('14-'18) Primitive Racing Mid Armor Installation Help - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Primitive Racing Mid Armor Installation Help

I bought the Primitive Racing Mid Armor Transmission Skidplate. The holes for the rear mount do not line up with the holes on the control arm brackets. The holes are off by about an 1/8 of an inch. There's a note in the installation instructions that says "sometimes both of the brackets must be loosened and shifted to fit with the plate." I haven't been able to find any youtube videos on even other forum posts that reference needing to do this.

I'm a little worried about loosening these brackets with the suspension components right there. Are these brackets under a load from the suspension while the vehicles is off the ground? Will I need an alignment after I loosen the brackets? Any other things I should be mindful of before committing to this?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:24 PM
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Maybe it is a difference between CVT vs. 6MT, but I don't remember having to loosen up anything serious to get my Mid Armor plate on my 2018. I definitely didn't touch anything that looked suspension-related. I did have to remove an additional splash guard that the instructions didn't seem to mention (maybe new/different for 2017-2018 models?), but that was it.

The Mid Armor skid plate did mount a little further back than I initially expected, looking at the holes. However, after mounted and in relation to the front skid plate, it made sense. You may want to look at how you're trying to mount yours -- maybe you are on a "more forward" set of holes like I initially was (some didn't line up, which was the main indicator I wasn't in the right spot).

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 07:59 AM
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You should contact Primitive and ask for installation instructions because their website say: Bolts to Existing Threaded Holes in The Body, No Drilling!, and Simple Installation.

Examine the pictures on their web page and see if what they show matches up with what is under your vehicle. and where you are wanting to mount it.

I too am interested in purchasing this item but for a different year Forester.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimmygrl8 View Post
I too am interested in purchasing this item but for a different year Forester.
For the 19+ plate from Primitive, I had zero issues with bolt hole alignment during install. Actually, all 3 pieces I picked up from them were spot on.

- Chris
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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I double checked again tonight and the holes definitely do not line up for me. I can get 3 of the 4 bolts in. I can get the two front bolts but the back two I can only get one or the other. I emailed primitive racing here is the response I got back.

"The bracket that the rear of the transmission skidplate mounts to is illustrated in the picture below instruction #3. Yes the bracket that is described is the front control arm brackets. All you need to do is loosen the rear bolts a little and adjust the brackets so that the holes line up. "

I ran out of time tonight to do anything other than try to mount with my current setup. I'm debating between drilling out part of the skid plate or following their instructions. My hesitation in following their instructions is I'm not 100% sure on the torque specs for the brackets (I think it's 110 lb-ft) and I'm not sure if I need an alignment afterwards. Taking a dremel to the plate to remove a little material seems much safer.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:08 PM
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I just yesterday put the mid-plate piece on my '18xt.. according to their website its the same piece for any '14+ forester - so I assume we did the same one.

I can say I didn't have any problems lining up the holes (there were two holes on the cross-arm close to the tire - but only one (the one closer to the ear of the car) was threaded, and then the other bolt went through the only threaded hole as you followed that cross member towards the front of the car. I can't promise this is all the same, but here are some super ****** pictures.. and what I think are the important points:

First picture you can see both the rear and front (relative to the car) mounting points. Second picture is a close up of where the front mounting point is on the cross-arm.

Rear: Use the smaller spacers and the hole on the skid-plate closer to the front.
Front: Use the large spacers and the hole on the skid-plate closer to the middle.

tip: Use a jack or two to hold the skid plate up while you work, helped me alot.

Good luck!

EDIT: It wont let me post images yet cause i'm a newbie so.. i direct messaged you them. They are absolutely terrible so this is less embarrassing for me, anyway.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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I got the plate installed. Just to close the loop in case anyone finds this thread in the future.

I tried to loosen the bolts holding the front control arm bracket to the frame. I ended up completely removing the 3 bolts but the bracket would not budge. It was still held in tension from the control arm. I don't know if this would have been different if the car had been on ramps instead of jack stands. Talking to other people, if I had managed to move the bracket, I would have needed an alignment. I'm pretty certain the brackets didn't move at all since the bolts went back into the same dirt and grease marks they came out of.

I wish I had taken some photos of this process. I put in just the two back bolts without the washers, spacers, or skid plate. Next I installed the skid plate with just the two front bolts in. With just the front bolts in, there is some play side to side so I lined up the rear bolts as best I could with the mounting holes. I then eye balled how much material I needed to remove from each hole and marked it with a sharpie. I ended up using a Dremel with a Tungsten Carbide Cutter (model 9901) to elongate the hole. My hole ended up being tear-drop shaped. Checking multiple times helped ensure I didn't remove too much material. In the end I got a great fit and felt confident using the supplied washers using this method. I had originally thought I might need to size up the washer after removing so much material but I do not believe that is the case.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 10:35 AM
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The holes don't line up for me either, and I have the same concern, that I could mess up my alignment trying to get the holes to line up! Primitive Racing said to just loosen the bolt, but I'm not gonna do that, so I guess I'll use your solution of modifying the hole on the skid plate itself. Im not happy about having to do this.
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