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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last summer, I bought a barely-used Dom 2.5XTR as I was planning for Build 2.0 for my 06 WRX wagon. Seller was a really nice guy who also mentioned he was selling this Forester and how he'll never recoup the money he put into making it a nice daily for himself. I didn't feel comfortable about the price considering my 3rd kid was on her way so I didn't regret it too much not buying it when it finally sold in the beginning of Fall. And as my plans for my WRX became more extensive, the annual inspection expired and my daughter was born, I started to really miss driving my one and only Subaru that I bought new from the dealer in 06. So now I'm sort of wishing I did buy this Forester so I could at least have a modified Subaru to drive around.

End of winter 2021, I was buying some parts for a customer on the FB classifieds. Started chatting it up and got along really well with one of the sellers - we were both OG Subaru guys, fathers and husbands and veterans. He was more well versed in Foresters and mentioned he just bought one not too long ago. I had a hunch it was this FXT I had my eye on in the summer and I was right! [6/24/22: He decided to join SF.org.]

A month later, his circumstances required him to sell fast but only to another Subaru enthusiast. So this FXT literally came back to me for half the original asking price in the summer - funny how life works! What are the chances of running into the guy who bought it, of this FXT ending up in my hands?

It was DESTINED to be! :D ;):sneaky::unsure:

Sorry for the corny line but I really don't have a name for it yet. The post title seems fitting for now.

I'm super stoked that this is now my daily driver.

Let's not delay the pictures any further!










 

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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Configuration / History at Time of Possession

2009 Forester base XT with 218,XXX miles on the chassis

Engine
2011 STI engine installed at 209,XXX chassis miles
  • Manley Pistons
  • Wiseco Rods
  • New OEM valvetrain
  • Heads were cut
  • ARP headstuds
  • Simple bolt ons: Process West TMIC, Invidia Downpipe and SPT Catback exhaust
  • Cobb AP with a Protune
Initial Inspection: The TMIC doesn't seem to be the one for the GR WRX so I will look into this a little more. Also, not sure what turbo this car has but based on the configuration of the TMIC inlet coupler, it seems to be VF52 or similar type. A few grounding wires were left loose on the driver side.

Suspension: WRX STI take-offs

Initial Inspection:
The previous previous owner said it was STI suspension but turns out it was WRX based on the wheels it has. I don't blame him as that's what he was told when his friend who runs a shop helped him put this car together. Not a big deal IMO whether or not it was WRX or STI take-offs.

7/12/21 Update: Looked up the part numbers on the dampers and they are 09-10 STI take-offs indeed. This was the info relayed to me by the two previous owners. I assumed otherwise with the 04 STI BBS wheels.

During the test drive, I heard some clicking in the front end during tight left turns in a parking lot. Also happens with tight right turns but just not as consistent. I suspect the axles are shot. Also, I took a highway on ramp really fast and it rubbed on the front driver-side fender. It was a tight right 180 decline. I'll have to monitor this. It rode great on the highway in soaking up bumps. I have no complaints there. During low speed local driving, the front passenger side seems to thump a little too loud when it hits a road imperfection. Something else to monitor.

Wheels: 2004 STI Gold Wheels

Initial Inspection:
The center of the wheels are forged with '17x7.5' and thus how I gathered it was the 2004 STI wheels which are 5x100, and therefore I deducted that the car is riding on WRX suspension above. I noticed it also had spacers all around. Michelin tires but didn't get to see the model or measure the tread depth yet.

Interior
  • Android Head Unit
  • LED light bulbs
Initial Inspection:
Didn't realize how much I liked the LED interior lights until I opened the door and noticed the "ground" light was still the orange oem bulbs. Moonroof operates just fine with no apparent signs of leaks. I asked both previous owners and both said no issues with it.

I never had a full-on android head unit like this. My 06 WRX has a Pioneer double-din unit that connects to the phone and has the Android Auto program. Apparently this is like a stand-alone unit, almost like a smart device in the car. It didn't function as intuitively as I liked so I took a picture of the model number and will be googling it and see how I can make it function a little better. Perhaps I just need it to connect to my house's wifi while in the driveway, update the software as well as download all the apps that can possibly sync with my phone? I have no idea. I connected my phone to it via bluetooth but I still had to operate my phone to make calls and play music. Maybe I just need to download android auto on it? I do like the bigger screen.

There's also some wires that are underneath the climate controls. Not sure what it is but I'll ask the previous owners.

I initially thought the car's interior was tan but on the day of purchase, I realized it was gray! Wasted a lot of time looking for part-outs of gray or black interiors.

Other Observations:
Exterior has a few dings and scratches here and there. Has an eyesore of the rear fender rust on the driver side. Hood scoop looks like it wasn't sprayed with enough clear whenever it was replaced in the past. There's some electrical connector dangling loose in the rear right next to the hitch.

Without the car on ramps and me just using my phone's flashlight and laying on the floor, the chassis looks really clean for a 200K+ mile car. All the suspension arms look stock but need to get it up on ramps and get a more thorough inspection laying on a creeper.
 

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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Initial Plans for Modifications

Purpose of car:
Nice Cruiser. Decent acceleration, snappy response, great handling and no shifting.

I bought this car to drive it while my WRX undergoes a substantial rebuild. If I start modifying this Forester like crazy with a bigger turbo and/or a 6-speed swap, then what's the point of having two Subarus that are built alike? I love the fact that this car is an automatic and has essentially most of what I would've wanted from a Forester.

Here's the plan(s) I've come up with the last two weeks.

Priority: Steering and Front Suspension
  • New Axles and Axle Seals
    • need to replace them asap and might as well get new axle seals
  • Whiteline Roll Center Kit KCA313
    • since I will have to disconnect the ball joints and outer tie rods in order to get to the axles, I might as well do this since I am lowered about 3" from stock
    • could've gone with Superpro but found a better deal for the Whiteline ones on streetrays.com
  • Superpro Steering Rack Bushings SPF2889K
    • Found it on amazon for 60% off because it is missing the removal tool kit. No big deal - either I find my old Whiteline one or I just make something with a long bolt, nuts, washers and a big impact socket
  • 08+ STI steering universal joint
  • Custom-wrapped STI steering wheel
    • I bought a DAMD flat-bottom steering wheel for my 06 WRX years ago and I wish I did it sooner. When my wife gave me the green light for this purchase, I was on the hunt for something similar. Worst case I was going to just buy a used STI steering wheel. Then I stumbled upon this gem! I took a chance and texted the seller and it was still available so I snagged it. It looks even better in person!
    • might as well install this before getting an alignment as I might mess up the clocking. probably already will be messed up from the STI u-joint installation.
  • Alignment
After the above, some time down the line I would like to accomplish the following in no particular order:

Engine

NOT. ONE. DAMN. THING.

Ok, maybe a Fluidamper crank pulley but that's it. :ROFLMAO:

Suspension
  • Stage 1
    • Eibach or RaceComp Engineering front and rear swaybars
    • Rallitek front and rear endlinks
    • Hardrace sealed pillowball bushings
    • Hardrace hardened rubber bushings for whatever suspension pivot points that Hardrace doesn't offer sealed pillowball units
    • STI upper control arms
  • Stage 2
    • Either "raise" the car with SJ-specific KYB or Bilstein B6 dampers with Swift Springs, or,
    • new WRX KYB or Bilstein B6 struts with WRX front spring and STI rear spring
Drivetrain
  • Pitchstop
  • Rallitek auto trans mount insert with new OEM trans mount
  • Whiteline polyurethane chassis bushings (non-pivot points)
  • Kartboy Exhaust Hangers - anyone know the final count? 6, right?
Brakes: Grimmspeed Master Cylinder Brace

Interior
  • 2013 WRX heated seats
  • used oem auto shift knob with some black leather to match the steering wheel and seats
  • Tint
    • 5% front windshield top tint
    • 50% front doors
    • 35% rear doors
    • 5% aft of c pillars
  • finish replacing all oem light bulbs with LED bulbs (bottom of doors)
  • build a bracket for phone mount
All the above will probably change in due time. Heck, I haven't even looked underneath yet to see if some of these mods were already accomplished.
 

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05 FXT's 05 IPT 4eat/ 05 w/ 08 sport conversion JDM STI Forester swapped
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Niiiicccceee!!! Some small things, but overall a great looking build sheet!

I had the same model and miles.. 09 FXT with 244k.. It had the same city clunking.. May I suggest new sway bar bushings? Like 44$ for all 4, for OEM..

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Niiiicccceee!!! Some small things, but overall a great looking build sheet!

I had the same model and miles.. 09 FXT with 244k.. It had the same city clunking.. May I suggest new sway bar bushings? Like 44$ for all 4, for OEM..

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
Thanks! Are you suggesting that the clunk is coming from the worn out swaybar bushings?

Ive got my 10 FXT in NY too!!
Nice, where in NY? I am in Long Island.
 

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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did a little more digging around with the android head unit. I pulled it out and checked the back and there's some chinese words stamped on the back of the unit. So it seems to be just another android smart device with no post-purchase support. I don't really want to spend money on the radio so I will just update the software (if there is one), download a few apps like Android Auto and see how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh! That's interesting. I thought for the GR, the front struts were still different between the STI and WRX. I keep seeing aftermarket struts and coilovers either exclusive to the STI or the WRX. I inferred from this that the reason was just like the GD where the knuckles are different in regards to where dampers bolt to it.

If this is true, then I do have STI take-offs. Just not sure of the year in either case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You can run sti or wrx struts on the car. It's the hubs that determine the wheel bolt pattern.
I looked into this a little more and this is incorrect - STI front struts are not a direct bolt on because of the knuckle differences. Without modification to the STI struts as well as using spacers, this can't be accomplished. This is just like the GD chassis. RAPTR has documented this really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Im in Poughkeepsie, 90 min north of the city. For the suspension info, check out my forester. Its on 2010 wrx suspension, with a spacer in the rear
I went to your journal and I didn't see any pictures or posts discussing the WRX suspension. I only saw some photoshop'd photos of what you'd like to do. It would be interesting to verify that what I have and how it looks is the same as yours with possibly a little more rake since you have a spacer in the rear. What size spacer?
 

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05 FXT's 05 IPT 4eat/ 05 w/ 08 sport conversion JDM STI Forester swapped
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Thanks! Are you suggesting that the clunk is coming from the worn out swaybar bushings?

Yes sir! (Possibly).. lol..

I thought I needed front control arms and rear struts(more so the passenger, rear)..

Replaced sway bar bushings and All was wonderful!

I still replaced the control arms.. Just wasn't "needed"..

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 

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2010 Forester XT Automatic
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I looked into this a little more and this is incorrect - STI front struts are not a direct bolt on because of the knuckle differences. Without modification to the STI struts as well as using spacers, this can't be accomplished. This is just like the GD chassis. RAPTR has documented this really well.
My error. Apologies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Really really thinking of ripping my engine out of my XT and buying a manual Forester in this body and putting it in.
That's probably not a bad idea but, if I were you, I don't know if I could give up on the SG.

Yes sir! (Possibly).. lol..

I thought I needed front control arms and rear struts(more so the passenger, rear)..

Replaced sway bar bushings and All was wonderful!

I still replaced the control arms.. Just wasn't "needed"..

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
Awesome, good to hear. It may move up the swaybar installation then. 😉

My error. Apologies.
No problem, we all live and learn.
 

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2006 WRX wagon 2009 FXT
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was able to find a RaceComp Engineering Rear Swaybar! Since I have time, I will patiently hunt for the matching front one.
 
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