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Registered
04 2.5 XT
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I just purchased an '04 FXT, and I am wondering where to begin as far as modifications go. After doing a bit of researching, it seems the Cobb AP tuning would be a good place to start.
Given lets say a $1k budget, what else would be a good investment in my journey to become lets say, "more beast"? :icon_biggrin:

I appreciate any input!

-Scott
 

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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
Joined
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8,052 Posts
Scott,

Congrats on the new F-XT :) I say before you start anything, just live with it for a while and get use to it. I know it sounds silly but a good set of tires (or tire/ wheel combo) is a very good investment. You'll benefit daily from better traction, stopping, handling and safety when it rains and such. How many miles do you have? There may be a few things you need to do first before you start down the Modification road. :)

In any case welcome and best of luck with the Forester. If nothing else you've come to the right place ;)
 

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Registered
04 2.5 XT
Joined
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As far as tires/wheels go, I'm currently on the stock 16" alloys with all-terrain/season tires. And perhaps one could inform me as to what a RSB will do? :p

Thanks for the input!
 

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Forum Member
2004 FXT
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952 Posts
I'd suggest putting that $1k into suspension/handling.

$300~ Swift Springs
$400~ New Struts KYB-GR2's
$40~ STi Rear Sway Bar (RSB)
$60~ good alignment

but I warn you... This whole "modding" thing is highly addicting!
 

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Registered
2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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2,000 Posts
Absolutely start with suspension!
 

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Registered
04 2.5 XT
Joined
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
... but I warn you... This whole "modding" thing is highly addicting!
Haha yes, there seems to be no end when it comes to "upgrades" as far as I can tell. Sounds like quite the long-term project/adventure!

It sounds as though chapter 1 is going to be titled Suspension and Handling. Thanks all for the links/help provided!
 

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Registered
13 Forester XT 4EAT
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4,167 Posts
I would say first, tires/wheels. Second rear sway bar, including endlinks and tab supports so you don't break the lateral links.
 

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Registered
2004 Subaru Forester XT 5 speed manual.
Joined
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741 Posts
If you're going to go with a tune eventually, might as well do it all at once with an uppipe, downpipe, and turboback exhaust to unlock some true potential.

It won't do you much good though if you're planning on some performance driving on a fairly loose and somewhat worn suspension. Whether or not you want to ride low like a modified Impreza or somewhat Forester height is up to you, but get some sticky tires and get your suspension bits in order so you can at least handle the power you have currently!
 

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Registered
2005 FXT
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353 Posts
I did the COBB route 3 years ago, and have been an happy camper. (Stage 2)
Foe starters, I affirm what others have said the rear sway bar. This is assuming that the geolanders are history.
 

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Registered
2005 FXT
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353 Posts
I forgot. The swift springs are just what they should be. I learned this the hard way, but forget those STi suspension swaps. Just get the springs.
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
Joined
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10,255 Posts
Suspension then tires. Sticky tires on stock suspension is not as much fun as it sounds. For $1k you could easily get a set of Rota's with nice tires, or a set of good tires and a set of swaybars and endlinks.

The problem with just getting tires is the lack of performance options in the diameter you need with a 16" wheel. There is a TON of sidewall to worry about.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
Joined
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5,734 Posts
You could always go up and not down. If you slap a RSB on a stock Foz, it'll still handle decently on the street, but then you can take off the RSB and venture off road and get into situations like this......

 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
Joined
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5,734 Posts
I would start with making sure your engine and drivetrain is up to snuff for accepting any modifications. Go-fast goodies won't do you any good if you're sitting on the side of the road with a blown motor when all it needed was a couple hundred dollars of TLC beforehand. Go through it with a finetooth comb, here's my laundry list of suggestions.....

- Depending on milage...TIMING BELT! If it's nearing the 100k mark, I would seriously look into this first and foremost. One snap and POOF goes your checking account. (Timing belt, tensioner, and idlers are a must....and do the water pump at the same time as it's MUCH easier.)
- Tranny Flush (if it's 4EAT) (4-quarts per flush, I would do 1 minimum, 3-4 if it's dark or brown)
- Diff fluids
- Oil & Filter change
- Air filter
- Clean MAF sensor
- Change spark plugs with NGK Iridium Lasers
- Check/Replace (motor mounts/pitch stop mount/diff carrier bushings.etc)
- Power steering fluid (check/flush)
- Give it a GOOD cleaning in the engine bay and inspect for any seepage or leaks
- Send old motor oil and tranny fluid to BlackStone labs for analysis

Realize that any go-fast mods done to the engine will weaken your drivetrain (tranny/diffs/u-joints/etc.) So I would also have the engine compression tested and have a leak-down test performed as well. This will give you a good representation of the engines current health (and the Blackstone labs will tell you what other problems might start popping up). If you go-fast mod an engine that may already be wheezing or has a slightly unnoticeable compression leak, you run the risk of shortening it's life extremely quick.

Don't want to scare you, but my engine swap was hell, and it's not as fun as you'd think (I thought it was fun for about the first day, then it was a nightmare). Once your know for certain that your drivetrain is up to the task of accepting and dealing with the added stress of moar powar, then mod to your checking accounts desire!
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
Joined
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29,458 Posts
I would start with making sure your engine and drivetrain is up to snuff for accepting any modifications. Go-fast goodies won't do you any good if you're sitting on the side of the road with a blown motor when all it needed was a couple hundred dollars of TLC beforehand. Go through it with a finetooth comb, here's my laundry list of suggestions.....

- Depending on milage...TIMING BELT! If it's nearing the 100k mark, I would seriously look into this first and foremost. One snap and POOF goes your checking account. (Timing belt, tensioner, and idlers are a must....and do the water pump at the same time as it's MUCH easier.)
- Tranny Flush (if it's 4EAT) (4-quarts per flush, I would do 1 minimum, 3-4 if it's dark or brown)
- Diff fluids
- Oil & Filter change
- Air filter
- Clean MAF sensor
- Change spark plugs with NGK Iridium Lasers
- Check/Replace (motor mounts/pitch stop mount/diff carrier bushings.etc)
- Power steering fluid (check/flush)
- Give it a GOOD cleaning in the engine bay and inspect for any seepage or leaks
- Send old motor oil and tranny fluid to BlackStone labs for analysis

Realize that any go-fast mods done to the engine will weaken your drivetrain (tranny/diffs/u-joints/etc.) So I would also have the engine compression tested and have a leak-down test performed as well. This will give you a good representation of the engines current health (and the Blackstone labs will tell you what other problems might start popping up). If you go-fast mod an engine that may already be wheezing or has a slightly unnoticeable compression leak, you run the risk of shortening it's life extremely quick.

Don't want to scare you, but my engine swap was hell, and it's not as fun as you'd think (I thought it was fun for about the first day, then it was a nightmare). Once your know for certain that your drivetrain is up to the task of accepting and dealing with the added stress of moar powar, then mod to your checking accounts desire!
Some top rate advice here... it should be heeded by anyone who has purchased (or is looking to purchase) a used FXT with the intention of adding performance mods.
 

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Registered
Joined
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51 Posts
I would start with making sure your engine and drivetrain is up to snuff for accepting any modifications. Go-fast goodies won't do you any good if you're sitting on the side of the road with a blown motor when all it needed was a couple hundred dollars of TLC beforehand. Go through it with a finetooth comb, here's my laundry list of suggestions.....

- Depending on milage...TIMING BELT! If it's nearing the 100k mark, I would seriously look into this first and foremost. One snap and POOF goes your checking account. (Timing belt, tensioner, and idlers are a must....and do the water pump at the same time as it's MUCH easier.)
- Tranny Flush (if it's 4EAT) (4-quarts per flush, I would do 1 minimum, 3-4 if it's dark or brown)
- Diff fluids
- Oil & Filter change
- Air filter
- Clean MAF sensor
- Change spark plugs with NGK Iridium Lasers
- Check/Replace (motor mounts/pitch stop mount/diff carrier bushings.etc)
- Power steering fluid (check/flush)
- Give it a GOOD cleaning in the engine bay and inspect for any seepage or leaks
- Send old motor oil and tranny fluid to BlackStone labs for analysis

Realize that any go-fast mods done to the engine will weaken your drivetrain (tranny/diffs/u-joints/etc.) So I would also have the engine compression tested and have a leak-down test performed as well. This will give you a good representation of the engines current health (and the Blackstone labs will tell you what other problems might start popping up). If you go-fast mod an engine that may already be wheezing or has a slightly unnoticeable compression leak, you run the risk of shortening it's life extremely quick.

Don't want to scare you, but my engine swap was hell, and it's not as fun as you'd think (I thought it was fun for about the first day, then it was a nightmare). Once your know for certain that your drivetrain is up to the task of accepting and dealing with the added stress of moar powar, then mod to your checking accounts desire!
very good that was worth the read :woohoo:
 

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Registered
Joined
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51 Posts
You could always go up and not down. If you slap a RSB on a stock Foz, it'll still handle decently on the street, but then you can take off the RSB and venture off road and get into situations like this......

is your foz still stuck there :p
how long take u to get out of that one
 
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