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2008 Forester Sports XT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am in the midst of converting my 2008 FXT to a FDM FSTi. One of the things I am doing to maintain as much ride height as possible is using the JDM Forester STi springs and struts.

I also need to get new wheels to accommodate the STi brembo brakes as well. I like the rota grid 18x8.5" ET44 wheels for my summer tires. But in my research it sounds like once you go wider than a 8" wheel with something like 235/40/18 rubber things can get kind of iffy when it comes to clearance issues between the tire and strut especially in the rear of the car.

I am thinking about going with the Michelin Pilot Super Sports 235/40/18 which recommend a 8.5" wide wheel and with that wheel the tire width be 8.5" as well.

My question is do the JDM FSTi springs/struts (inverted) have more or less clearance in this area then the stock USDM FXT struts? I have read a lot of posts about different size wheels working and not but I haven't been able to find anything about running wider wheels with this suspension option.
 

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2004 Forester XT 6MT DCCD (helical)
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I'm not totally sure about the strut clearance (I think its a little more generous than you might think) BUT I can tell you that Rota Grid 18x8.5 +44 will NOT clear Brembos. I found out the hard way...
 

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2008 Forester Sports XT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the heads up on the wheels. That is odd why does wheeldude list that wheel under the 04 STi wheel section then? Is the hub on the STi further out from the knuckle on an STi than on a Forester XT? I assume not since everything I have read says the front knuckle/axles are interchangable between a STi and a FXT?
 

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2004 Forester XT 6MT DCCD (helical)
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no you are right, its not the knucle/hub on the car, it has to do with the way the spokes on the wheel curve up and out away from the wheel hub. They dont clear the front calipers.

I had bought 18x9.5 +38 Rota Grids and they ended up not fitting over my front brembos without a 5mm spacer...
 

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2004 Forester XT 6MT DCCD (helical)
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So, disclaimer here: I am only assuming the 18x8.5 +44 you asked about will not fit over Brembos because a wider and lower offset version is confirmed to not fit.
(Wheeldude also lists the wider size to fit 2004 STi when they DONT without a spacer...unfortunately they are not a reliable source for accurate fitment information...on the wheels they sell as the official importer/distributor. To their credit, they are good guys who have a monumental task at hand running their business, I'm sure they update as fast/best as they can.)

There could be some weird design difference between the sizes that would allow the narrower, higher offset version to clear Brembos. I would do more deep research on your end.

Be warned, there will be a lot of uninformed crap to sift through given the price point and popularity of this wheel...
 

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2008 Forester Sports XT
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. It is interesting I remember running the (IIRC) 17x7.5 grids on my 04 STi 6-7 years ago now with no issues. Unfortunately when I tried to order a set this past week they are being discontinued and the only color left is bronze which with dark gray color car = bleh.

Hopefully the 17x7.5 rota G-forces I just ordered will work :(. Will find out I guess. I think a call into them is in order to find out more about this stuff albeit like you said they may not know everything I am hoping they have confirmation on some of the wheels that clear the Brembos.
 

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2008 Forester Sports XT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just updating some of my threads along my road to a FSTi here.

So I ended up getting Rota Grid 17x8 +44 offset. Talked to the folks at wheeldude.com and they claimed they cleared the OEM STi Brembos and they did.

Then I wrapped them in Michelin Pilot Super Sports 225/45/17 since that is what the stock STi (2004) 6 speed sensor tire diameter size is. That solved my speedo being off but the wheels were only 25.0" in diameter versus 26.3" diameter of the stock sized FXT wheel (215/55/17). Overall the tire/wheels just looked disproportionately small and lowered the car by about 0.7".

So I ended up getting some 235/50/17 rubber and having just a tad more than an 1/8" clearance between the tire and the rear strut which appears to be enough. Now the wheels/tires are 26.3" diameter, look good, and got a bit bigger footprint as well.

So overall just wanted to update that the Rota Grid 17x8 +44 offset will definitely clear the OEM STi Brembo calipers
 
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