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2010 SH 2.5x
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Discussion Starter #1
I have found many threads on how installing GD STI front control arms on a forester can help improve caster to gain clearance for larger tires. But they have been for older model foresters. I know the SH foresters have a slightly different suspension setup, but will the GD STI control arms still bolt up to a 2010 forester?

I already have a 2" lift and subframe spacers from ADF with king springs but I am still having some rubbing fully cranked or at full compression.
 

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2010 SH 2.5x
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
G'day & Welcome aboard @Purebuild

What size tires? Are you running OEM wheels; maybe spacers would be a simple solution?
Thanks! And no, I am running 235/75r15 AT wildpeaks. I have some basset wheels with a 4 in backspace. I've hammered down the pinch welds so I'm looking for something to just give me an extra half inch.
 

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2010 SH 2.5x
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Discussion Starter #5
  • GD control arms won't fit. The rear mount is different.
    Bummer, thanks for the insight though. I'm trying to find something to increase my caster just a bit so I won't have the rub on my pinch welds.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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797 Posts
Assuming your tires are on 15x7" wheels or? Picture might help to show how much you trimmed, current clearance, etc.
 

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2010 SH 2.5x
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah I am, and good idea. I'll try to add some pictures of my wheels below.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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i am in a similar situation with my '09 SH Forester. I have 1" tophat lift, subframe spacers, and lifted king springs. I also recently added some new 225x75x15 Toyo Open Country A/T 3 (28.3" diameter) on some new Motegi MR139 wheels that have 15mm offset. Not as big as your tire diameter but big enough that I had to heat gun all the fender wells out of the way to avoid any scraping while turning, and I didn't have to flatten my pinch welds (yet). I would like additional clearance because I can forsee mud and rocks sticking in there. I have been running my lifted setup for over 50k miles (minus these new wheels) but my lower control arm rear bushings are shot and while looking to replace them with some SuperPro Duroball (uniball design) bushings, which help alleviate this notorious wear issue with lifted SH Foresters, I came across a caster and ALK mod kit that SuperPro offers with these bushings. Apparently it offers .75 degrees of caster and since it is all done using the lower control arm it should move the wheel forward in the wheel well (some?). It seems that some shop in Australia was using this kit for lifted Fozzie's (can't remember the site where this was mentioned) but hopefully it will work similar to the GD STI front control arms mod you were referring to for SG Foresters. I thought for the small additional money it would be worth a try.

SuperPro TRC3095 Bushing Kit Anti Lift & Caster Increase

My kit came this week and I am hoping to get it installed this weekend. I will let you know how much wheel clearance I gain. Hopefully it won't bind as the few threads I found discussing installation with 2007-2011 WRX installs (didn't find any Forester installs) mentioned it took a little prying to get it all lined up.
 

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2010 SH 2.5x
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Discussion Starter #9
i am in a similar situation with my '09 SH Forester. I have 1" tophat lift, subframe spacers, and lifted king springs. I also recently added some new 225x75x15 Toyo Open Country A/T 3 (28.3" diameter) on some new Motegi MR139 wheels that have 15mm offset. Not as big as your tire diameter but big enough that I had to heat gun all the fender wells out of the way to avoid any scraping while turning, and I didn't have to flatten my pinch welds (yet). I would like additional clearance because I can forsee mud and rocks sticking in there. I have been running my lifted setup for over 50k miles (minus these new wheels) but my lower control arm rear bushings are shot and while looking to replace them with some SuperPro Duroball (uniball design) bushings, which help alleviate this notorious wear issue with lifted SH Foresters, I came across a caster and ALK mod kit that SuperPro offers with these bushings. Apparently it offers .75 degrees of caster and since it is all done using the lower control arm it should move the wheel forward in the wheel well (some?). It seems that some shop in Australia was using this kit for lifted Fozzie's (can't remember the site where this was mentioned) but hopefully it will work similar to the GD STI front control arms mod you were referring to for SG Foresters. I thought for the small additional money it would be worth a try.

SuperPro TRC3095 Bushing Kit Anti Lift & Caster Increase

My kit came this week and I am hoping to get it installed this weekend. I will let you know how much wheel clearance I gain. Hopefully it won't bind as the few threads I found discussing installation with 2007-2011 WRX installs (didn't find any Forester installs) mentioned it took a little prying to get it all lined up.
Yes, thank you for spearheading this issue, I hope it all goes well. Also, what brand of tophat lift do you have? Do they already have a caster correction on them to bring them back it back to stock geometry?
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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I have the original Subtle Solution aluminum spacer with Group N tophat, so no built-in offset to correct geometry like those made by ReadyLift for newer Subaru's, or ADF and LP Adventure for SH Forester's. I had looked into these tophats quite a few years ago when trying to decide how get a little more negative camber but went with the simple lower strut adjustable camber bolt. For that matter I had looked at the Whiteline adjustable tophat's that don't specifically list SH Forester's but there seems to be a lot of talk about SG and SH tophat compatibility but that might also be with a swapped strut. Haven't come across a specific case of adjustable/offset tophat being used to move the wheel forward in the wheel well as most people that do the lift and have the rub on the rear of the front wheel well also seem to own a big hammer... I have seen mention of ALK kits on lowered WRX that have moved the wheels forward enough that it rubbed the front side of the wheel well.

I am no alignment guru but when adding caster to more traditional lifted vehicles it seem that adding caster at the top might bring the wheel further rearward while adding on the lower brings it forward?
 

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2010 SH 2.5x
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Discussion Starter #11
I have the original Subtle Solution aluminum spacer with Group N tophat, so no built-in offset to correct geometry like those made by ReadyLift for newer Subaru's, or ADF and LP Adventure for SH Forester's. I had looked into these tophats quite a few years ago when trying to decide how get a little more negative camber but went with the simple lower strut adjustable camber bolt. For that matter I had looked at the Whiteline adjustable tophat's that don't specifically list SH Forester's but there seems to be a lot of talk about SJ and SH tophat compatibility but that might also be with a swapped strut. Haven't come across a specific case of adjustable/offset tophat being used to move the wheel forward in the wheel well as most people that do the lift and have the rub on the rear of the front wheel well also seem to own a big hammer... I have seen mention of ALK kits on lowered WRX that have moved the wheels forward enough that it rubbed the front side of the wheel well.

I am no alignment guru but when adding caster to more traditional lifted vehicles it seem that adding caster at the top might bring the wheel further rearward while adding on the lower brings it forward?
Yes I believe that is correct. I have an ADF kit, so I'll be interested to see how our kits compare when trying to move the wheel forward. I will look into the ALK kits as well. Please keep me posted! Thanks
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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I got the SuperPro TRC3095 kit installed and the +0.75 degrees of caster provided by the offset bushings definitely moved the wheel forward in the well. In my case I would say it moved it forward a full 1/2".
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The recentering of the wheel was mostly bonus for me as I was mainly looking to try and relax the angle of the lower control arm so that it wouldn't eat up the rear bushing so quickly and because I like the idea of trying to maintain suspension geometry when lifting (I still drive on the road quite a bit). I am actually still in the process of trying to address a small issue with the SuperPro TRC3095 kit when used with the SH Forester. Normally this kit is marketed to WRX and STI owners, but since the control arm on the SH forester is the exact same part as the 2011-13 WRX they also included the SH in their application fitment. The issue is that the kit includes a replacement spacer for the subframe drop bolt that is 20mm in length. See the blue alloy spacer in diagram below (from SuperPro TRC3095 install instructions).
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This 20mm spacer is perfect for replacing the OEM 10mm spacer on the WRX and STI, but the OEM spacer for the Forester is already 20mm, so you end up adding 10mm on the backside of the triangular sub-frame bracket but nothing to the front (left side of diagram above). After we bolted everything back up is when we noticed the problem. Note: The control arm is pretty difficult to wrestle in there especially with only having a 20mm spacer on the drop bolt (could barely get a the nut on there before dropping it back down to normal wheel resting position to tighten).
As you can see below, the angle of the control arm, made worse by lifting, is herniating the bottom poly spacer (2801A in diagram above) which will likely cause quick wear, especially if it fails at its job of keeping grease in and dust/water/salt out of the uni-ball (duroball as they call it).
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So.. today I was finally able to get a variety of M14 fender washers and thick spacer washers to put between the top of the blue alloy spacer and the rail. Note: M14 bolts and washers are not easy to find and if you need odd metric stuff like this, especially in the USA, then AAA Metric Supply in Denver, CO is the place to go. I even started looking for comparable 9/16" SAE washers/spacers and couldn't find anything until the helpful folks over there got me everything I needed with a quick phone call.
I had thought about just adding a WRX/STI OEM spacer (part#20126FG000) as a spacer (pictured here),
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but the issue is that the outer diameter of these OEM spacers is only 30 mm and the top poly spacer (marked 3095 in diagram) needs a larger flat surface to press against and you don't want the poly spacer sliding up the over this new spacer. So, I am actually taking a page from the installation of the other duroball designed bushings that Superpro offers without the ALK and putting a 44mm outer diameter fender washer on top of the poly spacer/new blue alloy spacer and then putting the new spacer washer(s) up to the sub-frame rail. It would be nice to have a single large outer diameter spacer of the exact thickness needed, but the biggest outer diameter thick spacer washer I could find was 35mm and most are smaller 28-30mm. See diagram of fender washer used with the other SuperPro control arm rearward bushings below (Front of car is more towards right of picture).
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I now have a combination of washers/spacers that should allow me to add anywhere from 3mm to 13mm of space, effectively dropping the front of the bracket plate (and bushing arm) by that amount and also better leveling the plate. I would like to start with 10mm of spacing but am also going to be checking to make sure I have enough threads on this drop bolt going up into the sub-frame rail to support it. This drop bolt is actually now the same drop bolt used across the Legacy/Outback/Impreza lines and used to be different lengths as each of them had different sized spacers (or no spacer in the case of the Legacy) but Subaru at some point decided to just go with one length (part#901370009) that was long enough to accommodate all the different sized top spacers (actually the newer STI has a different model# that added some length and additional threads on the bushing side of the drop bolt). So I know this drop bolt supports the big 24mm spacer used on '05-08 Outbacks and once I add my spacer and fender washer I would have an effective 30mm of total spacing, so if needed I can drop a few mm off my spacers once we get the drop bolt out and take some measurements and still hopefully be able to add enough to alleviate the severe control arm angle.

I will post pictures after it's done.

Purebuild,
I believe all movement of the wheel forward in the well was accomplished with the offset bushings that added caster, and if you are not as interested in lowering the attachment plate and addressing the control arm angle, the other SuperPro bushings I mentioned above are slightly different design (probably easier to install) and might not be herniated as badly as this model was with the lifted control arm angle. I know from other posts that Patrick from ADF has mentioned using SuperPro uni-ball rearward inner bushings in these front control arms for durability and articulation reasons and it might be one of these models.
Center (no Caster correction) SPF5110K
Caster Add (.5 degree) SPF5111K
Caster Add (1.0 degree) SPF5112K
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Sorry it took awhile to post this follow-up. I had a little over a two week wait to get in for an alignment appointment as the shop I go to really takes pride in their work and they are always booked up and then I ended up having to do some additional suspension work to dial-in my rear wheel alignment (another story). I also wanted to wait to get some pictures.
So I ended up going with a total of 8.5mm of additional washer spacing on the drop bolt as it seemed to bring the plate level, leave me plenty of threads and solved the issue with herniating the bottom poly spacer by relaxing the angle of the control arm.
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After alignment, the caster is now confirmed to be back at 5.21 degrees (stock for the SH is 5.25) and the wheels are dead center in the fender well. I went ahead and heat gunned the front and rear plastic fender shroud to get an additional 1/2 inch of clearance on each side, so that there is no rubbing even with wheel fully cranked and in reverse. After finally getting this and all my other suspension work done it drives better then ever. On an odd side note, I recently found out the SuperPro US headquarters and warehouse is actually in Colorado Springs, CO SuperPro USA but I actually never ended up corresponding with anyone there. Hopefully it will make taking advantage of their lifetime poly bushing warranty easier if it is ever needed.
 
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