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2003 XTi Cross Sports 4EAT :(
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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/thebeephahas-03-fx-mods-65611/

Above in that link are the details thus far on my car. So far I am loving the car but am really unhappy with how much body roll and how wobbly the suspension and steering feel, my car isn't fastest but that doesn't mean I don't like to take a spirited drive around a corner now and then.

I have a total budget of around oh lets say $500-750 for suspension goodies excluding what I will do with struts/springs or maybe coilovers.

I'm thinking, endlinks, bushings, sway bars for starters but don't really know what to get.

Chime in, with what I should do, links to the product are preferred.
 

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2003 XTi Cross Sports 4EAT :(
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1,352 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Before anybody tells you to use the search I will say to buy some used WRX parts.
That's the issue, I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. I've been reading a lot around here but am not coming up with decisive answers, everyone does something a little bit different.

My preference is things I can bolt on myself, without the need to mod anything etc... Used is fine but hard to get on a whim.
 

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2004 Forester XT '06 STi 6MT
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707 Posts
i would say the majority of aftermarket suspension stuff is all bolt-on. some things just require a lot of bolt-off before the bolt-on part haha.

what are your ultimate goals for the car? just spirited daily driver? honestly a solid set of struts/springs/tops will go a LONG way in changing the way your car feels. especially if you are looking to lower your car on wrx/sti stuff. i personally would recommend starting with that first, if you already have it made up in your mind that you are going that direction anyways.

anything else you spend the money on is just stuff to install at the same time as the struts. you can't go wrong with some sti lateral links, sti rear sway bar, and some new front/rear endlinks.
 

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2008 FSXT M/T
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4,167 Posts
even though you dont want to hear it, i recommend reading the how to turn better than an sti thread @ the top of this page. i basically used that as my forester suspension bible. ill give you a little cliff notes though and tell ya what id spend my money on!

i always like to ask this however, what are your plans w/ the car? just spirited DD or do you plan on racing a little bit (track/autox)?

id recommend getting some impreza kyb gr2 struts and either stock sti springs or prodrive reds for starters... if you want more performance get some adjustable struts like konis or tokico dspecs and then pair possibly some stiffer springs to the mix if ground clearance isnt a problem.

-22mm brand of your choice front sway bar
-OEM sti rear sway bar (or larger aftermarket depending on goals for the car)
-OEM sti rear sway bar mounting brackets or aftermarket
-whiteline lateral link tab supports
-kartboy rear endlinks (you wont need fronts, mine are still hanging in)
-kartboy botox bolts
-STI groupn pitch mount
-set of front camber bolts (just in case you're using impreza struts)
-fender braces
-steering rack bushings
-rear strut bar
-a good alignment (-1.5f/-1.0r)
-a performance TIRE (because all of this is useless w/out some good rubber)

if you want to get crazy w/ it and dont mind a little NVH, id add these bushings to the mix:
-kartboy rear outrigger bushings
-kartboy crossmember bushings
-STI groupn tranny mount
-STI groupn lateral linnk bushings
-rear trailing arm bushings(most important) and fronts as well
-stiffer strut top mounts (either groupn or wl com-c)
 

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2003 XTi Cross Sports 4EAT :(
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1,352 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
even though you dont want to hear it, i recommend reading the how to turn better than an sti thread @ the top of this page. i basically used that as my forester suspension bible. ill give you a little cliff notes though and tell ya what id spend my money on!

i always like to ask this however, what are your plans w/ the car? just spirited DD or do you plan on racing a little bit (track/autox)?
This is helpful, gives me an idea maybe where to focus and points out a lot more potential things I can do. The thread on turning better than an STI was a bit overwhelming.

Mostly a spirited daily driver, but you never know I guess though with an N/A engine there's only so much one can do so autox etc is unlikely.
 

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2008 FSXT M/T
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4,167 Posts
power has nothing to do w/ auto-x, its all about suspension, tires and most importantly a good driver!

after hearing your plans for the car id go w/ these mods:

-22mm brand of your choice front sway bar
-OEM sti rear sway bar
-OEM sti rear sway bar mounting brackets
-whiteline lateral link tab supports
-kartboy rear endlinks
-kartboy botox bolts
-STI groupn pitch mount
-fender braces
-steering rack bushings
-rear strut bar
-a good alignment (-1.5f/-1.0r)
-a performance TIRE (because all of this is useless w/out some good rubber)
 

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2003 XTi Cross Sports 4EAT :(
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1,352 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
For now gonna do swift springs, then build off that. Likely taking into much of the advise of fourortwowheels and others here.

May do shocks later down the road but I've read several people here are happy with the OE shocks w/ swifts.

Just to confirm this is the one to get:

Mann Engineering - Subaru Parts and Performance

Specifically the "MY04-08 Forester 2.5XT" variant for my 03X?

Also was thinking about the Subtle 1" lift kit, a little expensive, but I like my Forester up high and since the pinks take me down around 1.5" average I think the 1" lift would keep me right about where I am now.
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,786 Posts
The '03 Forester should be using same suspension setup as '04-'08 XT, so you should be good with those springs. You can't really build too much around the Forester Swifts since there aren't any strut options except for GR2s, but they are great springs. If you are really set on running the lift kit with them, that's fine, but it seems very few go that route.

If you were willing to go the route of Impreza-fitment stuff, there'd be more options, and you could still keep the height using the 1" lift kit. How are your stock struts, how many miles on them? If you are paying someone to do the work, may consider doing the struts at the same time.

Stan
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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38,752 Posts
On my '03 X we went with a RalliTEK 22mm swaybar on the front, which looks huge when it's compared to the stock swaybar. On the back we went with a RalliTEK 19mm solid swaybar is a major upgrade from the hollow stock swaybar. I also installed AVO linkends & Whiteline KBR16 lateral link brace (a must with a heavier RSB!). You can view it here. :smile:

With this set up, I can takes twisty roads & turns with little body roll. We're sitting at the stock ride height & running Toyo Proxes 4, 235/50-17, +40 offset for a wider stance. :biggrin:

Keep in mind the installation of the front Sway bar on an N/A engine is a PIA due to the way the exhaust is routed. :frown:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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RIP 2005 FXT 5MT
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938 Posts
Something important that I learned after starting my suspension mods is that once you upgrade one aspect of the suspension the other stock pieces need to work harder to compensate (i.e. broken LL tabs, endlinks, leaking RCA bushings, etc.)

Therefore, I'd stick with the following (~$500 excluding tires) until you have more $ to upgrade:
  • Rear STi sway bar & mounts
  • Rear strut bar
  • Kartboy rear endlinks
  • Kartboy botox bolts
  • Kartboy's suspension bushings
  • Performance tires
  • 42wheels alignment settings
 
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