Want to lift forester need advice! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Want to lift forester need advice!

Hey everyone im new here

I have a 1999 Forester and would like to lift it, put bigger tires on it, and get more horsepower in anyway. Any advice or guidance would be great!! everything is stock on it now.

what would be a ideal lift for it and how much would it all cost? what all goes into doing it, any mechanical changes to the car for it to handle the lift better? What mods can I add to get more power? With added power would the transmission need to be modified to?

estimated costs would be great. Thanks for the advice and help.


Totaled 1999 Black Forester:icon_cry:
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 10:56 PM
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what kind of offroading do u plan on doing?


2001 sf S, off road:)
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 11:36 PM
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First and foremost, you don't need a lift, or even better tires to get the car to do some pretty outrageous stuff off road. I've been in some of the thickest mud, and hardest terrain my car has seen with stock Geolander street tires and stock height. In fact, my car is STILL stock height with only slightly larger all-terrain tires in its current state.

Biggest hinderance is the overhangs more than the ground clearance, I'd say. I scrape my front bumper and drag (and rip) my rear bumper more that I'd care to admit, which is why a lot of the Forester's in Australia (offroadsubarus.com) have aftermarket shallow bumpers to increase approach and departure angles. Ground clearance will help a bit, but it's not going to cure diagonal spin.......nothing will unfortunately. The only thing that can help it is driver confidence and skill behind the wheel.

Another thing I'd start looking to modify would be to swap in SG struts. This will give you the ability to run a larger 215/70 16 tire (or equivalent 15 inch size) Also, by running 15" wheels, you can equip mud-terrain tires and get a slight bump on off road traction over all terrain tires (specifically in the slick stuff).

But I'll say the Forester in its bone stock form is still a pretty stellar performer off road, and it's never ceased to amaze me what it can do in stock form (even on crappy Geolander all-season tires)

And I'll finish with the most useful advise I can give. DO NOT rely on modifying the car to get good at off road driving. You modify the driver first. I've been through things in my car that some Jeep Rubicon drivers got theirs stuck in because they were unfamiliar with what the capabilities of their vehicle, and were unexperienced in that situation. With off road (or anything really), the skilled driver is more beneficial than the vehicle driven. The approach and line taken through an obstacle can either allow you to pass easily, or get you stuck good. So continuing to punish the Foz off road and learn EXACTLY how the car responds to all situations will benefit you more than a lift, off road tires or more power. And don't worry about getting stuck! Getting stuck good is how you learn what not to do with your car, and if you don't learn that, you won't learn what TO do. I've been stuck a lot, and it shows that you are pushing your car to the limit (and gaining very valuable experience), and you'll know how to better combat it if it happens again.

(FUN FACT: You can MASSIVELY assist your off road ability by disconnecting your front and rear sway bars. Just remove the end links and you get a HUGE increase in articulation, which will greatly reduce diagonal spin in some situations) Simply take 10 minutes to disconnect them, do your off road driving, then reconnect them when you get back home. Simple.

And because I like to whore out my videos......here are a couple (and 80% of the time, I'm on stock tires)......and apology for the long post, I like to talk (type) a lot........





And here is a demonstration of how very suble changes in your approach and line taken through obstacles can either get you stuck or through smoothly.....

SanDiegoJoe likes this.

2004 XT - RIP
2005 XT - 5MT - 2" LIFT
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Last edited by Blue Fox; 07-31-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 11:38 PM
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Subtle solutions sells a 1" liftkit for the SF5 chassis thats relatively simple and cheap at only $250.00 for the kit. It consists of 4 (inch thick) tophat plates with corresponding extended studs/nuts.

You can also look into getting stiffer stock height springs (primitive racing) that wont compress down and much, hence a higher ride height.

But to be honest, you shouldnt NEED a lift kit, the forester already has a high ride height stock, and is capable of quite a bit offroad , just ask User Blue fox, he does it with his forester allot, and as far as i know, its got stock ride height.


As far as extracting powers from our N/A motors... you can do things like Intake/headers/exhaust, throttlebody spacer, phenolic spacers, lightened crank pulley, lightweight flywheel, and keeping up with proper maintenance needs such as proper fluid changes, good schedule of spark plug change(s)/plug wires, and perhaps replacement of the primary 02 sensor if you dont know how old it is. But these only go so far until its not worth dropping that much more money into it, and just save for a turbo swap if you really want power.

2001FSTi: 401hp/420trq.... #s on a Heartbreaker. Procom Built. Self Tuned with 2000cc Alky.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 03:09 AM
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I agree with BlueFox here. Before modifying your Foz work on your driving skills, they will make the biggest improvement.
I have only recently put a lift kit combination (heavy duty springs 1", 1" Subtle Solutions strut lift blocks and my bigger All-Terrain tyres) about 3" of lift. It makes heaps of difference especially for approach and departure angle.
I have spent thousands of dollars fixing my Foz due to damage from trying to do things it defernately doesn't specify in the owners manual for offroad use
But all the expereience makes you a better driver
My Foz will keep up with the big 4x4 for the most part, sometimes power is abit of an issue only have an EJ20 (2.0l) 5 speed manual, with 45% reduction low range. But for the most part does quite well
A sump guard that is metal is also a very very very good idea, the first thing you should do before going offroad!!!!!!! Im sure everyone on here will agree with me on that.

And as BlueFox stated diagnal spin due to open diffs is painful too. But that makes you a better driver and makes you pick the right path on a track ro route.

Here is my Foz, its a 2001.

Before liftkit with sagging stock springs. BTW my sump guard and side skirting, a Subaru diff and bog planks are on the roof basket



Ready for a camping trip



The day before my liftkit went in and the same day my clutch decided to die 600miles from home


With liftkit


When Clutch went, me pumping up the tyres after being towed off the beach


The trip home with liftkit and new clutch


One more for the hell of it.


And a vid for the hell of it. Just to see how capable a Foz is with stock sagging clearance but decent tyres look at my youtube channel with me at the 'Mundaring Powerlines'.


My lifted foz with me driving being the young idiot i am


Also over at OFFROADSUBARUS.com might be more of a place for you on the net. Heaps of guys over there with some amazing machines, just like bluefox's

Cheers
Taza

01 Foz 2.5- D/R, 5" lift, Bullbar, Rearbar, LSD
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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice!! but its not that i want to do tons of major off roading. I just think the Forester looks better lifted up a bit with bigger tires. I wanna do it for the look and when the times comes to go off road i'll have all y'alls good advice. ;).

so, i have been doing some reading and am thinkin about maybe getting 2" spacers. any input on that would be great. also my engine has a small oil leak. the mechanic said its not worth a 700$ fix and to just put thicker oil in (10w-40) and some engine oil leak stop. I did and its been doing pretty good, but with a lift or bigger tires would that put more stress on the engine and make the problem worse?

Totaled 1999 Black Forester:icon_cry:
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:18 AM
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A 2" lift is pretty difficult to find in the states. Most people have had to make theirs. Lift springs and 1/2" spacers will get you pretty close to 2" and available in the US. You will somewhat limited on tires, but as suggested earlier, find some 03-08 rear struts to allow you to go one more size up. They are bolt-in but have a different spring perch design, giving more room for tires.

04 X - getting a little too tired to keep beating up in the mtns
02 Pathfinder w/ only 224k miles
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 01:12 PM
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Welcome Gudolby! You're geting great advice from these folks! Don't forget a tire pump and at least minimum recovery gear of snatch strap, distribution strap, rated shackles, wooden block for a jack plate in soft stuff and a shovel.

MY'03 XS AT offroad; MY10 Triton GLX-R

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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Where do would I get SG struts from? Another subaru? This is all new to me.

Totaled 1999 Black Forester:icon_cry:
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 07:32 PM
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You could get 1" strut lift blocks from Subtle Solutions in the US (I had mine shipped to Australia at an extra cost), then add raised springs. Get rid of your 12year old ones. Rather than 2" lift blocks.
Keep you existing struts or just replace the rears with KYB struts. Thats what I have and same with most guys over at offroadsubarus.


01 Foz 2.5- D/R, 5" lift, Bullbar, Rearbar, LSD
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Concidering 1" spacers, raised springs, new struts, and new tires what is the best way to go but also the cheapest, and in what order should all this be done.

Totaled 1999 Black Forester:icon_cry:
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 09:20 PM
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I would look into getting 03 (sg) kyb gr2 struts and fit the biggest tire u can and either remove or make quick disconnects for ur sway bars

2001 sf S, off road:)
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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 09:22 PM
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I would do larger All-Terrain tyres first. Then save and get the springs, struts, shocks and lift blocks all done at once. All of that will cost roughly $1000. Orobably slightly more. But if you install it yourself you wil have $300+.
Tyre pricing im not sure as I don't live in america.
You could get 2" lift blocks from Australia and shipped over to the US for about $400. Then install them yourself and get bigger tyres. That would be the cheapest but I think since your springs/struts and shocks are 12 years old may aswell do them too so then there is less chance of them failing anytime soon.

Taza

01 Foz 2.5- D/R, 5" lift, Bullbar, Rearbar, LSD
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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by garrettG View Post
I would look into getting 03 (sg) kyb gr2 struts and fit the biggest tire u can and either remove or make quick disconnects for ur sway bars
Personally I wouldn't go any bigger than 215/75R15 or 215/70R16 on a Subaru. Both of those tyre sizes are just under 30"which for a Subie are huge.

You can fit both of those sizes without upgrading to different stuts. Plus if you go bigger than a 30" tyre power, both gearing and engine will beomce an issue.

Plus to go bigger you will have to do some major midifications with a grider so they don't rub, and you will need more than 2 or 3" of lift. This will be costly into the thousands of dollars.

Quickdisconnects are well worth it though or completely removing the swaybars

Just my 2 cents though.

With my liftkit combination and bigger 215/70R15 Geolanders plus my driving skills I can get most places without much hassle.

Taza

01 Foz 2.5- D/R, 5" lift, Bullbar, Rearbar, LSD
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:13 PM
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215 70 16 measures to Just under 28" 215 75 15 are about the same, if u are gonna do a 2in lift I would try to fit 225 70 16's which is Just under 28.5" and with a lift trimming should not be required, plus the 225 70 16's fill in the wheel wells really nicely and looks bad ***!

2001 sf S, off road:)
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