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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, folks! I'm sort of new to Subaru. Technically, this is my second involvement with a Subaru. The first was a 1989 Justy DL; ugly as sin but still had endearing traits and seemed to be virtually indestructible. The current Subie is my wife's 2006 Forester XT. She's had it since new, but I've only been driving it for +/- 2 years.

Just like the Justy, it's no beauty queen, but it has made me fall in love with it. I've already done some power/performance mods and am currently in the process of revamping the interior. I'm taking it from the plain tan to a black/tan two-toned interior. I've also buffed and polished the paint, but it still needs a lot of work in the way of deep scratches, bumper scrapes, and rock chips. I probably won't be addressing that damage, though, as we use her as a utility/outdoor-getaway vehicle. It'll just end up getting scraped up again, eventually.

It's a fun vehicle to drive. I just have a few more things I want to do to it to make it just a bit more enjoyable to be in. Mainly some suspension work. I want a firmer ride and less squat under acceleration, but no reduced ride height or utility. I'm hoping some folks here can point me in the right direction. We considered trading her in for a new XT, but the lack of a manual left us cold. Then I finally drove a new 2.5i and was not pleased with the size or the ride. Somehow it seemed a bit less stable than our old XT. Maybe it was the size throwing me off. It's enormous compared to ours, and we just don't want something that big right now.

Other cars in the garage are '11 Mustang GT500 and a '13 Audi S4 (Premium Plus w/manual.) As you can see, we like boosted cars and rowing our own gears. :) Although, we'd take a powerful, naturally aspirated car in a heartbeat.
 
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Welcome from Memphis TN. You might want to look at some Swift springs- they are a tad bit lower and stiffer, but still retain ride quality.
 

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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome from Memphis TN. You might want to look at some Swift springs- they are a tad bit lower and stiffer, but still retain ride quality.
Thanks for the tip! By "a tad bit lower," how much are we talking? A half inch or less?
 

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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm... That's a pretty broad range and more drop that I'm willing to put on it. We don't want to lose any of its off-road ability with decreased ride height. I suppose we could bag her, but we're not looking to put that kind of expense into her suspension. So far, I believe we've spent more money on "reconditioning" than her actual book value; she's got about 108K miles on the clock.

On a side note, I had to re-polish her. The pad I used to apply the sealant ended up hologram-ing the finish. I was none too pleased with having to redo it. That's some HARD work, if you're trying to do it "right."

I'm just about done with the interior "redesign." Just waiting for the replacement storage boxes to arrive. I have to say, the black/tan two tone is looking pretty darn good; just like I hoped it'd turn out.



 

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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Buffed and polished! Unfortunately, it got overcast before I could take some nice, shiny pix. Maybe tomorrow if it doesn't get rained on tonight.




 

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2001 Forester "S" 4EAT
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I'm just about done with the interior "redesign." Just waiting for the replacement storage boxes to arrive. I have to say, the black/tan two tone is looking pretty darn good; just like I hoped it'd turn out.



Very nice, I like it.
 

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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks! I'm waiting for the new Weather Tech floor liners to arrive. We had/have a set of tan ones, but now that I've changed the carpet to black, I reordered a set of black ones. This has actually turned out to be a fun project. Just a few more things I want to do to it.

- put a set of larger (17") black wheels on (Enkei EDR9)
- paint the center stack trim flat black
- put in an aftermarket stereo with nav/bluetooth/etc.
- STi control arms and maybe stiffer sway bars

I think I'm going to abandon the springs and look for some firmer struts instead. Anyone have any recommendations?

For the past few months, the Forester has been getting all the love. I haven't driven my GT500 in months. And I can't remember the last time I took time to wash/detail the S4. The S4 is next in line for a good polishing; just have to wait a couple weeks for some warmer air. The GT500 will probably get the treatment in Spring, before the pollen gets too heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Exterior transformation complete! (I think.) There's still some paint damage on the leading edge of the roof that needs to be fixed. When I get that fixed, I'll also have them repaint the black parts at the front of the roof rails because they're fading. But that's just maintenance, not a "transformation" from the original look.

Exterior mods:
Black headlights and tail lights a la 2008 Forester Sport
OEM paint-matched mud guards
Enkei EDR9 17"x8" black wheels (They have metallic flake in them, too! What a pleasant surprise!)
Hankook S1 noble2 ultra-performance all-season tires in 235/50ZR17 (excellent tire so far)
OEM rear bumper guard
I had to replace the the little air baffles up front thanks to some exuberance while driving through deep snow a couple of weeks back.





 

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2017 XT Touring CVT :'(
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Forester-spec KYB GR2/Excel G struts have slightly firmer valving than the OEM struts.
I did some cursory research and it seems those struts are pretty much the same as the stock ones. So aside from control arms and/or bushings and sway bars, my suspension ideas are dashed. :icon_redface: If only I could get some stiffer spings with the same height. Is it possible to have custom springs made? My main goal is to get rid of excess squat, dive, and body roll. I'm not looking to turn it into a hardcore corner carver or track truck, just a more controlled ride that can still be taken off the beaten path.
 
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