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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have been trying to decide what to do, first I plan to go beaching in the future with sand dune road and beach riding not the rocky road stuff. Also on occasions I will be towing about 1500 lbs and using a hitch mount spare tire holder with a 2" tow extended so the will be some rear weight added. I ordered and waiting for a spring upgrade the Eibach Pro-lift springs set for all four wheels. They will according to spec add Front 1.6" and rear 1" lift while gaining weight capacity. They will work with the stock shocks, however since I will be removing and replacing I wonder if upgrading to the Blistein B6 or B4 would be a good idea. I like the fact that they are warranted for the life of the car, as long as you own it.
My 2018 Forester has only 15K on the clock. Do you think I should just use the stock or bite the bullet and do the Blistein upgrade and which one? With the heavier duty spring I'm afraid that it will be too stiff for every day comfort going with the B6, and then is is too much too soon to upgrade to the B4?
Thoughts??
 

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Premium Member
2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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200 Posts
I went with the Mann Engineering 1” lift springs on my ‘17 XT with stock shocks. They are a bit stiffer than the stock springs, which were already stiffened for ‘17 over the 14-16 springs. They are also cold wound springs so they are a little more progressive than stock and less susceptible to sag over time or with extra weight (because they deform less than hot wound springs). I wanted to go with the B6 shocks, but Mann talked me out of it. I’m glad they did. If you go with stiffer and longer springs, and then go for stiffer shocks on top of it, you may not use as much of the extra travel over bumps, and the ride may be harsher.

Remember, the only point of shocks is to smooth out motion and reduce bobbing. You don’t want the shocks introducing extra resistance to spring movement, or you can get bouncing (insufficient upward travel), or packing (where the spring doesn’t fully rebound between one bump and the next). Shorter and stiffer springs may require stiffer compression and rebound damping from the shock to slow movement and avoid excess rebound, but longer springs are supposed to move more to soak up big bumps.

I couldn’t be happier with my setup, it is both flatter in corners and smoother over bumps. There is slightly increased cabin movement at low speeds, but less at higher speeds (and no more bottoming out). I have a hitch mounted spare with an extended secondary hitch, and when I towed a trailer recently there was noticeably less sag in the rear. Most importantly, there is no reduction in comfort.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your info, I'll stay stock shocks for now. Hopefully they last awhile.
 

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2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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200 Posts
Thanks for your info, I'll stay stock shocks for now. Hopefully they last awhile.
I hope they last, especially with all the extra weight I’ve installed or will be installing (front winch, slid plates, full bull bar, rear swing-out tire carrier, roof basket with hi-lift jack mounted). I don’t hear about a lot of problems with the stock shock, and plenty of people put lots of off-road miles on them. On the other hand, when I replaced my shocks I only had less than 10,000 miles on the car and the left front shock was already blown (it would suck down on its own when extended and was stiff to move). There is no telling when the internal seals failed, but I suspect it was sometime around the 5,000 mile mark while only doing road miles. I did hit a curb at 15-20 mph and bottomed it out hard, so maybe that contributed.

I replaced both front shocks because I was worried that the right one had been stressed by compensating for the failed one on the left. Fortunately they are cheap, but a fair amount of labor to replace and check the alignment if you aren’t replacing springs anyway.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
i was tempted to install the B6 on the rears and the B4 in the front.
 

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2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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200 Posts
i was tempted to install the B6 on the rears and the B4 in the front.
You could do that, it seems like a better solution than B6 all around. The B4 is similar to the stock shocks in construction and probably similar or not much stiffer in damping. In my case only the fronts needed to be replaced, so I went with stock. If I were doing all four I actually would have done B4s all around.

There is a lifetime warranty against defects on the Bilsteins, so that’s one positive. The cost is only slightly higher for the B4 vs. stock.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well looks like I'm going heavy duty with B6 4600 Heavy duty all around, still waiting for my Prolift springs from Real Truck.
I mostly drive myself around and my last four vehicles were off roaders and I have that feeling......
I'm supposed to be retiring this year.
 

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2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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200 Posts
I hope you’ll post your impressions once everything is fitted. I’m very curious. Best of luck!
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well work in process, Today I started the B6 and Eibach Pro-lift springs install, worked on the front axle first. Lifted the front and left the rear tires on the ground. Uninstalling was easy, compressing the springs was easy too. I purchased two sets of strut compressors. ABN 11.5 with the safety pins. Second set was Shankly springs compressor tool, both were best sellers on Amazon. I noticed that the top hats were rusting badly already. A year and a half old with 15K on the clock! I cleaned them up and dosed them with PB blaster and then some grease to keep them alive for awhile. The real trouble started when I went to install the new springs. OMG what PIA! It took a few attempts to get the holes lined up right with it not falling into place with the new footprint.
Took allot of patience....and both sets of compressors, so glad I bought two sets. So it took me all afternoon to get the fronts done, then it grew dark so I'll take a day off tomorrow and do the rears.
I have an appointment for an alignment Tuesday.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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640 Posts
Well work in process, Today I started the B6 and Eibach Pro-lift springs install, worked on the front axle first. Lifted the front and left the rear tires on the ground. Uninstalling was easy, compressing the springs was easy too. I purchased two sets of strut compressors. ABN 11.5 with the safety pins. Second set was Shankly springs compressor tool, both were best sellers on Amazon. I noticed that the top hats were rusting badly already. A year and a half old with 15K on the clock! I cleaned them up and dosed them with PB blaster and then some grease to keep them alive for awhile. The real trouble started when I went to install the new springs. OMG what PIA! It took a few attempts to get the holes lined up right with it not falling into place with the new footprint.
Took allot of patience....and both sets of compressors, so glad I bought two sets. So it took me all afternoon to get the fronts done, then it grew dark so I'll take a day off tomorrow and do the rears.
I have an appointment for an alignment Tuesday.
Thanks for the narrative, stilup. I look forward to you evaluation of the results of the completed project. What I am considering is more along the lines of the old "towing package", using B-4 shocks, so evaluation of a similar "near OEM" modification will be useful to me.

GD
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Here are a few pics of today's challenge. I haven't driven it yet. Tomorrow it goes for an alignment. The Eibach Pro-lift springs really made it a pain.
Got it done,. What a job!
Stock struts would of been allot easier, had to compress the springs to both remove and install.
Yes that is a 19 mm sway bar.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Alignment done today and it's just about perfect. The Firestone alignment guy loves the struts, told him I installed it all and he was surprised.
Anyway he has a Forester and wants to install the B6 on his too. I got the lifetime alignment service.
Just a few miles down the road so not much riding with the new setup but for what I felt I'm impressed.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium 6MT
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40 Posts
Stock struts would of been allot easier, had to compress the springs to both remove and install.

Why did you have the remove the stock springs? You upgraded to Eibach springs and Bilstein struts.
 

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Premium Member
2017 Forester XT CVT (High Torque)
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200 Posts
After seeing those B6 struts installed they look like they are much higher quality than the stock struts. Is the spring perch aluminum? It looks beefy in any case, unlike the steel perch of the stock struts, which looks sufficient but not confidence inspiring.

I’m really curious to see if you think the ride is harsher with the B6 and Eibach springs after you get some miles on a variety of roads (and maybe some off-road time). I hope you’ll report back with your findings. I think I might end up wishing I had gone with the B6 struts when I upgraded to the Mann Engineering lift springs, but so far I’ve been happy with my decisions.
 

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2017 Xt premium
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5 Posts
Hey do you guys have part numbers for the Bilstein B6. I’m having a hard time finding the right set for my 2017 XT. I lowered my car the week I got it at like 500 miles. I’m pretty sure the front left is blown since it’s lower then that rest of the car by half an inch.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I used the stock components with the B6 , that's why disassembled the stock struts.
info added:
shockwarehouse.com.
22-278494 1 Bilstein 22-278494 Front Left 4600 Heavy Duty (B6)
22-278500 1 Bilstein 22-278500 Front Right 4600 Heavy Duty (B6)

PRO-LIFT-KIT Springs (Front & Rear Springs) Real Truck.com
SUBARU Forester 2.5L SJ
part number E30-77-013-01-22

Bilstein B6 4600 rear shocks AutoAnything.com
2018 Subaru Forester
 

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2017 Xt premium
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5 Posts
Are the shocks from the 2.5I and the xt the same. Are the B6 good for lowering cause I have the RSR lowering spring.
 

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2018 Forester
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Update: ride is fine but noticed a slight noise going down hill first thing turning left. Disappears after that. So looking for further punishment I decided to replace the suspension top mounts as they were a year and a half old! with new Subaru ones. This time I also replaced the top hardware.
Took an afternoon to do. The original tops were rusty already but I had cleaned and lubed them but the movement was not that great. I had used them because I did not expect that they would need replacing soo soon. Well I purchased on Amazon for $49.00 each delivered allot better than the dealer asking $70.00. it is much more work compressing these springs than stock. Well it's done right. best part is I won't be expecting the rear springs to break as others have experienced.
Also when assembling I coated it all with CRC-SP 400 corrosion inhibitor spray.
I did add a bit of fiberglass sheathing to the area on the top of spring that was hitting the top of the left strut spring frame as it showed signs of hitting, I presume that was the noise I heard.
The new springs are a bit larger diameter than stock.
Leaving my winter tires for a few more weeks, this is New England!
 
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