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Old 12-04-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
HeyChris
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2013 F-XT
Obsidian Black Pearl

Default 09-13 Forester - Megan Racing Street Series Coilovers.

What do you do when you have a new 2013 XT Forester and after 3400 miles the bug to start modifying it rears its head? And you're not sure which route you want to go? Whether directly to Coilovers, or a Strut/Spring combo...?

You pay attention to the random posts on various Subaru forums of companies looking for stock vehicles for testing pre-production units... And try and get use of them for FREE.

Well, I did and managed to obtain a set Megan Racing's Street Series Coilovers they are wanting to release to market for the 09+ Forester. Current Forester offerings are up to the 2007MY per their site.

As for the specs, I can only guess they are similar to the 2003-07 units noted at bottom…

Install date 11.28 (3710 Miles) – Requested 1.5” drop. Received 4” drop. It looked really nice parked… I did feel like I was as low as a WRX wagon. And due to my schedule drove it this way for a few days to see how I really liked it. (Wife didn’t like it at all, too low and she misses the height.)

It wasn’t until the weekend I noticed the headlights were not the HID-adjusting units I’ve had before., which made night time usage nearly pointless. I’m certain there is an adjustment screw for the lights, but tinkering with the suspension is more prudent.

12.02 – (3852 Miles) Made a 4-clicks adjustment towards the SOFT setting. Out of 32 usable levels, I wasn’t sure where Megan Racing set them up when you get them. It gave the XT a little softer ramp up on compressions over bumps. Still at that setting and trying to keep this setting for a bit to try and get a better feel…

12.03 – (3873 Miles) Raised the XT up. I used the distance between the bottom spring perch nut and the bottom retaining nut to determine my before/after adjustments. And more importantly make sure the car is even on all for corners.

+.75 adjustment
LF 3.25” – 4” LR 2.25” – 3” RR 2.25” – 3” RF 3.25” – 4”

It is still lower than stock, but has a more reasonable drop to it. I need to give it some time and a lot more mileage before I start playing with anything else again. **I will say that caution will be needed for adjusting the rear struts. After install, and adjusting them, a couple of the clips for the rear SUBARU covers snapped off. Too soon to say if they will start rattling but I don’t want to replace them quite yet. Or have any more clips break.

As I put more miles on them, I’ll try and give updates if quirks arise. Pics a plenty to follow...


SPECIFICATIONS & FEATURES: APPLICATION: Subaru Forester 03-07
SPRING RATES:
F: 62mm ID; 200mm length; 8 kg/mm
R: 62mm ID; 220mm length; 6 kg/mm

DAMPER SPECS:
F: 130mm stroke; 320mm length; M2 valving code
R: 150mm stroke; 380mm length; M11 valving code

- 32 Levels of Damper Force Adjustment
- Pillow Ball Upper Mounts
- Rubber Dust Boots
- Adjustable Ride Height
- Aggressive Spring Rates
- Single-Cylinder Design
- Aluminum Brackets
32 Levels of Adjustment:

1-8: Suggested for track use.
9-16: Suggested for mountain/aggressive use.
17-32: Suggested for common street use.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #2
HeyChris
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Default

My most recent ride prior to picking up this XT was a `01RS.

Of which I've modified in many forms, especially the suspension. I have a sense of what works and what doesn't for my needs. And I have no qualms against a Strut/Spring set-up when done right. Unfortunately my last set was a set of Prodrive WR Sports.... And those aren't transferrable or heck even available for my XT.

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Old 12-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #3
HeyChris
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The day I brought the XT home from stealership...


Install day


+.75" increase in height.












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Old 12-18-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
HeyChris
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12.04 - Softest setting @ 3914 ODO.

On 12.05 drove to San Diego to install Christmas lights onto my parents house. They are of the age where its not safe for dad to be on anything higher than a step-stool.

ODO reads 4109 (+195 miles). Drove down on softest setting. On the way back up, went up +3 clicks. And then +1 at the rest stop just north of Camp Pendleton.

I felt jostled about and fairly beat up by the time I got back home. I'm certain putting up Christmas lights had some influence. But the ride home was not enjoyable unless I was traveling 75+. At which point the dampening seemed to take out quite a bit of the freeway undulations. Especially those of the concrete expansion joints. An arch nemesis to those who have coilovers..... Or short wheelbases.

I could hear each time the fronts would take an impact and sounded like a grumbling noise throughout the trip. Which was annoying if the radio was turned off.

Left front spring starting to have spring binding at slow speeds. Most obvious in parking lots.

Overrall I feel the spring rates, whatever they are, are too high for my personal daily usage.

12.06 - 4118 ODO.

+4 clicks to make it level 8 all around. Squishy noises at all four corners over dips, speed bumps and anything more than an 1/2" worth of height changes. A lot firmer ride, but after a

few days once the shocks got settled into the new routine. i.e. quieter. Now receiving a more favorable ride than at the lowest settings.

12.10 - 4148 ODO

Didn't drive much at +8. Decided to go to +11 setting. Shock movement is quieter. Sharp hits to suspension are very much an attention getter. Quick ramp up on dampening over

bumps. Road imperfections definitely transmitted through the steering and cabin. This setting is more tolerable than the softest setting, surprisingly.

12.11 - 4253 ODO

Tried +13 for giggles. No give on city streets, but makes free way on ramps really fun. Went back to +11....

12.13 - 4270 ODO

I had my 5yr old son inquire on what I was changing all the time, with the knobs.... After explaining he wanted to try, so before I had a chance to tell him what to do he slowly twisted it

back n forth a couple times..... (Nothing too overzealous, just little twists. lol)

After chuckling, I decided to back them all off and start all over to make sure he didn't leave it on the highest setting. This time went to +10. And have found this setting to be the MOST ENJOYABLE in combination of the the spring rates. It still is a compromise on driving, but the best one I've found so far. Shock travel has quieted down, fronts still have spring binding, but it IS a pre-production unit. Driving around town and on the 'spectacular' freeways are okay. These do not give you much shock travel as I would like before they go really, really firm. Sometimes it feels like driving a lifted truck as far as stiffness goes. Other times they settle quite nicely.

While the fronts are easily adjustable, I have sliced off a little a bit of my finger nails from the Subaru sheetmetal when adjusting the rears. The adjustment knobs/post need to be a tad higher.

12.18 - 4412 ODO

702 miles so far since the installation. I know I've been pointing out the nuances and quirks of this pre-production unit. And may come across as negative feedback to some. But they are my initial reaction and thoughts to how the suspension is performing so far. I have performed this process for each modification I've done to my past cars. When it comes to spending
my cash on a product that is going onto my daily driver. I want to make sure it is something that I can live with, especially if there are compromises involved. Or behavioral adjustments upon the owner.

My wife doesn't like it when I do it while driving with her though. Because I will try and analyze something about the changes performed when driving and not converse (as much) with her...

The items I've liked since installing...

The flexibility of these coilovers.. i.e. height adjustment, shock valving adjustment, front camber adjustment
Minimal nose dive under braking.
Minimal nose ^ under acceleration.
Shock dampening adjustment knobs on top of the units, easily reachable. (Rears need to be a tad higher)
Hard stop when reaching Softest/Hardest shock setting.
Solid clicks (fronts) for each adjustment.
How the car profile looks while sitting pretty.
How the suspension 'sets' while going through a curve.
Less noticeable body roll.
No issues driving through the rain nor 50 degree Southern California winter...
Easier to wash the XT now that its lower than stock.
My 5yr old son ease into getting into the vehicle.

Items needing sorting on the PRE-production unit, IMO.

Taller adjustment knob on rear shock towers. (Or I need smaller hands)
"Clicking" sound/feeling hard to determine on rears due to finger access. - Could be just user issue...
Front are starting to have spring binding while driving slow... parking lots, pulling into driveway/garage.
Noticeable NVH increase over stock suspension. A lot more road noise is transmitted into the cabin of the vehicle.
Can hear shocks moving up/down during compression/rebound at +3 ---> +5 levels.
Very quick ramp up on dampening in combination of spring rate. (Uncomfortable feeling) On 0---> +4 settings too much movement. Bouncy/jostling ride.
Tools - Need to make sure the wrenches are seated properly before trying to raise/lower the shock tower.
Too high of a spring rate for my daily suburban lifestyle. A definite compromise is necessary.

I am very confident with a lower spring rate these will be MUCH more enjoyable for daily usage. Especially since +10 on the dampening seems to be the most tolerable so far.

The people at Meghan Racing do have another pre-production set being built... I'll update once those have been received and fitted. I am looking forward to testing those out too.

C.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #5
Scooby921
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1.) It isn't spring "bind". Its the springs twisting on their perches and it's a stick-slip of metal on metal under load. If there were some plastic shims between the springs and the upper and lower perches you probably wouldn't hear this as they'd move more freely when you turn the steering wheel. Spring bind is when you get to full compression of the springs and the coils physically bottom out on each other and can't go any further.

2.) The squishing noise is common to coilovers and a lot of dampers. The fluid has to move. The fact that these dampers are stiff suggests the orifice is smaller and likely adds to the noise level as you're trying to force the fluid through a smaller hole than what would have been in your stock dampers.

3.) It is more likely that the damping is too stiff for your daily suburban lifestyle. I don't doubt that the springs are stiff, but I've driven TiC's STi with their SST coilovers on it which actually has stiffer rear springs than what you put on the Fozzie and it was a more comfortable ride than the stock struts and springs on my WRX at the time. Damping and overall travel make a world of difference.

4.) NVH is going to go up when you add stiffer springs, stiffer dampers, and metal pillowball mounting hardware to the body. Unless you want softer springs, softer dampers, and rubber mounts you aren't going to get rid of much NVH. Not sure what the manufacturer can do for you in this realm as they are marketing a performance product that is truly meant for offroad (race track) use.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:47 PM   #6
HeyChris
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12.21.12

Went back to MR for a face to face discussion. They agreed the spring rate is too high, especially the rears.

Put stock suspension on until they get two sets of lower spring rates in to put on. Dampening @ +10 from softest was most tolerable for me.

I'm looking forward to getting them back on to play with again....

C.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #7
HeyChris
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On 07.02.13

Re-installed the coilovers. Now with a 7k/5k spring set-up. Needless to say the ride quality is vastly improved.

Fronts are currently @ +10 clicks
Rears are .... @ +5 for rebound stiffness.

I knew I would need to adjust the rears to compensate the softer spring. But could only raise it .25" for my safety comfort level. I did not like having the body of the shock any higher than the observation port.

Need to give it a few days to truly settle and determine how much of a saggy butt the XT has.

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Old 07-26-2013, 12:12 PM   #8
HeyChris
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For daily driving I have found the settings of F4, R2 to be ideal for me.

A trip to San Diego and back had nearly zero complaints from the wife. lolz.
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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Glad to hear things are improving!
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