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2005 Forester X Manual
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Discussion Starter #1
I always wanted a green 1st/2nd gen Forester with a manual transmission. I pulled the trigger two years ago on this 2005 Woodland Green X MT. One-owner car with 191k miles. $3,500 later it was my new toy/second car, attempting to fill the big shoes of a '99 Miata.

I recently came across Expedition Portal's "A Budget Overlander" project (from 2013-14 lol) in which they outfitted a 2003 Forester 4EAT. Their build has inspired me to get back into my Foz and chronicle the journey.

My first mod was a set of Sparco Terras in Bronze 16 x 7 from Tire Rack with Yokohama Geolandar AT G015s in 215/60 (stock size). I think they transformed the look of the car for the better. Ride and handling were also dramatically improved from the worn-out Falkens that came on it.
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Discussion Starter #2
I got $20 for the steelies and Falkens via Craigslist. I’m just glad someone is getting use out of them.

I chose the G015s because they were the only AT available in 215/60R16. I didn’t want to mess with any mods to make a bigger tire fit, and I’ve been happy with my decision.

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Discussion Starter #3
With new shoes in place, I moved on the interior, which is in incredible shape for a 15+ year old car. I installed a Sony double din head unit with Apple CarPlay and satellite radio. I had some cheap Pioneer speakers put in while I was overhauling the stereo. I’ve been happy with the head unit, but I think I’ve blown the front passenger speaker. It’s high on the never ending to do list.
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This was my favorite color but I just couldn't find a good one for sale anywhere near me! The rims really set it off, good choice!

Also I just changed my front speakers this weekend, about 15 min per side at most so at least its not too bad!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
It fell into my lap at a dealer literally a mile from my house. The 5 speed was icing on the cake.

I took my doors apart a couple weeks ago trying to install new window gussets, so changing out a speaker should be a piece of cake.

We seem to have similar taste. I’ve almost pulled the trigger on a Crosstrek twice but ended up with an EcoSport (my wife) and a CR-V (current shared daily). I had a 2015 GTI before it was taken by my neighbor’s tree last summer. At least the EcoSport went with it. RIP.
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Discussion Starter #7
My Foz had bad wind noise since I got it due to the torn/worn window gussets. I never tried any of the cheap supposed fixes. Instead I finally got the real deal OEM replacement gussets ($133.44 for the pair on Amazon). I tried to install them myself. I had the door cards disassembled and the majority of the screws and bolts holding the mirror assembly removed, but I was foiled by one remaining screw on each side that just wouldn’t budge. Tried an impact driver but it didn’t work. Ultimately paid my mechanic $149 to finish the job...Car is vastly quieter. More than I wanted to spend but probably still worth the money. Get to hear the tires now!
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My Foz had bad wind noise since I got it due to the torn/worn window gussets. I never tried any of the cheap supposed fixes. Instead I finally got the real deal OEM replacement gussets ($133.44 for the pair on Amazon). I tried to install them myself. I had the door cards disassembled and the majority of the screws and bolts holding the mirror assembly removed, but I was foiled by one remaining screw on each side that just wouldn’t budge. Tried an impact driver but it didn’t work. Ultimately paid my mechanic $149 to finish the job...Car is vastly quieter. More than I wanted to spend but probably still worth the money. Get to hear the tires now!
That noise drove me CRAZY! I ended up doing one of the cheap clamp fixes about 2 weeks ago and its 95% better. The D/S is torn a bit though so I'm sure within the next year I'll be changing them as well. Nothing like a quiet car!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If the cheap fix fails, then the $133 is well worth it! Install was easy until I got stuck. Serenity now!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
New Primitive Racing front skid plate. I chose the “oil holes” option. I had envisioned the plate being more visible, like on a TRD 4Runner, but subtle is OK. I don’t miss the sagging plastic splash guard. According to Expedition Portal skid plates and a good set of tires is all you really need, so I guess I’m done lol.
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Discussion Starter #11
My biggest performance complaint was brake bite and feel. Essentially the brake pedal felt like stepping on a loaf of Sunbeam. I explored replacing the rear drums, but the labor was pricey for a negligible improvement. Instead I followed Expedition Portal’s recommendation and bought a Power Stop K2373 front brake kit (rotors and pads) from Amazon ($125). Installation was roughly $150. For less than $300 total, the Foz stops with confidence.
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