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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #221 (Edited)
The AVO Turbo Kit was an option given to me by my Subaru dealership service advisor. It came up duing a routine service visit. Matter of fact the installation was done thru the dealership, who contracted the installation to a well know performance shop. The installation details in this Member Journal is the reinstallation to correct things that I was never happy with. You know the old saying, "if you want something done right, do it yourself!" :mad:
At that time the Forester, Subaru in general, was new to me. I know a bit more now. More on this on the first page of this Member Journal, so no need to repeat it here. :wink:

The naturally aspirated engine has a higher compression ratio than one designed for a turbo, so the boost has to be kept low to prevent destroying it. The AVO Turbo Kit turbo (Garrett turbo) is very small, designed for low boost pressure with little or no lag, spooling up almost instantly. :cool:
Pushing the boost above 5-6 psi would shorten the life of the engine, so it isn't worth the samll amount of power gain you'd get.

Going with the AVO Tubo Kit resolves many problems, as in desiging & fabricating parts to fit. I still had to do some minor fabrication, but nothing we couldn't do in our garage.

The Forester with the AVO Turbo Kit is very peppy & a blast to drive. I'm going to say it's faster than a stock XT off the line. The power keeps coming where nonturbo owners have their foot to the floor wishing for a bit more power. :biggrin:

As I wrote here AVO Turbo Kit - Part 1 - Why you shouldn't do this!... note the title! You'll end up with the power of stock Forester XT... perhaps a wee bit more...

I've moved on to an '07 FSXT to continue my power MODding adventure. My son loves the '03 XT & it's still in perfect operating condition! :smile:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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05 XT Manual
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The reason why I think a bolt on turbo or supercharger will be great for my car is that, when we play in the dunes, the X usually bogs pretty easy up the high dunes. There just is not enough power to keep those wheels turning!

Coming from a 180kw Forester XT (before the X) my wife really does not like the X because of the power situation. I see the car as an old lady that just likes to cruise. My wife seems to think there are little power to spare to overtake!

Whats the fuel consumption like? My XT use to do 21-24mpg and the X does 27mpg and sometimes even 28's driving like a granny.

Is the extra injector really needed for 4-5psi? If I go this route, I would lose the top mount and run aqua mist, just to be safe.

Is the Avo turbo smaller than the stock tdo4?
 

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Discussion Starter #223 (Edited)
I've looked over the installation instructions for the Raptor Supercharger & it looks to be easier to install than a turbo. I have to be honest & say I don't care for the sound the Raptor Supercharger makes. You can listen to it here. :icon_eek:

You will spend more for fuel... premium fuel, if you go with a turbo or supercharger. I stopped worrying about gas mileage when I went with a turbo. :wink:

No need upgrade the injectors for this low amount of boost. The AVO Turbo Kit does add a 5th throttle body fuel injector to prevent running too lean. It's controlled by the PerfectPower SMT6 piggyback smart tuner.

Yes, I'd say the AVO/Garrett turbo is smaller then the stock Forester turbo. The air compressor outlet is around 1-1/2" (38.1 mm) inside diameter.

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #224
Subaru SPT (v2.0) battery tie down.

We almost forgot to add this to our Journal.

Alex got this for Christmas to upgrade the JDM battery tie down with one that's blue.

Another purchase from Jackie, @SubaruPartsGirl a supporting vendor here on the forum. Her direct number at Annapolis Subaru is (866) 509-3019.

Bobby...

Subaru SPT (v2.0) battery tie down, SOA3881210.

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found ► here. (post #2)

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter #225 (Edited)
Optima Yellow Top battery & SPT battery tie down installed!

Today was Alex's 22nd Birthday & one of his gifts was an Optima Yellow Top battery!

After dinner this evening, we installed the new battery & the new SPT battery tie down from Christmas. Alex didn't want to install the new SPT battery tie down on the old wet battery, since his old JDM battery tie down was being damaged by the battery acid.

Bobby...

First we added protective padding to the bottom of the SPT battery tie down. For the padding material, we used rubberized non-slip saftey tape. It's thick & the textured rubberized surface provides a cushioned non-slip surface between the battery top & the tie down.

This picture shows the padding being cut to fit.


Here's a picture showing the non-slip rubberized padding installed.


This is what the Optima Yellow Top battery looks like fresh out of the shipping box.

Here's the battery ready to be installed. We cleaned the lead battery terminals & installed anti-corrosion washers. When did a test fit, we found the Optima battery sat a bit low (shorter), compared to the old battery, so we decided to use one of the provided spacers on the bottom to raise the battery up to the normal height.

Before we disconnected the old battery, we hooked up another 12V battery so none of the electronics in the vehicle would reset. This was very easy, since we'd previously MODded the cargo area 12V outlet for constant power (always on). That MOD allowed us to backfeed power thru the cargo area 12V outlet to the main battery. Our write up for that MOD can be found here.
If you do this, you need to remember the main battery + terminal will be connected to the backup 12V battery, so the terminal will still be hot (live) when it's pulled off the old battery! Really not a big deal, but something to keep in mind.


The area under the old battery was much cleaner than we expected it to be.

This is my favorite anti-corrosion coating, NO-OX-ID "A", which we used on the battery terminals. You can also use dielectric grease, but I find it a bit too light. I prefer a thicker grease on my battery terminals.


The installation of the Optima Yellow Top battery & SPT battery tie down is complete!


Of course we couldn't do this Birthday write up without a picture of Alex's Birthday cake.

I thought I'd give the reason for selecting the Optima Yellow Top over the Optima Red Top or the Sears DieHard Platinum battery. Looking over the reviews, fewer buyers of the Optima Yellow Top reported having problems, compared to the Optima Red Top battery. Now the choice was between the Sears DieHard Platinum & the Optima Yellow Top Battery.

The Sears DieHard Platinum looks like a very good battery & it's said to be made by Odyssey(?). What pushed me over to the Optima Yellow Top was the heavier weight, much higher cost & shipping hassles if I went with the Sears DieHard Platinum battery.

The Optima Yellow Top was delivered quickly by UPS. It comes in a heavy-duty, double walled cardboard box. The battery inside the box was protected with more cardboard packing & the top of the battery was covered with a protective plastic cover. With the attached removable lift handle, the battery was easy to remove from the shipping box. The battery was in perfect condition!

The Optima Yellow Top costs a bit more, compared to the Red Top, since it's a dual purpose battery (deep cycle) & not just a starting battery. More information can be found here Optima Red Top or Yellow Top?

Here's how the Optima Yellow top battery looks in our '95 Neon Sport. The battery was relocated to the trunk.

Related post:
The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found ► here. (post #2)

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter #227

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Discussion Starter #228
Alternator Diode MOD.

After researching this MOD, we decided it could be beneficial for the newly installed Optima Yellow Top battery!

Unlike a conventional wet battery, which reads 12.6V when fully charged, the Optima AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery reads 13.1V when fully charged. We decided this battery could benefit from a higher charging voltage.

This is a very simple MOD, but do it at your own risk! I know my version of this MOD will work on the '03-'08 Forester. Do your research before using our installation method on other model years.

► Disclaimer - Install this MOD at your own risk!

The voltage drop across the diode is used to lower the voltage on the alternator sense lead. Simply, if the diode voltage drop is 1V, then the alternator regulator will bring up the output voltage 1V to makeup for the voltage drop across the diode.

Per the diode specifications, the diode voltage drop is measured at the maximum current flow rating for the diode. For the T10A60L diode I chose, 10A of current would have to be flowing to reach the 1V voltage drop. Not likely in this application & the charging voltage gain shows the current flow to be around 5A. The circuit is fused at 10A, so the expected current flow would be less than the 10A rating of the fuse or the fuse would blow.

Our test results shows a voltage gain of around .5V, increasing the charge voltage above 14V. The highest charge voltage seen on our ScanGauge II was 14.8V. The average voltage gain appears to be .5V over stock. Yes, we could have increased the charge voltage even more, but we decided a higher charge voltage would stress the electronics in the vehicle... not worth the risk.

Bobby...

This picture shows the main parts required for the Alternator Diode MOD. I found the fuse holder & diode on eBay (cheap). I try to install my MODs so they can be easily removed, hence the additional parts. The fuse holder is designed to accept a mini ATM or standard size ATC/ATO fuse. I didn't like how the mini 10A ATM fuse fit, so I decided to use a standard size 10A ATC fuse. The yellow mini ATM fuse will be sacrificed for the blade pins (connectors). No need to go big (large gauge) on the wire, since the current flow is low & the length is short.

The sketch below shows how the parts are wired together. I verified which side of fuse No.3 connected to the battery & which side connects to the alternator with a voltmeter. The factory wiring diagram shows the wiring, but not how the fuse is wired in the fuse box, so this has to be verified.

For those that notice these things. My arrows from the battery & to the alternator don't indicate the current flow... unless you subscribe to the "conventional flow" theory, which says current flow is from the positive to negative. My career field was in electronics, so I go with the "electron flow" theory, which says the current flow is from the negative to the positive.

The upper picture shows the fuse holder held in my vise while the diode & blue wire are soldered on. I didn't do this on the first one of these I made, but the solder point on the fuse holder should be pretinned so the solder flows onto it easily. I didn't do that originally & it required a bit more heat than I like to apply to get the solder to flow correctly. The lower picture shows the red wire crimped to the diode anode lead. The crimp is then soldered & covered with heat shrink tubing. The insulation (tubing) on the diode is a high temperature fiber material, which can handle the heat from soldering.

The upper picture shows the sacrificed yellow mini ATM fuse. I used a yellow fuse, since I had lots of them. The lower picture shows the mini ATM fuse blade crimped to the red wire. It will be soldered & covered with heat shrink tubing. The same process is done to the blue wire.


This picture shows the Alternator Diode MOD... my version, ready to be installed.

This last picture shows the Alternator Diode MOD installed in the engine compartment fuse box. Note that the blue & red wires MUST plug into the No.3 fuse holder as shown. No need to disconnect the battery when installing this MOD, but I'd recommend plugging in the blue wire first, since the red wire connects directly to the battery once it's plugged in.

If for some reason you need to, or want to remove this MOD, remove the blue & red wires, then plug in a mini 10A ATM fuse. Easy to install & just as easy to uninstall.

My research tells me, the lead the diode is inserted into is used for more than a voltage sense lead, it provides power to the alternator's rotor. This power to energize the rotor comes from the battery, so the internal regulator can also use this lead to measure the voltage at the battery. Since this lead is used for more than just a voltage sense point, you have to make sure the diode you use can pass the current needed to energize the alternator rotor. On the '03-'08, that lead is fused at 10A, so to be safe, the diode needs to be rated at or close to 10A. A diode with a working voltage of 50V or higher will be safe. The diode we used is rated at 10A/600V.

Related post:
The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found ► here. (post #2)

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Discussion Starter #229 (Edited)
Engine oil & filter change.

We switched to a full synthetic oil last year & we decided to stick with Valvoline SYNpower 5W-30. We did decide to change the oil filter from the WIX 51334/Napa Gold 1334 to a Mobil 1 M1-110.

• oil - Valvoline SYNpower 5W-30
• oil filter - Mobil 1 M1-110
Update!
We switched to WIX 57712 oil filter, as it has the correct Subaru bypass pressure specifications.​
I found a pretty good price for the Mobil 1 M1-110 oil filter on Amazon.com, with free shipping. Full synthetic Valvoline SYNpower 5W-30 is expensive, but I found it in a 5 quart container at Walmart.com for $29/USD, which breaks down to $5.80 a quart. If you want it shipped, Walmart ships for 97 cents! :cool:

To be honest, I don't care for the "HUGE" 5 quart container of oil, but if it saves me money, I can live with it. :icon_eek:

We tried something different on this oil change. I read where some members punch a hole in the bottom of the oil filter to allow it to drain, before removing it. We tried it & it works great! When the oil stops dripping, we wiped around the punched hole & used a piece of tape to seal the hole. When we removed the oil filter, very little oil was left to mess with! This is a winner in our book, so from now on, this will be a part of our oil changing procedure. :smile:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #230
Adam's Super VRT!

I've been using Mother's Back-to-Black for years & it does a very good job of restoring faded trim to like new condition, but there is a major negative... it's not water resistant & it leaves streaks as the rain it washes off.

In my search for a better plastic treatment, I came across Adam's Super VRT. This product does what Mother's Back-to-Black does, but is also water repellent!

► Update - Adam's Super VRT does eventually wash off. Still... it does last the longest of this type treatment we've used.

This stuff is expensive! The lowest price I've found is on eBay & Amazon.

The application is the same as Mother's back to black. Massage a liberal amount onto the part, then wipe off the excess. It's VERY important to wipe off the excess, you need to wipe over the treated surfaces with a clean microfiber cloth! Don't worry about getting it on the painted surfaces, it'll wipe off. We use Griot's Speed Shine detailer to clean any that gets on the painted surfaces. Don't forget to treat the tires!

Bobby...

This picture shows how the roof crossbar ends look before & after a treatment of Adam's Super VRT.

This picture shows the rear bumper being restored with Adam's Super VRT. It came out much darker than the picture shows. Note the streaking left by Mother's Back-to-Black as the rain washed it off.



Like Mother's Back to Black, Adam's Super VRT also works on the roof rail, both the plastic & metal parts.

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found ► here. (post #2)

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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This a very nicely organized thread! Well done! And I really like all the fine detail in every mod you've done
 

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Discussion Starter #232
Thanks for taking the time to look over our Member Journal & especially for the feedback! :cool:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #233 (Edited)
Detailed & waxed! - Summer 2012

Summer is coming to an end, so it was time to give the Forester some TLC. :icon_eek:

This year we switched to Adam's Super VRT for the black plastic treatment. Unlike Mother's Back-to-Black, which washes off & leaves streaks, Adam's Super VRT is water repellent. The rains are suppose to hit next week, so we'll see how well Adam's Super VRT holds up. :confused:

We've never used paint cleaning clay, but the paint on the Forester was getting rough, so we thought we'd give it a try. We used Griot's paint cleaning clay & Griot's Speed Shine as the lubricant. The paint cleaning clay treatment was almost too easy & the results are amazing!

We followed up with Mother's California Gold Carnauba cleaner wax applied with a Griot's 3" orbital, followed by a buffing with a Griot's 6" orbital with a microfiber bonnet.

Bobby...



These pictures show the Magnaflow muffler, resonator, pipes cleaned & painted with Rust-Oleum B-B-Q black, high temperature paint.

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Car looks great Bobby. Clay makes all the difference, along with a good hand polish if you have the patience. A lot harder to screw up than a buff with a power buffer with similar results.

Question- I installed a new high flow cat section my Forester today made by Tsudo. It came with an o2 sensor spacer, which I installed on my rear o2 sensor. I think I've told you, I've been getting the p0420 code for months now, and I was sure this would solve the problem. However, I got the code again tonight, after driving maybe 40 miles with the new cat. What's next to fix this problem? I'd say the rear o2 sensor was replaced under 75k miles ago, and the front sensor about 40k miles ago.

Cat pipe was bought here (I just bought the cat section as I have a UEL header already installed).

Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #235
Thanks for the feedback! It's amazing how smooth paint cleaning clay makes the paint feel! :cool:

On the earlier Forester, the rear O2 sensor has only one function & that's to monitor the exhaust flow for excess O2. This can happen if you have an upstream exhaust leak, running too rich, or even a high flow CAT. Normally if the rear O2 monitor is bad, you'll get a different CEL code & not the dreaded P0420. :wink:

If you're sure everything is normal on the engine, you might consider installing the $5 fix. The spark plug non-fouler simply moves the rear O2 sensor back out of the exhaust flow, making it less sensitive to excess O2 in the exhaust flow. You can start with one, adding the second one if needed. Remember only drill out one of the 2 spacers. This isn't a fix, more of a work around & you need to make sure your engine is running normally before you install it, since it can mask problems that should be addressed. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

We have one installed on our '03 X, as you can see here.

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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It came with an o2 sensor spacer, which I installed on my rear o2 sensor.
Right, so like I said, the cat pipe came with an o2 sensor spacer, which I have installed. If you look at the link, it's actually a 90* one, which I think would put the sensor pretty far out of the exhaust flow.

On the earlier Forester, the rear O2 sensor has only one function & that's to monitor the exhaust flow for excess O2. This can happen if you have an upstream exhaust leak, running too rich, or even a high flow CAT. Normally if the rear O2 monitor is bad, you'll get a different CEL code & not the dreaded P0420. :wink:

If you're sure everything is normal on the engine, you might consider installing the http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f113/5-fix-42085/#post474490. The spark plug non-fouler simply moves the rear O2 sensor back out of the exhaust flow, making it less sensitive to excess O2 in the exhaust flow. You can start with one, adding the second one if needed. Remember only drill out one of the 2 spacers. This isn't a fix, more of a work around & you need to make sure your engine is running normally before you install it, since it can mask problems that should be addressed.
My thought is maybe an exhaust leak. At the cat pipe to mid pipe junction, there used to be a donut flange with spring loaded bolts. The cat pipe comes with a flat flange, which I mated to my mid pipe with a gasket and the spring loaded bolts.

The exhaust sounds really raspy and very Honda-ricer-ish right now...bad! I don't *think* it's an exhaust leak and I think it's just the STi muffler sounding bad when you attempt to get more volume out of it.

However, I do know an exhaust leak would throw the p0420 code...
 

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Discussion Starter #238
Right, so like I said, the cat pipe came with an o2 sensor spacer, which I have installed. If you look at the link, it's actually a 90* one, which I think would put the sensor pretty far out of the exhaust flow.
The 90* spacer that you installed may have a 1/2" opening into the exhaust pipe, which may be allowing a large amount of exhaust to reach the O2 sensor? The Spark plug non-fouler opening is 1/4". One is drilled out to 1/2" to allow the O2 sensor to fit, but the other one is left at 1/4".

As to raspy exhaust sound. Did you remove your resonator? :confused:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 

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Discussion Starter #239
I'm excited to see how the new trim product holds up in the rain.
We're hoping Adam's Super VRT does what they say it'll do. We had a light rain the other day, but not enough to prove this stuff will stay put? :confused:

Bobby...

The Table of Contents for Alex's Member Journal can be found :icon_arrow: here. (post #2)
 
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