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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I picked my Forester up last weekend and have already started changing her.

So far I have removed the dealer badge and gold pin striping (Just used a hair dryer and some patience. Then waxed it up after all glue was off since this car is almost 8 years old! HAHAHA), and tinted the windows with 30% on the front windows and 15% for the rest. Got FormulaONE Pinnacle Ceramic tint, as I do with all my cars. It's expensive compared to died film, but man it is worth every penny in the summer time.

When I got it...


This morning after tint and pinstripe





Well, getting a little long so it's time to organize the journal.

Changing the oil

Removing Door panels/most of the interior for RAAMmat install

RAAMmat install

Polystinger Flashlight and Bottle Opener

New Tires: First outing and impressions Geolander AT/S

Geolanders are awesome

Changing Rear Diff Oil

Changing AT Fluid

Changing from Diff Oil

Painted the Wheels

Home made Bike Roof Rack

Alpine Radio install
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Very nice looking Forester! It's always good to see another member starting their own Member Journal. :cool:

As to your question, "...not sure anyone will watch, but at least I'll have a diary of what I have done to this car." You'll be surprised! I was surprised to see how many people viewed my Journal. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

Yeah, it's always amazed me the different simple mods that make such a HUGE improvement. The pin stripe divided the car up too much, and was gold, soo....... HAHA

I am going to get some better photos (my other hobby) of this one soon.Maybe this weekend. These photos are just this way to keep the same perspective so the mods are easier to view...

Thanks for looking!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oil Change

OK, so I know this is really simple, but I have seen some folks new to cars ask for a photo tutorial. So here goes.

1. Start car and let it warm up to operating temperature (about 10-15 minutes)

2. While car is warming up, gather the required tools. You will need a 17mm drive socket with a ratchet wrench, an oil filter wrench (or really strong hands in my case. I am married after all, so one hand is pretty strong. ;) ), 4.2 Quarts of oil. Subaru recommends 5W-30, but I use 10W-30 since it doesn't get below 20 degrees F here. You will also need an oil filter. I use Mobile1 oil and Purolator PureONE filters. Also, an oil drain pan is needed, and a funnel is helpful.



3. Now that you have everything and the motor is warm, cut it off. Twist open the Engine Oil Cap in the engine bay to release pressure and let the oil flow smoother when you open drain plug.



4. Get under car and remove plastic covering to the filter and drain plug. Undo the drain plug and let the oil flow into the drain pan until it stops. This will take 15 minutes or so.



DO NOT DRAIN AT FLUID!!!! You want to undo the plug (17mm) that was covered by the plastic guard. NOT the plug closer to the rear of the car.



After the oil in finished draining here, replace the oil pan plug and tighten fairly well to prevent leakage, but not so tight you strip the threads or can't get it off next time. I always clean the plug while it's out, and lube the thread up a bit with some new oil.

5. Now remove old oil filter. Oil will spill here too, so have something under it (Drain pan).



6. Put some oil around rubber gasket of new filter and twist it back on where the old one went.





7. Replace plastic guard on bottom of car.

8. Pour 4.2 quarts of oil (using funnel) into Engine Oil place in engine bay.

9. Replace cap.

10. Run for about 10 minutes.

11. Check the oil to make sure there is the correct amount.





OK, so there you have it. VERY easy thing that 99% of the people on here know how to do, but it might help some people out.


As a report, my oil was pretty clean, so I am sure the dealer I bought it from changed it right before we got it. They also changed the air filter and it was brand new.


Monday starts my sound deadening with RAAMmat and Ensolite. Next weekend is flush and replacement of AT fluid, front diff fluid, and rear diff fluid.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Nice oil & filter change write up. Oil changing is even easier if you have a Fumoto oil drain valve installed. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am thinking about getting one. I had one for my TL and it was super nice. I mainly like it because it lets you drain a little in case you accidentally over fill it.
 

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I am thinking about getting one. I had one for my TL and it was super nice. I mainly like it because it lets you drain a little in case you accidentally over fill it.
That & you can drain the oil when it's hot, like after a long drive, without getting flaming hot oil on your fingers! :icon_eek:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Removing door panels for Sound insultation or speaker replacement.

So my RAAMmat and Ensolite came in today to do the sound deadening. In anticipation, I removed the interior of what I thought I could get to this go around. Really so far it’s not a bad job. Just take your time and try not to break any fasteners (so far so good as I have only broken one but was able to put it back together with gorilla glue).

It’s raining outside now, but I have all four door panels, the rear hatch panel, the rear floor, and the rear sides out of the car. This all took me about an hour or so. I figured I would get started with the write up while it’s raining. (Sun-shine state my arse.)

Step 1: Remove all interior associated with where you want RAAMmat. I am doing the doors, rear sides, rear hatch, and the floor for now.

For Doors:

Step 1: Remove plastic triangle pieces that cover the gusset. These pry off easily with a pry tool (i.e. flat head screwdriver.)



After this is off, it’s attached to a wire, easily unclip the wire harness and remove the piece.



Step 2: Now remove the two screws in the panel. One is behind a piece in the door handle area, the other is in the area where you pull to close the door. The plastic covering easily pries off with a small flat head. The screw underneath is a Phillips.







Step 3: Remove window and door lock switch panel and door handle surround. These pry off easily too. I used a flat head for the first door, but then I got scared I would scratch the interior, so I wrapped the screwdriver with a washcloth for the other doors. (Not pictured)





Step 4: Detach the wire harnesses from the switch panel.



For the driver’s door remove the entire white piece from the unit, rather than unplugging the wire harness from it like the other doors.



Step 5: Now remove the door panel. Start at the bottom and pry one fastener open. Then just go around with your hands and gently pull the panel away from the door. These fasteners are strong plastic rivets and will not break. So go around from the center bottom to the left and right until you’re at the window. Then lift the panel up and off the door.





Step 6: Remove the metal handle brace and speaker. Detach speaker wires from the back of the speaker. I should probably mention now that I label small ziplock bags with the panel that each piece comes from. This isn’t a big deal for the doors since there are only two types of screws here, but when you get to the back areas, you will be glad you did it.









Step 7: Now rip the plastic water shield off the door. If you’re using RAAMmat as I am, you can throw this piece away.




That’s it for removing the doors. I am doing this in order, so I will get back to putting RAAMmat on the doors and reassembling later.


I should add that all four doors are very similar. Here is a rear door for example.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now for the rear hatch and rear floor.

Step 1: Locate small soft plastic rivets around base of the hatch panel (there are three. no need to remove the big plastic plug), and the two screws in the handle. Remove them.





Here’s the little soft plastic rivets… make sure you get both pieces to it out of the door so you don’t lose any.



Step 2: Once these are out, all the rest of the fasteners come out fairly easily. Just pull around the edges like you did for the doors.



I started to undo the top section too where the lights are, but when I realized they sit outside the rubber seal, I changed my mind.






Rear floor

Step 1; Just take everything out. This part is pretty easy.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rear sides:

Step 1: Remove all the screws you can see. There are two in the area where the cargo cover secures behind the seats, two where it secures at the hatch, two in the grocery bag clips, the two discs that hold the cargo net, and then four cargo fasteners (one in each corner).





For the cargo holds, I used a 6 point 10mm socket, as the screw driver was starting to strip it.



Step 2: Now detach the seatbelts from the walls. You first pry open the cover with your fingers, then it takes a 14mm socket and some muscle. It’s really in there. (And be sure you put it back in there real good as this is the part that saves your passengers’ lives.





Step 3: Now remove the plastic piece where the latch is for the rear hatch. This comes up real easy.



Step 4: Remove the covers for the rear suspension towers. These pry up easily.



Step 5: Remove the piece on the top of the rear hatch jam. This one is a toughy. The two outside clips are just easy soft rivets and pull right out. The other parts are strong plastic clips. I broke one of these trying to pry it out. I found the best way to avoid repeating this breakage was to reach a screw driver in and pry the fastener away from the metal, rather than the panel away from the fastener.







There are several of these tough fasteners around the interior panels as well. I am about halfway around removing the wall panels (but it started and is still raining). Should have the rear interior out within a half an hour of it stopping raining. Then I am going to remove the back seats and start sound deadening.

My goal is to have the stuff I have taken apart insulated and back together tonight. That will just leave the front floor.

Anyways, will report back once work resumes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So after it stopped raining I got back to it. Had to finish removing the back seats and the rear trim.

For the back seats, this is a two part task that requires some patience.

Step 1: Remove the 2 bolts (12 mm) that hold the bottom seat cushion in and remove the seat cushion.







Now you have to remove the back rest parts. This is the fun part. There are 3 screws on each side and one in the middle that hold these in. Do the one in the middle first, then each side. Then prepare to cuss, scream, yell, etc… until you are able to get the seat out. All bolts here are 12 mm as well.





There is a metal bracket over the one screw. Two rivets help with this problem. Oh, and having a ratcheting gear wrench (NOT a socket) really helps with these.









VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!



Other view.




I would like to pause at this point. This is the point when there is half a Subaru in our living room, and half a Subaru outside. This is, of course, when my wife got home. She just shook her head and got a beer. And one for me. I love her. :WooHoo:





Anyways, ONWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time to remove the side trim pieces. These instructions aren’t as detailed as before, but if you’ve made it this far, you now know the trends with how this car’s interior is put together. There are a couple rivets, etc… holding these in and they come right out. Just be careful, and use a flashlight to shine in to see what you're dealing with before you break it. I broke a few rivets, but I have some replacements at the ready anyways.



Be careful removing the trim around the windows. Broke another fastener here. Fixed it with gorilla glue again. Feel free to add this glue to your requited tools list.

VUALA!





So now everything from the back of the front seats to the back of the car (except the headliner) should be gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Starting the RAAMmat install....

OK, so just as I finished stripping my car down, the big brown truck shows up and delivers my goodies.

First thing I notice is this stuff is HEAVY! The box weighted 56 pounds and consisted of 1.5 packs of BXT II, ¾ a roll of FO BXT (floor only), and 6 yards of Ensolite. For those that don’t know, you get this stuff from Rick at raamaudio.com and he is a great guy to deal with. Former Fozzie driver himself!



So I pretty much followed the instructions from his website from here on out. I coated the inside of the outer sheet metal in the doors with BXT II through the access holes as much as I could. The coated the inside of the door panel with BXT II. Then I put one layer of Ensolite over that. BE SURE TO EITHER LEAVE HOLES FOR SCREWS/FASTENERS OR MARK WHERE THEY ARE. Fortunately, I read this on the website, so no worries. Also, spend the extra money and get the Ensolite peal and stick. Seriously wouldn’t consider this without it. Otherwise, you have to mask everything off and spray glue it in.



Door all RAAMmated up.



Ensolite over that….



Now put crap back together!!!!! Rather than do a detailed review on this, it’s the opposite of taking it apart.



One thing I did notice, is that the Styrofoam pieces on the back of the door panel that used to fit in the access holes, well, they now have no access hole to go into. So I used an exacto knife to trim it back. Otherwise your door panel will not go back on.



After finishing the four doors, I did the Floor only on the back cargo area and under the rear seat.



This is where I called it a night.

Tomorrow I will do the sides of the rear, and coat it all with Ensolite before putting it back together. Then the front floors and kick panels are next. After that, I will use what’s left to do inside the wheel wells on top of the plastic so it’s not exposed to the elements.

Anyways, at this point I have the interior out, the doors done and put back together, and the back half of the floor RAAMmatted. I have about 6 hours in it thusfar. I figure another 3 hours tomorrow should get me put back together anyways. Then the front floor will be a 3 hour project for another day.


For those wondering, here’s a link to the website I got everything from.

RAAMaudio
 

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Awesome write up, I really needed this as I am a few months away from BXT'ing my 04 Forester. Subscribed for updates!

Oh and what amount of the BXT II, BXT FO, and Ensolite did you order? I think that's where I'm most confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Chase- I bought 3/4 a roll of the Floor Only mat, 1.5 packs of BXTII, and 6 yards of Ensolite. After doing the front floors I will be about perfectly empty. I would add more if you do the ceiling.

Email Rick. He is really good about knowing what and how much to use.

Glad you enjoyed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, so no real tricks on the install from here. Just be careful to not cover any holes for screws/rivets, and go to town. First I did the RAAM mat, then the Ensolite, then reassembled.

I still haven’t gotten the top fastener on the rear hatch to go in yet, but I will probably just replace it with a longer fastener. (The RAAMmat and Ensolite made the inside too thick so it wouldn’t reach.







I did the rear hatch like the doors. RAAMmat inside where I could get it, RAAMmat and Ensolite on the outside.













The seats were a royal pain to get back in. Have fun here.



A since the inside isn’t as wide as it was, now the lid to get to the tire doesn’t sit exactly flat. This would annoy me if I didn’t have the cargo tray. You can see it lifted on the right side.





So all finished with everything but the kick panels and they are going to wait. I would say this is not a difficult mod as far as skill, but it really takes some time to do it right.

Just got back from driving it, and it made a difference. Most notably is how the doors sound when opening and closing, and how the stock stereo now sounds real good. Also, all rattles are gone from the car, and the wind leak that was from the gassets is gone. Overall noise didn’t decrease as much as I had hoped, but I still have to do the front floor and kick panels. The nice thing is you can really hear the motor now without the distractions of rattles and wind. I am also going to spray the inside of the wheel wells with spray sound deadener in the near future and will do a detailed write up of that. Especially since my tires are really loud. (Michelin Hydroedge).

I would say it is absolutely worth it though. Doesn’t make it like my old Acura TL , or even like my Outback is, but it’s dang close.

:woohoo:
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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WOW, great job! That looks like a lot of work, but I bet it was well worth it! :cool: Did you have any problems securing the panels back on, with the added thickness of the sound deadening materials? :confused:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 
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