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2003 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I just bought a 2003 Forester XS (silver) almost 2 months ago. This is my first Subaru and in fact the first import vehicle I have bought. I was looking at newer models but when I ran across this I couldn't pass it up. The previous owner kept it in unbelievable condition. I plan on keeping it stock. The only thing I have changed is the stock audio system. I don't think I could ever own a car and leave the factory radio "as is". So far I installed a JVC KW-NT1 navigation unit, Visteon HDZ300 HD radio, Alpine MRP-F450 amplifier, and JL Audio CS110RG-W1v2 enclosed subwoofer. I actually stumbled on this site researching the front door speakers, which is the next thing I will be replacing. Overall, I am not going for a crazy high end system but just wanted navigation, Bluetooth, and decent sound. Next spring I will do some soundproofing and add a back up camera. BTW, I chose the JL enclosure because I wanted all of my cargo space easily accessible if needed. The enclosure is small and held in place by the cargo net. If I need to load something large in the back with the rear seats down, I just need to yank out two banana plugs to get the enclosure out of the way. I tried those under the seat solutions (e.g. Boss BASS600), but was not satisfied.

Back to the car... So far I am very pleased. The weather has not challenged it yet up here in NW Ohio (Toledo). I am thankful for that! I lost my daily driver a long time ago and was actually driving a garage stored 1986 Pontiac Fiero "temporarily" for a couple of years. I got sidetracked and should have bought something sooner, but late last winter when I nearly slide off the road I told myself there is no way I would go through that again. As a daily driver I am impressed with how well it handles and I really like the amenities you get with the XS model, but I chose the Forester primarily for its decent fuel economy, safety, reliability, and of course the AWD. I look forward to getting some help and contributing to these forums. :icon_biggrin:
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,338 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Oregon. :biggrin:

Congratulations on the '03 Forester purchase! My '03, now my son's was my first Forester. Post up a picture of your '03 so the members can look it over. You're required to have 15 posts to link to a host (to prevent spamming), but you can attach pictures (thumbnails) now. :wink:

As to the sound. If you don't have the door tweeters, add those first, before replacing the speakers. I'm running the cheapo factory/OEM speakers on the '03 & they sound great! We did upgrade the head unit & added a subwoofer. Take a look here at the installation on my '07, which is pretty close to the '03. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Registered
2003 Forester
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Welcome to the forum from Oregon. :biggrin:

Congratulations on the '03 Forester purchase! My '03, now my son's was my first Forester. Post up a picture of your '03 so the members can look it over. You're required to have 15 posts to link to a host (to prevent spamming), but you can attach pictures (thumbnails) now. :wink:

As to the sound. If you don't have the door tweeters, add those first, before replacing the speakers. I'm running the cheapo factory/OEM speakers on the '03 & they sound great! We did upgrade the head unit & added a subwoofer. Take a look <snip>
Nice setup you have. I'm still working on mine. What I like most is that you have a Directed HD radio. It's the same unit (albeit with cosmetic changes) as the Visteon HDZ300. I really like where you mounted the display! I don't use the ashtray and it's really tempting for me to copy what you did, though the ashtray bezel is a little pricey at $65. The problem is that I couldn't fabricate something of that quality on my own. My solution would be to spray paint it, though I am curious as to what you used for your overlay.

I've attached some images of what I have installed so far. I haven't snapped in the panel surrounding the radio yet. As much as I keep removing it, I didn't want to wear out or break the clips. The amp is under the passenger seat. When the seat is pushed back in its normal position, you really don't even see it under there. For obvious reasons, I don't like having audio components visible. One of the reasons I chose the JVC was the detachable face. It's a very nice unit, but for some reason JVC has no HD radio support for it. :icon_mad: I thought about getting ahold of the dash gauge pod and mounting it there, but I am okay with the stock location. At night, it doesn't draw as much attention. My Forester already came equipped with the door tweeters (currently not connected). The front stock 6.5" speakers are powered by the Alpine amp. I make sure not to push them too hard. My next upgrade is a component speaker set.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,338 Posts
Thanks for posting pictures! It looks like you have a very nice audio/video setup! :cool:

To answer your question on what I used for the ashtray bezel. I used a heavy duty textured industrial vinyl overlay. Not really sure where you'd get this stuff... it's something I saved from work, many years ago. I tried paint, but it just didn't look right. The vinyl overlay is nice, since it's easy to apply & won't scratch like a painted surface. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 
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