Admin note January 23 2022: This thread is closed and a new Journal started here: ('06-'08) - Mac_gc8's 2007 XT!
Most recent photo with stock FXT scoop and grill mod;
I purchased my 2007 Forester XT Ltd. 4EAT/MPT in Newport Pearl Blue new in January of 2007. At the time I had a 2006 WRX 5MT that I very much enjoyed, but needed something a bit more "practical." I wanted another 5MT, but this 4EAT model was on the lot with a price offer I couldn't turn down. This was my '06 WRX
From the outset, stealth
was the name of the game for all of the mods I have done with the FXT - I wanted to keep it a "sleeper." My modification goals were as follows;
- To be capable of running the quarter mile in under 13 seconds
- To handle as well or better than any other SUV on the road
- To enhance interior comfort, appearance and overall ride quality
- To maximize winter weather capability
- To retain full daily-driving practicality and utility
In pursuit of those goals, the complete list of mods is listed below.
“Modding” a vehicle involves many choices – sometimes too many. For this reason (and based on first-hand experience), I decided to set my expectations before moving forward with the purchase of any hardware. Below are some thoughts on how I went about modifying my Forester (full mod list further down this post);
– the Forester carries a lot more mass higher than a sedan and because of this, I never expected my Forester to handle like my WRX. I made the decision from the beginning to make it handle as well as possible without sacrificing ride comfort. The combination of Swift Sport springs (Forester specific) on OEM struts, 22mm anti-sway bars and a performance alignment has worked well for me. Of course, tire selection can make or break the handling (and ride comfort) of any vehicle - finding the right mix of traction, side wall stiffness and ride comfort seems a never ending process.
(as well as handling) was greatly enhanced with the addition of bracing. Compared to my WRX, the Forester seemed to twist in every conceivable direction when driving on rough roads, something that not only impacts the perception of vehicle quality, but adversely affects handling as well. IMO, this is something that must be done in combination with any suspension performance modifications.
The bracing also seems to have reduced rattles and squeaks. Here is the list of braces used in the order of their greatest impact;
- Subtle fender braces ("cowl stays") – no doubt these made a very noticeable difference (as they did in my WRX) and along with a set of rear subframe locking bolts, is the place to start your bracing project.
- Whiteline Quick Release Rear Strut Brace – the Forester does not have the benefit of a metal bulkhead in back of the rear seats like a sedan to tie the strut towers together and this brace helps address that. I used a Whiteline brace with quick-detach ends so it could be quickly removed when I needed to make use of all the available cargo space. There are more effective and elaborate braces available, but will compromise your ability to carry stuff in the cargo area.
- GTSpec 4 Points Front Ladder Bar – though not as noticeable as the first two braces, it gave my Forester a more solid feel driving over rough roads (we have plenty of those in frost-heaved NH). I highly recommend this brace and in combination with the first two, will make a very noticeable difference in a Forester.
- GTSpec Front Strut Brace – more bling than anything else, I cannot feel any difference in normal road driving.
- Subtle Trunk Brace – same as the front strut brace, but at least was quick and easy to install.
- the installation of RAAMaudio sound deadening in all four doors and cargo area certainly reduced cabin noise and enhanced the sound quality of my after-market audio system. It also reduced cabin noise from the MadDad Whisper exhaust, but it can still be heard (and appreciated) without any droning. I used about 30 pounds of material and found it to be a very worthy mod.
The combined results of the suspension mods, bracing and sound deadening truly transformed my Forester, greatly improving its handling, providing a more solid feel on rough roads and giving the Forester a higher quality “feel” and driving experience. To place this in perspective, our son in-law drives a late model BMW X5 and though its loaded amenities, it has nothing on my modded Forester in terms of performance, handling or ride quality.
Here is the complete list of modifications;
IHI VF48 turbo
Aquamist HFS3 Water/Methanol Injection
SPT Heat Shield
PTP Turbo Blanket
Samco turbo inlet
Perrin BOV hose
Subtle Splitter modified for IC sprayer and stock FXT hood scoop
Subtle Hood Struts
Subtle Radiator Shroud
Grimmspeed PnP/ceramic coated exhaust manifolds
Grimmspeed Air-Oil Separator
MadDad catted bellmouth DP
MadDad Forester-specific 3-inch Whisper cat-back
Kartboy Exhaust Hangers
KillerB oil pickup tube
Walbro 342 fuel pump
Northstar Group 35 AGM battery
274 WHP - 344 ft/lbs, open source tune by EFI Logics
A review of the MadDad exhaust can be found here
I installed an Aquamist HFS-3
water/meth injection system. Using Autozone -20 degree windshield washer fluid (about 30% methanol, the remainder water) and with a re-tune, the car produces 274 WHP and 344 ft./lbs. of torque on the EFI Logics Mustang Dyno. The graph below shows the gains using the system;
Update May 1, 2011
I had the opportunity to get the Foz on a different dyno, a Land & Sea DYNOmite unit this past weekend. Word has it that this is a very low reading dyno. The only change from the graph above is that I went to a 50% meth/50% distilled water mix for the injection. The car has not been retuned for the new mix, but it feels like the ECU has adjusted to take advantage of the higher octane. On this dyno, the car put down 268 WHP and 360 ft./lbs. torque;
Best run to date - 12.966 at 105.94 MPH, with a nearly 2-second 60' time. I believe with a more agressive launch, it's capable of doing 12.7s.
4EAT with Variable Torque Distribution
transfer case, installed June 2015 (standard on 2007 and 2008 Forester XT Sports model)
With Viscous Limited Slip (standard on 2007 Forester XT Ltd)
Carbotech 1521 Pads
Centric Premium Rotors
G2 Caliper Coating (silver)
Grimmspeed MC Brace
Suspension & Handling
Swift Sport Springs
Whiteline 22mm RSB (adjustable) with STi mounts and mo_boost support brackets
Whiteline 22mm FSB (fixed)
Whiteline subframe locking bolts
Whiteline Quick Release Rear Strut Brace
Whiteline steering rack bushings
Subtle fender braces ("cowl stays")
Subtle Trunk brace
GTSpec Front Strut Brace
GTSpec 4 Points Front Ladder Bar
P215/55R-17 Goodyear Eagle Sport on Steel Grey Rota Tarmac 2 wheels (3 seasons)
P225/55R-17 Nokian Hakkapeliitta R on factory alloys (winter)
Performance alignment - minus 1.5 degrees camber all four corners, zero toe
Forester Sports Front Bumper
Forester Sports grille
'08 Sports black tail lights
'08 Sports black headlights with Philips Vision Plus high beam bulbs
Hella Rallye 4000 Compact Driving Lights with 100 watt bulbs
Tint - 50% front windows, 35% rear windows and moon roof
Rally Armor UR mud flaps
Aquamist HFS-3 Gauge
AEM Digital Boost Gauge
Subtle Gauge Bezel
Shifter boot mod with WC Lathe Werks custom knob, center differential (VTD) lock switch
Lloyd Luxe Carpet Floor Mats (front)
Weathertech floor liners (rear)
Lloyd Luxe Carpet Cargo Mat
Sound Deadening (RAAMaudio - Automotive sound deadening products
with SIRIUS and iPod
Polk DB 6501
components (front) powered by Rockford Fosgate P400-2
5-1/4" 3-way door speakers powered from HU
(installed in spare tire well)
Awards & Recognition
June 2008 SubaruForester.org Calendar Selection
2010 Wicked Big Meet Car Show - 1st Place, Performance Category
January 2011 NES ROTM
January 2011 SubaruForester.org FOTM
NES Super Meet 7 - Best Form Award
Granite State Subaru Meets, March 16 - Daily Driver category, 2nd Place
2016 SF.org Calendar Selection