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I recently joined the Subaru family with a 21 Forester in Horizon Blue. The windows, esp. the front window are amazing. I feel like I'm driving an IMAX movie. The power is fine, and I like the traditional instrumentation and the lack of a monitor in my eye-line.

I don't really mind the handling in terms of comparing it to a sporty sedan; I'm happy with its 'performance'. But I do find that when changing direction / turning, a noticeable amount of force is incurred against myself and I shift back and forth much more so than in a sedan.

My best guess, not being technical, is that this is due to a higher center of gravity, the car being tall, with an oversized moonroof, and being ~9" off the ground.

Responses around the internet so far have been varied: Apart from lowering the vehicle, which would my first thought, some have suggested otherwise changing the tires, adding strut/sway bars, even replacing the seat (I'm used to bucket seats and the Forester seats, while nicely upholstered, look almost flat in comparison.)

Since the car is new and looks nice I won't be ripping the seat out. I'd also not prefer to have low-profile tires as I've experienced they are worse in the snow, and I'm not buying winter tires for a place that doesn't see a substantial amount of snow.

I figure that strut/sway bars would be ineffective to my problem, as they'd make the car turn 'better', but I'd still be employing the same center of gravity, and I'd imagine the push/pull force on my body would be even worsened in this instance.

Which really only leaves lowering the body. I live near a shop call IAG which specializes in Subarus and I'd imagine they'd perform that service.

Do you think lowering by a small amount (1"-1.5") would make a noticeable improvement in feeling less of a turn in the Forester?

Thanks Subaru family.
 

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2001 Forester
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Sway bars first and then if that does not help, lowering. Lowering is more expensive and brings on a host of issues: tire clearance, alignment (too much camber).

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@JohnM0

With a lower center of gravity, the same net force will have less leverage on the vehicle (and you), which increases with height, as the force measured can be foot pounds.
Whether you would feel the difference is another thing.
Before investing you might want to arrange for a test drive in an already lowered vehicle.

A large part of the feeling you describe is likely due to differences in the seat design, as without any seat material to prevent you from moving to the side on a turn, you will notice that more than the sedan you mention, which might have had more of a bucket that held you in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A large part of the feeling you describe is likely due to differences in the seat design, as without any seat material to prevent you from moving to the side on a turn, you will notice that more than the sedan you mention, which might have had more of a bucket that held you in.
Is there a jerry-rigged solution to test this out?
 

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I figure that strut/sway bars would be ineffective to my problem, as they'd make the car turn 'better', but I'd still be employing the same center of gravity, and I'd imagine the push/pull force on my body would be even worsened in this instance.
The purpose of the sway bar is not just improving what you call "turn better". The purpose of the sway bar is to do what the name means, "reduce leaning" of the entire vehicle body (Center of Gravity). By reducing the lean of the vehicle body you reduce the effect you feel in your seat. And you would be wrong "push/pull" force on my body would even be worsened.

Yes lowering the vehicle lowers the center of gravity and also reduces that feeling in the seat. But as I stated, sway bars are a much easier and less expensive solution to try first before dealing with lowering the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
But as I stated, sway bars are a much easier and less expensive solution to try first before dealing with lowering the vehicle.
Thank you. Do you know the stock size of the current-gen sway bar? Or where to find this out?
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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Well, "sway bar" is a commonly understood term for what is really an "anti roll bar", but over the years they've been marketed as a means to eliminate sway. What they really do is tie opposite sides suspension action together more. A front bar will increase the "anti roll" load of the front tires thus making them work harder which will increase their side slip in a corner, increasing understeer while such a bar at the rear will do the same for the rear tires, inducing oversteer tendencies. The trick is to achieve balance. Understeer is typically easier to for a driver to deal with than oversteer is ... or so goes the thinking. Understeer may be easily corrected up to a point, by simply turning the steering wheel more ... and staying off the brakes while doing so. Oversteer if un-anticipated can result in backing into things like guard rails, trees, ditches, etc. Reduced lean of a car body in cornering results in drivers and passengers being able to sit the seat easier. More lean of the car just leans the riders as well, and it soon becomes like sitting sideways on a hill side and trying to roll the body up the hill.

Reduce body roll in balance and the drive or ride will be better enjoyed.
 

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Thank you. Do you know the stock size of the current-gen sway bar? Or where to find this out?
I don't know for the current generation, but the SJs were 17mm. The 20mm STI rear sway bar is a direct bolt in, and you can buy a kit that comes with the bar and the necessary bushings for under $100. Doing this to my 2017 FXT made a great difference in the handling.

As far as the feel on your own body, the Forester seats leave a lot to be desired. But pulling my seatbelt a bit tighter if I'm driving harder than normal helps a bit.
 

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Was there anything tricky with the installation? It sounds simple but few things are.
1. Install was easier with an impact wrench to torque it all down. Everything fits
2. The engine cover need to be removed otherwise it runs against the bar
3. The rear requires you to modify the foam if you are keeping it, I put in
amps and got rid of all the foam.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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1. Install was easier with an impact wrench to torque it all down. Everything fits
2. The engine cover need to be removed otherwise it runs against the bar
3. The rear requires you to modify the foam if you are keeping it, I put in
amps and got rid of all the foam.
But you did it on a '17 didn't you?
I thought the chassis was changed starting with the '19s?

I ask because I was wanting to add a fatter rear bar too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Where do strut towers play into this after receiving so much info about rear & front sway bars?

I should emphasize that I want less body roll even at low speeds, such as 90 degree turns in a parking lot.
 

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2021 Forester Base Automatic
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Strut Braces reduce the amount of body flex so the body itself is flatter and also improves feedback since all you feel is the suspension working, not the suspension and the body flexing.
 

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Where do strut towers play into this after receiving so much info about rear & front sway bars?

I should emphasize that I want less body roll even at low speeds, such as 90 degree turns in a parking lot.
Look on the Cusco site for the sway bars which I plan to do
after the warranty expires.

IMO I've always notice a good amount of improvement in just adding strut towers in my cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Look on the Cusco site for the sway bars
Wow. This page has the rear @ 18mm Solid (OE 16mm Solid). $300! Do yall suppose that the 56% size increase is enough to see improvement? Why do you think they've chosen such a lower increase only?

Also, why wait for warranty? Do you expect it would cause issues?

Re: strut bars, I had previously read that a RSB is the best place to start to see a significant improvement in body roll per cost.
 

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No mine is a 19 SK and Cusco offers both the strut tower bars and the lower
sway bars,
Well, I can't explain, I was sure it said '17 in your post, I read it at least twice even.

'ell if I know?🤓

Thank You
for the clarification.
 

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Wow. This page has the rear @ 18mm Solid (OE 16mm Solid). $300! Do yall suppose that the 56% size increase is enough to see improvement? Why do you think they've chosen such a lower increase only?

Also, why wait for warranty? Do you expect it would cause issues?

Re: strut bars, I had previously read that a RSB is the best place to start to see a significant improvement in body roll per cost.
I don't expect it to have any problems since its a direct fit, In my experience
the dealer will use any modification to explain why they wont warranty
things.
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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I recently joined the Subaru family with a 21 Forester in Horizon Blue. The windows, esp. the front window are amazing. I feel like I'm driving an IMAX movie. The power is fine, and I like the traditional instrumentation and the lack of a monitor in my eye-line.

I don't really mind the handling in terms of comparing it to a sporty sedan; I'm happy with its 'performance'. But I do find that when changing direction / turning, a noticeable amount of force is incurred against myself and I shift back and forth much more so than in a sedan.

My best guess, not being technical, is that this is due to a higher center of gravity, the car being tall, with an oversized moonroof, and being ~9" off the ground.

Responses around the internet so far have been varied: Apart from lowering the vehicle, which would my first thought, some have suggested otherwise changing the tires, adding strut/sway bars, even replacing the seat (I'm used to bucket seats and the Forester seats, while nicely upholstered, look almost flat in comparison.)

Since the car is new and looks nice I won't be ripping the seat out. I'd also not prefer to have low-profile tires as I've experienced they are worse in the snow, and I'm not buying winter tires for a place that doesn't see a substantial amount of snow.

I figure that strut/sway bars would be ineffective to my problem, as they'd make the car turn 'better', but I'd still be employing the same center of gravity, and I'd imagine the push/pull force on my body would be even worsened in this instance.

Which really only leaves lowering the body. I live near a shop call IAG which specializes in Subarus and I'd imagine they'd perform that service.

Do you think lowering by a small amount (1"-1.5") would make a noticeable improvement in feeling less of a turn in the Forester?

Thanks Subaru family.
Bear in mind that your seat height will affect the perception of how much the car leans or rolls. It's the distance above the roll center, not the center of gravity, that matters. Some roll is not a bad thing if the suspension geometry properly compensates. I installed a 19mm rear ASB which added about 20% (I did the math) more overall roll stiffness. Better comfort in corners and less understeer, but still supple.

GD
 
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