('14-'18) ZapWizard's 2016 Red XT Premium -Lots of how-to guides! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Austin, TX
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Car Year: 2016
Car Model: Forester XT
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ZapWizard's 2016 Red XT Premium -Lots of how-to guides!



I had a 2010 Forester Premium and love it, and recently traded it in for a 2016 XT Premium.

I am not a performance, or off-road modder. As a mechanical engineer with an electrical engineer education, I am more interested in improving the function, features and interior of the car.

I like to write full guides when I do a modification, so the list below should hopefully get lots of people started.

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"Must-have" plans:
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-Install anchor points to convert seat back cargo net into dog partition.
-Glove box light
-Finish dying seat stitching
-Illuminated cup holder
-Interior LED lighting
-Footwell lights
-Paint Subaru Emblem Red
-Metal foot petals

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Wanted list:
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-Brighter LED back-up lights
-Red Carbon Fiber logos
-Hidden front LED lightbar
-LED DRL strips
-Install fog lights
-Red leather STI steering wheel

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Completed modifications:
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1-31-2016, Installed parking sensors, with display. Click here for the how-to guide.

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2-5-2016, Installed and hardwired a BlackVuew Dashcam. Click for the how-to guide.

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2-7-2016, Installed Red Line Goods Leather Armrest cover. Click for the how-to guide. (2010, but same steps)

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2-7-2016, Dyed shift boot stitching red. Click for the how-to guide

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2-14-2016, Plasti Dip Front chrome. Click for the how-to guide.

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2-15-2016, Installed overhead cargo light. Click for the how-to guide.

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2-15-2016, Installed Cargo Nets. Click for the how-to guide.

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2-15-2016, Installed WRX Carbon Fiber print dash trim.

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2-15-2016, Installed Pinalloy Aluminum Paddle extensions.

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2-20-2016, Fixing that stupid glare from the air vent trim. Click here for the guide.

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2-27-2066, Dipped the rear badges Click here for the guide.

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2-28-2016, Converted the rear camera into a recorded Bumper Cam

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4-2-2016, Installed my RedLineGoods leather shift boot. Click here for the how-to guide.

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4-6-2016, Wired On-Demand Switchable Rear-Camera Image

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2-7-2016, -Leather shift knob with red stitching

2-22-2016, -Fix dash rattles

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6-11-2017, Installed Leather MFD cover with Red Stitching, Fuse box cubby hole, and 3D Steering wheel cover. All from Subispeed.

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6-13-2017, Installed rear bumper reflector lights. Click here for the how-to guide.


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Other useful/installed products:
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2-15-2016, Duluth Scout Seat Saver, Click here for mini-review.


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-Doc Artisan Magmount


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Mod guides for my 2010 which you may still want to check out:
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https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...on-navi-72513/

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Last edited by ZapWizard; 01-22-2018 at 11:24 AM. Reason: fix URL
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 08:04 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
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Car Year: 2009
Car Model: FXT Limited
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Congrats on the car! That red is beautiful! And nice mod list so far!

Any more thoughts on the Duluth seat saver's functionality and durability? We are going to be getting a dog soon and I want to save the leather in my XT.



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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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@GTEASER , Honestly, other than the photo above the dogs haven't ridden in the car yet. I bought the cover as a pre-emptive measure. I can say that it is made from high quality materials and I have no fears about its durability. Also Duluth is one of those companies with a "return at any reason, at any time policy", so you could return it 5 years from now if you really wanted.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 01:43 PM
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Great mods you've done so far. Thank you for the detailed write-ups!! Can't wait to see what else you have in store for your FXT
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 05:04 PM
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Wow, thank you for all the install guides!

The secrecy of my job prevents me from knowing what I'm doing.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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2-20-2016, Today's Project: Fixing that stupid glare from the air vent trim. Click here for the guide.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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This weekend I followed the "Fix Rattles" guide from @dukdude .
I applied even more tape than he did, including between the MFD housing and dash. I also applied the cloth tape to parts where the center arm rest was making plastic-on-plastic contact and that fixed a lot of squeaking from that.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a sneak peak of my current complex project, I will write a full guide later, but for now here is a journal of my progress.

I have had a dashcam in my car for years now, I like the peace of mind it affords. I have a one hour commute on a road with lots of traffic and lots of lights. Getting rear-ended by someone following too close is a real possibility. In fact in 2015 there were over 1200 crashes along the road I drive.

The 2016 models all come with rear camera's standard, so there is no reason to install a second dash cam in the back of the car. Why not use the camera which is already there.

I started doing research and discovered that the video signal from the camera is analog, nothing special. Which means a analog (RCA) type DVR should be able to tap into the signal.

During my research I found that the 2014 and 2015 models had a 8-pin connector with all the video on it. I even found that connector available for cheap on Mouser.com! I assumed the 2016 model used the same connector and ordered enough parts to build my own harness.

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Well, the 2016 7" head-units have a totally different camera connector than previous units. Now it is a separate 5-pin connector. I even found the 5-pin connector model , however it isn't available in small quantities from anyone.

So I paid for a 72 subscription to techinfo.subaru.com, and proceeded to get every wiring diagram I could.

Here is the 2016 5-pin pinout for those interested:
Pin 1, Camera GND, Red
Pin 2, Camera Power (6V), White
Pin 3, Camera Video +, Black
Pin 4, Camera Video -, Purple (Shield)
Pin 5, N/C

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Since I can't get the 5-pin connector, I decided to tap into the signals further down the line. This will make it far easier to work with the wires, rather than messing around with the back of the head-unit. The camera signals pass through connector i53. This connector is located behind a panel in the passenger side foot well. Very easy to access compared to the radio.

While I searched and cannot find any place to purchase the i53 connector, I believe it is compatible with the 1.8mm crimp terminals used on other Tyco/Amp connectors. So the plan is to build a in-between wiring harness. It will be semi-permanent. Meaning you have to still cut and solder into the wires, but you will be able to remove the DVR setup and just plug two new connectors together to reverse the installation.

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Here is the i53 pinout as best I could put together:
(Note the pinout image is mirrored compared to photo)
1, RR Speaker, Green
2, RR Speaker, Red/White
3, Rear Gate Button, Blue
4, N/C
5, RR Door Actuator, Light Green
6, RR Door Actuator, White/Blue
7, N/C
8, Rear Gate Actuator, Black/Blue
9, Rear Gate Switch, Brown
10, N/A
11, RR Power Window, Blue
12, RR Power Windows, Blue/Yellow
13, Camera Video Minus, Purple (Shield)
14, Camera Ground, Red
15, Camera Video Plus, Black
16, Camera Power 6V, White

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Now, onto testing my plan. Here you can see the DVR, a test camera, and cheap analog display.

The DVR I selected is a high quality mobile DVR from SuperCircuits.com. I have ordered camera's from them in the past, they have always been high quality and long lasting. They are also located here in Austin.

These DVRs can be purchased cheaper from other shops, however you risk getting a getting low quality or a fake product. Most of the cheap units I found record at only 320x240 or 640x480. This unit records at 704x576. Remember the rear camera isn't HD anyways.

The DVR itself is simple, give it power and a SD card and it records away. You can change the quality and frame rate, as well as locally playback video files.

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The first thing I did was insert two wire taps into the video signals on i53. I wired this directly to the small analog display for testing.

The video signal works! The video signal isn't tied to the car being in reverse. It works all the time.

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Next I tested wiring the DVR in-between the signal.

I removed i53 and then removed the two video terminals. Re-installed i53 into the socket, and then inserted two temporary terminals just to make contact for testing. I wired the DVR such that the video ran from the camera into the DVR, and then from the DVR back into the head-unit.

And it works! The video from the DVR shows up on the display when the car is put in reverse.
The video quality from the camera isn't diminished in anyway, the only thing I noticed was a small black frame along the sides. The DVR shows the recording time in the top right corner. The only other thing you may notice which gives the DVR function away is it has a 10-second "DVR" boot screen.

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I am currently designing the in-between harness, figuring out where to mount the DVR, and where to best get power for the DVR.

I also want to add switches that allow be to manually switch the head unit into reverse camera mode, and perhaps leave the raw video running into the headunit unless manually switched over.


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yesterday I dipped the rear badges, here is the how-to guide.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:12 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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ZapWizard's 2016 Red XT Premium -Lots of how-to guides!

ZapWizard, I love reading your posts! I just picked up a 16 XT Premium also in Venetian Red so definitely subscribing to the thread.

Is the badging just straight black Plasti Dip without the glossifier or satinizer?

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 12:30 PM
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I like the upgrades

saving for later
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I finished my Bumper Cam install.


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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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@sparky0173 ,

I didn't use any additional coating. I have ordered some of the satinizer, but probably won't even use that unless I need to replace the plasti-dip.
If it fades I can always apply a few touch-up layers using the same process.


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Today I installed my RedLineGoods leather shift boot. It looks great.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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4-6-2016, Wired On-Demand Switchable Rear-Camera Image


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