Vehicle Name: Sleepy1
Vehicle: 2009 SH Forester Premium
Original Drivetrain: N/A 2.5 with Automatic
Current Drivetrain: Full 2008 STI Conversion with Stage 2 mods
------------------------ 2013 Mods and Updates ------------------------
After 10 months in storage, I have begun modding the forester again.
See posts starting on pg 4 for all 2013 changes.
Completed Mods in 2013
- Forged SS1 Short block from TopSpeed Motorsports
- Blouch 1.5xtr Turbo with 10cm hotside
- Invidia EL Headers, Up-pipe (In addition to Down-pipe, Exhaust)
- Grimmspeed EBCS
- Perrin Inlet
- TIC TGV Deletes
- AEM Failsafe Boost/Wideband Gauge
- Killer Bee Oil Pickup
Currently pending tune on 1/26
------------------------ 2012 Overview ------------------------
Like many, I originally purchased my used 2009 2.5X Premium non-turbo automatic Forester due to its practicality, large interior space, and AWD.
I felt like I was ready to move onto a different stage in my life... a new wife, and plans of a family.
While I've always had modified/fast vehicles, I figured I didn't really "need" a fast car anymore and invested in the safety aspects and ease of driving the Forester.
Fast forward many thousands of miles later, and I will still admit that I was surprised at how much I grew to enjoy the Forester in stock form.
I will also concede that I was usually the first to grab the keys of the Forester as I headed to work or run errands.
However, I still felt the Forester had the potential to be better -> stronger -> faster.
At 99,999 trouble free miles reading on the odometer, I pulled my 2009 Forester into my small 2-car garage to begin its transformation from stock on Sept 2011.
I drove it out of the garage Dec 2011 as a whole new animal…
Sleepy1 is the Forester I wish Subaru would have produced...
A safe and reliable daily driver, right-sized for a small family maneuvering around Seattle, with the ability put 317hp and 344 ft-lbs at the wheels should the need arise
I had a blast making Sleepy1 into a true “Sleeper” and take satisfaction that this swap was completed with help from my brother-in-law, wife, and myself in my own garage.
This build was to create a vehicle that was unique, fulfilled my family requirements, and be a form of “stress relief” from my everyday-job as an IT Professional.
Through careful planning and a verrrrryyyyyy tolerant spouse, I completed the swap in a little over 3 months.
As far as I know, my 2009 STI SH Forester is number four of four in terms of SH STI conversions.
The Subaru XTI, PIA Forester, and AWDriven were my inspiration for this build.
Pictures and videos of these awesome XTI Foresters were always in the back of my mind as the miles clicked away on my completely stock SH.
While Sleepy1 had proven to be a great daily driver in stock form, I always kept my eyes out for a donor GR STI.
I will say that it took a long time looking, posting, phone calls, and auction sites to find a totaled STI where the drivetrain wasn’t mangled.
In August 2011, I was able to procure a salvage STI (On the opposite side of the country) that was still moveable under its own power and a good deal with low miles.
Long story short, I’ve logged 2000+ miles on my conversion now.
The Forester is everything I hoped it would be… unique, discreet, reliable, and fast.
Cops don’t give me a second look as I drive by, and even folks at the local NASIOC meetings think it’s just a NA Forester with a slight drop, brake upgrade, and STI wheels.
I admit… I like the shocked look on people faces during the few times I popped the hood, and share that it’s a Stage 2 STI build.
I will continue to post pictures and provide insight and lessons-learned from the conversion.
I must apologize in advance for the bad pictures… most were taken by my phone.
I do hope to post better pictures of the completed conversion once the weather improves.
I hope you enjoy the pictures, and I'll try to help folks out as much as possible.
I've always found this forum helpful, so I'll give back as much as I can.
--------------------------THE MOD LIST-------------------------
Completed: 2008 STI Conversion (Sept 2011 to Dec 2011)
- ECUs and Wiring
2000+ miles on STI conversion as of 1/16/12
- Only issue was a failed Walbro Fuel Pump, replaced under warranty
Fuel & Tuning:
- Cobb AccessPort with Pro Tune by Dom @ Maxwell Power
- SI-Drive programmed with Different Boost Levels
- 92 Unleaded
- 08 STI Fuel lines and Fuel pump housing conversion (Return Style)
- Walbro GSS342
All Forester wiring was replaced with the donor 08 STI wiring harnesses
The following 08 STI wiring harnesses were modified to work with the conversion
- Front headlight harness: Pins moved to Forester order and additional ground added (Same headlight plug)
- Interior Roof Harness: Modified to allow Sunroof operation
- Rear Pillar Air Bag plugs: Extended
- Rear Taillight Harness: STI plugs cut off and changed with Forester
- Rear Hatch Harness: Moved reverse light wiring to taillight harness
- Front Wiper Motor plug: Pins moved to Forester order
- Rear Dome light harness added
08 STI ECU
09 Forester Airbag Module
- 09 Forester Front Passenger Seat Sensor swap to STI Seat
Exhaust / Intake:
- Invidia Catted Downpipe
- Invidia Q300 Catback Exhaust
- (Modified) Fast Motorsports 08 STI Front Mount Intercooler Kit
- Stock diameter 08 STI custom CAI
- 08 STI Engine (Stock Turbo w/ Stage II mods)
- 08 STI Transmission
- 08 STI R180 Rear
- 08 STI Driveshaft
- 08 STI Front / Rear CV joints
- 08 STI Steering Rack
- 08 Front Suspension Subframe and Control Arms (Removed Forester Subframe Spacers)
- 08 STI Rear Suspension Subframe and Control Arms
- 08 STI Front and Rear Sway Bars
- 08 STI Front Struts with 3/8” Subtle Spacers
- 08 STI Rear Struts with 1” Subtle Spacers
- Front Camber: -1.3
- Rear Camber: -1.3
- Approximately 2.5” lower than factory ride height
- 08 STI Clutch and Brake Pedals Assembly
- 08 STI Master Cylinder
- 08 STI ABS Controller
- 09 Forester Brake Hard-lines
- 08 STI Brake Flex-lines
- 08 STI Front and Rear Brake Caliper Assemblies
- Fully functional STI ABS with switchable Hill Assist
Wheels & tires:
- 08 STI: 5 spoke silver aluminum alloy: 18"x 8.5"
- 245/40 R18 93W Dunlop SP Sport 600 (Factory STI Takeoffs)
- Manual HVAC controls converted to Automatic
- Interior color converted from Gray to Black
- 09 Forester Limited Door Panels
- 08 STI Front Seats with 09 Forester Seat Brackets / Sliders
- 09 Forester Limited Black Leather Rear Seats
- Complete 08 STI Dash Assembly and Cluster
- 08 STI Tilt / Telescope Steering Column
- 08 STI steering wheel ring with 09 Forester Airbag
- 08 STI Black Carpet (Exact same dimensions as 09 Forester)
- 08 STI Fuel Door Opener handle and covers
- 08 STI Center Armrest / Console / Controls
- 09 Forester (Manual) shifter console
- Custom 09 Forester Front Seatbelt mechanism using STI buckles, loops, and receivers
- Stock Appearance for Sleeper Look
- Modified Front Bumper with enlarged lower grill cutout for FMIC
- Retained Naturally Aspirated Hood
- Removed PZEV Badge
- Matching STI Steering Column Door key-lock installed in Forester Door (Bolt in)
I used a complete 2008 STI Donor Vehicle
All STI and Forester Systems are Fully Functional with no check engine lights / codes
- Automatic HVAC controls
- ABS with Roll Assist (And the ability to disable)
- Factory DCCD
- All Airbags and Seatbelt Tensioners
- Cruise Control
- Ignition Disable with Laser Cut smart key
- Key Fobs
- ODBII Systems
Swap was completed at home by an enthusiast… I am not affiliated in any way with a shop or the automotive profession