuts with plasti-dip on the lower dashboard and center console. The fisher-price grey was pretty scuffed up, and in the winter with no garage, what else was I going to do?

Professional Grade Storage/Display Rack

Didn't realize the center surround is essentially molded to the upper dash, so I improvised there:


While everything was apart I noticed the gearshift dust boot shifted (ha!) from useful thing to decoration over the years, probably from the PO playing Fast & Furious with the shifter:


Never to let car parts go to waste, I took the Impreza's defunct accordion boot and sleeved it into the old dust boot's base to take on a new life:


With the weather improving, in bits and spurts the dash was put back together - with results pictured in the previous post.


Also, the front received some brand new Husky floor liners - I have been using the same in the Impreza for over three years and they are excellent for snow & mud season. You can spot them in some of the above photos. Highly recommend for folks who see 4-5 weather seasons.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 09:14 PM
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Oh damn I've been planning to do the same thing to my interior. I hate the grey interior pieces and wish they came from the factory all black. Any plans on doing the door panels and everything else too?

Also what paint did you use? I was planning on using SEM since a lot of people have great results with them.

Painting Automotive Interior Plastic and Vinyl - FordMuscle

https://www.semproducts.com/refinish-trim-paints
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 04:20 AM
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Awesome stuff here, subscribed!
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteroo View Post
Any plans on doing the door panels and everything else too?

Also what paint did you use? I was planning on using SEM since a lot of people have great results with them.
I may do the pillar trim as well at some point. Seems to me door panels are a high impact/wear area so I don't plan to paint those.

I actually just used black plasti-dip in the aerosol cans! The dash pieces were pretty beat so I figured it was worth experimenting while I had it all apart for wiring stuff. So far the only wear I have is from someone putting their feet up and rubbing their shoe on the dash (had rocks in the sole), which I discourage in my cars anyways. Would have scratched up the panel regardless.

I have a second set of interior pieces that I may do with a fancier paint if this doesn't hold up.

As a note, I did this last winter and the car was in heavy use all spring/summer/fall.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Womprat57 View Post
Awesome stuff here, subscribed!
Thanks! Progress will tend to come when I have funds and time to work on it, then usually a bunch of stuff gets done all at once. I'll try and be good at posting updates as they happen.


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