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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
I've been slowly piecing together bike rack parts while I was waiting for my appointment to have my trailer hitch installed!

First was the tow hitch itself. The trailer hitch being installed was 1.25", so picked up the hitch, ball and pin for a smoking deal from the awesomely weird store of Princess Auto!


After searching for my needs, I went with a SportRack Pathway. I wanted a simple hanging rack (no platforms for me) that clamped down on the bikes without straps, didn't want those. Found the 2-bike one I was looking for on sale at a great deal at a local hardware store! The only bad reviews I found about it, that were also old, was that no matter how much you tighten the ball it still spins, so I JB Welded everything together. If I actually need to tow something in the future, I'll just get another ball & hitch. I also took all the SportRack stickers off and put on my extra green galaxy Subaru logo :p



And today was installation day! For a hitch I decided to go with a U-Haul one. It was cheaper, a better design (I think) and cause I had them install it, I know have lifetime warranty across North America for an extra $5. I noticed on my first Forester it came with, I believe, a Curt trailer hitch that was tubular until the muffler, then had a piece of bent flatbar going around the muffler. The U-Haul one is tubular from mount to mount, which I'm thinking would be that much less of a weak-point anywhere.

The hitch is quite hidden and looks black, but test fitted the bike rack and it all works together!



And, when not in use :p


I was telling my g/f, I'm hoping this doesn't get stolen or vandalized anytime soon... It's OK, I have a spare as 2 was sent to me by mistake!
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Went to the same hardware store again today for something else, and picked up a MasterLock locking hitch pin at a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
So with the installation of the hitch, it unfortunately "disturbed" my exhaust for the first time on my Forester and loosened some of the joints and connections that have been sitting for 12 years and started rattling. A little bit when taking off from a stop, but it was really bad during warmup from a cold start. I noticed it was one or more of the heat shields around the header.

Went under the car last night and ended up removing them all. Surprisingly some of the bolts came off without breaking, but what was really weird was when I took off the driver's side one a screw fell out! Like, this square bit wood screw! :huh: No idea how that got between the heat shield and header pipe that's never been touched. If that screw could talk. Driving around today though, Kermy's never been quieter...

I might hit up the header with some BBQ paint for the time being. Maybe one day I'll get a cheap eBay header for him down the road...
 

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Discussion Starter #45
It's really nice out again and got around to a bit more tinkering. Added an underseat subwoofer! Wanted to keep the cargo room I have for my daily driver and went with a Clarion SRV250.



I was planning on mounting it by strapping it down with a battery box strap, but the unit came with special sticky velcro that's specifically made for carpet; it's not going anywhere. I had pre-wired the RCA and switch wires when I did the deck. I ended up grounding it to the seat post and managed to snake the power wire through the grommet for the hill-assist brake hose.

The sub came with a remote that I mounted to the dash with more sticky velcro (I'll take more pics later) across those 2 wide switch-blanks, under my other switches and voltmeter. For a 6 3/4" sub, I'm actually quite impressed, it sounds really good! Not a sub that you hear from outside the car, but inside it really rounds out the sound quite nicely. Who knows, maybe I'll get a 2nd one under the passenger seat! Or maybe the g/f would think that's too much :p Big thanks to @AusCan for his insight as to how a Forester seat comes out! Didn't have to disconnect any of the seat wiring, leaning the seat back gave me plenty of room to work...
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I also got tired of slapping the hatch to get the driver's side license plate LED to light up. And it was just going dim right after when I did. I swapped them out for a pair of Nokya Hyper green's. Not as bright looking in the daytime right now, but they seem to stay on consistently.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Here's where I mounted the sub's remote...



Running the remote allows your to better set the gain and crossover. Without it, the sub defaults to these preset settings that one may not find ideal.

I was going to run the cable for it to the opening at the steering column at first, but I found even this annoyed me, so drilled a hole right beside it in the dash. I might loom it up afterwards. No more blank switches though! They're all taken...
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Picked up a pair of kinda cheesy/kinda practical Auto Trends backseat organizers on sale this week and strapped them in :p



I'm gonna see how much I like them. I wouldn't mind pinning them back to follow the curve of the seats...
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Been in a parts-collecting mode as of late as I've been helping the g/f with some house hunting. Managed to squeeze in some tinkering tonight as I'm done studying.

Picked up a pair of 125dB Fiamm low tone horns on sale a few weeks ago and painted them green! (Have the 132 dB versions in my Impreza.)


Dug out the old horns from behind the left foglight and ran the wires up and to the front. I mounted one horn behind the bracket holding up what I believe is the outside air temp sensor for the gauge in the gauge cluster. There was a hole in the centre support on the other side that was about level so mounted the 2nd horn to it using a nut & bolt. Holding that nut back there while I tightened everything was a tight squeeze! I more or less leveled them out but had to bend the brackets so as to move the horns further back toward the rad.


Wired them up and holy hell do they work in my underground. Put everything back together and they clear with a little wiggle room to spare...


Now watch, I won't have to use em for months :p
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
Went camping last weekend - for the first time in 10 years - for 1 of my 2 high school friend's bachelor party. Don't own a tent, but have a Forester! Folded the seats down and slept in the back. On top of 2 blankets with another on top of me, it was actually quite the nice sleep! Told the g/f if we're ever on a long road trip we can crash in the back if need be and we'd be alright. I did have to sleep on a bit of a diagonal. I parked on a bit of an angle downward and slept with my head at the hatch end.

Getting there and back was also the biggest test of any Forester I've ever owned. Camped at a place called Cogburn Beach. To get there, the last instructions are: "20km after the pavement ends, it's on your left". I went down and back on this logging/forest service road that snaked up, down, left and right. Sometimes with a wall on one side and a cliff on the other. I'm glad I went up Saturday morning cause I wouldn't have wanted to drive that Friday night!





Although Kermy was more then capable I took my time cause I didn't wanna pop a tire; didn't care if I was being passed. There were quite a few rocks and potholes along the way that would leave you stranded. The road was rougher then what I see in some rallying videos.

But Kermy conquered like a champ and got me home in one piece! While I was there, I snagged a few shots of a Forester in its natural habitat. A green Forester in a green forest!





Also the dirtiest I've ever gotten any Subaru I've own, but that's OK, because Subaru!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Replace the front pads and rotors last night; kinda had to. Since the day I brought him home, the steering wheel would shake and vibrate everytime I braked. The dealer I bought him from said they put new brakes all around, and when I peered through the wheel, the rotors and pads did in fact look new. But I think the dealer didn't use Subaru parts. I think they used the cheapest white-box, no name parts they could find. It's like the rotors came pre-warped with the sale.

This past camping trip made the brakes worse to the point I was getting brake fade on top of the shaking that had also significantly increased. It evolved from uncomfortable this whole time to getting dangerous. Ordered my rotors from my usual source that came in on Friday and picked up pads locally over the weekend.

I splurged and went with a pair of Prime Choice cross-drilled & slotted rotors and Napa ceramic pads. I've using these guys to get my rotors for almost 10 years now, and lately my g/f for her car too. Part overkill, part for fun. With having drums in the back, the fronts do pretty much all the work anyway.

I first had to get the old stuff out though, and it was good that it did. After nine months, the whatever-brand pads that were in there were at 50% already. Even in my Impreza I'd get about 2 years out of pads when I drove her everyday; and rotors every 4 years or so. When I took the rotors out, one was made in China, the other Mexico.

At least the calipers were already all lubed up for me and not seized when I spread them back open. And the hardware kit for the pads were still new and all chrome. Other then finagling the new pads into the calipers, everything went straightforward and smooth.





Went for a good, windy drive last night to seat/heat cycle everything and I've never had a Forester stop so well before! And for the first time in this Forester, nothing shakes while I'm braking!
 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
With the front wheels off to do the brakes, I install some mudflaps on the front while I was at it. Did the rears last night.

These actually came in last November, but I've been waiting for warm and dry weather to install them. Bit of an impulse-buy at the time. Main reason being is I had to bite the bullet and drill holes into the metal of the body up front. Didn't wanna do that over the wet and salty winter.

I also didn't want to go with the standard issue Rally Armor flaps. For what they are I find them overpriced and boring. Searching online found more-interesting universal ones from a UK seller called Wheels N Bits with the word Subaru on them!



Made cardboard templates of em and cut the front ones down to size over the winter. Rears didn't need any trimming.

How I installed the fronts was I first had to chop the 'horn' off, they didn't follow the curve of the car here. Then made a channel to clear that molding/seam in the wheel well. I then drilled holes into the plastic clips of the plastic side of the body. Didn't want to drill the actual molding or metal of the car in this area, I could always replace the clips. I though I could get away with drilling just one hole on the metal side, but didn't look like it would hold very well so did 2.



How they turned out...


Did the rears last night. Didn't drill into anything metal so went a bit overboard with the screws. I opened up that hole in the middle of the bumper's forward edge and mounted it with a 12mm nut & bolt. With the edge sticking into the middle of the car, I drilled a hole in the flap and zip-tied it to that open hole in the body. There ended up being about 6 screws going into the bumper itself.



How the rears turned out...
 

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Discussion Starter #55
About a week after my camping trip I went to check my tire pressure, and couldn't at the right, rear corner. The cap just wouldn't come off! I tried holding the stem with pliers and turning the car with a wrench. I started cutting the rubber off the stem, so I took it to my mechanic who ended up having to cut the whole thing off and replace it.

He said the anodized caps look nice but when you start to do things like going off road too much crap can get in there and start to seize. Since Kermy's meant to be more utilitarian, I went with his advice got plastic caps, in green of course.

The silicone lug nut caps were also always intended as an experiment. They didn't seem to quite hold onto the lugs when I got them and siliconed them on at the time. Changing the brakes and installing the mudflaps and decided not to silicone them back on and see what happens. Well, I started loosing 1 or 2 here or there, so I took em all off and painted the tops of the lugs green instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Took the plunge and removed the snorkus today. Went for a drive, shut off/started the car 4 or 5 times, still no engine light (bit paranoid about it still). Not sure I noticed an increase in power; might be a placebo effect, but I have noticed the gas pedal is a bit more sensitive. Who knows, maybe a few more mpg's at least. But liking the sound it makes when I floor it! Almost sounds like when I had my full, homemade SRI installed...
 

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Took the plunge and removed the snorkus today. Went for a drive, shut off/started the car 4 or 5 times, still no engine light (bit paranoid about it still). Not sure I noticed an increase in power; might be a placebo effect, but I have noticed the gas pedal is a bit more sensitive. Who knows, maybe a few more mpg's at least. But liking the sound it makes when I floor it! Almost sounds like when I had my full, homemade SRI installed...
Wondering why you decided to remove it? Any pics or Vids before and after? Unsure if there would be a major gain - maybe more sound?
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Wondering why you decided to remove it? Any pics or Vids before and after? Unsure if there would be a major gain - maybe more sound?
LIke most of what I've been doing to Kermy, did it just for fun :p No pics or anything, but it was the same process as some of the write-ups already done about it that I followed. So far there's been a noise gain when more then 50% throttle, and the gas pedal is a bit more sensitive overall.

More power? Probably not. I probably just made it a smidge easier for the engine to inhale, so maybe just opened up what was already there rather then actually adding anything.

Next time I'm due for a tune up though, I'd like to go with a K&N panel filter!
 

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Discussion Starter #59 (Edited)
Finalized another project that I've slowly been putting together since last fall. Again waiting for nice weather to put everything together. What I've been working on was bolting on an RS hood scoop onto the Forester hood!

If you don't already know, an RS scoop won't just bolt onto anything as-is. The hole in an RS hood is recessed down about 1cm into the hood, and the mounting points on the scoop therefore stick out (and down) about 1cm. So drilling mounting holes into a hood and using the factory mounting leaves the scoop floating over your hood about 1cm. This gap can be filled with something, or this can be done:

I had a bit of time to think about this between Foresters last fall. I upgraded the hood scoop on my Impreza a few years ago and kept the original. After acquiring a 2nd Subaru, why not put it on? I wanted to not only make it functional but actually bolt it to the hood; didn't want to stick anything on with double-sided tape.

Then it dawned on me: carriage bolts. For those not familiar with the term, these are the type of bolts that have the rounded head.



My train of thought is that it won't look too awful either as I've seen some trucks that have fender flares mounted in the same way that I see nothing wrong with.
This install will also be much easier if you have all the anchor bolts still in the scoop. This should work on any vehicle's hood, but turns out it needs to be functional. The inlet duct of the scoop curves down past the mounting surface.

Step 1:

I laid out a piece of cardboard larger than the scoop. Placed the scoop on the cardboard and pressed it down and into the cardboard so that the bolt/anchors make holes.

Step 2:

Started cutting the opening for the air duct in the cardboard with my boxcutter. This will be the template for the hole in my hood. Started in the middle and worked my way outward. Measured from the anchors in the scoop and draw & cut the hole appropriately.

 

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Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
Step 3:

Removed the anchors out of the scoop, they slide out sideways with some encouragement. I drilled holes where the anchors were. Made these holes a hair bigger than the bolts.

I chose to do it this way cause the factory spots obviously hold the scoop on, and their already spaced out evenly. I also wanted a minimal amount of holes.



Step 4:

With side cutters and flat-nosed pliers, I remove all the mounting points and "walls" from the underside of the scoop. I thought this step was going to be time consuming but it was surprisingly quick easy! Honest, like, 20 minutes I was done.

I freed up the standing "walls" by snipping them with the side cutters on each end, and then with the flat-nosed pliers, grabbed onto a section and just twisted. That part of the wall breaks off cleanly, and go down the line doing so. You end up with this curved piece of plastic.

The hardest part were those 2 tube-shaped anchors at each end of the scoop. A lot more cutting and twisting there.

What I also found I needed to do was with a small square file, square up the drill holes a bit. Due to the nature of carriage bolts, they have a square shoulder between the head and threads to keep the bolt from spinning.

Here you can see what it looks like to twist the plastic off and when the squaring of the holes is done right, the square of the bolts are such a perfect fit they hold themselves up.



The basic idea

 
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