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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Table of Contents:
  1. A little history
  2. Purchased the Foz on Sept 24, 2009
  3. Rear Sway Bar installed Oct 31, 2009
  4. Cross bar removed, polished headlights Nov 14, 2009
  5. Winter mode, winter tires installed. debadged Nov 21, 2009
  6. WRX Suspension Dec 12, 2009
  7. Finalized mod list Dec 16, 2009
  8. JDM STi scoop Dec 17, 2009
  9. Catless DP, Injen CAI, opensource tune Feb 22, 2010
  10. Beginning of the bumper mod Aug 15, 2010
  11. Resume bumper mod Oct 23, 2011
  12. STi VF48 turbo swap Nov 6, 2011
  13. Bumper mod continued May 6, 2012
  14. Dash gauge pod integration July 5, 2012
  15. Transmission install Jan 12, 2013
  16. Bumper mod finally completed Jan 20, 2013
  17. SportShift - the beginning Aug 13, 2013
Hi everyone,
I figured I will start the journal and update it as time goes by. I bought my 04 Forester XT last month. It is still bone stock right now. My plan down the road is to first fix up the abused interior and exterior. Then I am looking into some nice suspension upgrades to bring out the fun in the Foz. Next will be some minor power mod because the Foz is meant to be my baby hauler so I can't go to crazy with it. (Crazy power mods will be reserved for my GM6 if I ended up keeping it.

Suspension:
  • lower strut/spring combo
  • upgrade front and rear sway bars
  • and some smaller pieces like upgraded endlinks
  • etc
Power:
  • aftermarket uppipe, downpipe
  • ECU reflash
Here is a picture I took today of my subies.


Cheers,
-John
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Red is one of my favorite Forester colors! :cool:

I know what you mean about fixing the previous owner's abuse. My '07 FSXT was a leased vehicle, until it was repossessed! :icon_eek: Some TLC & lots of MODs will make everything better! :wink:

Bobby...
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #6
The RSB has been sanded and I have coated one side of it tonight. I will post some pictures up once I have the whole bar finished.

I will be using the stock endlinks until I can find some upgrade links.

During the last few weeks of driving, I felt the ride is very "loose". I would like to tighten up the handling feel to that closer to my old GC/GM.

I still have the coilovers previously on the GM6 in the garage. But with the baby coming in a matter of weeks and winter is upon us, I am not sure if I want the SG to run like this.


Another mod I did was I installed the seat base for the baby seat. I have also finished designing the "Baby on Board" sign. It's only a matter of bringing the design into work and print it out with the plotter.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #8
Seeing how everyone keeps updating their journals make me jealous. It has been pouring for weeks here and living in an apartment with no garage hinders my mod efforts. So I figure I will do a little backtrack post of how I came about picking up my foz.

It all started with my brother picking up his '79 mini. This goes way back as our mother owned one of these little gems before we came to Canada. We would be found spending hours tinkering on the little ride. Buying small parts that we can afford at the time. (Door handles, steering wheels, etc) We painted the car with a regular spray gun that was bought from HD just weeks before this meet. That was me in the driver seat btw.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
For a while I have been driving the family Civic to school, then to work. Until the day I got a promotion and a raise. Then I picked myself up a '93 RX-7. We installed lowering springs, intake, catback exhaust, bigger radiator, aftermarket wheels. And this is the first contact I have with a turbo'ed vehicle.



Then, in the Fall of 2007, I have left the job to start a business with a few friends. And feeling the need to cut down on daily expenses. I have found myself a nice '01 Impreza in Texas. My wife and I flew down to drive the car back to Canada. It was a spontaneous decision but proven to be a good decision.


The inspiration behind the find comes from my brother's nice '06 WRX. She is unstoppable in the snow.





As you can see, I have been bitten by the mod bug bad when I picked her up.

This was taken in the Winter of '08. We were on our annual trip (started in '07) to Calgary from Vancouver. It's a 10 hour drive through the Rockies and she did just find. The AWD system is truely impressive!


This is the last stage before I sold her. Over the 2 year span, she has had 3 different suspension setup, header & custom exhaust installed, 4 sets of wheel setup, '05 WRX seats, and 3 different spoiler/trunk setups. I had all the intention to get an STi motor for a swap. Then a baby came along forcing me to upgrade to a bigger car. It was a sad day when I hand over the keys to the new owner.


And the modding continues...
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
This picture was taken on our way back from California. And yes, that is I standing by the Foz.


This is a little history about me and my different rides. Back to the mods journal. Since the RSB, I have taken off the cross bars. (I don't actually use them like many of you.:icon_rolleyes:)

I also polished the yellowing off the headlights.


I might do some debadging soon just to get my car tinkering fix for the month...
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #11
Mods today:

Debadged all except the front 5 star badge. I am in the process of painting the 2.5XT badge so I can cover up the 2 holes behind Forester badge.



Winter tires are on. Bring it on, Mother Nature! These are Impreza 2.5RS wheels with 215/55/16 tires. We had a set with larger overall diameter winters but they don't fit so we ended up mounting the extra set of winter tires on the RS rims.



These will be the last mods for a while until after my son is born. But here is a sneak peek of what I found in my parents garage.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT SportShift
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Discussion Starter #12
I found a WRX owner on NASIOC that wanted to swap suspension with me. So today I drove south of the border to Bellingham, WA to swap our suspensions at his shop. The swap took about 3 hours as we swapped the rear trailing arm mounts as well to help centering the rear wheels.

On the drive home, the car leaned much less even though the suspension is not that much stiffer. The ride quality is still pretty good and the turn-in seemed a lot sharper than before. He drove off in his lifted WRX sedan which looked pretty wicked too.

I was trying to make it home fast after the swap so I didn't have a chance to take pictures. I will get pictures when the light is out again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
So after owning the Foz for almost 3 months, I have come to the following list of mods that I have/will be performing.

Performance:
  • Aftermarket (Rocket Rally) downpipe
  • Catless uppipe
  • Aftermarket cold air intake
  • STi TMIC
  • VF39
  • Opensource tune
Exterior:
  • Custom front bumper
  • JDM STi tall scoop
  • Custom front grill
  • 17" or 18" aftermarket wheels for summer
  • Later model SG sideskirts
  • Rear diffuser
  • HID retrofit headlights
  • LED taillights
Interior:
  • Interior light color mod
  • Boost, EGT, etc. gauges
  • New carpet
  • Carputer
Suspension & Misc:
  • WRX struts/springs
  • Group N top hats
  • WRX 4/2 pot brakes
  • Upgraded sway bars
  • Upgraded endlinks
This is about all I'll do for this car to keep it a fun streetable car.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Now back to the journal. I was able to get away from the family for the day. My brother and I installed a catless downpipe, cold air intake and full STi catback. We have the 06 catless uppipe too but decided to leave that for another day.







Afterwards, my brother helped me tuned the car for a bit and this is what we got. It's a rough estimate but I am happy with it. He is going to further tune the MAF and we will wait for more upgrades to tune again.
 
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