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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

Has anyone had any luck with chipping a 2.5i? Or adding cold air intake for added power? Just purchased my first fozzie and am looking to add a wee bit o power. Not trying to blow the block or anything.
I have stumbled across jdm chips that claim to add a decent amount of power (÷30 hp and torque) for 300.00 that are supposedly "custom tuned" for your specific vehicle. Naturally I am somewhat wary of the claims.
Any advice is appreciated.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Getting more power out the 2.5 N/A is like getting blood from a stone. Intake mods make very little, if any noticeable difference.

If you want more power, get an XT - Those are very easy to increase the power from in comparison.

Chips are for Fish. If you wish to go that route, you would ideally want a proper remap on a rolling road made for your own vehicle, it takes into account your local fuel amongst other variables a chip cannot.

Good luck and if you do find a way to gain 30% from the N/A without adding a turbo/supercharger/engine swapping, please let us know as you would be a trailblazer here. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. Well I need the gas mileage and lower cost of ownership more than I need the pure thrill of the xt so I guess I'll just enjoy what I have lol.
Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If there's not much to do to the engine. Are there any basic upgrades I can make to it that will help with off road safety? I.e. tires, under plating(don't know if that's a thing) or anything else? @Kevin , the fozzie in your pic looks like a beast!
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Is yours a CVT or manual ? A transmission cooler isn't a bad idea if you didn't get one from factory.

Full size spare isn't a bad idea and the associated tools if you didn't get one from factory., possibly a chunky tow hitch where you could attach a rope for an anchoring point with an electrical or hand winch ?

If you're in a cold climate, perhaps look into heating the screenwash from the engine coolant? Maybe even retrofit heated washer nozzles?

Weathertech mats - Unless there's an OEM option for a high rear cargo tray?

Driving/Spot lights ? Roof mounted always looks good in my opinion :)

Rally Armour mudflaps? - They keep my 2005 much cleaner in the winter.
 

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2001 Forester STi 6spd with MapDCCD
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The term "chips" is just a recycled and outdated term from the early days of EFI calibrating with old OBD-1 ECUs that required swapping out its "chip" for an aftermarket re-writable one that could be edited. Since the early 2000s, tuning is now a software based reflash system that can over-write and even re-program the basics of the how the ECU operates the vehicle. Generally the term "chip" is associated with a low cost, click-bait sales item you find on craigslist or ebay.

ECUedit (and use of the tactrix dongle) has been adding definitions as of late for the FA equipped models NA subaru's which is mostly taken up by BRZ\GT86 users modifying their car. While you can get access, it costs money for both the software license AND hardware (tactrix dongle) , both of which will not really add much in terms of HP unless your are doing some decent bolt-ons, even cams or some kind of engine work that will improve the engines ability to move air both in and out.

Ive played with a few 4cyl NA models over the years , including a lot of research on my own vehicles, and have found that they are tuned pretty much to their allowable max before knock. Even running 87-oct in your standard 2.5i ,its not common to come across one with its DAM at a happy 1.0 or its fine knock table clear and happy. I have found that if you run 91octane, that helps that stuff out quite a bit, including a significant reduction in knock.

In terms of gaining power from tuning? Not worth it for money spent vs HP gained with the 2.5i models. It would be more worth it if you had, say, an Outback 3.6r with a few bolt-ons. Your best bet for money Vs performance gained would be in the suspension, wheels and tires department.


-Mikey
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited by Moderator)
@TMX

Mud flaps sounds like a good idea. I haven't heard of a transmission cooler. Mines a cvt. I don't plan on taking it anywhere I would need a winch unless there's some way to protect the underside of the vehicle... What do you mean by high rear cargo tray?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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This is an example of a high sided rear cargo tray: Deep Cargo Tray
or: <p><span>Extra protection for the luggage space</span><br /><span>Suitable for fishing & hunting</span></p>

If skidplates are more your thing, there are these options
 

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09 XT
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Looks like Kevin, TMX, and MikeDrives1 are your go-to for info on this one.. It's always disappointing to hear that you can't really mod (unless voiding warranty), but you may be able to turn her into a handy off roader which can be almost as rewarding 😉
 

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2018 Premium 2.5i 6M
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I have the '18 6M, which I like and has excellent power on demand. I wish it did come with a skosh more horsepower, though, like 10-20 hp or so. I think actually, this car has nearly identical hp as my 2000 :/
 

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the fozzie in your pic looks like a beast!
Thanks - yes, it is heavily modified and has been an experiment over many years and has traveled many of the iconic so-called 4x4 areas here. The other members have mainly answered your questions; as to tires have a look at the Wheels and Tire section of the forum. For additional lighting I would recommend a good quality LED Lightbar; I have one on my ute and it is awesome for night driving in the bush.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Much like everybody else has said - there's not much to do to raise HP and torque... It is what it is...

The trans cooler for the CVT is a good idea, if you drive in warmer climates OR do a lot of high-speed or high-load driving... It keeps the trans fluid cooler and - in theory - keeps the CVT cooler and less prone to issues... But I'm sure the jury is out on that one...

When it comes to "what-to-do" to your Foz, the question then becomes "what-are-your-plans" for your Foz... light off-roading? more serious off-roading? Drone driving to and from work, the store, the parents, the _? Mall-queen? Show stopping low-rider? Snow-mobile? Storm Chaser? Tent-replacement for Car Camping?

* side note - if "glamourous camping" (like in a fancy RV) is called GLAMPING would car camping be called caramping?? *

My Foz is not quite the beast that Kevin has, but is pretty capable on and off the road... What have I done or added?

  • primitive racing skid plates (under armor). Keeps the mechanicals a bit more protected when going off the beaten path.... There are other brands, as well. I chose Primitive Racing because they were the best value to me.
  • engine mods - I added a K&N filter (not some intake, just a stock-fit filter) so that I can just clean it instead of having to replace the regular air filter... Added a Mishimoto oil drain plug that has the magnetic feature to keep any metal bits from circulating in and around the engine, causing possible issues. This is something that Subaru also sells a version of as an accessory part. Same for a Mishimoto thermostat...
  • A/T tires - I didn't want to go up in size or have speedo error and found that Continental makes a very decent AT tire (the TerrainContact) that is the stock size! So I was able to keep my stock rims, TPMS and the like and upgrade the tires for the times I'm off the beaten path to get some better grip in the dirt/rocks on truck-trails and fire roads.
  • Rims - after the Continentals - maybe 6 months - I found a deal on a set of spiffier rims. They're about 1/2" wider than stock and fill the wheel well a bit better (width) and still keep the same Continental tires and - therefore - stock size. So now I have fancy wheels and my AT Tires... :)
  • lighting - I added some light mounts (a mini-bull bar) and some LED lights for when I'm in off-road at dusk or night time... also helps when on "limited lighting" roads in and around where I live in the deserts of SoCal. The extra lights at night can help me see farther AND make me more visible to others. Added lights to the next item on my list -
  • roof top basket - for when I have gone on over-night camping trips or other trips where I had more stuff than would fit inside the Foz or was just to bulky and took up valuable interior space... Like my mom's 4-wheel-walker thing.. We've gone to Subiefest or up to the mountains (with the dogs and stuff) and so the walker gets strapped to the basket (as do my recovery boards and other stuff, as needed) so that the I can see out of all the windows, the dogs are not in danger of being smashed by something if I have to stop short or maneuver quickly...
  • Diode Dynamics - updated most of my light bulbs to use LEDs - and most are from Diode Dynamics. Also updated the turn signal flasher unit to their tap-flash thing that can program the hazards to different patterns, add a "tap-to-signal" for my blinkers and have a 30-second on delay for the lights when I unlock or lock the doors.
I haven't added a lift kit (but I do have a 1" strut top set up from ... uh ... dang, now I can't remember who?) I have not installed (but still might) just to be able to go a bit more off the beaten path than I can with the stock 8.7 inches of clearance.... But have minor concerns about the negative impact of the lift (suspension geometry changes and what can that lead to...?)....

So the question you really need to ask is "what do I want to do with my Forester and where do I want to go?"

Oh, you can always buy some of those fake vents and chrome gee-gaws and stickers on the Foz... I hear that each one of those adds about 5 hp! :)
 

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2014 Forester Touring 2.5 CVT
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Why people think they çan make a purse out a sow's ear is beyond me. Subaru engineers want to squeeze all the go they can from an engine, but reliability, economical driving, drivability, etc, etc force a certain amount of de-tuning. Hi flow intakes must allow more dirt into the engine in order to allow more air in. And chipping an engine is probably going to affect reliability.

So trust the engineers and if you want your slow boat to go faster then buy a fast boat to begin with. Don't waste your money trying to make they purse.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Subaru engineers want to squeeze all the go they can from an engine, but reliability, economical driving, drivability, etc, etc
Those engineers are also restricted by those good old bean counters. Other manufacturers are known for having to use sub-par components when the engineers know it will affect the long term reliability of the engine. I'm sure Subaru also suffer that too.

If the engineers were unrestricted, why were sub-par head gaskets used on the EJ25 N/A engines which resulted in common head gasket failure?
 

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2001 Forester STi 6spd with MapDCCD
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If the engineers were unrestricted, why were sub-par head gaskets used on the EJ25 N/A engines which resulted in common head gasket failure?
One good theory i have discussed with one of the engine builders i contract clients out to for builds is that he see's a plethora of micro-abrasion marks on the surfaces when inspected with a magnifying lens. Since most people throw in 87 octane, these NA engines actually do tend to knock pretty bad on them over the long term (ive confirmed this with logging my own NA vehicles) .... His theory proposes that the constant vibrations from knocking allot, while not enough to cause rod bearing and ringland failure like you see in the turbo motors, is enough to cause the gaskets to be exposed to a lot of harsher than normal vibrations, which over time wear out spots on it. The immediate fix here is to just run 91 or better more often for city driven vehicles that see more varied RPMs and stop-n-go traffic compared to those who sit at one RPM going down the highway for most of its life.
 
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