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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I've been lurking for weeks, but actually purchased an 04 Forester XT this morning.

It's a black MT with 55,000 miles and some modifications. It has a full cobb TBE (Forester specific!!), Cobb AP, an upsized turbo, a Perrin TMIC, electronic boost control, and methanol injection.

The car was being sold by the original owner's son. The original owner did all the work on the car and left the car to his son when he passed away. As a result, I don't know the extent of work on the car (like what turbo is being utilized now) and how badly beaten it was by the original owner.

To be completely honest, the meth scares me and the car has some drivetrain issues, so I think it might have been driven pretty hard at some point. That being said, I got an amazing, amazing deal and if I need to put in some money to get it right, I have it left in my budget.

My question to you, my friends, is where to take the car to get it checked out for the drivetrain issues by someone intimately familiar with Subarus. The seller thinks it's an axle issue, but I just picked up the car in the rain and haven't had time to take it off the trailer and investigate. I'm thinking I should take it to Metric Subaru here on Long Island, but I'm not sure how fair the prices are. Anyone have any experience with Metric? Any other Subaru shops or dealers on Long Island that you guys could vouch for?

Second, should I go about detuning the car to obviate the need for the meth and electronic boost control? I'd rather go stage 2 or 3, but without reliance on meth. Is this advisable? The seller seemed to think that the meth was absolutely necessary with the upgraded turbo, but I think the Accessport would be more than capable to handle the current state of modification. I feel safe using Cobb's maps and would like to eliminate the e-Boost and meth. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for the helpful thoughts!

Peter
 

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Is it an electronic boost control solenoid or just a boost controller? If its a 3 port boost solenoid I'd keep it, much better than the stock part. Meth basically allows you to run more boost, it keeps intake temps down similar to running a bigger intercooler. You could bring it somewhere and have them make you a non-meth map for the AP if you don't want to deal with always keeping it full (what sort of meth controller is it?). Where did you get it?


FYI- I feel like it might have been Thelonius' ride that you bought, but not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I bought the car with everything on it, so it's going to take some research on my part to identify all the parts. I suspect the turbo is an STi piece, but I can't be sure until I have the time to devote to investigating. The electronic boost components are from Turbosmart. The controller and the solenoid.

I like the theory of methanol injection, but I'm just fearful of the tank running out and doing some major damage. I'd be a lot more comfortable running on Cobb's 93 octane stage 3 map until I become more familiar with the car. My friend has an A4 2.0t that he's been working on and he was pretty upset with me when I told him I was contemplating the removal of the meth system, as he wants one desperately.

I'm really excited to get this thing in top shape, but it's frustrating not knowing exactly what I'm dealing with. Oh well, such is life when purchasing a used vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The seller was from upstate New York, but I bought here on the island. Fortunately for me, he was visiting family about 10 minutes from where I live and we arranged a meeting.

I found the thread on the passing of Thelonious - I'm fairly certain this wasn't his car. The last name isn't the same as the seller's and from what I gathered, Thelonious was from PA(?) and the original owner was in upstate NY. Regardless, I was saddened to read about another Forester lover's passing.
 

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The seller was from upstate New York, but I bought here on the island. Fortunately for me, he was visiting family about 10 minutes from where I live and we arranged a meeting.

I found the thread on the passing of Thelonious - I'm fairly certain this wasn't his car. The last name isn't the same as the seller's and from what I gathered, Thelonious was from PA(?) and the original owner was in upstate NY. Regardless, I was saddened to read about another Forester lover's passing.
Yeah it wasn't his. Any idea of where it may have initially been tuned? You might be able to figure out what shop did the work, and see if they have info about what the current setup is. Otherwise I'd probably bring it to a trusted tuner and have them go over it and ask them what they would suggest changing.

I've had the same reservations about meth, I love the idea, but I wouldn't want to have to worry about getting some while on a roadtrip etc. If you got some pictures of any parts you're having trouble identifying, i'm sure the forum could help out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your help, FM.

I'm leaving the car at my father's house until it's registered. I live in an apartment building so I can't have a car with no plates parked on the street. So, no pics yet, but I will post them as soon as possible.

The seller said he'll look for all the information his dad might have had on the car and if he finds anything, he'll forward it to me. Judging from the service log in the owner's manual, the guy kept meticulous records. But still, it's a matter of finding them. For example, his son didn't bring the actual AP controller and cables/plugs. He had no idea that such a thing existed, but when I explained the necessity of it, he assured me if it had anything to do with the car, it was definitely at his parent's house. Here's to hoping he can find it.

Anyway, I'm bringing this thing to Metric as soon as I possibly can. Having some seriously trained Subaru techs giving it the once over will be enlightening.
 

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There is nothing wrong with meth, I'd run it with my STi turbo, and may some day. You just have to build in a safety system which would detect when you run out and switch to a regular gas map in real time, it costs more but that's really the only way to go. We don't get 93 octane here, so meth injection would be my only way to run more than 16lbs of boost. As a bonus, it keeps your engine internals clean.

COBB OTS maps suck, do not trust them too much -- they are generic maps. I bet your car is tuned 100 times better now than the COBB maps. Assuming your engine is in good order and your pistons or ring lands aren't cracked (do a leak-down test), I'd be concerned about the rest of the drivetrain, like the tranny and rear diff. Who knows how hard this thing was beat on. I bet it's running a VF39 with a 19-20 pound target boost.

If I were you, I'd find a good tuner you can trust, establish a relationship with them and follow their advice. There are lots of opinions on tuning cars and plenty of people will tell you what to do, but when your car blows it'll be on you.

PS: oh yeah, hopefully when you get the AP, you'll find notes in the custom maps with the name of the tuner that created them.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stan,

Thanks for the input. The car is setup with a knock sensor light as well as a light that flashes continuously when the meth pump is in operation.

The rear diff is most likely the cause of the drivetrain issues at this point, but again, it's just speculation until I get it checked out. My main priority is getting the drivetrain issues resolved. I can drive the car without hitting significant boost until I get organized. The seller thinks the meth threshold was about 10-12 psi so, I can certainly restrain myself in the interim.

On the drivetrain issue, the car is utilizing the stock suspension. The seller (an engineer) thinks that when the front end lifts up under acceleration, it throws the shafts and axles out of alignment. Anybody wanna weigh in on this? Sounded plausible to me, but I'll revert back to noobdom if anyone else wants to address it. This gives me a potential (poorly disguised) excuse to pick up some Swift Sports, anyway.
 

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What sort of sounds or issues are there with the drivetrain? I would check out all the wheel bearings , driveshaft, and all the CV's.

With the independent suspension, the only driveline angles that change are the 4 axles, and even at stock height there isn't enough room to get them to any sort of extreme angles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So my father took the car around the block after taking it off the trailer. My dad is very knowledgeable, but he's old school (never owned an import and currently has a '40 steel Willy's coupe, a '57 vette, and a '59 el Camino as weekend cars) and has very little experience with japanese cars, especially AWD / Turbo ones.

Anyway, he said the car felt like the front wheels were doing all the gripping. He compared the driving sensation to having his 4wd F450 box truck in 4wd low. I wish I could drive the car myself to get a better understanding of what he means, but I'm not going to be able to get over there for a few days.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to what the drivetrain issue is now, with this new, albeit vague, information?
 

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So my father took the car around the block after taking it off the trailer. My dad is very knowledgeable, but he's old school (never owned an import and currently has a '40 steel Willy's coupe, a '57 vette, and a '59 el Camino as weekend cars) and has very little experience with japanese cars, especially AWD / Turbo ones.

Anyway, he said the car felt like the front wheels were doing all the gripping. He compared the driving sensation to having his 4wd F450 box truck in 4wd low. I wish I could drive the car myself to get a better understanding of what he means, but I'm not going to be able to get over there for a few days.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to what the drivetrain issue is now, with this new, albeit vague, information?
Sounds like an issue with the center diff.
 

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congrats on the new foz.

I think you are smart to have reservations about meth injection. I think it *can* work for someone that intelligently designs the meth system, and is diligent about making sure that It's working properly. But I think that meth, for all intents and purposes, does cause many a Subaru motors to grenade.

From lack of even meth flow to each cylinder, to zero fail-safes, to tuning to the ragged edge to take advantage of meth's properties, it's a nightmare waiting to happen for most
enthusiasts.

My advice is to have the car re-tuned w/o meth...at least until you learn more about it to see if it's right for your new Forester. And even more so, until you can see if it's even installed correctly/working correctly...preferably by your competent Subaru performance specialist of choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
congrats on the new foz.

I think you are smart to have reservations about meth injection. I think it *can* work for someone that intelligently designs the meth system, and is diligent about making sure that It's working properly. But I think that meth, for all intents and purposes, does cause many a Subaru motors to grenade.

From lack of even meth flow to each cylinder, to zero fail-safes, to tuning to the ragged edge to take advantage of meth's properties, it's a nightmare waiting to happen for most
enthusiasts.

My advice is to have the car re-tuned w/o meth...at least until you learn more about it to see if it's right for your new Forester. And even more so, until you can see if it's even installed correctly/working correctly...preferably by your competent Subaru performance specialist of choice.
Thanks!

An update for whomever might care:

I finally found the AP controller that was missing in action and checked the current map. It appears to be a pump gas map, so I was relieved. Obviously, I'm not going to put too much stock in this, because how can you really be sure without asking the original tuner.

Either way, I have an appointment with MSPT next Wednesday to have some Subaru specialists give the car a once over.

So, I had a little bit of time yesterday and I took the car out myself. These are the symptoms.
-There is serious resistance even when the clutch is disengaged (To clarify, the car won't coast freely even when it's in neutral or the clutch pedal is being pressed).
-The steering wheel jerks hard to the left (maybe both sides, I didn't drive it long) under acceleration.
-There are an assortment of clunking noises.

Any guesses now?
 

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Thanks!

An update for whomever might care:

I finally found the AP controller that was missing in action and checked the current map. It appears to be a pump gas map, so I was relieved. Obviously, I'm not going to put too much stock in this, because how can you really be sure without asking the original tuner.

Either way, I have an appointment with MSPT next Wednesday to have some Subaru specialists give the car a once over.

So, I had a little bit of time yesterday and I took the car out myself. These are the symptoms.
-There is serious resistance even when the clutch is disengaged (To clarify, the car won't coast freely even when it's in neutral or the clutch pedal is being pressed).
-The steering wheel jerks hard to the left (maybe both sides, I didn't drive it long) under acceleration.
-There are an assortment of clunking noises.

Any guesses now?
Have you checked all the trans related fluids? I'd also check everything in the brake system, and have the wheel bearings checked when you bring it in.
 

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-There is serious resistance even when the clutch is disengaged (To clarify, the car won't coast freely even when it's in neutral or the clutch pedal is being pressed).
The forester with the manual transmission has a hill assist system (at least my 05 does). This puts the brakes on until you fully let go of the clutch. Anybody knows if that can get out of adjustment? That could explain the resistance if it did...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update

So, I dropped my car off this morning at MSPT/Metric. I got a call from them saying that they think it's the tranny. The rear diff fluid looked fine, but the tranny fluid looked nasty. To quote Mike, "The drain plug looked like a big piece of rock-candy."

So, that's what I'm dealing with now. Dave and the boys are in the process of dropping the tranny now to get a better idea of what's wrong. Obviously this is bad news for me as I was thinking an easy rear diff repair/replacement and I'll be on my way.

I'm going to buy a few scratch-off lotto tickets; maybe I'll win $5000 to do an STi 6-speed swap. Buahahah. It's really not funny...
 
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