Alright, If you're reading this, 2 things must be true; You have an SF Forester, and You've lowered it or are thinking of lowering it.
Now then, you may be wondering why did I make this post? Here's what I hope to achieve1 in this thread:
1: Explain and show the differences between the SF Chassis regarding suspension in comparison to the GC and GDA
2: Go over what things need to be changed on the SF chassis to achieve GC/GDA geometry when lowering.
3: List of what's a direct bolt in swap from the imprezas to the SF, PRE and POST spacer removal
4: Partial how to on correcting the foresters factory lift and a parts/price breakdown of each
5: Attempt to keep as much misinformation as possible out of this thread!
Mods, Scooby experts and what have you, If you think/know something in this thread is false PRIVATE MESSAGE ME
and we shall discuss what's what, and I shall edit my posts in this thread accordingly.
IF you think you know something I don't, or that I missed; PM Me.
Why? Because If we fail to work together on the above, this thread will turn into a bunch of posts from different people who read different things on different forums, thusly clogging the thread and making the GOOD information harder to find/read.
Alright before I continue, IF YOU OWN/DRIVE an SG, SH or SJ
THIS THREAD DOES NOT PERTAIN TO YOU!
SG people, there's several threads for your chassis like this one
, DO NOT USE THIS THREAD AS ANY SORT OF GUIDE/DOES THIS FIT unless you have an SF. I do not have an SG in my possession so I CANNOT confirm or deny how similar or different the two chassis are.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's begin.
You own an SF Forester (1997-2002), which in reality is a hulked out station wagon that came from the factory with a lift kit of sorts.
Now Subaru, being a small company and relatively simple when it comes to engineering decided to design the FORESTER on the GC platform, What that means is, the front half of your Foresters Unibody/chassis started life as a 93-01 IMPREZA, with a few things changed. Things like radiator support, headight frame section, Roof section, A and C pillars and other things. The back half of your FORESTER is very similar to the GDA IMPREZA (MY01/02 JAPAN, MY02/03 USDM) So things like the rear seats, Strut tower mounts, and chassis mount points match closely to the GDA impreza.
So to make this point in layman terms, your forester has GC chassis FRONT END, and a GDA chassis rear end.
Here's the list of what's the same (off the top of my head) and which chassis share said parts
MODEL YEAR will be referenced based on USDM standard
GC (all 93-01 AWD imprezas)
GD (All 02-07 Impreza turbo SEDAN NON STI)
* = Includes STI
"" = See exceptions list
- Front Subframe
GC Non Turbo (sway bar mount is in slightly higher location)
- Front Swaybar
GC Non Turbo
- Front sway mounts
GC Non Turbo
- Front Control arms
GC/GD (Wagon ONLY)
GC Aluminum (requires STI style endlinks)
- Ball Joints
Universal across any 90s-current subaru
- Front Sway bar drop links
GC/GD (wagon only)
- Engine Mounts
GC/GD (pretty much stayed the same from 93 to now)
- Transmission Mount
GC/GD (excludes 6 speed)
- Transmission Rear xmember
- Transmission saddle
- Steering rack
GC/GD"" (05 and up STI rack bolts up, requires longer m10x1.25 60mm bolts for the pinion side mount)
- Steering knuckle
93-99 Outback/SUS/GD (GD requires matching the SF steering wheel side, to the GD steering rack side)
- Front Struts
GC/GD*(includes MY2004 STI)
- Front Top hats
GC/GD (Bolt hole orientation is GC, but GD will fit
- Steering Knuckle
- Inner Tie Rods
GC GD (STI will fit, but are longer)
- Outer Tie Rods
- Front Hubs/knuckles/spindles
- Front Axles
GC/GD (GD fitment until MY2004.5)
- Engine Cross Member""
GC/GD (Turbo x members WILL NOT CLEAR your STOCK exhaust manifold, UEL Headers required to fit Turbo X members) (note GD crossmember requires shimming forward control arm bushings or replacing with the GD bushing)
- Rear Sway bar
- Rear sway endlinks
GC/GD* (Lateral links must match endlinks, IE STI LL - STI Endlinks, Stock LL - Non STI endlinks)
- Lateral Links
GC/GD* (Note GD STI LLs will increase track width and negative camber)
- Rear Subframe
GC/GD* (05-07 STI has solid Subframe mounts)(Note Forester rear subframe has the LL points about half an inch lower to compensate for the lift, parts all fit nonetheless)
- Rear Knuckles/hubs
- Trailing arms
GC/GD* (STI is the same, w/upgraded bushings)
- Trailing arm brackets
- Rear Brakes
GC/GD"" (excludes 06/07 wrx and 04-07 STI)
- E brake cables/shoes
- Rear Struts
GD"" (04 Struts are backwards compatible with 02/03 springs/TH. 02/03 struts REQUIRE SCOOBY SPACER to match with 04-07 springs/TH)
- Rear Tophats
GD"" (02/03 are exactly the same, 04-07 DIRECT BOLT ON but must match with 04-07 springs)
- Rear Springs
GD"" (Springs must match tophats IE 02/03 TH - 02/03 springs, 04-07 springs with 04-07 tophats)
Boom, I think I've got all the parts in the drivetrain/suspension I can think of.