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2004 Forester XT Manual 5sp.
1,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It all started about two months ago. I traded my Toyota Tundra in for my wife's 4-Runner. We needed a family car. I got slapped with her '02 Honda Accord 2-Door. Automatic. Slow. Boring. I couldn't take it. So I started looking around to see what I could find. And find I did.

2004 Forester XT with 120,000 on the clock. That was in early August 2013.

What you see below happened after the mod-bug bit me and infected me to the core.

Mod list: See below.

Future plans? Stop spending money on this beast and act like an adult. :wink:


Mod list:


-Cobb AP Ver3
-VF39 Turbo
-Process West TMIC
-Process West TMIC Splitter
-Perrin dual catted downpipe
-Milltek catback exaust
-Grimmspeed catless up-pipe
-Process West CAI
-Synapse Synchronic BPV
-Koyo Radiator w/ Koyo cap
-Samco Radiator hoses
-Fumoto Valve
-Custom Tune from Mike @ GST Motorsports in Hayward, CA to 257whp and 259 ft lbs.
-Subtle Solutions Radiator Shroud
-Subtle Solutions Alternator Cover


-Kartboy Short Shifter
-Kartboy Shifter bushings
-Kartboy Pitch Stop

-2004 STi Brembo brake calipers
-KNS 4k rotors
-Stoptech Street Performance pads
-Goodridge braided brake lines
-StopTech fluid
-Godspeed (UK) rear adapter brackets with oversized e-brake shoes
-Grimmspeed master cylinder brace


-DGR Coilovers w/ pillow ball mounts and track springs (10k/12k)
-Cobb front Sway bar
-Cobb rear Sway bar
-Kartboy front end links
-Kartboy rear end links
-STi rear lateral links
-Kartboy rear subframe locking bolts
-eBay front strut brace
-Whiteline rear strut brace
-eBay lower H-brace (not currently installed)
-Whiteline front steering rack bushings
-GT-Spec umbrella tray brace


-JDM Forester STi front bumper
-JDM Forester STi foglight covers
-JDM Forester CrossSports Grill
-Forester SG9 Side skirts
-JDM V7 Hood scoop
-JDM Forester spats
-Ebay V7 style front lip
-Plasti-dipped rear lower bumper
-Plastidipped rear bumper step


-Rays Gram Light 57DR's - 18x9.5 / 38et
-Yokohama s.Drive 235/40-18


-JDM Honda Civic Type R Recaro SRD's
-Recaro Sliders
-Planted Tech brackets
-Driver's side Schroth Quick-Fit Harness
-Defi Genome gauges
-Innovate MLX Wideband
-BNA Solutions gauge pod
-Innovate MLX Wideband
-Cobb Delrin shift knob
-Diode Dynamics LED interior lights
-Stock stereo (because I don't care)
-Factory subwoofer


September 18, 2012 - STi Axle Back installation
September 24, 2012 - DGR Coilovers arrive (w/ pillow ball mounts and track springs)
September 25, 2012 - DGR Coilovers installation
October 4, 2012 - Professional Alignment set to factory specs.
October 13, 2012 - Lamin-X Yellow fog light covers
November 12, 2012 - ESM-002R GM's in 18x9.5 with Yokohama 235/40R18's installed. They're wide. And good.
Sometime in November - K&N Panel filter
December 17, 2012 - Cobb Accessport installed.
December 19, 2012 - Picked up Cobb Swaybars, Cobb Mounts, and STi Later links.
December 20, 2012 - Ordered Kartboy shifter bushing kit, subframe bolts, and front/rear end links.
December 21, 2012 - Installed Cargo cover. Bought the car without one. Found one used for $95. Feelsgoodman.jpg.
December 26, 2012 - Installed Cobb rear swaybar, mounting brackets, and Kartboy end links and shifter bushings.
December 29, 2012 - Installed Cobb front swaybar, Kartboy end links (w/ washers), and passenger side Whiteline steering rack bushing.
January 11, 2013 - Factory Subaru oil filter and 5qt's of Amsoil 5w30 with 3020 miles since the last change.
January 17, 2013 - Adjusted front suspension to lower setting to remove wheel gap.
January 19, 2012 - Installed passenger side STi lateral links. Installed driver's side rear lateral link. Front bolt was giving me a hassle, so I'm going to wait on that one.
January 25, 2013 - Installed GrimmSpeed master cylinder brace. Fits great. Pedal feel is also much improved.
January 27, 2013 - Installed Milltek 3" Catback exhaust. Sounds amazing. Lower RPM power feels much stronger.
February 15, 2013 - Received Godspeed Brembo Adapater kit and e-brake shoes from Ian at Godspeed. +1 to that guy!
February 16, 2013 - Finally got around to toothpasting/defogging my headlights. While it doesn't look new, it looks a whole lot better.
February 20, 2013 - Installed Thule adapters, mounts, square rails, and fairing. Also built one of my two Thule Sidearm trays.
February 28, 2013 - Changed oil with AmsOil 5w30 at 129,304 miles (3k interval change). New Subaru filter and crush washer.
March 4, 2013 - Begin Brembo installation. Finish fronts.
March 7, 2013 - Finish rear Brembo installation with Godspeed adapters, Goodridge lines, Stoptech Fluid. Still need to bleed the system.
March 9, 2013 - Wife and son helped me finish bleeding my brakes. Brakes feel super solid now. Very nice.
March 10, 2013 - Picked up a used STi TMIC off a fellow member here w/ the STi BPV. Still need elbow, scoop, and splitter. Probably a few months down the road.
March 12, 2013 - Touched up the paint on the Brembo calipers. Previous owners were clearly clumsy and careless when installing wheels in the past.
March 16, 2013 - Snagged a Perrin two-piece dual-catted downpipe (used) and it's in perfect condition. Stage 2 - coming soon.
March 20, 2013 - Picked up my Enkei RPF-1 wheels (18x8 45et) and had my 235/40-18 Yokohama s.Drives mounted to them at Sleek Motoring in Mountain View, CA.
March 21, 2013 - Received hoodstruts. Installed in 10 minutes. Only $75!
March 29, 2013 - Car got hit by a deer while driving. Deer jumped right into the front passenger side door. Looks like it's off to the body shop on Monday.
April 5, 2013 - Picked the car up from the body shop. Had a full detail done. Car literally looks newer and better than when I bought it back in August.
April 15, 2013 - Installed my Perrin downpipe last night. Still need bolts and a reflash to Stage 2. Modified heatshield with a Dremel.
April 16, 2013 - Remapped to Cobb OTS Stage 2 91 octane map. Have small exhaust leak. Need new gasket. Went for a drive. Feels AMAZING.
May 2, 2013 - Installed Planted Tech. bracket, Recaro slider, and Recaro SRD driver's seat.
May 4, 2013 - Pulled DP, TMIC, and panels to prepare for VF39 install. Downloaded VF39/STi TMIC OTS map.
May 5, 2013 - Installed VF39, new washers, modified lines, STi TMIC, and Cobb OTS Map.
May 25, 2013 - Installed Samco radiator hoses and new coolant.
May 29, 2013 - Installed Synapse Synchronic BPV and Walbro 255 Fuel Pump.
June 2, 2013 - Installed Cobb SF intake. Need to fab up a bracket for it, as the bracket I got with it does not fit my SG5.
June 5, 2013 - Custom tune from GST Motorsports in Hayward, CA.
June 6, 2013 - Installed Subtle Solutions splitter.
July 13, 2013 - Replaced cracked vacuum hose with new OEM hose.
July24, 2013 - Replaced another cracked vacuum hose with new OEM hose.
July 30, 2013 - Drove to Customs to pick up some "stuff".
August 1, 2013 - Installed Kartboy Shiftknob
August 7, 2013 - Installation of Cross sports grill, headlight surrounds, STi front bumper, fog light covers, side skirts and spats (thanks to Yuki at JapanParts, user: Apoopoo, and Brad at Subtle Solutions!)
August 27, 2013 - Installation of Koyo Radiator, Koyo radiator cap, t-fitting, new hose, and new thermostat with full coolant flush.
August 27, 2013 - Drain transmission fluid. Refill with new Grimmspeed 5 spd. transmission fluid cocktail. 4th gear grind is now gone.
September 28, 2013 - Rays 57DR's in 18x9.5 38et are on. RPF-1's are for sale.
October 9, 2013 - Installed resisters in the airbag connector to remove the airbag dummy light.
October 19, 2013 - Started spitting oil.
October 21, 2013 - Call from mechanic. Busted oil filter. New Subaru filter/AmsOil 5w30. Replace valve cover gaskets and passenger side front axle.
October 22, 2013 - Full underside steam clean.
November 8, 2013 - Kartboy Short Shifter installed.
November 11, 2013 - Kartboy Pitch Stop installed.
November 13, 2013 - eBay "V7/S204" style front winged lip installed.
November 23, 2013 - Installed Whiteline quick-release rear strut brace.
November 27, 2013 - Disconnected hill assist cable. Tightened e-brake lever. Fixed pinched windshield washer hose.
December 4, 2013 - Installed rear GT-Spec umbrella tray lower brace.
December 28, 2013 - Installed Defi Genome gauges with oil temp/pressure in galley ports. Just need my BNA pod and I'm good to go.
January 8, 2014 - Installed new window gussets (OEM from Subaru). No more crazy whistling wind noise. FINALLY.
January 17, 2014 - Oil/filter change at Fumoto valve.
February 2, 2014 - Mount short belts for Schroth Quick-Fit Harnesses (driver's side only)
February 27, 2014 - Installed dome, map and license plate lights Diode Dynamics LEDs
March 4, 2014 - Uninstall Cobb AP V2. Load map and install Cobb AP V3.
March 23, 2014 - Install Process West CAI, TMIC and Splitter.
March 28, 2014 - Pull TMIC and adjust splitter for fitment. Bend and wrap A/C lines to pad them from rubbing issue with TMIC.
April 10, 2014 - Install Subtle Solutions Radiator Shroud after modifying to clear Koyo Radiator and Koyo cap.
April 17, 2014 - Install Subtle Solutions alternator cover.
April 18, 2014 - Found busted u-joint in my drive shaft. Pending repair.
April 24, 2014 - Found a used OEM drive shaft. Installed and I'm back up and running.
April 28, 2014 - Picked up my built block. JE FSR 99.5mm Pistons, Manley H-beam rods, ACL bearings, matching BB/BB block halves with an STi crank.
May 4, 2014 - Installed Diode Dynamics trunk LED light. Super nice and perfect fit. Will be doing my rear back-up lights when I have some time.
May 5, 2014 - Installed Diode Dynamics back-up LED lights. Twice as bright, and the color is far more updated. Very nice.
May 23, 2014 - Pulled calipers and stripped for paint.
May 24, 2014 - Stripped again, sanded, and prepared, primered, painted and clear coated with VHT high-heat paint. Re-installed everything.
May 26, 2014 - Bled brakes. Working perfect. Looks amazing.
June 2, 2014 - Received report back from Blackstone Labs (see post by clicking here). Oil readings look healthy and solid.
June 8, 2014 - Polished headlights and sealed with Opti-coat. They look almost brand new.

Current version on November 18, 2013:

Caught in the wild:

Stock - the day after I bought her:

After the coilover installation:

Same location. As of 1.23.2013:

And other random shots:

After Lamin-X fog-light covers:

When I had BBS RS Reps:

When I borrewed my buddy's STi BBS's:


2004 Forester XT Manual 5sp.
1,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks guys. Christmas bonus says "I need a vacation", but reality is that I don't have time for vacation working two jobs, and using all of my vacation time from one job to work the other job.

So, some BBS RS reps are probably on the top of my list for wheels. Man, I love BBS RS's.

2004 Forester XT Manual 5sp.
1,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You will like the car a lot more once you get wheels with that drop. I know I did!
Yeah. The stock suspension isn't too great. I can see it as good for slow off road stuff. But even for daily driving was so wallowy and meh. The new stuff is stiff, and the car corners like it's on rails. Well, a heavy wagon with AWD on rails. :biggrin:

Wheels, then swaybars and end links I think. Then it should be a little road warrior champ!

2005 Forester XT AT
410 Posts
I went conservative with my sways; WL 22mm fsb and 2005 STi rear sway bar. Combined with my wrx steering rack, it handles quite nicely.

2004 Forester XT Manual 5sp.
1,662 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The STi axle back definitely sounds a little nicer than stock. But only after it's warm. The tip is a little short though.

Cnunez13, my folks live in SC near Saratoga and Pruneridge. I went to Buchser middle school (20 years ago). You should come out to the next photo meet up! I shot some Subarus this past Saturday!
Check the meetings section of I-Club in the Bay Area section. I'd love to not be the only Fozzy next time.

Also, ever make it out to the Wednesday night meet ups in Milpitas?
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