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2004 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I searched a bit and no one exactly has my setup and i need some help!

I have a 2004 XT forester with koni inserts and just have 2004 sti springs on the way.

What kind of spacer combination should I be looking at to level it out? I'm not really looking for a super slammed look. More for a daily driver fun car.

Will I need to swap out top hats if I go over 3/8 spacer height"?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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You don't really need to even it out. It actually handles better as designed, I've tried. You can fit up to 1/2" spacer on stock studs, you'll need to not install the dust cap on the rears and you'll barely have enough thread, but it will work perfectly fine.

1/2" spacers on all 4 corners worked best for me. If you are really after the look, just add the 3/8" or 1/2" to rear only, but handling may suffer a bit.

You could add or remove spacers later without unbolting the struts from the hub, it's a bit tricky but I've done it.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hey stan thanks for the reply, if I go 1/2" will I need to replace the top hat bolts?

Do you have any pics of your car with this setup?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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1/2" spacers should fit on the stock studs, you shouldn't have to replace them and should be able to run your tophats as they are now.

I did replace the fronts because I ran a strut bar, but without it it would have fit. Later on, I got a rear strut bar and replaced the rear studs too.

Your problem with putting longer bolts will be that they'll spin when you try to tighten down the tophats -- it's very frustrating. If you do decide to install longer bolts, I suggest doing something like I did later, after getting tired of battling the spinning bolts:







I may still have the front tophats you see above if you are interested, I sold the rears a while back.

Car looked like this with 1/2" spacers on all 4 corners:







You should like the KONIs, I ran them for a long time.

Stan
 

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2004 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Stan, that's perfect, that's exactly the height i want to run at!!

Cheers.
 

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2005 FXT 5MT
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121 Posts
I use 3/8" Subtle in the front and 1/2" Paranoid in the rear with WRX struts and Wagon pinks. Slightly different setup than yours, but I'm really happy with the stance and still have some good clearance. Without the spacers my setup was way too low for me.

The Paranoid 1/2" spacers come with longer stud bolts and they have a threaded nut already in place to keep the stud from spinning like Stan mentioned.

:Banane35:
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Neat, didn't know Shane was doing that now. My spacers were from him, probably one of the first batches he sold.

Stan
 

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2005 FXT 5MT
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Doh...wanted to double check mine after your post Stan. I was wrong and got mine from Primitive, not Paranoid.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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In those pictures, suspension was same as what the OP is setting up -- '04 WRX sedan strut housings with KONI inserts in them, STi springs ('05 or '06), 1/2" spacers on all 4 corners. Those wheels were 18x7.5" Prodrive GC10s with 225/45/18 tires. At that time it also had 24mm front/22mm rear adjustable sway bars, Cusco front strut bar and may have already had the Whiteline quick release rear strut bar. Roll Center Adjustment kit and STi rack were added later. It was a nice setup, though bordering being uncomfortable on rough roads, but that's how the Forester is.

Stan
 

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2004 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Stan, you seem very knowledgeable. Im using my factory forester struts that have the konis in them right now. Are the forester housings going to lift my car up more then if I had gone with the wrx housing due to the spring perch locations?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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The rear forester struts will have perches around 1/2" higher than Impreza, not sure if fronts are that much higher.

Basically, you would be increasing spring preload, similar to what happens in coilovers like Tein, etc. Things to mind would be you are decreasing amont of useable travel, may get closer to coilbind, will get into bumpstop much sooner, and camber settings will be different vs. Impreza strut which is slotted differently. Not saying this won't work, just some things to potentially check. By using Impreza strut housings you are using KONIs as designed, so it eliminates some unknowns.

This said, I've seen a Forester on stock SG struts and STi springs and height was even. Again, just a piece of the puzzle and doesn't 100% apply to your case since Forester struts have more upwards damper travel vs. KONIs.

You may look into shimming the inserts up using spacers to offset the perches being higher, like done here: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/1540337-post19.html

My guess is, you'd still have close to -1.5 of camber in the back with SG strut housings, which would be too much for my taste. I had around -.5 in the back with Impreza struts.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So my springs arrived and ive just finished installing them. WOW what a difference! They feel really nice. I did use the 1/2 spacer like you did and I didnt need longer studs. I might swap out the front for a lower spacer once winter is over. I live live up in canada and the roads are just terrible here but the suspension is soaking up everything. Thanks for all your help!
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Good stuff, nice when it all works out well.

If you are using KONIs, put a bit of grease on the front adjusters, they may rust otherwise. Also, some say to not leave them in either end of adjustment range, turn them at least a bit from the maximum if you are using them on full soft or hard rebound setting.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update!

I did notice the rear is has much more negative camber so i'll be ordering some alignment bolts and bringing it into the shop.

The shocks are working well, my girlfriend noticed a dramatical smoothness improvement even when the car looks like it dropped 2.5 inches. The stance is great and the ride is very nice. Can't ask for more, except for the snow to go away so i can put my rims on. lol
 

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2008 Forester XT manual
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203 Posts
Update!

I did notice the rear is has much more negative camber so i'll be ordering some alignment bolts and bringing it into the shop.

The shocks are working well, my girlfriend noticed a dramatical smoothness improvement even when the car looks like it dropped 2.5 inches. The stance is great and the ride is very nice. Can't ask for more, except for the snow to go away so i can put my rims on. lol
you have any pics of what it looks like with this set-up?
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Moopower, where are you located? I have some SPC camber bolts somewhere, I have no use for them. I could send them your way if you cover shipping.

Stan
 
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