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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Supersonic Grocery Getter (08 FSXT)

Well, it's time to start a build thread to keep track of things.

I've got an Impreza that I'm lifting to be more SUV-like (The sÜBERu), so this one will be a bit more for the street. This is the wife's primary car so nothing too drastic. Everything has to balance with comfort, noise, and ease of use in mind.

2008 Forester Sports XT 4EAT (build date 09/07)
Purchased in August 2012 with ~42k miles, previous owner traded it in on a GT-R (lucky dog!). Once 60k miles hits the fun can really begin.

Here's a current picture:


Here's the picture of it just before we drove it home (poor picture, camera phone had dirt on it)
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Mod Index

Mods Completed:
Engine/Transmission/Exhaust:
Sportshift with Paddle Shifters
Secondary-Air System Delete

Suspension/Brakes/Wheels:
DIY rear subframe lockdown bolts
5mm H&R Trak+ Rear Spacers and extended studs (to clear 2011 WRX wheels)
Oz Ultraleggeras (Summer) 08 FSXT STi Wheels (Winter) 2011 WRX Wheels (previous Summer, no longer)
Quick Release eBay Rear Strut Tower Bar
Front Strut Tower Bar

Exterior:
20% window tint on all windows, sunroof and windshield stripe
Daytime running lights disabled
LED Tail Lights
3M ClearBra on hood, mirrors, headlights and front emblem
Rear View Camera

Interior:
Retrofitted factory seat heaters
Pioneer AVIC-X930BT
Coin Box add with Felt Lining
Glove Box Light Add
Momo Knob
2008 STi Steering Wheel and Airbag
Aluminum Dead Pedal
Independent Front Windshield Spray Control

Mods in Waiting (have parts already):
Engine/Transmission/Exhaust:
STi TMIC
Block Heater
S2 Industries AOS
Intercooler Sprayer
Perrin Equal Length Header and Uppipe with DEI Titanium Exhaust Wrap
07 STi Catback Exhaust
B&M 70255 Transmission Cooler
Deatschwerks DW200 Fuel Pump
Perrin Dual Catted Downpipe
JDM 4.11 Suretrac Rear Diff

Suspension/Brakes/Wheels:
06 WRX Sedan Struts with 04 WRX Wagon Springs
Forester "STi" pink springs
Driveline Spacer Removal
06 WRX Rear Crossmember
WRX Rear Diff Outrigger
Spacer-less 4EAT Drive Shaft (06 WRX)
WRX 4EAT Crossmember
20mm STi Rear Sway Bar
STi Rear Sway Bar Brackets
STi Aluminum Lateral Links with Group N Bushings
STi Aluminum Lower Control Arms
2005 STi Steering Rack
Rallitek 4EAT Transmission Mount Insert
Fender Braces
Rallitek Heavy Duty Endlinks
2005 Legacy GT Brake Upgrade
STi Master Cylinder and Brake Booster

Exterior:
Rear Diff Skid Plate
HID Retrofit (BI-XENON FX-R STAGE III)
Heated Mirrors
Heated Windshield (sourced from a 2004 FXT partout)
05-07 STi Side Under Panels
Fog Lights
JDM 02/03 STi Hood Scoop

Interior:
RAAMmat
Retained Accessory Power
Hardwire Smart Cord for Radar Detector
Modify AUX Input to Work with AVIC-X930BT
Add back in factory sub since head unit upgrade.
One-Touch Windows for all Windows
Viper Alarm/Remote Start
Heated Windshield
Red Thread Stitched E-Brake Boot
Map Lights on with Dome Light
JDM Hazard Button
EDM RHD Radio Trim with Cup Holder
EDM RHD Shifter Trim with Power/Hold Button



Mod Wish List (currently don't have parts for):
Outrigger Bushings
Roll Center/Bump Steer Kit
H-Brace
Upgraded Turbo (still debating if I want a VF series or an 18g, or something else)
Maddad Whisper catback exhaust
Upgraded Front Sway Bar
06/07 STi Rear Diffuser
Gauge Pod (Wide Band AFR, Oil Pressure, Boost)
SS Braided Brake Lines
Brake Master Cylinder Brace
Oil Pan Heater
Tint Moonroof
04-07 WRX Wagon Front and Rear Seats
Black Vinyl Center Console
6MT (WAY down the line, like after I buy the wife a car to replace this one.)
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Useful Part Numbers

Useful Part Numbers

Subaru ATF-HP fluid, 1 quart - SOA868V9241
Subaru Extra-S 75W-90 Gear Oil, 1 quart - SOA427V1700
Napa Gold Oil Filter w/Subaru Specific Bypass setting - 7712
Subaru Long Life Super Coolant (blue), 1 gallon, pre-mixed - SOA868V9270
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Adding Heated Seats

Adding Heated Seats
Step 1 of adding the cold weather package to my 08 FSXT.

So the 08 Forester Sports is probably the only Forester that doesn't come wired for seat heaters. Here's how I did my install using factory wiring.

First, I gained inspiration from this thread:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f77/how-heated-seat-repair-install-62332/
In that thread he pulled his entire system out of a late 90's Legacy. I scoured some junkyards and found a 2003 Outback LL Bean with seat heaters, one problem though, somebody had already hacked out the switches. I acquired some 1997 Legacy switches to use.

I pulled the seat heater elements out, and hacked out the wiring harness from door sill to door sill, not really knowing how much I was going to need of it. So I ended up with a bunch of cut wires at two ends and at the place for the switches, but I had the connectors for the seat heater elements.

Now I had to pull together all the required info required to combine 97 Legacy switches, with 2003 Outback elements and harness into a 2008 Forester XT Sports. It was hard to keep straight.
Here’s the Wiring Schematics I used

In the red I’ve circle the important things to note, Pin 4 on the B99 connector is common to Pin 37 on the relay block located under the left side of the dash. B99 is located under the carpet next to the passenger sill, it’s a large white connector.
I pulled apart the B99 connector and looked inside, Pin 4’s socket side (relay side) was populated and had the blue wire running to it. The pin side (seat heater side) was unpopulated. I quickly put a multimeter on Pin 4 in B99 and at the relay block and verified that the wiring exists, yes, it just dead ends there.

So now all I needed to do was continue the path over to the switches and elements. And then add some grounds.
Next I took the wiring harness from the 2003 Outback and mated it to the 1997 Legacy switches. For anyone with this very unique situation here is how they should be mated together

Pin callouts are referenced as this, remember this is the connector side; the switch side is a mirror image.

The wiring harness I had taken out at the salvage yard had way too much in it so I pared it down to what I needed.

Finally it was time to install the harness into the car. Seats out, center console out, gear selector trim out and necessary door frame trim pieces pulled so I can route under the carpet.
I took a pin and wire from another Subaru connector that I grabbed from the junkyard and used this to populate pin 4 of connector B99

This pin was slightly narrower than the other pins on the connector so I pulled the socket out of the other side and added a strand of copper to it to ensure good contact. It’s a good little trick.

Sure, it reinstalled into the connector a little crooked, but it will be close enough.
Wires then routed through their necessary holes and grounds grounded. I also spliced in the illumination wires to the light on my auto tranny gear selector.

I now attached my heater elements up and ran a test run. Everything heated up as expected. Phew, my wiring was correct.
Now I installed the heater elements in the seats. The other thread explained this pretty well, I’m not going to go into it.
Finally, time to re-install center console and seats, hook up connectors and reconnect your battery and your ready for the final test. Don’t forget to populate the top relay in the relay block, I used a relay I pulled from the same Outback that I got the elements out of.
Toasty seats confirmed.
The post I referenced above says you shouldn't bother with the illumination wires because they still light up, which is true, partially. If you don’t hook them up you still get power indication lights, but if you hook up the illumination wires you get the green seat heater symbol to glow when the lights are on instead of just the orange bars.

I like the illumination of these switches, but the bulbs were burned out so I had to replace the bulbs to get them to work. I used Radio Shack part number 272-1092 12V Microlamps (2-Pack) : Microlamps | RadioShack.com
These switches stick up higher than the standard ones the Forester uses so I am considering changing to those, but then I lose the nice green illuminated symbols, tough call.
From start to finish the install was about 8 hours. The seat elements install took a while, but now I would probably be half that time. I did spend probably 8 hours prior to that researching all the wiring diagram and testing switches as well.
Last bit of advice, don’t work on the seat on your carpet, the wife might get a little upset, they leave grease behind.

Total cost for this project was around $50. That will vary depending on salvage yards and where you source some items. Of course if you need to buy a soldering iron or other tools the price goes up.
 

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2008 Forester XT Sport 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Oil Comparison Amsoil 5W-30 vs Rotella T6 vs Mobil 1 0W-40

So, here's some thoughts on oil I am using and why.

Not all 5W-xx oils are created equal. Below, I lay out the three oils I've used in the Forester. Amsoil 5W-30, Rotella T6 5W-40 and Mobil 1 0W-40.

Here's my situation:
Used to run Amsoil 5W-30
Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) .......................................................................................... 11.7

Kinematic Viscosity @ 40°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) ............................................................................................ 59.5

Viscosity Index (ASTM D-2270).................................................................................................................... 197

Cold Crank Simulator Apparent Viscosity @ -30°C, cP (ASTM D-5293) ............................................................ 3727

Pour Point, °C (ASTM D-97) .........................................................................................................................-51


Now run Rotella T6 5W-40 in Summer
Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) ...........................................................................................13.50 –15.75

Kinematic Viscosity @ 40°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) .............................................................................................85.50-89.00

Viscosity Index (ASTM D-2270).....................................................................................................................159

Cold Crank Simulator Apparent Viscosity @ -30°C, cP (ASTM D-5293) ............................................................. 4311

Pour Point, °C (ASTM D-97) .........................................................................................................................<-42


Now run Mobil 1 0W-40 in Winter
Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) ...........................................................................................13.5

Kinematic Viscosity @ 40°C, cSt (ASTM D-445) ............................................................................................. 75

Viscosity Index (ASTM D-2270)......................................................................................................................185

Cold Crank Simulator Apparent Viscosity @ -30°C, cP (ASTM D-5293) .............................................................2942

Pour Point, °C (ASTM D-97) ..........................................................................................................................-48



Now this is not the entire story. The Amsoil and T6 are both pretty good performers in the shear stability category. The Mobil 1 doesn't do as well, but since it's starting out at a 40 it still does pretty good. When M1 0W-40 is worn out it is still more viscous than a xxW-30.

Here are my conclusions:

[/FONT]
  • M1 has the best cold cranking numbers (lower is better here, much better than T6).
  • Amsoil, another 5W-xx oil, is considerably better in a cold cranking situation than T6.
  • M1 and T6 are very similar once warmed up.
  • M1 is more temperature stable (based on Viscosity Index) than the T6.

Overall I like T6 in the summer, it's got a great additive package, is a proven good oil for Subarus (turbos in particular) and is not overly expensive. The M1 I like for winter for it's superior cold performance and not too different warm numbers when compared to T6, it exceeds the specs the Subaru recommended 5W-30 when worn out; it also can be found for a good price in big jugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Glove Box Light Install

Glove Box Light Install

Why these didn't come with it standard is beyond me. It has all the holes for the bulb and switch, just needed to mount and source illumination power.

I used a glove box light/harness from an 04 WRX, but anything from an 02-07 Impreza will work for SG Foresters.

All the clips and holes are there on the Forester glove box, I used my 02 Impreza as an example for the wire routing so I know it's right.


I sourced my illumination power/ground at my AT select lever. this makes it dim with the other cabin lights, if you don't want that just find an accessory power and ground and you're set. Also, there is a nice 2-wire T-connector behind the radio that is illumination (meant for factory boost gauge illumination) that is also a good place to source power)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
eBay Rear Strut Bar Quick Release

eBay Rear Strut Bar Quick Release

So a rear strut bar in a Forester that is not a quick release is a bit limiting. I didn't want to spend the money on a new Whiteline QR bar, so I made my eBay bar QR.

First I bought the Whiteline QR clamps.
ksb790


But these are much too short for the eBay bars.

I bought some bolts, M10x1.5 x 90mm long.


Disassembled the Whitleline QRs, you will need a 2mm hex wrench to do this.


Put the bolts in a lathe, cut off the head, turned down the shank, and threaded it with a die.
The larger threads are M10x1.5 and the smaller threads are M6x1.0. Overall I extended the quick release clamps by 1/2".


Voila, assemble the clamps back together and install onto bar.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
DIY Rear Subframe Lockdown Bolts

DIY Rear Subframe Lockdown Bolts

Now I know that subframe lockdown bolts are not terribly expensive, but I still decided to go the less expensive route and make my own. I was able to do it on both the Impreza and Forester for the cost of just one set of Botox bolts, and now I've got a tap to show for it as well.

Ordered all my parts through Fastenal.

2 - M12x1.25 (55mm length) Grade 10.9 Bolts (Fastenal p/n 11114723)
2 - 3/4" OD x 1/2" ID Bronze Flanged Bushings (Fastenal p/n 0435322)
1 - M12x1.25 Tap (Fastenal p/n 0326862)



  1. Loosen rear subframe mounting bolts.
  2. Run M12x1.25 tap through threads.
  3. Install both lockdown bolts with bushings loosely with a little anti-seize on them for good measure.
  4. Tighten lockdown bolts to 30 ft-lbs.
  5. Ensure vehicle is on the ground.
  6. Tighten rear subframe mounting bolts.

I'll add more pics when I get a chance to take them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Man, looking at my list of Mods in Waiting I've got quite the pile of stuff ready to go in!

Rough schedule of things will be suspension/brakes/steering next spring (I'll leave the ride height up for one more winter). And the electrical and interior stuff over the winter. I will also likely be putting the lift into my Impreza over the winter, so my hands will be full with planning and executing that too.

This will allow me to rebuild my LGT calipers and prep any of the suspension stuff however I decide I want to (new bushings, paint/powdercoat, etc).

It also means that I might just take a few days off work and do it all at once. No subtle differences in that method, it'll be a night and day difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
LED Tail Lights

LED Tail Lights
When i bought the Forester the previous owner had put in LED tail lights, the problem was that they were horrible and were definitely a liability.

I probably should've done the cheap and reliable thing and returned to incandescent bulbs, but I went ahead and decided to buy better LEDs.

I bought new bulbs from Superbrightleds.com, and that is where the previous ones had come from too.

Previous Pathetic Bulbs: 7443-x15
New Improved Bulbs: 7443-x45-T

Both were in the red color.

Ok, on to the comparison photos.

Here's the with running lights on 7443-x15 on the left and 7443-x45-T on the right.


Here's the with brake lights on 7443-x15 on the left and 7443-x45-T on the right.


The 7443-x45-T bulbs were at least as bright as the third brake light so I was happy with them. Here they are in their full glory.
Running Lights:


Brake Lights:


Truthfully I think incandescent bulbs are fine, but if you're itching for LED lights, don't skimp, get the powerful ones, even if they cost more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Holidays and work travel are keeping things slow, but I did take advantage of a few Black Friday deals and picked up some heated mirror glass and a bi-xenon retrofit for a decent price. Both should keep me busy for a little while this winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I was doing a little research trying to find some of the aero numbers for my Forester and there's nothing really out there for the SG9s. So I emailed SOA and they responded with the coefficient of drag for me, so that's a start.

Cd of 2008 2.5 XT Limited = 0.37

All other 2008 Forester models (including the Sports XT) = 0.36

I did find it intriguing that the Ltd has a higher drag coefficient than the Sports.

I've since responded back to see if they can provide coefficient of lift for the front and rear as well, I doubt they will give those numbers out, but you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Finally getting back home after 2.5 weeks of work travel, some goodies accumulated while I was gone.

My HID retrofit supplies are here, I think I'm going to try to work on this over the holiday break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I was doing a little research trying to find some of the aero numbers for my Forester and there's nothing really out there for the SG9s. So I emailed SOA and they responded with the coefficient of drag for me, so that's a start.

Cd of 2008 2.5 XT Limited = 0.37

All other 2008 Forester models (including the Sports XT) = 0.36

I did find it intriguing that the Ltd has a higher drag coefficient than the Sports.

I've since responded back to see if they can provide coefficient of lift for the front and rear as well, I doubt they will give those numbers out, but you never know.
Well, as suspected, SOA responded that they won't give out the lift numbers for the Forester. I had also asked if they had any photos of a Forester in a wind tunnel and they said they did not, striking out on all accounts.
 

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Awesome awesome parts list so far, this is going to be a fun project.. I'm jealous of the HID retrofit.. I did that on a civic on e and loved it, I have a 98 so I have glass headlights which pretty much prevents me from doing that...

Is this beast your DD?
 
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