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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey there fellas its your friendly neighborhood RAPTR again. You might remember my thread about fitting 08 STi springs on stock Forester struts located here.
Anyway, I want to fill you guys in on what I found out about the STi strut swap.

Well, fabrication for the front STi struts is absolutely necessary. So necessary that I had to take a step back and decide if I really want to proceed. Besides slotting the lower strut holes, filling in the gaps with harden washers in between the hub/strut, I also felt like I will have to grind down the lower tab on the STi strut to allow for proper clearance for the CV boot. Now I know exactly what I'm up against. Instead of starting the fabrication process I decided to just install the correct STi upper perches on the Forester Struts and document my findings. I did take photos for you guys and will post them.

Update 12/22/09: Finished the STi strut conversion. The best part is that the STi rear struts are a direct swap. In the pictures below I showed the fabrication that is needed to adapt the front STi struts to Forester hubs. I finally got a pic of the shims/spacers to fill the gap between the Forest hub and STi struts. The Forester hub tab is narrower than the STi hub set-up. Everything was very straight forward and anyone that has any kind of fabrication skills, this is a cake walk. Wheel and tire fitment all depends on what set-up you are running. I run some what of an aggressive wheel tire set-up and so far no rubbing. The pictures of the finished set-up was with STi struts and STi Swift lowering springs. This set-up definitely rubs on my tires when going over bumps, but it sure looked fun. I swapped the STi OEM springs back on to gain proper clearance with no rubbing.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

08 STi strut with Swift lowering springs vs. 09 FXT strut with 08 STi springs


You can see that the STi strut is longer at the hub connection.


Forester strut bolt spread approx 2.5"


STi strut bolt spread approx 3"


Example of slotting the lower strut holes on the STi struts


Example of where you must grind part of the lower STi strut to avoid rubbing of the hub casting.


The red areas must be removed for clearance and for proper hub fitment. Both sides of the tabs.


Shims/spacers/washers on the upper and lower strut bolts. If you use washers, make sure they are metric hardened and you will need 8 total.
(Lately I've been getting mixed reports on the sizes of the washers. From M12-M16, so please take in your specific bolt to get the right size).


STi strut with STi spring vs Forester Strut with STi springs


Left is the Forester rear strut bottom vs STi rear strut bottom


















The 09 Forester is the new Wagon, lol.

See Post #19 for pics of the Forester on Stock STi Spring and STi struts.
 

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Complete sickness! Congrats on a job well done. Any rubbing issues with that small rubber/plastic piece that kind of extends out in the rear wheel opening? So if this is how it is with the Stock springs, imagine how it would look with those STi swifts!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ya know, I never gave it a chance to rub because I took a small amount of it off with a razor blade. The pictures are actually of the struts with the Swifts on it. The wheels were rubbing just rolling down the driveway so I knew I had to put the stockers on it. Just image it 3/4" higher with the stockers. If I want to go lower I'm going to have to roll the fenders and rolling fenders suck.
 

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Yeah, I think I may need to either cut it or completely remove that piece. So, are you going to put the STi springs back in or go with different wheels? That fitment is sweet though. I hear ya on the pains of rolling/pulling to fit. I went through that with my WRX wagon.....don't want to do it with the wife's Forester. Thanks again for all your info and documentation.
 

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Damn, that's a really good looking setup. Great job with the fab work, I'd love to see some pics of the shims and spacers you used, and some with the stock STi springs too.
 

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Nice work. Did the top hats just swap over w/o any issues? Same bolt spacing and everything?

I think they should be identical between the two models. Did the rears only have 2 bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The top hats in the front IMO are the same. No fitment issues or shape/height differences. I also tried to see if the STi hats were stiffer but they are the same. 3 bolts/studs in the front 2 in the rear. The rear hats have a slight difference. The STi rear hats have a tab that stick up and the Forester doesn't have any type of tab. But the bolt spacing is the same and the rubber seat too.
 
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