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2015 XT premium The one without the fun pedal
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837 Posts
Looking good man, I've got my rig setup almost the same as yours. I've been on the fence about the plasti-dipping of my wheels, but can see they look pretty good against the Ice silver paint (reminds me of the dark grey wheels on the silver GTR's). We can't all be as handy with the camera as the above mentioned Sway/Shansen's of the world, but I think we all benefit from the time, info, and pictures shared by folks like yourself- so thank you.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Looking good man, I've got my rig setup almost the same as yours. I've been on the fence about the plasti-dipping of my wheels, but can see they look pretty good against the Ice silver paint (reminds me of the dark grey wheels on the silver GTR's). We can't all be as handy with the camera as the above mentioned Sway/Shansen's of the world, but I think we all benefit from the time, info, and pictures shared by folks like yourself- so thank you.
Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. As for plasti-dipping, I'd fully recommend it. But I do love black wheels against pretty much any color car. Then, if you like it and want something more permanent, go with powder coating. I put the plasti-dip on about a year ago and I think I'll redo it once I get a new set of tires. It holds up well, but when you look close, you can definitely see imperfections.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Looking good! That's how I roll every day, recovery hook always attached.
Thanks man! I'm considering keeping it attached all the time, but knowing my luck, I feel like someone would steal it. But I guess at $12, I can lose one and learn my lesson.

There's a pretty fun trail nearby and I hope to take some pictures next time I do it. It doesn't look like rain is in the cards any time soon so I won't get to get too dirty, but we'll see. Stay tuned.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Plasti-Dipping Grill

I've been wanting to plasti-dip my grill for a bit and was going to just mask everything off and paint it that way, but I figured I should do it right and remove it before painting. I think it's much easier and will come out better this way. I also baked and painted my headlights, but more on that later.

First step was taking off the bumper. As many threads talk about, there are 6 push clips up top, 6 push clips on the bottom, and 2 small clips on the edge of the wheel wells. After that, the whole thing pulls off. Disconnect fog lights, if you have them.


The grill is held on to the bumper with 6 silver-colored screws (no picture).

Once the grill is off, the lower grey piece is attached to with 9 black screws. I think the chrome piece is held on with 3 (possibly more) black screws. I left it attached.



I created a state-of-the-art paint booth, just for this project:


Grey piece ready for paint:


Chrome piece masked and ready for paint:


I had about 3/4 of a can leftover from other stuff so I used about 3 coats on each piece. I probably could've used more, but I was fine with the look and I didn't want to open a new can.

Final product with a little teaser of the headlights:


Pretty straight forward stuff, but I think it adds quite a bit to the look of the car. I'm quite happy with it.
 

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2015 XT premium The one without the fun pedal
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837 Posts
looking good man, I gotta get with the program and get my D-ring installed as well. The grill is looking good- my neighbor thought it'd be a good idea to plasti-dip the lower front bumper area behind the license plate on my rig. I might just try it one of these days.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Thanks! I don't know if you've taken the cover off before for access to the mounting point for the eye bolt, but look close at the first picture in post 23. It's attached on the lower side closest to the middle. I had no idea where the cover was attached, so I have some minor nicks around the cover, trying to get it open.

I think plasti dipping the lower bumper could look really good, but you might need to paint the plastic in the corners so the colors would match. Worst case scenario? You hate it, peel it off, and you're out $5-10. I say do it!
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Blackout Headlights

I've wanted to blackout my headlights since I first saw a thread about it about a year ago. I hadn't done it until now mostly because I was too nervous to ruin something. This past weekend, I had a 4-day weekend and no excuse not to do it.

I used this NASIOC post for the walkthrough and this SubaruForester.org post for inspiration.

I started by taking the bumper off, which really is as easy as people say once you try it. 6 push clips on top of the grill, 6 push clips underneath and 2 tiny clips in the wheel wells. Then the whole thing pops off.


The headlights come out with 3 hex washer-head screws: 1 on the top, 1 in the front, 1 on the side. Then the wiring harness unplugs from the back and the assembly can be removed.

The bottom plastic piece of the headlight is held on with 3 screws (2 have been removed in this picture):


After that, all the bulbs and wiring get removed. There are 6 small screws attaching the front and back of the headlight. Those get removed and it's all ready for baking. I did 220°F for about 12 minutes, but needed to put it back in a few times to keep the glue warm.


Once pried apart, there are two screws attaching the chrome bezel to the clear plastic. Here's a picture of the back of the bezel. The orange reflector is held on with 3 tabs and a bead of plastic glue. I carefully picked the glue off, then used superglue to put them back together after painting. As you can also see, if you decide to remove the reflector entirely, you'll have a large opening in the bezel which would look pretty funny.


After wiping my fingerprints off with alcohol, it was ready to paint. I used Rustoleum Engine Enamel.


After a few coats and everything was dry, everything goes back together in reverse order (make sure to bake the separate pieces again to warm up the glue so you get a good seal).

I was really pleased with how this came out. I love the look so much more than stock.

Final Product (I plasti-dipped the grill at the same time):




Stock:
 

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Registered
2012 Forester 2.5x 5mt
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97 Posts
Hey Schmee,

Where did you take the picture of the water crossing? I love Central Ca.

Joseph
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
It's up by Fort Hunter Liggett on my way out to Los Padres or Ventana Wilderness (whatever it's called). It's all dried up now, but it's always a fun little crossing when there's water.

I love it here, too. I wouldn't mind having more "seasonal" weather, but it's beautiful and I can't complain.
 

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2012 Forester 2.5x 5mt
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97 Posts
Okay, I'm going to have to look up these places, so I don't visit the same old places when I'm around the Central Coast area. Thanks for the info.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
Sound Deadening Hatch

So after a year or so of storing a box of leftover RAAMat and Ensolite, I finally got around to deadening the hatch. I had already done the hatch door, but I wanted to get the wheel wells and the spare tire area.

The trim pieces were easy enough to take off, there's 3 screws in the rear-most piece. One under the hook, one where the cargo cover extends to, and one under where the cargo cover locks in place:


There's a screw behind the "SRS Airbag" badge. My trim pieces couldn't get under it to pry it up, so I used a razor blade to lift it and was careful as I could be:


Finally, there's a screw under the side cushion (Pry up from the back. Doesn't need to be fully removed, just enough to access the screw):


Once I had everything apart, I laid out what RAAMat I had left:


Cleaned the surfaces with alcohol and applied:


Covered with Ensolite:


Then put everything back together in reverse order. I haven't noticed a huge difference, but in my mind it's slightly quieter. Start up sounds different as I don't hear the exhaust nearly as much.

I mostly just wanted to finish off the box of deadening material and be done with it. I hate clutter.
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
Hella Supertone Install

I bought a set of Supertones off Amazon for around $55. Unfortunately, they were made in India, not Germany. But I haven't heard or seen the German ones, so I don't know the difference first hand.

There are plenty of different ways to hook these up. I used the relay, left one stock horn hooked up, and mounted them without any fabricated brackets.

Supplies needed:
  • 12-16 gauge wire (I used approx 12 ft total). Different colors if preferred.
  • Male Spade Connector (1)
  • Female Spade Connector (8)
  • Terminal connector (4)
  • Inline Fuse Housing (1)
  • 20a Fuse (1)
  • Hardware for Mounting (I used a 1.25" bolt with a couple washers and a nut)
The first thing I did was read a lot about how I needed to wire everything up. I'm not that smart with circuits and electrical wiring things. So I tried to figure out exactly what I needed to do.

Here's the schematic that I drew myself after all my research:


The first thing to do is disconnect the negative terminal of the battery (just to be safe). Drop the bumper (6 clips up top, 6 down below, 2 tiny clips in the wheel wells), disconnect fogs (if you want).

Disconnect the stock horn and unbolt it. I mounted one horn using the stock horn bolt (driver's side) and the other horn using the empty hole (passenger's side). The stack-up went: Screw - Washer - Horn Bracket - Radiator Support Bracket - Washer - Nut.

Horns mounted and wired:


Relay Wiring:
  • 30 - Wired to battery with 20a inline fuse
  • 85 - Ground
  • 86 - Signal from Stock Horn
  • 87 - Positive terminal of horns
I didn't buy an inline fuse holder, but here's a trick to make your own for cheap. Use 2 female spade connectors and use attach a fuse to them. Wrap with electrical tape:


So female spade connector to relay (connected to pin 30), to inline fuse, to terminal connector which attaches to the positive terminal on the battery.

There's a ground point right next to the fuse box which is a great place to ground the relay (pin 85).

I ran red wire from pin 87 of the relay to positive terminal on one horn, spliced the wire about 6-8inches from the end for the the other horn.

For the signal (pin 86), I used a male spade connector and plugged that into the factory connector. No need to cut any factory wires.

I then used conduit and zip ties to protect all the wiring.

Here's the horns mounted and wiring tucked away:


I mounted the relay on the fuse box with a self-tapping screw with the pins facing down:


You can see the horns behind the grill, if you look really hard:
 

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Premium Member
2012 2.5X 4EAT
Joined
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908 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Thanks!

Yeah, I can't take too much credit for that fuse trick. The guys at the shop where I got my wiring from and tail lights tinted showed me that. When you see it, you kinda stop and think, "Yeah...Yeah I guess that makes sense."

As for off-roading, I always get too excited and forget to take pictures, so I usually only have a picture at the end...and even that is a rarity.
 
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