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2004 Forester 2.5 X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I was hoping to get some input regarding suspension options. I was intent on upgrading the suspension to something more street-friendly, but I recently got a permit to access a trail along the beach. I don’t plan on full-on mud running or rambling, but I’m trying to find the best setup to maintain decent ground clearance while not sacrificing a whole lot of handling, possibly to the point of improving handling as a daily driver. The trail would be maybe once or twice a month, if that. I was leaning toward KYB Struts with King springs standard height, or would the raised springs make more sense? Also, would it make sense to grab A/T tires, or is there a set of A/S that could swing the monthly trek to new fishing spots?
Thanks for any help.
 

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KYB and Kings is a good combination and for your purposes I think the raised springs would be a good choice. As the raised springs are a little stiffer then handling would get some benefit. Mind though that you cannot have a vehicle that articulates well off-road but handles well on-road unless a heap of dollars is spent ;)
For beach driving less aggressive tires are best so an A/S may be more suitable than an A/T.
A metal sump guard is also a good idea
 

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2004 Forester 2.5 X
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Kevin Thanks for confirming my thoughts for the setup. I want to specify that although the trail is along the beach, it’s not really a sandy trail, more of a dirt/trail terrain that’s basically adjacent to the beach. I don’t plan on kicking up rooster tails in the sand, but if you still think a sump guard would be a good move I’ll weigh it out. I think based on the trail I would benefit from a skid plate more than a sump guard, more for protection from the odd rock jutting up from the ground. Ground clearance is definitely a priority over articulation for the trail, but it will still serve as a daily driver (~25 miles round trip work commute) so I would still aim for as close to factory specs as possible. Basically, what’s the minimum upgrades that I’d need to be able to handle the occasional trail while still maintaining a daily driver setup? I was thinking 225/60 or 225/65 on 16” factory wheels. 235 is the widest tread I’d consider, and maybe 70 aspect ratio (not necessarily 235/70 setup, but if it fits, the foz will sits).
 
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