('06-'08) 2006 XT MT - new to Subaru got some questions - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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2006 XT MT - new to Subaru got some questions

First of all hello all and sorry for my lack of knowledge of my forester at the moment. I just bought my Forester 2006 XT MT. I live in California were every thing is scrutinized and I bought this with some issues which had the check engine light on. I have got them removed after just having the car about 3 weeks and am having radiator issues. I know I'm rambling but here it goes would you buy a mishimoto radiator(probably nothing wrong with the radiator) and new hoses or should i just replace the hoses. The other question I have is I want to eventually change out the motor with a J20 for those who live or know what it would take to do this in California is it trying to jump through hoops to do this swap?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyalJuan View Post
<snip>I just bought my Forester 2006 XT MT. I live in California were every thing is scrutinized and I bought this with some issues which had the check engine light on. I have got them removed after just having the car about 3 weeks and am having radiator issues.
Radiator problems usually mean leaking radiator - not leaking hose. Look along the seams between the core and the top and bottom tanks. The leaks can be hard to find. Checking and/or replacing the hoses should be pretty easy. FWIW, the factory hoses last forever, but are not particularly style conscious.



Subaru plastic capped radiators (what you have) have a finite life. 100k - 150k is about the range - beyond that, you're on 'borrowed time'. Unless you're planning to get an all-aluminum radiator, I would look on eBay for a Koyo/TYC replacement. It will be the exact factory part (Koyo made your radiator). I bought one for my 06XT back in 2014 for $145 delivered. The Koyo warehouse is in California. The Koyo/TYC is no better than the OEM radiator but it does come with a lifetime warranty.

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The other question I have is I want to eventually change out the motor with a J20 for those who live or know what it would take to do this in California is it trying to jump through hoops to do this swap?
I cannot imagine why you would want to swap motors. Why not develop the one you have? The EJ255-257 motor has endless possibilities. But, you have hit on the big problem - 'big brother." In California, you might end up having to get the vehicle re-certified or some such - great for that 1972 Ferrari Dino you bought in Italy, but not economically practical for a 2006 Subaru Forester. Maybe someone who has done this (in California?) should jump in.

My vote would be to build your EJ257 to . . . 500 whp! Then you can show your rear license plate to that Ferrari Dino.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:04 AM
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where in cali?
i have a koyorad hyperv for sale.

im in socal.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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@dave5358 thanks for all that info I'll definitely be looking into that about the Radiator. The other thing is that the forester I bought had 25x,xxx miles so I just figured I might need a new motor and I have heard that J20 is a good motor to swap to in your looking for more power. Mind you I'm new so it all might BS I'm hearing but just a thought. I would only do it if its not going to be a complete headache, such and like you said having to get the car refereed. I'm not sure how much something like that would cost but I can only imagine with diligent Department of Motor Vehicles. I'm open to ideas, also the one you pose is possible also I could just buy a new block and start fresh and I know I wouldn't have to do much with the DMV if i swap with the same but younger engine.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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@frijoles I am in Fresno.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:39 AM
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Id swap the radiator myself, even if only with new OEM. They are cheap, easy, and youll be in there already.

Then again I have probably been swapping too much on my XT uneccessarily, but its peace of mind and enjoyable (usually)
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ninos I think that's what I'll do it seems that this happens quite frequently to the Forester's and this radiator Has had enough. Thanks!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 03:30 PM
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Ninos I think that's what I'll do it seems that this happens quite frequently to the Forester's and this radiator Has had enough. Thanks!
At 250k miles,the old radiator deserves a burial with full honors . . . that's remarkable service.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:35 PM
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Definitely time for a new radiator! My bet is that the current one is not the original from 250k miles ago, but I could be wrong...

If you’re ultimate goal is more power and overall you want to mod etc, then go get a full aluminum rad. Either a mishimoto or a Koyo. It’ll help in cooling a more powerful motor and you might as well do it now (instead of buying an OEM replacement and then upgrading later due to failure or need).

Hose wise the OEMs should fit but again if you want to mod and get some bling then go with some nice silicone ones!

I upgraded my oem radiator to a mishimoto with hoses when it split at the top plastic weld near the upper hose. Did I need a full aluminum one? No. But modding for me really only happens when things break and I need to replace something! So I took advantage of it


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 04:31 PM
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The engine bay is so clean the car looks new.

I can see a disconnected hose to the lower right hand side of the intercooler

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 07:47 AM
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Unless the radiator is leaking or it and the cooling system fails a pressure test there is no need to replace until it does. Catastrophic failure is highly unlikely. It will just start leaking one day. If it is the original radiator then someone was good about proper factory cooling system care all these years.

“Cooling System Problems” often lie elsewhere, like a radiator fan switch or thermostat – or worse.

It has been my personal and professional experience that aluminum / plastic radiators last a very long time and are more than suitable for all but the most highly modified motors for the street or track. Other than your budget and desires, there is no real wrong answer here. Performance all metal radiator or stock OEM? The options are yours to pick from.

Replacing radiator hoses on a turbo motor at this mileage if you change the radiator is not a bad idea. In the meantime, watch them like the radiator. Investing in a STANT brand radiator tester if your like working on cars is, in my view, a basic tool for your tool box unless you can borrow one or have access to a consumer automotive shop class at a local Junior College.

Replacing the radiator hoses after years of use is never a bad idea, radiator or not. They tend fail from the inside out when they do fail. I prefer factory clamps rather than American style clamps for hoses.

I am a Northern California native and graduated from a a Bay Area JC college in auto repair and studied with BMW-North America in my youth all in the early 1980s. It was when California implemented their first serious Smog Check Program - the “four gas” BAR84 Smog Check program.

For the last 5 years I have lived in New York. I miss salt free cars.

As long as you keep the original emission control equipment in working order, most changes to your stock motor are street legal as long as the equipment checked during the Smog Check is functioning and in place and the tail pipe readings are within the range the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) mandates.

Changing the motor to a newer motor other than what was fitted to your car is usually legal as long as the fuel and emission systems match the new motor.

For example, putting in a complete as installed from the factory 2011 Forester motor in a 1998 Forester is legal, if the fuel and emission systems are as fitted to a California market 2011 Forester. Putting a 1998 motor in a 2011 Forester without retaining all the 2011 Forester fuel and emissions control systems is not. If you are simply swapping long blocks and all the equipment and systems original to your car bolt right on to the replacement motor then you most likely are OK smog check wise. But check the CARB /BAR websites for approval information if in doubt.

In college, the game, among several, was to convert your used 1/2 ton pickup to a 3/4 ton pick up, by swapping junk yard parts like axles and the brakes etc., to be exempt from smog checks and the emission control equipment the 1/2 ton version of the truck was required to have without actually replacing your already paid for and modified 1/2 pick up with a stock 3/4 ton pickup. It never made sense to me.

Unless the law has changed in the last 6 years, once a car is more than 25 years old (26 model years) this is no longer really an issue as smog checks are no longer required for cars that old or older. Having said that, double check. O2 sensors have been required on cars sold in California since 1981, so original emission control equipment is still required to keep a car "as built" legal in most cases.

As for performance parts, here again, unless the laws have changed, they must be CARB approved “for street use”. Something that has never really been an issue for, say, modifying a 1967 VW Beetle even when new, but has always been an issue for, say, a 1985 VW Golf GTI, for example.

There are so many things to think about with modern motor swaps, as opposed to simply rebuilding a motor with performance improvements in mind, that swapping motors, in my view, is more a labor of love than is really practical. If we were in Germany, then such “street legal” engine swaps become much more feasible.

Modifying a stock motor in the car you already have carries its own sets of considerations. My hot rodding days are long over and for years now I have preferred cars that perform well at interstate speeds and above with good drivability and economy. I have been a VW / Audi owner since I was a teen and, with few exceptions where mild modifications proved useful, stock motors met my needs, especially if they where diesels.

The 2010 Forester, that brought me to this site, I got for my oldest daughter as her first job post college daily driver. The last year of the EJ motor, I picked it largely because, though the FB motor is more refined and slightly more economical in fuel use with improved emissions, the slightly higher maintenance, due to the external timing belt, normally aspirated EJ motor is the simpler motor to service in my driveway or where ever her first job as a wildlife biologist takes her.

So my needs are a simple, easy to maintain, daily driver that, given the rather low miles to date, should serve her well. Your stock motor has apparently performed and driven well for many miles. Major changes to get “more performance” most likely will change that balance. I have seen many an owner, even though I sold them the performance parts they so wanted, change their cars from maybe a bit of a boring daily driver into a “fast car” that in turn became an unreliable, poor to drive, daily driver.

When done well, performance upgrades and modifications take not only well researched choices, but they take money too. As we quickly learned in college, “Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?”
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