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Discussion Starter #21
Hi Supercow,

Most welcomed and my apology .. ARB = anti roll bars which stock cars has but common mod for large/stiffener ones due to the body roll with especially forester xt aka fxt owners.

Your positive experience with 2.5L forester is same as my experience with 2.0L version which we have in Singapore (no 2.5L) and it boils down to the suspension setup of the forester xt. Unlike outback and CRV or many other SUVs meant for road with no or little terrain capability, foresters are designed with terrain handling as well as road performance which is not easy and compromises are made, more so in the fxt since it had to been stiffened up to handle the glorious 350Nm 240+bhp else things can get out of control easily.

Sorry but no quick or inexpensive fix like just changing tyres on this ride comfort topic for the fxt but a lot of trials and errors with expenses as well as owners' expectation and sensitivity ... the wife of my forester friend made him sell off his fxt as she was car sicked too often which is already not an uncommon read. I would best describe stock fxt as a vehicle makes you feel like you are at 100kmhr when travelling at 70/80km/hr ... it is not a compliment and hence I asked and test drove many foresters with different suspension setups which fortunately owners here are often glad to help.

For me and my wife, pink springs with mentioned front/rear struts/arb, sti flexible system frame etc. works out fine ... great handling, no more floaty and jittery ride while still a bit higher frequency of of sedated bumps just like the new Merc E200 diesel taxi I boarded few days ago except the bumps of the Merc were less sedate.

Indeed the dueller sucks big time especially down concrete ramps of tight multi-storey carparks we have here ... not safe again for road performance of the spirited kind but should be ok for terrain and less sedate driving but watch the wet roads !

Cheers,

Richard
Ah,

I installed the STI 20mm RSB/arb to control the body roll/boaty feeling. The car does feel more planted with that installed. However, that might have exagerated the bumps from the rear and make the car jitter more. However, it is a trade-off I'm willing to take.

I see. I will look get springs when the car ages abit more. the sti pink is roughly $500 purchased and shipped compared to mann $340. I would most likely go with Mann for economy purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
@supercow2610, sorry if you've answered this already but what type of roads are you driving? I haven't ever felt sick or unsettled in my '17 XT and feel it drives mush better at all speeds than the '17 2.5i's I have test driven. I have a 40 mile commute that consists of -
*10 miles of 35-45mph sweeping country roads (with some pot holes)
*25 miles of 70mph smooth highway (I average 90mph the whole way)
*5 miles of gnarly city streets with major pot holes and stop n go traffic.
*I also have lots of gravel roads through the woods near my house, and it handles like a dream there too.

My car has never felt jittery or unsettled from the day it was new to it's current state of tune. Clearly your experience is different, so I'm just wondering where you are driving. When my XT was stock it felt too "squishy" around slow corners and "leany" on the highway, like any crossover, but a bigger rear sway bar (Subaru 19mm) fixed all that without negatively affecting any other aspect of the ride.

Several posts have talked about changing out springs. That can work wonders if you get decent parts, but make sure you add in the cost of a mechanic. If you can remove the struts and install the springs yourself then that's great and the springs are a great bang for the buck. But if you need a shop to do it (most do) add another $500-600 to your price.
Hi Max,

I mostly do highway driving usually 31miles and about 5 miles of city-road. I-5 up in Seattle can be a mess with quite a bit of jarring ends. Majority of the time, the car handles really really well. However, when there is uneveness on the road (re-paving, stripped asphalt, pot holes) I notice my wife bounce in her seats.

@Jhoo might have similar experience in the same area.

My thinking is that the suspension just need something to help with re-bounds. The car absorbs bumps well but seems unable to keep the rebounds in check well enough. Say when I go through a bump, the springs absorb that bump and recoil. That recoil, to be, wasnt dampened well.

Maybe the car is under-sprung? or just the springs need to be stiffened. I will go with majority of the forum and upgrade springs at some point first.

One more thing I forgot to mention. If I add passengers in the rear seats or heavy items in the trunk, the car behaves much more calmly. That is very interesting. Anyone has any takes on this?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Hi Supercow,
Did the ride become worse after sway bar upgrade? Does it have adjustable sway bar links?

If too much (or any) preload is placed on the sway bar (e.g. stock or non adjustable sway bar links), it can make the ride terrible. Can be noticeable when going over speed humps or entering/exiting driveways etc. I had this issue, which was solved by removing preload.

If it’s harshness over square bumps, most likely the valving in the shocks, rather than springs. Ideally both springs and shocks (valving), should be matched. I had poor valving selection in a expensive aftermarket coilover that drove me nuts.

See if MCA coilovers are available in your area, they have been tested and designed for several Forester models (amongst many others). Or Mann Engineering coilovers, they have also been designed with the Forester in mind. Also checkout Whiteline suspension products (or any other manufacturer that makes the same stuff).

I have an SH model Forester, absolutely hated the ride. The car handled like a pontoon, and would wander or pull left (even after many alignments). [now realise that steering could be linked to ECU setup, since it has electronic steering assist, and centre can be adjusted via ODB2].

I first bought a prominent name brand, but which is just mass produced rubbish. Had to throw them away and buy MCA Coilovers (you can request type of valving and spring rate, or ask for their advice, if you buy direct. Or maybe ask your retailer to special order I guess).

Hope any of this helps,
Dogs

Hi Dogs,

Thanks for the input. How did you take care of the pre-load? One member disconnected his end-links connection with the RSB (20mm) and said that his ride improved by quite a bit. However, disconnecting end-links = defeat the purpose of the RSB?
 

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RSR Springs & Cusco Touring A Dampers

Hi bros,

Tested colleague's fxt with the above.

Had done so before his Cusco dampers with just RSR spring and found it too hard for my liking compared to my ride with pink springs alone... it looks cool though with slightly more lowering of the forester especially with his black fxt.

With Cusco dampers adjusted down from 20 clicks of so called factory setting to softer 15 clicks, it is no longer hard but very planted and stable .. more so than my ride with pinkies. Noted that this is with PZero 245/50/18 tyres and Rota rims ad well as the usual arbs/struts.

Only negative aspect is that it is a little more abrupt when there is more obvious movement but certainly still not harsh, hard or uncomfortable compared to my pink springs alone. Colleague intend to go to harder 17-18 clicks to see if this slight abrupt movement when there are road irregularities are present will be further alleviated.

In summary,

- cusco touring adjustable dampers is better fit than stock dampers that are rather soft and cannot handle stronger springs e.g. rsr, pinkies etc. and help with adjustable settings .. perhaps more so than Bilstein b6 dampers with pinkies which I also had tried which is harder/harsher
- further ride comfort from just pinkies can be improved by ditching stock dampers with Cusco Touring A ones .. hurray !!

Please note that I had also tried Cusco Touring A with stock springs which is not for me cos still bouncy ... stock springs are just too soft and does not match such harder Cusco Touring A, Bilstein B6 etc. dampers.

For me, it will have to be with cool incabin Cusco Econ2 controller with further 4 presets for different load and ride (mood) conditions ... lol !

Cheers.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #25
RSR Springs & Cusco Touring A Dampers

Hi bros,

Tested colleague's fxt with the above.

Had done so before his Cusco dampers with just RSR spring and found it too hard for my liking compared to my ride with pink springs alone... it looks cool though with slightly more lowering of the forester especially with his black fxt.

With Cusco dampers adjusted down from 20 clicks of so called factory setting to softer 15 clicks, it is no longer hard but very planted and stable .. more so than my ride with pinkies. Noted that this is with PZero 245/50/18 tyres and Rota rims ad well as the usual arbs/struts.

Only negative aspect is that it is a little more abrupt when there is more obvious movement but certainly still not harsh, hard or uncomfortable compared to my pink springs alone. Colleague intend to go to harder 17-18 clicks to see if this slight abrupt movement when there are road irregularities are present will be further alleviated.

In summary,

- cusco touring adjustable dampers is better fit than stock dampers that are rather soft and cannot handle stronger springs e.g. rsr, pinkies etc. and help with adjustable settings .. perhaps more so than Bilstein b6 dampers with pinkies which I also had tried which is harder/harsher
- further ride comfort from just pinkies can be improved by ditching stock dampers with Cusco Touring A ones .. hurray !!

Please note that I had also tried Cusco Touring A with stock springs which is not for me cos still bouncy ... stock springs are just too soft and does not match such harder Cusco Touring A, Bilstein B6 etc. dampers.

For me, it will have to be with cool incabin Cusco Econ2 controller with further 4 presets for different load and ride (mood) conditions ... lol !

Cheers.

Richard
That is really good reports. the stock struts is definitely softer than the springs they slap on the XT. It might just right for the non-XT Forester. I will look into getting the Cusco and Mann. I like how the car sits with 1" drop.

Thank you Richard. I used to live next to Subaru dealership in Bukit Panjang few years ago but didn't realize I would be stuck with 2 cars from them. :grin2:
 

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RSR Springs & Cusco Touring A Dampers

Hi bros,

Tested colleague's fxt with the above.

Had done so before his Cusco dampers with just RSR spring and found it too hard for my liking compared to my ride with pink springs alone... it looks cool though with slightly more lowering of the forester especially with his black fxt.

With Cusco dampers adjusted down from 20 clicks of so called factory setting to softer 15 clicks, it is no longer hard but very planted and stable .. more so than my ride with pinkies. Noted that this is with PZero 245/50/18 tyres and Rota rims ad well as the usual arbs/struts.

Only negative aspect is that it is a little more abrupt when there is more obvious movement but certainly still not harsh, hard or uncomfortable compared to my pink springs alone. Colleague intend to go to harder 17-18 clicks to see if this slight abrupt movement when there are road irregularities are present will be further alleviated.

In summary,

- cusco touring adjustable dampers is better fit than stock dampers that are rather soft and cannot handle stronger springs e.g. rsr, pinkies etc. and help with adjustable settings .. perhaps more so than Bilstein b6 dampers with pinkies which I also had tried which is harder/harsher
- further ride comfort from just pinkies can be improved by ditching stock dampers with Cusco Touring A ones .. hurray !!

Please note that I had also tried Cusco Touring A with stock springs which is not for me cos still bouncy ... stock springs are just too soft and does not match such harder Cusco Touring A, Bilstein B6 etc. dampers.

For me, it will have to be with cool incabin Cusco Econ2 controller with further 4 presets for different load and ride (mood) conditions ... lol !

Cheers.

Richard
That is really good reports. the stock struts is definitely softer than the springs they slap on the XT. It might just right for the non-XT Forester. I will look into getting the Cusco and Mann. I like how the car sits with 1" drop.

Thank you Richard. I used to live next to Subaru dealership in Bukit Panjang few years ago but didn't realize I would be stuck with 2 cars from them. <img src="http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/images/SubaruForester_2014/smilies/tango_face_grin.png" border="0" alt="" title="Big Grin" class="inlineimg" />
Hey Supercow,

You are in Singapore too? Lol !

Are you in mycarforum's Subaru Forester thread which is quite active with more learned bros ?

I did consider the forester fna for preferred SUV but decided to booked the mazda6 2 weeks ago.

Btw, Mann springs are available in Singapore ?

Cheers.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hey Richard. I used to live in Sing few years back. Now im living in the States.

Afaik the Swift has similar rate compared to Mann but with more drop.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Just had 2nd oil check and I noticed the ride was worse compared to before. Ride was bumpy like im on a pogo stick. The vehicle has very little stability on road and body roll is just miserable.

I called local performance shop and they recommend playing with the tire pressure. Low and behold, 42psi on all tires. That is 10psi over manufacturer rec. For the entire 3 months of ownership, I've been riding on over-inflated tires. I lowered the front to 34 and back 32. Now the car rides like it should be. Body wobble is there but tolerable. Acceleration is better (choppy before), braking is much better.

I might still consider getting suspension modded later down the road with the vehicle riding like it is.

Check your tire pressure if you had work done @ dealers. That's my bottom line.
 

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RSR Springs & Cusco Touring A Dampers

Hi bros,

Tested colleague's fxt with the above.

Had done so before his Cusco dampers with just RSR spring and found it too hard for my liking compared to my ride with pink springs alone... it looks cool though with slightly more lowering of the forester especially with his black fxt.

With Cusco dampers adjusted down from 20 clicks of so called factory setting to softer 15 clicks, it is no longer hard but very planted and stable .. more so than my ride with pinkies. Noted that this is with PZero 245/50/18 tyres and Rota rims ad well as the usual arbs/struts.

Only negative aspect is that it is a little more abrupt when there is more obvious movement but certainly still not harsh, hard or uncomfortable compared to my pink springs alone. Colleague intend to go to harder 17-18 clicks to see if this slight abrupt movement when there are road irregularities are present will be further alleviated.

In summary,

- cusco touring adjustable dampers is better fit than stock dampers that are rather soft and cannot handle stronger springs e.g. rsr, pinkies etc. and help with adjustable settings .. perhaps more so than Bilstein b6 dampers with pinkies which I also had tried which is harder/harsher
- further ride comfort from just pinkies can be improved by ditching stock dampers with Cusco Touring A ones .. hurray !!

Please note that I had also tried Cusco Touring A with stock springs which is not for me cos still bouncy ... stock springs are just too soft and does not match such harder Cusco Touring A, Bilstein B6 etc. dampers.

For me, it will have to be with cool incabin Cusco Econ2 controller with further 4 presets for different load and ride (mood) conditions ... lol !

Cheers.

Richard
Did you reuse stock bumpstops with the Cusco Dampers?
 

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Hi Scooby24,

Sorry for the delayed response .. had not been visiting here.

Yes, cusco touring does not come with bump stops I believe and stock ones were reused.

Btw, I also took the plunge 4 weeks ago and now using them together with the e2con controller with pink springs on my forester xt.

Thuds on rear and unsettling feel are very much alleviated at final 18/17 and I have the option to tighten up to much harder damping on hwy with indispensable e2con controller for a more stable ride. Trade off is that there is bit more abruptness but nowhere near colleague's ride with lower 25mm and stiffer rsr springs.

More here:

https://www.mycarforum.com/topic/2698911-2015-forester-20/page-874

Think I am done with trying to improve the ride of my forester xt since there is little we can do further .. ride performance is more than just spring, damper or even coilover and it would not ride like a merc glc250 at almost twice the price here in Singapore of usd150k compared to usd80k I paid for the forester xt.

Cheers.

Richard
 

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Hi All,

I have finalised my setup and done with any further trial .... RSR lower spring with cusco touring A with setting of lowly 6/6 out of 40/40 which is the most compliant and/or plush ride ever achieved.

Yes, I went ballistic and completed the changeover with full sti flexible front strut, front stabiliser, rear stabiliser and subframe links but frankly no idea how it had impacted the ride ... it is quite expensive for some bars and do not believe necessary.

In the process, I removed all previous cusco front strut, cusco front arb and cusco (also wrx's) rear arb and back to stock arbs ... cusco arb especially the popular rear one alleviates roll needed during 1% of my drive time and introduced harshness as well as bumpy ride for the remaining 99% which I find unacceptable.

I changed out the STI pink spring which is just too jittery and taking small road bumps too obviously ... surprising RSR while stiffer I think (STI pink spring never did publish their specification) was more inert to road bumps which resolved the jittery and non compliant ride. Yes, 25mm lowered instead of 15mm now but I am one who does not mind lowered ride and like the lowered look especially when roadholding certainly improved as compared to stock or pink spring since lowered centre of gravity.

The key is really adjustable cusco touring A ... our forester ride can be then optimised as compared to stock springs.

Hope this helps but YYMV albeit I can vouched that I had tested many rides of different setup from generous owners who allow me to understand, including one which had rear arb totally removed which I believe is not necessary and limiting at higher speed with it.

Cheers.

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Hi All,

I have finalised my setup and done with any further trial .... RSR lower spring with cusco touring A with setting of lowly 6/6 out of 40/40 which is the most compliant and/or plush ride ever achieved.

Yes, I went ballistic and completed the changeover with full sti flexible front strut, front stabiliser, rear stabiliser and subframe links but frankly no idea how it had impacted the ride ... it is quite expensive for some bars and do not believe necessary.

In the process, I removed all previous cusco front strut, cusco front arb and cusco (also wrx's) rear arb and back to stock arbs ... cusco arb especially the popular rear one alleviates roll needed during 1% of my drive time and introduced harshness as well as bumpy ride for the remaining 99% which I find unacceptable.

I changed out the STI pink spring which is just too jittery and taking small road bumps too obviously ... surprising RSR while stiffer I think (STI pink spring never did publish their specification) was more inert to road bumps which resolved the jittery and non compliant ride. Yes, 25mm lowered instead of 15mm now but I am one who does not mind lowered ride and like the lowered look especially when roadholding certainly improved as compared to stock or pink spring since lowered centre of gravity.

The key is really adjustable cusco touring A ... our forester ride can be then optimised as compared to stock springs.

Hope this helps but YYMV albeit I can vouched that I had tested many rides of different setup from generous owners who allow me to understand, including one which had rear arb totally removed which I believe is not necessary and limiting at higher speed with it.

Cheers.

Richard
Hi Richard,

Thank you for the reply. I traded in the fxt for 19 ob 3.6r. much that i love the fxt, the ob is much better in a few ways but seats and cabin refinement is the most notable.

However, both vehicles are plaqued with bouncy shocks and I was right. I installed rsr on the OB still had that wobble. I replaced stock shock with bilstein b6 (also available for the fxt but the cusco is also fine d/t adjustability). The side to side wobble is gone dramatically.

Bottomline, stock shocks do not have enough rebound/compression control for the bigger subies
 

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Hey supercow,

Congras to your new ride !

Wow .. Outback 3.6 at 6.9 sec 0-100kmhr and you dun have to miss the fxt then. Do not believe we have that here in Singapore which is only the 2.5 variant with road tax of about usd1.5k/yr or about usd2k/yr for a 3.5 variant even if available and my fxt 2.0 in Singapore at about usd80k when new is not something we change often :(

More importantly, glad that you had also found the rsr and adjustable cusco touring A .. the expensive Japan only B12 Bilstein which I bought and sold was to me is simply too hard but that was with also realised to be avoided harder arbs .. not sure how by itself.

Indeed the same conclusion on the stock dampers more for terrain and not for road performance but the stiffer arbs is best also to be avoid since stiffer rsr and adjustable dampers suffices also for roll control.

Hope this helps others to avoid our expensive trials.

Cheers.

Richard

PS: finally added various ts and sti emblems this weekend to mark the completion of targeted forester ts mods, including all the rather expensive flexible sti strut/undercarriage stabilisers/subframe link, wrx sti seats etc. Only left the speedometer with planned customised dial since swap of speedometer itself is too complex.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Hi All,

I have finalised my setup and done with any further trial .... RSR lower spring with cusco touring A with setting of lowly 6/6 out of 40/40 which is the most compliant and/or plush ride ever achieved.

Yes, I went ballistic and completed the changeover with full sti flexible front strut, front stabiliser, rear stabiliser and subframe links but frankly no idea how it had impacted the ride ... it is quite expensive for some bars and do not believe necessary.

In the process, I removed all previous cusco front strut, cusco front arb and cusco (also wrx's) rear arb and back to stock arbs ... cusco arb especially the popular rear one alleviates roll needed during 1% of my drive time and introduced harshness as well as bumpy ride for the remaining 99% which I find unacceptable.

I changed out the STI pink spring which is just too jittery and taking small road bumps too obviously ... surprising RSR while stiffer I think (STI pink spring never did publish their specification) was more inert to road bumps which resolved the jittery and non compliant ride. Yes, 25mm lowered instead of 15mm now but I am one who does not mind lowered ride and like the lowered look especially when roadholding certainly improved as compared to stock or pink spring since lowered centre of gravity.

The key is really adjustable cusco touring A ... our forester ride can be then optimised as compared to stock springs.

Hope this helps but YYMV albeit I can vouched that I had tested many rides of different setup from generous owners who allow me to understand, including one which had rear arb totally removed which I believe is not necessary and limiting at higher speed with it.

Cheers.

Richard
Sometimes I miss the FXT for the look (I still prefer the FXT body design and cladding over the OB), weight and how much mods I can start on it. The FXT gets alot of love from mod communities (suspension, body parts and so on) but then seat comfort and cabin noise took me back big time so the OB won hands down.

I think 19mm arb fits the forester better than the 20mm for road imperfection. I believe you'll need the arb for high speed and corner ability. Otherwise, you wont notice if it's disconnected at lower speeds or offroad.
 

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Hi Supercow,

I did the wrx sti limited seat swap thingy as I got lucky and managed to secured preferred full leather and electric version from Japan and keep all stock function with added advantage of slight lower lowest seating after swap of railing back to stock forester one.

At the expense of higher FC, I had done quite extensive 3-4 layesr STP soundproofing on floor up to half firewall, doors, wheel arch, rear boot, roof etc. , autofoam ultimate, various amon sealings as well as stuff densely packed 3M thinsulate into the dashboard for an extremely quiet fxt now:



Photos with RSR Spring, Cusco Touring A and with oversized 235/55/18 Michelin Primacy 4.

Cheers,

Richard
 
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