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Registered
2003 Forester XS
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone. I just joined the Forum tonight. I've had a 2003 Forester XS Premium 5sp. since new. I leased it in 2003 and have just decided to buy it at lease end. Now I want to do a few modifications. K&N Filter, Short Throw Shifter, New Tires (possibly upgrade to 17's), and sway bars and speakers.

I'm no mechanic so I'm planning on asking Subiegal for some great deals on shifter and speakers ( she also has sway bars, but I'm not sure if they're just stock replacements or if they're beefier) and then having my local Subaru dealer install them.( not the speakers, I'm not THAT lame;) I'd be willing to try the Cobb or Kartboy stuff but I'm not sure of a mechanic that is used to doing Mods. If anyone knows of a good place in LA or the San Fernando Valley, I'd really appreciate it.

I saw the instructions on installing the Kartboy Shifter on the Impreza site and it seems pretty easy. The bushings I wasn't too sure about. And sway bars may be easy but it scares me to mess with suspension.

Also, how will sway bars affect offroad ability? I have never done it but I've always wanted to take my Subie offroad. Maybe I'll talk to the folks that meet in the Inland Empire area and try to do a little offroading with them.

Blah, Blah, Blah. . . stop rambling already!

I know this is a long post but I'm just sooo freakin' happy to find a Forester specific Site!

I look forward to chatting with you all.

Mark
 

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Premium Member
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903 Posts
Another new owner here (a week come tomorrow) but I've been following threads here for some months. A great resource is www.scoobymods.com. You'll find a ton of posts authored by Peaty that all contain pictures (you'll need to register to see them). They offer a good estimate of how involved some of these modifications are.

Specifically for short shifters, there appears to be 3 types you can install. Kartboy (www.kartboy.com, a tuner who actually drives a Forester), Cobb (www.cobbtuning.com) and the STI short shift which you can find at any of the vendor sponsor sites.
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
Joined
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9,051 Posts
JM1 said:
Another new owner here (a week come tomorrow) but I've been following threads here for some months. A great resource is www.scoobymods.com. You'll find a ton of posts authored by Peaty that all contain pictures (you'll need to register to see them). They offer a good estimate of how involved some of these modifications are.

Specifically for short shifters, there appears to be 3 types you can install. Kartboy (www.kartboy.com, a tuner who actually drives a Forester), Cobb (www.cobbtuning.com) and the STI short shift which you can find at any of the vendor sponsor sites.
Yes, definitely take a look at scoobymods...lots of info to save you a ton of money on installation (b/c you do it yourself) so you can get more parts for your car;) As for the SShifters for the car...not sure if that last one is an "STi", I think it is an "SPT" for the forester...but it could still be considered STi just not for the WRX STi...okay don't let me confuse you.

You can see the SPT parts at:

http://www.subaru.com/microsites/spt/main.jsp

Of course you can usually get the stuff cheaper than what that site shows.
 

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Premium Member
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114 Posts
Welcome to the site :) I'm not sure how thrilled a dealer is going to be to install the mods you listed though. Some dealers are really cool about it and others, like the one here, are jerks about it. You may be better off finding a shop that does aftermarket installs on scoobies. We have two here in KC so surely there's at least one in LA ;)

A rear sway is probably an easier install than the speakers...at least on an SG. If you use the stock end links, then you remove 4 bolts and it's down. The only issue I ran into when I did mine was that one of the bolts loosened up on me and the car started making a gawd awful noise when cornering. I thought something was broken but in reality it was just a loose bolt. You have to do this when the suspension is loaded though either have it on the ground or on ramps.

As JM1 said soobymods rocks as far as a resource for us. Here's Peaty's short shifter install: http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2198
 

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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
Joined
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9,051 Posts
BigC said:
Welcome to the site :) I'm not sure how thrilled a dealer is going to be to install the mods you listed though. Some dealers are really cool about it and others, like the one here, are jerks about it. You may be better off finding a shop that does aftermarket installs on scoobies. We have two here in KC so surely there's at least one in LA ;)

A rear sway is probably an easier install than the speakers...at least on an SG. If you use the stock end links, then you remove 4 bolts and it's down. The only issue I ran into when I did mine was that one of the bolts loosened up on me and the car started making a gawd awful noise when cornering. I thought something was broken but in reality it was just a loose bolt. You have to do this when the suspension is loaded though either have it on the ground or on ramps.

As JM1 said soobymods rocks as far as a resource for us. Here's Peaty's short shifter install: http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2198
Use that locktite!;)

 

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Premium Member
98 Forester...what else
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5,714 Posts
Okay...here's the scoop.

1. Try doing it yourself, unless you don't feel comfortable.
2. If #1 doesn't work for you, call Steve @ Suby Specialties in Monrovia.

It may be a drive for you, but I had my '98 towed from OXNARD to his shop to have the work done (head gasket job). Don't EVER go to a dealership location to have any work done unless it is warranty (read: free) work. There isn't a single dealership in L.A. that I can say would be recommended...
 

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Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hey thanks everybody!

BigC- I already talked to the Subaru Dealership near me and he's happy to put in the shifter, although I'm sure that only applies to SPT/STi parts. But it looks like Subie Gal keeps you guys pretty well supplied with great deals.

I've seen a lot of Peaty's posts and he's a great help. That's why I thought I might try the shifter myself. His instructions are pretty clear.

Roo, THANKS! I don't mind driving for a good reccommendation. Monrovia isn't too bad of a drive if I time it right. I go there all the time, I have a friend in Monrovia plus I can spend DAYS in the EXPO Design Center:lol:
 

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Administrator
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15,348 Posts
Welcome to the forum Mark.

Stiffer sway bars could affect off-road performance by not allowing as much wheel articulation, i.e. not allowing the wheel to drop or raise as far as possible so as not to lose traction. There can be some significant pressure down there as I found out recently - have a look in the Suspension section for Broken End-link.

Just about anything that limits suspension movement to obtain great on-road performance will adversely affect off-road performance - unfortunately!
 

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Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
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4,129 Posts
L.A. Mark said:
Monrovia isn't too bad of a drive if I time it right.
Whatever you do, stay far, far away from Sierra Subaru. Go in and talk to the parts dept. and you'll see what I mean. Don't mention SPT or you'll end up looking it up for them. There's plenty of dealer vendors here that can steer you the right way and offer much better prices. Subiegal comes to mind.

Oh and +1 for SubieSpecialties. Worth the drive unless you're getting warranty work. I don't bother even changing my oil anymore. I just go there and wait for it.
 

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Recovering Modaholic
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1,304 Posts

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Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
DOHCammin, Thanks for the reccomendations. And ,unfortunately I work on Wednesday nights. But, Thursdays are a definite possibility.

I've never dealt with Sierra Subaru except to test drive a car once. I bought my Ru from Santa Monica but I get it serviced from Big Valley Subaru.

I'm not sure I trust any of them. They're car salesmen right? I only went to Santa Monica Subaru Service twice. Once, they were supposed to install a few extras that I purchased with the car. The salesman told me to come in first thing in the morning and he'd take me over to service and have the work done for me in half an hour. So I did, except I was then told by service I would have to leave the car the whole day 'til they could get to it. I told him to just give me the stuff, I'll take care of it.:mad:

Then a month later, I had a gouge out of the sidewallfrom parking. I went back to Santa Monica because they were open on Saturdays. There was one woman in line ahead of me, when she got to the counter there was a short conversation and all of a sudden the service guy starts screaming at the woman! So much for the customer is always right! When my turn came, I explained to the guy the situation and he snaps,"Tires aren't covered under warranty." I actually had already read this but I was hoping for a little compassion. All I said was, "Really?" Again the guy starts yelling, "It's in your owners documentation!" At this point he storms over to my car, opens the passenger door, opens the glove compartment and starts waving the book in my face.:evil:

At that point I wrote down the A-holes name and called the manager on Monday as well as writing a letter.

The only problem so far with Big Valley, is that on one of the services they were supposed to rotate the tires. after the service, remember the gouge in my tire? It was still in the same place.

So I agree, there probably isn't a Subie dealer in the area who's any good.

Anybody deal with Subaru of Thousand Oaks?

Mark
 

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Recovering Modaholic
Joined
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1,304 Posts
L.A. Mark said:
DOHCammin, Thanks for the reccomendations. And ,unfortunately I work on Wednesday nights. But, Thursdays are a definite possibility.

I've never dealt with Sierra Subaru except to test drive a car once. I bought my Ru from Santa Monica but I get it serviced from Big Valley Subaru.

I'm not sure I trust any of them. They're car salesmen right? I only went to Santa Monica Subaru Service twice. Once, they were supposed to install a few extras that I purchased with the car. The salesman told me to come in first thing in the morning and he'd take me over to service and have the work done for me in half an hour. So I did, except I was then told by service I would have to leave the car the whole day 'til they could get to it. I told him to just give me the stuff, I'll take care of it.:mad:

Then a month later, I had a gouge out of the sidewallfrom parking. I went back to Santa Monica because they were open on Saturdays. There was one woman in line ahead of me, when she got to the counter there was a short conversation and all of a sudden the service guy starts screaming at the woman! So much for the customer is always right! When my turn came, I explained to the guy the situation and he snaps,"Tires aren't covered under warranty." I actually had already read this but I was hoping for a little compassion. All I said was, "Really?" Again the guy starts yelling, "It's in your owners documentation!" At this point he storms over to my car, opens the passenger door, opens the glove compartment and starts waving the book in my face.:evil:

At that point I wrote down the A-holes name and called the manager on Monday as well as writing a letter.

The only problem so far with Big Valley, is that on one of the services they were supposed to rotate the tires. after the service, remember the gouge in my tire? It was still in the same place.

So I agree, there probably isn't a Subie dealer in the area who's any good.

Anybody deal with Subaru of Thousand Oaks?

Mark
the Thursday night guys are cool, I went once and did some "spirited" driving late at night Piuma, Stunt, etc...the guy in front was surprised to see the Forester backing off of the throttle so he could stay ahead. The STi driver had to pull over and let the FXT pass:twisted:
 

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06 X Auto
2006 Auto Auto
Joined
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976 Posts
NahdaDamdyke said:
I've had oil changes done at Timmon's in Long Beach and they seem to be efficient and professional.
That's good to hear. I called Renick and got to listen to the phone ring until it kicked back to the receptionist then I was transferred three times...just to make an appointment for an oil change. They told me service opens at 6:30 am but the technicians arrive after 8am and no Saturday service—go figure.
 

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Premium Member
'09 STI
Joined
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4,129 Posts
Anthony at Timmon's is the only service writer I think so you may have to leave a message or e-mail but he's always got back to me promptly. They'll do the oil change as a "waiter" so I just go eat and come back. $35 IIIRC.
 
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