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2020 Forester Sport
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I have a 2020 Forester Sport. I am considering installing the Ironman 4x4 suspension kit, Falken Wildpeaks (235/60r18), LP Adventure skid plates and small front bumper guard.

I have never had a lifted vehicle before so I have some general life with a lifted Forester questions. I have read about the suspension how some people on here like it and some say rides better than stock even. I know the tires will weigh more and decrease MPG a bit. What I want to know is how has lifting your Forester been worth it to you? Or not worth it. Has it actually opened up trails? Campgrounds you could not reach before? What improved for your quality of life with the vehicle? Are trails like the White Rim Road in MOAB accessible for a Forester with these types of mods?

On tire size, how does going to a wider & taller tire effect performance of the tire while offroad? Is going a little larger worth the speedometer miscalculation? Will the on road driving be vastly worse, or better?

Are skid plates and a small bumper guard worth the weight? Have you experienced yours actually protecting your vehicle?

I know this is a ton of questions and I appreciate any input.
 

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What I want to know is how has lifting your Forester been worth it to you? Or not worth it. Has it actually opened up trails? Campgrounds you could not reach before?
For me - absolutely! :D My Foz has been able to undertake several of the iconic Australian off-road treks including the Old Telegraph Track (Cape York) and the Simpson Desert. Traveled on lots of beaches, done lots of rock crawling etc
 

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@Ryagon

I did a 2” lift on my 2019 sport and added 245/65r17 tires. I live in Utah and complete Fins-n-things in MOAB without any trail damage. There were some spots where the inclinometer read 28º and it felt literally vertical but no scratches at all. This vehicle when lifted is just the limit of what is needed to get to tough spots. It is def. capable of going ~98% of places a stock Jeep Wrangler could go but maybe even more considering I measure around 14” ground clearance at the rocker panel and ~ 10.5” under the read diff skid plate.
 

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2010 Forester x Premium plus 5sp.
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Welcome to the money well spent board. Your Forester is pretty capable out of the box. Spend the money on skid plates. All of the skid plates. You can find a very capable A/T tire in 17”. What tire came on that thing anyway. If it’s a Goelander it’s a decent tire. Lift. I have a lifted 2010. 2-1/2” rear 2-1/4” front. I like it. So here’s the deal with lifting your soob. Past 2” your front axels start to get stretched into some interesting geometry. The rear gets a sub-frame drop. Your rear driveline is in it’s own cradle and can be lowered to get the geometry back where it belongs. Without rear sub spacers the rear wheel will want to kick forwards in the wheel housing and the axels are visiting that geometric conundrum again. That’s why the spacers. The front doesn’t have spacers. In order for you to drop the front, steering, cooling and so on would have to be lengthened as well. All that said, honestly after an inch of lift, the only way to gain more ground clearance is with a larger tire. You’ll notice your foresters wheel well, front or rear will only accept so much tire diameter for and aft, unless of course you’re willing to massage that shiny new girl with a hammer or saw. Go drive it. For a couple months. Lots of people over build for their actual needs. You may find with skids and a good set of tires, that’s all you’ll need. I lifted my Forester at 88,000. I inherited the car from my wife so it’s my toy. It’s off-road a bunch. I break. I fix it. I do that again.
So is the lift worth it. For me yes. I don’t daily drive my rig. My wife has a 17. That has plates, tires and runs at stock height. It is a very capable rig. As with anything you have to know your vehicles limits. it can handle any state forest road, light off-roading, snow. I mean stock you’re at 8+” of ground clearance. Will I lift that one? No. No need to. My 10 has a parts list. Lol
4 axels (2 being crappy Napa) only run OEM axels.
4 ball joints
2 wheel bearings(front)
4 sway bar end links front (removed sway bar end problem)
1 center differential (never run an odd size tire)
That’s it for now I think. I do my own work so it’s actually looks more daunting then it is. Has it opened up more terrain? The lift itself, no. The lift gave me the ability to go to a 29” tire. That got me more places. Places I would never take a newer ride. Lol
Good luck with the new ride and do post pics of upgrades and adventur.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport
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So the first thing I did on my '20 Sport was swap tires. I went with the Yoko Geolander A/T G015 in a OEM size , 225/55r18. I also added a rally bar and some lights. I haven't added skid plates or rock sliders since I have really done intense off roading yet but maybe in the future. In that past few months I did install the Ironman 4x4 lift kit which I absolutely love. I do plan now on going with bigger tires, maybe 255/65r18. I love the look of the sport rims so hard for me to swap those out. So far my basic mods have been fun and well worth it. Some small rock climbs on trails haven't been an issue. I'm not sure if those remote campgrounds I have visited now weren't accessible before but I do have a little more confidence going up those steep knolls and rocky trails.
 

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Its your wallet but if it were me I would drive the car first and see how often you actually take it out to places that need the lift/skid plates. Again your wallet so lift it and its your car :). I installed stock sized AT tires and thats been more than enough. I probably wont lift my subaru just because I already have a dedicated offroaf vehicle with 35in tires, manual trans, winch, lockers, etc. But the subaru is an excellent trail vehicle with some AT tires and drive experience to get in and out of sticky situations.
 

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I have a similar setup. 21 sport, Ironman 4x4 kit, 225/60-18 Wildpeak A/T Trails, Primitive Racing Skid plates (they are trash don't get them). Wildpeaks are really really good tires, took me through many tough trails with little to no complain (in addition to using X-mode here and there). I lost about 3-4 MPG since I put on the Wildpeaks back in March. In the beginning, the vehicle felt a little 'heavier' or, 'closer to the ground' (for the lack of better terms), but got used to over time. Sport mode definitely took a hit. I chose not to get wider tires, because not only do they add up to the weight (225/60-18 31lbs each, vs 235/60-18 34 lbs each), with a wider stance they perform slower in trails...more debris/rocks to push through. The Ironman suspension I have had for only a month, but has been very helpful in going through some tough trails, and the general ride itself has become smoother.

I recently attempted one of the toughest trails in Colorado (Imogene Pass) and was able to complete about 87% of the trail smoothly, with a few struggling spots here and there. In the end, none of the modifications I made mattered, Fozzie simply did not have enough power/gear to be able to ride up the very steep hill. So, I think it comes down to what is your intentions? Do you want to try tough off-road trails...or just be able to go to few more places than you are able to now?
 

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Primitive Racing Skid plates (they are trash don't get them)
For my own education I'm interested in your opinion as to why this is so?

with a wider stance they perform slower in trails...
Agree, and not many people understand that a narrower tire tends to get more grip in tight rutted tracks I run 21575R15.
 

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I have a similar setup. 21 sport, Ironman 4x4 kit, 225/60-18 Wildpeak A/T Trails, Primitive Racing Skid plates (they are trash don't get them). Wildpeaks are really really good tires, took me through many tough trails with little to no complain (in addition to using X-mode here and there). I lost about 3-4 MPG since I put on the Wildpeaks back in March. In the beginning, the vehicle felt a little 'heavier' or, 'closer to the ground' (for the lack of better terms), but got used to over time. Sport mode definitely took a hit. I chose not to get wider tires, because not only do they add up to the weight (225/60-18 31lbs each, vs 235/60-18 34 lbs each), with a wider stance they perform slower in trails...more debris/rocks to push through. The Ironman suspension I have had for only a month, but has been very helpful in going through some tough trails, and the general ride itself has become smoother.

I recently attempted one of the toughest trails in Colorado (Imogene Pass) and was able to complete about 87% of the trail smoothly, with a few struggling spots here and there. In the end, none of the modifications I made mattered, Fozzie simply did not have enough power/gear to be able to ride up the very steep hill. So, I think it comes down to what is your intentions? Do you want to try tough off-road trails...or just be able to go to few more places than you are able to now?
Do you think 225/60/18 would fit with rally armor mud flaps? (2021 sport)
 

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I’ll add my opinion on a lift and tires. I have the LPA lift and 235/65r17 AT3Ws on my Wilderness. My gf right now is still stock with her wilderness, so I get to do side by sides every so often.

The lift adds clearance for the body to the ground, and the tires add overall clearance to the ground. These are distinct when you think about what type of trails you’re on. Deep ruts and tall rocks will need overall clearance, and drop offs just need body clearance to the ground.
I recently went down Hurricane Creek Rd in NC. It’s a challenging deep rutted, rocky, and creek crossing littered road for a forester, but not bad for a Jeep.
It is important to highlight the Jeep aspect because majority of the expanded trail opportunities you’ll see are often enjoyed by jeeps and 4Runners with little to no modification. This is due to their respectible offroad angles and high clearance. By lifting you’ll give yourself better angles, and added clearance, but you need to highly consider your track and intended activities on the trail.

If youre overlanding, you won’t want to participate to heavily in a lot of “off-road sport driving,” because it’s very slow going unless you’re in a older less damage averse FOZ. So you won’t cover much ground, and in the end 29-30in tires are the max before you start hacking and massaging your vehicle, but that’s also the point where it’s important to consider your base vehicle choice.

You’ll lose MPGs as well, if that matters to you. My foz is my daily and 20-23mpg is the usual.
 
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