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2016 Forester 2.0XT
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Discussion Starter #1
apologize upfront that my initial posts are long, i like to give backstory in my journals. these are mostly just for me to remember. and i write very stream of consciousness.

i previously had owned a NA 2009, and always wondered why i didn't just pony up the additional cash to get an xt. i sold that a number of years ago, went to mod heaven on an acura, then at the end of last year was searching for something new. i saw several fxt's (from SH to SJ), from individuals. almost all of them lied to me, said no accidents, no damage, and when i did further digging (beyond carfax) it unearthed a lot of issues/damage that they didn't tell me about. interesting side story, but a few years ago was looking at a black SH. drove out to the guys house and he told me that he worked at dirtfish. we chatted about that for a bit, but anyway, point being is that i offered a much lower price based on mileage and condition. he said immediately yes. i went home to do my further digging and found out that the turbo had been replaced three times in the last three years. the car obviously was used as a drive car for them or customers, it was beat on. i found out that it eventually sold to someone, i sent him all the digging i had done. i'm sure it was well maintained, but people need to be honest, instead of trying to rip people off for a few hundred bucks.

anyway, back to current day. i went to a local mini-dealership. they had a sweet 17 fxt, test drove it and immediately knew that i wanted an SJ, loved the look and feel over the SH. the only issue was that it had a modded exhaust. i asked the dealer for a mod list, but they had no idea. i didn't trust a car that i had no idea what was in it, so passed. my searched continued to the next week and i went to michaels/bellevue. didn't think i'd like the SJ i was going to see, but test drove it, and they gave me one helluva deal. i walked out with the signed paperwork and would pick up the next day (they had to fix some smallish things on the interior).

it's been through a few months of ownership and i'm only now starting to think of modding, decided to go with an offroad build.

here's a terrible picture i snapped after buying a roof rack from a crosstrek owner who had the wheels/tires for an offroad and was going to lift soon. that really cemented my thought, loved that crosstrek lifted look.

i recently put in some fog lights, bought used from a member here, had to remove all the plastidip he sprayed on them, was a total PITA. first sprayed/soaked in WD40, help peel, then had to blast with pressure washer. it was the OE kit, so installation was fairly easy. i found one youtube video that was particularly helpful in figuring out where the relay went.
. that really is the only difficult part. i did realize that i didn't have any hardware to mount the fog light housing to the bumper, so had to run to the hardware store and get 4 nuts and bolts. i did remove the bumper in total, but it was mostly so i can upgrade my horns at the same time. only annoying thing is when i put the front bumper back on, it wouldn't fit perfectly. there is just one small place that it isn't perfectly mounted on a clip.

instead of the common hellas (i installed them on my SJ), i decided to go with a simpler setup. JDM genuine Subaru OEM premium Horn upgrade set - Forester 2014 - 2017. someone in the facebook groups mentioned this, was fairly cheap, but the install was a breeze compared to the hellas. easy plug and play into the factory places. horns sound much more aggressive, but i do think the hellas are still much louder.

next i got some rallyarmor mud flaps off someone here. i disliked them very much. as many people mentioned, the rears will have a "toe in" look. a lot of people like them, but i'm thinking with larger tires/wheel setup, the fronts usually don't fit on, no point in them anyways. have heard that they lessen gas mileage, but i never noticed the difference.

i bought some black rhinos, and then found the methods/motegis. trying to sell the black rhinos now before i go with another setup. they are brand new still in the box. can't return because i'd have to pay shipping back to amazon for some reason on these. if worse case, i'll just use them, they look nice, i just prefer the motegis. i will be running k02's, but waiting for costco to have sale with install on bfg's.

haven't yet decided on the lift kit. been leaning towards ADF 1.5 or 2.0 or the LP Adventure. the subtle version needs you to remove the top hats, i don't have spring compressors and don't want to mess with them. one person mentioned the ADF kits might be poorly designed because of the rear subframe spacer, you need to bolt into another bolt? any rec's here on people that have actually installed/driven on them appreciated.

i got lucky and found an STI midpipe for good deal. the person ended up giving me everything else, uppipe, downpipe and mufflers. i flipped the uppipe for basically the cost of the midpipe. i installed the 2016 STI midpipe yesterday, was a perfect fit. imo zero difference in sound, but does save some weight and looks better? of course the dual tip mufflers don't fit without cutting. i won't be doing that, so if anyone wants the mufflers let me know. they are practically brand new, it was pulled from a new STI that went to nvidia upgrade immediately. thinking of nameless, but that's because everyone keeps talking about it. i need to hear more sound clips, i don't want it overly loud like my acura was. rented a wrx on a business trip the other week, loved how that thing sounded - was bone stock. deep sounds at lower rpm and of course startup. no drone.

other future stuff will mostly be maintenance. will get the fumoto as i had it on my SJ. need to do my first oil change, and will do the front/rear diff fluids.

questions for now:
- does anyone know if the OE projector housing/lights direct plug and play into the reflector place?
- when doing an offroad build, does it not make sense to upgrade the sway bars because you want more articulation when offroading? why do people only do the rears? i did notice the fronts and they look beefy already.
- i've been looking for a full exhaust diagram. mostly trying to see where the uppipe and downpipe are and if the STI ones would be an upgrade. it doesn't seem that the offroaders do much to their engines in terms of performance. in fact i think i see a lot more NA SHs go offroad than XTs.
 

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2016 Forester 2.0XT
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
did some general first time owner maintenance this weekend

oil changed with mobil1 5w30, used the OE filter 15A - know there's talk of using the black one versus blue, but i chose whatever subaru recommended online

bought a fumoto valve like my last forester, F108N fit well

changed front and rear diff fluid with redline 75w90, what i always use in my subaru diffs. both were really easy, just needed to find the right fill/drain bolts. torqued to spec.
 

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2016 Forester 2.0XT
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
got the motegi mr139's on with the bfg ko2's 225/65/17, no rub at full lock, no clearance issues on the calipers. not sure why the painted that area blue, it was on almost all the tires, does anyone know?

didn't find a good thread from anyone here that talks specifically about what we should be running the psi in these at. discount tire put them at 40, but is only because i told him that i read that a lot of folks run them at 44 for mostly highway use. they were going to run them at factory spec.

bought the ADF 1.5" lift kit, should be going on in the next couple of weeks.

also got the rear '16 STI sway bar.

mostly thinking i'm done after that for awhile, except maybe the window rain guards. i did buy a moonroof guard, but haven't installed it. it looks very tall, but do wonder if it would block some of the rattle on my roof rack. the fairing rattles a ton when driving at cruising speed. it's on tight, might just need some rubber cushion behind it, not sure yet. also do think that mud flaps might make it look a bit more "aggressive", but absolutely hated the rallyarmors. suggestions appreciated!
 

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2016 Forester 2.0XT
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
oh, btw! when i bought the sti midpipe, the person gave me the full turboback setup. i sold the mufflers for basically pennies, but what really surprised me was the downpipe (i think #6 in diagram) sold for significant dollars on ebay. I think it went to someone in japan. i get the uppipe (i think #1 in diagram) sells for decent money because there are a lot of recyclers of the precious materials inside.
 

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2016 Forester 2.0XT
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
installed the adf 1.5" lift kit this weekend. in total, took about 12 hrs. i had help the second day, which we did the rear.

fronts installed easily, i took my time and was a total 4 hrs. hardest part was trying to torque the spacers onto the top hats without the hats spinning. very difficult to get leverage. overall, no issues, was straight forward.

the rears were a PITA. i recommend everyone try a different lift kit first. you will likely need additional tools and some aren't readily available.

dropping the subframe was not as bad as i thought it'd be. it was the installation of the multi link spacers that were difficult. trying to hand thread the 22mm bolts in that box (multi link) was near impossible. i don't have huge hands and it was tough. once you get them on adf suggests you take a socket extension, thread it through the subframe bolt holes and into the multi link box. only one size would thread through and that size is not a 1/2", it is a 3/8" non-torque limiting extension. well, we snapped two of them trying to torque at 106.9 ft lbs. we ended up going to the hardware store to get a 22mm wrench, tighten down to as tight as we could. installing the bolts underneath that hold the subframe to frame was easier, but still not ideal. engineering of this, as others have mentioned, needs some work.

another complaint is that the adf kit did not come with longer exhaust hangers. other mfgs like LPAdventure does. i asked adf before i purchased and they said i did not need it. well it turns out you do. i could not get the midpipe to bolt up to my mufflers, so i took the mufflers off. guess this is my way of going muffler deletes.

the last, major complaint is that the rear wheels now are not centered in the wheel well. this is annoying to say the least. i think at most this might affect safety and driving conditions. i am getting subaru to check it out tomorrow. my local subaru installs subtle subie lift kits - i now know why. i might end up having them remove the adf's and installing the subtle one. that's $550+time down the drain, unless adf takes a return on it. i have reached out to adf to see about fixes and parts they did not include. i only recently heard that these adf kits are known to have the rear wheel not centered. any thoughts?

here's a shot at stock height and after the adf lift. i will say that even at stock height, the wheel does look slightly off center. the adf kit just accentuates it. for reference, i get two fingers in front of the rear tire before hitting wheel well, but 4 in the back. pretty similar on both sides of the rear axle.
 

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