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2001 Subaru Forest L
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so i have a stock 2001 Forester L and i would like to take it mudding, off-roading ect. But i am not sure if i need to upgrade anything or add suspension extra. If i need anything could i get a list and cost estimate in U.S. $ thank you. Also what kind of tires would i buy for off roading along with a possible list and price too
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,572 Posts
Hello and welcome
I'm not an expert on offroading but I been around long enough to get the basics.
For offroading you should get proper tires. Some good AT tires will do.
215/65/16 or 215/75/15 is good since you then get a lift from the slightly bigger tires. :biggrin:
Skid plates is also recommanded.
After that a lift may be in order. I know Subtle sells 1" blocks to put on top of the struts. You could probely stack them for a 2 " lift. Or you can invest in new struts and get some raised king springs for an extra inch. Tho that is the most expensive route to go. How much you need the lift kits or raised springs depends on how capable you want it to be but a 1" lift set is recommanded.
Also if you go offroading, disconnecting your swaybars will help.

Price for all this depends on what you choose. Skidplates are sold for these cars but they cost a bit. It's also possible to make one yourself with the right equipment. There is a blueprint around on the forum somewhere for the SF model. (I used it to get one for myself :biggrin: )

Edit: The reason I did not buy a skid plate for my forester is because shipping one from the US would cost like 300$ in shipping alone.

Good luck :biggrin:
 

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2014 CVT
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824 Posts
one place: subtle solutions, they have a 1" lift kit, and skid plates, andddd are a vender there, i would do a search on off-roading here, there are tons of threads!!! and i see its your first post so welcome!


beat to the punch........^ lol
 

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2003 xt forester
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71 Posts
Basics, as said, in order:

- Skid plate
- Disconnect sway bars
- All terrain tyres
- Lift kit (i love my 2")
With this you should have a very capable car

Optional:
- Bull bar (probably not practical for US)
- Driving lights
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,572 Posts
Edit: Deleted
I don't have enough knowledge to tell you about the swaybar so I will just say that your car becomes more offroad cabable without them.
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
I still have the one on the front,it's a little squirrley without it.
My rear has been off the car for about a year or so,don't miss it on road at all.
Planning on some kind of quick disconnect for the front eventually.
 

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2001 Subaru Forest L
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I still have the one on the front,it's a little squirrley without it.
My rear has been off the car for about a year or so,don't miss it on road at all.
Planning on some kind of quick disconnect for the front eventually.
Alright thanks i just want to make sure i can keep it road safe but off road capable thank you, also if not lifted and kept stock i could do some small stuff like easy trails not to major thing right? thank you for the help
 

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Forester X
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288 Posts
Most important: Skid plate and tires.

That should be fine. I have a stock height OBW. So I just don't take it over deep ruts or high pitches apexes that might cause me to bottom out.

Having a lift (I had a 3" lifted Tacoma) will only improve 3 areas of offroad performance.
1. Better approach angle
2. Better departure angle
3. Better clearance in the middle

So as long as you know the capabilities, a lift will not improve one of the most important pieces to the offroad equation: Traction. Unless you overestimate your vehicle's capability and bottom out. Then traction is affected. Greatly. ;)

Skid plates will help protect you, tires will give you the traction. Detaching sway bars will give you better articulation (flex) which can help traction as well. I never detached my swaybar on my truck since it was REALLY squirrely without it on the road.

Bottom line: Take it slow and learn technique and what your rig is capable of. Also know what you need to use the vehicle for in the coming weeks. Breaking something on a beater is no big deal. But if you need to have it to get to work on Monday, pobably not a good idea to test boundaries on Sunday.

My buddies and I used to spend every Sunday fixing everything we had broken on Saturday from beating our daily drivers. Good times, but sure sucked when you couldn't get it fixed in time.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
You do NOT need to do ANYTHING to your Foz to go off-road or mud bogging. Will all-terrain tires help? Definately. Will a lift help? Definately. Do you absolutely "need" them? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I punish my Foz when I take it off-road, and I'm running it in 100% stock form with the exception of no rear sway bar. (which helps in ruts). Even my tires are stock Geolanders. My last set of tires were bald, and I still ran circles around people off-road.

The biggest thing you can do for yourself is to get experience. Start with the small stuff. Learn your vehicle and what it can do. Learn your approach and break-over angles, and practice the art of wheel placement (which is THE key to off-roading in anything). Nothing will teach you better than trial and error. There's no way I can explain how to get out of the "diagonal spin" that you'll inevitably encounter, you just have to feel your way out of it...as it's different in every situation.

As for me, I started on unkept dirt roads, then went on to moderate ATV trails, and now I'm pushing my Foz through extreme 4x4 trails that my buddies lifted Toyota couldn't get through. (and it's not that the Toyota isn't capable, it's the driver that doesn't know his vehicle yet). The stock abilities of the Foz will shock you. It's extremely capable, and extremely rugged. Don't let the car-like appearance fool you, it has the ground clearance and ability right from the get go.

Don't get me wrong though, better tires, skid plates, etc. are all very good suggestions, but unless you have the experience of knowing what your vehicle is capable of and it's limits, none of it will matter.

Here's a few videos of mine off road, but none of them show the extremes I put my Foz through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJE4Mv5E3E0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OExDQXR8Y-4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB5_SBqe1l4&feature=related
 

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Forester X
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288 Posts
Sweet vids BlueFox.

Your post reminded me of another VERY IMPORTANT key to off roading.

Never go alone. Ever.

As Blue Fox said, it takes trail and error to learn your vehicle. Error usually means you get stuck and need to assistance of another vehicle, or a person to push at the very least.

I learned this the hard way and had to wait in a swamp like area for 5 hours until my buddy got off work. Not cool. I was down about a pint thanks to the HUGE mosquitos there.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Sweet vids BlueFox.

Your post reminded me of another VERY IMPORTANT key to off roading.

Never go alone. Ever.

As Blue Fox said, it takes trail and error to learn your vehicle. Error usually means you get stuck and need to assistance of another vehicle, or a person to push at the very least.

I learned this the hard way and had to wait in a swamp like area for 5 hours until my buddy got off work. Not cool. I was down about a pint thanks to the HUGE mosquitos there.
Yes, it helps when you do go with someone. I will have to say though, that the majority of my trips, I go alone. (In fact, 90% of the time, I'm alone). But I go off-roading within 2 miles of my roommates house (where all the above videos were taken). If you do go offroading alone, a shovel helps and a large 2 or 3 ton ratcheting strap that can serve as a manual winch for any extreme situations. But to be honest, I've only been stuck once (where I needed to be pulled out by another truck). I got the diagonal spin in an Arroyo with very soft sand between two hills. Got right up it the second time with altered wheel placement though.
 

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2003 xt forester
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71 Posts
I'm running it in 100% stock form with the exception of no rear sway bar... now I'm pushing my Foz through extreme 4x4 trails
Something doesnt add up. Either the tracks are rated wrong, or you havent been down them.
I guess everyone opinion of rough 4x4 trials vary. But i can tell you i have trouble with quite a few moderate rated 4x4 tracks...
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,484 Posts
I think what makes an extreme 4x4 trail is different in every part of the country. My foz could hardly touch the moderate trails here. But, we have a very high number of 4x4s here.

Anyways, I agree with what many people have said.

FIRST - GET A SKIDPLATE. I cannot stress this enough. Many offroad with out it. I think they're nuts, unneccessarily reckless, and it will bite them in the *** later with some major repairs. I cannot speak to the Subtle skidplate, however I wholeheartedly support and endorse Primitive's 3/16" skids. I have put them through their paces +++, and they have always held up. Trust me. SKIDPLATES

Second - tires. Extreme is either BFG A/Ts (way expensive) or General Grabber AT2s (better priced + mileage warranty). I'm on my second set of AT2s cause I have a motorcycle for pavement. If your Foz will do double duty offroading and pavement driving, as most do, I would recommend Geolander A/T-S. Nice tire.

Third - Rear sway bar. Front sway bar too if you can fab a disconnect. I ran without either, but again my car didn't see much pavement use. You'll be amazed what the extra articulation will do for your traction.

Now, go get some experience! This will tell you if you really need a lift or not.

Good luck, have fun!
 
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