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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't see too much about lifts so I figured I'd ask

are there many quality lift kit makers out there for fozzies?

do fozzies react poorly to being lifted -- i.e. really feel top heavy , handle really bad ...

what the difference / pros and cons of a lift springs vs a lift "kit"

any info is appreciated

really only looking for an inch or inch and half lift


thanks in advance guys
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
Search, search, search. Try spacers, lift kit, off road, King springs for starters.

In short - Forester is good in most configurations, even lifted.

And your options are limited primarily by your budget and manufacturing skills.

Simplest and cheapest option to lift one or two inches are strut spacers.

Springs (KingSprings only, as far as I know) are much more expensive, and you'd need new struts; you will get better suspension travel with spring lift though, and that's a big plus. You can also combine both options if you feel like it, but might run into suspension travel limits.

In addition, you'd gain a lot more off-road capability if you replaced the bumpers for something with better approach/departure angle (remove skin, cut/customize, or order kits from Australia).

Also search for sway bar removal and quick disconnect tips, if the car spends much time off-road.

Skid plates would be a good addition, too.
 

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2003 forester XS
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619 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Search, search, search. Try spacers, lift kit, off road, King springs for starters.

In short - Forester is good in most configurations, even lifted.

And your options are limited primarily by your budget and manufacturing skills.

Simplest and cheapest option to lift one or two inches are strut spacers.

Springs (KingSprings only, as far as I know) are much more expensive, and you'd need new struts; you will get better suspension travel with spring lift though, and that's a big plus. You can also combine both options if you feel like it, but might run into suspension travel limits.

In addition, you'd gain a lot more off-road capability if you replaced the bumpers for something with better approach/departure angle (remove skin, cut/customize, or order kits from Australia).

Also search for sway bar removal and quick disconnect tips, if the car spends much time off-road.

Skid plates would be a good addition, too.
I found one or two threads on it but guess I was looking for a less rambling bit of info :biggrin:

I am looking for light off road and just better snow clearance -- I was looking at the 1" spacers & 215/65/16 -- but wasn't sure what if any draw backs on this setup

I saw the king springs -- how much lift do you get out of those and is just springs and new struts or is there more parts needed for this setup ? -- any real draw backs to this set up with the 215/65/16s ?

what struts would you suggest with the kings ... ?

prob won't both prob either or and getting the primitive plate .


thanks for the info/help
 

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2009 Forester X Touring 5M
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447 Posts
Everything have mostly been talked over those thread.

Lift Kit for subies
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f70/subi-lift-kits-35686/

Off Road
Offroad Fozzies - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

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I would say maximum you can go with strut spacers would be 1.4" and after this simply get a alignement and you should be good to go! You won't have any problem!

lift spring/strut perch and strut spacers would be the way to go so you have great wheel travel and strut spacers the king spring are stiffer then OEM so the ride should be pretty good.
 

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The stock struts are actually pretty decent and have ALOT of travel. The stock springs are pretty low for the amount of travel (there are a few inches of droop travel, you can see if you jack up a side of the car). So I'd probably go with some king springs lifted maybe an inch or so.

Strut spacers are easier to install (just unbolt the tophat bolts and put the spacers in, rather than having to deal with spring compressors etc) They're good if you just want more clearance.

A 215/65/16 grabber AT2 would be a great tire (and they'll even fit stock).

If I was going to lift mine I'd probably start with the 1" spacer and then goto a lift spring later on if I needed more lift.

I probably wouldn't go over 2" of total lift if its going to be a daily driver.
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #6
The stock struts are actually pretty decent and have ALOT of travel. The stock springs are pretty low for the amount of travel (there are a few inches of droop travel, you can see if you jack up a side of the car). So I'd probably go with some king springs lifted maybe an inch or so.

Strut spacers are easier to install (just unbolt the tophat bolts and put the spacers in, rather than having to deal with spring compressors etc) They're good if you just want more clearance.

A 215/65/16 grabber AT2 would be a great tire (and they'll even fit stock).

If I was going to lift mine I'd probably start with the 1" spacer and then goto a lift spring later on if I needed more lift.

I probably wouldn't go over 2" of total lift if its going to be a daily driver.
yup its a daily driver

so the spacer and the 215/65/16 giving me what about an 1.5 " of total lift ?

I saw the spacer that the subtle guys are selling ... it says you have to knock out the top hat bolts and use theirs , is that not the case?


spring compressors I actually use a lot at my 2nd job so i'm not real bugged by that -- you think the stocker struts would be fine ?

I know I can't afford both right now -- if it were one or the other for a daily driver at the end of the day which is really the better choice ?

hmm decisions
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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Mine (the 01) has........
2" strut top spacers and 225/70 15's for a total of 2.5" of lift give or take.
Took my rear sway bar off completely.
Rides and drives great and handles fine.

I would never go back to stock.
 

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03 Forester Automatic
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135 Posts
I found one or two threads on it but guess I was looking for a less rambling bit of info :biggrin:

I am looking for light off road and just better snow clearance -- I was looking at the 1" spacers & 215/65/16 -- but wasn't sure what if any draw backs on this setup

I saw the king springs -- how much lift do you get out of those and is just springs and new struts or is there more parts needed for this setup ? -- any real draw backs to this set up with the 215/65/16s ?

what struts would you suggest with the kings ... ?

prob won't both prob either or and getting the primitive plate .


thanks for the info/help
This is exactly what I have, 215/65/16 tires and a Jackson Rally 1" lift and I couldn't be happier. I drive > 1800 miles round trip to the beach at least twice a year and it handles fine. Although a 1.5" lift doesn't seem like much it it is just what I needed for soft sand. Only drawback is you'll need to let some air out of your spare to cram it in spare well.
 

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2005 Forester X
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225 Posts
This is exactly what I have, 215/65/16 tires and a Jackson Rally 1" lift and I couldn't be happier. I drive > 1800 miles round trip to the beach at least twice a year and it handles fine. Although a 1.5" lift doesn't seem like much it it is just what I needed for soft sand. Only drawback is you'll need to let some air out of your spare to cram it in spare well.
<---Thinking about the same setup.

Off subject...are you a chemist, carbonyl?
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #10
This is exactly what I have, 215/65/16 tires and a Jackson Rally 1" lift and I couldn't be happier. I drive > 1800 miles round trip to the beach at least twice a year and it handles fine. Although a 1.5" lift doesn't seem like much it it is just what I needed for soft sand. Only drawback is you'll need to let some air out of your spare to cram it in spare well.

the subtle spacers are like 240.00 -- how much is the jackson rally kit ? is it any different than the subtle kit ?
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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Nope they're essentially the same (can't really do anything different on spacers). BUT, I think Subtle has them in stock and Jackson Rally does not. Subtle is also a vendor here, JR is not.
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #12
Nope they're essentially the same (can't really do anything different on spacers). BUT, I think Subtle has them in stock and Jackson Rally does not. Subtle is also a vendor here, JR is not.
I am reading thread that said he was a vendor for here ... hmmm i might need to come up with an extra 50 .00 for the subtle kit .

oh by the way I am talking to the guy from primitive .. those guys are awesome!!! definitely buying the skid plates from them !!
 

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03 Forester Automatic
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<---Thinking about the same setup.

Off subject...are you a chemist, carbonyl?
No I work at a chemical plant.

I think the Jackson Rally's were about the same price as Subtle. I found them on the Dirty Impreza form but as Neoshi said they didn't have them in stock and I had to wait for awhile to get them.
 

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1998 Forester L 5MT
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Just my two cents, I'm trying to hold out lifting my car until JR or Subtle does a 2" lifting block. I have 205/75/15 Grabbers which are definitely taller, but a 1" block doesn't seem worth it to me.
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #15
Just my two cents, I'm trying to hold out lifting my car until JR or Subtle does a 2" lifting block. I have 205/75/15 Grabbers which are definitely taller, but a 1" block doesn't seem worth it to me.

I see the appeal to the 2" lift .... I think I might go baby steps and go 1" block and the bigger tires then save up for the king springs add my 2nd 1" and be ridin high and happy - LOL
 

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03 Forester Automatic
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Just my two cents, I'm trying to hold out lifting my car until JR or Subtle does a 2" lifting block. I have 205/75/15 Grabbers which are definitely taller, but a 1" block doesn't seem worth it to me.
My only off roading is the beach but for this 1" made a big difference.
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #17
most i'll do is some national park type camping , texas beaches and a **** load of snow !
LOL
 

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2003 XS MT
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I have done a ton of offroading in my foz, it's back to basically stock now.

If you're wanting light offroad and better snow clearance, I'd recommend the 1" spacers available from Subtle. If you want more articulation, remove your rear sway bar (you won't notice much on the road). If you want even more articulation, remove your front sway bar. For tires, if you deal with a lot of snow, get yourself some Firestone Winterforce tires. I can tell you right now they do very very well on snow and very well offroad. They are my winter tire. If you want to be doing some offroading during the other three seasons, look at the Yokohama Geolander AT-S. They are not as aggressive as the General Grabber AT2 and therefore does not sacrifice as much on road handling. I ran the AT2s, they are not all that spectacular on pavement and do suck on wet pavement. The Yoko is a better balance. Tire size - 215/65/16, with our without lift they'll fit no trouble.

And please please please please get yourself a set of skid plates! Subtle carries them, so you might save on shipping going through him. I endorse Primitive skid plates, they were what I have and believe me they hold up. Go with 3/16s, it's worth it for the added peace of mind and doesn't add much weight.

Also consider removing your OEM mudflaps. They crunch very very easily on rocks. Also remove the front plastic things in front of the front wheels. Catching any of these can rip out your inner wheel well.

I hope I've answered all your questions with some different perspective and answers than some other members. My biggest point is do what you need to be safe and comfortable. Overdue it, and you'll be very displeased with what you'll have to sacrifice with on road handling. To help, my setup was:

2" spacers (from Australia)
215/65/16 General Grabber AT2 (spring/summer/fall)
215/65/16 Studded Firestone Winterforce (winter)
Removed front swaybar
Removed rear swaybar
3/16" front and rear skid plates - SKIDPLATES
Rally Armor basic mudflaps - Rally Armor Rally Products, Rally Mud Flaps, Skid Plates and more.

With this setup, the car was no longer any fun to drive on pavement. I set it up his way because the majority of my pavement miles I do on my motorcycle. So, hope this long blah blah of mine helped! I don't wheel my Foz anymore, but obviously still love talking about it. *grin




EDIT: people are talking about the 1" not being worth it. As a heads up, you will find if you learn to drive well and get yourself a good set of skid plates, you'll be impressed what you can do even at stock height. I would advocate that the removal of your sway bars will do more for your offroad ability than even a 2" lift. Just personal experience.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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most i'll do is some national park type camping , texas beaches and a **** load of snow !
LOL
Get a good skidplate under the engine. The plastic thingy wont do much good.
I run raised king springs. And grabbers as summer tires. 215/65/16 ofc.
Makes a nice lift. :biggrin:
Good luck and have fun :banana:

Edit: Wanne take advice from someone, listen to Smash. He knows what he's talking about :biggrin:
 

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2003 forester XS
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Discussion Starter #20
this foz is gonna drain my wallet !! I think I kinda like the look of the oem "brush guard " -- even though it doesn't look like it really does much
 
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