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2019 forester premium auto
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Dude what a great thread! This forester was leased in hopes of upgrading to the ascent in 2.5-3yrs and so i didn't want to do much to it but like you im a CF whore and can't help but do little IBS here and there. I told myself it was going to be strictly cosmetic as i traded in a2016 WRX and now sit at home with a garage full of stage 2 parts!

Great write up, keep them coming!!!
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #62
Miguel, thanks for the compliment. I am glad you like it. I could never lease. It would drive me crazy not to make upgrades.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #64
Cool. It looks like they also made a front bumper gaurd. That looks wicked cool.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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316 Posts
LP adventure came out with ditch lights for the 2019 Sport. Note sure where would be best to mount switches or an SPOD.
Where would you mount the SPOD? 6-gang looks pretty big. Center Console? Separate switches in headliner?
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
So I was having trouble with the sound system after making some changes to the Fosgate 3Sixty. The subwoofer was acting eratic and was overexerting. I also tweaked the crossover points after a conversation and receommendation with HAT. I was getting a lot more midbass out of the door speakers and this caused some rattling. I had the shop install some Stinger sound deadening mat to the outer door panels. They suggested that I add inner door deadening at a later time and well, it is later.


Yesterday I finally had time to rip open the doors for an inspection. The wood templates were left raw and some templates had deadening material and some did not. Overall, I painted the wood templates black to provide a little water protection, inserted baffles to all four door speakers and added full deadening material to the front doors and concentrated deadening material to the major steel pieces in the rear doors. What a different in sound performance and door feel. When you knock on the doors they sound super flat! There are no rattles at all and all the plastic pieces are set into the deadening material and no longer vibrate.

I did not do a very good job with photos, but I will describe a few.

1. Front door shows speaker, plastic sheet and plastic plates removed. Wood template painted black and baffle installed. Sound Deadening added. The front door inner panel took two and 1/8 sheets of Ballistic material. The sheets are 24" x 12". While it is not necessary to cover the gaps, I did. It also provides more vibratiion dampening to the plastic trim pieces that covered these large access ports to replace door parts and window motor.

2. This is a look at the driver door before I added the deadening material. The two large gaps have plastic covers that can be removed to access window motor and parts. I covered these gaps completly and then added the plastic covers over the top of the material. These panels no longer vibrate and added a big enhancement to the solid feel in the doors.

3. Here is a look at the rear door with the wood template before paint. On the rear doors, I did not cover the large gaps as they did not have plastic covers that vibrated. This photo only shows the very top piece of deadening material. The other 3 vertical panels also received treatment. These doors used 7/8 of one sheet.

4. Once all the doors were deadened and panels replaced, I did another tune, this time I used the TrueRTA PC software. This photo shows the Editor Keys SL150 USB studio microphone. The software was only $40 and since I already owned the mic this cost a lot less then having the shop perform and RTA tune. Besides, I can repeat this tune anytime I want and I can modify and tweak the tuning for flat and non-flat profiles.

To start tuning, I first performed audio gain adjustments according to the JL Audio recommendations. The optimal output was 28.3volts. In order to have a little headroom and to permit non-flat tuning profiles I adjusted each output channel in the XD600/6 amp at 20volts. The XD600/1 voltage was set in a similar fashion.

The JL sub amp is a mono amp. The shop wired stereo RCAs to the amp, but this amp does not work this way. It is weird, but I recall it being like this when installed in the 09 Forester. So, basically you need to use a single RCA from the source and run a splitter to feed both Left and Right input channels of the amp. If you do not do this then the amp output will be muted.

Once the gains were properly set and the sub amp was rewired, I moved on to the 3Sixty reconfiguration. I changed the config of the subwoofer from stereo to mono. What I do not like, but seems to work, is that the volume control on the head unit has a maximium volume setting of 15. This is determined by the input line level inputs. The way around this it to use the Fosgate volume controller, but I am still resistant to do it. I am starting to get used to the volume on the head unit and most of the time I listen to the system between 6 and 12.

The other major change was the crossover frequencies. The JL amps and the Fosgate 3Sixty both have crossover points. In discussion with HAT I made significant changes here that really paid off. I turned off all the crossovers in the JL amps to prevent competing ranges. The Fosgate controls these now with 24dB Butterworth points. Here are the specs:

Dash Speakers U3 was set at High Pass 2250Hz, now set to 315Hz
Front Door Speakers U69 was set at Band Pass HP 125Hz and LP 2500Hz and now set at HP 80Hz and LP at 315Hz.
Rear Door Speakers LS6SE was set at High Pass 250Hz and now set at 125Hz.
Subwoofer was set at Low Pass of 125Hz and now set at 80Hz.

I then moved on to the RTA tune. The head unit volume was set at 15 and Bass, Mid and Trebel levels on the head unit were set to 0, and the subwoofer level was set to 50%. The Fosgate 31 band EQ was set flat for each channel before adjusting. The system had a very small peak in subwoofer frequencies from 20Hz to 100Hz and dips from 10KHz to 20KHz. Overall it was pretty flat even before tuning. This tune was completed and ran flat +/- 2db throughout the 31 bands.

The overall sound quality is aazing. The staging is very front and centered. In past audio systems I often struggle with getting a very solid in-phase center stage when not using a center channel speaker. This staging is very centered and vocals are crisp and amazing.

Very very happy, but still need more time to break in the speakers and tweak the tuning.
 

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LP adventure came out with ditch lights for the 2019 Sport. Note sure where would be best to mount switches or an SPOD.
Where would you mount the SPOD? 6-gang looks pretty big. Center Console? Separate switches in headliner?
Prob center console cubby by the usb ports can't figure out what in would place there. Phone is to big. That or sunglass holder.
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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53 Posts
Thanks for sharing. I knew I have seen that before, but could not remember where. The pedal looks like a great match for the set as well. The problem is price. That dead pedal cost twice as much as the set i bought. Then again, $60 is still less than the STi pedals and I do prefer the bolt on design over the STi clip and shim requirement.
Looking at replacement pedals but it seems like you put a lot of work into installing these. Wish Subaru made ones that were made just for the Forester. Anyhow, pedals are my next project. Has anyone come up with anything besides the OEM ones?
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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9 Posts
Great writeup guy! I also have a 2019 Sport with the HK and power lift gate. Bone stock. Your work is an inspiration. Over time, I will want to do many mods to make it more rough-road ready. Keep the posts coming please!
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
Looking at replacement pedals but it seems like you put a lot of work into installing these. Wish Subaru made ones that were made just for the Forester. Anyhow, pedals are my next project. Has anyone come up with anything besides the OEM ones?
These were a little nit of work, but pretty reasonable for a modification. The dead pedal was the one I liked least and was the hardest to install of the three. The new dead pedal arrived and I am a little dissapointed with it. It is a solid alluminum plate with little black sticker nubs. All of the pedals I have use a perforated alum plate and a solid rubber backer with the nubs that poke through teh perforations. These are really high quality for the money.

The new dead pedal even came with some extra stick on nubs, which tells me that I am likely to kick some off. The other thing I don't like is that the new dead pedal is fitted with two plastic fasteners. I realize this is OEM and this is the type of dead pedal I had in the 09 Forester, but the plate would wiggle and sometimes the fasteners woudl come out and the plate would fall out of position. So, after getting used to the screw in dead pedal, I am now very happy with it. It is rock solid and does not move. It also matches the other pedals and you just can;t beat this set for $20 if you are willing to perform a modification to the factory pedals and dead pedal location.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #71
Great writeup guy! I also have a 2019 Sport with the HK and power lift gate. Bone stock. Your work is an inspiration. Over time, I will want to do many mods to make it more rough-road ready. Keep the posts coming please!
Very cool. Be sure to post some of your pics and modz too. Let me know if I can be of any help. :wink2:
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #72
Yesterday I finally got around ot installing the Rally Armor Mud Flaps. These are black with orange logos. I road up the ski mountain today. Roads were pretty clear but lots of salt and cinder on teh road to prevent icing. These worked pretty good and I can see marks from all the rocks flying up into the flaps. This shoud add some paint protection long term. My 09 Forester has chip marks from road debris right in the area that can likely be prevented with mud flaps. We shall see over time if this really pays off.
 

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These were a little nit of work, but pretty reasonable for a modification. The dead pedal was the one I liked least and was the hardest to install of the three. The new dead pedal arrived and I am a little dissapointed with it. It is a solid alluminum plate with little black sticker nubs. All of the pedals I have use a perforated alum plate and a solid rubber backer with the nubs that poke through teh perforations. These are really high quality for the money.

The new dead pedal even came with some extra stick on nubs, which tells me that I am likely to kick some off. The other thing I don't like is that the new dead pedal is fitted with two plastic fasteners. I realize this is OEM and this is the type of dead pedal I had in the 09 Forester, but the plate would wiggle and sometimes the fasteners woudl come out and the plate would fall out of position. So, after getting used to the screw in dead pedal, I am now very happy with it. It is rock solid and does not move. It also matches the other pedals and you just can;t beat this set for $20 if you are willing to perform a modification to the factory pedals and dead pedal location.
Where did you get these for $20?
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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ebay. High quality and reasonably fast shipping. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Pedals...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649



userid: healink
Thanks for the link - they are out of stock. Good deal though. Sometimes worried about items straight from China whether it is a knock off. Glad they were good for you. I will keep looking for a great deal like you got. Someone had a link to prosport for the dead pedal. Nice but expensive. Wish they had all 3 pedals. Might go for it, if I did not have to make any mods.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #76
I had a big day last night and today. I bought a bulk pack of Dynamat Xtreme. It was 32 sqft. 9 sheets of 18x32. I thought this would wrap the whole car. Nope! I have more on order to finish the whole car. I was able to wrap the hood, front fenders, rear fenders, trunk and under the passenger seat. I still have to wrap the rear gate, roof and floors.

So, I was excited for this project because it meant that I could rip up the car and figure out how some of the panels come off as well as check out that HK subwoofer. So, let's get on with it. I am using Dynamat Xtreme for the dampening material.


1. I removed the factory hood liner and wanted to install the Dynamat underneath so it would be stealth. Mat is trimmed in two pieces and lying on top of factory liner.
2. Dynamat in place and now the liner can go back on top.
3. Wahla, stealth. It add great dampening to the hood, but when tapping the outer edges, you can here higher pitched sounds and vibrations. So, I will likely remove the factory liner and place Dynaliner over the Xtreme mat and cover edge to edge. Not sure yet, but something like this will come soon.
4. The easiest way to access the fenders is to remove this plastic cover and the brace beneath it. It is tight, but doable to get a good amount of Dynamat in place.
5. 6 bolts to remove the brace.
6. Lots of access here.
7. Mat in place.
8. Brace back in place. The fenders are solid. Nice thud sound when tapping on the panels. The plastic bumper covers could probably use some Dynamat too, but I did not have enough.
9. Now moving on to the rear cargo area. Removed the foam trays and spare tire.
10. Once the trays are out the side panels come out in two pieces. The lower black trim and the upper white trim. On the black trim remove two bolts used to secure the two tie downs on each side. Then the panel comes out by pulling from the bottom. There are about 6 panel fasteners. Then remove it. The top white panel comes out by pulling. No bolts, just some pop fasteners.
11. Now on to the panel with the fiberglass subwoofer. The subwoofer fits into the panel and is held in place by 3 screws on the back side. So, if I remove the panel like the other side, then the sub comes out with the panel.
12. This is a view of the inside of the passenger side panel with the HK sub.
13. Here is that subwoofer. Way cooler than I thought it would be. The enclosure looks like it has about 0.75cu ft. It is held in place by 4 bolts. The orange lever activates the gas door lock.
14.2 A view of the driver's side. Lots of places for matting.
14.4 Sub is out. I think I may sell it. No reason to put it back into place.
15. The sub is in a sealed ABS enclosure. The enclosure is light. Paper cone sub.
17. Back side of sub enclosure
18. Speaker wire connector
19. I thought this was an 8" sub, but measures 9" across. It may be difficult to find an exact drop in replacement. But, I am not sure.
20. Another place that mat is needed. The under seat comes out pretty easy. Right where you see the carpet start there are two white clips. All you need to do is reach under the seat, pinch the clips and pull towards the front of the car. The seat hook will release. Once both sides are released you have to lift the seat and push it back and down to pop the rear hook out of the latch. A little tricky but doable.
21. A look at the custom sub and panel.
22. On the back side of this panel, there are three screws that hold the subwoofer into place in the plastic panel. Unscrew and out goes the subwoofer.
23. Here is the intact panel minus a couple screw holes and some discoloration from the fiberglass compound. One thing the shop did that I do not like is that they did not seal the sub in this panel very well. When we first tested it, it vibrated. The shop used that super sticky butyl to wedge into the cracks to remove the vibration. It worked but looked crappy to me. So, I am going to fix this.
24. The shop was supposed to pull this out and carpet the back to further reduce vibration. It was not done, so I took it up a notch and wrapped it in Dynamat. All the vibration is totally gone. The sub pounds even harder than before and I can pound it more now too. Before I would have to back it off because of the awful rattling. If you look close you can see that I added a soft rubber weather-strip around the edge. This works perfectly. It takes out that gap in some areas and prevents all vibrations from the edges.
25. Close up look at the weather-stripping.
26. Dynamat in place. It is also inside the rear quarter panels and all these panels are solid now. I could use more back here, but I ran out.
27. You can see how much better the sub looks now without those gaps and that putty filler in place. Much cleaner look. No noise either.
28. The sub sits above the floor. This is a look into this panel where some of the wiring is tucked.
29. Now the trim is going back in and the spare tire. No changes to the area. I forgot to take a close-up of the HK sub, but I left the sub out and to prevent looking into that empty space I taped a piece of black fabric on the backside of the grill so it looks like there is a speaker in there.
RTA Tune - Not sure if this file will attach.

The car is a bit quieter, but I still have more to do. I also had a problem with the U3 speakers today, so I took them back to the shop for replacement. A little disappointed about this. I did drop in some Critical Mass RS3 speakers and wow! Got these dialed in on the RTA. I had these in the 09 Forester as a center channel, but I thought the tweeters would hit the grills so I did not use them in this car. Well, they do not hit the grills and fit perfectly. I just may keep them. A little brighter on the higher end and very focused vocals. The center staging and voice projection is even better than the U3s and the noise level is much much lower. I think the U3s had a problem from the very beginning and it just got worse over the past two weeks. Hopefully the shop and HAT can hook me up on replacements an upgrade to a higher level or a refund. We shall see.
 

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Outstanding work and write-up/photos Scott! Thank you. Looks like you have a well equipped shop. Did you consider getting a dB meter and do some before and after measurements? Even a phone app version may be good enough to quantify a reduction in overall noise or certain frequencies.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #78
Outstanding work and write-up/photos Scott! Thank you. Looks like you have a well equipped shop. Did you consider getting a dB meter and do some before and after measurements? Even a phone app version may be good enough to quantify a reduction in overall noise or certain frequencies.
I'm so busy, that when I get around to working on the car I just can't find the time to do those little things. I have a DBL meter and there is one in my RTA software too. I should have done this and now regretting it. I noticed a difference before changing the exhaust. I wish I did the before and after. I would also like to know road noise at 65 and 75mph before and after exhaust change and the deadening material addition.

I may go back and do this with the exhaust, but too late on the deadening material. Great idea, thanks.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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636 Posts
Discussion Starter #79
So, I have been obesessing after I pulled the subwoofer panel off the car. I wish I did this before having the sub built for the other side. There really is a lot of space in there to build a wood enclosure or to use the original plastic enclosure. I am very tempted to put a high end 8" sub in that stock enclosure and mount it up in the factory location. It would look amazing and the entire car would then be stealth with HK logos everywhere and hardcore speakers and amps instead.

If I go down this rabbit hole, which is very likely, then I just might have some things to sell. :Banane14:

I did some more fine tuning with the RTA today and I am really loving the sound of the Critical Mass RS3 drivers in the dash. If the shop and/or Hybrid don't do right by me on the damaged U3 speakers, I may go away from the Hybrid stuff and go with Critical Mass. The only problem is that these are :crazy: priced speakers!!!! I could never afford these back in the late 80s early 90s when they were winning all the pro competitions, but I can now, so what the hell, why not. :nerd:
 

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Yesterday I finally got around ot installing the Rally Armor Mud Flaps. These are black with orange logos. I road up the ski mountain today. Roads were pretty clear but lots of salt and cinder on teh road to prevent icing. These worked pretty good and I can see marks from all the rocks flying up into the flaps. This shoud add some paint protection long term. My 09 Forester has chip marks from road debris right in the area that can likely be prevented with mud flaps. We shall see over time if this really pays off.
Any idea if these can be installed with the splash guards on or do they need to be removed?
 
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