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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey so I’m a fairly new subie owner, and I’ve been looking for some more power in my not so speedy automatic non-turbo’d 2.5L 06’ Forester. Cold air intake is where I’d like to start, and exhaust after that. After looking for hours, I can’t find any CAI’s that will fit with the non-turbo? Did you guys have any information or knowledge about where I might be able to find one?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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You have all the power you are going to get. Concentrate on maintaining the vehicle. Has the timing belt with all the idlers, tensioner and water pump. Insure head gaskets are not leaking. Welcome
 

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While technically, there are ways to get more power at of those engines (even notable amounts), it's typically cost prohibitive and takes a lot of time, effort, research and so on. ....not to mention the concern of reliability after all that.

There really isn't a "bolt on" solution that will give you a lot of bang for your buck in these cars which is what I think you're after. ......at least not any making any appreciable amount of additional power IMO.

.....I'd have to agree with @adc unless you're you want to go down that less traveled road. Personally, if I had felt that strongly about trying to get more power out of my wife's '08 NA, I would have looked into swapping it out with an XT or similar.
 

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2001 Forester L Automatic
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467 Posts
Some cars were meant to have more power, and some were not..... And in my opinion, non-turbo Subarus just seem better to be left alone. Maybe a K&N air filter and a cat-back exhaust would give you the best bang for your buck, leave you with good reliability, and enjoy the ride.

Enjoy the reliability and maybe have some fun in other areas such as wheels, tires, lifts, or lower (egads), stereo, and so on.
 

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2005 Forester XT Auto
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I've been down this road with my 03x, and since put it back stock. Never did CAI, but did headers, k&n, even had a high flow cat put in at one point. Again, it's all gone now for various reasons. The only one I'd consider doing again is the headers. Especially when I went back to stock, I could feel the grunt lost. Either way though, it was still slow with headers. But it did sound cool. Was it worth the aggravation and time dealing with CELs, part interference, etc? Probably not.

In the end, I got a beaten XT for myself when my daughter got the X, and since the XT is 3rd car (aka project car) I could tinker away - and make real power for my efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some cars were meant to have more power, and some were not..... And in my opinion, non-turbo Subarus just seem better to be left alone. Maybe a K&N air filter and a cat-back exhaust would give you the best bang for your buck, leave you with good reliability, and enjoy the ride.

Enjoy the reliability and maybe have some fun in other areas such as wheels, tires, lifts, or lower (egads), stereo, and so on.
Makes sense, thank you for the advice, that’s probably what I’ll end up doin
 

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2008 XT Sport 5-speed
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I'm probably one of the few that actually did do decent build on a N/A. After I was done I was at about the same HP as a stock wrx. I ran an Injen CAI, one for an impreza should work just fine on the Forester. I also had Headers, high flow cats, full exhaust, light weight pully, custom tune...The next step was cams, and even after I had spent all that time and money I couldn't justify what it would cost to put cams in it. As others have said though, start with all the maintenance then move on to mods.
 

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I'd say you ARE fortunate to find one in such good mechanical condition. As other noted, head gasket replacement at about 100k is necessary. Mine had bad right rear wheel bearing.
Fixed the latter with bearing/hub/knuckle assembly from RockAuto after looking at youtube videos and seeing what a pain to replace only bearing is. Added ATF cooler since I'm now in the Chihuahuan Desert. Am a happy camper with just a reliable vehicle that averages more than 25 MPG.
Enjoy!
 

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2001 Forester L Automatic
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I'm probably one of the few that actually did do decent build on a N/A. After I was done I was at about the same HP as a stock wrx. I ran an Injen CAI, one for an impreza should work just fine on the Forester. I also had Headers, high flow cats, full exhaust, light weight pully, custom tune...The next step was cams, and even after I had spent all that time and money I couldn't justify what it would cost to put cams in it. As others have said though, start with all the maintenance then move on to mods.

Out of curiosity, do you have any before and after HP#'s at the wheels?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... Maybe a K&N air filter and a cat-back exhaust would give you the best bang for your buck...
I did not find a cat-back for the NA in a couple of years of looking at vendors such as MadDad, Prodrive, Stromung. For the NA I think you have to buy a MagnaFlow 12225 muffler, take it to a good exhaust shop, and have them make up the piping to install it. But I did not want a cobbled-up system.
 

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2008 XT Sport 5-speed
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Out of curiosity, do you have any before and after HP#'s at the wheels?
No, I never had it dynoed. I know Subaru said that the factory 2.5i was about 170hp (not sure if that is wheel or crank). Then the guy who tuned the car, said that the numbers he was seeing in the tuning were about the same as what a stock wrx would show.
 
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