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2003 Forester XS
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I just brought an 03 forester xs and I was wondering if those cars are safe to turbo charge or if they can handle a turbo. Just wondering before I buy one and then find out it can't handle a turbo charger.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,714 Posts
@Lgibney13 the stock '03 engine can be turbo or supercharged, but the boot is limited to <6 psi, due to the high compression of the nonturbo engine. Many have tried going with more boost... pushing the envelope, but it always ends badly! :eek:

We're running under 6 psi of boost on my son's '03 X, which was turbocharged back in 2005.
This is my son's '03 X. Wheel Tire Car Automotive parking light Vehicle


Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,714 Posts

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,109 Posts
Before you even think about it. Be aware that if the head gaskets haven't been changed they likely will. Even without turbo. Also has the coming belt been changed along with the idlerss tensioner and water pump. For these early foresters you need to dump 3k$s to get it from 100k miles to 200k miles

The engine is open deck. Don't turbo it IMHO
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,291 Posts
Adding a turbo to a 19 year old car is like giving half a pound of amphetamines to an 80 year old person and putting them on the start line of a marathon. NO 19-year old car is a good candidate for engine modifications without a total engine/trans/driveline revew and rebuild.

I understand the excitement and fantasy of a new-to-you car, but at this point, save your money and effort for necessary repairs and maintenance (change timing belt if needed, make sure you have good brakes and tires). Or save money for your next car because this one won't last forever.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,291 Posts
Do you have another car to drive for weeks at a time while you are working on this one? Do you have a $2-5000 budget available for modifications?

If this is your daily driver, just keep it in good repair, drive it, and save your money. Money spent on modifications never delivers a good payoff and in particular, if the car is stolen or totaled, your insurance company will not pay for your modifications unless you specifically negotiate with them. And the cost of modifications will not be recoverable if you sell or trade your car.

The cheapest way for you to get into a turbo car with a different drivetrain is to sell your Forester and buy an XT. Based on the level of your questions, you are probably not in a good position to take on a project like this.
 

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18,195 Posts
^ absolutely agree - it's just not worth the the expense.
Down-under a good re-manned XT engine would be approx A$4-5K alone. But what would you swap; the engine for turbo'ed closed or semi-closed deck; the gearbox; the ECU, the TCM; all the harnesses - in other words you would pretty much totally gut the car and replace everything to do with managing the power plant and drive train. Then you would need to get an "Engineering Certificate"; maybe another couple of grand.
 
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