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2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

As all other members I want to share with you with my Subaru Forester 2.0 XT 2004 mods list and experience. My story have began in this year on 10th of March when I bought my dream Subaru.

This is a first photo I took just after I've bought my car.

This ts is how she currently looks:

The current modification list (last update 19/07/2016):​


0!! Brand new genuine gearbox (photo underneath) + full Millers oil change (Diff, gearbox) - that has been fited in Jun by Scoobyclinic. 07/2013; 101000miles;

1 STI upgraded engine mounts \\01/2014; 104000miles

2 STI (GROUP N) 5 Speed gear box mount \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

3 STI Pitch Stop Mount \\ 02/2014; 104000miles

4 PERRIN Subaru Shifter Bushings 5 Speed \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

5 PERRIN Rear Shifter Bushing 5 & 6 Speed \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

6 Front Steering - rack & pinion mount bushing - PowerFlex \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

7 Cross-member Pad Bushes - Whiteline \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

8 Rear Diff - Front support lock bushes - Whitline KSB751 \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

9 Rear Subframe lock bolts kit - Whiteline KSB 750 \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

10 Replace oil in gearbox - Surfblood, 50/50 Motul Gear 300 75W90 and Redline Lightweight Shockproof \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

11 Replace oil in a differ - Motul Gear 300 75W90 (Although it has been replaced in a garage which swap my gearbox, after discovering all the ****-ups I decided to do it by myself!) \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

12 Replace Power Steering fluid - Motul Dexron III \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

13 Rear Diff - Front support lock bushes - full replace with PowerFlex \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

14 Rera Diff subframe bushes - replace with PowerFlex \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

15 5 Speed ugraded linkage from TiC \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

16 Excedy STG1 clutch \\ 10/2014; 109000

17 Kaiten light flywheel \\ 10/2014; 109000

18 STI Cross-member Pad Bushes \\ 12/2014 111000miles

19 Stock 5speed gearbox mount \\ 12/2014 111000miles

20 Rear diff/viscoss preload ring/spacer replaces - too tide, it has been discover during gearbox whine investigation \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

21 Replace gearbox oil with Fresh Motul Gear300 \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

22 SS STI clutch line ST372514S000 \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

23 SuperPoly Front Subaru Shifter Bushings 5 Speed \\ 03/2015; 115000miles

24 STI Rear Shifter Bushing 5 & 6 Speed \\ 03/2015; 115000miles

25 Genuine Subaru rubber engine mounts for Forester \\ 03/2015; 115000miles



2 Brand new KYB's EXCEL'G struts (all 4) - using oportunity replace self leveling one's for smth more robust and normal \\ 08/2013; 101000miles

3 All new KYB's K-FLEX springs \\ 08/2013; 101000miles

4 Front strut mounts - SNR with sleeve bearing \\ 08/2013; 101000miles

5 Rear KYB's strut mounts \\ 08/2013; 101000miles

6 Full wheel alignment \\ 08/2013; 101000miles

7 Whiteline front brace - KSB599 \\02/2013; 104000miles

8 Rear brace; some cheap eBay OEM, modified with quick release \\02/2013; 104000miles

9 Whitline front end links - KLC32 \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

10 Rear STI 20mm rear sway bar - used one from GTBIZ, taken from Impreza 2004 19.000miles :) \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

11 Rear Sway bar - mount kit heavy duty 20mm - Whiteline KBR21-20. I can confirm this set will fit nice and smooth for Foz. \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

12 Rear control/latteral arms- aluminium 05 STI (look at here and don't buy 2004 as those are to SHORT for our Foz \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

13 Whitline Quick relese mount for brace \\02/2013; 104000miles

14 Perrin rear links - as updating the sway bar, I went for the Impreza STI PERRIN. They are excellent alternative for people in Europe with limited access to Kartboy products. They are as good as Kartboy, and I believe the same length. \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

15 Rear Trailing arm - lower rear bushing - PowerFlex PFR69-115 \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

16 Rear Trailing arm - lower front bushing - PowerFlex PFR69-117 \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

17 Full Wheel alignment \\ 11/2013; 104000miles

18 MOGG Tie rood ends \\02/2014; 104000miles

19 Front control arms - alloy, brand new for Impreza STI V7 \\02/2014; 104000miles

20 Ball joints - genuine Subaru part #21067GA050 \\02/2014; 104000miles

21 Front control arms Front bush - PowerFlex PFF69-201 \\02/2014; 104000miles

22 Front control arms Rear bush - PowerFlex PFF69-102 \\02/2014; 104000miles

23 All new bolts in the front subframe- genuine Subaru \\02/2014; 104000miles

24 Swap sides, re-greased, and installed new boots on front CV joints - Miller's Oil grease \\02/2014; 104000miles

26 Rear subframe Laile brace - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles - tomporary delited as it interfear with rear diff SENSOR plug

27 Cusco rear floor brace - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles - NOTE! require space saver spare wheel, from ISTI

28 Cusco trunk brace - rear \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

29 Genuine STI front bottom brace - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

30 Lateral adjustable control arms - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles Replace temporarly with alloy STI ones, after Perrin snaps due to incorrectly fitted droplinks.

31 Brand new Prodrive ARB LE07/D5/003 TT - set to SOFT \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

32 New PolyBush ARB bushes - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

33 New rear subframe (airplane) and rear diff Powerflex bushes - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles



1 All 4 brand new Continental ContiSportContact 5 and full wheel alignment \\ 03/2013; 96000miles


3 Brand new PRODRIVE GT1's WITH UNIROYAL RAINSPORT 3 \\08/2014; 107000miles

4 Genuine McGard STI black wheel nuts \\08/2014; 107000miles

5 Space saver spare wheel from ISTI \\08/2014; 107000miles[/strike]

6 VOLK RAYS 57F + CONTINENTAL CONTISPORT 5 \\12/2014; 110000miles[/strike]

7 VOLK RAYS forged center cap \\12/2014; 110000miles[/strike]

8 VOLK RAYS wheel nut duralu \\12/2014; 110000miles[/strike]

9 JDM STI 17" ALLOYS FITs OVER BREMBO + HANKOOKs ICEEVO \\04/2015; 110000miles

10 Genuine subaru center cap for JDM STI 17" \\04/2015; 110000miles



1 All new filters (Air Panel K&N, Cabin, Oil) + Engine Oil (done by ScoobyClinic, I think it was Millers but def. 5w30) - 07/2013; 101000miles;

2 Samco Silicon radiator hosing \\02/2014; 104000miles

3 Mishimoto Intercooler hosing - picture underneath, \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

4 Inlet UP manifold gaskets - \\waiting for installation

5 Dump Valve - stock STI - \\waiting for installation

6 SEALING ROCK COVERS - both sides all new gaskets (cover gaskets, spark socket gaskets, and bolts washer/gaskets), sealed with uni-bond silicon \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

7 Nissen - brand new radiator \\02/2014; 104000miles

8 Kakumei radiator shraud - Forester \\02/2014; 104000miles

9 Mishimoto Ancillary Hoses (will fit from Impreza 01-05) \\02/2014; 104000miles

10 Samco - 180deg elbow for dump valve \\02/2014; 104000miles

11 Thermostat and seal - genuine Subaru part # ........... \\02/2014; 104000miles

12 Oil Cooler Water Cross over pipe - genuine Subaru par# 21328AA011 \\02/2014; 104000miles

13 Hose for cross over pipe - Samco set \\02/2014; 104000miles

14 Water pump hose - Samco set \\02/2014; 104000miles

15 Genuine STI 1.3 Bar Rad Cap - part #ST4511355010 \\02/2014; 104000miles

16 GrimmSpeed lightweight crank \\02/2014; 104000miles

17 New bolts and seals for the timing belt \\02/2014; 104000miles

18 New Subaru genuine PCV valve \\02/2014; 104000miles

19 Oil Pressure Switch - Subaru Genuine part #....... \\02/2014; 104000miles

20 Oil Pan - Subaru Genuine part #11109AA053 \\02/2014; 104000miles

21 Oil Pan N-Group Cork gasket - Subaru Genuine part#..... \\02/2014; 104000miles

22 Engine Oil Pick Up Pipe + oring - Genuine part #15050AA050 \\02/2014; 104000miles

23 Dip stick bottom and upper o-rings - Subaru Genuine part#..... \\02/2014; 104000miles

24 GrimmSpeed auxiliary belts cover \\02/2014; 104000miles

25 GrimmSpeed AIR/OIL Separator \\waiting for install

26 Replace Antifreezer - Motul Inugel Expert + Redline Water Wetter \\02/2014; 104000miles

27 Replace Engine Oil - Amsoil 5w30 OE + Genuine Pink STI oil filter \\02/2014; 104000miles

28 Replace Fuel Filter - Mahle \\04/2014; 105000miles

29 Home Made 'big3' - Shark wires and gold plated connectors \\04/2014; 105000miles

30 Zero/Sport SS inlet pipe - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

31 New Genuine Subaru MAF - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

32 K&N Air filter clean and oiled - \\ 07/2014; 106000miles

33 New Genuine front O2 sensor - \\ 08/2014; 107000miles

34 Walbor 255 upgraded fuel pump - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

35 Rear main seal Genuine part replace - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

36 Rear diamond revision plug with seal - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

37 RCM Oil separator - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

38 Fuchs (Silikolene) 10w50 oil chage - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

39 Genuine Pink STI oil filter - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

40 Fumoto drain valve for oil sump - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

41 New genuine intercooler - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

42 Perrin turbo blanket - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

43 SPT Turbo heat shield - \\ 10/2014; 109000miles

44 Cambelt Gates Kevlar - \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

45 Upgraded Water Pump - \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

46 Upgraded 11mm oil pump - \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

47 All Front Engine Seals Replaces (cams, cranck) - \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

48 Valve adjust, removed buckets and valve reseted - \\ 01/2015; 110000miles

49 Fuchs (Silikolene) 10w50 oil chage + Genuine Pink STI oil filter- \\ 03/2015; 115000miles

50 Genuine Subaru Knock Sensor - \\ 03/2015; 115000miles

51 K&N Air filter clean and oiled + MAF cleaned - \\ 03/2015; 115000miles

52 Fuchs (Silikolene) 10w50 oil change + Genuine Black Subaru oil filter- \\ 05/2015; 119000miles

53 Fuchs (Silikolene) 5w40 oil change + Genuine Black Subaru oil filter- \\ 10/2015; 120000miles

After long and interesting conversation with my mechanic, and reading some stuff over the internet I decided to move AWAY from any Fuchs (Silikolene) products. And YES I done 1k miles within 6 months, as I had another car... Pretty ridiculous - I know.

54 Motul V300 10w40 oil change + Genuine Black Subaru oil filter- \\ 05/2016; 122500miles

55 Motul Ingel Expert + REDLINE Water Wetter- \\ 05/2016; 122500miles



1 Powerflex hangers \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

2 H&S Cat back stainless system \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

3 PPP Down Pipe with sport cat \\waiting for installation

4 PPP Up Pipe (no CAT) \\waiting for installation

5 Get rid of thermal shields from the exhaust manifold - warp it with DEI \\02/2014; 104000miles

6 Genuine Subaru rubber exhaust hangers \\ 03/2015; 115000miles



1 Tegiwa brake stoper \\02/2014; 104000miles

2 StopTech SS brake Lines \\02/2014; 104000miles

3 ATE Blue Racing Fluid \\02/2014; 104000miles

4 Clean and re-greased all calipers - TeraCet Pagida greas \\02/2014; 104000miles

5 Front Brake Caliper Carrier Mounting Bolt - Subaru Genuine part#901130011 \\02/2014; 104000miles

6 Re-paint Caliper Carriers - \\02/2014; 104000miles

7 New genuine front 08' Brembo - \\12/2014; 110000miles

8 Rear Gold Brembos with R180 discs, GoodSpeed over size had brake shoes and adaptors - \\12/2014; 110000miles

9 Millers Dot4 Fluid - \\12/2014; 110000miles

10 Rear disk DBA Gold X4000 + StopTech pads - \\10/2015; 119000miles

11 Rear Brembo rebuild (new Brembo genuine seals + fixed threads with helicoil inserts) - \\02/2016; 121000miles

12 Brake Fluid change - Motul DOT 5.1 - \\02/2016; 121000miles

13 Front disks PAGID PAG54679 - \\06/2016; 122500miles

14 Front pads PFC - \\06/2016; 122500miles


Interior/Exterior bits

0 Yuasa Battery. 04/2013; 98000 miles;

1 Perrin battery clamp \\ 10/2013; 102000miles

2 New lighting/bulbs head lights (ceramic front light sockets + Bosh Super Bright), and interior light (LED upgrade) \\ 10/2013; 102000miles redone at \\12/2014; 110000miles

3 Brand new radio - Clarion WXZ468RMP (great deal & head unit) \\ 06/2013; 100000miles

4 Brand new Speakers all around \\ 10/2013; 102000miles

FRONT - Component Hertz 6.5" - that can be really tricky, without proper spacers. The problem I came across there were seriously no spacers available for Subaru Forester in UK???!!!??!???!
REAR- RockforFustage coaxial 4" - my mistake, I should go with the 5.25 which you can easily fit in the rear door.

5 Sound-dead all 4 doors - guys different is incredible :) - You dont really need to go for the most expensive deadening. I bought some cheap on eBay, and as well one pack of DYNAMAT. Honestly no difference, what is more I personally prefer the cheap ebay version. \\ 10/2013; 102000miles

6 Solve temporarily the problem with 'windy' front windows ( solution thanks to: New Genuine widow gussets have been ordered now waiting for instalation

7 Brand new Rally Armor mud guards - \\ 08/2013; 100000miles

8 Under-body sealed (Zinc primer + Waxoyl + Hammerite Underbody Seal) - \\ 11/2013; 103000miles

9 ScanGuage II instaled \\02/2014; 104000miles

10 Replaced bulbs, re-greas and cleaned all switches and in main cluster \\02/2014; 104000miles

11 Cleaned and re-greased front wipers mechanism \\07/2013; 101000miles

12 Hood struts \\02/2014; 104000miles

13 Replaced tail lights with newer one. Genuine tail lights from Forester 05-08 \\04/2014; 105000miles

14 Put very rare GENUINE SUBARU FORESTER REAR SUNBLIND; Part#SECLSA1000 \\04/2014; 105000miles

15 Genuine Subaru forester Set Of 4 Carpet Mats; Part#J501ESA100RH \\04/2014; 105000miles

16 Pick up a Genuine Subaru Forester Steering Wheel (with multimedia buttons) made by MOMO \\waiting for install

17 Genuine STI gear knob fro 5MT \\06/2014; 106000miles

18 Genuine Subaru windows Gussets \\06/2014; 106000miles

19 STI JDM Side sill plates - \\06/2014; 106000miles

20 STI pedals - \\06/2014; 106000miles

21 STI McGard Whell nut for summer tires - \\08/2014; 107000miles

22 New genuine LH & RH rear strut's cap - \\08/2014; 107000miles

23 Kartboy short shifter - - \\08/2014; 107000miles

24 ZeroSport Forester center pod for gauges - \\08/2014; 107000miles

25 ProSport oil temp, oil pressure and boost gauges - \\08/2014; 107000miles

26 Weather strip for back tail gate - \\08/2014; 107000miles

27 New tail skirt panel - \\08/2014; 107000miles

28 STI JDM winter rubber mats - \\10/2014; 109000miles

29 Full interior lighting upgraded with DiodDinamics - \\10/2014; 109000miles

30 Rallyteach engine dressing SS bolts with blue washers - \\10/2014; 109000miles

31 Hella super tone horns - \\10/2014; 109000miles

32 08' Hatch ISTI front seat fitted. The new upholstry have been done to match rear and read stitching - \\10/2014; 109000miles

33 Billet ProR aluminium oil cap - \\10/2014; 109000miles

34 Hand brake and gear shoifter gaitors upgraded to leather one's with red stitches - \\12/2014; 110000miles

35 JDM FSTI knobs - \\12/2014; 110000miles

36 Genuine rear mirror with compass, and auto dimming - \\12/2014; 110000miles

37 CVR Transcendent camera - \\12/2014; 110000miles

38 New bonnet insultor with genuine clips - \\05/2015; 119000miles

39 Tail gate trim 94320SA000ND - \\05/2015; 119000miles

40 EGR bonnet deflector - \\05/2015; 119000miles

41 EGR headlights protectors - \\05/2016; 123000miles

42 Genome DEFI Genuine sensors partially installed - \\05/2016; 123000miles

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
At last :)

Some of the parts from purchase list just arrived:)

STI sign on the box - priceless

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Mishimoto Intercooler hosing is in the house :D

Finally arrive.:Banane29: Unfortunately this set is not available in UK so need to import it from US :D Just can't wait the weekend and 'push the limits' :crazy:

Look at the quality of those hoses! I used before some stuff from Mishimoto, and it never let me down + lifetime warranty :)


2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Cat back system?!? 3" or 2.5"??


I walk through most of the threads regarding changing the exhaust in FXT, but still having few questions, and doubts.
First of all, I want to upgrade my turbo as well - not now, but in the nearest future, but I am not crazy about the pushing my car to the limit, and squeezing every single horse from engine. I want to have decent car with decent performances. :)
I want to buy H&S center pipe and rear box (don't want to decat, due to MOT problems). I was considering as well the Miltek, but as soon as I notice they start giving 2 years limited warranty - I thought it must be some kind of joke?!?! So definitively want to go with H&S, question I have should I go for 2.5" dia or 3"?? I know this subject has been started over here, but I can't see final answer.
The other doubts which I have is if I decide to install 3" cat back system how can I connect it to stock CAT (correct me if I am wrong but stock exhaust is 2.5" it think)?
I look at this thread :
But I am not sure is this is applicable in my case? Maybe someone who install H&S 3" system could tell me whether he/she come across any problem during installation? Any adapter require?
And finally installing 3" do I need to worry about the interference between any part and exhaust? Do I need a longer than stock hangers?

I will appreciate all comments, suggestions.



2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
6,495 Posts
Nice write up Lucas and good modifications!

Regarding the rear anti roll bar, if you haven't already bought one, get a Perrin or if you get a Whiteline one make sure you paint it before fitting it because the paint quality is bad and they rust to bits within one winter.

A 2.5" exhaust will suffice for your needs, there is no need to go bigger unless you are planning to push more than 380-400 bhp.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Short update

Right, so during last weekend I've finally found few minutes to work with my car :) (that's what happen when you have a small kid :))

On the clock we have 103k miles, and on Saturday 26th I have done:

1. Installed the Mishimoto Intercooler hose kit - I've took some pictures and will put them as soon as I will have more time, as well as description.
2. When I had my TMIC off, I noticed I have some quite big stain of oil near turbo inlet (just under the clamp joining induction with turbo collar) - I am assuming it PCV valve, so I am going to order it today

3. Clean and secure temporarily ground wire attached to the gear box - that was the problem with slow wipers and windows, I bought new kit of wires, and I am going to install proper grounding this weekend.
4. Notices some oil leak from valve cover (i thinks it is dripping from under one of the bolts washers) - anyway as I want mapp engine, want to be sure it is in nice condition, so I've order whole set of gaskets for rockers, and going to replace everything during this weekend (this is real big for me, and to honest still being afraid of that job, but at the end of the day, I need to try :))
5. Had some problems with screen-washer - occasionally my screen-wash nozzle/jet was stuck, and this is due to the fact no one never clean the screen wash container for the last 10 years. it was 'black' from mould insight. Took it out, clean it, clean the electrical engines, all connection, and re-grease with silicon spray all the seals. Looks and works like brand new.
Here is some pict how it looks after cleaning:

6. Finally polished the front lights covers, and install the ceramic holders for H4 main bulbs in front lights

I think that's it. As mentioned before, I took some pictures so will try to put them as soon as I will get some more time.

Plan for this weekend is to replace/install:

1. New valve gaskets both sides
2. Replace induction kit for silicon one
3. New grounding
4. New Spark plugs
5. New PCV valve

Possible replace
- New radiator
- New Thermostat
- New ancillary hoses

For all that I have 3 hours on Friday, and 10 hours on Saturday in DIY garage. I hope it will be enough.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #9

So during this weekend i spent literally 20h working on my Subaru. That was probably the worst weekend for a long time for me. I start on Friday, went to garage and left the car, took of all the shields and battery, screen wash reservoir, and air box with intake. I've than all of this because i wanted to start with sealing the rocker covers.
At this point I want to just say I spent hours reading about that job, and previously I replace quite few of valve cover gaskets, but when I started on my Foz I get really sad and frustrated. Partially because of what I read in forum and internet.
Any one who is saying it will take 45 minutes on Turbo version is a buffoon!:evilatyou::catfight: Cleaning and de-greasing the cover will take longer! Unless we talking about doing it without cleaning, and de-greasing, and so on - but where the point to do it then? To do it on both sides took me around 6-7 hours (that involves disassembling everything and putting it all together so the car starts). There is NOfreaking chance to do it properly without messing camshafts in silicon and torquing bolts with a toque wrench without lifting the engine (unless in 2.5 turbo version there is more room in the engine bay - but I really doubt it!). The other 'urban legend' about this job are the half moons gaskets. DO NOT TOUCH THEM, unless they are really leaking. Mine was so solid, and glued into a engine I need to ripe them with pliers. If it sit tight and good and they don't leak and they are not broken leave it! It will be fine. Another myth - silicon application! First of all, cleaning the engine flange where cover will sit is a nightmare!!! I had a lot tools (scrapers, knifes, chemical detergents) and still it took me and 1.5 to clean it the best I could. There are some places, corners, etc, which you won't be able to reach! So I cleaned the best I could! Now coming back to silicon application - my father spent 30 years working as mechanic first in fighters engine and the move to automotive. When i showed him a manual how and where subaru advice to apply silicon, he just laugh! and I agree. You don't have to finish fancy school to understand that if you want you gasket be uniformly clamped to you mating parts it is just stupid to apply silicon in particular locations! Not even mention that really the weakest point will be the rear and bottom edges, and manual suggest to apply it in corners and on half moons?! Odd, bizarre, and in my opinion incorrect - if you have anything in common with engineering remind yourself about hertz stress distribution.
My advice is to apply it all around in the groove where your gasket suppose to sit (you will avoid problems when you will be installing it on a engine, it will not pop out from groove) and on the engine flange. Don't put it too much - just common sense. Even if it go out a bit no worries. So for me personally it was real nightmare. Maybe I should mention as well, that I work in really well sorted place. Vehicle lift, engine hoist, transmission jack, and all other tools you can imagine, basically professional garage. My advice is, if you don't have experience, or you don't have proper tools, and secure place - don't bother. And if in any garage they will tell you the best way to do it, is to took out the engine - they don't lie, it is a true!
Another job I did yesterday was the following bushings:
1. Rack (Powerflex bushes) - another ridiculous part - it is different in 2.0 XT and 2.5XT. It is quite hard to replace the square bush! I had to release the spline on the steering column to slightly push down the rack. Again, definitely it is not 30min job!
2. N-Goup Engine mounts - probably the easiest mod I did during this weekend.
3. Whiteline Gearbox - crossmember pad bushing- really easy mod, I would highly suggest to change it, together with number 2 and 4 on my list, it will save you a lot of hassle.
4. Perrin Front & Rear gear shift bushing - relatively easy, just you need to be very care full with the rear bushing. You can easily mess up in which direction and how it should positioned. Especially when you trying to make it looks the smae as stock. Follow the instruction from Perrin or remember the rule "The hole for the rod should be above the bolt holes when it is bolted in". I founded to do it easier as well when you unbolt the main shaft bearing support and let it go down a bit.
5. Whiteline front end-links and the sway bar Powerflex bushes - I curse this mod, god only knows how many times!!! endlinks, are quite simple and straight forward - be sure you are following attached instruction by Whiteline, and you will be ok. BUT when it comes about sway bar bushes!!!! I am a stress (mechanical) engineer with 10 years experience in calculation and design, and the way how Subaru place the brackets and bolts for this bushing is just... I am just speechless. The most important thing when you gona do it - BUY THE NEW PARTS, BRACKETS, BOLTS, AND NUTS!!!!!! There are two nuts (one on each side) in the front of the bracket and the two bolts on the rear of the brackets. Both are securing sway bar bushes - I will put some pictures later on. No the problem is with the nuts! The are really seize, and on top of it it is really is to round them, because you cant really put any other wrench than offset one. This is because this bracket and particularly the nut almost interfere with passenger's and the driver's side subframe, well at least it is so close, you can't use ratchet. Now the best part, we couldn't get it with the grinder to cut it off as well, so we decided to use old method and cut/release the nut with the chisel - guess what? After 2hours of constant banging with the hammer we couldn't cut it. We need to cut the bracket, with the chisel near the nut, that bend it with pincers, remove the bracket and use grinder to cut of the pin with the nut. The bolt on the other side of bracket is seems to be much easier to remove, just soak it with the rust penetrate, and bang few times using a punch and hammer in the bolt head - should come off easy then. The front side with awful nut contain a pin (on which you fasten the nut), if you need to remove (as I needed) re use the old bolt from rear of the bracket and the new nut (that's what I've done). Put the big washer under this bolt head as well. DO NOT use some regular bolts from DIY shop!!! Those are very hard bolts/nuts - probably thermally hardened.:evilatyou:

Now something optimistic. All mods, have a huge influence on the car!!!!! I would strongly suggest all of them. I haven't upgrade anything in the rear suspension yet, but I can say straight forward that the stuff I upgraded are making the car much robust, stiff, and driving is just pure pleasure! If you can afforded, do it. Just think it over twice whether you want to do by yourself. Although if you cope with all this problem, you will have a lots of satisfaction.

To make some of my description more clear I will put some pictures later this week.

2003 forester 2.0 xt at
699 Posts
I feel your pain, i just replaced the same gasket. First time, it did not seal it correctly and i leaked alot, and had to do it over again. Bah! 3 hours each time :p

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I feel your pain, i just replaced the same gasket. First time, it did not seal it correctly and i leaked alot, and had to do it over again. Bah! 3 hours each time :p
Thanks Man. It's good to know that it was not only me who struggle. I hope mine has sealed correctly and I won't have to re-do it. The worst part of it is that I worked really under huge time pressure so it is easy to miss smth, and I didn't take a lot of pictures. My plan was to write really nice tutorial on that but I am not sure if it's gonna work without taking few more pictures.

04 X Manual
18 Posts
Same colour as mine, I really wanted an xt but cudnt justify the extra cost, I like the way your working thought it updating everything, I plan to do the same, greet journal!

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Many Thanks^^^^^^

Right again some tiding up my threads.

If you want to replace valve cover gaskets please read this link first:

This is very good write up, and I used it as a guide. But there are some difference between 2.5XT and 2.0XT versions. I will try to highlight those difference here.

So this is a patient before procedure :) It wasn't leaking too bad, but my philosophy is "better prevent than treat"

As in the snoozerxt excellent DIY I removed the battery and screen-wash reservoir, on one side, and the air box, and inlet pipe on the othe side.

Remove the positive wire from alternator. This wire is quite stiff and it is exactly on your way, when removing or installing the cover. If you undo it from alternator you can move it so it will not interfere with your work.

So now the differences, or maybe some detail which haven't been mentione in snoozerxt DIY.

NOTE!! DO NOT REMOVE SPARK PLUGS BEFORE TAKING COVER! It will save you a lot of hustle. When you remove valve cover it is much easier to operate with ratchet with extension. The same when you will be putting all the parts together. Before you will put the cover, start with installing new plugs. Again it is much easier to do it in this order.

I found it much easier to do all this procedure if you lift your engine. To do it, release one of the bolts on pitch stop mount, and undo two nuts on the engine mounts. Then use some piece of wood, and put it under the oil pan, and jack the engine. You will need to pump the jack few time before engine will start going up. It will give you much more space to work, at least on 2.0XT. Without doing it, you won't be able to reach two rear bottom bolts on the cover with the torque wrench. And in this place it is crucial to tight all the bolts equally and in particular order (look at reference DIY)

Yellow arrows points the old silicon, which is really hard to remove! You can try to make some custom'scraper' to get rid of it. I used the Stanley Knife and some white spirits.
With red arrows I marked places where you will really struggle to get rid of this old sealing. Basically it is really hard to reach those places, so cross finger to clean it good enough?!

Nice and clean cover don't try to save your time here.. I spent quite a lot of time, cleaning it and de-greasing - particularly the gasket groove. It is very important step. If your cover will be greasy, or dirty, your gasket will not equally lay on the engine flange, or unibond will not 'glue' good enough and you will end up which really bad oil split.

This is a great example how many different versions of engines we have here. Every single tutorial I read about this job, sai that all bolts are different and you need to be very careful with not messing them around. Well in my case Forester 2.0XT wich J205 all the bolts are exactly the same! Measure them in all possible way, and with different tools. It will not gonna hurt if you put in the same order which you removed them (old school), but if for any reason you mess it up - don't panic, nothing happen :)

Hope this will be useful for other people.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So this Sunday, continuation of Foz mods. This time want to concentrate on rear suspension.

Lateral links from STI
Swaybar from STI
Whiteline Swaybar mounts
Endlinks STI Perrin
Trailing arms PowerFlex bushes
Whitline subframe bolts
Whiteline Subframe bushes
All bolts new, genuine from Subaru

If I have enough time front control arms bushes, and ball joint.

I promise, this time I will take much more pictures.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Okey Dokey Guys and Girls, I've done it! I have a brand new rear suspension, with a lot of upgrades, plus I secure and seal my under-body, get rid off my tow bar, and install brand new exhaust from H&S. I love it! Need to do wheel alignment in next few days now, and that's it. I've took a lots of pictures this time, and I will put here as soon as my hands will start to operate normally (after 2days of undoing and fastening bolts in my suspension, I can't hold my cup of tea). There is final effect:

Say what you think?

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Looks great! Feeling the difference?
Thanks! Oh yes! It seems to be a totally different car! Need to do full wheel alignment, but anyway handling is much better. I know some the members said the polyurethane bushes are to stiff, for everyday traveling but in my opinion it's not. I don't see any droop in comfort, and handling is way better.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
^^^^^ Thanks.
Tonight hopefully I will do some writeups regarding last mods. And finally I will take some pictures of rear lateral links.

2004 Forester XT Manual
2,821 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Wheel alignment problems and strange noise from gearbox/diff?

Echhhhh. As you can see above I made some upgrades for the last two months in my Foz, but now I am experiencing some issue due to them.
After I upgraded my rear suspension, and almost all bushes in drivetrain, I notice quite a bit more noise in a cabin. I am assuming that's normal due to the face bushes are much more stiffer than the stock one. But there is one very strange sound. (I will try do describe it the best I can, but please bear in mind I am foreigner, and sometime it is really hard to find the proper words). So as I was saying apart from a bit more NVH in a cabin but there is smth more. This sound occurs always when de-accelerating, somewhere between 2000-3000RPMs, and I am obviously driving 'on a gear'. As soon as I switch to neutral it is ok. Now, the sound is smth between whistling and roaring. It smth similar to what you hear when you driving reverse (back-up) and you can here this sound coming from a gearbox. Or when you have some reducer and you starting de-accelerating prop shaft you will here this strange sound from gearbox. (This is really the best description I can give you :() It might absolutely normal after all the mods I have done, I know Subaru have quite straight speed, but it is a bit strange.
The other thing I noticed on my Foz (bear in mind it is UK=JDM ver.). When I was upgrading the Differential Outrigger Bushings (I use Whiteline set, and You KartBoy - but it just the matter of brand) I need to remove two mounting plates. Usually when I read description of that modification, no one mention those plates are different on LH and RH sides. On one side my plate was bend - definitively it was like that from the beginning and this not a failure. Now, there was significant play on the side with bend plate between bushing and chassis? So I can catch the Outrigger and pull it so I can see slight movement of shaft and diff?! Initially I thought it might be required to compensate the some torque on shaft when you start driving, but now I am not so sure? Can any one could see does he have the same mounting plate config and is there any additional play between bushes and chassis? I will be very grateful.
On top of all that I went on Wednesday to do my wheel alignment, and heard from the guys in garage all the settings are way out off any factory settings. They was able to correct only toe and nothing more. The camber on the rear axis is incorrect - I am assuming to correct that I need to upgrade the rear hub to strut bolts. (Is it possible it has been messed up by the locking subframe?) In the front is even better toe was incorrect, camber as well (but those two you can adjust) but I was really surprised when I seen on the screen my Caster was way out of norm, and the only thing I changed in front suspension were the rack bushes and whiteline end links? How the heck suddenly I have end up with positive Caster? As far as I remember is around +2.5deg on both sides??
Guys help me with that because I can't understand, how that could happen:( All comments, and advice will be greatly appreciate!
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