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2016 Forester XT
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452 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


Unfortunately the default material on the '10 Surbaru Forester armrest is not very durable. On the very first day I owned the car my dog put a mark into it. Less then a week later I put the mark you see in the photo, and a plastic cup made the scuff mark in the middle! Time for an upgrade.

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I purchased a leather armrest cover from Shift boot store - RedlineGoods leather shift boots
They have a thread on the forums with discount codes.

I ordered the standard black leather, with red stitching.
The leather is soft and stretches well. The stitching is high quality with no frays or visible knots.

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To remove the stock armrest remove the bottom cover. This is just snapped in place. I used a nylon trim removal tool.
You don't have to remove the large metal plate to get the cover off, but I did in order to ensure I didn't snag it when re-installing the cover.

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Remove the six black screws that hold the bottom plastic cover.

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Once removed you can install the leather cover. Note the two metal bars are sharp! They cut me pretty good while I was installing the cover.

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It takes a bit of finesse but the cover fits like a glove. Make sure you work out any wrinkles or loose spots at this point.

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Getting the plastic cover back on takes a bit of effort. I used the nylon trim tool to help tuck the cover under the plastic.

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Then its just a matter of re-installing the armrest.
The extra thickness of the leather makes moving the armrest a bit harder, but I always thought it slid too easy anyways, often slipping back when I shift my weight.

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(click for a large image)

I am very happy with the look of the cover. The shade of black perfectly matches the interior. I was afraid my arm would rest right on the stitching, but that isn't the case.

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Note the lighter arc int he image isn't a defect in the leather, its a reflection of the sun off my camera.
 

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159 Posts
Hi,

thank you for taking the time to post this, nice write-up!

Guys, our vendor ad contains a current 10% discount code, if anybody's interested in upgrading their armrest as well.

Take care
Maciek
 

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2018 2.5i Manual
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1,274 Posts
Nice. I will be moving up in the world with this. Maciek, any chance of making inserts and arm rests for for the 09-10 door cards. Even in the cars with leather interior these are a really lame material. Your leather would look oh-so sweet.
 

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2008 XT Sport 5 MT
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213 Posts
The instructions say to glue the cover on... does not look like you did? This work out OK in the year following?
 

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2016 Forester XT
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452 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I did not glue mine into place, the plastic clamp on the bottom and the foam pad is more then enough to hold it in place.

I have to say mine is in great condition over three years later, nothing has come loose, caved in, split etc...Just regular surface scratches which I never mind in leather.

That is three years of dogs using it as a a pad to see out the front window, 110+ degree Texas heat, and my elbow every time I drive.
 

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2008 XT Sport 5 MT
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213 Posts
awesome, i have a replacement on order i hope the install goes as well!
 

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2010 FXT slush-box
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661 Posts
another happy redline customer

The FXT leather is holding up ok for now..........

On my last car, BMW M5, I had the redline shift boot cover and E brake boot. They installed with ease, looked great, and held up for several years until I sold the car.

Jeff
 

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2000 Forester S AT
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972 Posts
The instructions say to glue the cover on... does not look like you did? This work out OK in the year following?
I have 10 years on my '04 Mazda 3, both the e-brake and armrest cover are still good. :Banane35: I haven't bothered to see if they made anything for the SF. :icon_redface: On my other forum I have a link that gives 10% off but I'm not a vendor here.


The FXT leather is holding up ok for now..........

Jeff
With any leather, you want to use a conditioner and cleaner on a semi regular basis to keep it soft and moisturized. I expect mine in the '04 will last longer than the car at this point.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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450 Posts
Very helpful how-to by ZapWizard above. FYI, the Redline Goods cover for the 2013 Forester fits the 2015, the Forester armrest lid/cover is the exact same since at least 2010. I ordered a leather cover in Slate with silver stitching and the extra 3/4" padding. Exact color match for my Platinum gray interior cloth seating and vinyl armrest cover. Redline leather is excellent quality and the stitching is well done. The extra padding is perfect much better than what the leather Subaru cover standard in the Touring trims has. I had ordered that Subaru one and returned it and the Redline is a much better deal all around. Compare $69 including padding vs. $155 for the factory leather cover. The Redline is much more comfortable although $19 for the extra padding is a bit much. Installation takes some fiddling and trying out but I'm happy with the results. I installed the Redline cover and padding right over the stock vinyl cover. I didn't cut/trim the new foam padding except to round the edges a little with scissors. Holding it it seems too light and compressible but once the new cover and padding is on and tightened it is perfect, very comfortable and your arm doesn't bottom out. Wanted to avoid using adhesive in case I needed to replace the cover in the future but I ended up putting a little in a few places along the inside bottom edge of the cover to take out some wrinkles and loose spots. Be careful with using any clamps to help keep the leather stretched/tight while the adhesive dries because unless they are padded they will leave impressions in the leather which can be hard to work out.

I used 303 Aerospace Protectant as a leather conditioner and protectant. I didn't find that the new cover interfered with the sliding action of the armrest seems the same to me. Definitely watch out for the nasty sharp inside edges of the two metal bars under the Subaru armrest cover! You will hit them with your fingers a lot while installing the leather cover.

[URL=http://s1060.photobucket.com/user/Egadpipe/media/IMG_8469_zpsaw1bjczk.jpg.html][/URL]





 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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450 Posts
Many folks have complained about how TOO easily the Forester console lid/armrest slides back and forth- an easy fix is to wrap the two "male" edges of the lid slider with two layers of electrical tape each to create just enough friction so when the male edge slides in the metal "female" half of the lid slider that the lid stays put unless you really want it to move. I found that just one wrap layer wasn't enough friction especially when the car interior heats up & softens the tape a little - two wraps is perfect. Follow instructions in this thread to take apart the lid. Btw, the 2010 Forester lid is exactly the same as the current one.







 

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2016 Forester XT
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452 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Here is a short update and long-term use report.

This cover has been installed in my 2010 Forester since the day I started the thread. (March 2010)
It has held up to a lot of abuse. My dogs constantly end up running across it, leaving mud and what seem like permanent scratch marks at the time. It has baked in the Texas sun for all that time and is constantly under my elbow while driving. The leather has held up great over all that time.

I recently purchased a 2016 Forester XT, and thankfully checked my thread and saw that kōbai-iro mentioned it still fits into the 2015 models. So I removed the cover before trading the car in. Note, the factory pad underneath was preserved also, at first it has impressions from where the stitching was, but that rebounded in about 10 minutes.


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The only issue was the leather was a bit dry and the red threads weren't as deep red as they were when I bought it.
I used some Leather Nova conditioner on the cover and it returned all the luster and deepened the color of the threads.
You can't detect even one scrape or mark from my dogs, amazing after all the years of daily use.

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It was the first modification to go into the 2016 red fozzy. Installed literally within minutes of arriving home with the car.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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450 Posts
ZapWizard, cool still looks great. It doesn't appear you added any extra foam padding under the Redline cover when you first installed it, like I did. My leather is holding up fine but I also drape a Subaru golf towel over it to help protect it further (the light grey leather will show dirt more than black). Only issue is I didn't trim my extra padding enough at the top side edges of the armrest so I got a little creasing on both sides (should've trimmed just outside of the stitching so the leather pulls straight down to be tucked under the bottom). I'm sure it can be steamed out. I plan on removing the cover and re-doing it.
[URL=http://s1060.photobucket.com/user/Egadpipe/media/IMG_8572%20Large%20-%20Copy_zpsqnpoy6ap.jpg.html][/URL]
 

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WOW!

Thank you so much for this long-term use report! We're so happy to see how you like our products and take care for your car. Keep up the great job :rock:

But I see that you definitely need a new, leather shift boot to match the armrest :) How about loaning us your factory vinyl boot in exchange for a new one, handcrafted in genuine leather with vibrant red stitching?

Please let me know what you think :)

Take care

Jack
RedlineGoods Team
 

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2015 Forester XT CVT
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382 Posts
WOW!

Thank you so much for this long-term use report! We're so happy to see how you like our products and take care for your car. Keep up the great job :rock:

But I see that you definitely need a new, leather shift boot to match the armrest :) How about loaning us your factory vinyl boot in exchange for a new one, handcrafted in genuine leather with vibrant red stitching?

Please let me know what you think :)

Take care

Jack
RedlineGoods Team

Can you also do the MFD hood? Would be interested if you offer the boot, emergency brake, mfd hood and arm rest.
 

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Sure!

We'd love to develop the full interior package for your cars. We only need someone interested enough to loan us factory parts for prototyping :)

Are you possibly the one?

:)

Take care

Jack
RedlineGoods Team
 
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