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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Long-time reader’s first time posting! Thank everyone for the inspiration and instruction over the years!

Bought my second Foz last year for 2 grand. 1998 Forester ‘S’ with the JDM front bumper guard, mud flaps, and rear window rain shield. He had just replaced head gaskets and timing belt. Put a new transmission in her after the clutch melted in week two (blew the tranny fluid line coming up a hill and vwoooom: one million rpm) She’s now running smoothly with everything in place.
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I’ve never thought much of modifying or upgrading my vehicles beyond the needed repairs, but something broke in my brain when I started replacing a few missing body screws and filling a few dings. I took off the (damaged) front bumper guard and it suddenly occurred to me: Oh my Zhod she is going to be FABULOUS. There is more than a touch of humorous irony in my desire to soup her up: I won’t be slapping any cosmetic vents or scoops on her, but I do sort of want people to wonder “WHY?” Now, I’m not a wealthy man, and I’m aware that she ain’t a Bugatti or the like, so I’m going to be doing it on a budget, beginning cosmetically and working my way down the list.

THE LIST:
1: Filling dings and scratches, repairing cracks in bumpers and skirts.
2: All white everything (it’s a personal preference, but I like the ‘unpainted model’ look. Matte or dipped would suit.)
3: Wheels (Thinking something open - because what’s more fabulous than visible white calipers and/or rotors? Also wheels gotta go white, right?)
4: SLAM! (I mean, I love the clearance and the option to go off-road... but let’s face it: this has got to go fully ghetto-rice or why bother? This IS about creating my own personal aesthetic, after all!)
5: After all the above cosmetic work is complete, I think it’ll be time to think about performance (as well as just replacing old, gummed up bits of her 22-year-old guts). Now, I know NOTHING about car guts, but I CAN tell you that she would benefit from a full exhaust system replacement, good plugs, and a good professional tune-up.

Now I’m going to start. Actually, I already did. I filled and painted the stock ‘Sherman’ front grille. I haven’t seen it painted (and I dislike chrome), seems like folks prefer the JDM foz grille. Here it is in matte white, not a perfect match, but works for a one-can test coat! The new grille clips are still in the mail, so it’s at a bit of a jaunty angle, what do you think?
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1999 Subaru Forester S
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15 Posts
Looks good like what you did with the grill I plasti dipped mine but I'm planning to hopefully cut it out add some fiberglass or something and add Mash so that I can have the JDM look on a budget with mine
 

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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
Yup, I’ve got wide honeycomb screen on the way to whitewash and lay behind everything. Was thinking to possibly cut out the thinner inner ‘ribs’ of the grille as well for a cleaner look.
 

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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Today’s progress: bought ‘02 WRX 16’s. Found on Facebook Market for 100 USD. Tomorrow they’ll get degreased and scuffed. Anybody have a suggestion for a 1st-Gen white match in a can? How do y’all find a match when painting or having parts painted?
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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Aaaand I photoshopped the wheels and did a mock up of the all-white scheme. Never thought I would be using photoshop for car mods!
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Maybe I made the wheels a bit larger than they really are, makes me wonder if I CAN go bigger? Throw some dubs on it? (I wouldn’t have to lower her! Haha) is there room? Also, didn’t shop the door handles white, should they be?
 

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04 FSTi Manual
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645 Posts
I really like to see a slammed SF, looking forward to see what you do with it.

I got my paint code off the chassis plate (48W in my case for crystal grey) and then used it to get a touch-up kit and can from ebay.
 

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04 Forester XT 5MT
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81 Posts
I say go with all white. It really reminds me of late80s/early 90s Japanese turbo cars like the Galant VR4 or EVO I with the black door handles, body color rims, and panels. Pretty sure NAPA can mix factory color codes and put them in aerosol cans. There are also some places on eBay and Amazon that do the same.
 

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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It’s the little things in the beginning... license plate covers on and fog light grilles off for the rattle-can!
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It makes for a clean look, but I’m starting to lean more towards old school Star Wars ships with way too many little details and instrument clusters... I could even repair, whiteout and replace the front guard?? Hmmmm probably not but...?
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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Dip test coat on the fog light grilles... Gives me an idea of how it will look, but it’s not the right color, so I’ll peel it and get the glacier white on there. Kind of cool with the two-tone effect, but naw, that bumper has got to go white too.
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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Been really enjoying taking the Furry Star out on dirt roads this week. Found some time this afternoon to finish sanding, filling, sanding again, and priming the first of the WRX wheels. Also slapped the white on my newly arrived center caps. Really looking forward to putting white on the wheel tomorrow!

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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That’s what I’m after! Three more to go, and panels getting scuffed this week! So much fun. Perhaps I’ll add a clear coat after they are mounted, whaddya think?
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04 Forester XT 5MT
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81 Posts
Definitely give it clear coat. It will give the paint protection, stop the common rattle can rub off, and just look good.
 

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1998 Forester S
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
One week later and I’ve customized the Sherman grille using plastic 3D hex sheeting and snippers!

I didn’t like the deep dark recesses... being able to see the back of the radiator inside started to bug me, so I figured I’d just strap some mesh to the back.... All the stuff I found looked so boring, so I hunted eBay until I found this hex material. It’s softer than ABS so it’s easy to cut with snippers. I noticed that the existing design of the grille had a little ridge that the new panels could sit on top of, so I didn’t have to measure depth. Tried a couple different adhesives and finally landed with gorilla super glue, to avoid any lumpy bits that need filing away later.
It was a little tricky and it’s far from perfect, but I think the effect is spot on and I am very happy with how it turned out!

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Painted yesterday, and gave her bonnet and fenders their first compound rub in who knows how long! Huge difference, you can really see the grime on the back half now!

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