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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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741 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've done tons of reading here and I've lowered previous vehicles in the past.
I'm between jobs at the moment, and was not expecting to be able to lower it so soon, but while at a local Subaru meet, one member whom I had just met that night really seemed to love my XT, and mentioned he'd love to get one some time. He was driving a modded WRX on coilovers.

Anyways he asked if I was considdering lowering it, and I mentioned that eventually, yes, I'd love to. So right then and there, he offered me his fairly newish stock WRX struts and shocks from his 2004 WRX sedan for free.

Really nice guy. So me and another local forum member, who already has the spring compressor, impact gun and all other necessities offered me his garage space.

The question I'd like to know is what parts are commonly replaced with this? He suggested the gasket between top had and shock? I'm using my XT tophats since the springs and shocks did not come with any.

I'm quite excited that i'll be able to lower soon. :D Sure, it's just stock WRX height, but I've seen all the pics of XT's on WRX springs/shocks and have loved them!
 

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2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,017 Posts
You could replace the strut bearing in your existing top hats, or you could just upgrade to a set of new Group N or STi top hats with new bearings in place already.

You shouldn't require anything else, except possibly some saggy butt spacers to level out the rear since they're sedan springs.
 

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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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741 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I was thinking about the saggy butt spacers, and I might just do so.
The bearings are a great idea. Any idea on price?
I might wait for when I find more work before doing so though.
The group N spacers are a good idea.
 

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2007 XT Sport 5MT
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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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741 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The guy I'm getting help from suggested the gasket between spring and tophat, actually.
I'll call the dealer, see what they have. I do the install on Saturday, as well as my Prodrive exhaust.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,786 Posts
Do we have gaskets between tophats and body? I've never seen mine. I know my Miata had some, but the Forester doesn't, maybe the shop took them out during the very first spring swap? Anyways, I've had the car without them for 56,000 miles and it's been fine.

How many miles are on your tophats? You can spin the bearing with your finger to feel if it's still good, I doubt it's shot. Group N front mounts won't be noticeable unless you go with very stiff springs and good dampers, what they will do however is raise your front 1/4" which you do NOT want with WRX springs -- your front will be at least an inch higher than rear as-is. OEM USDM STi tophats are identical to ours, not sure if Canadian cars are different.

Stan
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
Gaskets.... Mmm we don't.. all three of my suspensions didn't.

I still need to investigate Grp N rear tophat vs stock rear tophat heights..
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,786 Posts
I can't really see a benefit of running Group N mounts on a street car. I don't think they will do anything (except for raising the front as it was in my case) aside from not letting the damper rod move side to side as much, but you won't really feel that difference on the street with any OEM Subaru suspension IMO. Leo, in your case they may be a good idea, but it won't be a night and day difference, like a sway bar for example. I would even dare to say a strut bar may make more of a difference.

If you want stiffer mounts, get camber plates.

Stan
 

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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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Discussion Starter #10
Perfect guys. I was just trying to make sure I was completely equipped. I didn't want to be at James's house on Saturday, and find out that I'm missing a part, and somehow delay the install process. He's volunteered his garage(home) tools and expertise since he's done a few suspensions both on his and other rides.

It looks like I'll be fine then. ;)

I wouldn't want to raise it up another 1/4 inch anyways. I'll see how it is once it's got the WRX gear on there. In fact, I'll be going with aftermarket springs/swaybars/endlinks some time later, possibly next spring or something, so fixing current sag would most likely wait until then, or I'll just see how much it bothers me if at all.

I've received lots of great feedback, and for that I thank you guys. :)
 

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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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741 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
One other question, how will my camber be when I run WRX sedan struts and springs on my FXT? Will I need camber bolts? If I get the camber bolts later on, would that be fine? I have run -1 camber on a previous vehicle, and it was fine. What sort of camber might I be running if I do the direct swap and go without bolts?

I'd of course get the bolts by the time I get my alignment, though.
 

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Theres no camber adjustment in the rear, and lowering it will give it a bunch of negative camber in the back (likely more than you can get in the front), so I'd get a set of camber bolts for the back. The best setup is generally about .5-1 neg camber more in the front than the rear (I found -1.5f/-1r to be perfect).

The sedan springs are going to be short in the back, I'd probably pick up a set of cheap rear wagon springs if you can (i got sedan take offs and then swapped wagon springs in the rear and it gives it a pretty level stance)
 

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2004 FXT
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2 Posts
Guys, with the WRX suspension set up on '04 FTX, do you suggest keeping the OEM FSB and RSB or should I swap to the WRX ones. I think that lowering will put extra stress on the FXT OEM bars and rip off the sway bar mounts. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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The WRX bars won't fit our cars. The 19mm STi rear bar will fit and our 21mm front is identical to the one the STi comes with.

Stan
 

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2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
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Discussion Starter #15
Exactly. I've had mine on how for a few months, and I have not had any issues with my FXT OEM bars or mounts whatsoever. I recently did my brakes this week, so I was able to pay quite a bit of attention to that.
 

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2004 FXT
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That's great news and means I'm all set for my suspension swap next spring. Best keep it OE height for this winter!!!

Thanks guys.

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