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Old 10-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
naCAnItihS
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Default Slamming A Forester

Ok so I just recently bought a 2001 Forester L and there was no way in hell I was driving it stock haha

So I decided to slam the crap out of it!

I went ahead and did some research on here as well as use my vast subaru knowlege (was a subaru tech at ajw performance for a year and a half)

I sourced most of the parts at the local pick and pull from a 90s Impreza wagon (except the actual suspension)

Parts:
-06 WRX Sedan Shocks and Struts (70k) with Eibach Sportlines (no spacers)
-Engine cradle bolt brackets (2)
-Trans cross member bolts (2)
-LCA Mounts (2)
-Shifter linkage and bushings
-Rear Sway Bar mounts (brackets) (L&R)

(I am also unsure why the flash made all the light rust look completely horrible...)



I didnt take pictures of everything but this is how I did it:

**SPRAY EVERYTHING WITH PB BLASTER FIRST**
I also used an impact gun for the majority of things to make it easier.

First off put the car on 4 jack stands (high enough so you can crawl under the car). I started with the rear suspension because there was less things to do.

Idk why subaru decided to do this on the older subarus but in order to remove the shocks you have to disconnect the brake lines... I was not about to do that and have to bleed the entire system. So I just removed the retainer clips, pulled the line as far out of the way as possible and used a cut off wheel to cut the bracket. Then I took a hammer and bent it out of the way. (and YES you have to do this to all 4)



Next I Removed the two bolts 19mm bolts that hold the shock to the knuckle. Next go into the hatch and pop the rear shock tower covers off (flat head screwdriver) and then remove the 3 12mm nuts holding the shock in. The shock will probably fall onto the ground or just slide down a bit. (it helps to have someone to help you but i did not). Do this to both sides.

Next I removed the 12mm bolt holding the rear sway bar to the mounting bracket on both sides and wiggled the bar free. Then there is just two 12mm bolts holding the bracket onto the frame. As you can see the Impreza ones are much shorter.





Then just reverse these steps (using the Impreza items) and you are done with the rears. (Use a jack to jack up the knuckle to hold the shock in place to get the bolts on)

And now for the front

First loosen/remove the the 12mm bolt that clamps the steering linkage to the steering column. Spray it with PB Blaster. This is so when the body lift is removed the linkage can slide up the shaft.



Remove the front struts by again cutting the small bracket holding the brake line in, removing the 12mm bolt holding the ABS line, removing the two 19mm bolts holding the strut to the knuckle and finally the 3 12mm nuts for the top-hat. (dont install the wrx stuff yet)

Next I decided to tackle the LCA Mounts. First remove the two 19mm Bolts holding the mount to the frame. You can then pull the lca down to access the 7/8" nut holding the mount to the LCA. Remove that and wiggle the mount off. Then replace it with the one from the Impreza (or wrx) using the factory Forester bolts. Do the same to the other side.



The next step was the removal of the trans cross member spacers. You just have to remove the front cross brace, not the entire support. There is 4 17mm bolts/nuts (2 of each) holding this on. Once it is out I used a cut off wheel and cut the two spot welds holding the spacers on, then using a hammer to knock them off. Once they were off i cleaned it up a bit and threw a coat of truck bedliner spray on it (thats all i had lol). Still wet, I put it back on using the shorter impreza bolts on the outside.



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Old 10-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #2
naCAnItihS
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Now for the hardest part. The engine cradle spacer removal. Now when I say hard I mean aligning the holes was a PITA!

Remove the intake piping 12mm bolt and a 10mm bolt and the coolant reservoir 2 10mm bolts and some wire connectors.





Now you can see the cradle bracket bolts. Place a jack under the motor to support it (on the cross member NOT the oil pan). Remove the 2 17mm Nuts on each side than hold the cradle in place. Now the brackets can be pulled up. (there is a stupid Phillips head screw that holds the bracket down). Once the bracket bolts are pulled up lower the motor about an 3/4". The spacers should now be able to move. They are held in with a plastic clip but of you smack the spacer with a hammer the clips should break. Remove the spacers and then insert the new bracket bolts (I ordered these from subaru). Aligning the holes to get the new bolts trough the cradle was a PITA. I used various prying and jacking points (with a 2nd jack) to do it. Good luck haha











Once you have the bracket bolts in place, tighten them up with the factory nuts. Also make sure the steering linkage is in good working order and then re-tighten the bolt.

Next thing is replacing the shifter stop bushing. You could just use the factory shifter and linkage but you have to remove the entire linkage to get the stop bushing off.. This is why I just snagged the whole linkage from the impreza. I now also with have a slightly shorter shifter anyway, which is good.

You can remove the linkage with the shifter still attached without having to take anything else off. Remove the shift knob, take the shifter surround out, and remove the 12mm bolt holding the shifter to the shifting rod. Next go under the car and remove the 13mm nut holding the round part of the linkage to the trans. Then using a ratchet and a 6" extension remove the two 12mm bolts holding the stay bushing to the body. (not much room but it can be done). Then just snake everything down and out. (pull the shifter itself through the rubber surround). Then snake the Impreza linkage, shifter and stay bushing back up in there (all as one unit) and reinstall everything.

After that is done reinstall your front Struts and you are DONE! (get an alignment)

This took me about 8hrs total including, a front brake job (pads and rotors) and drilling a tapping a snapped bolt for the rear sway brackets.. oh and eating some pizza
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
naCAnItihS
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And you can go from:

This




to THIS:









My 01 FOZ and 05 LGT
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
naCAnItihS
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More pic whoring







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Old 10-24-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
North Star
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Nice! I'm digging the white on blue/gray.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
naCAnItihS
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Default

^^ Thanks

Just a note:

The body lift removal will not lower your car any more. The height is determined from the distance from the knuckle to where the top hat is on the suspension. The removal of the spacers just moves the back of the control arm up. This makes the control arm more parallel with the ground vs the negative angle it would be at without the removal. A positive angle (ball joint lower than the pivot point of the control arm) is what you really want for proper geometry.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
bugeye-brawler
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I have a few questions...
Is it necessary to replace the engine cradle screws after you remove the spacers or can you just use the foresters ones and have a little longer length on the end?
What is the point of swapping out the shifter? A shorter shifter is definitely worth it but I don't understand the primary reason.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
rs420
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I have complete suspension out of a 05 wagon, and was wondering if you know If I can also use the knuckles, primarily the rear because one of my forester bearings is shot but I have spares from my parts wrx wagon - it would be easy enough to swap that over when I lower it I just don't know if it's compatible.

Looks awesome! I hope mine looks as good
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
canesman220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs420 View Post
I have complete suspension out of a 05 wagon, and was wondering if you know If I can also use the knuckles, primarily the rear because one of my forester bearings is shot but I have spares from my parts wrx wagon - it would be easy enough to swap that over when I lower it I just don't know if it's compatible.

Looks awesome! I hope mine looks as good
What year is your forester? Most parts swap over.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
rs420
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99 forester
05 wrx wagon parts
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:54 PM   #11
Oroku Saki
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Nice! Much better than the stock height. Though I'm biased because mine is lowered too.

Good work.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
naCAnItihS
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2002 WRX STI Wagon
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rs420 View Post
I have complete suspension out of a 05 wagon, and was wondering if you know If I can also use the knuckles, primarily the rear because one of my forester bearings is shot but I have spares from my parts wrx wagon - it would be easy enough to swap that over when I lower it I just don't know if it's compatible.

Looks awesome! I hope mine looks as good
yes you can. thats how people do the rear disc conversion on the L models with drums.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:48 AM   #13
1XtLuVeR
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Very nice, cool to see a Forester this low. Makes me want to lower mines
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
sarom058
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2002 SF5 Forester L
Platinum Silver Metallic

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I am planning on lowering mine; but I have quite a few questions that are difficult to get answered just by browsing forums. (NOTE: Excuse me if I seem inexperienced or na´ve, I am currently only a senior in high school)

1. What does the subframe spacer removal do, specifically? To clarify, what function does the subframe spacer have? Is this the same as the "engine cradle spacer"? Am I correct in thinking that this is only do-able for 5MT transmissions?

2. Further, what benefit does one receive from removing the transmission crossmember spacers? What does the transmission crossmember do, in general? Am I correct in thinking that this is only do-able for 5MT transmissions?

3. I'm running STi sway bars in the front and rear. What benefit would I receive from swapping the sway bar mounting brackets? Wouldn't that just bring the sway bar further up?

4. What are the most important things I should look for in regards to suspension geometry for a long-lasting and moderately functional set-up?

Thanks in advance, guys.

~Stephan

P.S. That SF5 is exceptional--I love the white wheels and the ride height. I'm incredibly jealous.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #15
naCAnItihS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarom058 View Post
I am planning on lowering mine; but I have quite a few questions that are difficult to get answered just by browsing forums. (NOTE: Excuse me if I seem inexperienced or na´ve, I am currently only a senior in high school)

1. What does the subframe spacer removal do, specifically? To clarify, what function does the subframe spacer have? Is this the same as the "engine cradle spacer"? Am I correct in thinking that this is only do-able for 5MT transmissions?

Yes the subframe spacer and engine cradle spacer is the same thing (sry I use different lingo for the same part a lot..). Removing that spacer moves you engine up in the engine bay. It does nothing for ride height! Removing that spacer moves the cradle/subframe closer to the frame. By doing this you move the control arm mounting point up or closer to the frame, as well. This is needed because when you add shorter suspension (wrx stuff) the outside end (ball joint side) will move way up. If this spacer is not removed the ball joint side will be above the other end (like this \ /). This bad, the car will ride and handle like crap. You want the hub side to be, minimum, parallel with the subframe side (like -- --). It is proper if the ball joint side is closer to the ground than the subframe end (like / \).

From what I've read (as I have no experience with this on an auto) some people have done it while others experience a vibration from the trans touching the trans tunnel. I am unsure why this would happen since the Foz is based off of the Impreza chassis and those cars have Auto transmissions too so I dont see why it would touch the tunnel. Maybe the people with the autos didnt remove the trans spacers? I just dont have a confirmation answer for you. Try finding someone that did this with an auto and ask them. (try subaruforester.org) lots of helpful people on there.

2. Further, what benefit does one receive from removing the transmission crossmember spacers? What does the transmission crossmember do, in general? Am I correct in thinking that this is only do-able for 5MT transmissions?

Removing the trans spacer is necessary when removing the engine subframe spacer. It keeps everything properly in line, so there is no added stress points and everything fits smoothly. Same with swapping out the control arm bushing/mount.

3. I'm running STi sway bars in the front and rear. What benefit would I receive from swapping the sway bar mounting brackets? Wouldn't that just bring the sway bar further up?

Replacing that mount puts the sway bar in the spot it was designed to be for proper function. Yes it may work ok now but when you add the wrx suspension the sway bar end will move up with the hub. If you do not change the sway mount the bar will now be at a different angle and may not perform optimally.

4. What are the most important things I should look for in regards to suspension geometry for a long-lasting and moderately functional set-up?

Like I stated in the first answer. You want the ball joint side of the control arm to sit below the sub frame end (when sitting on the ground).

Thanks in advance, guys.

~Stephan

P.S. That SF5 is exceptional--I love the white wheels and the ride height. I'm incredibly jealous.
haha thanks! Those wheels arent even on my car currently. I let my roommate rock them on his Aspen white WRX. They looks pretty nasty on his car too. I have black Rota Boosts on the Foz currently for winter. Not sure what I am going to run in the spring/summer but I still have a few months to decide.. Maybe my gold grids? Maybe the white BBS again idk..
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
DearDiaryJackpot
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Totally digging your work. Enjoy it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:55 AM   #17
naCAnItihS
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Thanks!

I also have an 02 WRX RSB, 02 WRX Steering rack/linkage/column end shaft (quicker ratio rack FTW!) and a kartboy STS now too.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #18
joe r
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You should have left the factory Forester LCA bushings alone. You would have some great castor & it is a ALK when pulling the front subframe spacers!


joe r
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:11 AM   #19
naCAnItihS
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Could always put them back in.. What would the benefit of that be?
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