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Old 09-06-2016, 09:55 PM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member Sales Rating: (1)
Member#: 315018
Join Date: Mar 2012
Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: SLC, Utah
01 2.5RS & 04 FXT

Default Grimmspeed SG Forester, whole line-up

I have seen a few reviews focusing on the Grimmspeed parts for the GD platform, and though they share parts with the SG forester I figured I'd also share some of my own thoughts relating specifically to the forester. I have most of their line up, might be missing a couple things here and there.

Starters, my car is an 04 Forester XT, with a 4EAT trans, full bolt ons vf-39 build pushing around 300HP.

Grimmspeed Limited downpipe. I've had a few different downpipes, perrin, 2 different invidias, and with no question, this is the best looking downpipe. The CNC flange looks amazing, thick, appears to have great flow in the main pipe and wastegate, welds are good, everything is great. The auto forester does not have the same lower mounting point on the trans (not sure if the auto wrx is the same) so I had to fashion my own, but aside from that it bolted up with no problems.

Cross pipe, Blue Ceramic Coated. This one I actually picked up used since they no longer make the blue (a shame IMO, the blue looks great on under pieces of the car to add some unique aesthetic value). I do have the 06-07 WRX/FXT specific problem, though I do hear that the other/STi specific one has better flow. Same story as the downpipe, flanges look great, welds good, flex joint is fine, no problems even after it has been used on someone else's car for unknown miles. The ceramic does look a little worn, but that is to be expected. I have this mated to some DIY ported and ceramic coated collectors. I had always heard that they should be gasket matched, and even though the grimmspeed pipe is a tad bigger than stock, it is not as big as the gaskets. I assume the stainless finish will aid in flow without having the pressure loss on a smaller turbo, which is exactly what I am going for.

Up pipe, black ceramic coated. Again, flawless. Wish they still had the blue, but it still looks amazing in black. I do have their double thick lower gasket, just for extra assurance that it would seal with everything.

--Manifold complete-- I do hit peak boost about 150rpms lower than stock after a tune, which makes a big difference in this car, especially with the auto trans where I can't manipulate the RPMs as much. Power feels linear all the way to redline as well, so no noticeable loss at the top end either. Exactly as expected from the cross pipe/ported combo as opposed to other header options.

Intercooler, Black ceramic coated. I have not retuned since installing this part quite yet, I have a couple other things I need to finish before I go in and will edit. Finish looks fantastic, flanges are cleanly cut, coating looks even, bars and fins appear stronger than the STi intercooler, so it shouldn't get as beat up from rocks and bugs. Install was a breeze, actually easier to squeeze in between the ac line and manifold than the STi intercooler thanks to the shape of the end tanks. I did have my AC line already adjusted from the STi intercooler and it needed no further adjustment. The slotted mounting tabs on the sides make it a lot easier to get in as well. I paired this with some company 23 TMIC studs and the BPV went on with no problems. Great intercooler, one of my favorite things I have installed as far as overall performance and cosmetic gains.

Intercooler shroud, FXT specific. I had designed and made my own complete shroud like a month before this was released (the subtle shroud was the only available before that and it's price tag was quite hefty), and while I had no problems with the functionality or fit, I did have a few minor cosmetic things that would irk me every time I showed it up (admittedly, not many others would be as pick as me). But when this came out, it's price point was right on with what I wanted. It looks much cleaner than my own shroud, soft black finish, great looking Grimmspeed badge. Mounting up to the hood scoop was perfect, the bulb seal around the bottom was great. I especially like how the corners each had a portion cut out so that you could cut the seal on each corner and have it extend through the corner so you didn't have gaps (My picture does not show this, I first put the seal on in one piece and later trimmed it into the 4 sections). Because I have the grimmspeed 3mm phenolic spacers, I did have to trim the bottom. After first install, it put pressure on the hood and scoop when it was closed. This was done easily with tin snips thanks to it being made of aluminum. Ended up taking about 5mm off around the whole bottom and it's about perfect now.

Hood Struts. This was one of the mods I was most excited for and followed their updates through the design period as well. First impressions were great, quality hardware, great looking mounting piece, clean struts. I was unable to find forester specific install instructions, and their mounting tabs were a bit different than the impreza models, so I had to do some digging for other installed pictures to see how they went. I also thought it was weird that the hardware threads were metric, but the heads appeared to be SAE sized. Wasn't a big deal, but I did have to dig around for my 13mm tools. The gold badge on the hood struts really looks great in person but is hard to capture in a photo. A very nice touch. The high lift took some getting used to. Yes, it does have definite pros, working on the car after these are installed is a breeze, nothing is in the way and it gives better natural lighting. A couple of the cons, it is much taller, and I kind of forgot about it when I had my car on jack stands and tried to open my garage door and it hit the hood. Totally my own fault, but just be aware that it does sit higher. Also, even though I'm 6'3 I have to stretch to reach the hood to close it, and I now prefer to walk around the side to avoid leaning on the front bumper and grill. Also, it really makes the dirty underside of the hood much more noticeable. Overall, still definitely a must have mod, great execution and the pros make it definitely worth it.

Battery Tie Down
Great replacement for an ugly, rusted stock piece. Fitment was very tight on the battery, almost wondered if it was the wrong size. After some work, I think it will hold the battery in place much better than the stock one. Great looking piece without being too loud, minimal, clean machining.

Air-Oil Separator. This was another used part. Install was kind of a pain for some of the hoses, but I didn't want to cut any corners. It looks great and helped MAJOR with my oil consumption problems. It does seem to be very picky with the hose you use, I had some seepage around the hose connection with a hose I bought from a local autozone, but when I replaced a couple of them and re-routed with the intercooler install, I used the hose then included with the intercooler and those ones no longer leak. I also did a full reseal on the AOS and for $10 every couple of years for all the o-rings, it should stay in great shape for a long time.

This concludes the review for now. I do have other parts from them that have been on the car longer that I may add in the future, or if anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:50 PM   #2
Vendor Sales Rating: (0)
Member#: 301037
Join Date: Nov 2011
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2004 Forester XT
Aspen White


Awesome write-up, thanks for all the GS support, it's always great to hear when people are satisfied with the things we make since we put a lot of heart into it all. Definitely one of my favorite Fxts out there!


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