I picked up my 03 Forester X for <$6k this past july with less than 140k mi. 5MT, because I haven't owned an automatic in years. This is my third forester, and the first one that I will be modding the heck out of.
When I bought it, it was bone stock feature wise, but had a ton of little quirks to it. The roof crossbars were gaffer's taped, the parking light feature on the steering wheel only turns on the brake lights, and I still don't know what's going on with my headlights. The Connector the drivers side is bad, sometimes the light turns off while driving, have to get out, pop the hood, and wiggle the connector until it comes back on. I can't shift into 5th above 2500rpm, else it'll grind and pop out. Until the car warms up, I can't get into 2nd, at all. I can't get into 1st unless completely stopped. It's got some kind of hill assist feature, if I push the brakes in on an angle, it'll stay there (without touching the brakes) until I depress the clutch. In the headlights, those round little reflector looking things in the top corners... what do they do? They definitely don't light up, wondering if they're supposed to.
I will try to get some better pictures of the various stages, I don't generally take a lot of pictures while working on things, only before and after.
First thing I did, was changed the completely blown out front speakers with a cheap set of Rockford Fosgate OEM replacements.
Timing belt went up (while driving, yes) at 145k mi, replaced engine.
Next, added 25% tinting on 7 windows.
Mounted a 10" Rigid Industries LED Flood light to the front bumper (it was a quick fix for a weekend road trip, remounting hopefully next month) 3950 Lumens
Just last month swapped out the balding Federal Steel tires with a set of 215/65/16 WS70 Blizzaks (winter in Montana).
Replaced stock mud "flaps" with a set of polyurethane rally armor flaps.
Upcoming changes. Parts ordered so far.
20" Rigid Industries Combo LED light. (will be on Roof basket) 7900 Lumens
Converting Rear drum brakes to disc with a 02 WRX brake kit
Replacing 150k mi struts with set of 30k mi struts. (waiting for springs, details below).
3/16" skid plates from Primitive enterprises, front and rear.
Rola Roof Basket
Upcoming changes, ~within 2 months. Still changeable.
Here's where it gets interesting.
Getting ready to order 1" lift king springs from primitive to fit the newer struts.
Put a deposit down on a Primitive bolt Through the Bumper light bar
(Paul says they'll be done hopefully in February)
Next month ordering sheet metal to build replacement front and rear bumper, might order from Paul at primitive instead, haven't made up mind. Rear bumper will have a swing out tire mount and flush mounted Rigid industries D2 Diffused back up light 60 degrees of even light, @ 3030 Lumen
. Front bumper, either making myself or through primitive, will have flush mounted D2 driving lights mounted pretty low with amber optical covers (use as fogs) and custom angle mirrors 7860 Lumens
DiodeDynamics LED replacement kit, for lowering battery drain.
New bigger battery/2nd battery/capacitor and better alternator (of course)
6 Months down the road:
Six Point Roll Cage
Proper racing seats.
Random little changes, like shifter bushings, drop in filter (maybe) aftermarket endlinks, swaybars from subtle solutions.
Total Time expectation: be done next fall.
Total Lumens of everything turned on at once: 22720
Total Wattage of all lights : ~230
Total Amperage of all Significant led lights: ~16
Farthest Beam distance is with the 20" bar, at 850m x 40m wide.
Keep in mind, all other lights that can be replaced with power-saving LEDs, will be.
So, what do you think? I'm totally open to suggestions. I will try to put some better pictures up, I just don't really have a camera other than on a crappy old flip phone, haha.