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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My previous build: First Car Journey

Warning! Picture Heavy!
A few months ago I moved on from my Forester XS. I had been wanting a manual every since I got my green one, and I knew I wanted to stay in the Subie family, so my hunt began. One day scouring the good ole' interwebs and I found what appeared to be the bargain of the century. A 1 owner, 2004 Forester XT, aspen white, 5 speed manual, 90000 miles, for less than $9000. I couldn't believe it, and I immediately told my dad we had to go look at it.

Arriving at the dealership, we saw the car, test drove it, inspected it, and then I called my mother to convince her to let me buy another car :N_poke:

As the phone call ended, my salesman went on a test drive with a young couple in the XT. When they came back, the salesman came back over to us, I shook his hand, and said, "You have a deal, good sir." Once those words left my mouth, I knew what to call my new XT, Bell. Don't know why, don't care why. It was meant to be.

Initial driving experience, terrifying. I lowered my previous car within 2 weeks of ownership. My green forester was 5 inches lower than stock. Plus add the turbo on top of that and it was a whole new world for me. Just look at the height comparison:

First few mods included hooking up my stereo setup, and transferring over my DIY JDM grille. Doing my stereo, it turned out that the previous owner had a pretty sweet stereo. Some thing in the rear tucked nicely that helps with a stereo(don't know what its called), amp wiring all hidden and done up right. This all worked for the better, because I had been wanting a stealthier stereo install regardless. Here is my current setup:




So it was then time for me to fix my fear. Took a couple days to swap from one to the other, but eventually I ruined my rally car

Yes my mudflaps were promptly removed as they sat on the ground. Made for a good laugh though. As you can see as well, I swapped over the BRZ wheels.
To spruce them up a bit, I dipped them white. Who doesn't like white on white?:shrug:



Also went ahead and got a fitting license plate (This all looked in focus on my phone :icon_confused: )



The entire time I was driving my car, the temperature gauge stayed fairly high, but never overheated. However you could always ever-so-slightly smell burnt coolant whenever you parked and got out. After reading countless threads about it, I came to the conclusion that my thermostat was bad. So I replaced that (yay fender dent)


This fixed my problem. Temperatures were great, car was happy. I moved onto some more mods.


Some version 7 JDM STi seats. These went in easily the first time. Bolted in no problem. Then I figured out JDM belt buckles were different, so they came back out. Going back in the 2nd time, my driver's seat :censored:'ed me. One of the bolts snapped as I was tightening it. Turns out the threads had been completely stripped. This was a fun fix. You would think I would get the bolt out right?? Nah. Drilled a new hole in the bracket and car, and stuck the biggest SS screw I could find in it. Been a month or so, no problems. Eventually I would like to install it properly, but I'm happy with my ghetto-rig for now
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I ended up selling the intercooler. It was off a 2008 STi and is the biggest production intercooler from subaru. However, it doesn't coincide with the maps on the Cobb AP, which was something I wanted, therefore I decided to just sell it off.

My next mod was my attempt at fixing an exhaust leak on my other car. I tried using the exhaust from the xt on the xs, and taking the STi exhaust I had retrofitted and put it on the XT. Didn't work. Should have checked the forums first but oh well. Taking off the XT exhaust, I dealth with some seized bolts, and I was limited on time, so I just cut them. I ran an open dump for a while, shook the whole car, could wake the dead, and smelled bad. But I was between paychecks and I could tolerate the sound and vibration. Once I finally had enough, I took Bell to a local shop to have a straight pipe welded. This is where I learned I would have never gotten my exhaust bolts out


It had completely fused into the flange on both sides. So I said to hell with it, and had them weld directly onto the DP.




2.5" custom catback. Instead of "straight piping" persay, I had them tuck the exhaust as much as they could so that I would stop scraping everywhere. This involved a few bends, which I was totally fine with. Sadly this prevented me from going 3", but that may come in the future. But haven't scraped my exhaust since :biggrin:

I was happy as a clam with my new sound for a few days, then I made an instagram post with the caption "That fantastic feeling of driving your car for a week without something breaking". Big mistage :icon_mad:


Driving home from work, my temp gauge started skyrocketing. I pulled into my driveway just as the needle came off the gauge. Pop the hood and coolant is waterfalling out of the top of my radiator. I didn't have to research anything to know what had happened. The infamous plastic radiator had failed. My car sat like this for several lonesome days



In preparation for my radiator install, I went ahead and put these on (of which I had purchased for my green one about 7 months ago. My procrastination paid off for once! :icon_razz:


Thankfully my mishimoto radiator and hoses came in with a week, and I was able to put them in the next day. That was one of the easier installs I've done.


And since then I've picked up a Cobb Accessport off of a member here. I procrastinated hard installing it. On Saturday I just went to a cruise down skyline drive with a bunch of other Subarus. I installed stage 1 10 minutes before I left. Took a little while to get used to it. No noticeable power gains. Smoothed out my jumpy 2nd gear and made the power band a little more broad.


And that's how she sits for right now. Trying to sell my green forester finally. Also just got my exhaust tip in for my exhaust so I need to get that welded on soon. I'm just loving and enjoying this car. The 5 speeds of goodness, the power, the looks I get, the fact I'm one of 3 really modified fozzies in the area. Its just great. The green one turned heads, this one impresses people. But more importantly, I'm a lot happier with Bell. She completes me :icon_wink:
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Current mods list
Drivetrain:
Cobb Accessport V2
Stage 2 Map
Turbo XS 4" Downpipe with 3" high flow cat
Fujitsubo FGK 3" Catback
K&N Typhoon Intake
Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator
Mishimoto Radiator Hoses
Mishimoto Thermostat
EBay Brand Hood Dampers

Interior
Version 7 JDM STi Seats
BAMShifts Custom Knob
OEM Boost Gauge
3 Spoke 2005 Forester steering wheel
10" Sub with Ported Box
Aftermarket Head-Unit

Exterior
06 STi Hybrid bumper
DIY Mesh Grille with JDM F-Badge
JDM Headlight Surrounds
JDM Spats
JDM Rear Bumper Garnish
Carbon Fiber Wrapped Waist Garnish
Blue/teal Tinted Fogs
STR 514 18x10 custom teal
Black Muteki SR48

Suspension
Front and Rear Camber Plates
Custom 14k Spring BC Racing Coilovers
 

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2002 ES300
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4,412 Posts
Looking good bro. What suspension is that? And it's unfortunate about the initial issues you've had. But at least those pita's have been cleared up now. Just don't forget a new up-pipe.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bell looks great!
Thanks man! Means a lot coming from someone with such a unique ride!

Looking good bro. What suspension is that? And it's unfortunate about the initial issues you've had. But at least those pita's have been cleared up now. Just don't forget a new up-pipe.
Thanks dude! Same as the last one, wrx yonaka coilovers. Yeah it gave me some troubles. Just gave me reasons to tinker in the end. I'll probably go with a sti uppipe. I'll eventually get a downpipe as well. Really though I want a vf43 and an sti intercooler. After that I think I will be satisfied with power.
 

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2004 FSTI dccd 6MT
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574 Posts
^what CinderBlock said^
I used to think that the 230hp is enough, then the 330hp and now the 430hp is not so fast for me anymore :p

A bit too low for my liking, but what count's is that you like it.
 

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05 Forester XT 06 STI V9 Spec-C Six Speed
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815 Posts
Car looks good, always like seeing other white foresters. They are all right im already kinda used to my vf39 power...haha Cars looking good so far.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can never have too much power. ;)
Haha true. :Banane35:

^what CinderBlock said^
I used to think that the 230hp is enough, then the 330hp and now the 430hp is not so fast for me anymore :p

A bit too low for my liking, but what count's is that you like it.
I hope I'll be happy with the power lol. I've never ridden in a car with that setup so IDK what it really feels like.
I know not everyone is a fan of this look, but I love it. Although the battle stance look is tempting if I go after power....

Car looks good, always like seeing other white foresters. They are all right im already kinda used to my vf39 power...haha Cars looking good so far.
Haha thanks man. How long have you had your VF39 setup?
 

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2004 XT 5 MT
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1,113 Posts
Looking good and surprisingly I like the white brz wheels. You really slammed your fozz and I got a good chuckle out of the mud flaps, thanks for sharing.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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475 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looking good and surprisingly I like the white brz wheels. You really slammed your fozz and I got a good chuckle out of the mud flaps, thanks for sharing.
I was really happy when I saw the finished BRZ wheels. I like them as the black and silver, but they really transform when they are all one color. I like being close to the ground :biggrin:

:Banane35:

awesome man, excited to follow along!
Thanks brotha! Hopefully I can pay off my loan soon so I can jump back on the mod train. Got someone looking at the green one tonight! :Banane02:
 
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Those BRZ wheels look surprisingly good. I didn't like the way they looked with your XS but they look great on Bell. Also liking the straight pipe. Cracks me up that they welded it right onto the downpipe. :lol:

Letting the temperature gauge go above the red was not a smart decision, you could've warped the block.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5 Speeds of Goodness
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Those BRZ wheels look surprisingly good. I didn't like the way they looked with your XS but they look great on Bell. Also liking the straight pipe. Cracks me up that they welded it right onto the downpipe. :lol:

Letting the temperature gauge go above the red was not a smart decision, you could've warped the block.
In certain lights, the brz wheels looked really good on the xs. But they never really worked well.
The annoying part about them welding it, is that when I get a new dp I have to chop it and weld it again lol. Might do a proper flange then that rolls around. By then I would like to have my own welder and do all that myself.
I pray to the car gods nothing happened to the block that night. I did read that it could have happened, but the car never shut off, which at that point it should have. I'm just gonna keep my fingers crossed
 

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05 Forester XT 06 STI V9 Spec-C Six Speed
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Haha true. :Banane35:



I hope I'll be happy with the power lol. I've never ridden in a car with that setup so IDK what it really feels like.
I know not everyone is a fan of this look, but I love it. Although the battle stance look is tempting if I go after power....



Haha thanks man. How long have you had your VF39 setup?
hey man, ive had it since about 90k miles and im closing in on 120k now. Its been pretty nice. Just finished an e-tune with torque performance so i want to go jump on a dyno and see the numbers. Also get a second opinion to see if everything looks clean. Love the power of the car now vs stock haha but eventually will want more power. Ive got my eye on your build :)
 
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