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2006 forester x
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im at the point in my purchasing decision where im concerned about the effort and cost vs result power and satisfaction i am going to get out of tuning/ modding an automatic trans 09-13 foz xt. I've weaved through the forums and have not found anything on specific downfalls/ complications of having a 4 speed auto trans, I've heard of some difficulties finding someone who can properly tune this car.

I'm planning on upgrading everything included in the breath and exhale of the engine( up pipe down pipe exhaust, intake, turbo, radiator, filters, and whatever else need be). So I guess what my question is, is am I going to be satisfied/SAFE with mods and a tune on the car as a 4 speed automatic and what power increase could I expect to get out of this? Is it viable/ common to convert an 09-13 to a 6speed manual, and what are the costs involved with that?

I'm really wanting to get into a fozzy but I'm at a loss for answers in line with my project goals. Thanks for the help!
 

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2005 FXT
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174 Posts
What are your actual goals? Most mention this in terms of power (torque & horsepower).

A quick search on the RomRaider forum shows that some USDM 2010 FXT 4EAT ROM versions have been defined, so open source tuning is available (if you want to try tuning it yourself).

I assume Cobb has support for this model since it was mentioned while researching over there. You can spend $500-650 on an AccessPort v3, another $150 if you want to edit using AccessTuner and/or another $150-400+ to have a ProTune done (after you search for and find someone to tune it).

Quite a bit of cross-year support on RomRaider and the fundamentals are pretty much the same, with some small differences here and there. On the other hand, AP3 tuners usually keep their knowledge to themselves, especially if they tune for a living.

The choice is yours.
 

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2006 forester x
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are your actual goals? Most mention this in terms of power (torque & horsepower).

A quick search on the RomRaider forum shows that some USDM 2010 FXT 4EAT ROM versions have been defined, so open source tuning is available (if you want to try tuning it yourself).

I assume Cobb has support for this model since it was mentioned while researching over there. You can spend $500-650 on an AccessPort v3, another $150 if you want to edit using AccessTuner and/or another $150-400+ to have a ProTune done (after you search for and find someone to tune it).

Quite a bit of cross-year support on RomRaider and the fundamentals are pretty much the same, with some small differences here and there. On the other hand, AP3 tuners usually keep their knowledge to themselves, especially if they tune for a living.

The choice is yours.
My goals for the forester is to be in the area of 300 hp and torque. I'm not wanting a race car by any means I'd get myself into trouble haha, more something fun to to drive while maintaining reasonable reliability.

I do believe Cobb does provide a tune for this year, from what I have read it would be best to complete my supporting mod installations before taking it to a pro tuner, right? I'm trying to gain a better understanding of the order of steps . Would I be able to slap a Cobb on and build on top of that? Depending on the supporting mods I have installed and the stage I choose which I'm thinking will be 2.

A concern of mine is the fozzys 4speed transmission, I've heard they can be fragile under a lot of pressure, think I'm risking damage to it with a 300ish HP goal?

Thanks for the info!
Grant
 

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2005 FXT
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174 Posts
Any increase in power increases strain and wear on mechanical components, reducing longevity.

Using the highest quality true (PAO or ester-based) full synthetic lubricants wherever possible is key for minimizing wear and prolonging metallic component life. Same goes for heat reduction/control, but that’s more for electrical, rubber and plastic component longevity.

The ability to diagnose issues and perform proper (even overzealous) preventative maintenance is a must. You can ask questions here, of course, but continue to investigate whilst waiting for feedback.

If the above doesn’t dissuade you, start by reading the following two sticky threads:



The quickest and easiest way to improve performance is to find the lightest set of aftermarket wheels that fit your budget and put some sticky (depending on your locale) tires on. Weight reduction provides free performance increases (or at very minimal cost) and increases fuel economy as well.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Using a top quality syn has almost zero to do with wear and damage. The benfitof syn oil is duration of changing it out.

Otherwise I see you throwing huge $$$ in modding a used vehicle which could have problems even before you get it. Really a bad and expensive move.
 

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2005 FXT
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Usionga topquality syn has almost zero to do with wear and damage. The benfitof syn oil is duration of changing it out.

BS. It depends on the base stock, additive packages, quality of filtration and the change interval. Certain oils do have much greater film strength and component protection than others. Do your research.

As a retired mechanical engineer, I’m shocked and disappointed that you would say such a thing. Perhaps you never studied the impact of proper chemical processes and techniques for improved component protection via lubricants.
 

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2010 XT Limited 4EAT
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300ish to the wheels or crank?

I've done what you mentioned and more and my car runs beautifully. My biggest gripe about the 4EAT is the amount of power it eats up, I would be much higher in power to the wheels with a manual but that's an expensive swap. The transmission is pretty solid as long as you don't beat it to death (i.e. launching, brake boosting, etc.) and keep up with some PM (i.e. fluid changes).

If I were to do it all again, I would have done everything and gotten a protune and be done assuming you can afford everything right now. Other than that, the best thing I did for the car was the initial protune - made it feel like a different car. The OTS maps from Cobb didn't work great for me personally so after getting a downpipe and intake I got a tune, and it was the best thing I did.

As you can see above, oil can be a polarizing subject - I've run AMSOIL SS 5W-30 for a long time and have had good luck with that. I don't do anything crazy until the oil is warmed up and I don't flog on the car.
 

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To be clear, I also have a 4EAT and I’m tuning the ECM to address some of the 4EAT’s sluggish, unresponsive behavior. Pleased with what some simple DBW table changes have done already.
 

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To be clear, I also have a 4EAT and I’m tuning the ECM to address some of the 4EAT’s sluggish, unresponsive behavior. Pleased with what some simple DBW table changes have done already.
Curious what kind of stuff you've done, can be a finicky beast if you're not in the sport shift mode.
 

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2006 forester x
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Any increase in power increases strain and wear on mechanical components, reducing longevity.

Using the highest quality true (PAO or ester-based) full synthetic lubricants wherever possible is key for minimizing wear and prolonging metallic component life. Same goes for heat reduction/control, but that’s more for electrical, rubber and plastic component longevity.

The ability to diagnose issues and perform proper (even overzealous) preventative maintenance is a must. You can ask questions here, of course, but continue to investigate whilst waiting for feedback.

If the above doesn’t dissuade you, start by reading the following two sticky threads:



The quickest and easiest way to improve performance is to find the lightest set of aftermarket wheels that fit your budget and put some sticky (depending on your locale) tires on. Weight reduction provides free performance increases (or at very minimal cost) and increases fuel economy as well.
Xo5, that makes sense the more strain your putting on your engine the more attentive I'll need to be about quality of lubricants I input. Every car I've owned is meticulously maintained, I'm not one to skip services. Getting into modifications to cars is a first for me so i do plan on taking preventative action to keep everything in the best condition as possible to avoid frustration down the line. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

As far as wheels and tires go.. I'm actually going the opposite direction on that haha. What I have in mind for my build is to mod for speed but also equip larger rugged tires and a lift around 2 inches to make it capable of light overlanding/ off road. I'm not planing on doing any rock crawling just enough to get me through rough rocky steep roads on overlanding, backpacking, or mountain biking trips.
 

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2006 forester x
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great build MaTTyBiGs! Engines looking clean. I can be an aggressive driver haha, I'm hoping an overall faster car will satisfy my need for speed without pushing it to its limits too frequently. It sounds like whatever my driving style a good preventative action will be quality lubricants and frequent maintenance. All your input on tunes has really helped, I was thinking id be ok with just setting up a cop ap3 and be happy but it sounds like your benefits from going with a protune is worth it. Now to find a respectable tuner in my area🤔
 

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2005 FXT
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Curious what kind of stuff you've done, can be a finicky beast if you're not in the sport shift mode.

Will have to get back to you on that. Someone on RR offered to define more DBW tables for my ROM and I haven’t had time to head over there and send it to him.

I reckon using the lever to manually shift is my sport shift mode, as the 2005 XT doesn’t have that mode as an option. Which is yet another reason why I’m working on improving the behavior in D.
 

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2005 FXT
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Xo5, that makes sense the more strain your putting on your engine the more attentive I'll need to be about quality of lubricants I input. Every car I've owned is meticulously maintained, I'm not one to skip services. Getting into modifications to cars is a first for me so i do plan on taking preventative action to keep everything in the best condition as possible to avoid frustration down the line. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

As far as wheels and tires go.. I'm actually going the opposite direction on that

No problem and you can still find lightweight wheels to put big ol’ fat tires on. Help offset some of the extra tire weight.
 

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2010 XT Limited 4EAT
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1,447 Posts
Same here x05, that's what I meant. Using the gear shifter to manually select drives way better than drive or sport mode drive.
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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Im at the point in my purchasing decision where im concerned about the effort and cost vs result power and satisfaction i am going to get out of tuning/ modding an automatic trans 09-13 foz xt. <snip>
I'm late joining this thread. Back in July, 2018, I added a Mishimoto CAI to my 2012 XT with 4EAT (otherwise stock vehicle). I made no tuning changes at the time although my goal was to put on a Stage 1 tune. With 93 octane fuel, the car ran fine - really no noticeable change. During a short highway trip in mid-November, I did get a 'Lean Bank 1' error.

In late November, 2018, I finally got around to adding an OTS Cobb Stage 1 tune (AT, 93oct, SF). The vehicle ran much, much better with the tune installed - in every way from idle to acceleration to power - the improvement really surprised me. I've been tempted to try a Cobb Stage 2 tune, with no other hardware changes. Any thoughts on this? (Cobb recommends the SF intake plus an improved cat-back exhaust for Stage 2.)

The OP and I are in the same "automatic-transmission boat." Tunes (or anything else) you do to the engine has to provide some benefit at low engine rpms. Criminy, if my engine turned 5,000 rpm, the back-up camera would flip around just to see who was in the driver's seat. The engine rarely gets to 4,000 rpm. That is not a complaint on the transmission - more just a statement of the situation as I see it. Most tunes are designed to provide the most benefit when the engine is really spinning.
 
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