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2017 Forester 2.5i premium cvt
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I'm new to all of this. Never posted in a forum before, never owned a subaru, and never tried modifying my car with aftermarket parts. With that being said, I'm pretty excited about it. I have a '17 2.5i premium with the cvt. No turbo and not the highest trim package. I still hope to take it overlanding some (though I don'tlive near any trails). I ordered a lift from SLO and I'm waiting for it to arrive. I've also made some other changes such as a tint, window rain deflectors, front grill chrome delete with vinyl wrap, and a few other stuff. I'm curious if anyone else out there is doing stuff with their non-turbo, cvt subarus. It seems like most people only take the the SG or SH off road and the people with SJ's only drive an XT.. mauybe because of the transmission?? Anyway, I hope the lift works out. I have a few concerns but we will see what happens. Nice to meet y'all. Drive safe!
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@Astralis SubieM45 welcome to the forum from Oregon!

You might be interested in starting one of these:
You can ask your technical questions here:
Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Welcome! I just got the same model/trim (after driving an '09 Forester since 2011), and I'm looking at some of the same ideas (dipping toes into aftermarket parts/overlanding). Hope it goes well 🤘
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,246 Posts
Welcome to Fozlandia!

I've got a 2014 Forester 2.5 Limited and do some basic overlanding - I live near Palm Springs so I've got some varied locations around me - from the mountain area near Idylwild to the desert trails and roads around me and around Joshua Tree to the other mountain trails near Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, I've taken my Foz lots of places.

No lift - the stock 8.7" of clearance seems to be quite enough for most trails and roads I've been on.

I suggest doing the skid plates (to protect the underside)... I've got the Primitive Racing triple plate set - engine, transmission/center and rear differential.

Add some all terrain tires. If you will be doing limited off-road, go with something that's more of a cross of on-road and off-road. I went with the Continental TerrainContact - not as aggressive as some but I still have good on-road handling and still can do a lot of stuff off-road.

If you may be going overland in the dark (after sunset) it's a good idea to add some extra lighting. There are many ways you can do this...

Check out the "offroad fozzies" threads for more...

Here's my Foz in a few off-road moments ...

539184


This was early on - stock all season radials, original wheels, a small bar on front, the roof-top basket.

539185


539186


A trail ride with some other Subaru folks (MTNROO) .. this was near Calico Ghost Town and Yermo, CA. This trip saw a rock take out the driver front tire (through the sidewall).

This is more recent - post COVID - on a round trip to Parker Arizona from the Palm Springs area. This installation is some type of dish used for flight control patterns through the desert and is about 1/4 mile off the highway via a dirt path/road.

539187


This is on the Continental TerrainContact tires and some Konig after-market rims.

Even box-stock, the Forester is a great off-road/overland companion.

With the CVT, you've got a better system vs the 5 speed manual with the X-Mode (if equipped) and VDC for off-road.

Depending on where you are, you may be able to find a group (a part of Mountain Roo maybe?) and find some local folks you can start doing trail outings with. I'd also suggest finding a map app for off-road (like DYRT or ONX or GAIA) that can show you local area truck trails and roads to explore.

Invest in some good "recovery gear" to take with you - like recovery boards, tow straps, shackles, air compressor/pumps to air down and then refill tires, a tire patch kit, and more...
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i premium cvt
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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome to Fozlandia!

I've got a 2014 Forester 2.5 Limited and do some basic overlanding - I live near Palm Springs so I've got some varied locations around me - from the mountain area near Idylwild to the desert trails and roads around me and around Joshua Tree to the other mountain trails near Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead, I've taken my Foz lots of places.

No lift - the stock 8.7" of clearance seems to be quite enough for most trails and roads I've been on.

I suggest doing the skid plates (to protect the underside)... I've got the Primitive Racing triple plate set - engine, transmission/center and rear differential.

Add some all terrain tires. If you will be doing limited off-road, go with something that's more of a cross of on-road and off-road. I went with the Continental TerrainContact - not as aggressive as some but I still have good on-road handling and still can do a lot of stuff off-road.

If you may be going overland in the dark (after sunset) it's a good idea to add some extra lighting. There are many ways you can do this...

Check out the "offroad fozzies" threads for more...

Here's my Foz in a few off-road moments ...

View attachment 539184

This was early on - stock all season radials, original wheels, a small bar on front, the roof-top basket.

View attachment 539185

View attachment 539186

A trail ride with some other Subaru folks (MTNROO) .. this was near Calico Ghost Town and Yermo, CA. This trip saw a rock take out the driver front tire (through the sidewall).

This is more recent - post COVID - on a round trip to Parker Arizona from the Palm Springs area. This installation is some type of dish used for flight control patterns through the desert and is about 1/4 mile off the highway via a dirt path/road.

View attachment 539187

This is on the Continental TerrainContact tires and some Konig after-market rims.

Even box-stock, the Forester is a great off-road/overland companion.

With the CVT, you've got a better system vs the 5 speed manual with the X-Mode (if equipped) and VDC for off-road.

Depending on where you are, you may be able to find a group (a part of Mountain Roo maybe?) and find some local folks you can start doing trail outings with. I'd also suggest finding a map app for off-road (like DYRT or ONX or GAIA) that can show you local area truck trails and roads to explore.

Invest in some good "recovery gear" to take with you - like recovery boards, tow straps, shackles, air compressor/pumps to air down and then refill tires, a tire patch kit, and more...
Thank you for your thoughtful insight and advice! I really appreciate it. That is a great looking forester. I have the same color. I wish I had some places to take it off road that were closer like you. I think the closest to me is a good 4 hour drive. However, I'm pleased to hear from someone like you that the cvt shouldn't be a problem off road. Like I said in my original post, it seems most people take the older transmissions in the SH or SG off road and the cvt people are mostly driving an XT. But then again, mine will be 90% city and highway driving anyway. Skid plates, lights, and recovery gear are all things I have been looking into. I think at least tires and some recovery gear is important before I go anywhere. Those skid plates are just so expensive. I know a messed up gear box is equally expensive but damn... I would almost attempt to make my own before spending that much.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Where are you ...? The system posts you as being in the US. One of the moderators will probably be along soon to remind you to complete your profile information... I honestly can't think of an area in the US that doesn't have at least some open space within a 4 hour drive...

When I lived in the Los Angeles area, the San Francisco area, there were always places that I'd be able to go to for some off-the-beaten-path isolation.

And thanks. my Foz does a good job for me...
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i premium cvt
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Discussion Starter #8
@FozzieBalou ok I just updated it. Im out in Virginia Beach. The only place I have heard of by mouth was a place called Uwharrie National Park in NC. If i run a simple Google search for overlanding trails or off road trails near me I get nothing.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Try to download ONX OFFROAD to your phone or GAIA GPS...

online check out where2wheel.com but reading there is shows the closest to be the Outer Banks for off-roading legally. Or heading to the Jefferson or George Washington National Forests...
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i premium cvt
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Discussion Starter #10
Good tip on the jefferson and George Washington national forests. The website combines the two, so they seem like kinda the same place. According to the website, Taskers Gap seems to be the only off road trail that you can take a car onto. GPS says 4hr 20min drive. I was thinking about the outer banks too but saltwater on the chassis doesn't sound like a great idea. Even on dry sand, the air is humid and salty enough to get into tiny places that I can't rinse out. It is significantly closer. GPS to Hatteras is about 2 hours. I'll have to download the app. Would it show places that Google wouldn't know about? Maybe I'm in a particularly bad area for overlanding/off roading.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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Very possibly, yes, the apps will have different options from Google. They tend to list a lot of the forestry roads and trails in the deserts around me (as well as other places). Some of the trails you may see are just hiking or biking trails and you can't take a car on them...

Eh, make it easier. Just move! (kidding)....
 
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