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06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Team Scream 06 FXT

Here we go.

I purchased my 2006 Forester XT on February 20th 2010 after much debate.
I had wanted an FXT for at least 2 years, but I already had a nice WRX project going on so the Forester would have to wait until I could justify a new project.

I knew before I ever started looking for a Foz that mine would be as much like the JDM FXSTi as possible, and I actually started collecting swap parts before I test drove the first Forester I looked at.

Initially, I looked really hard for 5MT based Foz, but the only ones that met all of my conditions were several states away. I actually spoke with Tallazpillipino and was dead set on buying his Foz, but it was unclear when he was going to be able to show the car, and I was not going to wait forever to get started. I would have bought his car in a minute had he been available to show it, but alas that never happened, and this one showed up on Craigslist, it was local, and it had NEVER been modified in any way whatsoever. Yes it had twice the mileage, but it was also $5000.00 less and was available NOW, so I snagged it....It really was a no brainer for me.
In the end, however, my car has the 4EAT, but it is a FXT Limited with the all weather package which is really nice.

Anyway, I bought my Foz with 55K miles on it and it is in pristine condition. It was owned by an older couple and it was primarily the wife's runabout vehicle from the day they bought it in late 2006.

They purchased the 6 year/100K mile warranty with the car when they bought it, had every single major service as well as all of the minor services done by the dealership they purchased it from which was nice. They also provided me with all of the receipts from every service the car had from the day they drove it off the lot.

I really looked these files over with a fine tooth comb before I bought the car, looking for any major issues they may have had and there were none whatsoever.

So, after convincing the previous owner to get the car smogged prior to the sale, I gave them a $1000.00 deposit, and told them I would meet them that Friday. We met at my credit union which was closer to their house than mine, and an hour later, I owned my first Foz !

When I bought the car, it had the famous moonroof problem, the previous owner told me about it upfront, and indicated that it was covered by the warranty but they had not had a chance to get it fixed because it just started acting up about a week before they decided to sell the car and buy a new truck.

I took the Foz to the closest dealership about 4 days after I purchased it and dropped it off, AFTER sending the paperwork to Subaru to have the GoldXXX warranty transferred into my name. I picked the car up 4 days later with a brand new moonroof motor, and track system and it now woks flawlessly.... No charge to me.

Shortly after that, I purchased a TurboXS full turbo back exhaust system, and a TurboXS top mount IC, but waited a few weeks to install them.
I wanted to make sure I had all of the potential warranty stuff out of the way before I modified anything just to be on the safe side.

Then I set out on the quest for the proper look and driveability.

My first 2 mods were the rear spoiler, and the OEM splash guards and the 2003 JDM STi hood scoop.

Then came WRX takeoffs (struts and STi springs).
Then I installed an STi rear sway bar and STi mounts.
After that, I installed the exhaust and top mount.

Shortly after all of that, I purchased the Sports bumper, grill and vents.
The bumper cover is at the body shop as I write this first post getting painted, it will be ready for me to pick up on Monday morning (today is Saturday, I dropped it off on Friday).

Today I installed Gimmick hood struts...they are just fine.

While all of the other mods were happening/waiting to happen, I purchased, received and then started to prepare everything I need for the full 6MT/R180/5x114/Brembo/DCCDPro/Group-N transformation.

Below are some of the pics, and links to threads I have started while venturing through this journey.

I will document as much as I possibly can along the way in an effort to help others, particularly with the major swap stuff as there seems to be a bit of a void when it comes to that information here.

As of this writing, I am aware of 2 other 6MT swaps happening among us, however I think mine is the only 4EAT to 6MT swap among them.

Parts purchased so far include but not limited to:

2007 6MT (19K miles) looks brand new
2007 R180 (19K miles) looks brand new
2007 Drive Shaft (19K miles)
2007 Brembos (19K miles) (as mint as they come!!!)
2007 knuckles and hubs
2007 Control arms
2007 lateral links
2006 STi axles


front and rear wheel bearings and seals
group-n trailing arm bushings
group-n lateral link bushings
group-n engine mounts
group-n trans mount
kartboy shifter bushings (all of them)
kartboy short shifter
STI shifter assembly (Thanks Jackie from Annapolis Subaru)
TiC outrigger bushings (comfort)
TiC rear diff bushings (comfort)
SpiiderDCCD Pro (Deluxe)
Rotors (front and rear)
Pads (front and rear)
Act SB4-HDSS (clutch)
ARP Extended wheel studs
Whiteline Roll Center Adjuster
Grimmspeed high flow cross pipe
Grimmspeed high flow up pipe
Muteki SR-48 open ended lug nuts (black)


2005 STi steering rack and U-Joint
Brake master cylinder and booster
Clutch master and slave cylinder
Subframe bolts
Trans cross member bolts
Just about every nut and bolt you can imagine from completely stripping a 2005 STi down to the bare shell.
STi (red) intake manifold
STi ported and prepped exhaust manifolds
STi pedal box assembly (although the gas pedal is different and will not work)


STi rear crossmember
STI rear outrigger
STi front crossmember
STi transmission cradle assy.
2006 ForesterXT (manual) ECU, Ignition Key and Immobilizer from the same FXT.
STi shifter trim center piece and boot, plus the metal plate.
2006 WRX throttle pedal assy.
2006 Forester XT (manual) transmission cradle assy. (just in case I need it).
2006 STi BBS wheels that I had powder coated "solar black"

Thats all for now....I will add more as I progress.

Here are the pics of all the undercar stuff I had powder coated.


06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Axles-More anal retentive overkill

Ok so as part of my getting ready to do the 6MT swap into my beloved Foz, I also decided to completely disassemble my axles and do a full service and replace all the balls, boots, grease as well as paint the shafts and outers.
Here are some pics.

Basically once they were apart and all the grease cleaned out, I had them glass bead blasted, then I masked them and painted them with Duplicolor red caliper paint.

Then I used VHT engine enamel clear.

Here is what they look like unmasked, you can see how nice all the surfaces look after the bead blasting.

Here is the inside of one of the outers, with the bearing race and balls installed. You have to tap these races in place carefully, so I had that completed BEFORE paint to avoid chipping the paint after the fact.

Closer look. When the painting is complete you pack the insides of the outers with grease, pack the new boots with grease and put it all back together.

Here are the shafts, bead blasted and painted.
I used flat black rustoleum as a primer, then satin black as a finish coat.

Here is what 2 of them look like all put back together probably better than new now.


Ok so I took all of my freshly painted axles parts back to my bro Mateo over at "Axle Rebuilders Certified" in Los Angeles to be reassembled.
Mateo is a really nice guy who knows everything there is to know about CV axles and steering racks.
I used old socks to keep the ends nice and scratch free during the process and for the ride up to see Mateo.

Here are some pictures of the process.

First you slide a new boot over the end you are going to assemble.

Then you put a bearing race and bearing cage over the end of the axle:

Then you replace the snap ring that keeps the bearing race in place:

Then you line up the race and the cage so you can place a new ball bearing in each of the available slots:

Then you fill the cup with grease:

Then you place the axle shaft into the splined inner portion of the bearing race:

Then you add more grease and smear it all around and pack it in between each of the balls:

Then you replace a small wire lock ring around the upper most portion of the cup (inside the cup) which keeps the race and cage in place or from coming out of the cup. I did not take a pic of that part....ooops.

None the less, the next step is to slide the boot down around the cup and into place before placing band clamps around the big and small end of the boot, in this next picture, you can see one of the wire lock rings I am talking about above the boot:

Then you use the special band clamp tool and tighten the clamps:

And that is about all there is to rebuilding axles.
Bead blast the components, clean EVERYTHING, New ball bearings, new cages, paint if you want to, new boots, new grease and new clamps and VIOLA:


06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Rear diff, Diff cover and STi pedal assembly painted

OK so more OCD in action here on my project.

Today I completely sanitized the rear differential.
Removed the cover, cleaned out all the old oil, then using a full can of brake cleaner, I cleaned the exterior of the differential after putting an old R180 diff cover on to keep paint spray and dirt out while sanding, cleaning and painting.

Here is what it looked like before I started.

Then I masked around the sundials (side seal retainers), and the front yoke dust cover, and I painted 2 coats of flat black Krylon as a rust preventative.
But primarily to make the whole thing a uniform deep black.

Then I used VHT Eninge enamel CLEAR to give it a durable, cleanable finish.

Here is what it looks like with the masking tape removed.

Then, I decided that the STI pedal box I was going to install needed some love as well.
These things come bare metal, but since I had it in my hands, and the amount of work to mask it sufficiently to get a nice satin black finish on it was minimal, I went at it.

If you look at these pics, you can see that I used aluminum foil to mask around the switches and things I did not want to paint.
Foil is easy because it stays in place, and is easy to remove.

Then, I decided to paint my diff cover.
I was originally going to buy another Perrin rear diff cover, but I really do not think they are worth the money. @ $190.00 per copy, plus shipping, I decided painting my cover was a better option and should afford just about as much bling as the pricey Perrin unit.
I have a Perrin on my WRX and honestly, I never notice it anymore, nor am I convinced that the extra heat removing capacity is really a benefit on a street driven hot rod.

Then, just as I was about done painting and cleaning up, the FedEx lady arrived with my new ACT SB4-HDSS !

Finally, I spent a couple of hours yesterday doing a full blown cleaning and sanitizing of my new 07 STi tranny.
I seriously thought about painting it, and in fact I am still seriously considering it, but I am going to go back and really evaluate how good of a job can be done with the tranny standing on it's nose before I do.
Pics will follow either way I go.

06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Caliper and Rotors !!!!!

Ok, so my rotors arrived today and here is what i think of them.
First of all they are made by a company called "Magnum" and they are made in Canada (hopefully completely).
They are cross drilled and some of the features I thought were cool were that the drilled holes DO NOT penetrate or occur on or near a cooling vane between the platters and they are made of high carbon iron.
And they are made in Canada which must be a good thing right? Support our neighbors to the north!

Anyway, here is a website: Magnum Brakes, Reliable and Professional

My only beef with them is that they don't really do a great job of painting the center hat and periphery of the rotors. I completely stripped this stuff off with acetone and then hit the center hats and edges with a scotchbrite pad to prep them.
Then I masked them off like this:

Then I painted them like this.
Actually I used VHT engine primer (black) first, then did a 2nd couple of coats using the Duplicolor Caliper Paint which is the red stuff.

Once they have dried and cured for a few days, I will hit the edges with some 400 grit or a clean scotchbrite pad and get the little red goobers from the edges of the swept area cleaned up.

My only concern is that this may be a bit too flashy, I will have to get the whole thing together and see what it looks like, but it is a far cry better than the rusted look which is really common on Subarus (I hate that look personally). Bottom line is Magnum Brakes appear to be the real deal, and everything I was able to ascertain about their manufacturing process sold me. Time will tell how well they perform, but for the FXT project, I wanted rotors that were on par with the best out there and I think I found them with Magnum Brakes.</end Friday 5/7/2010>

<begin Saturday 5/7/2010>
So after looking everything over carefully today, I bolted the wheel, front hub and rotor together to see what it was going to look like.
The all red rotor hats were going to be a bit too "flashy" as I indicated above.
So, I broke out the sponge and got with teh faux treatment.
I think this knocks it down enough to be doable.
It will still give me the red highlights I want, to compliment the other red parts of the overall theme. I will assemble it like this, and evaluate it once the wheels are on the car etc.

Here are some pics.

Next up are the calipers.
I spent a long time looking for calipers that were not hammered, or chipped up.
I found a set advertised as "mint" for $900.00 so I bought them. When I got them, they were far less than mint, but the seller was nowhere to be found and I ended up eating them.

Purchased a second set which was advertised as "near mint" for $800.00 so I pulled the trigger after having detailed pics sent to me and they looked good enough so here they are.

I took the pads and pins out and set up my parts cleaning pan and got my plastic Harbor Freight brushes out and went to town with Gunk heavy duty engine degreaser.

I like Gunk for calipers because it gets at the heavy stuff, does not harm the paint and rinses off with water leaving a nice clean surface that you can then clean further with your auto care cleaners and waxes if you want to give them a bit of protection.

Here they are as received.

Here is one of the rears all greasy with the Gunk:

Once I got the bulk of the heavy stuff cleaned off, I started in with a green scotchbrite pad, and using a VERY light touch, I scoured the hard stuff off.
If you just allow the scotchbrite to touch the stuck, cooked on crap and keep it lubed up with Gunk, it will get it ALL and do a very nice job WITHOUT scratching up the caliper.
I DID NOT use the scotchbrite on the face of the caliper with the logo!

Here are the results.

Anyway, one step closer.
Next up is my brake booster and tomorrow I will go over and see if the tranny is worth painting.
I am thinking it is and I may just go at it tomorrow if it is nice and sunny with little to no wind.

I have become extremely good at masking, so if I can get the hard lines, and electrical stuff covered enough, and I can get the inside of the bell housing covered effectively, I am going to paint it.

More to come.

2004 Forester XT '06 STi 6MT
707 Posts
deserves a first reply which is HAF! hot as F :)

but you just made me realize i need to get the sti specific jacking plate for my cross member :p

Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
5,732 Posts
That powder coating looks incredible.......I would cringe to drive it as to avoid getting it dirty once it's all bolted up. :biggrin:

Premium Member
07 Forester XT
6,760 Posts
This is going to be sweet once its done. Nice to see one put together right the first time and all at once. Will save you a ton of labour time since its going ot be all apart.

I was going to suggest installing ARP extended studs since you have it all out but then I saw you did that already. Did you take anything apart to put them in or is it just easier when you can work with the hub sitting in your lap ?

2006 ForesterXT (manual) ECU, Ignition Key and Immobilizer from the same FXT

Now is this all that's required to swap any AUTO Subaru into a Manual ? If so this gives me some hope as we'll be looking at a used Legacy GT wagon 2-3 years down the road which means I could look into the late 06-08 models that were auto only then convert to 5 or 6sp.

06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
deserves a first reply which is HAF! hot as F :)
but you just made me realize i need to get the sti specific jacking plate for my cross member :p
Thanks bro! Yeah the STi specific jacking plate is required, Dave should have a crap load of them lying around up there for sure., tell him he forgot to include it and you can probably get it for free no?

That powder coating looks incredible.......I would cringe to drive it as to avoid getting it dirty once it's all bolted up. :biggrin:
Hahah, I am not worried about that Blue,
I am one of those weird anal guys that jacks his car up a couple times a month and cleans stuff underneath. I am also guilty of taking my wheels off the car about once a month to clean the insides of the wheels as well...Dirt wont last long under there.

Did you take anything apart to put them in or is it just easier when you can work with the hub sitting in your lap ?
Legacy, since I was installing new bearings all the way around anyway, it was a no brainer. The fronts are easy with 05+ STi 5x114 hubs because they are cartridges essentially, the rears require you to completely disassemble the knuckle, press out the hub and then install the studs.

2006 ForesterXT (manual) ECU, Ignition Key and Immobilizer from the same FXT Now is this all that's required to swap any AUTO Subaru into a Manual ? If so this gives me some hope as we'll be looking at a used Legacy GT wagon 2-3 years down the road which means I could look into the late 06-08 models that were auto only then convert to 5 or 6sp.
I think I may end up doing a little wire madness of some kind, but I am not completely sure yet, I did install the ECU, immobilizer and key switch and start the car up a couple of weeks ago, so I know the car will run no problem.
Reverse lights, and cruise control may require some tinkering. Other than that, I think it will be a pretty straight forward swap.
I know there is one other member here that has done this, but I have yet to receive a reply to the couple of PM's I sent asking specific questions so I am proceeding as if it wont be that big of a deal..

RC, Tuned and Vinny... Thanks a lot you guys, I do appreciate it. I am really excited about the project.

Awesome project man...
to what extent did you disassemble those parts before having them coated?
Thanks Dude!
Everything you see was broken down to it's component/individual element, sand blasted and then powder coated. The only exception is the front hubs, which as I mentioned are cassette style bearings, so I got some silver vein spray paint and painted them, I do not like bare metal that rusts so I painted them.
I also stripped the drive shaft down, and repainted it (Solar Black).

So, since i am still waiting on a few parts to arrive or return from one process or another, I took advantage of my day off today and cleared my headlights and installed my new Sports bumper and grill.....what do you think?


06 FXT-6MT happening
341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
wow, nicest axels I have ever seen. you have any rear sti axels lying around
Hey Vinnyd,
you probably notice that there is more than one set of axles in those pics.
That is because I crunched both axles on the right side of my swapped WRX a couple months ago, and these are the replacements for that project as well.

I found a place in Los Angeles that can source STi cores and will rebuild them. The cores will cost you $100.00 each and the rebuild is $60.00 per axle.

So basically, $160.00 for rebuilt axles.

I do not have any spares at this time other than one front and one rear after I get done putting the WRX back together which will be AFTER the Foz swap project is completed.

06 Forester STi
73 Posts
Looking fantastic TS!!!
Admire your attention to detail :icon_biggrin:
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