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Howdy! I am looking to pick up a 04 xt to my beloved and STOLEN! 01 stg3 audi s4( well optioned manual. How happy are yo modded auto xt owners out there? Tons o autos, but very few 5spd. Definitely gonna ecu, exhaust immediately. Thanks all.
 

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Howdy! I am looking to pick up a 04 xt to my beloved and STOLEN! 01 stg3 audi s4( well optioned manual. How happy are yo modded auto xt owners out there? Tons o autos, but very few 5spd. Definitely gonna ecu, exhaust immediately. Thanks all.
Automatic wasn't my first choice either. That being said I'm having alot of fun modding my car. The only 'complaint' I have about it is the tranny seems to get confused sometimes when I stomp on the gas. I found that when I roll into to the throttle the car seems to be quicker then when I floor it. So far my car has handled modification really well.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,450 Posts
Still positively giddy at 143k miles. You can check out mine here.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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39,840 Posts
I got my '07 FSXT last year (June/09) & it's been a blast MODding it. I'm scheduled for a COBB dyno Protune on Monday. :biggrin:

Check out our MODding Journals to see what we've done to our Forester so far. :wink:

Bobby...

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

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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2,000 Posts
When I build a track car it will be manual. For daily driving and misc events, I love the auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, it'll be strange not having a stick as my daily, but seems with a couple of mods(and a vf39), I'll be a happy camper fo sho!
 

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2002 WRX
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136 Posts
DON'T DO IT!!!!!

Seriously though, if you're used to a manual, the FXT auto will drive you out of your mind. It's not just about giving up some control (you can use the gear selector manually, kinda). The problem is in how slowly it shifts when you need power most, and how much it lags (then snaps your neck if you're not careful) at really low speeds, like in parking lots. For any spirited driving, you need to pay just as much attention as you would with a manual (to predict the weird shifts), but the engagement is all crazy, like somebody else that doesn't know what you're trying to do is using the clutch for you, and sometimes they're popping it out and other times slipping it oh so slow.

Valid reason number 2: The AWD system is totally different between the manual and the auto. Search around and read up on the differences, but the bottom line is that the manual has a much more consistent and predictable AWD system, while the auto behaves more like a FWD in alot of situations. I'd still go with the auto for heavy snow or offroad stuff, but the AWD in the manual is 1,000,000% better for sporty applications.

Valid reason number 3: Since you're talking about an '04 FXT, I've read that a cheap upgrade route is to pick up take-off parts from an '04 STi, including an ECU, and you don't even need a tune, because you'd basically have an '04 STi engine. The catch is, you can't do that with an auto, because the ECU works together with the TCU.

Less probable but still valid reason number 4: When you get addicted to modding, as many have, you will eventually consider an STi 6-speed swap. That would be way, way easier with a car already set up for a manual transmission.

I love my car, but the auto transmission (barely edging out the rattle-trap suspension) is the weakest link by far.
 

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2007 Forester XT Sports 4EAT
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541 Posts
The 07-8 4EAT XT Sport has the best AWD system available
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Loss of control of my shifting is a concern, and a 6spd would be nice, but just can't find any good ones, and none in premium trim. I wanna be pampered too. Is the awd on the auto variable front to rear like audi's torsen? Any mods available to do that?
 

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2001 Forester
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1,140 Posts
Loss of control of my shifting is a concern, and a 6spd would be nice, but just can't find any good ones, and none in premium trim. I wanna be pampered too. Is the awd on the auto variable front to rear like audi's torsen? Any mods available to do that?
No foresters come stock 6 speed but the swap is definitely do-able. Also, the AWD is miles better than Audi's already in terms of functionality but maybe not sophistication...
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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22,252 Posts
Thanks guys, it'll be strange not having a stick as my daily, but seems with a couple of mods(and a vf39), I'll be a happy camper fo sho!
I totally agree. My FSXT auto is great for around town, occasional drag racing and autox, or even a road race but if I want a true race car, it will be a manual and RWD.
 

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2002 WRX
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136 Posts
Is the awd on the auto variable front to rear like audi's torsen? Any mods available to do that?
The '04 auto AWD system is basically a FWD plus a clutch pack that hooks up the rear wheels when the TCU tells it to. In practice, the rear wheels are getting some level of torque all the time, so it is a full time AWD system, but the amount of rear wheel is determined by a whole bunch of electronic voodoo that should optimize traction but, like all things controlled by an ECU, has some quirks. Coming from a manual WRX, I hate the unpredictability. It does surprisingly good in the snow though.

The 5-speed manual system is much more straight-forward. It's got a viscous limited slip diff between the front and back wheels. If there's a speed difference (slip), it stiffens up and eventually locks. Downside is, you have to have some slip before it locks. Upside is, without slip, you have 50/50 front/rear torque split, and the locking behavior is very predictable.

The 6-speed manual is a whole different animal. It uses a helical diff to set a front/rear torque split (initially somewhat rear-biased), then adds an electronically controlled clutch pack to lock when slipping is detected. Plus, it has front and rear Torsen diffs.
 

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The auto in the 07/08 FSXT as stated above is probably the best in any transmission. The 04-06 (and 07/08 non sport) is fine for daily driving, but unless you're in 1 or 2, the tcu/ecu will control the clutch pack which can have some odd results. Theres a mod to lock the clutch pack at 100% duty, however this wouldn't be good on dry pavement at speed.

I love my auto XT, but the biggest problem is that it seems to shift too high in the powerband as the stock XT seems tuned for low down power.
 

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05 FXT
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The 5-speed manual system is much more straight-forward. It's got a viscous limited slip diff between the front and back wheels. If there's a speed difference (slip), it stiffens up and eventually locks. Downside is, you have to have some slip before it locks. Upside is, without slip, you have 50/50 front/rear torque split, and the locking behavior is very predictable.
It does anything but lock. Quite the opposites. The viscous is not too much better than an open.

6 spd swaps come w/ multiple flavors for center diff's, the most common being the DCCD in the US STi's.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
well, point is moot now, i am the very proud owner of a 2004 xt auto. got it in cherry shape with my desired mods already on it, yay me! see ya out there.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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Good for you!
Have fun out there!
 
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