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2004 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I have an 04 FXT that I need to do some rear suspension work to. I am looking for the most cost effective way out. I line in NE PA. All of the rear adjustment bolts are frozen and I know if the alignment shop tries to free them I will have a bill that I will regret. I am probably one of the few that have a good place to work on my car. I know I can repair it myself and have the necessary tools. I am looking for guidance on what parts to replace the original crap with. What is the best bang for the buck? The car has 166k on it and is a daily driver. It is also pretty much stock. To do a set of STI arms, how does the sway bar attached it? Do you need to replace the sway bar with an STI unit?

Thanks,
:Banane35:
 

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2006 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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168 Posts
I was trying to remember the differences (if any) between the '04 and the '06 ( which I am more familiar with) but after looking at Opposed Forces, it appears they are the same.

Best bang for the buck, if you are looking to keep it stock, is to simply keep it stock. There are plenty of people on here (myself included) that have upgraded their parts and typically have stock parts laying around or for sale cheap that can replace your aging parts with less aged parts.

If you are looking to move away from stock and upgrade, check out http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f70/how-turn-better-than-sti-cheap-10696/ and http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f70/2-5xt-suspension-handling-upgrade-230650/#post2392778 for good posts about what can be replaced, and what to replace it with (No need to retype it all or reinvent the wheel).

To answer your specific question, if you get get STi lateral links (I'm assuming that is what you mean by arms), the sway should attach just like normal. I replaced my stock sway bar with the STi sway bar first, and it connected to the stock lateral links just fine. Once I replaced the stock lateral links with STi lat.links, there was really no difference as far as fitment.
 

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2004 Forester XT Auto
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I believe that I want to upgrade the rear suspension and eliminate some of the roll. I will look for an STI rear bar and lateral links.

I would just like to make sure of what I have read.
Lateral links need to be for an 04' to 07' STI, not WRX.
Rear sway bar also needs to be from 04 to 07 STI.
Sway bar end links need to match application that bar/lateral links fit.

Thanks,
:Banane35:
 

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2006 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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168 Posts
Lateral links need to be for an 04' to 07' STI, not WRX.
Correct - The WRX Lateral links are not only the same weak-strength as ours, but additionally are incompatible with our endlinks and swaybar. (Compare WRX to Forester and STi). The STis have the stronger-but-lighter aluminum that are the upgrade.

Rear sway bar also needs to be from 04 to 07 STI.
Correct. I can't remember what size the WRX was, but like the lateral links, the WRX sway bar is incompatible with our setup. '08+ STi are also incompatible, as they re-designed the suspension when they introduced the hatchback.

Sway bar end links need to match application that bar/lateral links fit.
Correct. The WRX endlinks will be C-shaped and curved, whereas our are typically straight vertical. (Kartboy has a good visualization of the difference, see WRX vs Forester & STi [Notice the Forester product even says STi])

Edit: Here's a shot of the stock lateral links and the STi lateral links, just for comparison.

Edit2: If you do for some reason have the C-shaped curved endlinks in the rear, then you'll need to do all these steps at once, rather than piecemeal. Based on your original post, it looks like you were planning on doing it all at once anyway, but I figured I'd mention it.
 
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