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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I love being 20min away from the mountain trails. I decided one afternoon to just up and go with a friend to some of the more technical trails that are there.

I should have stopped for more pictures but I thought that my movies would be more fun. I can't post the movies here, but I will make a link as soon as I can. The trails we took have been driven through by bigger vehicles with no wheel management system, so they make these big ruts. Luckily the newer Fozzies have a system that acts like a locker, which lets me take things that even my friend in a more "offroadable" vehicle had trouble with. He used to think that my Subaru was a pansy, but I have convinced him otherwise. The last pictures are of my new tires (225/70 R16 cooper discoverer lsx) to see how well they fit. No rubbing anywhere and a much better look overall.
 

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2002 SG XT Auto
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3,490 Posts
That place is just one big playground. Lucky lucky lucky.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
More

It really is. You can do pretty much anything up there, fishing, hiking, camping, photography.... here are more pics from the wintertime.
 

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2003 XS MT
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5,484 Posts
Oooooo nice. Never been over there. Looks like it might be a good spot for a Subaru gathering. What do you think?
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Video!!!

Yes the mountain would be awesome to have a gathering. I finally got my video's posted. just do a search for "foresterfiend" and you will find them. I will post more as soon as I can.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
No skid plate, I want one, but have not found anything too tall to scrape anything but the stupid over sized mufflers. It took a while to get that brave, when I first was traveling up there, I took it easy to see where the limits are. I still have not found any except the lack of power. I should have got the turbo....
 

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2003 XS MT
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Hold on now. You are doing that without a skid plate? You do recognize you are setting yourself up for some serious and very expensive damage here? Do you have someone that can tow you out if you bust something up due to your lack of preparedness? I'm sorry, I do not at all mean to be an *** here, but if you're gonna go offroad, BE PREPARED.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
To this day, I have not scraped anything except the large mufflers in the back. I have my friend check clearance on anything I find questionable, and his vehicle is tow worthy. I only take trails I don't know with him for ground guide assistance. So I have prepared, just not the way you think is right. I want a skid plate, but funds are too tight to make an order for one.
 

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Hold on now. You are doing that without a skid plate? You do recognize you are setting yourself up for some serious and very expensive damage here? Do you have someone that can tow you out if you bust something up due to your lack of preparedness? I'm sorry, I do not at all mean to be an *** here, but if you're gonna go offroad, BE PREPARED.
With picking good lines like in that video and a good spotter theres isn't much need for a skidplate except peace of mind.

The biggest thing to watch out for are those rocks that look smaller than they are due to lighting. I've bashed the underside of my sump, header, and oil filter offroad with no real damage (some scrapes, the header heatshield got dented a bit, and my fumoto has some scrapes), but it was mostly due to me being stupid and following lifted trucks in the snow.

I'm usually more worried about the center of the car getting high centered (I bashed the pinch welds along the sides of the car pretty bad a few times), and dragging the back end.

Pretty nice to see someone being extremely brave with such a new car! How do you like those coopers? Nice to see that the SH models can fit a much bigger tire than the older ones!
 

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2009 Forester 2.5X 4EAT
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58 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The Coopers are not too bad. not very aggressive tread, but much better than the stock rubber. Also pretty quiet on highway once again by the mellow tread. Next summer I plan to try 225/75 r16 Grabber AT2's. That would probably need slight mods to fit under the rear. The front has plenty already. And as for being brave, the fozzie hasn't told me where the limits are yet, so i just push a little bit harder each time. Amazing what it can do really, seeing as how it is not set up exactly for what I'm putting it through. She does well, and is a great daily driver too. the gas mileage is up just a tiny bit from the increased size.
 

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2001 Forester Slushbox
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1,777 Posts
+1 on the skidplate if your gonna play off road.
No one ever intends to bash a rock but if you play it happens.
 

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2014 Sportwagen TDI 6sp DSG
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219 Posts
I've damaged and see others damage off road vehicles with skid plated too. Skid plates (large area ones) really aren't that strong. It's hard to say whether a skid plate really saves anything in a major impact. Put another way, that big pointed rock that would play havok with your oil pan is just as likely to play havok with BOTH your skid plate and oil pan, increasing your loss.

The diff plates are solid, but it's somewhat rare for an off-roader to bother armoring their diffs. I've seen a few guys weld on cage type guards on their rear diffs, but I've never seen anyone destroy a diff with a rock impact. If you are going an appropriate speed for a section with rocks large enough to damage a diff, you won't hit hard enough to do damage.

Oil pan, fuel tank, suspension component damage? Sure, but I've seen that happen with and without aftermarket skids. I am starting to think that the biggest benefit to a big, unsupported skid plates up front is to create a smooth bottom with fewer pockets for things like limbs, twigs, etc., to get hung up in.

I would be more interested in a good set of hitch steel rock rails on each side between the wheel wells than a big pretty skid plate when it comes to protection. I seem to rub my rocker panels frequently and scrape things underneath much less frequently. Problem is, with no frame rails mounting proper rock rails could be a bear. I've seen some folks bolt them through pinch welds, but I dunno if that's wise or secure enough.

I'm also toying with the idea of joining TechShop (a membership-based workshop with locations in the Bay Area and Durham, NC, presently, with shops coming soon to San Jose, CA and Portland, OR, TechShop is the SF Bay Area's Only Open-Access Public Workshop -- TechShop Locations ), getting trained on carbon fiber fabrication, and making some carbon fiber skids and rails. I think they would be much lighter than steel or aluminum units. They might be expensive in terms of materials, but if I do the CAD and labor myself using TechShop's equipment and expert assistance, it might not be prohibitively expensive.

I've had trucks with spacer lifts before, and I didn't like what they did to the ride. While the extra inch or two of clearance is nice, the lack of improvement to articulation really limits the utility of that kind of lift (as does the strain on front drive components due to odd/extreme angles). That said, what do you think of the 1" lift kits for Foresters? Do they hose the ride quality of the car? Strain any drive components?

Thanks!

- Jim
 
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