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2010 Forester XT Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Build thread round 2. I recently sold my Stage 3 2004 FXTI to another member to get something a bit more civilized for the Wifey and baby. As fun as that was, the suspension was rough and it was loud. Not exactly family friendly.

We looked in options from an A4 Avant to a 2014 Outback 3.6. The A4 just didn't have the necessary room in the backseat, as I'm 6'4", it didn't leave much legroom. After going back and forth on potentially getting a larger SUV, which I didn't want and Wifey made it clear that she didn't want to give up her 2010 FXT Limited. We decided at that point another Forester made sense.

We found a 2010 FXT Limited with 28k miles in California, with no salt states in its history, so we jumped on it. Thankfully, it was only about 50 miles from my best friend's house and he was abke to drive out to inspect it and do the test drive. If you read my other build, he's the one who helped me with 90% of the work, so he knows Subaru's well. He gave it a resounding thumbs up, so we went ahead and bought it. The car was delivered this afternoon and despite being filthy, looks great.

With the acquisition of the new car, we now have his and her's 2010 FXT Limiteds in silver and black. I'll be taking over her car, as I prefer black and it has more mileage. Albeit only 36k, it's still more miles. It is quite amusing, but it works perfectly for us.





Yesterday I installed a 2012 STI swaybar and must say that I cannot believe how long it took me to do it. The silver will be getting on shortly. My current intentions are to eventually put it onto Swift springs and acquire a set of black wheels. It looks great with the black winter steelies and I want to carry that along. I'll either do that or powder the OEM wheels black and swap winter tires. I just need to figure out some cost/benefit there. I am not really a fan of the oem wheels though. It will not be getting any power mods. Ever. I've ridden that train before.

I'll add pics as it gets along.

Current:
Suspension & braking
  • Bilstein B6 struts
  • Peddler lowering springs
  • KYB front tophats
  • Whiteline Front Roll Center/Bump-steer Correction kit
  • Whiteline 22mm front sway bar
  • Whiteline 22mm rear sway bar
  • Kartboy front and rear end-links
  • Hawk HPS 5.0 pads on Hawk Talon vented/drilled rotors

Wheels
- OEM wheels mounted with Conti ExtremeContact DWS06

A/V
  • Alpine iLX-W650 head unit
  • Alpine S-S65/S65C speakers
  • Metra double din surround
  • Dynamat sound deadening: 4 doors, hatch, and cargo area

Exterior
  • Subaru fog light lens replacements left & right
  • Primitive Racing front and transmission under body armor plates
  • Yakima roof rack with box (during winter) or bike racks (during summer)

Interior
  • LED interior lights bulb kit
  • Replacement rear seat angle adjust buttons left & right

Pending
  • Fix paint and rust on rear hatch and other small spots on hood
  • Replace windshield *scheduled with Safelite in 2 weeks
  • Whiteline subframe bushing inserts *pending installation
  • Whiteline rear sway bar mount support brace *pending installation
  • Alpine HCE-C1100 rear-view camera *pending installation
  • Morimoto retrofitted headlights *pending delivery and installation

Might happen
  • JDM shifter paddles
  • Camber plates
  • Adjustable lower rear control arms
  • 3M clear bra after paint repair
  • Cobb Accessport
  • Intake w/ box
  • Catted downpipe
  • Subaru SPT exhaust
I'm still debating power changes, as that's what killed my SG.

Miscellaneous
  • Curt 1.25" hitch
  • 16" steelies mounted with Blizzaks (winter wheels)
  • Subaru oem all-seasons mats
 

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2010 Forester XT Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Kind of old thread resurrection here... After I sold my 2004 FXTi and bought my 2010 XT, I made it about 6-months without getting another fast car, which absorbed most of my time (in addition to raising a then two year old and having another kid). That was an e39 M5 that I had for a few years, got a ton of enjoyment out out, but left me with an extra car because it was effectively useless in the winter here in Colorado. The Subaru had been relegated to family car number two and functioned as a primarily winter/bad weather car.

Speaking of the Subaru, this thread was created around the black one above. That is the identical car to the silver one above - both FXT Limited. Shortly after this was started Wifey decided that she needed a 7-passenger vehicle. After a bunch of hemming and hawing between the new Ascent and other options, we picked up a used Infiniti JX35 (horrible car, btw). Leaving us with an extra, extra car we sold the black one to her Dad and kept the silver one.

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So, long story short, this thread is now about the silver one, which at the time this was started was identical.

On to today... I've been without my M for coming on a year, which is the longest I've been without a fast car and it's been bugging the hell out of me. Bad financial decision or not, we've been looking to sell the Subaru and get something better handling, with more power, better a/v, and allowing me to get all my wants in a single vehicle. This guy is just getting old (according to Wifey), despite only have 78k miles on an 11 year old car.

My core criteria are pretty simple: AWD, wagon, enough space for me (6'4") and a child (currently 8) behind me with space to grow, plenty of power (no particular hp need, just good amount of power), good a/v (android auto), and better headlights. We've looked at a Polestar, but that's $70k :oops:; A4 All-road, and even used ones (Prestige) are $45k; and an Outback XT, but handling doesn't meet my requirements. All are expensive given I have a perfectly functional XT sitting in my driveway that could just use some updating. So update we are doing. Imho, it's a way better idea than spending $45k on a new car, especially because I still have a 3- and 8-y/o who thoroughly destroy the rear seats of any car they travel in.

I will be posting as we go along, because we have a lot happening and it will be happening quickly.

Currently in-bound:
Bilstein B6 struts
Peddler lowering springs
KYB front tophats
Whiteline Front Roll Center/Bump-steer Correction kit
Alpine HCE-C2100RD Rear-view camera
Alpine iLX-W650 head unit (have just pending installation)
Metra double din surround
LED interior lights bulb kit
Subaru fog light lens replacements l & r
Rear seat angle adjust buttons l & r

Pending confirmation:
Will happen -
The Retrofit Source Mini Morimoto retrofitted headlights - need to confirm headlight shell part numbers to order and have sent there - this is a will happen
Sound deadening - this is a summer project
Fix paint and rust on rear hatch and other small spots on hood - someone hit me just hard enough to crack the paint and it's starting to rust
Replace windshield - want to wait until winter is over to stop the chipping

Might happen -
Cobb Accessport & SF intake w/ box (still debating power changes, as that's what killed my SG)
3m on front after paint is done

Current Upgrades/kit:
Primitive Racing front and transmission under body armor plates
Yakima roof rack w/ box. This is seasonal; my bike racks will go up once it stops snowing.
Hawk HPS 5.0 pads on Hawk Talon vented/drilled rotors
2012 STI rear swaybay
Curt 1.25" hitch
16" steelies mounted with Blizzaks (winter wheels)
OEM wheels mounted with Conti ExtremeContact DWS06

All said, assuming I do everything on the list, including a proper set of winter wheels (Sparco Terra) and summer wheels (tbd), I'm still looking at $4-5k, which is much better than $45k. I consider that to be a much better financial decision. What can I say? I'm a financial advisor; everything is about cost-benefit analysis. :)
 

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Now it's all about appreciation rather than depreciation. With less of the latter, you can do more of the former. And, with only 78K on it, well worth it in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LED interior lights went in over the weekend. It makes for a very nice change, albeit small. I still need to pull the door panels to change the bulbs for the door lights, but it's really cold outside right now, so that can wait.

Today I pulled my box so that I could get into the garage and start working.
550422


Front struts/springs/top hats went in tonight. I'm glad I got the new top hats because the OEM ones were cracking pretty badly and the bearings were gunked up really bad.
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Rears should go in tomorrow, toe/ball kit Thursday, fog lamps and door lights Friday (if I don't go skiing).

Projectors have been ordered. They will be going into new Subaru housings, which are on their way to Lightwerkz. Going to try for a call with them tomorrow to get the details sorted out. I want the closest to a factory look possible - both cosmetically and hue (white vs. too blue). No angel eyes or demon eyes. Just simple, but current and effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Teaching an old dog new tricks - I like it! If you don't mind spending a few more pennies, have a look at something like this instead of the Metra kit - JDM Subaru AV Panel - Gloss Black And Silver It looks a lot cleaner when all said and done.
Ah! I was looking for one of those. The head unit I have sits back really far so I'll see what it looks like with the metra, just to start with. I'll very likely be ordering one of those guys once the a/v goes in and I can get a look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Suspension is done. Finally.
550566


The alignment, while I expected it to be off, is really bad. Toe on passenger side is visibly off, despite counting my turns, and the camber is visibly negative.
550567
Going to have to get those back to reasonable numbers quickly. I know I should drive it a few hundred miles to settle it, but I might only make it a hundred before I take it in.

I always loved how when one part of the suspension get stiffer for can feel the slop elsewhere. Ton of play in the steering wheel that isn't causing any directional change to the car. I see new bushings working their way onto this car in the near term.
Finished the LED install and put them into the doors. Also got the summer roof setup in place as I don't think we'll be doing much spring skiing at this point. A/V still pending as electronic work is out of my pay grade and I need to wait for a friend's schedule to line up for us to do it.
 

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I don't know if we ever met up before (possible as it looks like we've both been around for 10+ yrs), but we should. I live in the Ken Caryl area and likely moving to HR over summer/fall. I'd be happy to do some wrenching or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I don't know if we ever met up before (possible as it looks like we've both been around for 10+ yrs), but we should. I live in the Ken Caryl area and likely moving to HR over summer/fall. I'd be happy to do some wrenching or something.
How have we still never? I guess my going dark after selling the SG didn't help.

edit: Dude! I see your red SG around all the time on 470. It always gets my attention because it's looks so much like my old one did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Spent this whole morning working on the already installed suspension. Passenger rear has been 'thunking' and sits 1" higher than the driver-side. Turns out in my quick pace to get things done I put the spring on upside down [head+wall]. Did get my Kartboy rear end-links installed while I had the back end up, so not a total waste of time. Sways and sub-frame bushings should be here by this evening, so I might get in some more work tonight.

Edit: Sways and subframe bushings showed up before noon, so I dove into the rear while I still had it up. Turns out the rear sway bracket bolts are stripped on - hold the brackets firm, but just spin. Despite my best efforts, I ended up pulling the exhaust down and drilling the bolts out. Despite my best efforts, the subframe threads in three (really!?!) cases were either stripped or had gotten damaged during drilling. So... Appropriate 10.9 zinc steel nuts and bolts are inbound from Mcmaster-Carr. If they're good enough for Kartboy end-links, they're good enough for my brackets. Everything is, for the most part, finger tightened into place for a quick install come delivery Tuesday.
 

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How have we still never? I guess my going dark after selling the SG didn't help.

edit: Dude! I see your red SG around all the time on 470. It always gets my attention because it's looks so much like my old one did.
Haha, that's pretty funny. My girlfriend and I trade off driving that and the wrx pretty regularly.

Looks like there's a cars & burgers meet up on 4/24. I'll send you a PM and maybe we can go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Current status:
Bolts came and everything tightened with no issues. Current rear view below.
551539

Two braces and subframe inserts still pending install.

Front 22mm Whiteline sway and Kartboy end-links installed.
Got my alignment done at MoFab in Parker Tuesday and despite their best efforts, couldn't get too much negative camber out of the front. Their suggestion at this point are camber plates up front and adjustable lower control arms in the rear.
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Two speakers, sound deadening on corresponding doors, and head unit installed. Turns out I bought a rearview camera that isn't compatible with my headunit, so it's getting uninstalled and another is going in. Crutchfield has been awesome with helping me figure it out what I need and ended up figuring out another, compatible one for half the price. They sent me the new one in advance so I can pull what I have and have my labels and such ready to go.

Safelite is coming in 2 weeks for a new windshield and headlights are still pending delivery.

I'm constantly on the fence about whether to get the JDM flappy Paddles, new wheels and tires, just tires on oem wheels, or look at powering up. All have a substantial bump in price and I've just done a ton of work, but at the same time, I'm trying to just hammer out my goals and be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Second rear door mostly done. Sound deadening and speaker are installed.
551603

Just pending installation of the door card. I goofed and accidentally broke a plastic bracket on the door card, so I'm waiting for some epoxy to dry.
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Hoping to get this and the driver's door finished tomorrow, cargo area by Sunday. Not going to do the hatch until I figure out whether I'm repairing and painting or just getting a new hatch and painting.

Slowly moving forward... Lots of pieces and projects all moving along at the same time. I have decided to hold off on wheels at this point. Tires are good for another 1-2 summers, so I'll just run these and look for good used opportunities to arise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Had some issues with creaking and popping coming from the front sway which, with the help of a few forum members, think I was able to get resolved. Now back to the other projects.

New camera mostly Installed but it has a different power source than the first I had used. Given I suck at all things electronic, this + figuring out reverse + steering wheel controls is absolutely killing me. It might take me months to figure this out. Most all the local stereo places won't install stuff that was brought in or partially installed, so I'm in a stuck spot here.

Despite saying I was never going to do anything power related to this car, I can't help it. I started the process of getting necessary parts for a stg 2+ (per Cobb's definition) tune. Cobb intake and box, Grimmspeed catted and divorced downpipe, V3 Accessport, and all necessary gaskets. I'll be keeping the cat back stock to keep it as quiet as possible. I don't need a "sounds mean" car. Just extra quick with really good handling.

I also decided that I really do need to get the camber and such properly situated, so more parts coming there. Pedder's front camber plates and Whiteline rear lower control arms are inbound. I should be able to get to a comfy -2/-1.5 combo with that. Aggressive for the street but shouldn't be tire destroying, given the outside edge of my tires are currently wearing at an accelerated rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well poop. Went to get the windshield replaced today and the guy wouldn't do it. There is a bunch of bubbly rust at the base of the windshield area. Given where it is now and the car's historical residencies, his assumption is that a prior installed scraped the poop out of the framing and just moved on like it didn't happen. It's been 5 years since it was replaced and that was enough for it to corrode and bubble up. So... I get to go to few body shops to get estimates for the rust and paint repair. Still cheaper than buying a new car, but a pain in the donkey.

I did get a picture of my headlights mid retrofit from Lightwerkz. I was planning on upgrading all of the bulbs up to LED. If I can figure out how to keep the DRLs functioning with LED (or at least non-yellowish halogen), that would be great. Though this added expense of the rust and paint repair might backseat that plan.

551990


The ball continues to roll, but at a now slower pace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Who's got an AccessPoint? This guy.
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Even just doing the oem parts tune the power delivery is noticably smoother and flatter. More powerful? Can't tell in the slightest, especially on the butt dyno.

Also got my first estimate from a body shop on the rust repair. Not as bad as I thought, but still bad. First body shop wouldn't touch it. Second shop estimate is, doing a "total fix" hitting every spot in need of repair. The hatch is such that it will be cheaper to replace new and paint than prep and paint because apparently there is fill under the paint (thank you prior owner). A lot, but we're still way under a new car and the NPV of buying a new car. But hurts... Likely would have skipped out on a bunch of stuff to offset this had I done this first. Derp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Replaced the Kartboy front endlinks with Whiteline adjustable ball joint endlinks, greased the bushings again, and remounted everything on Tuesday. It is planting better, and the front creaking and clunking has stopped. Rear is a little creaky, but not enough to put any effort into yet. Went to Car-Toys to get the a/v finished. Having a camera is really nice.

The plan to replace the camber plates has been put on hold. I crashed my bike breaking a few ribs on Friday and don't have the ability to work on the car. I need to get it over to the body shop and get the rust around the windshield fixed.
 
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