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2003 Forester XS 5MT
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Excited to join the community here. Just recently picked up a 2003 Forester XS as the base for an off-road-oriented build some co-workers and I are doing for an Arizona archery coues deer hunt this January. We needed something economical, off road capable and small-but-big to get us cross-country with a bunch of gear and then around some craggy mountain stuff to our basecamp. I've been a fan of Subaru's since my first car which was a 2002 Legacy GT (Had the rear wing, snowflake wheels and everything!). I no longer own that car, but do own a '94 and '93 Legacy RS. The 94 is in rough shape, but the '93 I've put a lot of work into to make it a Version 8-swapped, caged, gnarly rally car. That's a whole different story - Now, this Forester is the main focus.

Nothing too crazy this time as we're looking to keep it relatively reasonable on cost. Found the car on eBay and won it for $1200. The body and chassis are relatively rust-free, but that very well could be on account of the fact that everything that holds oil is leaking all over the place (Great rust-proofer!), so a number of things need to be addressed. We pulled the motor and sent the heads off to our local machine shop here (Shoutout to Weaver Auto Parts in Madison, WI) for a full rebuild and refresh. Got a new short block from SunWest on Ebay and it looks really good. Aaron at Foreign Car Specialists in Madison, WI also helped hook us up with all necessary gaskets and engine rebuild items.

Suspension-wise, we're going Koni struts, new Moog springs, and are installing the Anderson Design and Fab 2" spacer lift kit with Primitive skid plates up front and on the diff for protection. Steel rims with some General Grabber AT2's will put rubber to the road and dirt!

The 5 speed is still in there and aside from changing the fluid and seals to the axle and around the side housing things, we're pretty much keeping it as-is. It grinds a bit going into 3rd, but that seems to be quite common in these 5MT's and we're just going to keep it shut and pray it doesn't grenade on us. That's what I heard from an instructor at Team O'Neil Rally School in NH at least - "Guarantee if you open one of these up, you'll end up replacing it pretty much no matter what, so keep it shut and run it till it blows up."

Looking forward to leaning on some serious knowledge here from the folks around the forum and will try to keep a reasonably updated build report on here as we go. We're already through the point of removing the engine and most of the passenger side, so our story will pick up mid-way, but taking things apart is the easy part anyway ;)
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
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40,589 Posts
@huntinfozz welcome to the forum from Oregon!

You can ask your technical questions here:
Also...
For the best forum experience, we recommend completing your "Account Details". The optional information you enter there will display when members click "About" in your forum profile. You can also create a custom "Signature" that will display every time you make a forum post. The optional additional information you provide could mean getting forum member replies, or not.
Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
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40,589 Posts
@huntinfozz you can attach, drag & drop or even copy & paste... VERY easy to do! You may have to play around with it to see what works best for you. I normally click on the "Insert Image"... located between the smiley & the B.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 
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