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Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/22/13 1:01 p.m.

Due to a huge amount of inertia with work and life, the Fozzie was getting driven often and couldn't get a break for downtime. Last week I realized that this trend was likely to continue. Sometimes you just have to decide to throw in the towel and let somebody else spin the wrenches if you actually want the work to get done.

I shipped it off to Janko, a local shop run by family deeply into rally and other motorsports. Say hi to them if you see them at Sandblast!

Almost all of the work I wanted done was bolting on parts and general PMC stuff, so they will probably have it back to me in a couple of days.

Their list:

  • Bolt on already assembled suspension components (King Springs and KYBs with new mounts, bump stops, etc)

  • put on differential skid plate

  • put on STI rear sway bar

  • put on STI lateral links

  • mount Subaru factory boost gague

-mount custom fabbed cat-free up pipe

  • install slightly longer wheel studs and hubcentric 10mm spacers

I'm really looking forward to driving it with the new suspension.

ValuePack SuperDork
1/23/13 12:32 a.m.

SWMBO's '04XS is jealous that your's gets all the attention.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/27/13 5:35 p.m.

Alright, the work is done and the Fozzie seems like a different vehicle now. It is might tighter in the turns and overall ride quality is better with a new, stiffer suspension vs. the worn out stock pieces.

Next items on the list:

  • STI steering rack

  • Cobb access port for a bit of a tune.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/28/13 7:29 p.m.

After driving it for a few days, I really must say that the Fozzie isn't just handling better, it is handling really well. A lot of the understeer is gone. I'm not sure how much is the STI rear bar and how much is the freshened suspension, but.... wow. I am really liking it lots.

The King springs don't really even show up in the wheel well with the 17' rims, either. I was afraid they'd be really visible.

Also, I forgot to mention that one of my rear wheel bearings was showing a bit of wear (at 70k miles) so I had them do both while they were in there. Internet searches show that rear wheel bearings are known to wear in the Foresters quite a bit faster than the fronts, but 70k miles? That seems a bit extreme. I do drive the snot of the thing and it has towed a few things before, though.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/6/13 9:25 a.m.

Debating doing a full STI drivetrail swap in this. It is possible, but even hard wrecked STIs are going for 7k, so it might be out of my budget.

Really want to get the steering rack in before the first event later this month.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 Dork
3/6/13 9:52 a.m.

I was about to ask about the 2.0/2.5 hybrid swap, but you already have a 2.5! You're really mainly looking at the 6 speed and vf-39 turbo, right? Or whole hog with the hubs/brakes/diff/ etc?

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/7/13 1:33 p.m.

I'm looking at the turbo, all of the differentials and the transmission, along with some electronics if I want the electronic center diff. The brakes are also an option, but the brakes I have stop the car pretty well already.

What will probably happen is that I'll get the upgraded turbo and then try to somehow get a much taller 6th gear somehow. I mainly want it for highway cruising.

Ojala Reader
3/7/13 8:33 p.m.

You might be careful where you get the vf39. A lot of bad used vf39s have been sold for temptingly cheap prices. You can get the compressor wheels($70) and seal and bearing "kits" ($70) from reputable places these days. I don't know of a good source for the turbine wheels and shafts though. And you still have to get it balanced. Don't get me wrong, they are good turbos, but I have seen a lot of shenanigans in the past.

I have to give you credit for guts if you are going to swap the sixth gear. There are a few tools you will need and if you need any tips or anything let me know. I have only opened 2 6mt so I am not an expert but i amglad to share what little knowledge i haveThe 02-03 5mt on the other hand....

SnowMongoose Reader
3/7/13 8:42 p.m.

So jealous.
04 XT in black was the only car I've almost booked a flight to go pick up
(from Texas... those guys value Scoobies way less than we PacNW types)

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/7/13 9:03 p.m.

Thanks for the heads up, Ojala. I think that if I were to get a used turbo, I'd simply get it rebuilt from a reputable vendor as insurance.

The Forester XT 5 speed is pretty durable. I was actually thinking this afternoon that if I put in the STI front and rear differentials, the higher gears in those might make the 6th gear no longer needed.

I just worry that the center diff would burn out quickly, since it is expecting the lower ratio Forester gearing, but at the same time as long the front and rear differentials have matching gear sets, the center diff would be happy. More research is required.

Ojala Reader
3/8/13 9:26 p.m.

I can't remember whether you have a 4.44 or 4.11. Either way a wrx transmission and diff would give you a 3.90 front/1.1:1 center/3.54 rear.

rustysteel New Reader
3/8/13 10:23 p.m.

Love seeing the Forester out there. You have the same colour and year as ours. I'm hoping that once my wife wants another Subaru, I will inherit the XT.

Our XT

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/11/13 9:36 a.m.

I just put a Stage 1 tune on it using a Cobb Access Port.

Holy. E36 M3. I'd say it woke it up a bit, but the difference is profound.

While cornering, I can spin the tires in 2nd gear if I get a bit happy with the accelerator.

Ojala Reader
3/11/13 4:58 p.m.

Now you have entered the danger zone...

You start thinking : Hey this got me some easy hp, but I can get an exhaust that will get me another 30 hp. And then you say: Hey, its not too expensive to get another 30 hp...

And you end up with a half dozen turbos, several spare blocks, spare heads, spare injectors, a 55 gal drum of alcohol, and spare all kinds of other crap cluttering up your garage

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/11/13 7:32 p.m.

Unlikely. I already went down that road with my RX-7. I'm still finding parts to that laying about. This is my daily driver, and I'm already debating putting the fuel economy tune on there and just using the Stage 1 tune for events.

I would like a bit more noise from the exhaust, but it isn't worth the $$$ they want for aftermarket units.

Ojala Reader
3/11/13 8:39 p.m.

I wouldn't buy the full exhaust. The best bang for your buck is the downpipe. As long as the metal is halfway decent almost any of them will work fine. The only real "gotcha" is that some of them are made using a USDM downpipe as a pattern and others are made to a jdm pattern, and the two are different lengths.

Greg Voth
Greg Voth Dork
3/12/13 12:08 a.m.

I like the build. My wife's daily is an 04 XT / 5speed. 95,000 miles. Wheel bearings have been noisy for a while and it needed a clutch at 80,000. I also agree about the need for a taller 5th gear and been casually looking for a WRX trans/center/rear.

As for exhaust I went to craigslist and bought a used no-name 3 inch down pipe ($50) and put on an STI muffler ($50). Its noticeable outside the car but only slightly louder than stock inside. I am really pleased with it and it came with a nice bump in power.

Jarod New Reader
3/12/13 11:56 a.m.

I went too far with mine. Try to stay happy with out swapping the turbo.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/12/13 1:56 p.m.

The best thing would be to somehow make a Forester XT transmission work with the taller front/rear differentials, since the XT transmission is a bit more stout.

Huh... I wonder if a Legacy GT transmission would fit.

Ojala Reader
3/12/13 5:25 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy:

It will, but 2004 and later 5mt are the essentially the same except for varying diffs and ratios. You just need to make sure whether you need the 1.1:1 or 1:1 center diff. The legacy spec b had a 6mt but with open diff and no dccd.

There is also a new 6 speed manual in new legacies that is supposedly based on the 5mt and has a split case like the 5mt. Supposedly it shares nothing with the 6mt. I personally have no knowledge of this transmission though.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/19/13 9:16 p.m.

Ojala, you know more about this than I do for sure. I'm still in the "I wonder" phase of the project. My *)$)#%%)^_)^ rotary engine car is going to be chewing up a lot of my funds in the near future.

Rustysteel: your Forester looks to be a little different shade than mine is. Has your been repainted, or is it just the lighting?

rustysteel New Reader
3/20/13 8:44 p.m.
Brett_Murphy wrote: Ojala, you know more about this than I do for sure. I'm still in the "I wonder" phase of the project. My *)$)#%%)^_)^ rotary engine car is going to be chewing up a lot of my funds in the near future. Rustysteel: your Forester looks to be a little different shade than mine is. Has your been repainted, or is it just the lighting?

I think it must be the lighting, as I don't believe it was repainted. Took those pictures at dusk.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/9/13 11:04 p.m.

This weekend a tree decided it had had enough of my Forester's crap and broke the rear window and dented up the hatch right where the window meets the frame. There was a good knot in the wood, so in addition to the longer, shallow scrape, there was a golfball sized dent there, too. Did you know that the hatch on the Forester is made of aluminum? It is.

I debated going with a junkyard hatch, as it would have been the easy and cheap route to take, but I changed my mind and decided against it. Instead, I took it to a local body shop to have the hatch, a bit of a scuff on the driver's side and some scratches on the bumper repaired, as well as having a Subaru factory spoiler painted and mounted.

Anhyhow, I'm driving my project car (RX-8) until I get the Fozzie back.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/22/13 9:20 p.m.

I got the car back, it looks pretty good.

However, I realize now that I was better off without the spoiler, as opening the hatch with a kayak on top is going to put stress on the spoiler. Bah. I'll post a picture when I take one.

Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/28/13 7:32 p.m.

I may have won the first rallycross of the year today.

I'm as shocked as you are.

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