('03-'05) So it begins... - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bozeman, MT
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Car Year: 2003
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Wink So it begins... Lift, Lights, and Lovely plans.

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.

Last edited by Doofus; 12-12-2012 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Recalculated Amperage
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Brisbane
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Looking forward to seeing the swing out tyre mount! Keep us posted mate
Cheers
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-12-2012, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by jredd27 View Post
Looking forward to seeing the swing out tyre mount! Keep us posted mate
Cheers
The "design" if you can call it that, is from a replacement bumper I had for my Xterra. I'd like the same style/effectiveness of this : Rear Bumper with spare tire mount

Probably going to make it out of 1/4" steel. won't be as beefy since I won't be putting a 35" tire on it.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Forgot to mention the 6 or 8 point roll cage, just made all the measurements, but won't start it until March (friend wants to build it, but he's out of town till end of feb)
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 04:31 AM
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Yeah nice, sounds awesome
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Ordered King Springs from Primitive Racing Today! They're going to ship them on the 28th, as they're currently out of stock :(
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver (San Mateo, Colorado Springs, Durango)
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Curious as to why you are getting a roll cage/racing seats. That will cost in the thousands...for what?

The lights that you said aren't lit, should be.

This should fix your transmission issues : http://www.grimmspeed.com/catalog/pr...products_id=76

And soldering in new or junkyard headlight connectors with the pigtails should solve that issue.

Rawr PFF!

250+k mile club
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Not the thousands, just about 800 total. Getting the seats for cheap, making the cage, it's pretty easy if you know how to weld.

Why a cage you ask? I drive fast on dirt/gravel/not even a road. Frequently on roads that have no guardrails and massive falls. I'm building this with speed and safety in mind. You're in Colorado, you know the roads I'm talking about. If I roll, I want to be as safe as possible. Hence the excellent lighting setup.

Thanks for the cocktail link, I just started looking into that today. That works for -30f and below right?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 08:28 PM
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Oh wow. I thought the metal that meets roll cage standards costs more than that alone. I know most shops charge over $3k for an STi to be caged, and then proper (welded) seats are a couple grand themselves too.

Makes sense as to why though. I don't drive fast on dirt or all that fast on pavement either, really. I figure that if I attempt a corner 5 mph faster to say that I can, and end up going into a guardrail, tree, cliff, etc and waste my car and possible lives, was it worth it?

Yeah the cocktail is designed for cold shifting and grinds. Solved all my issues at 252k miles.

Rawr PFF!

250+k mile club
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofus View Post
Not the thousands, just about 800 total. Getting the seats for cheap, making the cage, it's pretty easy if you know how to weld.

Why a cage you ask? I drive fast on dirt/gravel/not even a road. Frequently on roads that have no guardrails and massive falls. I'm building this with speed and safety in mind. You're in Colorado, you know the roads I'm talking about. If I roll, I want to be as safe as possible. Hence the excellent lighting setup.

Thanks for the cocktail link, I just started looking into that today. That works for -30f and below right?
Hey, I went off a bridge with no roll cage and did just fine!

Are you actually welding the cage into the chassis (the proper way to do it)?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Pigboat_2

Oh wow. I thought the metal that meets roll cage standards costs more than that alone. I know most shops charge over $3k for an STi to be caged, and then proper (welded) seats are a couple grand themselves too.
Roll cages take forever in labor time, (same for seats) if you do the welding yourself, there's no labor cost involved, except small amounts of shop time. If you have a shop that lets you work on weekends, well, solves that problem.

Makes sense as to why though. I don't drive fast on dirt or all that fast on pavement either, really. I figure that if I attempt a corner 5 mph faster to say that I can, and end up going into a guardrail, tree, cliff, etc and waste my car and possible lives, was it worth it? I don't drive fast on pavement, not really. I usually go 5-10 over the speed limit, but the speed limits here are 70-75, so that's 80-85. 3/4 of the state are dirt roads with no posted speed limit (the assumed speed limit of a dirt road is 45, but I did say POSTED) This area is home to grizzly bears, elk, mulie deer, bison, mountain goat, white tail deer, moose, black bears. I've seen at least one of each, on the road, after a blind turn in a 70 zone. Even if I'm driving the Speed limit, that could go very very bad. I only drive faster than normal when I'm alone in the vehicle, or it's an emergency.

LoscalDazar

Hey, I went off a bridge with no roll cage and did just fine! I'm glad you're still alive, not a risk I'm willing to take.

Are you actually welding the cage into the chassis (the proper way to do it)? I've never heard of any other way to do it that actually works.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-18-2012, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Woohoo, got a fantastic deal on a ej257 short block last night, starting the search for other swap parts! pics later
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it's been a while since I updated this.

Let's see, I never take pictures of anything until it's all done, so... yeah, maybe pics later.

Have all parts for swap except gaskets and fuel rail system. Dealing with job/move issues at the moment, so it'll be a while till it's done.

First stage (done by summer-ish/June)
Engine, turbo, suspension, and brakes will be done. (Projected)

Second Stage (when I have time during this summer)
Bumpers, cage, and light installation will be done.

Just putting in an update. Finally have an actual camera.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Holy crap, I haven't posted anything since february. With good reason though, unfortunately.

Let's see here... never got around to the sti swap, due to the harness being entirely too much work. So instead, we're going with a wrx/sti hybrid build, freshly machined and rebuilt everything.

Stock brakes were changed for 04 WRX brakes, currently running newer stock struts with a 1" lift through king springs from Paul at Primitive.

I've got a ton of things to do before next summer, but it's slowly coming together. Most of the wait has been my problem, either being away for work, or held up medically.

Currently waiting on a turbo, bearings, and fmic. Keeping the stock hood. Uppipe, downpipe, headers, and manifold are coming out of a tracked 05 saaburu. <- so is the harness
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