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2003 Forester Automatic
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking into getting new complete strut&spring assemblies for my 03N/A. My Forester has 187k on it and I’ve owned it since 102k with never replacing the suspension. Ideally I want to purchase both front&rear at the same time. I’m finding that 03 complete assemblies are kind of hard to find. 04/05 are incredibly easier.

Is there a better brand to go with for complete setups? Can I just buy the 04/05 assemblies and they will fit?
 

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2007 Forester XT
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49 Posts
KYB is what a lot of folks use for the strut. I'm not sure of any non subaru branded springs that aren't a different spring rate. You may just want to grab an oem spring off rock auto.
KYB GR2 / ExcelG Part Numbers: 334343 334342 334344 334345
Triple check those numbers it was a quick search.
Don't forget top hats and strut stoppers / boots.
Are you lifting or lowering or maintaining stock height?
 

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2003 Forester Automatic
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52 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am going to end up lifting, so I was planning on installing the lift when I put the new struts on. That way I only need one alignment, not two.
Looking to do 2", but my struts are just too damn old.
 

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2007 Forester XT
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49 Posts
How are you planning to lift your foz?
im going 1.5 inch
front with 1.5 subtle spacers
rear with 1 inch rallitek springs and .5 rallitek spacers
subtle solutions makes a relatively inexpensive 1.5 trailing arm spacer
 

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2003 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter #5
Thinking ADF strut toppers and trailing arm spacers. I like the ride of the car now, and to be honest installing toppers seems easier than going through the trouble of springs.

There are just some trails around here/in my hometown that I want the full 2" for.
To be completely honest, I am also considering ADF's 4" kit. I know it will be hell on the car, but I'll be damned if the 4" doesn't look awesome.
 

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KYB and ADF is the way to go for a standard lift.

There's other (more expensive?) options using custom HotBits coilovers etc
 

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2007 Forester XT
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whats your thinking with the 4 inch since you need to drop the sub frame 2 inches? Aesthetics or bigger tires? the springs in the rear were a small pain but worth it for the extra load capacity for camping and my hitch mounted bike rack.
 

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2003 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter #8
Mainly bigger tires. I know that runs into the whole spacer or lower strut spacer area. Just a pipe dream to be honest. Definitely sticking to 2” or a little under.
After the lift I am going to attempt to fabricate a swinging rear spare tire mount.
Probably attach it to the bumper reinforcement.
 

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2003 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter #9
KYB and ADF is the way to go for a standard lift.

There's other (more expensive?) options using custom HotBits coilovers etc
My issue is I do not have a way to compress a spring. That’s why I’m going for complete assemblies.
Or am I crazy and either way I’ll need to compress the spring?
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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I have a full set of never mounted KYBs for stock 2003. PM for details if interested.
 

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I’m finding that 03 complete assemblies are kind of hard to find. 04/05 are incredibly easier. Can I just buy the 04/05 assemblies and they will fit?
I'm don't know for sure but I thought 04/05 would fit an 03. I guess this could be verified by comparing KYB product numbers for each model.

But, yes, spring compressors would usually be needed because, as you're finding, struts and springs are usually sold separately.
 

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2003 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter #14
Damn. I can find completed for the rear but not front for 03. Guess I’ll just have to go separate spring and strut.
 
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