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2006 Forester XT 5 Speed
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Discussion Starter #1
It;s been this way since i bought the car and always assumed it was normal. It becomes very tiring in traffic as it takes a fair amount of effort to push down.

Today i drove a 2006 outback with a 5 speed (non turbo) and the clutch went down smooth as butter and with MUCH less resistance. much similar to my last car (gti) which also went down with ease.

do the XT's have a notoriously stiff clutch? is it possible that the clutch on my car is an upgraded aftermarket clutch? i figure this is a possibility since there are some other sporadtic modifications to my car. if you think this is possible, how do i verify?

also for what its worth, the gears make a fair amount of rpm dependent whine, like a small supercharger. part of me fears that problems are causing both of these issues, and the wishful part of me hopes i have an upgraded clutch and maybe even upgraded gears, to which i would no longer complain about either "problem". :)

any help is appreciated.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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It;s been this way since i bought the car and always assumed it was normal. It becomes very tiring in traffic as it takes a fair amount of effort to push down... do the XT's have a notoriously stiff clutch? is it possible that the clutch on my car is an upgraded aftermarket clutch? ...
In shopping for my Forester, I drove a 2008 XT 5MT and a 2008 X 5MT. I compared their clutch to the clutch on my 2006 Scion xB which I consider a perfect joy to use.

The XT clutch was harder to push and grabbier, compared to the X clutch. I could have lived with the X clutch, but felt that the XT would be work to drive.
 

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2010 Subaru Forester X? Auto, 76k miles
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I just picked up an 04 XT that I know has the original clutch, and the pedal is stiff. I test drove and/or owned the following and they are listed in order of most stiff to least, and there was quite a difference in each:

04 XT > 99 Forester > 08 Outback

I was actually wondering the same thing as you. The XT is really stiff, and though the wife mentioned it, she does still enjoy driving it.
 

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I've also experienced the clutch as being stiff on my MY05 XT, but have gotten the impression that it's just the way it is.

In part I feel it's good because it reminds me not to use the clutch unnecessarily; I have had a bad habit of pressing the clutch as soon as I start braking, when stopping for a traffic light for example. Also I try to switch to neutral while waiting at said traffic light, instead of fighting the clutch.
 

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2006 Forester XT
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35 Posts
FXT my06, and the clutch is stiff.

So stiff, in fact, that when my dad borrowed the car, he thought he had accidentally pressed the brake pedal on the first try... :banana:
 

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2007 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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421 Posts
I know my '88 GL Sedan and '98 Impreza Wagon had clutch cables.

Are Forester clutches connected to the pedal by cables or hydraulics? (My '07 Forester 2.5X has a 4EAT)

Is most of the force that you have to apply mainly for overcoming springs inside the clutch, or an external spring that you could replace with a weaker one?

Take Care,
David Baldock
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 5 Speed Manual
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524 Posts
Yes, I too have noticed how stiff the clutch is on the Forester. My twin brother has a 08 Impreza, and the first time I drove his, I thought that there was no fluid in the clutch (similar to when you loose your break fluid and you press the pedal). It felt as smooth as the gas pedal!!!

I really liked how much smoother it was and how much easier it was to work. Has anyone done anything to remedy this issue?? (replace with an impreza clutch system perhaps??)

I've been meaning to post this question for some time, but I have always been forgetting to.
 

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2013 XT
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1,686 Posts
Yes, I too have noticed how stiff the clutch is on the Forester. My twin brother has a 08 Impreza, and the first time I drove his, I thought that there was no fluid in the clutch (similar to when you loose your break fluid and you press the pedal). It felt as smooth as the gas pedal!!!

I really liked how much smoother it was and how much easier it was to work. Has anyone done anything to remedy this issue?? (replace with an impreza clutch system perhaps??)

I've been meaning to post this question for some time, but I have always been forgetting to.
I drove a friends outback sport and it was amazing how light the clutch was, I could barely tell i was pressing it down. I wish the fxt was just a few pounds lighter. It would make rush hour a little more tolerable.
I've been asking your same question since I picked up the forester. No good answers yet.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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... Is most of the force that you have to apply mainly for overcoming springs inside the clutch, or an external spring that you could replace with a weaker one?...
All internal -- the pressure plate spring. It has to be extra strong to press the clutch plates together hard enough to not slip under the turbo's higher power.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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All internal -- the pressure plate spring. It has to be extra strong to press the clutch plates together hard enough to not slip under the turbo's higher power.
So, there needs to be some sort of torque multiplier added to the pedal mechanism, to allow the same pull against the clutch springs using less pedal pressure from the driver. Sounds like a good project for some of the Mechanical Engineers on the forum! :icon_biggrin:

Take Care,
David Baldock
 

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2013 XT
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2007 Forester Sport XT 5MT
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I only noticed my XT's clutch being heavy when I went back to my Altima for a drive - Wow, that was light and easy.
But, I find most performance cars have even stiffer clutches.
My '79 Cherokee Chief had a direct clutch (mechanical 2 lever, no cables or hydraulics), and it was pretty beasty - more than one person squished things because they couldn't hold the pedal!
And then quasi-racing American V-8's had heavy clutches, in my case they were big block Chevys and they were nearly impossible to drive on the street. For drag racing they were manageable...
More power = heavier clutch, plus a heavier load - drivetrain and vehicle, require a heavier clutch.
I guess there are drawbacks/compromises to making the pedal easier - lighter clamping efforts with grippier friction materials but chattering engagements... Technology can help but it costs money is another factor.
If it's as simple as a clutch master cylinder - why wouldn't we change it?

El Sid
 

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Hard clutch and clutch pedal hangs

My 99 XT has the same problem since Subaru replaced the tranny @ 100k miles. Now have 130k and the clutch pedal has occasionally hung up after shifting. It completes the shift but the pedal just stops 1/2 way up. Any one experience this? Any ideas?
 

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Digging up an old thread...

Been researching this by searching and reading. No solution yet apparently. However, it appears to me the engagement spring under the clutch pedal inside the cab can be weakened to make this easier. Not a trivial swap, as the spring is encased by something. I'll be looking into this more in a few days. Anyone else with comments, they'd be appreciated.

As it stands, the force is beastly IMO. Coming from a butter Mazda Protege5, this is hard to accept.
 

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2013 XT
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Digging up an old thread...

Been researching this by searching and reading. No solution yet apparently. However, it appears to me the engagement spring under the clutch pedal inside the cab can be weakened to make this easier. Not a trivial swap, as the spring is encased by something. I'll be looking into this more in a few days. Anyone else with comments, they'd be appreciated.

As it stands, the force is beastly IMO. Coming from a butter Mazda Protege5, this is hard to accept.
I'd love it if it could be a simple spring swap or the like. But would the high pressure be coming from the pressure plate though?

Anyone ever notice a change in pedal pressure after a new clutch/pressure plate install?
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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The spring in the clutch pedal assembly are actually work as counter balance. If you remove the spring it would actually feel stiffer. Finding a stiffer spring that might work would be pretty tricky without proper spring measuring equipment.

The engagement point are somewhat adjustable and combined with clutch travel stopper could make the clutch feels lighter. Subaru clutch adjustment are somewhat tricky to get a good balance between lightness and short throw.
 
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