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2005 Forester 2.5 STI Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As i cant find a review of them on the net, and as ive recently purchased them, i thought id do one.

First up though is my car history;
*Honda Integra Type R DC5, ran around on OEM suspension and then Eibach Pro-Street Coilovers (not alot back then was available for the DC5)
*Then purchased a Porsche 996 GT3 and ran it along side the DC5. People said the 996 was raw - it was luxury compared to the DC5!
*Sold the DC5 and got a Forester 2.5XT that had OEM suspension on the front and Pedders Rear Kit
* the XT's engine then decided to 'die' and i got a '05 STI

So ive owned some fairly stiff cars in the past (DC5 being the hardest, even OEM was bone shaking for UK Roads and the Eibach kit only a little bit better)


Fast forward to present day;
Purchased the STI but it was running on Tein Coilovers Front with 4kg Spring (model is the one with the adjustable motors) and some ebay specials at the rear with the Tein Springs on.
I wasnt a fan of this set-up, i like driving down country lanes and several times i felt the rear end come light just before/at the road speed limit on several corners or coming off a round-a-bout. Which for some is great but not for me. Also, going over expansion joints in the road would sometimes have the rear end skipping slightly. But otherwise the car ran fairly softly.

So looking originally at the Meister CRD+'s i managed to find a forum user localish to me that agreed to take me out in his. They seemed to run fairly smoothly but as i was just passenger, i lacked the feedback you get from driving. I guess im just not pro enough to set the car up from the passenger seat. So, then started looking at the GT1's noticed they had 0% finance deal going so why not. I did have to go for the Impreza suspension in our fitment

3 weeks later and they turned up


And had the local garage/race team fit them for me. With the original coilovers on, there was about 25mm of clearance between the top of the tyre and the lip of the wheel arch. I wanted this to go to 50mm as i have no need for a low car (i like the look of the Rallye Scoobies and liked the ride height of my old XT) but alas it wasnt to be. When they wound the kit to my height, it was found to have positive camber and wouldnt go negative @ the rear. After a bit of cursing my end - i didnt realise i needed a Camber kit, i ended up reverting back to 25mm gap and having 0 Camber at the rear. Oddly enough, they commented on the 25mm being the height it came from the factory at. So not sure if MR intended that or it just happened. OEM is still alot higher than the 50mm i wanted.

My settings are now:
Front: -1.9 Camber, 0.05(?) Toe
Rear: 0 Camber 0.03 Toe

Handling and turn in of the car is all rather subjective and ive not been able to chuck it about properly but it does turn in alot better than before, though its lost some of the fun of the XT (no idea what settings that had).

So anyway, how does it ride?
Setting 33
So i had the garage set it on the Firmest Setting, lets call it 33 (0 - soft, 33 - 'hard'), apparently the mechanic come back from a short test drive complaining about how harsh a ride it is. To me, it just felt firm but still supple enough on the roads.

How it rode, so i managed to get some mixed driving in over the weekend from lanes to motorway. And to me it felt great. My OH commented on how it felt more stiffer and rode nicer than previously. One test i have is that my town has a cobbled section (thats even but not smooth and cambered) and i see if i can change the volume on the Stereo (single din Kenwood unit in the centre of the dash) = failed hopelessly as the hand kept bouncing up and down past the knob. But its great for booby jiggling.

As another comparison, ive turned a hard tail mountain bike into a commuter bike by putting on commuter tyres for MTB's, it was like running around with tyre pressures at 75psi (max for my bike tyres is 85psi)

Setting 0
Next up was Setting ), ie the softest possible. I didnt like it and it reminded me of the previous set-up. This test lasted all of a few miles of town driving and some lanes before i had to pull over and firm it up.

Using the Bike PSI pressure, it was like running around on 30/85psi

Setting 20
After setting 0, a quick twist of the knobs by 20 clicks all round. Ive not really had much of a play on this setting, just a quick motorway blast but id say its more like 60/85psi.

Like i said before, some will find hard super hard as it all depends on their car driving history and what they currently own, which they will compare to. Also, tyres can play a massive part in it as well. Im running around on Nokian Z-Lines XL. So i wouldnt say they was overly stiff but i dont find them soft and tend to run them at 32psi cold = 34 psi hot. I find that if i run them at 32psi hot, they dont handle how i want them to. Strangely i find that they handle better sub (the magic) 7c than at the hotter temperatures.

Ill update the thread should someone ask any questions but otherwise ill update once ive done 1000 miles on them. A friend had them on his MX5 and said it took them 1k miles until they had 'bedded' in so ill go through all the settings again and comment again on how i find them once the suspensions worn a bit. There just doesnt seem to be any review threads on here or anywhere thats current or for the Foz
 

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2005 Forester 2.5 STI Manual
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Update:
The suspension has a few more miles on it and seems to be stiffening up as its being broken in.

Have changed the settings to F 20, R 17 as 20/20 had the rear of the car pogoing (or if you remember, kangarooing from your learner days) down normal roads. Plus theres a sunken pipe/culvert on a dual carriageway that unsettled it more than the GT3 so ive had to make the rear softer. Ill see how 20/17 goes as i put the miles on but so far so good.
 

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Interested in your updates....as I've been looking at the Meisters CRD+ and your thoughts in the passenger seat felt like they were too soft? Mind you, it all depends on what the local guy had them set too as well ya?

Having a good setup that doesn't break the wallet would be enjoyable, but have a little of both soft and harder ride adjustments would be the icing on the cake.

Any others you were considering?

Others I was looking at:

Pedders (just to have a nicer ride for the wife, but no adjustability??)
Feal coilovers
Fortune Auto 500 coilovers

If I'm to go big the Bilstein PSS9 would be my thought....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello,

Sorry for the late reply, ive away on holiday and only just back.

I did consider the following;
Pedders Coilovers - i met someone who is a distributor for them in the UK in Person and he was looking to put some he has/d developed with them designed in FSTI fitment. However, i declined as further reading would show that the spring rates are stupidly harsh for UK roads
Feals/Fortune didnt appear in my search
Then i considered pretty much all of these from this site;
https://www.dcperformance.co.uk/improve/uprated-suspension/coilovers/subaru/impreza.html

Then dismissed them one by one for various reasons.

One reason i did dismiss some of the 'cheaper' options was, as per a chat i had with my former mechanic (who has contacts in the suspension world so could get me discount on most brands) he put it to me, that the kit actual physical build costs would be 1/3 of the RRP, 1/3 for the importer/tax/r&d etc and a 1/3 for the sellers profit. So when looking at some of the cheaper brands, the physical costs of the suspension didnt feel me with much optimism (if you know what i mean).

I think the final choice was the Ohlin DFV or the GT1's (which have a DFV). i opted for the GT1's as their made in the UK and come with a 'lifetime' warranty and from a company with a good reputation in rallying. Plus the finance deal also helped lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just a quick update, i really should have recorded the mileage i put the suspension on but never mind.

Few more hundred miles under the belt and the suspensions stiffening up more now and finding the car starting to be bouncy on previously 'smooth' roads.

However, the tyres are down by a few psi and i suffered abit of understeer to slight lift off oversteer on a 90 degree sweeping bend (A1m onto Anti-Clockwise M25 junction) so feel that the tyres might need replacing and is contributing to this.

Will drop the rates down to 18/15 and pump the tyres up abit
 

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Interesting - couple hundred miles and the car has become bouncy where it wasn't before. :(

Usually the tires with a little less air would give you a softer ride over the same bad roads. Unless your tread is gone I can't believe this would be a cause. However compound can play a roll - what tires are you running and how many miles on them?

Ohlins always recommended when changing dampening to go all the way stiff and then back down to what setting you want. Each time you want to adjust those settings, go full hard first, then back down to where you want to settle. Don't just go up and down as needed. So to say you would start at 33, then move down from there.

Maybe try (for a street/DD setting) and go with (starting from the hardest and clicking down to soft) 33F/30R. More spirited, than maybe a go with a 25F/22R

Looking forward to your next update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tyres are Nokian Z-Line's that alot of scooby people rate yet i dont. I also find them more interactive sub 7C than now so no idea what compound ive got. I do think they are on the way out though as i had understeer/lift off over steer moment which ive not had before (in this car or the prior Foz in which i had the tyres on as well).

Didnt know about going full hard then going down so ill go and try that though when i made the adjustment yesterday, the rear handled like it was deflated for about 5 seconds or something and then firmed up.

I cant see myself going 33/30 and think youve got your settings mixed up ;-) but from 20/17 though and the roads here, its still to firm. Someone with the CRD's was running 20/15 as a daily so im trying that to see.
 

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I was actually using the way that Ohlins looks at their setting adjustments. As you go from hardest setting (this would be your 0) to your softest setting (33 is the number that you stated above as the amount of total clicks for the GT1).

I spelled that up above - but you may have missed it. Nevertheless, GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MR have 0 as being the softest and 33 being the hardest, either way i went full hard and then clicked away from it 13 times for the front and 18 times for the rear
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another update, have put the suspension to fully soft all round and the car just feels weird. You can definitely tell its riding 'softer' and to me not in a good way. Its also now under steering as well which seems abit weird.

Will put it to full hard to see what thats like but im not really doing any mileage at the current moment in time so might be a whilst to see. At the moment, the above setting seems the most ideal.

Also im now running Michelin Cross Climate + tyres, so not the best in UHP tyre but enough for what i need it to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thought i'd update this thread, have now raised the scooby up to FSTI OEM height (circa 390/400mm from wheel nut to underside of panel).

Ive not played around with the settings (hard/soft) but bodyroll is noticeable and theres a slight understeer to it at the end of coming out the apex (if you know what i mean). So ill play with the soft/hard ratio's until its set-up how i like it.

Even though its only a 35mm raise and maybe a placeabo but the raise is noticeable regarding to vision from the seat. Hopefully this will take my eye line out of on-coming SUV's head lights so im not blinded down the lanes anymore
 
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