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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Very new to the site. I searched a bit and tried to find the proper forum and/or answer for this question, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

I've been searching for awhile now, and am finally about to purchase an 05 FXT 5-speed with 129k on it. Everything looks good to go, and the common trouble spots were taken care of by the previous owner.

When I took it for a long test drive last night, I noticed the heat always seemed to be on full-blast. It didn't matter if I turned the climate control knob to 65, 75, or 80. Temp was always hot. Only when I turned the knob to the full "off" position (below 65 degrees) did it change, which was directly to frigid outside air.

I'm concerned because the owner said he had the thermostat replaced a few days ago. Could the thermostat be stuck and causing the vehicle to run too hot? Is it possible that the temp gauge shows it running normal but the car is really about to overheat? Or is this more likely an issue with the heater/climate control...or nothing to worry about?

Thanks for your help,

Jesse
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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The auto climate control functionality is useless on the SG models. It's a design flaw in how the cabin temperature sensor was positioned. Back in the day there was a guy who offered a kit for sale that would fix the problem by adding a small fan in front of the sensor. Basically, it's normal... you can find more info on this issue on scoobymods: http://www.scoobymods.com/showthread.php/auto-climate-control-fix-03-4699.html
 

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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The auto climate control functionality is useless on the SG models. It's a design flaw in how the cabin temperature sensor was positioned. Back in the day there was a guy who offered a kit for sale that would fix the problem by adding a small fan in front of the sensor. Basically, it's normal... you can find more info on this issue on scoobymods: http://www.scoobymods.com/showthread.php/auto-climate-control-fix-03-4699.html
Thanks pleiad7. That is good to know. The fix doesn't look too difficult either.

Since I'm already in the 'Forrester Shopping' forum, I might as well ask another question:

How long does the original turbo typically last in FXTs? I know this would obviously vary a lot, depending on oil changes, driving style, addition of catless up pipe, etc. But say a stock car, catless up pipe, regular oil changes. For a car with 129k miles.

I ask because I've read that with FXTs, as the turbo goes, so goes the engine...
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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Like you already mentioned, much of it depends on previous maintenance, but for all intents and purposes, at 129k miles I would consider the turbo near the end of its intended lifespan. I swapped out the original TD04 on my '04 XT at around 75k miles for another one with lower mileage - not because it was blown, but I wasn't hitting target boost anymore, probably due to a tired wastegate spring. Upgraded to a VF39 around 100k and never looked back.
 

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2017 Forester XT
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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like you already mentioned, much of it depends on previous maintenance, but for all intents and purposes, at 129k miles I would consider the turbo near the end of its intended lifespan. I swapped out the original TD04 on my '04 XT at around 75k miles for another one with lower mileage - not because it was blown, but I wasn't hitting target boost anymore, probably due to a tired wastegate spring. Upgraded to a VF39 around 100k and never looked back.
OK thanks. Will have to factor a new TD04 or VF39 into the cost of the vehicle.

Would you personally go with OEM turbos from Subaru only, or would you consider other brands? How about rebuilt vs. new turbos? I see huge ranges in price out there.

Also, do you know if the VF39 has the same quick spool-up and low end torque of the TD04? I'm sure the VF39 is more powerful, but I like how quickly the stock FXT turbo kicks in...
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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If you upgrade to a larger turbo like a VF39 you will need a number of supporting mods and tune as well, so that's something to keep in mind. Personally I'd prefer an OEM turbo vs. aftermarket, especially if you're looking for a direct replacement without other modifications.
 
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