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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Welcome to the build thread for my 1999 Subaru Forester L 5MT!


Current look as of April, 2019:





Before Photobucket went down, I had many more photos in this thread. Sorry about that. :/ but new updates are always coming!


Let me start off with the basics:
1999 Forester L
5-Speed
56,000 miles (when purchased)
One Owner
Pristine Interior
Stack of Maintenance Papers
NO RUST!


Current Mods as of June 2019:

2" Anderson Design Fabrication lift kit w/ 2" trailing arm spacers
Yellow Fogs
Blox 490 black chrome shift knob
215/75/15 BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2's
Smittybilt D-Rings
15x7" Method MR502 Rally Wheels
3mm hub centric wheel spacers
Rare accessory fender trim painted to match bumpers
Curt Safari Roof Basket w/ Extension
Yakima Roof Top Tire Mount w/ full-size spare
Rally Armor UR Flaps
Upgraded Pioneer Head Unit
Hella 500FF Fog Lights w/ black covers (tinted yellow) - Wired to factory switch
Hella vintage rally style light covers
JDM Grille
Magnaflow Muffler
Kartboy Stiff Exhaust Hangers
LED exterior bulbs (headlights, license plate, and reverse)

Future Mods:
Custom Pre-Runner Bumpers
Projector Retrofitted Headlights
Shifter Bushings


I've been a WRX owner for about 5 years now. I owned a world rally blue sedan for 4 of those years, and owned a platinum silver metallic wagon for 2 years. As I continued to modify my WRX's over the years, the need for a comfortable daily driver had grown and grown. After I graduated from college, I began hunting for a clean, older Subaru that could be used easily for commuting and road trips, and boy did I find one!

This car literally fell into my lap, as it was traded into the dealership that I had been working at on and off throughout college. This was a 1 owner car, owned and meticulously maintained by an older woman who had originally purchased it in Seattle.

The car needed a little TLC, as both front fenders were banged up pretty badly, and the interior was dirty, but those were things I was easily able to fix!

Aside from the aesthetic flaws, this was exactly what I wanted: Manual transmission, low mileage, full maintenance history, and it was a Forester!

Here is a pic of the damage on the driver side front fender the day I bought it:



Passenger side:



I quickly started tearing into the body repairs. I took the fenders off, and beat the dents out crudely with a rubber mallet. Body filler was a necessity at this point:

A few days later it was time for paint!

And back out into the sunlight for the first time after the repair. The paint is a little orange-peeled, but it doesn't really bother me. Also had to add some mad tyte jdm quick releases, as the bumper tabs on both sides were broken.



Also, just in case you didn't believe me:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here's a recent picture of the wheels now that they're painted and back on the car:

The color is oil-rubbed bronze. I dig the bronze flake that appears in direct sunlight. Decided the tires needed a little spicing up as well, so I bought a tire paint pen, and outlined the letters

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Figured I'd give a small update (not like anyone really cares)

Still loving the crap out of this thing! It's now sitting at 61k miles and running like a top. Took it off road for the first time last month on my friend's motocross track, (no I didn't jump it) and had a blast!


Pictures were lost with the pb crash, but keep scrolling!
 

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Loving the forester!!! My forester is basically the exact same car as yours. (5-speed, black but with 135,000 miles.) I do have a question though. How many paint cans did it take to paint all the wheels? Because that looks really nice and I wouldn't mind doing that to my forester.
 

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Thanks for the kind words!!

It took 4 cans all together. I could have gotten by with 2 or 3, but I wanted a really thick coat of paint (they're still holding up great after off-roading multiple times, and a few thousand miles of freeway driving)

I used 2 cans of clear as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Forester update:
Current miles: 63,200

Today, I installed a few little christmas presents to myself! A pair of Hella 500FF's. I wanted the lights to look as clean as possible, so with a little help from my old man, we whipped up a pair of custom brackets that tie the lights into the bumper beam.

Pictures were lost with the pb crash, but keep scrolling!
 

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Just out of interest how much do the lamps effect the flow of air to the rad ? Been looking at installing some driving lamps on mine, as out of city the high beams are a bit poor, but as 70% of my driving is urban commute I wondered if i'd need to add some cooling mods aswell ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I love the subtle mounting of the lights. Very clean look.
Thank you! I wanted them to be as subtle & close to the grille as possible.

Just out of interest how much do the lamps effect the flow of air to the rad ? Been looking at installing some driving lamps on mine, as out of city the high beams are a bit poor, but as 70% of my driving is urban commute I wondered if i'd need to add some cooling mods aswell ?
I doubt they will hinder much airflow. There is still a lot of room around them for air to come through.

Loving the build so far!!
Thank you so much!

Wheels, tires, and a mild lift coming soon!!
 

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Thank you!

Cutting the grille was definitely a little tough to do. Right now I'm wanting the JDM grille, but don't know if I could bring myself to cut it up.
Also worth trying to source one from Australia. What you're calling the JDM grill was fitted stock to all Australian GT Foresters (including mine). Europe might have gotten them too.

Shipping from AU will be slightly more than Japan, but our dollar is in terrible shape at the moment so that will help.
 

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^ I was thinking it was on euro-spec models as well, but wasn't sure. If I could simply find one, that would be good enough for me. They're pretty tough to come across. I'm kicking myself for not jumping on the black one I came across on eBay a few weeks ago..

saddest part is I barely get to use them these days.
I hear ya. I've only used mine a few times :(
 
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