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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
GONE...

1999 Silverthorn Metallic Subaru Forester S 2.5L N/A SOHC
Bought: July '11 (231,100 miles)
Current Mileage: 238,500(as of April '13)



Engine/Performance:
Major Engine Work at Subaru Dealership: complete head gasket job, complete timing belt job, new belts, some new hoses, lines, and bolts, all fluids, and filters.
Intake Mods and Cleaning
Flex Innovations Grounding Kit
AMSOIL Oil and Filter, Fumoto Drain Valve
Knock Sensor
Oil Filler Tube Cap Gasket and O-ring
4EAT Diff Lock Switch
Walbro Fuel Pump and Connector

Suspension/Handling:
1" Subtle Lift
1/4" Spacers
Steering Rack, Bushings, Subframe Bolts

Wheels/Tires:
Painted Wheels
Backing Plate "Modification"

Brakes:
WRX Front Brake Upgrade

Utility/Protection:
Takeoff Struts and Primitive Skid Plates
Roof Basket, Spare Tire, Bike Mount
Rally Armor UR Flaps
OEM Trailer Hitch
Exhaust Mods

Exterior:
Paint Touch-Up (Grill, Fogs, Muffler, Body etc.)
Painted "S U B A R U" and "Forester" Badges
Clay Bar
Front Brush Guard Holes Grommet

Interior:
Previous Owner's Mods: Subaru Immobilizer, Vyper Remote Start, Sony XPlode XM Head Unit
A/C Refresher Kit
Spare Tire Well Support Mod - Updated
Switch Microlamps
4EAT Diff Lock Switch
Red Instrument Panel Illumination

To Do List:
Automatic Transmission Fluid/Filter/Sealant
Fuel Filler Neck and Ring Replacement
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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379 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Alloy Wheels Mod

The stock 16" alloy wheels had corrosion from salt, etc. so I decided to strip the wheels and paint them. I lined the wheels up and used a liberal amount of aerosol aircraft stripper to release the clear coat.



After two rounds of clear coat removal I sanded and sanded and sanded the wheels. I removed the corrosion and smoothed the minor curb rash on the edges.

I cleaned up the residue and cleaned the wheels with rubbing alcohol as the final step before primer. I primed with adhesion promoter primer then used 4 coats of satin black spray paint.

I wasn't 100% satisfied with the finish, so I wet sanded the face of the wheels and re-applied the satin black. After another coat I was satisfied. I chose not to use clear coat so I would be able to easily touch them up at any time.

For rubber, I went with Yokohama Geolander AT/S 215/65/16 tires from Discount Tire Direct. I understand that this is the largest size I can have without erasing the dirt from my strut perches and fenders. I based my choice on research and on Smash's and other member's recommendations. I secured them with black lug nuts and 70 ft/lbs of torque.



 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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379 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
1" Subtle Lift

The month of August appeared on my calender; and with it came another month of mods. I knew from the the time I began searching for my Foz that I wanted to be prepared for the Colorado off-road and for the Illinois snow. So, to compliment the Subaru AWD I decided to go with the Subtle 1" lift. The install was straightforward. In summary:

Removal:

Spray the bolts that are to be removed with PB Blaster for a couple days prior to removal. Engage the brake. Raise the car. Place on jackstands. Remove the wheels. Cut the brake line clip (not the brake line) only wide enough to slide out the line. Make a mark indicating OUT on the strut mounts (just in case you can't see the factory marking). Loosen and remove the strut mount nuts. Mark the camber bolt location for later (the top bolt in the front on each side). Remove the camber bolt (front only) and lower bolt. Remove the struts. Remove the strut mount bolts (I beat them out with a hammer).

Installation:

For the front, just place the spacer on top and screw in the included longer bolts. For the rear, borrow spring compressors and compress the springs. Count the number of threads showing above the top nut. Remove the top nut. Remove the top hat (strut mount). Remove the top hat bolts (once again, I beat them out). Place the spacer on top. Screw in the included longer bolts. Replace the top hat and spacer. Replace the top nut. Tighten until you see the previously counted number of threads. Remove the spring compressors. Feed the struts back up through and loosely tighten the strut mounts. Insert the lower bolts, then the upper bolts. Tighten the strut mount bolts (14.5 ±4.3 ft. lbs.). For the fronts, re-align the camber bolts using your mark. Hold the bolt head in place and tighten carefully without stripping them (112 ±14 ft. lbs.). Subaru recommends using new nuts. I had some on hand just in case I stripped them. Tighten the lower bolts (112 ±14 ft. lbs.). For the rears, tighten the bolts (145 +29/-7 ft. lbs.). Replace the ABS bracket (13.0 ±2.2 ft. lbs.). Replace the brake lines and clips (use zip ties, cable ties, etc. if you broke your clip). Replace the wheels. Tighten lugs (65 ±7 ft. lbs.). Raise the car. Remove jack stands. Lower the car. Enjoy the extra ground clearance. Get an alignment.

Hindsight tip: Get 4 lower camber bolts to have on hand. I eventually did add camber bolts to the front (OEM upper camber bolt, aftermarket lower camber bolt) and to the rear (upper only). Thanks to alldatadiy.com for the torque settings.

UPDATE: I added a 1/4" Subtle Saggy Butt Spacer to each rear 1" spacer. This actually makes the rear gap between fender and tire nearly identical to the front.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Takeoff Struts and Primitive Skid Plates

August was almost over and I hadn't completed some items on my list. So, as the east coast was getting soaked by or preparing for a tropical storm, I was modding my Foz.

After a month of driving this car, I realized the struts were original. I didn't float after bumps, but it wasn't a stiff, responsive ride like my wife's '08. So I scoured the classifieds on this forum for some takeoff assemblies. I tried several times to make a purchase from other members but they either never responded (I don't understand that), or someone else beat me. I eventually found some '08 takeoffs. After I agreed to buy them, I realized they were self-leveling rears. They were advertised as such, but I totally missed it. I made good on my offer to buy them and when I received them they were in excellent condition. I do have a set of springs from an '08 ready to put on KYBs whenever I get butt sag.

So now it was time to swap them in. I essentially did the Subtle 1" lift for a second time. Again, the fronts were easy, the rears were more difficult, and the brake line clips are different. Rears have a clip, the fronts I had to use zip ties. This time I was able to use a shop's lift and the quality spring compressors which made it much faster (8 hours the first time, 1-1/2 hours this time).

While the car was on the lift I was able to remove 2 broken bolts from the bottom where my skid plate needed to attach. A torch, some sharp drill bits, PB Blaster, a tap and die set, and some sweat was all I needed to get them out. Once the broken bolts were removed, I installed the Primitive 3/16" Full Armor.

The front plate is easy peasy. Hold up the plate, tighten the included bolts to the specified torque.



The rear, not so much. Spray the bolts that are to be removed with PB Blaster for a couple days prior to installation of the rear skid plate. Pull the exhaust from the rear three hangers. Support the muffler. Loosen the rear differential bolts. Loosen and remove the 4 bolts on the housing. Slide the rear of the plate between the frame and the differential. Use a small prybar and push against the cargo area floor pan and the frame to allow the skid to fit. Finish placing the plate in the correct location. Tighten the included bolts to the specified torque. Enjoy your body armor.

 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Roof Basket and Spare Tire

My goals in September were to prepare my Foz for carrying my mountain bike and spare tire, install mud flaps, and fixing the fading paint and touching up the factory paint.

Based on Blue Fox's recommendation and the affordability, I chose the Rola roof basket from e-trailer.com. It was $179 shipped. I bought the Thule cargo net at the same to get the free shipping on that as well.

Installation was a breeze. It is pre-drilled for the included screws. I added a step however; I used clear silicone to waterproof the male-female connectors and all the screw holes. I center justified the factory aero crossbars on the rails rather than justifying to the front or rear simply because I liked the look better. I did cut off the top 1/2" of the threads on the u-bolts so they wouldn't interfere with anything in the basket.



I mounted my spare tire (Yokohama Geolander AT/S 215/65/16) on the basket only because it wouldn't fit in the spare tire well. I secured it using Blue Fox's method. I drilled two 1/4" holes through the fourth from the rear crossbar for a small u-bolt assembly from the hardware store. Once again, I used clear silicone to fill the holes. I bought two eye-let bolts and a coupler to go through the u-bolt and through the center of the spare tire. I re-used the factory spare tire retention washer. I tightened it until I saw the crossbar deflecting.





I also mounted 2 bicycle fork clamp mounts on the left rear and front right of the basket for mountain bikes. This orientation keeps the chain and gears away from the spare tire. It was the only way I could fit two bikes and a tire. I widened the pre-drilled holes on the mounts to 5/16" for some wiggle room. I drilled 1/4" holes in the crossbars for the mounts. Added my clear silicone, and installed the fork mounts. I use a Yakima clamp on tire holder for my bike, and a velcro strap for my wife's bike.









I like the look that the Rola basket, spare tire, and bike gives my Foz. Both the tire and the bike are very solid.

UPDATE: Over-sized Spare Moved Back to the Tire Well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rally Armor UR Black Flaps

I was on the fence for a while on whether or not to pull the trigger on the Rally Armor UR flaps, DIY flaps, Primitive flaps, or cheap automotive store flaps. The reviews on the Rally Armor products were convincing. I ordered mine from Annapolis Subaru's infamous Jackie (the first person I call every Monday morning).

The install was extremely easy. I purchased extra plastic fasteners just in case mine broke. I used 2 new fasteners due to the old ones seizing up. I removed the wheels to make for quicker installation. Remove old fasteners. Place clips as indicated. Loose fit the flap. Align flap. Tighten fasteners. The instructions indicated I should re-install the plastic trim pieces before I install their rear flaps. Problem: I have no plastic trim pieces to re-install. A little research on the forum produced the part numbers (1 each of 57751FC000 and 57751FC010; 4 of 57728AC090) that I needed to order from Jackie:



And the final product:

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Faded Black Paint and Subaru Touch-up Paint

Next on my list was fixing the fading paint on the various black plastic and metal components. This included the windshield wiper arms, suspension, underbody, muffler/tip, fender liners, fog light grills, front grill, and engine components. This may possibly increasing the lifespan of the components against corrosion.

For the front and rear wiper arms, I just cleaned and dried them, put a sheet over the hood and windshield, and painted them with satin black. For the suspension and underbody, I use Rustoleum Rust Reformer on the metal and rusty parts, and Rustoleum Hi-temp paint on the brake calipers, wheel hubs, rotors, exhaust and exhaust tip. I may lose the paint on the shiny exhaust tip, but no big deal:



I have always been a huge fan of flat black paint on my fender liners. It holds up, it's cheap, and is easily touch-up-able (if that's a word). Tape off the fender lip if you feel led to.

I used Krylon plastic paint on the fog light grills. They are super simple to remove. They just snap on and off with one little clip. Wash, dry, and paint. Repeat twice. Re-install:



The front grill took a little more time. At first I just painted inside parts that were already black. But after seeing what others have done with their grills via the black paints, I taped her off again and said good-bye to the fake plastic chrome:





Under the hood, I painted various plastic and metal pieces with Krylon plastic paint and Krylon satin black paint, respectively. This included the belt guard, battery bracket, power steering fluid reservoir, bolts, etc.:



For the touch-up paint on the body, I used Subaru genuine touch-up paint (thanks Jackie). I took my time and put a couple of coats on the small rock chips on the hood and front. I had some larger scuffed areas on the lower plastic panel and the rear bumper cover.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Intake Mods and Cleaning

I had been researching the cleaning of the intake and the differing methods and theories on how to do it. I also wanted to remove the intake silencer (snorkus) and replace the OEM secondary air filter near the throttle body with the OEM gasket. I am still not clear on why some cars from the same year had the second filter and some had the gasket. Anyway, I ordered the gasket from Jackie, got PVC from Ace Hardware, a new MAF from a forum member, and an Amsoil air filter from a local dealer.

First, make sure you are in a well ventilated area and that the wind won't blow your exhaust directly into your neighbor's open windows.

So, I removed all of the intake (including disconnecting the MAF, of course). I cleaned the throttle body via the throttle plate the best I could using CRC spray and a mirror. I started the car and blew smoke for a couple minutes.

Next I removed the silencer using the numerous threads where Peaty and others document in detail the easy process. Here's a summary of how I did it: Turn front wheels to left. Remove fender liner (loosen) on the front side. Unscrew all silencer bolts. Remove snorkus. Remove the white ring from the bottom of the airbox. Replace the bottom of the airbox. Place a black 3" PVC 90 degree elbow (male to female) into the airbox from the fender area (hardest part of mod). I angled it about 30 degrees down. Place a black 3" PVC 45 degree elbow (male to female) vertically, but facing downward into the 90 degree elbow. I zip tied it to the bracket in the fender area. Re-install fender liner and fasteners. I covered the snorkus hole with duck tape and painted it primer gray:



Next, I removed the MAF from the air intake and replaced it with a new one (saving mine just in case, of course). I placed the throttle body gasket in the torque box and attached the throttle body cover to the torque box. Then I placed a new Amsoil ea74 air filter in the airbox and trimmed some excess rubber from the edges. I finished reconnecting the intake components except for the MAF.

I removed the tube from the PCV. I sprayed the valve with a generous amount of throttle body cleaner. Note: The image below is from the passenger side with the intake on the left and the coil pack on the right. The PCV is just behind the coil pack if looking from the front of the car.



I purchased some 1/4" tubing and placed one end in the PCV and the other end in a full can of Seafoam. My wife started the car and I made sure the vacuum pulled the Seafoam. I let it suck about a third of the can and shut off the engine. I waited 5 minutes and did the same thing except this time I created a monstrous smoke screen. My kids loved it, my wife not really. I ran it until the smoke was nearly gone. I poured the remaining third of the can in the 1/4 full gas tank. I disconnected the battery and hit the brakes a few times to reset the ECU. I waited at least 30 minutes and re-connected everything.

Anyway, I think it might be a little more responsive, but it wasn't bad before.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
A/C Refresher Kit

After I performed the lengthy intake mods and cleaning, I used the Subaru Genuine A/C Refresher Kit (thanks Jackie). I used the tutorial found here.

Summary: Shake the cans. Push the included tubing into the drain line behind the firewall on the passenger side just above the wheel knuckle area. Set the tubing up in the engine somewhere. Go topside. Shake the cans some more. Pull the tubing up and attach it to the large can. Depress the button, shaking occasionally, until the can is empty. Place a pan under the drain hose. Pull the tubing out. Let it drain for ten minutes-ish.

Unhook the compressor. It's to the right of the alternator and only has one wire going to it. Shake the small can. Start the car. Make sure you are pulling fresh air and set it to the "body" setting and on the highest setting. Spray 1/2-ish of the small can into the fresh air intake near the passenger side wiper. Set it to "floor" and use up half of the remaining can. Set it to "defrost" and finish emptying the can. Let the car run with the air on hi for a while. Turn the car off and plug the compressor back in. Dump the nasty water from the pan. Enjoy fresh air.
 

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2002 ES300
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Wow, looking good. I'd trust you to mod my Forester if you want. I like the direction you're going with yours. Clean, simple, and doing the little details that often get overlooked.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Spare Tire Well Support Mod

Upon removal of my factory issued 215/60/16 spare tire from the cargo area, I test-fit my new Yokohama Geolander AT/S 215/65/16 tire. Nope, doesn't fit. So I mounted her on the roof basket. In order to support the cargo floor, I opted for a cheap fix: an old plastic bucket.

I cut it down to 10-3/4" high (jigsaw) and put a 2-1/2" hole in bottom of the bucket (hole-saw drill set).





Before:



After:





UPDATE: Over-sized Spare Moved Back to the Tire Well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We don't need no stinkin badges.

I am torn between painting the S U B A R U and Forester emblems and just de-badging the lift gate. Here is a picasa comparison:





I am leaning toward de-badging. I like the clean look.
 

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2001 Forester L Automatic
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I'm not sure on the 99, but for the 01 when I did it there are holes under the forester badge, and under 2 of the subaru letters (I wanna say the U and the R?)! Just a heads up!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm not sure on the 99, but for the 01 when I did it there are holes under the forester badge, and under 2 of the subaru letters (I wanna say the U and the R?)! Just a heads up!
Thanks, a quick search earlier yielded that information. The U and R have alignment pins. Not a deal breaker for me though. I will attach something paintable to the inside and use my touch-up paint.
 
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