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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm new to your wonderful forum. I've been a wagon lover forever, and since the Evo wagon (love how rare it is) is only available in Japan, and the Audi A3 TDI (gas mileage and practicality) is out of my price range I'm considering a Forester. Now don't think that I'm putting the Forester 3rd or anything here, I've always thought it was the best looking scooby, no matter what the editors of magazines say. I will admit that I think the newer ones, albeit better cars, are not as attractive as the muscular fenders and little spoiler on the '04.
Now, because of my budget I am not stuck on the XT, but it is preferable. However, being an '04 is the main concern as I personally think it's the best looking one. Is there anything I need to know about this car in particular? Stay away from high mileage? Stay away from one's with a certain tranny? I'm an old modder of cars, but more and more am coming to the realization that stock cars just work better, so I'm not going to mess with anything (this realization also came after putting 12k into a race track/show going integra, then I bought a 94 cbr 600 for 3500 and I decided not to put money into cars, just buy a faster bike). If I got the XT it would be hard (read impossible) for me to not get a boost controller and get a new downpipe (I read once a few years back you get something like 40 hp from these two mods?). Anywho, what 'cha got for me guys?

My ideal car would be a clean, manual, 40k mile, white xt with a ski rack for $11k. Realistic?

I really appreciate anything guys.
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,581 Posts
The '05 XT is basically the same as the '04, but they added the moonroof option to the manual transmission models.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The '05 XT is basically the same as the '04, but they added the moonroof option to the manual transmission models.
I really like sunroofs, but it's not a necessity. That is good to know though. I'm more curious about things like (trying to remember from high school) not to buy a wrx before '02 because the synchros suck and had other tranny problems. Now, i'm not going to rev this thing to 5k and dump the clutch or anything like so many wrx owners that are in HS, but I'm weary of genetic things like that. I'm not even sure if i'm remembering the synchros for the wrx or the s2000 though. It's been a while since I've cared about cars if you can't tell. Kind of a bike guy, who really cares about the car he drives.

Love the Screen name though. I doubt that you care, but in case you were going to ask, my nickname is Roo, and my old integ license plate was GUROO.
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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4,581 Posts
In '06, they switched to a radiator with a cap on it because the '04s and '05s were prone to radiator poppage. Mine popped at 67,000 miles.
 

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Premium Member
'09 STI
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4,128 Posts
The price isn't the mileage is. That's less than 7K miles a year. Stock is better but make sure you don't get a hastily demodded car. Have it checked out thoroughly by a third party or beware...

The downpipe, tune and some suspension mods are all most people will ever need. I cringe when I see members trying to recoup their money selling XTs with more mods than the car is worth.
 

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none none
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8,844 Posts
The 04/05 XT didn't really have many problems at all. The sunroof is known to have issues, and the plastic endtanks on the radiators split, but otherwise everything else is pretty good. However getting into a 5x100 subaru you have to know that the wheelbearings are a major weak link, and by 100,000 miles you'll probably have to replace at least one. The 04 seems to be in the sub 12k range now so its a good time to go for it before there are no low mileage ones left!
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In '06, they switched to a radiator with a cap on it because the '04s and '05s were prone to radiator poppage. Mine popped at 67,000 miles.
Can you swap out the old radiator for the '06 or later version to avoid this? How much does one cost-ish? Also, if you could fill in the blank that would be awesome. These radiators are more prone to pop when you are _________? (In Arizona during the summer, off roading a lot, etc.)


Quote:However getting into a 5x100 subaru you have to know that the wheelbearings are a major weak link, and by 100,000 miles you'll probably have to replace at least one

About what does that cost as well?

Any thoughts on going non turbo?
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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The radiator is very easy to swap out if you have some tools, and a driveway. Make sure you get the right coolant. You can get it from your subaru dealer, and it's the green stuff, not the blue stuff. I've heard that they are compatible, but I stick with the green stuff since that's what they put in it from the factory. I think they can be gotten for around $300.

I'm not sure about the blank. Mine popped in the middle of winter. I suspect it had something to do with the extreme heat cycling in the cold winter. It happened about a week after driving through subzero temperatures.

As far as I can tell, the '06 - '07 radiator should be a direct swap. I plan on getting one before my current radiator hits 50,000 miles.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe I'll ask the dealer to toss one of those in in the negotiations. Good heads up.


Non turbo info/opinions?
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,432 Posts
With an FXT in the 40k mile range you don't have to worry about the turbo blowing.

I wasn't even aware that the radiators were a weak link. I'm still on my original one at 145k and have never had an issue, even with power mods.
 

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2005 Forester XT 4eat
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With an FXT in the 40k mile range you don't have to worry about the turbo blowing.

I wasn't even aware that the radiators were a weak link. I'm still on my original one at 145k and have never had an issue, even with power mods.
It's probably more of a northeast thing because of the harsh winters. I think cold weather and road salt have more to do with it than underhood heat.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With an FXT in the 40k mile range you don't have to worry about the turbo blowing.

I wasn't even aware that the radiators were a weak link. I'm still on my original one at 145k and have never had an issue, even with power mods.
I love your '98. That's just sick, and if I could find something like that, it would be taken under heavy consideration. However, I'm leaving my 1973 BMW 2002 (carb) almost solely to have something newer. I realize '98 is newer, but '04 is even NEWER!!!
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is there a place in these forums where members are selling their Foresters? A link would be great!
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,008 Posts
One reason why I chose an 05 over an 04 was because of the Immobilizer chip. It was added to the XT in 05, and while not perfect, it is extra added security for your car. Someone can punch my ignition, but they won't get the car started without that chip (unless they REALLY know what they are doing).

The 05s also add a nicer looking 3 spoke steering wheel, silver trimmed cluster surround and a power driver seat in the premium models.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One reason why I chose an 05 over an 04 was because of the Immobilizer chip. It was added to the XT in 05, and while not perfect, it is extra added security for your car. Someone can punch my ignition, but they won't get the car started without that chip (unless they REALLY know what they are doing).

The 05s also add a nicer looking 3 spoke steering wheel, silver trimmed cluster surround and a power driver seat in the premium models.
a 3 spoke would be nice. I have yet to come across a stock steering wheel nicer than my fiance's '06 honda civic lx though. Seriously, it's so legit and comfortable. Immobilizers are cool too, but not very necessary on the western slope. I've accidentally left my garage door open out here all night (about 5 times due to a falty garage door), with a rare italjet scooter worth 4k, just below a Dainese racing suit, $500 helmet, cooler, skis, and my golf clubs and everything has been there in the morning.
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I love your '98. That's just sick, and if I could find something like that, it would be taken under heavy consideration.
Thanks... we bought her dirt cheap ($1500) with a lot of cosmetic damage to the interior. Thankfully she came with a thick folder of maintenance records, and the head gaskets and timing belt were already done, so the purchase was a no-brainer. In your case I think you'll be better off with the newer SG (03-08) generation, and the turbo Foresters don't have the persisting head gasket problems that seem inevitable on the N/A models once they reach higher mileages.

Is there a place in these forums where members are selling their Foresters? A link would be great!
Vehicles For Sale - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Okay, so I found a really quite nice 2004 xt with an automatic tranny. Not all that happy with that, but the upside is that my fiance could drive it too, which means I don't HAVE to do all the driving on roadtrips. Are these really a 4?!? speed tranny? What are your experiences with soobie autos?

NEVERMIND!! I just saw how many dollars they wanted for it. If they took pesos, I'd consider.
 

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2004 STI 6MT (2005)
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2,934 Posts
Hey, just for your info, Foresters (and I think Subies in general) retain their value very, very well. I believe they're rated in the top 3 SUVs to retain their value! Definitely check KBB however, because some people do want more than their worth sometimes : D
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,825 Posts
Okay, so I found a really quite nice 2004 xt with an automatic tranny. Not all that happy with that, but the upside is that my fiance could drive it too, which means I don't HAVE to do all the driving on roadtrips. Are these really a 4?!? speed tranny? What are your experiences with soobie autos?

NEVERMIND!! I just saw how many dollars they wanted for it. If they took pesos, I'd consider.
I think you'd be surprised by the number of XT owners here with automatics, some of them with extensive engine mods on the stock transmission. Just a suggestion not to rule them out. Transmissions are often neglected as far as servicing is concerned, so if you do choose an automatic, consider have the transmission flushed and the differential fluids changed to add to the longevity of the vehicle.

Good luck with your search
 
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