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Registered
2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
UPDATED PICS and misc INFO on pg. 10 of this thread!

I ended up performing the sub-frame spacer removal several months ago on our 2001 Forester. Since then our white SF was totaled and we replaced it with a 2008 SG chassis Forester. The SG has the same sub-frame spacers and as soon as I lower it (the proper way) I will fully document it and create a new thread. In the meantime I hope this thread has helped.

Okay guys, before I get flamed for not searching I've got to tell you I've read this site forwards, backwards, sideways, and every way. Plus I've searched quite a few other forums and I'm still a bit lost in the sauce. I can't handle these late nights much longer...

There seems to be no solid answers on what EXACTLY "is" compatible with the SF5 chassis to give it a nice low stance and still be able to handle well. Almost all the info I'm pulling up is for the SG chassis. If the SF is mentioned using WRX components there is no description of GC or GD chassis. I can only assume GD since that's what we have in the states.
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Which model/year struts, springs, and upper mounts work on the SF5? Anything from Legacy's work? I figured rear end weight should be similar...

I'd really like to use the '02+ WRX wagon struts and springs since the weight seems to be close to a SF chassis.
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'd love to go all out like Angry Toster's car, but the Forester is hauling my boy around so I don't think it should have coilovers just yet.

01ForesterS, MY00Forest, and Angry Toaster all pretty much have the ride height I'm going after. Good looking stance guys!!!

As for what I've gathered so far, here is what I'm leaning towards: 02-03 WRX AGX struts with Swift Springs WRX wagon specific springs (if compatible with our upper mounts, not sure). The rates for the Swift WRX wagon springs are 185/162 lbs so this sounds like a pretty livable setup.

Let me know what you guys think and thanks!
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Oh yeah, feel free to add any sway bar, control arm, strut bar info or anything else as well.

I see all these sway bar links and other fancy stuff the SG guys are running and I'm wondering how much of it can be/should be used on the SF5 cars.
 

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I am the KING
looking for SF5
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899 Posts
The forester shares the platform from the GC8's (the older imprezas) so i would say anything is game that that car uses youshould be able to use.
Correct me if I am wrong anyone.
 

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I am the KING
looking for SF5
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899 Posts
Im also looking for a very firm but not jarring suspension setup similiar to the e46 ms would be perfect. So does this mean any WRX stuff we can use on the sf5 as far as suspension. if thats true ill find a sway bar as well. Im goin suspension first then speed on this car.
 

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Mr. July 2008
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1,220 Posts
The SF rear strut tophats are that of a GD stud pattern. So you can either use GC8 suspension and change the rear tophats or go with GD suspension. Most ppl just use the GD suspension (including me). One thing you'll notice with fixed perch WRX sedan style struts is that you'll get some nice *** sag. Wagon springs will help with that. Now I don't know if this is the case with GD fixed perch struts, but with my GD coilovers I had some positive camber in the rear after the install. A $20 set of camber bolts alleviated that problem. One thing to note... both GC8 and GD struts will slam your SF5. :icon_biggrin:

I think WRX AGX struts with Swift wagon springs will give you height and ride quality you want.

The front SF5 strut towers use a GC8 style strut tower bar while the rear uses a GD strut tower bar.

GD sway bars & end links can be used in the rear... even STi sway bars. You'll have to stick with GC8 NA (2.5RS) style front sways due to the NA front crossmember being different than the turbo crossmember. You for sure want to upgrade the rear sway to at least a WRX sway.

The front crossmember on the NA SF5 is just like the NA 2.5RS. If you want to change out your control arms you'll have to use the JDM GC8 aluminum control arms. It’s an urban legend that the aluminum arms are lighter than their steel counterparts. They're just much more rigid.

My setup...
'06 STi front crossmember w/ steering rack
'04 STi aluminum control arms
'06 STi front sway with Perrin end links
GD Prodrive coilovers (very daily driver friendly and very for sale :icon_wink:)
GD Cusco rear adjustable sway
Whiteline rear end links
GD Cusco rear strut tower bar
 

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I Heart Beer
2000 Forester L
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716 Posts
As for what I've gathered so far, here is what I'm leaning towards: 02-03 WRX AGX struts with Swift Springs WRX wagon specific springs (if compatible with our upper mounts, not sure). The rates for the Swift WRX wagon springs are 185/162 lbs so this sounds like a pretty livable setup.
that would be a good setup i think
wrx wagon KYB AGX struts with the swift wrx wagon springs. i think the ride height would be comfortable and what you are looking for. also i love the AGX struts. two of my friends have them on their gc's and they handle extremely well. on the softest setting they are comparable to stock stiffness and on the stiffest setting they can make you need a chiropractor.
the next step would be a coilover. what i want to get is some gc8 specific megan racing coilovers.
right now i am running 02 wrx sedan struts with gc8 specific eibach pro kit springs. so as you can see the years are all fairly compatable and interchangable
 

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Registered
2002 Mini Cooper S
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71 Posts
I think WRX AGX struts with Swift wagon springs will give you height and ride quality you want.
Agreed. Should be more liveable on a daily driver than the setup that was on my car with STi Swifts, which actually wasn't too bad. I left the AGXs on 4 all the way around like the PO had set them and it only felt harsh on really rough patches of road. Definately is going to benefit from at least an upgraded rear swaybar if not both front and rear. I felt like that was the missing link with this setup on my car.
 

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Premium Member
2004 FXTi
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765 Posts
One great option that you have that us SG guys don't are the Prodrive WR GC8's, which as I understand use Bilstein struts. These are supposed to give great handling and ride with minimal compromise. I see them from time to time in the NASIOC classifieds. Also, didn't Prodrive just make this available new to the US market? I'm definitely talking out of my *** when it comes to GC chassis stuff, but this is my recollection.

Found a couple of links:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1135761&highlight=prodrive+GC8
http://www.garagetuning.com/gt_products_suspension.html
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=911887&highlight=prodrive+GC8


And angry toaster, what are these GD prodrive coilovers you have. I haven't read anything about them. If they are for sale, I might have some interest. Sorry to highjack.

Regards,
Justin Wade
2004 FXTi
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
One great option that you have that us SG guys don't are the Prodrive WR GC8's, which as I understand use Bilstein struts. These are supposed to give great handling and ride with minimal compromise. I see them from time to time in the NASIOC classifieds. Also, didn't Prodrive just make this available new to the US market?

Found a couple of links:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1135761&highlight=prodrive+GC8
http://www.garagetuning.com/gt_products_suspension.html
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=911887&highlight=prodrive+GC8

Yeah those are a REALLY nice setup. My buddy got a set from Garage Tuning a few months back for his GC. He needs to roll his damn fenders because of the wheels he's running though before I can actually see how these perform with some hard driving. Around town they feel great though. I like REALLY the inverted design but I just can't justify spenging that much with out being able to set the damping myself. I'd rather spend a little more and just go with a full coilover setup.

Personally I don't mind coilovers. I think they can be fine for everyday use as long as you use a good product, don't go crazy with the spring rates, and have the proper pre-load on the springs. I just don't want to spend the cash right now since I have some other plans/projects. Plus I'm being a little cautious since this is the main family car.
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The forester shares the platform from the GC8's (the older imprezas) so i would say anything is game that that car uses youshould be able to use.
Correct me if I am wrong anyone.
Yeah, I knew that the GC stuff would work but the actual GC8 Impreza's that were sold here were lighter than our Foresters so I'm trying to stick with something that has a similar weight.

Seems like I was making the right assumptions about WRX compatibility but wasn't sure. THANKS EVERYONE!!!

I agree with you about suspension first and then speed. That has always been the order in which I've modifed my cars. Most of the time that's the best overall bang for the buck... then again I've always loved the twisties!
 

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Registered
2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Oh, and Legacy stuff will not fit, you're going to have to stick to Impreza applications.
Thanks! Just had to ask about the Legacy stuff since another friend has had a set of Zeal coilovers sitting in his shop for quite a while now. The guy said he's ready to buy his wife a new Legacy just so he could use them. Well... that and the new Legacy's are dead sexy!
 

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Registered
2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The SF rear strut tophats are that of a GD stud pattern. So you can either use GC8 suspension and change the rear tophats or go with GD suspension. Most ppl just use the GD suspension (including me). One thing you'll notice with fixed perch WRX sedan style struts is that you'll get some nice *** sag. Wagon springs will help with that. Now I don't know if this is the case with GD fixed perch struts, but with my GD coilovers I had some positive camber in the rear after the install. A $20 set of camber bolts alleviated that problem. One thing to note... both GC8 and GD struts will slam your SF5. :icon_biggrin:

I think WRX AGX struts with Swift wagon springs will give you height and ride quality you want.

The front SF5 strut towers use a GC8 style strut tower bar while the rear uses a GD strut tower bar.

GD sway bars & end links can be used in the rear... even STi sway bars. You'll have to stick with GC8 NA (2.5RS) style front sways due to the NA front crossmember being different than the turbo crossmember. You for sure want to upgrade the rear sway to at least a WRX sway.

The front crossmember on the NA SF5 is just like the NA 2.5RS. If you want to change out your control arms you'll have to use the JDM GC8 aluminum control arms. It’s an urban legend that the aluminum arms are lighter than their steel counterparts. They're just much more rigid.

My setup...
'06 STi front crossmember w/ steering rack
'04 STi aluminum control arms
'06 STi front sway with Perrin end links
GD Prodrive coilovers (very daily driver friendly and very for sale :icon_wink:)
GD Cusco rear adjustable sway
Whiteline rear end links
GD Cusco rear strut tower bar


Angry Toaster: YOU ROCK!!! :rock: Your post should be a sticky for anyone like me wanting to go with a USDM WRX or STi swap in the future.

I just found out about the GD WRX rear tophats yesterday when I was on another forum. What did I see??? A post with a pic of AngryToaster's rear Cusco tophat!!!

Yeah, I was also reading somewhere about that *** sag so it makes sense to go with wagon specific springs due to the xtra weight. If they are available I can't see why anyone wouldn't!

Good stuff about the aliminum control arms. Definetely makes sense. Even better because if using the GD chassis WRX/STi crossmember with a swap then the GD aluminum control arms seem to sell for $200 cheaper than the early ones!!!

Thanks for all the info. MUCH APPRECIATED! :Banane35:
 

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2008 FXT Sports 5spd
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503 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
BTW: Slammed is definetely what I'm going for! As soon as I get the parts I'll start putting up pics.

THANKS ALL!!!:bananapowerslide:
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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30,115 Posts
BTW: Slammed is definetely what I'm going for! As soon as I get the parts I'll start putting up pics.

THANKS ALL!!!:bananapowerslide:
Once you have your suspension mods installed, give Roo and I a holler if you want to go out on the twisties for a test run... we have some insane roads up here. :evilatyou:
 

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Mr. July 2008
Joined
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1,220 Posts
Here is a pic of my Forester on Prodrive WR suspension. I changed out the front and rear tophats with GD Cusco pillowball mounts. It was great suspension, but it was better matched to my GC. I would stick with GD suspension parts.
 
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