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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Trevor's 2005 Aspen White Forester XT with a side of 2000 2.5RS Coupe

The following is a journal to document my Aspen White Forester XT

Car Details:

2005 Forester XT
Aspen White
5MT
117,000 miles

Backstory:

Picked the car up with 93k miles from a guy in Orange County. I believe I'm the 3rd owner. Car was originally in MA and spent 70k miles of its life there before it was transplanted to Washington state, and then finally to CA. 70k miles in MA definitely left it's mark, but not nearly as bad as some cars. Mostly just made me cuss more often, and throw more tools than I had to when swapping parts out. Read on to see!

Goals for the Forester were to create an OEM+ wagon that handled like an STi. I've always had a thing for wagons, and have wanted a FXT for quite some time. The car is pretty much where I want it now aside from a a few little things that will be addressed as time goes on. I also own a 2000 RS coupe that I plan to do a full STI swap on. My journal on the RS can be found over on RS25.com here: Trevor's 2000 RS Coupe Project - Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community: RS25.com

Mod List:

Engine/Exhaust/Cooling:
-E-Tuned by Stephen Clark @ iAP
-Cobb Accessport v3
-Cobb Catted Downpipe
-Invidia G200
-Grimmspeed TMIC splitter modified to work with sub frame spacer removal
-Koyo aluminum radiator
-Mishimoto radiator hoses
-Gates timing belt kit w/ race belt
-Tomei timing belt guide
-Killer B oil pickup tube
-Killer B baffle
-IAG AOS Street Edition
-NGK LFR7AIX one step colder plugs
-Walbro 255 fuel pump
-STI Exhaust Manifold Runners DEI Titanium wrapped
-Grimmspeed STI Crosspipe Thermal coated and DEI Titanium wrapped
-Grimmspeed Coated catless uppipe DEI Titanium wrapped
-04-07 STI Intercooler
-VF48
-DW850cc Sidefeed Injectors
-Grimmspeed 3-Port EBCS
-TGV Deletes
-Grimmspeed 3mm phenolic intake spacers
-Perrin 2.4" turbo inlet
-PTP Turbo blanket
-Group N Engine Mounts
-Grimmspeed hood struts
-Custom CNC water jet cut aluminum radiator shroud
-Custom CNC water jet cut aluminum alternator shroud

Suspension/Brakes/Handling:
-18x7.5" +48 FSTI wheels
-Hankook Ventus V12 Evo2 225/45/18
-KYB AGX Struts
-Group N front and rear top hats
-05 STI Prodrive Red Springs
-Scooby921 strut spacers
-07 STI Aluminum LCAs
-TIC FCAR Bushings in Forester ALK
-Whiteline #52837 FCAF Bushings
-Whiteline RCA Kit
-06 STI steering rack
-STI solid steering u-joint
-Sub frame spacer delete
-Spec C Ver9 front subframe
-STI rear subframe
-Whiteline rear subframe Locking Bolts
-STI rear diff carrier
-Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings
-Whiteline 24mm Adjustable FSB
-Rallitek Front endlinks
-STI Rear Swaybar Mounts
-Whiteline 22mm RSB
-Rallitek Rear Endlinks
-STI trailing arm brackets
-STI Aluminum Lateral Links w/ TiC Race bushings
-TIC Race Trailing Arm Front and Rear Bushings
-STI "SJ" Brake booster and 1 1/16" MC
-Grimmspeed Master Cylinder Brace
-Brembo GD STi front calipers
-Brembo GD STi rear calipers
-DBA 4000 T3 slotted front rotors
-DBA 4000 T3 slotted rear rotors with big parking brake drum
-Stoptech Performance street pads
-Goodridge SST braided brake lines
-Whiteline quick release rear strut tower bar

Interior:
-Pioneer AVH-X3600BHS
-Pioneer GM-D8604 Amplifier
-Focal ISS-165 6.75" component speakers
-Polk DB-522 5.25" rear speakers
-JL Audio 10W0v3-4 10" subwoofer
-Sea-Scooby Style Sub box in rear quarter panel
-05 STI Steering wheel
-Omori 45mm Digital Boost Gauge (mounted on steering column)
-BNA Solutions triple gauge pod
-Solid Mod vent pod
-AEM Oil Pressure Gauge
-AEM Oil Temp Gauge
-AEM Water Temp Gauge
-AEM AFR Gauge
-04 WRX heated seats
-DIY "JDM" Hazard
-Plasti Dip HVAC Panel
-Subtle Solutions black vinyl HVAC overlays
-JDM HID leveling switch
-FastWRX aluminum dead pedal
-GD WRX Pedal set
-Noico dampening interior
-Ensolite on all panels and hatch

Transmission:
-Stock 5MT
-Group N 5MT Mount
-Group N Pitch Stopper
-WRX specific SPT short Shifter
-WRX specific driveshaft
-WRX specific transmission crossmember
-Kartboy Front and Rear Shifter Bushings
-Kartboy front crossmember bushings
-Exedy 15802HD Stage 1 Clutch

Exterior:
-JDM FSTi front bumper
-JDM FSTi front lip
-JDM FSTi front grille and headlight surrounds
-JDM FSTi HIDs
-JDM FSTi hood
-JDM FSTi front fenders w/ side markers
-JDM FSTi side skirts
-JDM FSTi rear bumper
-JDM FSTi rear spats
-06-08 smooth lower door panels
-OEM Spoiler
-JDM FSTi Scoop
-Paint matched rear hatch waste garnish
-5% Tint all rear windows
-GD STI Side Mirrors
-Paint matched wiper fluid sprayers
-Paint matched C-pillars
-Cobb rear wiper delete

Parts to be Installed and things to do
-Wire test mode connectors to switch
-Wire wideband to TGV input for logging
-Grimmspeed heat shield
-Install Kartboy front end links
-Repaint gauge pod
-Sound deaden
-New speakers and amp
-Sea-Scooby Sub box
-Replace top hats with all Group N
-Install rear strut brace bar
-Install WRX pedal set
-Install black silicone throttle body coupler
-Install new window gussets
-Wire JDM side markers
-Wire HID leveler switch

Future Mod Plans
-Grimmspeed 3" downpipe
-ID1000 top feed injectors
-EL headers
-Volk ZE40s/CE-28N
-JDM v7 or FSTi front seats
-FSTi door scuff plates
-FSTi optional side skirts
-Fender braces
-DAMD steering wheel
-JDM rear wagon STi seats or JDM rear FSTi seats
-FSTi Gauge Cluster
-Full 5x114 6 speed swap
-IAG built block
-Flex Fuel

Day 1



11/27/17

I hit a dear on the way home in the Forester, and was sure the car would be totaled. It wasn't, and I was able to use the money from insurance to install the FSTi front, skirts, rear spats, rear bumper and JDM HID headlights. Something I longed to do, but never thought it would be in the cards. So, here we are!



Current 5/18:

 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
First mod I did was suspension. I decided to go with KYB AGX adjustable struts and STI Prodrive Red springs. Struts were brand new, and I found the springs used from a seller over on NASIOC. Supposedly these are 05 springs, which sit a tad bit taller I believe than the 04 variants, which both sit slightly taller than Prodrive Blues for a WRX. I used scooby921 strut spacers for the rear without saggy butt spacers. You don't need to use them with Prodrive Reds since they give the car a kind of raked stance. So far I've been very impressed with the ride quality and ride height. It's very functional, but low enough to know it's not your average Forester.

OEM springs vs. Prodrive Reds:



Struts/springs installed:



You might notice how my rear bumper cover is mismatched. Must have been resprayed in the past, and whoever did the work did not get an A in color matching. It's on the to do list. (and still is as of 9/14/17)

Soon after I installed an Omori 45mm Boost Gauge on the left of the steering column. See original post for picture!

Then Installed a Pioneer Double Din unit, and shortly after, sanded down my hazard switch, and painted the HVAC surround black using Plasti-Dip. So far the Plasti-Dip has held up great. No scuffs or chips to be seen:

I'm a big fan of soldering things opposed to using crimping connectors:





Next up was the much needed OEM Spoiler. Ended up finding one from a wrecking yard, and had it shipped.



Bought a STI Scoop painted white already from a member on here, and got that installed:



Also painted matched the side trim pieces, front grill surround and wiper fluid sprayers





Installed a Group N STI Pitch Stopper, Group N tranny mount, along with a Kartboy short shifter and Kartboy bushings. OEM unit had seen better days and the Group N made an immediate improvement in shifting feel.:



I think my cabin filter was a little dirty:



Scored some STi lateral links for $60! They were extra grimey, but cleaned right up:





Picked up some GD STI Mirrors. Matching color and think they look much better than the stockers. They aren't heated like my stock ones were, so you have to swap the plugs, but it's not too big of a deal. Also, the pillar mount is different, so I just swapped the mount from my stock mirrors onto the STI's. If anybody is interested in how I did this I'm sure I could dig up some more pictures to better explain, but basically you just swap the pillar mount out, and plugs. Wires are identical colors I believe.



As I approach 100k miles the timing belt needs to be addressed. I've had all the parts for awhile now, but just haven't gotten around to doing it. Naturally, the timing belt job turned into much more than I thought it would...long story short, I decided to pull the motor. I'll be replacing the front subframe, motor mounts, spark plugs, valve cover gasket, oil cooler gaskets(see pic below), cam/crank seals, timing belt, turbo, exhaust manifold, intercooler, etc. and figured it would just be easier. I've also never pulled an engine before so this was my first time. Fortunately it wasn't too bad. The biggest issue I ran into was separating the motor from the tranny. I finally got the bellhousing free, but it was still stuck on the input shaft. After a lot of wrestling I did some research and found out there's a shaft through the clutch fork...no wonder it wouldn't come apart.



My oil cooler was leaking a bit.. If you want a good DIY on how how to replace the oil cooler gaskets check out @Matt, build thread and he has some good pictures of everything. My car actually has the later model oil cooler I believe, and was pretty much the same as his

The main O-ring was compeltely split in two..leading to this:



I haven't done much with the motor since I pulled it, but have been working on the front end suspension components for the last couple days. Rust is a mother when it comes to getting the ball joints out! I sent out the hubs, knuckles, brake backer plates, and some various bolts to get plated. Have STI aluminum control arms to go in, all new TIC FCAR and Whiteline FCAF bushings, 06 STI steering rack and subframe and Whiteline RCA kit to be installed, so the front end is going to be completely revamped, and won't be such a pain to get apart the next time. Still debating whether to do the subframe spacer removal (I ended up doing this).. It's almost stupid not to do it since i have everything apart. Here's some pictures of the struggle of getting everything apart:

Broke a bolt head off that holds the lower ball joint on...had to drill it out.



Pressed the bearing out of the knuckle but was still attached to the hub, so I made a tool to press it off the hub. Waterjets come in handy :)





And pressing out the bushings from the ALK and cleaning them up to make room for the TIC bushings:



 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ran out of space for pictures in the last post...

Engine out:



All the front end stuff to get plated:



I also sent off my clock console lid to Brian at BNA Solutions to have a 52mm triple Gauge pod made to house my AEM oil pressure, oil temp and water temp gauges. I think I'm going to mount the AEM AFR gauge to the right of my boost gauge on the steering column using one of these: Autometer 52mm Gauge Pod. I actually ended up using a SolidMod vent gauge pod that mounts in the drivers side vent. Dialed!

More to come!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Made some more incremental progress on the engine side of things. Got the manifold, uppipe and turbo all off. Going to replaced with a VF48, Grimmspeed catless uppipe and STI exhaust manifold. Will probably at least gasket match the manifold and possibly do a full pho. Of course removing this stuff was a little bit of a pain due to some rusted bolts, but I was expecting that from everything else I've done on this car. I will definitely never buy another east coast car again, but it's good to know that everything I'm going through will be replaced, and the next time I take it apart will be a breeze. oin Next up is to get the valve cover gaskets replaced and start on the timing belt side of things.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Got my hubs and things back from the platers yesterday, Now, I just need to order the new wheel bearings.



I decided that I'm definitely going to do the subframe spacer delete mod, so now I'm on the hunt for the necessary parts: WRX cross member, subframe studs, ahifter assembly, drive shaft, steering joint, etc. I got the subframe and steering rack out, and took out both subframe rails as well. I had the rails sandblasted and am having them powdercoated. There was some surface rust on them, and I figured why not while I have everything apart.

Passenger side subframe rail removed:



Subframe and steering rack out:



The entire front end is basically removed at this point. Can't wait to get it all back together with fresh parts!

I went ahead and started taking an inventory of all the hoses on the motor..there are a lot of hard brittle ones throughout, so my plan is to replace as much as I can with new stuff where need be.

Hopefully I can make some more headway this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And also a JDM front end. Wish I had gotten an 04/05 instead of my 08, like the look of your year with the JDM fogs
Haha, I would love a JDM Front End, that's the ultimate goal. I think a 6 speed will come before that though :grin2:. I always wanted an FXT Sports, but they're hard to come by. I do like the older body style though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Cleaned up the passenger side of the engine bay, and got the bell housing pretty clean as well. Will have to finish the other half tomorrow. Simple green purple, solvent, and WD 40 with multiple rags, brushes and such were my weapons of choice.

Before (filthy):



After (Left half not quite as filthy):

 

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Dear FXT rev;
Very impressive job so far,continue to be patient with your re-do.
you will have gained considerable knowledge on and about Subarus
during the build. ANY idea when you will have it back on the road?
ed
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow! This isquite an impressive start to a build! Quality
Thanks sleeper! I've enjoyed looking through yours.
Dear FXT rev;
Very impressive job so far,continue to be patient with your re-do.
you will have gained considerable knowledge on and about Subarus
during the build. ANY idea when you will have it back on the road?
ed
Thank you! I've definitely learned a lot from the board as well as figuring things out on my own. No replacement for getting your hands dirty. I dont really have an eta, just taking my time as I have another car to drive at the moment. I did get the registration renewal this week, and I don't have to smog it this year so that's a plus!
Impressive build in progress. Love the white color too!
Thanks! Love the white too.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Haven't done a whole lot in the last few days. I did order a STI brake booster and Master Cylinder though. No immediate plans to upgrade brakes but I eventually want to go 4pot/2pot or Brembos after I get this thing back up and running. I'll probably just get stainless lines for now.

Also ordered all my wheel bearing parts, STI oil pan, WRX subframe bolts and some other misc parts I needed.

Got a used WRX SPT option short shifter assembly coming as well. Now I just need the drive shaft and steering joint to do the subframe spacer removal mod.
 

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Haven't done a whole lot in the last few days. I did order a STI brake booster and Master Cylinder though. No immediate plans to upgrade brakes but I eventually want to go 4pot/2pot or Brembos after I get this thing back up and running. I'll probably just get stainless lines for now.

Also ordered all my wheel bearing parts, STI oil pan, WRX subframe bolts and some other misc parts I needed.

Got a used WRX SPT option short shifter assembly coming as well. Now I just need the drive shaft and steering joint to do the subframe spacer removal mod.
Go for the 4pot/2pot option. You will limit yourself with rim options if you go Brembos, unless this car is planned to be on a track.
 
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