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2009 FXT
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

We have an '09 Forester which we really really enjoy driving!

However, one shortfall of this rig is the lack of damping in general, more precisely lack of rebound damping. The this is a pogo stick, mostly at the rear.

I have read a lot on this forum about rear bar upgrades and higher rate springs, but doesnt this just add overall spring rate to an otherwise underdamped damper? This exacerbates the problem I see with the std suspension allowing it to act even further underdamped.

My question is, without altering ride height, is there a rear damper available that offers increased damping or in other words more ride control? I really dont wish to change springs or change its ride height. Increasing the rear roll rate seems as though it might offer a complete car roll rate imbalance. In other words, if one increases the rear roll rate, one should increase the front by the same percentage in efforts to keep the thing in balance, if you will.

Anyhow, any advice on rear damper updates would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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2009 Forester X Touring 5M
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447 Posts
Sorry my english is not that great but I don't understand what you would like to do.

You don't want to change coil you don't want to add sawybar.

What are you looking for? What is the meaning of underdamped?

I know My 09 spring rate is too soft for my usage I transport alot of heavy stuff.. and wanted a stiffer ride.

I have purchase but not yet installed std king spring (coil rate are 250lb F and R) and Subtle 1" Lift and 4x Wheel spacers size 3/16"..
Will be adding picture has soon has they are installed has I know a thread with no picture is worthless ;)

Adding rear sway bar will give you more control in turn, Stiffer spring will give you a less bouncy ride but will reduce confort..

If someone else know what you mean they will help but I don't know what you mean so can't really help you on this.
 

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2009 FXT
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Damping being the resistance to forces input to the dampers (shocks). Our 2009 Forester XT (if that makes a difference) is severly underdamped, especially at the rear.

What I seek is info about changing just dampers (shocks), options. Adding spring rate to the system would only make the situation worse. Thanks!
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
The rear dampers are definitely too weak, but there really aren't any stock replacement options unfortunately. It seems that with the rear suspension redesign, they didn't put in quite enough effort on designing the struts. It should be easier for the aftermarket to come up with new rear struts as they don't affect the alignment or anything like on the old macpherson rear setup.
 

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2009 Forester X Touring 5M
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447 Posts
Humm unsure what would be best cost wise.

I know for me I will change the Coil spring this will stiffer the Forester.

All depend what $$ you want to invest.

You could look at coilover has I don't know (I havent search for replacement shocks) has cost wise for me upgrading the coil was the best choise.
 

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2009 FXT
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your input -- yes after doing some more research, it does appear the aftermarket it lacking for rear shocks.

Like I mentioned above, increasing spring rate just makes the issue worse. The damper cannot control the spring as it is now, why would I want to add more spring?

Does anyone know if the Forester STI uses a different damper or damper settings? I would assume so, curious if these would be available here in America?
 

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35 Posts
Is there a My09 Forester STI ? As I'm aware there isn't.
However I know that STI Japan has a full suspension (spring +shocks) for the SH models
with a minimum drop in height (just 15 mm) .
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
There is no SH Forester STi, no.

I agree with RS (Porschaphile?) that stiffening the rear springs with the stock dampers (not struts, as they aren't a strut!) will make it worse.

Simon
 

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2009 FXT
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
There is no SH Forester STi, no.

I agree with RS (Porschaphile?) that stiffening the rear springs with the stock dampers (not struts, as they aren't a strut!) will make it worse.

Simon
Yes, I am a Porsche-phile:) The air cooled variety -- my latest one being a 97 993 twin turbo.

Anyhow, it doesnt appear there are many options for the late model Forester:(
 

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2009 Forester
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16 Posts
Rennsport- Did you ever find a solution to your underdamped '09 problem? I'm having the same issue, and it annoys me no end. On the curvy, settling old 2 lane roads I must travel, herding along my wallow-beast is a real chore. I have heard that one of the changes made on the 2010's was STIFFER rear shocks combined with SOFTER rear springs. An expensive parts swap may be the only path open for us, but I hate having to "Pay for the bed", so to speak, for suspension engineers who fell asleep on the job. Also, if they couldn't get it right the first time, what is my assurance they have it right now?
 

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08 Forester
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31 Posts
I have the same problem with underdamped rear suspension in my SH.

Don't die of SHOCK :Banane29: , but I have actually found ONE website that has an SH shock absorber, although I'm not sure if the damping rate is increased over stock ..

KYB Shock Absorbers - Australia

I guess as the SH series gets older more options will come on the market. Until then, just keep taking the seasickness tablets!
 

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2010 Forester XT
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19 Posts
The 2010 Forester XT is SERIOUSLY under-damped at the rear too. That is how I ended up at this website, looking for aftermarket shocks. So don't spend any money on 2010 shocks!

Currently I'm researching WRX shocks and spring rates of springs that will not lower the car too much. There are spacers sold by Subtle which you can find on this site and may help to reduce the drop.

I did replace my sway bars with Whiteline 24mm front and 20mm rear. They did provide a very noticeable improvement in turn in and reduced under-steer. They do nothing for the bouncy rear end of course...

Eron


Rennsport- Did you ever find a solution to your underdamped '09 problem? I'm having the same issue, and it annoys me no end. On the curvy, settling old 2 lane roads I must travel, herding along my wallow-beast is a real chore. I have heard that one of the changes made on the 2010's was STIFFER rear shocks combined with SOFTER rear springs. An expensive parts swap may be the only path open for us, but I hate having to "Pay for the bed", so to speak, for suspension engineers who fell asleep on the job. Also, if they couldn't get it right the first time, what is my assurance they have it right now?
 

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Premium Member
2015 XC diesel CVT
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4,053 Posts
I've just imported and installed a pair of the Aus- spec KYBs for my SH. Certainly stiffer than the Euro SLS OEM units. With Kings springs all round and about 100kg of tools and test gear in the boot damping is *just* on the soft side of perfect. Unloaded and with the softer OEM springs I'd say they'd be perfect
A rear ARB upgrade would still be a must, tho.
 

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2009 Forester
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1 Posts
dpm,

do you have the part nos for King springs and Kyb shocks of your combo.

Did you order direct from AU or is there a dealer in EU?

Planning to get the same setup that you have but its really hard to get Kybs for the SH. Kyb EU doesn't list them at all.
 

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Premium Member
2015 XC diesel CVT
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4,053 Posts
ordered direct. And, sending by Seamail seems to avoid Customs somehow...

kyb 341486, I mentioned the vendor I had luck with in the other thread.

kings ksfs-55 and ksrs-56
 

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MY09 XSn 2.0 Diesel 6MT
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967 Posts
Oooh, pretty. And if the Forum had taken up the option of "Adopting me as their Token Old Person and keeping me in the Lifestyle to which I Aspire", they would have been fitted and tested by now :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Ok, I've got the message, no adoption. But apart from JapanParts, where else can I get a set of these :icon_question:
 

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2010 Forester
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9 Posts
I agree with the original poster. I have a 2010 Forester.

The lack of damping, rebound in particular, is shocking. On my car I notice it just as much on the front as the back.
 

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2010 Forester XT
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19 Posts
WRX Suspension is the only way to go...

So after a lot of research it appears that there are currently 3 real options for getting good shocks on a Forester SH. There is the Japanese Forester STI shocks and springs option (lowers the car 15mm), the 2008+ WRX strut and shock option and the STI option which requires more more work than the WRX option.

I chose the WRX option because it works with the Koni adjustable shocks that I have had good experience with in the past. I picked up a set of 2008 WRX struts and installed the WRX Koni inserts with 2010 STI springs on the front and on the rear I used the matching adjustable Koni WRX shocks with 2010 STI springs.

I didn't want to lower the car too much so I added a set of Subtle 1.0" spacers in front and a set of 1.0" spacers and the 1/4" saggy butt spacers on the rear. The ride height change ended up being 2-1/4" lower in the front and 2-1/8" lower in the rear.

I am completely satisfied with the damping now, with the adjustment about 1/4 of the way out from full soft (full soft is quite a bit firmer than the stock shocks). It still rides pretty smoothly without the bouncing of the stock setup or can be made pretty firm by increasing the dampening.

The 2010 STI springs are actually identical to the 2010 Forester XT springs except for the fact that they are shorter, which makes them slightly stiffer (same wire diameter, same number of coils, same OD). My estimate is that they are 10-20% stiffer than the 2010 Forester XT springs. For comparison, the 2008 WRX springs are approximately 20% and 30% softer (Fr/Rr) than the 2010 Forester XT springs due to their smaller wire diameter.

I've attached a couple of photos for those who want to see what that drop looks like.

The 2010 Forester XT is SERIOUSLY under-damped at the rear too. That is how I ended up at this website, looking for aftermarket shocks. So don't spend any money on 2010 shocks!

Currently I'm researching WRX shocks and spring rates of springs that will not lower the car too much. There are spacers sold by Subtle which you can find on this site and may help to reduce the drop.

I did replace my sway bars with Whiteline 24mm front and 20mm rear. They did provide a very noticeable improvement in turn in and reduced under-steer. They do nothing for the bouncy rear end of course...

Eron
 

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