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07 Forester XT 5MT
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31 Posts
I just looked and those brands don't carry inserts. Can't find any available inserts actually for an 04 XT. Maybe there's another Subaru's inserts that fit? If I can't find a solution, I can resort to filling them with 3m window weld. No biggie.
To my knowledge, there are not any aftermarket inserts for the Forester rear diff (03-08 anyway).

I have seen YouTube videos of replacing the bushings with out fully removing the diff, but it's a multi hour job.
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Thanks for validating my findings on that. I'm leaning more towards the easier route of just filling the gaps of the current bushings.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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41 Posts
Looking good so far. There's something about these cars when they're lowered slightly...totally transforms the look of the car!
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Checked my oil over the weekend and looked around the engine bay and noticed I don't have a battery tie down. Found one from the parts stash and prepped it for painting. Doesn't have to look pretty, it just has to not rust anymore lol. Will wire brush it more before painting begins.





In other news, I've been researching brake pads and think I've decided on either EBC red stuff or Hawk HPS 5.0 pads with Centric blank rotors. Both appear to have positive reviews on this and other forums.
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
Found and ordered the J bolts from advance auto. I'll be picking those up later today.

Finally opened up my package for the rear sway bar bracket and mount.

 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Got the battery tie down painted and drying. Not sure why but after applying the clearcoat it started drying with a wrinkle finish. Never had this happen before but oh well. First photo is before clearcoat. Aiming to install it next week which should give it plenty of time to dry and cure in this cooler weather. Added some items on my to do list for maintenance. Not in a big rush but I'd like to tackle changing ATF and diff fluids. From my research, the go to for ATF seems to be either Mobil1 or Valvoline MaxLife ATF. Diff fluid, I'll stick to the OEM Subaru fluid.



 

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2004 Forester XS 5MT
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887 Posts
Looks better! Setup time and temperature/humidity as well as what paint primer combo can all have negative impacts on painting. I debated and even started de-rusting a few of the front engine bay parts and ended up replacing with new.
Curious to hear your thoughts when you get the brake done. That's next on my list after the front lower control arms and struts/springs get done next week.
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
Yeah! Anything not rusty is definitely better lol. I guess it may have been the humidity then cause it's been pretty humid the past couple days. I'll keep you posted for the brakes for sure. Just have a lot on my to do list before I get to it.
 

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2005 Forester X and XT Manual and Auto
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948 Posts
Was nice to meet and continue chatting with you. Your cars look great! I wish i'd have pulled my son out to check em out actually. I plan to update my journal soon with similar notes!!

One of shellspeed's fozs, the condition of the exterior on this one had me jealous! 😂
543550
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
Was nice to meet and continue chatting with you. Your cars look great! I wish i'd have pulled my son out to check em out actually. I plan to update my journal soon with similar notes!!

One of shellspeed's fozs, the condition of the exterior on this one had me jealous! 😂
Yours is the one with all the go fast goodies though!

Spending about 400 miles on the road yesterday, found the car would randomly shake (like an unbalanced tire) and pull to one side, on and off. No rhyme or reason and not related to the crown or grade of the road. Doesn't make much sense since I just got an alignment and my wheels balanced. On my lunch break today, I got a chance to take apart the front brakes and found the pads have plenty of material left on them and are wearing evenly. The shims were definitely dry and caked up with dirt. I cleaned up all the components and lubed everything up with sil-glyde lubricant. Went for a drive on the highway and the shaking is gone. Glad that was simple! Looks like I won't be changing my brakes anytime soon since they appear to be in good shape. Another thing crossed off on the to do list 😎. I will visit the rear brakes one day to do the same thing.
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
A little gusset experimentation on break today. Haven't taken it for a spin yet.

Before, during, and after.





 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
Welp, this is the fourth car that I've purchased that needed a new battery shortly after. On Friday, the car wouldn't start when I was going to grab some groceries and the battery measured in at 10.4 volts. I threw on my battery from my Mazda since it's the same size and started taking measurements. As always, I was over analyzing things thinking maybe my alternator was bad or going bad but everything is fine. A mechanic buddy verified that the alternator is just fine lol. It just needed a new battery.

Soon, I'll be pulling the car into the garage for the rear sway bar upgrade 😎
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
For today's project, removing the rear sway bar and installing the STI one! Started taking stuff off on my lunch break. Only thing that didn't want to come off were the end links, the usual story.

OEM bar vs STi bar.


Got the new bar on pretty easily. Thankfully the seller included some end links for cheap because I needed them.



Car says it feels funny. Why does my rear end feel tighter? 😂


And of course......
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
Yeah! I got the idea from that big thread. Just make sure you're using a tool large enough that it applies pressure to the metal part of the gusset and squeeze it until gap between the rubber trim appears smaller.

I squeezed towards the top and the middle of the thing (marked in pic below). Couldn't do the bottom/base of it right near the actual door because I didn't take my mirror off. My results tell me it wasn't necessary.

544017
 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Installed an ADF lateral link bracing kit which can be found here, 2003-2008 Subaru Forester Lateral Link Brace Kit. I know the chances of the lateral link tab breaking while running an STI rear sway bar is slim but dumb stuff likes to happen to me and for $40 for some extra strength, it was reasonable to me. The install wasn't plug and play. My kit didn't come with nuts for some reason but luckily I have plenty of spares. A couple holes needed to be filed open so that the brackets could sit flush with the lateral link tab and allow bolts through without snagging. After attempting to install one side, I found the bottom bracket does not sit flush to the top bracket so I ended up using some washers to shim it so they would mount up properly. Not complaining about any of it but just sharing my experience with the install. The brackets are definitely well built and coated well. Overall, pretty happy with the outcome. It just took a little extra work.🙂

Oh yeah, and I filled my rear diff bushings and let it sit and cure for 4 days.




 

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2004 Forester
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Installed a Megan Racing rear upper strut bar today and it may be a while before I get to tinker again. Long story short, I got curious and wanted to check something on the wife's forester and went to pull a plastic panel and hurt my finger. Long story short, when the panel popped open, I think it Bruce Lee kicked my finger and messed up my nail. Looks like the nail might fall off which will be my first time experiencing this.

Install is straight forward and as everyone has reported, you have to open up the bolt holes a bit for it to fit on the forester. Tried using a file at first but it was going too slow so I resorted to the drill. Didn't get to trim and reinstall the plastic covers today.

No fancy camera photos today since I hurt my finger.



 
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