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2017 XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there...just bought my son his first car. My wife says it's actually for me...and she's probably right. I used to run modified Jeep XJs back in the day, and while I won't be putting 35's on the Forester, Ill be looking to add a little ground clearance and outfit it for doing fun stuff. Our family runs 6 deep, and we're all avid snowboarders. We love camping (primitive and glamping), fishing, paddling, and mountain biking. My wife has a pretty sweet 4runner, and the Forester will hopefully be just as rigged for fun.

I'll try and do some research here before I bombard you with questions...

Likely first mods:

2" lift - either Primitive, ADF, or LP
16" x 7" Method race wheels (if they'll clear the XT brakes)
Either Cooper AT2s or Wildpeaks
LP adventures bumper guard w/LEDs
Ditch lights
Yakima Offgrid cargo rack
ADF Molle storage racks
Weathertech All weather mats

Feel free to critique the above...I'd rather know now if I'm making any mistakes.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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270 Posts
Congrats and welcome. I have a 2017 FXT Touring.

You might want to consider the Husky Liner mats instead. I have the Weathertech, and will probably switch to the Huskys for better coverage before next winter.

I haven't quite made the decision on lifting mine, but I'm considering the Wildpeaks as my next tires. Car is just about due.

There's a great place to put a hidden light bar on the FXTs. I did it for under $100 in parts. This video from Subispeed shows the installation of a more expensive light bar, but I did it with a Nilight bar and wiring harness from Amazon.

20200807_202324_HDR.jpg
 

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2019 Subaru Forester XT
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2 Posts
Grats! Just bought a 2018 Forester XT, and own a 6.5 " lifted 1997 XJ too locked front and rear.
 

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Registered
2017 XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Grats! Just bought a 2018 Forester XT, and own a 6.5 " lifted 1997 XJ too locked front and rear.
Nice! Mine was a '97 too! I had a 6.5" Long arm lift, locked front D44 front and locked Ford 8.8 Rear...crazy similarities. Sold it when my kids outnumbered the digits in my bank account...about 11 years ago. Miss that rig though. Loved working on it.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,383 Posts
When it comes to the upgrades, a lot is easily done with minor wrenching abilities...

For wheels n tires... Yes, I do believe the 16" rim will fit the XT... but 15" do not. You can also go with a 17" and a slightly taller sidewall to still get the same (or almost same) outside diameter of the stock 18" tires so no speedometer/odometer errors. You can also find some decent AT tires in stock size and in the 17s, too. I'm running Continental Terrain Contacts and have no issues at all. Good grip and still good on road, as well.

For the possible lift - be warned that most strut spacer tops will also require the sub-frame spacer kit to avoid the tires sitting forward in the wheel wells. As you lift the back of the Forester, it shifts forward a bit. You can also go with a coil over set-up also.

Not sure if a lift will cause issues with eyesight or not (if you have it)... I read that on the new Outback Wilderness models, they had to recalibrate the eyesight because of the lift. Not sure if anybody on here with a lifted Foz has noticed any issues with eyesight or not...

You may not always have to buy the "name brand" product (sort of as mentioned above) and can save a few bucks... Is the Yakima worth the extra cost? Maybe... maybe not. I got a "reese" explore basket and used the factory cross bars to attach. There's also a really cool (but costly) rack kit from Rough Country that attaches to the factory roof rails... starts at 1200 bucks but you can also order with option light kits (front, side and/or rear) for that Zombie Apocalypse look....

When it comes to the wheels - you can find many styles out there so you don't have to go with Methods.... No reason you can't but if you want to save some $$$ vs going for a look. I got a set of Koenig Racing "Inception" wheels as I didn't want black wheels - still wanted some shine...

For the ditch lights - if you get the mounts that attach at the hood hinge, you can get a lot of glare on cameras when the lights are on and reflecting off the hood. I found a source for some ditch brackets that mount to the door just by the mirror, replacing that little plastic trim at the front window.... They're from SMK Fabrication and are a great way to get ditch lights and no hood glare.

Most of the bumper guard units will require you to pull the plastic cover off, install the guard and then put the plastic cover back on ... may take a bit more labor... And depending on how far out they stick from the bumper, they could change the approach angle for the front...

Don't forget under body protection - skid plates. I got the Primitive Racing triple pack and they sure have helped - as I've heard more than a ping or two (or 30) when on some trails... And a few scrapes, too. They should be up on the list to get done first (or at least early in the build).

Here's my 2014 2.5i Limited.. No lift, stock suspension, stock size tires, slightly wider rim, and lights ... lots of lights.

552122


The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Weat Shades...

552123


On Fiesta Island (San Diego/Mission Bay)

552126


Joshua Tree Nat'l Park
 

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2017 XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's great input FB...I really like those side mounted ditch lights of yours. Great looking ride! As far as lift goes, I'm leaning towards the Primitive Racing lift with King coil springs...not sure if that has the relocation mounts you mentioned or not. If it doesn't, I'll see if I can add them with that lift. I think the stiffer springs will help with the added weight of gear, roof racks, and bike racks/bikes....we have a lot of toys to haul around. I might look into coil over springs as well. I chose the Yakima rack over the others because I receive a 50% discount through a work program...but they're completely sold out of EVERYTHING. I like the low profile Rolo rack and the Rhino rack as well, so they're in play if Yakima doesn't have any inventory become available in the next month or two. I'll also look into the rack you mentioned.

Just installed a Curt hitch on it last night....everything went smoothly. Seems like an easy vehicle to work on and modify...although I did find 3 rusted/corroded mounts on the heat shields.
 

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2017 XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There's also a really cool (but costly) rack kit from Rough Country that attaches to the factory roof rails... starts at 1200 bucks but you can also order with option light kits (front, side and/or rear) for that Zombie Apocalypse look....
That's a stout looking rack for sure! I like it...but not the cost. 😬
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,383 Posts
Foresters are pretty easy to mod and work on - for those physical parts...

I did the DrawTite hitch from etrailer and it was an easy install (done by a pal at his shop). I liked it because it is low profile enough that the receiver is just below the bumper/fascia and didn't have to cut that fascia...

And yes, the heat shields can develop issues no matter where you live... I'm in the So Cal desert area and my front heat shiels are loose and make some noise at times...
 

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2015 XT Touring CVT
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490 Posts
smallest you can go on wheel size is some 17s, unless you drop subaru 4/2 pots on then you can run 15s. the stock caliper is too large for smaller wheels.
 
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