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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

The Forester passed her MOT last week - Yay !

But the rear springs I replaced in 2012 from memory, are now not looking great - Lots of rust. Nothing concerning safety related but they just don't look good, to the extent the factory original front springs that are double the age at 14 years old, look much much better with no signs of surface rust.

Am I the only one finding SpringCoil springs look a bit poor in terms of rust or is this common?

With the Forester being 14 years old and finding the ride just isn't as comfortable as it once was, I'm guessing the front shocks are on their way out and so considering options for all 4 corners.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Funny you mention Bilstein as that is what I've been looking at but not sure which series.

Budget wise, I'm not really sure what I would be looking at, but lets say keeping it around or under the 1K mark seems sensible for now.

So far the suspension mods I have, are thicker 22mm rear Anti Roll Bar and Poly bushes for that and Group N STI rubber bushings for the rest of the rear suspension.

I'm looking for a fast road setup but priority towards comfort, especially over potholed and patched up road surfaces with a less than perfect spine. Most of my driving is A and B road single carriage ways. I would want it to still remain confidence inspiring at realistic motorway speeds too.

A few weeks ago I borrowed a Toyota 4x4 with Bilstein 5100 Shocks - Completely different to the Forester I realise but it was comfortable and felt good up to realistic motorway speeds too - I didn't get a chance to try it on rural roads.
 

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I can't vouch for the quality but when I was looking at their spirings for my FSTI the customer service was pants! It was a while ago so they might have got worse :ROFLMAO:
 

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I can't vouch for the quality but when I was looking at their spirings for my FSTI the customer service was pants! It was a while ago so they might have got worse :ROFLMAO:
Can not be as bad as A.S.T when Curtis was at the helm what a clown he is , now hes working working for Nitron .

I waited for three months for my 5100's getting fobbed off him saying "yes definitely this week" eventually I emailed the factory ……. he hadn't even ordered them .
On a lighter note Cooksport now have the A.S.T rights for the U.k and I can say their customer service is excellent .
Back on track @TMX I think if you going down the Bilstein route you would probably want the B14's which are height adjustable ,( no adjustable damping) £ 850 odd .#
If you do get a set let me know what their like , perhaps I could even get a ride ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure a ride could be sorted.

Do you happen to know anyone with B14's at all? It seems they are designed more for lowering than raising by looks of Bilstein's site.

I am really curious how @fpan 's Bilstein suspension setup worked out on his FSTI before he sold up. Do you happen to know if the car is still in the UK at all?
Think I'll have to try and get some test rides with different setups if possible.... I wonder if an Impreza and Forester with the same setup would be comparable?

Think I need to do some digging to get an idea what the factory spring rates were as a starting point and how to pair spring rates to the various Bilstein options.
 

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@TMX you can have a drive of my car with the meister r's on to see if you like.
your only 20 miles down the road , but trust I drive safe not stupid.
ive just text @fpan to get his thoughts .
lets se if he will grace us with his presence.
 

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@ TMX, I was "happy" with the custom made setup I had but 2 people I know that had the same setup weren't.
Although the valving has been perfect for my liking, I haven't been happy with the play one stanchion had in the shock's body and I was told by the company that made them that it was "normal" (the play could only be felt with the car on a jack and when you rocked the wheel left/right).
I was told that when the car sits on its weight and the stanchion is inserted in the shock's body the play doesn't matter.
I have not been conviced with the explanation as new OEM shocks don't have any play at all.
I had the shock refurbished but the play remained (it was reduced though).
Although it didn't seem to cause any issues , after spending more than £1k on the suspension I'd want them to be perfect and wouldn't accept any bad tolerances at all.

As far as I know the previous owner of my car lives in the Surrey area.
I could bring you in touch with him, if you are interested.

You will probably find alternative ways easier though to explore suspension options for the FSTi?

What about a new set of OEM shocks from Japan? I know they are not cheap and if the rears start knocking you can find a place that can replace the bronze bushes that wear that is the cause of the issue.

Personally and after having tried 7 suspension setups in my Subarus, I'd stay away from aftermarket coilovers for a road car.

The only coilovers I am happy with are the KW v3 that I have in my Abarth but out of the box these are crap as well and a friend had to modify them to get more suspension travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@fpan Do you know why the 2 people that had the same setup weren't happy?

With your experience of the 7 setups etc, What would your approach be if you were doing it again but with comfort of more of a priority with a majority of the roads travelled being A and B roads but still remaining confidence inspiring at motorway speeds? but keeping the UK XT ride height or possibly gaining 1 inch.

It seems everything I've read, there's always conflicting views and opinions so hard to know where to look.

I'm not looking to put this on a track or any kind of competition or offroad use beyond the odd muddy field/track.
 

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It sounds like you just need a suspension refresh rather than performance options.

I would suggest brand new top mounts all round, retain your current springs and fit KYB Excel G dampers. It would also be worth changing the steering rack bushes for new help with the refresh, consider a slightly uprated rear antiroll bar if you still wanted extra improvements following the dampers etc

I'm not sure how to gain an inch on ride height, never gone that way!

Use this for some part number references https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/kyb-gr2-excel-g-review.83374/
 

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One friend of mine experienced bottoming out, the second found it hard (oscillating) at certain roads (uneven motorways).

Standard FSTi OEM shocks and STi pink springs (which are NLA AFAIK so you'd have to have them replicated by Springcoil; I believe Stinkfist contacted Springcoil to have this done, best to ask him) is the best compromise, this setup performed well even on track.

Otherwise as The Hoff has mentioned Excel-G shocks and Springcoil springs would be a good compromise (I have not tried this setup so cannot comment).

Suspension is something so subjective so one man's gold is another one's $hit.

It's best to try and get a ride in cars with different suspension setups to decide what works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have the Excel G shocks on the back and haven't been impressed with them.

Is there a certain measurement of dampening for a shock, like springs have their own rates etc? It would be interesting to compare the Bilstein OE type range to the Excel G range and the factoy KYB front shocks were for the XT and FSTI

Also looking at the Bilstein B6 Adjustable 10 shock but can't find a Subaru application in the UK yet....

Steering rack bushes were changed out for poly type a few years back now and made a huge improvement.
 

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The only option for an adjustable damper on the Foz without going coilovers is the koni sport adjustable inserts... this is what I am in the process of at the minute


KYB AGX is adjustable damper too but again, not in a Foz fitment
 

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I see Pedders do a selection of setups now, including a Lift kit.......

 

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Is there a certain measurement of dampening for a shock, like springs have their own rates etc? It would be interesting to compare the Bilstein OE type range to the Excel G range and the factoy KYB front shocks were for the XT and FSTI
I had the OEM FSTi shocks measured at Cornering force and graphs provided, if you search through my old posts you should be able to find them.
I'll check when I have a minute.
Edit: I cannot find the graph I am afraid :(
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Managed to get a test ride with a Tein coilover setup - Way too firm for my liking.

I've contacted Bilstein for previous part numbers for anything other than the B4 series of shocks they currently market for the SG. I'm not holding my breath.

@fpan Would you have uploaded the graph via PhotoBucket etc? I can't seem to find a previous post with the graph you mention in - Lots of spring rate posts though to give me somewhere to start.
 
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