More Pix at posts #7, #15, #55 and #63 (new)
Ok so I just recently bought a 2001 Forester L and there was no way in hell I was driving it stock haha
So I decided to slam the crap out of it!
I went ahead and did some research on here as well as use my vast subaru knowlege ;) (was a subaru tech at ajw performance for a year and a half)
I sourced most of the parts at the local pick and pull from a 90s Impreza wagon (except the actual suspension)
-06 WRX Sedan Shocks and Struts (70k) with Eibach Sportlines (no spacers)
-Engine cradle bolt brackets (2)
-Trans cross member bolts (2)
-LCA Mounts (2)
-Shifter linkage and bushings
-Rear Sway Bar mounts (brackets) (L&R)
(I am also unsure why the flash made all the light rust look completely horrible...)
I didnt take pictures of everything but this is how I did it:
**SPRAY EVERYTHING WITH PB BLASTER FIRST**
I also used an impact gun for the majority of things to make it easier.
First off put the car on 4 jack stands (high enough so you can crawl under the car). I started with the rear suspension because there was less things to do.
Idk why subaru decided to do this on the older subarus but in order to remove the shocks you have to disconnect the brake lines... I was not about to do that and have to bleed the entire system. So I just removed the retainer clips, pulled the line as far out of the way as possible and used a cut off wheel to cut the bracket. Then I took a hammer and bent it out of the way. (and YES you have to do this to all 4)
Next I Removed the two bolts 19mm bolts that hold the shock to the knuckle. Next go into the hatch and pop the rear shock tower covers off (flat head screwdriver) and then remove the 3 12mm nuts holding the shock in. The shock will probably fall onto the ground or just slide down a bit. (it helps to have someone to help you but i did not). Do this to both sides.
Next I removed the 12mm bolt holding the rear sway bar to the mounting bracket on both sides and wiggled the bar free. Then there is just two 12mm bolts holding the bracket onto the frame. As you can see the Impreza ones are much shorter.
Then just reverse these steps (using the Impreza items) and you are done with the rears. (Use a jack to jack up the knuckle to hold the shock in place to get the bolts on)
And now for the front
First loosen/remove the the 12mm bolt that clamps the steering linkage to the steering column. Spray it with PB Blaster. This is so when the body lift is removed the linkage can slide up the shaft.
Remove the front struts by again cutting the small bracket holding the brake line in, removing the 12mm bolt holding the ABS line, removing the two 19mm bolts holding the strut to the knuckle and finally the 3 12mm nuts for the top-hat. (dont install the wrx stuff yet)
Next I decided to tackle the LCA Mounts. First remove the two 19mm Bolts holding the mount to the frame. You can then pull the lca down to access the 7/8" nut holding the mount to the LCA. Remove that and wiggle the mount off. Then replace it with the one from the Impreza (or wrx) using the factory Forester bolts. Do the same to the other side.
The next step was the removal of the trans cross member spacers. You just have to remove the front cross brace, not the entire support. There is 4 17mm bolts/nuts (2 of each) holding this on. Once it is out I used a cut off wheel and cut the two spot welds holding the spacers on, then using a hammer to knock them off. Once they were off i cleaned it up a bit and threw a coat of truck bedliner spray on it (thats all i had lol). Still wet, I put it back on using the shorter impreza bolts on the outside.
Now for the hardest part. The engine cradle spacer removal. Now when I say hard I mean aligning the holes was a PITA!
Remove the intake piping 12mm bolt and a 10mm bolt and the coolant reservoir 2 10mm bolts and some wire connectors.
Now you can see the cradle bracket bolts. Place a jack under the motor to support it (on the cross member NOT the oil pan). Remove the 2 17mm Nuts on each side than hold the cradle in place. Now the brackets can be pulled up. (there is a stupid Phillips head screw that holds the bracket down). Once the bracket bolts are pulled up lower the motor about an 3/4". The spacers should now be able to move. They are held in with a plastic clip but of you smack the spacer with a hammer the clips should break. Remove the spacers and then insert the new bracket bolts (I ordered these from subaru). Aligning the holes to get the new bolts trough the cradle was a PITA. I used various prying and jacking points (with a 2nd jack) to do it. Good luck haha
Once you have the bracket bolts in place, tighten them up with the factory nuts. Also make sure the steering linkage is in good working order and then re-tighten the bolt.
Next thing is replacing the shifter stop bushing. You could just use the factory shifter and linkage but you have to remove the entire linkage to get the stop bushing off.. This is why I just snagged the whole linkage from the impreza. I now also with have a slightly shorter shifter anyway, which is good.
You can remove the linkage with the shifter still attached without having to take anything else off. Remove the shift knob, take the shifter surround out, and remove the 12mm bolt holding the shifter to the shifting rod. Next go under the car and remove the 13mm nut holding the round part of the linkage to the trans. Then using a ratchet and a 6" extension remove the two 12mm bolts holding the stay bushing to the body. (not much room but it can be done). Then just snake everything down and out. (pull the shifter itself through the rubber surround). Then snake the Impreza linkage, shifter and stay bushing back up in there (all as one unit) and reinstall everything.
After that is done reinstall your front Struts and you are DONE! (get an alignment)
This took me about 8hrs total including, a front brake job (pads and rotors) and drilling a tapping a snapped bolt for the rear sway brackets.. oh and eating some pizza
And you can go from:
Ill get some better pix when it stops raining...