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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Swapped the rear (for now) speakers out tonight.

I looked online to find that the rear one are 4", so ordered a pair of those. Only after discovering this link right before I started: Rear speaker install.

I went with a pair of Clarion 4" with a 4-bolt pattern only to take out these strange 3-bolt something-size speakers. I wasn't expecting strange shaped speakers as aftermarket ones bolted right into my Impreza and didn't think Subaru would do something like that.

What I did was I re-used the mounting hole & screw at the 12 o'clock position, and the speakers mouting holes were just wide enough to drill my own mounting holes at 3 and 9 o'clock with self-taping screws. Nothing at 6 o'clock in my case and didn't seal off the speaker or anything, but good enough for my daily-driver purposes and clearer then what was there.

The speaker I got had quite the protruding tweeter, but mounting the speaker right to the metal of the door sucks it in a bit and panel went back on just fine...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Popped in map lights!



I ordered these with the rest of my bulb order, but didn't realize these only came in packages of 1 :p so waited for the 2nd one to come in. I would've went with LED's here but the g/f doesn't like how she can't see anything in the mirror in my Impreza, so went with match hyper whites...
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Last Friday night I put on my lug nut caps!





I had actually test fitted these on my previous Forester but found the fit so perfect over the lugs they needed to be silicone'd on. A few days later he got written off :(

So far they've survived the weekend and haven't flown off and lost any. If I even do, I'd probably just paint the tops of the lugs themselves. $6 experiment...
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Love my armrest extension for the support, but what I've noticed is that when I open the lower compartment, everything in the new top compartment gets tossed around.

I happen to mention it to my g/f while we were doing some shopping. I was thinking of getting an ice cube tray and cutting it down to fit. Then we stumbled across this and it happened to be a perfect fit!



It's a makeup tray/organizer that my g/f happened across at Walmart. Without measuring it landed right into place and pretty cheap as it's Walmart's house brand (in Canada anyways).

Now when I open the lower compartment, I still hear things tap around in the upper, but things still stay put. Comes with a 2nd, undivided tray for, I dunno... use it in the shop for bolts or something...
 

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Discussion Starter #29
I've been doing a little bit of troubleshooting behind the scenes with this Forester.

About 5 days after I brought him home, the engine light came on; P0171 - System Too Lean Bank 1. He still ran incredibly fine, but gave him my tune up to see what would happen. Everything was original and changed to new, but the engine light still came back on a few days later.

Looking up the code, one of the issues could be a vacuum leak. This car was hardly driven and thought maybe a hose dried out and is cracking, or maybe even something in the plastic intake piping. So swapped out my intake pipe to see if that'd resolve it and checked all hoses and vacuum lines as best I could. Few days later engine light came back on again.

Took it to my regular mechanic (small shop) who diagnosed that the intake manifold gasket on the passenger side was leaking when he sprayed it (idle would bog down). I trust this man's judgement; if it wasn't for him, my Impreza wouldn't be running right now, considering all the aftermarket that's in there. Earlier this year I was having the weirdest problems with her and he managed to diagnose that the circuit board in her stand-alone got a bit fried from a bad ground. He even managed to get the board laser-repaired for dirt cheap to boot, and no problems since.

This was getting pretty involved for something I just bought, so with my g/f's help, we managed to convince the Subaru dealer where I bought it to have a look at it after essentially trying to convince them for most of November under pseudo-warranty. There was a 2 week wait to get into service, couldn't drop off the car til early December. But I told my salesman the troubleshooting I did and parts I replaced, my mechanic's diagnostic & contact info (if they needed/wanted to call, whatever helps) and he put me in a courtesy car. I was advised the service dept. prefers to do their own diagnosis but thanked me for the insight.

Car was there for about a week. Halfway through, spoke directly to the mechanic who was working on my car (nice guy). He said he did all the tests he could to check for a leak. He said he couldn't find a leak, but actually changed the gaskets anyway. A few days later I spoke with him again and I don't know if the engine light came back on for him but he also found low fuel pressure after the regulator. He said they've ordered one and it'll take a few days to come in.

By the end of the week, I spoke with him again and he said the engine light's not on but capturing reading things were still on the lean side and asked for the stock intake piping before going ahead any further. I head down to the dealer (over an hour drive for me) in a blizzard (for Vancouver anyway) with my stock intake in a garbage bag, only to be confronted by the general manager? He got really angry at me and told me had he known I put an intake in my car he would've never have touched it. I told him I told the salesman what i did, who said, 'No problem' and that the engine light came on before I installed it. He seemed to gloss over this and moved onto telling me how they changed the intake manifold gaskets as I had apparently "demanded" they do so. (Talking to my mechanic afterwards about it, he still felt confident that the right gasket was still right on the fence of the beginnings of failure).

I told him I was a bit confused on 2 fronts as I was told they do their own diagnosis and, why didn't anyone contact my regular mechanic first? I was just trying to help with as much information as possible. He then told me that they've already put over $1000 into this and anything the do going forward I'd be charged for and not out of their 'courtesy'. He then implied for me to leave without asking me to leave.

So I brought the car home and peaked under the hood. It looks like the intake manifold bolts were touched and I believe the gaskets are new as I'm fairly sure they're a different colour now. The engine light came back on that next weekend.

I called my regular mechanic and he suggested to get the stock airbox in like the dealer suggested, clear the code and go from there. I looked under the hood again to start building my mental checklist of getting the stock intake & airbox back in. I got a bit confused again as it looked like the pressure regulator bolts had been touched but the regulator itself looked original! I called the dealer and asked for the mechanic directly who advised me they replaced the regulator with a used one? I told him I was under the impression a new one was coming in when I was told one was "ordered". He told me a new one would've taken too long so they sourced a used one. I'm still not too sure what to think of this but I confirmed with him that this one was functional and providing correct pressure.

I called my regular mechanic back and asked him if I should just replace the regulator with a new one myself. He advised to give the dealer the benefit of the doubt for now, put the stock intake back in and drive it around for a couple of weeks to make sure. He re-assured me I'll be fine til even the spring, no rush. He's actually running better right now with the engine light on.

It's below freezing around here right now anyway and my hands just don't work properly in this weather. I still want something funky under the hood, so in the meantime I'm slowly painting the stock airbox and its piping green, dammit.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
So the lights on the dash have been bugging me. Ironically it wasn't the engine light constantly on, but the flashing cruise light. What started out as wanting to disable cruise control (to get the light to stop flashing at me for now) turned into a bit of an OCD snowball...

I caught up on this past season of Canada's Worst Driver over the holidays and got turned off of cruise control. I've never had it before, don't even know how to use it; don't want it. First I wanted to just pull the fuse for cruise control, but there isn't a stand-alone one for it. Wanted to remove the relay or control module for it, but don't have anything where it's supposed to be, so looks like it's controlled by the main ECU in my case. Then I thought, I'll just pull the bulb out of the dash, but those ones aren't removable as I found out. So I ended up biting the bullet and started putting some of the OEM intake parts back in.

I haven't gotten around to it lately as it's been abnormally cold in Vancouver and my hands stop operating properly in this weather after a while. Despite the cold, I have however been slowly painting each coat on each part; cause hey, if it's going back in the car I at least want it fun looking.

Well, after an entire evening of this last night, it got to the point where it was getting too cold and late, so instead of replacing everything, got a hybrid intake setup working. The aftermarket pipe nearly pointed at the stock MAF tube directly if I rotated it a bit, there was just about a 4" gap. A 6" silicone hose doesn't exist in green, but I have 2 of em in green that are 3" long and thankfully hadn't tossed this bit I cut off back in the summer:



I cut off about an inch off from what used to be the very end of the pipe, and it also happened to have the right curve to it too. I connected the 2 green couplings to it and made the setup fit and work!



Cleared the code last night, let it idle for 20-25 minutes or so and went for a bit of a test drive. Butt-dyno tells me I've lost a hair of oomph and the low 'whoa' sound has gotten significantly quieter; but still there at the right combination of rpm's and throttle positions :p

And today did quite a bit of driving for errands and appointments after work, combination of highway, city and stop-n-go; the lights are still off! So I'm hoping it keeps that way. I think the intake manifold gaskets were the culprits before, and after it was the intake. Probably shouldn't have popped that in to troubleshoot earlier?

Down the road I may consider deleting the snorkus in the fender, but I'm a bit leery now about the engine light coming back on cause it'd be a big pain to put it back in :/ I went with a Napa Silver air filter for now, though I may go with a performance drop-in filter down the road too, maybe when it's time to replace this one. Wanna make sure this is setup's not causing issues first...

Hey look! 3 page thread! Broke my old record!
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
It's finally not so bloody cold out so did some tinkering finally today.

What I noticed about this Forester over the winter so far is that I can't see too well out of the side mirrors when it gets wet out. When rain gets on the side mirrors I pretty much can't make out anything. In rains a lot around here so you can imagine this is a bit of a problem for me. I don't have this issue with my Impreza; I think the glass of the mirror is recessed more into its housing. The Forester seems like the glass is almost flush.

So I went with some of those, cheesy?, side mirror visors:



I actually ordered these mid-November, but they still haven't shown up from the seller. Got my money back and ordered from someone else who got it to me in just over a week. Went with 20% tint ones to match my visors and window tint. It's suppose to rain half a metre each day this week, so it'll be a good test and hopefully don't fall off. They went on easily and there's still clearance to adjust the mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Another bigger ticket item I installed today was a 20mm STI rear sway bar! I was doing some New Year's cleaning earlier and found I had an extra one that I was thinking I've putting in my Impreza but never did. Also found some Whiteline bushings I already had kicking around for it that I forgot about. I already had these, in theory didn't cost me anything now, so popped it in!



It was a bit of a pain getting the endlink bolts free cause they weren't the type to accept an allen key in the ends of the studs. I managed to get them free holding the studs with vice grips without damaging the treads. First vice grips on the end of the stud, then switch to the base, working all the crud and buildup off the threads, uh, it was tedious. I have ratchet wrenches which made things a bit easier.

It was really strange, when I went under the car, the original sway bar was cocked all the way to the driver's side? When looking under the car from the rear, both endlinks were angled all the way to the left. Couldn't bump the bar centre as the bushings were filled with crud. Don't think that's the best for the car, but it's outta there now, so oh well. Gooped everything up with Sil-Glyde (love that stuff), but getting late, so no time for a test drive tonight; see how he handles tomorrow. It was refreshing doing things under a not-lowered car, more wiggle room to work! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
Something that I ordered right off the bat I had installed today! Shortly after I got the Forester I ordered an OEM style roof spoiler...




Got it online and according to the listing it's for an 06 - 07, made of ABS plastic (did NOT want fibreglass) and has the red LED brake light in it. I actually dropped it off at my usual bodyshop back in December, but they were swamped with accidents from this year's freakishly snowy winter. I wasn't in a rush and figured it'd let the paint cure some more.

Stopped by today for installation:



I like how it turned out! I was asked if I was going to keep the 3rd brake light behind the glass functional; I figure seeing as how I got rear-ended in the last one, I like the idea of more lights back there...
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Another part I ordered (or I guess, re-ordered) as soon as I bought Kermy was an OEM magnetic drain plug.



Only did his first oil change with me today cause the dealership had done one at the time of sale. They used an OEM filter, though I've always questioned the quality of oil used. Well, he's got the good stuff now...
 

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Discussion Starter #37
It's finally not so cold out where my hands still operate! So did a few things over the weekend.

I was getting inspired by what other have done to their front grills and wanted to do something with mine as well. I don't have a hell of a lot of chrome on the car, so I turned the chrome trim green with the leftover bottle of touchup paint from Kermy I. I like how it turn out, not too light, not too dark. Also did the chrome ring around the emblem. (I bought my car on Halloween, so I swear I put up some nice daytime pics as the weather gets nicer :p )



Another thing that's been sitting since I bought the car were LED bulbs for the parking lights. After building the confidence of watching a few Youtube videos a few times over, I managed to also tackle taking the front grill, headlights & lower eyelids out to change them. It was both straight-forward and tedious. My headlights weren't that hard to take out in my car, but the lower eyelids happen to be a pain.

Looks really sharp! And nearly matches the white of my headlight bulbs...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Upgraded the front speakers! (And took pictures this time!) Went with some Clarion components.

Everything went pretty straight forward, other then drilling 4 new mounting holes, which was uneventful in itself. I kept the wiring away from the power window and like to think I tucked it away like factory. Just couldn't cut down the speaker-to-tweeter harness as the crossover's built-in and in-line.



Mounted the tweeter portion of the speaker to the triangle mirror cover, like the factory location too. (This step was a bit anxious) That or I would've mounted them just onto the door panel itself as I didn't feel like snaking wires back into the dash. I used the surface mount pods (instead of the flush ones) and pointed the tweeters inward. I also didn't think I'd have the clearance for the depth of the flush mount pods in that triangle. Managed to land them so the door still closes too.



Very impressed with the whole speaker kit! Came with everything I needed and then some; wiring harnesses, pigtail harnesses, screws, brackets, pods, crossovers, clips, you name it. Highly recommend it to anyone! A quick re-tune at the deck and things sound super clear...
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
I've been tinkering around this past week each night with my voltmeter project. I wanted to put one in my first Forester cause I noticed having one in my Impreza is a ridiculously handy and practical gauge to have. I also wanted one even more so in this Forester cause I don't know how old the battery is that came with Kermy and I found out that when the dealership I bought him from said they changed the alternator, it was with a used one with unknown km's. :/

I was initially thinking of going with an Autometer gauge like the ones in the Impreza and found the style that matched the Forester, but I couldn't justify the cost so much. With the gauge and the mounting cup & hardware I'd need, it'd end up being over $100. If I'm gonna spend that, I'd rather put another gauge in the Impreza or something. Plus, I couldn't quite picture where I could've mounted it. Didn't quite wanna put it in the corner of the dash by the vent, wasn't sure if it'd block the gauge cluster somewhere on the steering column cover, things like that.

It took a while to find the right sized one I had in mind and after measuring a few times, ordered then picked this little guy up on Saturday.


Where I had in mind to mount it was the 2 switch blanks in the dash seeing as how they're not used for anything and it'd still be something that's more or less removable.


I popped them out to find the *** end of them sticking quite far into the dash; I just needed the face and tabs. Something I picked up from working on the bumper of my old Civic wagon: these gun-style soldering irons aren't great to actually solder with (I prefer the pen-type) but perfect for melting through plastic! A little stinky when melting through, but a bit faster and cleaner then cutting. You also don't need to use as much pressure when melting through, so there's less chance of say, a cutting wheel, slipping and wrecking everything.


I covered them both with masking tape and drew where the gauge was gonna land and melted my way through. Not perfectly here though, I wanted to leave myself some wiggle room in case I melted too much off the bat.


Not quite fitting yet; they're still not close enough together. Was rubbing the mirror defrost switch, but the basic idea...


With a small hobby file I got the switch blanks to end up fitting like Lego around the gauge, though the vertical sides of the blanks were getting close to paper-thin, just over 1 mm thick. Glued them to the gauge using flexible adhesive and left it dry overnight.


I extended the wires and found a good ground at one of the hood release bracket bolts going into the body, and decided to tap power from the Cigar/Mirror fuse (I don't regularly use either). With a razor blade I popped the diving "pillar" between the 2 blanks out of the dash cause the gauge went deeper. The switch blanks did twist/skew a bit from the heat, so they didn't fully snap back into the dash (still wiggled a bit). So I ran a bead of clear silicone around and let it dry overnight with some tape to make sure it stayed in place. Powered up and works though! They come in a few colours, went with green of course...


The finished project! (It actually lights up clear, my camera seems to get "confused" when trying to picture things like LED's...)

It's supposed to be accurate within +/- 0.1 V, but seems to be accurate enough to let me know if there's a problem. Now I just have to put up with the smell of silicone for the next few days...
 
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