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1999 Forester S
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been lurking on here for the longest time, and just recently started posting. I figured I might as well make a thread in here about my Forester.

Where to start... a few years ago, I had a new WRX, that was unfortunately totalled in an accident (someone driving an 18-wheeler flatbed came into my lane at an exit ramp and hit me, causing me to spin, hit a wall, hit the truck, and hit the other wall). A short while after that, I bought a 96' Legacy 2.5GT to drive, but I missed the feeling of having a turbo car.

Fast forward some time, and now I have the money to get another turbo AWD car (using the settlement money from the WRX accident, actually). While I wanted a WRX, I knew that a stock one with low miles that wasn't beat up would be somewhat pricey. Also, the insurance on one would be way more than what my fiance and I are paying on the Legacy and her Toyota Prius combined.

Wanting the rush of a WRX, without the WRX expenses, I knew a swapped car would fit the bill. I was looking for Impreza wagons (at this point in my life, I need a vehicle that can carry more things than what a sedan can hold), when I came across someone selling a Forester with a spun bearing on NASIOC.


The car as per the for sale thread.

I managed to get it for fairly cheap (asides from the engine, it needed some bodywork done as well), and arranged for the seller to tow it to a shop that was near him that specialized in Subarus, so that they could perform an engine swap.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
While it was at the shop, I had them install a JDM turbo hood I won off eBay, as they were swapping in an EJ20T from an 02' WRX.

The car arrived this week, and if anyone has seen my other threads knows, I came across a big problem while I went to go get it inspected.

The shop that performed my swap had removed my front sway bar and endlinks as part of the swap process, but never replaced them once the swap was completed. So for the time being I'm driving around with a rejection sticker and no front sway bar until the shop can send me the appropriate parts so that I can pass.

In the meantime, I did some random stuff.

Removed the cross bars from the roof rails
Removed the mud guards
Fixed the clock (stupid #510!)

 

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1999 Forester S
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Since I had some time to monkey around today, I figured I would test fit the JDM grill I purchased through Nengun.


USDuMb grill.


quick comparison between JDM and US grill


with the JDM grill test fitted. The hood isn't closed fully, and the grill is more or less just sitting there with none of the clips engaged. My radiator support is a little bent from the previous owner, so that will be addressed in the future before I mount the grill.


This week I plan on rattlebombing the hood, bumpers, and sides to black. I can't stand the hood being white, and the bumpers are all beat to hell anyways so I just want to make everything one color. Later this year I'm taking it to a bodyshop to get completely resprayed, as the paint is pretty worse for wear.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #7
The parts I have waiting to go on:

JIC-MAGIC FLT-A1 coilovers for a GD WRX
JIC-MAGIC GC8 Impreza front camber plates
JDM clear corners
JDM taillights

Most of this stuff probably won't go on until later in the year when it's warmer and I'm more motivated. Right now my main concern is resolving the issue with the shop and my missing front suspension pieces. Until that's taken care of, I can barely be bothered to properly clean out the inside and start thinking about the other mods I want to do.

looks good tho!!!
thanks! I'm pretty excited for this new project.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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40,088 Posts
I enjoyed looking over your Member Journal. Looking forward to watching your progress as your MODding continues! :cool:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Yeah, I've read the random "my JIC coilovers massively failed on me" thread from different forums, but they seem to be fairly isolated incidents, so my level of concern is about as much as I would have for any fairly reputable aftermarket suspension piece. I don't plan on using my Forester in any sort of competitive sense or in situations where I'd be seeing such high stress loads that I would be worried about the failure point of my suspension, so it's not a major worry.

If anything, I got a really good deal on these, so if they break I won't feel tremendously bad about it. From what I understand, even if they were to break, I could just contact JIC and they'd replace the broken parts.


coilovers waiting to go on.
 

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2002 S
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2,695 Posts
Looking good!
FWIW, a lot of swap shops don't put the front bar back on because most of the time, the donor's front bar doesn't fit the GC/SF chassis properly.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #12
Looking good!
FWIW, a lot of swap shops don't put the front bar back on because most of the time, the donor's front bar doesn't fit the GC/SF chassis properly.
Makes sense.

I mean I understand the incompatibility between the turbo vs non turbo bar, but the shop probably should have at least mentioned that to me so I could have made arrangements for them to put something on that works instead of me finding out the hard way :(
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Two quick under the hood shots since someone asked (ran outside to take these real quick... it's cold out there!)



Also, quick shot for anyone wondering what happens when you use a WRX exhaust on a swapped Forester (even though everybody already knows)


Hopefully a nice aftermarket FXT axleback will pop up on here so that I can get a can that sits and exits properly (and sound nicer as well). I'd buy some extended hangers, but then I'd still have the problem of the tip not sticking out far enough.
 

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Damn dude, your off to a good start for sure! Cant wait to see how the forester finishes.

Did you keep the forester five speed or swap for the wrx tranny?
On my GC I had a wrx front bar used with gc endlinks. It worked fine for me, this was using a wrx crossmember. I dont know what would fit different on the SF.

Lots of nice sf projects popping up lately.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Damn dude, your off to a good start for sure! Cant wait to see how the forester finishes.

Did you keep the forester five speed or swap for the wrx tranny?
On my GC I had a wrx front bar used with gc endlinks. It worked fine for me, this was using a wrx crossmember. I dont know what would fit different on the SF.

Lots of nice sf projects popping up lately.
Heh, I'll probably get flack for this, but it's still using the original 4EAT tranny. It was like the one stipulation my wife had for me when I started this project, and I don't mind too much, really. I plan on keeping power levels conservative, or if anything, well within reason for an auto tranny. Uprated valve body and trans cooler are planned for later in the year just for peace of mind.

This is meant to really be my daily driver/work car, and other people (especially my wife) also sometimes drive it as well. Some of them (especially my wife), can't drive a stick if their life depended on it. If I really have the itch to shift, I can always just get another car (been eying some MK1 MR2's lately) or just drive any of my friend's WRXs that I help them work on.
 

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2002 S
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Autos aren't too bad, the turbo motor definitely helps. A friend of mine has an auto WRX with a 2.0 and a VF48 and the thing pulls really hard.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Quick update: the shop just ordered an 02 WRX wagon front sway bar, endlinks, and related hardware and will be sending it to me once they get it. Hopefully I'll be getting those soon so I can put it on and head to the inspection place and only have to pay the $1 reinspection fee.

Also ordering some front pads, rotors, and brake fluid so I can hopefully do something about my not so inspiring brake feel. My Motive power bleeder just came in today, so I'm itching to use it.
 

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I wont give you a hard time for the auto. I bought my forester for the same reasons you bought yours, to daily drive. Well mine is to haul a kid now too.

As for the wife, she cant drive a stick so she cant drive the forester or either of my RS's. Her loss really.

Jics for daily duties might be pretty extreme.
 

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1999 Forester S
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Been trying to be productive while waiting for the sway bar to come in (it arrives tomorrow, but won't have time to put it on until Wednesday).


Package from wrxbrakes.com: pair of Stoptech Street front brake pads, pair of Centric Standard rotors, and a can of Ate Super Blue fluid.


New pads vs old pads of unknown origin.


Rotor comparison. The lack of the extra holes in the old rotor for the "bolt trick" meant that for me to be able to get them off, I had to whack at them with a deadblow for... awhile. It's good I have earplugs.



While I was at it, I also removed the rotor dust shields, as they were rusted to all hell. No pictures though, was too busy swearing and pulling at it with pliers to take a break to snap some shots.


Before and after.


Rust much?

Once the rotors and pads were installed, I bled the brakes all around using my Motive power bleeder and the can of Super Blue.

The result? Night and day. The old combination of glazed cheapo pads and rusted rotors made my braking experience continually peg off the pucker meter. Now, I can brake comfortably without feeling like I'm going to die at any second. The whole process took way longer than it should, but it was to be expected since I kept stopping to take pictures, as well as everything being rusted on.

Other random stuff I did: swapped the stock radio for the WRX radio out of my Legacy. No pics, but you all know what an 05 WRX radio looks like anyways.

I also painted my hood and grill satin black. Will have to get pics of that this week. I dig how it looks, and will probably paint my bumpers and sides satin black as well.
 
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