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05 XT 4eat
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally got enough done to the car to make it worthwhile for me to start a journal.

Some background. I bought my 2005 CGM AT Forester XT on my birthday in Febuary 2009. I had been lurking on the forum here for a few months previous to that and I already had the modding bug the day I picked up my car.



The first "mod" that I made to my car was to by a used dog grate for the rear. I picked that up, and installed it the first weekend that I owned the car.

The first performance part that I purchased was a used Accessport in March '09 and I did a stage 1 tune only having owned the car for 7 weeks. I loved it! More power and smoother response. In my mind I was already planning ahead to stage 2, not knowing how long it would take to get there.

The next month a set of Cobb sway bars and endlinks came up for sale here, and I grabbed them. On April 25th '09 the rear sway and endlinks went on along with a set of Whiteline LLWS. Also threw a hitch on the same day. The Cobb bar and endlinks even on the softest setting made a noticeable difference. However they added some clunking that I'm not happy with.

Here's my friend helping w/ the sway and hitch install.



Then came September '09 and my car was due for an inspection. Knowing that I would need new brake pads soon, even if not for this inspection, I ordered a set of Hawk HPS ahead of time. I had also picked up a Grimspeed 160 degree T-Stat during their group buy. My local garage put those in while the car was being inspected. The Hawk pads are great once warmed up some and inspire a lot more confidence when coming up to a corner hot and needing to scrub the speed.

That ended up being the end of the modding until this weekend. I've been odering up various suspension parts, and gathering all of the parts to go stage 2. However they were sitting in the basement gathering dust as I tried to find time to get together w/ my friend (who has way more tools than I do) to do a big install day. I finally got tired of waiting for our schedules to match and set off on my own. Continued in post #2.

Table of Contents

Interior:
Subaru Dog Grate - post #1
Subtle Dead Pedal - post #8

Exterior:
Garage XTi hoodstruts - post #2
Subtle light duty skidplate - post #13

Power/Engine and supporting mods:
Cobb Accesport - post #1
Cobb Downpipe - post #2 & 4
STi intercooler - post #4
STi hoodscoop - post #2
Subtle Splitter - post #2
Subtle Chimney - post #4
Samco STi intercooler hoses - post #4
Grimmspeed Uppipe - to be installed

Suspension/Bracing/Driveline:
Cobb rear sway bar - post #1
Cobb rear endlinks - post #1
Whiteline LLWS - post #1
Hawk HPS pads - post #1
Subtle Fender Braces - post #13
Swift Forester springs - to be installed
Swift sway bars - to be installed



More and better pictures to come.

kevin
 

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05 XT 4eat
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The downs or How much worse can it get

After having all of the supporting mods purchased to go stage 2 and then having them sit in my basement for month, I became impatient. I can do this myself, I have tools, I wrench on my mountain bike. I have the forum to refer to even. I thought that I had studied how to do the install enough and made sure I had everything I need. Saturday July 17th 2010 I was going stage 2 and couldn't wait to drive.

Friday night I got a head start on things and installed my Garage XTi hoodstruts. Not the easiest thing to do on ones own but I got it done without getting hurt. I wanted this done first to a.) keep the hood open more and b.) keep the damn hood support out of the way while wrenching under the hood. I also removed the stock intercooler. So far so good.

Saturday morning I awoke confident and ready to go. Took the laptop w/ the appropriate forum pages open out to the garage and got to work. On goes the hoodscoop and the Subtle splitter. Hey this is going well already.

Fought the heat shields for awhile until my neighbor came out and lent me a different ratchet that was smaller to get into the tight spaces. He even took a few of the bolts out for me too.

Not everything had gone smooth though. When removing the plastic undertray two of the plastic clip broke, no big deal. I had dropped an open end wrench down inside the enginge bay that took me some time to find. Had to get it from underneath as it was hiding on some crossmembers. Still not to bad.

But now the fun starts. I don't have ramps, or jack stands. However, I'm not a big guy, and my car sits at stock height so I can fit under. There is very little room to work though. I don't recommend this. :crazy: After loosening the 5 bolts/nuts at the downpipe turbo I crawled under the car and fought the two bolts holding the downpipe to the midpipe. And fight I did. PA winters are harsh on cars. They were rusted good, and there was little room to get leverage. It took who knows how long to get them to break loose (still they didn't strip or break). Finally I was ready to drop the pipe.

Well not quite, I still had to free up the O2 sensor wire. Again this was a pain working with little clearance. Also had to free up the pipe from the tab holding it up. A screwdriver and some cussing and it was free.

And now the bad. After dropping the pipe I go switch out the donut gasket. Well that isn't going to happen. And of course this is the only gasket I didn't by a replacement for. It's after 1:00p and the parts dept at the local Subaru dealer is closed. And nobody, not Advance, NAPA, or Pepboys can give me a donut gasket as they can't figure out which of their brands matches up w/ the OEM.



Now it's time to remove the O2 sensor. It's in there tight. A little spray, let it soak, and it comes out after some time. Looking like this. Crossed and damaged at the factory, and it won't go into the cobb pipe, I'm not messing that up.




So I have to wait until Monday to get the parts from Subaru. Meanwhile its only saturday afternoon and my car is torn apart. What a fun weekend. :furious:
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,452 Posts
Have you worked out why the rear bar is clunking? It's the reason I've held off doing the mod.
 

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05 XT 4eat
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
And it's still bad, but the up finally comes

Monday morning I wake up early. Well for early me on an off day anyway. I call Subaru. They have the gasket, but not the o2 sensor. They can get it by Tuesday (today) though. I hold off on that and call the big three auto parts stores again. Nope. Nothing in stock and minimum 2-3 days shipping. :mob: I call Subaru back and place the order for the 02 sensor. Yay, another day without a car, just what I wanted.

Today, Subaru calls, they have the sensor for me. But it's raining, I don't have a car, and nobody is around to drive me there. Finally the rain stops at 3. I hop on my mtb and ride up. Pay the dealership their dealership prices and ride back home.

Two hours later, everything is back on. Of course this wasn't all easy as I still had to remove the stock BPV hose (which entails removing the throttle body) and then fight on the SAMCO hoses. Also my STI TMIC and BPV didn't come w/ bolts. Had some extra ones handy, but one is short so I need to get the swtiched out asap. I also put in a new battery as the voltage was dropping on the old one and it wouldn't have lasted the winter.

Now comes the test. Key in the ignition, tuned to start and....it starts. :woohoo: A little rough on the idle at first then settles a bit. I shut it down and flashed the Cobb stage 2 map. Start it up again and...it doesn't start. I remeber that happened on the stage 1 map too. Try again and it starts up, rough again then settles into it. My daughter hops in the car and we head off for a test drive.

It's a shame the roads are wet from a passing shower. Stage 2 is fun. :Banane17: It's even smoother than the stage 1 map, yet faster. Getting up to 70 merging onto the highway was so much quicker. And I can hear the boxer rumble a little better now. Nice. After all the fighting and cussing and waiting, it was worth it.

Here's what the engine bay looks like as of now
 

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05 XT 4eat
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124 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Have you worked out why the rear bar is clunking? It's the reason I've held off doing the mod.
Nope, it's not all the time, and it's not really loud. But it's there and it sticks out more than the other rattles. That's why I got the swift sways when Mann had a used set for sale. They won't be going on for awhile yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I know it gets frustrating but in the end it will be worth it! Loving the journal and the mods. Keep it coming and good luck!
Thanks. I'm hoping it goes smoother from now on, but I'm not discouraged at all. It feels good to accomplish this on my own, even w/ all the frustration. And the car is even more fun now!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Subtle dead pedal

Installed the Subtle dead pedal. Really nice piece, and by far the easiest mod yet. With my next paycheck I'm going to order the new STi pedals. The stock black rubber ones look so out of place beside the Subtle one. :biggrin:



I also picked up a STi catback, but haven't bought extra long hangers or a new flange gasket. That will be on the plate for next weekend most likely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Blue Fox, I already read your thread. That is a nightmare.

Video's of me cursing, while laying under the car? I don't think the moderators would like that. :icon_biggrin:
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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Nice work. As anyone who does their own wrenching can tell you, plan for extra time. When I swapped my VF48 and goodies in, I spent 2 days fighting the dang b&m trans cooler from leaking and it was only a few hours to bolt the VF48 in. Strange how the "easy" projects turn out to be a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Blacked out my grill this weekend. It's subtle, but I think it looks a lot better. Pardon the dirty car and crappy pic.

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Installed Subtle Solutions fender braces and light duty skid plate yesterday.



Skid plate only took a few minutes. Hardest part was holding it up while trying to get the first bolt in. It is a nice well crafted piece.

Didn't take any pictures of the fender braces or install. They were a pain to get on though. Didn't take long, about 45 minutes for the first side and 30 for the second. There isn't much room to work though and you have to twist and contort your hands and finger to screw the bolts in.

The fender braces are well worth the hassle! Went out for a 45 minute just to drive drive after the install. WOW. What a difference. I was able to hit some tight twisty roads and the front end is so much more stable, all around than it was before. The car just feels so much tighter now. I still had a grin for about 30 minutes after the drive b/c I had so much fun. :biggrin:
 
2007 XT Sports Manual
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6,407 Posts
Installed Subtle Solutions fender braces and light duty skid plate yesterday.



Skid plate only took a few minutes. Hardest part was holding it up while trying to get the first bolt in. It is a nice well crafted piece.

Didn't take any pictures of the fender braces or install. They were a pain to get on though. Didn't take long, about 45 minutes for the first side and 30 fort the second. There isn't much room to work though and you have to twist and contort your hands and finger to screw the bolts in.

The fender braces are well worth the hassle! Went out for a 45 minute just to drive drive after the install. WOW. What a difference. I was able to hit some tight twisty roads and the front end is so much more stable, all around than it was before. The car just feels so much tighter now. I still had a grin for about 30 minutes after the drive b/c I had so much fun. :biggrin:
Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you are pleased with all of our products. :biggrin:
 
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