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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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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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2004 Forester XT 6MT DCCD (helical)
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I think g-forces are a little better in general as far as brembo clearance. Google search it, see what you turn up.

Good luck!
 
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