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2009 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased this 2009 Forester. Subio is the name. It is the first vehicle I have owned that has so much potential for customization. Many of which are factory upgrades. My previous two vehicles have been the Land Rover Discovery and a Freelander. LR pisses me off with expensive repairs, and depreciation value of their vehicles. I'm done with Rovers.

While the 2009 Forester has a new beefy body style, many performance mods are not yet available for this ride.

Here is a brief list of the recent upgrades from base model 2.5x:

PERFORMANCE:
Cosmo Cold Air Intake
MagnaFlow Mufflers with Stainless Steel 4" Double Wall Tips
Volo Performance VP12chip with Fuel Saver chip too
TSW Snetterton 19" Alloy Wheels
Nexen N3000 235/35R19 Performance Tires
Kakumei Blue Alloy Battery Holder
Kakumei Blue Alloy Oil Cap
Kakumei Blue Alloy Brake Fluid Cap

INTERIOR:
NRG Carbon Fiber Shift Knob
NRG Carbon Fiber Hand Brake
Carbon Fiber Dash Paneling Kit
Subaru Tweeter and Woofer Upgrade
Subaru Ipod adapter kit
Subaru Rear Cargo Rubber Floor Mat
Subaru Rear Cargo Side Nets
Blue LEDs in footwells
Racing Silver Alloy Pedals and Foot Rest plate

EXTERIOR:
Carbon Fiber Mesh Grill
Carbon Fiber License Plate Frame
Curt Class III Trailer Hitch and Wiring Kit
Yakima SwingDaddy Bike Rack
Subaru Fog Light Kit
HID Conversion Kit for Lo Beam, H11, Blue 10k color
HID Conversion Kit for Hi Beam, HB3-9005, Blue 10k color
HID Conversion Kit for Fog Beam, 9006, Yellow 3k color


PERFORMANCE:
The CAI from Cosmo Racing is the very first performance aftermarket part that I have seen available. I was at a local performance shop and they could custom build an intake for me for about $350. The Cosmo Racing Intake is complete for $200. Two notable points here. Improved performance with acceleration, especially in the non-sport mode. Subio is an automatic. The second is sound quality. When mashing on the gas, you can hear a deep, throaty throttle response as you would expect from a performance car. It sounds totally cool. Also, it only sounds this way when you need it. The car is quiet when driving normally. Estimated HP increase of 5HP. See my comments in the engine and exhaust forum. The install was a bit tricky. There are some spots where the intake rubs against metal parts and during idle, you would hear an annoy vibration chatter from metal parts smacking one another. This was fixed with some strips of rubber and cable ties.

In this photo you can see the HID ballasts too. They are very slim and easy to install.


Magnaflow mufflers and tips will be installed tomorrow. Estimated HP increase of 5HP.

Volo Performance VP12 chip. Again, I noticed a dramatic improvement in throttle response and acceleration, especially from stop and during high speed passing while cruising at 75mph. I loose about 2mpg in fuel efficiency with these two pieces. I get 24mpg. Stock got about 25.7mpg. I also have the fuel saver chip for the Volo, but I have not used it yet. Estimated HP increase of 10HP.

TSW 19” Snetteron wheels and Nexen Tires add class and Performance to this ride. I picked these up used on craigslist for $450. Great deal and the tires had less than 1000 miles on them. The overall tire height was slightly less than the stock 16” base wheels with hubcaps. Therefore, the speedometer reading is of by 3mph. When speedo reads 60mph, actual speed by GPS is 57mph. Wife likes that.


Kakumei blue alloy caps and battery hold down accessories complete the blue accent color to the engine compartment. It is a nice compliment to the Cosmo blue intake system. The Kakumei kit comes with three oil caps (2 different kinds), and one battery hold down. The standard oil cap is on the oil fill reservoir. The other two are identical round caps with allen screws. One is not used. The other fits nicely over the brake fluid reservoir cap. I had to modify the stock cap to slide the Kakumei over the top and secure it with the allen screws. Worked great.


INTERIOR:
The stock sound system lacked stereo separation and low frequency sound production. I immediately added the Subaru tweeters and under-seat subwoofer. It was all that Subio needed. For road trips, we like to use an ipod. The Subaru ipod kit makes a seamless operation. Way better than any other aftermarket input device. It is great to use the factory stereo for controlling the ipod. The stock stero gets excellent FM and AM signals. Way better than the head units in most aftermarket head units and definitely better than the Land Rovers. For example, I can pull my favorite sports radio station from Phoenix 120 miles north of Tucson. A bit of static comes through, but good enough to catch the Suns game.

Carbon Fiber blends well with the platinum interior and dark gray exterior. I am also a fan of ultra light carbon fiber racing bicycles. Yes, I’m a weight-weenie. Therefore, my love for CF extends into car parts. Subio has an NRG Semi-ball shift knob and a CF hand brake handle. NRG does not make a knob that threads directly onto the AT stick. I purchased the knob that has various sizes of plastic inserts. It comes with three allen bolts. Slide on insert and knob, then torque the allen bolts to hold secure. The NRG ring seals up the allen screws and completes the cool looking accessory. The CF brake handle and CF dash kit has not yet arrived for install. Arrgh!


Subaru cargo nets and rear plastic floor matt add some practical storage and protection for the trunk area. Subio came with a top cover, which I really like.

It took me quite a while to locate racing pedals for this car. I stumbled across these, which required removing the rubber brake pad and drilling into the gas and brake pedals. These pedals deliver a solid feel and performance. These work much better than clip on pedals. Avoid those. This kit also included the foot rest plate, which was very difficult to find. I don’t like the pink rubber that comes with the STI pedals, so this kit was a nice option. All for $85. I opted not to drill the holes for the footrest plate. The stock plastic fasteners fit in the upper and lower holes of the plate without any mods or drilling. Aftermarket $15 three lamp blue LEDs were installed in each footwell. These add great color and effects. They are much brighter than the stock LEDs found in the overhead console or the center console cubby hole.



EXTERIOR:
The Carbon Fiber Mesh Grill has not yet arrived. I am very excited to install this product. The stock grill is lame. The Subaru mesh grill is very cool, but everyone has one. This custom made CF grill is sporty and very different from all the others. A CF license plate holder adds more carbon to the sporty-gray Subio exterior.

I don’t really plan to do any towing, but I do need to haul my bike/bikes around. Therefore, I opted for the less expensive Curt class III hitch over the Subaru Class II hitch. I do admit that the Subaru hitch looks more stylish, because it replaces the metal rear bumper and the hitch hole just pokes out from the plastic bumper cover. The Curt hitch bolts to the frame and can be seen hanging below the bumper cover. It is stronger, but there were trade-offs. The SwingDaddy bike rack totally swings away from the car to allow full access into the rear trunk area. Works great!

Subaru fog light kit was installed. This was another painless operation. It looks much harder than it was. Pop off the front bumper cover, slide in the lamps, hook up the wiring harness that is just waiting to be used, snap in bezel rings, then pop out old light switch and slide in the new one. Done in 3 hours (and I work slow). I could do another one in less than an hour now.


Another one of my favorite installs was adding HID conversion kits to all three lamps: Hi beam, Lo beam, and Fog beams. The light intensity of a true HID lamp is amazing. I bought each kit from xenonwholesale (ebay store) for $45 each delivered. 3 kits totaled $135. The price of HID conversions have really come down the past couple years. I considered buying the Phillips Silverstar HID-like lamps at Autozone for $50 each set. I thought I should explore true HIDs first. I’m glad I did. The install was super easy, It is all plug and play. There is no mods necessary. Just clip all the connectors together, find a spot to stick the super skinny ballast, and you are done. I had the first set installed in about 30 minutes. The other two sets were popped in within 10 minutes. The hardest part was finding a spot for the ballasts. I recommend sticky them to a surface that is parallel to the ground. Mounting perpendicular will cause them to unstuck and bounce around the engine compartment; not a good idea.

Only Lo Beams are on here




Cheers,
Scott
 

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2009 Premium X AT
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866 Posts
Woah very nice!!! Do you see any difference in power/sound with the Cosmo Air Intake and the Magnaflow mufflers? I'm looking to bump up the performance of my 09 as well, now that I'm done with my sound system and exterior mods. How much were they? And how do you like the HID kit? Better visibility? Was it a simple plug and play unit?

You can check out what I've done so far if you wish... Great job and welcome to the forum!

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/aznfolife924s-official-mod-journal-59199/
 

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2010 Forester X 2.5 Auto
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95 Posts
Excellent!

As you mention them, are the side cargo nets the only one's you recommend? Any other accessories you recommend at the point of ordering?
 

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2014 CVT
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826 Posts
that is a sweet hot air intake...........lol you should lower it tho, from the angle of the picture it seems like you have a pretty good gap between the tire and wheel well
 

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2009 Forester
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the compliments.

AzNfo, there is a big performance boost. The sound quality is awesome too. The mufflers add a nice deep rumble, but not unbearable. I'm not a fan of what I call the "fart mufflers." You know, the loud rattlely mufflers from some lowered cars with exhaust systems. These Magnaflows sound like a true performance car.

It is hard to tell what gave the most performance since the three major mods, exhaust, intake, chipset, were all done about the same time. However, I would have to say that the chipset probably gave the best performance improvement. I think the intake and exhaust added some performance but mostly improved teh sound of the car when revving and driving. It's fun to step on the pedal.

The HID Conversion is the way to go!!! Not only looks way better, but also improves visibility. I'm a cyclist and mount biker. Not sure if you are. But HID is like HID headlamps vs halogen lamps when night riding. It is a huge improvement is light intensity and color. You really notice the difference when you pull up beind a car at a light. The light color is White. You can see every spec of dust and dirt on the car in front of you. With halogen, youi do not see the details.

I also bought the 10k color which is very blue-white. This lamp temp is not as bright at a 6k lamp, so buy accordingly. You can get even more visibility than these 10K. However, the 10K offer better visibility than any halogen lamp.

Also, HID conversions are plug and play. Mine cost $45 a set delivered. The cheapest I could find on ebay was from xenonwholesale88. He is quick to ship but slow in respoinding to emails. This can be frustrating if you have problems. But he will take care of you.

HID conversion kits are very cheap today. Several years ago they cost $250 per set. Today, they cost the same as those stupid Superbrite Sylvania halogen lamps from Autozone or Checker. So, go HID and enjoy the kick-azz performance and color improvment.

AzNFO, I'll check out your mods, thanks for the link.

Duderotomy, you are correct. The pic is 2 days before the mufflers. I will post new pics tonight. I kida wish I had longer tops, but they still look awesome and sound great.

Hambo, I recommend all the accessories I have listed. I am vey fond of the pedals, carbon fiber shift knob, and CF grill. No one has these!!! So that makes it special. I will post photos of that tonight. As for the side cargo nets, I like them. They also make a cargo net that hugs the rear seats, but I often lower teh seats to slide in bigger objects. So, I just thought it would be more hassle to remove that net everytime I lowered the seats. So, I only opted for the side nets. I really like the cargo floor mat too. It is a perfect fit and protects the carpet from dirt and stuff.

Raider, thanks for the tip. I'll look into that some more. Problem is, the intake rubs on a couple steel lines. At first attempt, it would not go any lower. But, I should try installing it again at a different entry level to get under those lines.

Someone else told me that the filter needs to be lower to get more cold air. So, I will explore it. I thought of putting a plate over the section where the tube goes down to keep hot air from going down into that compartment. Will this help???
Cheers,
Scott
 

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2010 Forester X 2.5 Auto
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95 Posts
The sound quality is awesome too. The mufflers add a nice deep rumble, but not unbearable. I'm not a fan of what I call the "fart mufflers." You know, the loud rattlely mufflers from some lowered cars with exhaust systems. These Magnaflows sound like a true performance car.

It is hard to tell what gave the most performance since the three major mods, exhaust, intake, chipset, were all done about the same time. However, I would have to say that the chipset probably gave the best performance improvement. I think the intake and exhaust added some performance but mostly improved teh sound of the car when revving and driving. It's fun to step on the pedal.

Hambo, I recommend all the accessories I have listed. I am vey fond of the pedals, carbon fiber shift knob, and CF grill. No one has these!!! So that makes it special. I will post photos of that tonight. As for the side cargo nets, I like them. They also make a cargo net that hugs the rear seats, but I often lower teh seats to slide in bigger objects. So, I just thought it would be more hassle to remove that net everytime I lowered the seats. So, I only opted for the side nets. I really like the cargo floor mat too. It is a perfect fit and protects the carpet from dirt and stuff.
I'd be interested in a chip but only once the warranty run out as I believe doing this instantly voids the warranty.

Exhausts are something I would love to get down the road.

I have a German Shepherd and we love to go swimming in the rivers so the floor mat is the first thing on my list!

My proposed spec is -

Forester X Auto

* Tweeter kit
* Front Mud Flaps
* Cargo Floor Mat
* Resin Bumper Step
* Side Cargo Nets
* Rubber Mat Set
* Formula 1 All Round Tint (Except front screen)

Later down the line I'd like to get -

* Fridge/Freezer unit
* Awning/Tent (Something like a Subaru Forester Sportz SUV Tent)
* Sports mufflers (improved sound and a few hp)
* Rear sway bar
* Recaro front seats with squab extenders
* Towbar
 

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Blue LEDs in footwells
.....

EXTERIOR:
.......
HID Conversion Kit for Lo Beam, H11, Blue 10k color
HID Conversion Kit for Hi Beam, HB3-9005, Blue 10k color
HID Conversion Kit for Fog Beam, 9006, Yellow 3k color
Cerreta,

A Very nicely done car.

A couple question:

1) is there a factory plug for the blue footwell light or did you splice into the loom yourself-if so, where did you wire it from?

2) HID conversion - any issue of it being too bright for on-coming driver

thanks
forrestseeker
 

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2009 Forester
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Orellius, I agree with you on the importance aiming of lamps. However, it really doesn't matter if it is HID or halogen. A poorly aimed lamp is always annoying. Problem is there is no way to avoid it because vehicles have different heights and beam trajectory will be different for each car that gets blasted. For example you in a Forester may get blinded, but the car next to you with a driver sitting 12" lower than your position will not get blinded.

Most taller trucks that tailgate me usually blind me in the rear view, so I bought an autodimming mirror and no longer worry about it.

HID Conversions are legal. I do not know about the color temps, but ballasts of less than 50watts are leagal. These are 35 watt ballasts and offer plenty of power. BTW, your 4300K lamps are way brighter than 10K lamps, or those 12k purple lamps, so the argument is hard to justify.


Seeker, the LEDs were an aftermarket add-on. I will get you the wire color and location tomorrow. I spliced at the back side of the fuse panel. I spliced into the Illumination wire. These LEDs will only light up when the headlamps are turned on. They light up when the radio and dash cluster lights up.

Seeker, as for lights, I have them properly aimed and had not had anyone flash me to date, going on two weeks. The Lo beam lamps are in a proper fixture that directs the light backward, and reflects foward. The Hi beams do not have the director. So, the lamp is exposed. I'm not sure what the stock HID units look like. However, I am curious. I'll try to explore it.

Hambo, the maker of the chipset claims that it does not void the warranty. However, I will likely remove the device when getting service work, just in case. They also claim that no traces are left in the on board computer unlike other resistor chipsets. So, I feel confident that all will be well.

I also talked to the exhaust shop gus about the intake and exhaust mods and they said these do not affect warranty as long as mods are made to exhaust after the cats and the intake system does not alter the Mass Air sensor. So, all should be good with this car. I'll ask the dealer next time i go in.
Cheers,
Scott
 

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2009 Forester
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206 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
12/1/09 Update
Well, a week has passed and more parts have arrived in the mail. It feels like an early Christmas for me. The highlights to comment on are the carbon fiber grill and exhaust installation.

The grill is just plain sick! The best part, is cost $200 delivered (ebay dealer) and the fact that no one else has one. I am very impressed with the crafstmanship on this Chinese made part. The product is made of 3K carbon fiber weave with a high gloss finish. The mounting portion is made of fiberglass and painted black. The grill material is a standard mesh grate that has been painted black. I am happy for this, because the picture in the ebay ad shows a silver mesh grill. The mesh is secured with a very simple metal clip system. The grill did not come with bolts, but you need them. These 2 threaded bolts replace 6 machine screws.
After removng the old grill, there are two mounting brackets attached to the fender skirt which remained. I thought about cutting them off but I am glad I decided not to. Although you can see them through the mesh, you really need them for securing the new grill. I used four zip ties to anchor the mesh near the clips (not seen from the front). This helped a lot. Otherwise, the grill will rattle and sits a bit far from the fender skirt.
Another necessary mod was drilling the fastner holes to 3/8”. The hole locations were perfect, but just too small to pass the stock fastners. The final mod was a slight dremeling to widen the holes for the two replacement bolts.

All in all, this grill is sexy and required very little modification to get a very good fit.
Here are some grill pics:

This is the OEM grill


Carbon Fiber Mesh Grill




Lo Beam HID 10K with Fog Beam HID 3K


Lo Beam HID 10K with Hi Beam HID 10K




Mounting portion of grill is built with fiberglass and painted. The hole locations were perfect, but hole size was enlarged to 3/8” to pass stock fastners.


 

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2009 Forester
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Discussion Starter #19
Photos of car exterior and wheels:







This is the Kakaumei oil cap that has been fitted to slightly modded brake fluid cap.







Photos of Exhaust System





 
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