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14 Forester 2.5i 6-speed manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:

I just wanted to let you all know about a mod I did to my new Forester after putting around 4k kms onto it in about 2 months.

I found the driver's seat didn't have enough thigh support, and felt like I was sitting "on" the seat vs "in" the seat (as another poster once described it).

Turning corners felt like I was sliding around too much, and I was getting serious leg fatigue from driving, no matter what combinations I tried. My right leg, especially, was fighting to stay vertical to use the pedals.

Long story shorter... after seeing how others had done this mod in their cars (Prius seemed to be a popular one), I removed the two front bolts of the driver's seat, installed 3 thick washers, re-drilled holes into the legs in newly-required positions, (lower on the seat's legs) and re-installed new, longer bolts (M10 x 1.25mm pitch x 40mm long) of a superior rating/grade. I put an additional washer under the new bolt-head, et voila.

The result is that I now feel more secure in the seat, the electric thigh support finally is able to come up high enough to support the thighs, and I'm pushed further back into the seat (increased side-bolster support as a result) The entire seat now sits at more of an incline (if only a few degrees) and finally feels more like a bucket versus a bench.

This, for me, is a tiny mod with a tremendous result. I'm actually enjoying the Forester again :)
 

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Interesting, care to take a pic of the work?

Some of us have done the rear lumbar mod which actually puts you further back into the seat as well, albeit sacrificing rear lumbar support which some of us hate.

I worry about the safety implications but really the rear bolts are unmodified and I doubt the seat moving in a huge accident would make a difference if it came to that point.
 

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2012 Forester2.5X Premium Auto
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66 Posts
Hi all:
. . . I was getting serious leg fatigue from driving, no matter what combinations I tried. My right leg, especially, was fighting to stay vertical to use the pedals.

Long story shorter... after seeing how others had done this mod in their cars (Prius seemed to be a popular one), I removed the two front bolts of the driver's seat, installed 3 thick washers, re-drilled holes into the legs in newly-required positions, (lower on the seat's legs) and re-installed new, longer bolts (M10 x 1.25mm pitch x 40mm long) of a superior rating/grade. I put an additional washer under the new bolt-head, et voila.

The result is that I now feel more secure in the seat, the electric thigh support finally is able to come up high enough to support the thighs, and I'm pushed further back into the seat (increased side-bolster support as a result) The entire seat now sits at more of an incline (if only a few degrees) and finally feels more like a bucket versus a bench.

This, for me, is a tiny mod with a tremendous result. I'm actually enjoying the Forester again :)

I am 6'3" and had the same problem with leg cramps on long drives, so I did your drivers seat mod (Thank You) with a few slight changes. Here's the steps with pictures...

1. Loosen the driver's seat rear bolts until they stick out about 3/4".

2. Remove the front seat bolts (Grade 7, see pic) and verify that you can tip the driver seat back about an inch or two.

3. Get 8 extra thick fender washers that have a hole larger than your bolt. A stack of 4 for each seat leg will give you 1/2" to 5/8" of lift.
Tape 4 of the washers together so they don't slide around (see pic) and fit the washer packs under the front seat legs (see pic).

6. Get two 10mm x 1.25mm x 40mm (Class 10.9 or Grade 8) bolts (see pic).
Install each bolt with a hardened steel washer and carefully pass it through the washer stack. You might have to move the seat around to get it to line up. I found that a small screwdriver through the seat leg hole would line up the bolt holes and washer stack.

7. Tighten the bolts back to the original specs. I had to use a breaker bar to loosen them, so I used it to tighten them. My guess is 60 to 70 ft lbs.

Now you have proper thigh support and a little more leg room for a much more comfortable ride.
Enjoy!
:icon_biggrin:
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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168 Posts
I'm giving this a shot. I'm only 6'1" but long rides are pain in my 14. For about 8 bucks in parts (and 6 for shipping) it's a no brainer for me.
 

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2012 Forester2.5X Premium Auto
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66 Posts
I am 6'3" and had the same problem with leg cramps on long drives, so I did your drivers seat mod (Thank You) with a few slight changes. Here's the steps with pictures...

1. Loosen the driver's seat rear bolts until they stick out about 3/4".

2. Remove the front seat bolts (Grade 7, see pic) and verify that you can tip the driver seat back about an inch or two.

3. Get 8 extra thick fender washers that have a hole larger than your bolt. A stack of 4 for each seat leg will give you 1/2" to 5/8" of lift.
Tape 4 of the washers together so they don't slide around (see pic) and fit the washer packs under the front seat legs (see pic).

6. Get two 10mm x 1.25mm x 40mm (Class 10.9 or Grade 8) bolts (see pic).
Install each bolt with a hardened steel washer and carefully pass it through the washer stack. You might have to move the seat around to get it to line up. I found that a small screwdriver through the seat leg hole would line up the bolt holes and washer stack.

7. Tighten the bolts back to the original specs. I had to use a breaker bar to loosen them, so I used it to tighten them. My guess is 60 to 70 ft lbs.

Now you have proper thigh support and a little more leg room for a much more comfortable ride.
Enjoy!
:icon_biggrin:

UPDATE:
Because raising the driver's seat legs also changes the pitch/angle of the entire seat, you may have to experiment with the number of washers/spacers used.
I changed mine from 4 washers to 3, which for me seems more comfortable.
Note: The over-sized fender washers are 1/8" thick.
 

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15 XT Premium CVT
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50 Posts
Just did this today and it totally transformed the seat, thank you! I could only fit 3 1/16" fender washers without enlarging the hole in the seat frame to get everything to line up but its enough to make a material difference. I used 1/2" ID x 1.5" OD washers and bolts from fastenal.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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165 Posts
Interesting…...great minds think alike!
I did exactly the same thing to the drivers seat in my Forester right after buying it in July. Much more comfortable now, it is like sitting in the seat rather than on it.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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355 Posts
I assume you are all happy still with this mod?

Is grade 8.8 sufficient, I'am having a very hard time to locate these bolts in the 10.9 grade

I have a 2014 XT leather, anyone modded their XT? I assume its the same.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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355 Posts
I did it on my 2015 XT Touring and already i can feel the difference. Thank you for the tip.
I have had it for a few months as well, its the best and cheapest mod so far!

No I don't have to slide around when drifting during the winter :)
 

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2015 Premium Forester CVT
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243 Posts
Are we talking about manually adjustable seats (back and forth) or electric adjustable seats? May be a dumb question, but thanks for responding.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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355 Posts
Are we talking about manually adjustable seats (back and forth) or electric adjustable seats? May be a dumb question, but thanks for responding.
Mine is electrical, but we mod the rails which I assume is about the same for both manual and electrical.
 

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2015 Forester XT CVT
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388 Posts
Are we talking about manually adjustable seats (back and forth) or electric adjustable seats? May be a dumb question, but thanks for responding.
Mine is electrical. It increases the angle of the seat. Giving you (IMO) a more comfortable posture. I just came back from a 40 mile drive and leg does not bother as it used to before. ( I'm getting old) :nerd:
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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165 Posts
Are we talking about manually adjustable seats (back and forth) or electric adjustable seats? May be a dumb question, but thanks for responding.
My Forester has manual seats (2.5i). Regardless, (elect or man seats) it is all about changing the seat cushion angle to be comfortable on your legs.
 
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