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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #61
Very Nice build bro! I'm thinking of getting coilovers for my XT maybe early next year. Are those adjustable in height and dampening? Mine is a daily and my wife also drives it so I want a controlled but not a stiff ride.
Whatcha doin in Meh-hee-co?
Yes, they're adjustable ride height and damping. Always gotta go for Mexico for the pulls haha.

Speaking of pulls, Michael sent me a new tune with a bit more aggressive timing and some AVCS improvements for better feel down low. Super happy with the tune. As always, Michael will make refinements for me to make it that much better. :D

 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #63
Nice build bro! I was thinking of getting feals coils and your car might of gave me the little extra push I needed to make my decision lol
They're about all I recommend anymore. They're by far the best bang for your buck. They have a longer shock stroke than BCs or Megans, which really helps to absorb bumps in the road. I remember seeing somewhere that BCs have 2.5" of usable shock stroke. Compare that to about 4" on the normal Feal 441s, 5.5" on the Feal 441 Max Travels (what I have), 6" on Impreza struts, and 7" on our stock struts. You can see pretty clearly that the BCs are unacceptable. Not to mention, the valving of the BCs is horrendous which makes them incredibly bouncy.
 

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2006 Forester XT 5 speed
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103 Posts
I have the Forester specific Fortune Auto 500 coilovers with a custom spring rate of 7k/5k f/r vs the 8k/6k they come with standard. I think they are excellent and have the best street manners of any coilover I have ridden on. I have not ridden in any Feal equipped cars though, I've heard lots of good things. The Fortune Auto's were cheaper and got good reviews, that was the basis of my choice.
 

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2005 XT 5MT
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197 Posts
They're about all I recommend anymore. They're by far the best bang for your buck. They have a longer shock stroke than BCs or Megans, which really helps to absorb bumps in the road. I remember seeing somewhere that BCs have 2.5" of usable shock stroke. Compare that to about 4" on the normal Feal 441s, 5.5" on the Feal 441 Max Travels (what I have), 6" on Impreza struts, and 7" on our stock struts. You can see pretty clearly that the BCs are unacceptable. Not to mention, the valving of the BCs is horrendous which makes them incredibly bouncy.
I know bcs are bad but holy **** that is horrible. Are you using wrx max travels? Feals website says due to the travel they only lower the car about .5-1" max and your car is pretty low.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #66
I have the Forester specific Fortune Auto 500 coilovers with a custom spring rate of 7k/5k f/r vs the 8k/6k they come with standard. I think they are excellent and have the best street manners of any coilover I have ridden on. I have not ridden in any Feal equipped cars though, I've heard lots of good things. The Fortune Auto's were cheaper and got good reviews, that was the basis of my choice.
Yep, I've heard good things about those as well. I wanted longer shock travel, so I went with the long-travel FEALs.

I know bcs are bad but holy **** that is horrible. Are you using wrx max travels? Feals website says due to the travel they only lower the car about .5-1" max and your car is pretty low.
Yeah, I have the STi ones, since they don't make Forester-specific ones. I had them set them to about STi height out of the box, and I ended up raising the front by a quarter of an inch to level it out and alleviate some rubbing I was getting. My car looks really low since I have pretty big 235/50R17 tires. Also, the goal with my car isn't to be really low, it's to have good suspension geometry. Just around STi stock height is nearly perfect for GDs, so with the subframe spacer delete, that's where I wanted to be.

If I wanted to, I could lower it probably 2 or 3 inches, but the threaded bodies would start to come out of the bottom of the mount. The previous owner of my car did this with the Megan Racing coilovers that came on the car, and the coilover rubbed through the CV boot. No good.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #68
Thanks for the info bro. So does the subframe spacer delete lower the car at all? Or just make it feel more solid?
It keeps ride height the same. Right height is determined by the distance between your knuckle and your upper strut mount on the frame. Neither of those change.

I'm not sure what you mean by solid, but it corrects the front suspension geometry which improves ride quality and handling.
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
The Fozzy saw some offroad use last weekend at Empire State Performance Rally in upstate NY. Nothing too crazy since I didn't want to bottom out, but I got to run the track at about half the speed of the rally cars.





One of the Imprezas didn't fare so well :(



And finally got to give her a good wash and wax after all the mud she saw at the rally.

 

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Discussion Starter #72

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #74
After realizing my factory grounds are corroding to the point of inadequacy, and wanting to do a Big 3 upgrade for my sound system, I decided to do both the Big 3 and a grounding kit for my car. I was hoping this would smooth out a rough idle issue I'm having, but unfortunately it hasn't, leaving my DW740s to blame for the problem. However, throttle response is smoother, my lights dim less when I hit the brake, and my audio quality seems to have improved. Could be placebo, though.

 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #79
Threw in a rear strut tower brace last week when it was warmer out. Definitely makes the handling more predictable and makes the car feel flatter in corners. I still need to address my subwoofer box which is just ratchet strapped in, but I bought some fiberglass to make a molded box this summer.

 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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218 Posts
Discussion Starter #80
Put on fender braces, a 22mm Whiteline sway bar, and rally armor mudflaps this weekend. The car corners MUCH flatter now, and chassis flex has noticeably decreased. Next step is to get a bigger front sway bar and triangulate the rear bar.

Stout mounts



Rear bar (set to 22mm for now, will set to 24mm with upgraded front)



Fender braces (so glad my 04 is a late build date and has the rear holes)



And pics of the whole car wit the flaps on. Can't wait til it's consistently warmer and I can get the summer wheels back on.







Also, got some really cool news this past week. I got accepted into Clemson University's Automotive Engineering master's program, so I'll be moving to South Carolina (for at least two years, maybe forever...). I'm following their vehicle performance track, which means I'll be studying things like NVH and advanced vehicle dynamics. It's going to be cool to gain the knowledge to quantify all the suspension mods that we do to our cars. I'm in an automotive engineering course at my current school, and I've already learned a ton of stuff which helps to explain why our cars handle the way they do and why certain modifications, like anti-roll bars, have the effect they do. I'm excited to learn more, and hopefully some of you Forester people are down in South Carolina so I'm not lonely. :D
 
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