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Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
History Thus Far Post Updated on 04/02/2017 (In Short, or Not So Short Now):
Purchased Oct 18, 2016 as a certified pre-owned with 22,711 after my test drive.
Oct. 2016 Subaru Red Footwell Light Kit Installed. SPT Oil Cap and Battery Tie Down Installed.
Nov. 2016 Suspension and Brakes Setup Stage 1, Rally Armor Mud Flaps, Michelin Premier A/S, Breeze Hose Clamps.
Nov. 2016 JDM Engine Cover, Perrin: Pitch Stop Mount, 3" Turbo Intake Tube, Manifold Intake Tube.
Dec. 2016 Cobb Accessport, AEM CAI, Perrin Pulleys.
Dec. 2016 GrimmSpeed 3 Port EBCS. Stage 1 Pro Tune by Shawn Church at Church Automotive Testing. Baseline Run Cobb OTS Stage 1 91 Octane Map 211whp/218wtq. Tune Completed 235whp/269wtq. (He hit 280 on torque but had to dialed it back due to knock issues CA fuel...)

Let me state unequivocally: I absolutely loath those of you who live where 93 Octane fuel is available. It's an automatic 10% boost in both HP and TQ and a much happier motor in general!
Dec. 2016 OLM JDM LED Liftgate Light, OLM 55w Yellow Glass Fog Lights, Hella Sharptone Horns.
Dec. 2016 My Internal Debate on Going to Stage 2 Ensues!!!
I Went There... To Be Continued When I Have More Time to Edit/Add to Post.

January 2017 Updates:
I must state after a ton of research and how much the CVT could take and still be reliable as my daily here is what I did:
WRX Mishimoto CVT Cooler custom installation. I ended up adding almost two quarts of Redline's High Torque CVT Fluid. All my little CVT Gremlins I had before completely disappeared which is making me believe the fluid level was low when I purchased the car. Or it's just happier running cooler in traffic...
Invidia Catted J-Pipe, GrimmSpeed Turbo Stud Kit and Gasket, Mishimoto 3" to stock reducer. This was post driving the car for a week with the CVT cooler to make sure everything was working correctly.
GrimmSpeed WRX Chargepipe Kit. She's a tight fit between the motor and the radiator fan!
Boomba Racing Recirculating BOV. This is a very nice stock replacement piece. There's no adjustments, it fits perfect in the stock location (would work fine with the stock chargepipe) and it comes with a vacuum line reducer/extension. You can really tell the difference when compared to the stock boost cut-off!
All Vacuum Lines in and around the Turbo have been ziptied.
HPS T-Bolt Clamps on all Charged Air Side Components (from the turbo to the intake manifold)
First oil change since I've owned the car Mobil 1 Extended Performance Synthetic 5W-30 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance Filter.
Stage 2 Tune by Shawn Church at Church Automotive. I asked him to restrict the wheel torque to 310lbs/400nm. 91 CA Shell V-Power Pump gas 265-270whp/305-310wtq. We are still fine tuning as of 02/22/17.

February 2017 Updates:
Cusco Power Braces Front and Rear, Rear Type OS Strut Tower Brace, Type OS Quick Release Clamps are in the mail.
SuperPro Complete Lower Control Arm Kit with Toe Arms are in the mail.
GLC LED Daytime Driving Lights (the ones that go in the fake vents up front) are in the mail.
OEM Forester Sill Plates Installed.
OEM Window Shades Installed
OEM Sunroof Wind Deflector Installed.

March 2017 Updates:
SuperPro Control Arms, Toe Arms, Front Inner A-Arm Bushings Installed.
PowerFlex Adjustable Rear Inner A-Arm Caster Bushings Installed.
Cusco Power Braces F+R and Type OS Rear Strut Tower Brace Installed.
Whiteline Rear Differential Mount Bushings Installed.
Torque Solutions TGV Deletes Installed. Car be Continued....Again!...
Stock DRL Delete and LED DRL's Installed. They are wired to be on whenever the car is on. They have their own separate fuse and relay with only a trigger input from the stock engine bay fuse box.
High Beam HIR Bulb Conversion Complete.
65w H9 from H11 55w Fog Light Bulb Conversion Complete with New Ceramic Connectors. All OEM Subaru parts for setting up the fog lights on their separate circuit, with an OEM look and feel, are in. I just have to get to putting it all together. (OEM Switch Panel, Switch, Etc.)
Subaru OEM Leather/Suede Front Door Handles and Lower Center Console Sides Installed.
OLM LED Rear Multifunction Bumper Reflector Replacements Installed.
Separate Waterproof Fuse Box Installed in Engine Bay for My Upgraded Electronic Additions
Philips LED Front Running Lights, Door Entry Lights and High Power Reverse Lights Installed.
Dashcam Has Been Tested. Just Needs a Little Placement Adjustment and the Hardwired Kit Installed.
Subaru Top End Engine Cleaner Kit Purchased.
Crawford FA20 AOSv3 Waiting to be Installed.
Mishimoto 165 Degree Thermostat Waiting to be Installed.
Fumoto Oil Drain Valve and Safety Retaining Clip are ready for my next oil change.

So What's In the Future????
Planned Brake Upgrade Has Been Decided:
Front ATS-V Brembo Upgrade with DBA 4000 T3 Slotted Rotors and either Hawk HP Plus or HPS 5.0 pads. Rear DBA 4000 T3 Slotted Rotors Running the HPS pads I already have. I possibly may upgrade the calipers to the Subaru 2 Pots.
Suspension Contemplations Have Been Decided.
As of April 2 2017, post the upgraded suspension and chassis upgrades performed in March. I am done with suspension for now with the exception of adding the Cusco Rear Swaybar Mount Reinforcements. With the current setup I am running, which is getting more contact patch to the ground, and the power I'm currently running, I have found the limits of my tires way too quickly. It's a happy medium. The rear end is definitely stiffer. Surprisingly, the upgraded front bushing are super compliant on all road surfaces/speed testing I've done so far. The steering is super light and turn in is lightning quick. (Hence the four wheel sliding)
I will eventually order a custom set of Ceika Coilovers and have the car corner balanced with my fat butt in the driver's seat.. It's just not in the cards for a while and the brakes are my main priority first.
Power Upgrades:
None planned in the foreseeable future other than fine tuning. I've gotta find some 93 Octane E free fuel in SoCal! I may actually go back to the stock charge pipe. I honestly think that may have something to do with my weird tuning issues.
I'm pretty sure it's because my charge pipe was made specifically for the WRX. I've been doing a lot of learning about the differences between our motors and ECU's. Anyway I'll expand upon this further elsewhere.
Wheels and Tires:
(Summer, Auto-X, Track)
Change of plans it turns out these need to happen as soon as the brake upgrades, at least the fronts, are completed. I'm fairly sure my traction control is not really happy with me right now. I used to be happy surprising people on how it didn't come on when I was corning, but NOW! Lol
18x8-8.5/19x8-8.5 Wheels with 255/45/19 or 255/50/18 Ultra Performance Tires.
Aesthetic Upgrades/Other:
Dechrome the Car! Basically everywhere the car has chrome I want the stock flat/matte black color.
JDM STI front lip. STI style rear diffuser. JDM Delta Speed Rear Wing.
Blacked Out LED Tail Lights
If everything is sorted out by now, which I think it is..., A Pioneer NEX Head Unit paired with the OEM Audio plug and play upgrade system. I would like to use my Dyn Audio Tweeters up front.
WRX Back Lighted Passenger Window and Door Lock Controls. This one really irritates the [email protected] out of me! I have the top trim level and no back lights on the controls other than the driver...
JDM Black upper pillar pieces and seat belt adjuster cover. Have the Headliner changed to black faux leather or....? something black to match the rest of the interior.
Radar Detector bottom of rear view mirror mounted.
Schroth Rallye 4 ASM Dot Harnesses for driver and passenger.
Matte 3M Carbon Fiber Wrap. I've already got it. I plan on doing all the out of place silver plastic in the front of the car and the steering wheel. If that works out well I'll be on to the outside with it.
OEM STI Steering Wheel Conversion.
I'm sure there are some things I'm totally forgetting...


Advertising Pic:

First Day Home:


Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
So first modifications after much searching around and comparison of similar manufacture products.
I ALWAYs do Brakes and Suspension First! This is my third Forester. My two prior both made off road excursions. My 99s surprised many a jeep when I would be coming off of one of "their" trails. So plan was to lower the vehicle but no more than an inch so I could at least have as much ground clearance as the my 1st and 3rd Gen. Foresters. Body roll especially in the rear has always been a problem with the Foz so I knew I would be upgrading the rear sway bar. The also key thing since the 1st gen has been the brake master cylinder flex problem under hard braking so I wanted to address that fairly quickly. I'm usually fine with the stock mud guards but the SJ version are a total joke so I knew some Rally Armors where going to be needed as well as dumping the stock duelers....

Start off suspension mods:
20mm rear Subaru factory swaybar/bushings/mounts
Kartboy F+R swaybar mounts
Mann-Engineering SJ specific lowering springs. (worth every penny and work well with the stock dampers)
Cuscu front strut tower brace.
Perring steering lock out kit.
Proper professional alignment.

Brake Mods:
Cusco Brake master cylinder brace.
R1 Concepts premium front slotted rotors, New stock rears for now.
Hawk HPS pads F+R
Mann-Engineering Stainless steel brake lines
ATE RBF 200 complete brake system flush and replacement

Michelin Premier A/S 235/55/18 all four corners

Pics to follow.

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Cusco Strut Tower Brace Freshly Installed:

Cusco Brake Master Cylinder Brace:

Mann-Engineering Springs & SS Blue Brake Lines, Kartboy Endlinks, Hawk HPS Pads All 4 Corners:

Rally Armor Mud Flaps and Amount of Overall Drop, Only Waiting on R1 Concepts' to Send the Proper Size Rotors:

Michelin Premier A/S 235/55/18:

Suspension and Brakes Stage 1 Upgrades Completed Over a Two Day Period. (with the exception of the front rotors they were installed a couple of days after this pic)

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Now For Some Engine Bay Clean Up and I Kind of Decided to Go to Stage 1 on the Drive Train!
Mishimoto WRX Radiator Hoses, AEM CAI, Cobb Accessport, SPT Battery Tie Down and Oil Cap, JDM Engine Cover and Perrin LW Pulleys Installed:

Perrin 3" Silicone Turbo Intake and Throttle Body Tubes Installed, GrimmSpeed 3 Port EBCS:

40 Posts
Great mods so far. I love that color, so glad I chose that one too. How much of a drop did you get with the MannEng springs? How's the ride quality compared to stock? I've got BC coilovers at the moment and I'm contemplating switching back to stock struts but with lowering springs.

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Drop is 25mm or somewhere around 0.925"s. The springs work really well with the stock dampers in fact the faster you drive the smoother the ride. (which can be a little problematic as I find I'm doing 80+ inadvertently, a lot, when I'm just speeding up to pass people going 60.) I have had them for more miles than it was stock so I can't really make a comparison there. Also since I did all of the suspension work at the same time... It seems smooth enough to me as my daily but if I hit a decent sized bump on the freeway I feel it. My 06' had the "HD" suspension and my 15' is definitely smoother feeling. My primary objective with my setup was keeping ride height/clearance while vastly improving handling. I believe I have accomplished that overwhelmingly! I'll take outside lane on ramp and overpass passing BMW's all day over feeling like a Cadillac El Dorado!!!:grin2:

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I Added a Few Interior Upgrades. Subaru OEM Footwell Lighting Kit in Red, Rear All Weather Floor Mats and Back Seat-Seat Back Protectors. Weathertech Front Floor Mats. OLM JDM Precision LED Liftgate Light (HUGE Improvement!) and OLM 55 Watt Glass Fog Lights in Yellow. SubieSpeed Paddle Extenders.
Here are the Fogs show with the stock HID's:

SubieSpeed Paddle Extenders:

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've Also Added the Subaru Front Door Sill Plates, Sunroof Wind Protector and Window Vent Shades. I Switched to Blue F2 Autolife Tuner Open Extended Lug Nuts and then Decided to Switch to the Black Gorilla Spline Drive Closed Acorn Nuts Which Not Only Look Better but Will Hold up Much Better to How Much My Wheels are On and Off My Vehicle! At this Point I Have Also Added a Set of Hella Hightones with a Waterproof Relay and Fuse Holder and the OLM/Morimoto Interior LED's (All the Overheads and Rear Cargo).
I have to say I am usually not a fan of interior LED's at 6000k the usable light they put out compared to stock is less. Previously I was able to source some 4000k Philips LED's that worked much better. The Morimoto's are Pricey, comparatively, but They Will Fricken Blind You! lol
F2 Autolife Nuts:

Hella Hightones:

Premium Member
395 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Here is What Started Me Going Towards Stage 2!

Here IS MY Step By Step Photos Installing My CNT TMIC Upgrade It's Basically an AVO Knock Off So the Installation Should be Similar.
As You Can See I wanted to Make Sure My Fins On My Stock and New TMIC Were Protected. This is Easily Done with Some Cardboard and Painters Blue Tape.

The Shiny New TMIC to be Installed

Prepping the Stocker to Come Out. If you Haven't Removed Yours Yet Do the Following:
Remove the 12mm Mounting Bolts on Both Sides Towards the Top (Closer to the dash of the Car)
Remove the Bolts Holding the Mounting Arm on the Right Side of the (When your looking towards the car from the front i.e. drivers side.)
Unclip the Vacuum Line Attached to the Mounting Arm.
Completely Loosen the Hose Clamps on the Throttle Body Tube (Drivers side) and the Charge Pipe Input Clamp
Remove Stock TMIC by Starting on the Drivers Side Wiggling it Out of the Throttle Body Tube and the Lifting that Side of the TMIC and Wiggling it Out of the Charge Pipe Intake.

You Will Need to Remove the Indicated Mounting Bushings on Either Side of the Stock TMIC to Reuse in the New One.

Inserting the Bushings in the New TMIC.

Now See The AC Line Towards the Front of the Picture? See Also the Bolt Holding It to the Mount Behind It? It's a Smart Thing to Remove The Bolt and Replace it with A High Quality Zip Tie. This is Due to the Fact on Some Cars There is a Bit of a Clearance Issue with the Thicker TMIC.
This Would Also Be a Great Time to Upgrade Your Pitch Bolt Mount, Which is the Black Dog Bone Piece Directly Under the AC Line.

Now is a Good Time to Reinstall the Drivers Side TMIC Mount Though You May Not Want to Tighten it All the Way. As you Can See I Also Have Not Clipped In the Vacuum Hose Yet.

New TMIC is Ready to Go In with the Bushings Installed and Fin Protection in Place.

Installation is Reverse of Taking it Out. So, You Start the Install on the Charge Pipe Side and Then Slide it Into The Throttle Body Tube.
You Will Also Notice I Have Also Have the Vacuum Line Unclipped from Intake Manifold Clip. This is to Ensure Clearance When Installing the TMIC.

Whatever TMIC You Go with You May Have the Extra Port/Cover On The Drivers Side, Also Why I Said Not to Completely Tighten the Mount on that Side Yet, Anyways Be Sure the Gasket on the Cover is Seated Properly and the Allen Bolts are Loctited and Tight.
Once You Feel You Have the The TMIC Centered Properly Tighten Your Hose Clamps and then Start with the Passenger Side Mounting Bolt. This is Due to the Fact that Side is A Completely Fixed Mounting Point. Where You Can Make Some Adjustments on the Drivers Side.
Once Everything is Tightened Down Remember to Clip Your Vacuum Line Back in Place Before Reinstalling Your Cover. Note, No More Pop Clips Most of the Replacement TMIC's Come with Bolts and Washers to Install the Cover to the TMIC.

As you Can See I Have the JDM Cover I Have Made Some Minor Adjustments for Better Fitment and Have Sealed The Cover So the Stock Air InTake to the TMIC is Completely Sealed.
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