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Old 05-17-2004, 12:47 AM   #1
tnedator
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Default Forester Handling Mods

I am thinking about moving up to an XT, but my main concern is that the stock forester has a fair amount of body roll and doesn't handle like a sports car.

For a number of reasons, I don't want to get a WRX wagon. The main reason being that the 2.0 liter engine is a dog around town when the turbo isn't coming into play.

I love my Forester, but want my power and handling. The power will be solved with the XT, but what about the handling. I am looking at the Dodge Magnum and turbo legacy, but if I can beef up the handling without breaking the bank, I would like to do it.

There are no tuners around here, so going with Subaru STI parts would be the most straight forward route.

What are my options, and how much will it cost me?

Thanks

Billy
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:26 AM   #2
irmiger
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There are plenty of existing threads here on suspension upgrades...have a look around!

The most popular diy (cheap) upgrade is the STI rear swaybar or the COBB ($350) swaybar set (f&r). Also, replacing your tires with a more performance oriented variety supposedly makes a huge difference. I'm waiting till mine wear before I switch.
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Old 05-17-2004, 09:14 AM   #3
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Alright we sell kyb struts, and spt/eibach springs for the FXT. They improve the ride a ton. The KYB's are four way adjustable so that you can decide how soft or tight you prefer them depending on where you are driving. The springs do lower the car a couple inches. We also offer the cobb sway bars and they will tighten everything up very nicely. As for tires I would just save up for a wheel/tire set. We have used 18 inch Prodrive pff7's on a couple of FXT's we have modded here at the dealership, including our One Lap of America car. Fitted with Kuhmo Ecsta's, its a nice dry/wet package, and the best bang for your buck.



HotSubaru.com
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:03 AM   #4
tnedator
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When you change the tire/wheels are you keeping the same outside dimensions so that speedometer, odometer, etc. work without a problem?

Thanks
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Old 05-17-2004, 10:06 AM   #5
Peaty
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have a look here:

www.scoobymods.com

In the forester section.
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Old 05-17-2004, 11:35 AM   #6
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I drive a Miata. Believe me, changing the wheels, tires, and adding the rear swaybar (total cost can be a few hundred dollars, depending on how you do it and if you sell the OEM wheels/tires) WILL make your FXT handle like a sports car!

Bob

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/foresterxt/
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Old 05-20-2004, 08:08 PM   #7
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The Forester isn't designed to handle like a sports car, it's slow in the twisties and no one makes anything that will help the massive amounts of body roll. I say get yourself an old 2.5RS and have a ball with that. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would go and try to make a Forester handle like a sportscar, it's not possible.
~ferretboy
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Old 05-20-2004, 08:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferretboy
The Forester isn't designed to handle like a sports car, it's slow in the twisties and no one makes anything that will help the massive amounts of body roll. I say get yourself an old 2.5RS and have a ball with that. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would go and try to make a Forester handle like a sportscar, it's not possible.
~ferretboy


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Old 05-20-2004, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
The Forester isn't designed to handle like a sports car, it's slow in the twisties and no one makes anything that will help the massive amounts of body roll. I say get yourself an old 2.5RS and have a ball with that. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would go and try to make a Forester handle like a sportscar, it's not possible.
Good one! Almost got me going.
Long time no see where you been?

Richard
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Old 05-20-2004, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferretboy
The Forester isn't designed to handle like a sports car, it's slow in the twisties and no one makes anything that will help the massive amounts of body roll. I say get yourself an old 2.5RS and have a ball with that. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would go and try to make a Forester handle like a sportscar, it's not possible.
~ferretboy

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Old 05-21-2004, 02:53 AM   #11
ducktapeguy
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferretboy
The Forester isn't designed to handle like a sports car, it's slow in the twisties and no one makes anything that will help the massive amounts of body roll. I say get yourself an old 2.5RS and have a ball with that. I can't see why anyone in their right mind would go and try to make a Forester handle like a sportscar, it's not possible.
~ferretboy
Don't listen to that guy ferretboy, he can't drive his way out of a fat and furious movie. I got's me some GR-2 (that's KYB GR-2's baby! for all you nOObz, the only name for performance suspension) and my strut bar and RE-92's, and I'm passing hundreds of corvette's on the way up to big bear. And don't forget my K&N when I really need the big power to take on the SVT's at the lights. all they see from me is my chrome exhaust tip.

Last edited by ducktapeguy; 05-21-2004 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:53 AM   #12
ferretboy
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man..what's a guy have to do to get flamed in this forum?? I thought for sure I'd have all these XT guys jumping all over me..lol I've been busy at work and doing lots of paperwork at that..I don't post much anymore as us NA guys have taken a back seat to the FI guys in both the forums and the eyes of the vendors. I just like to drive when I can. oh yeah got a hand me down toyota that I'm thinking of making into a nice rallycross car that will hopefully someday allow me to get my scca license for pgt club rallying. thats whats new.
~ferretboy
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:58 AM   #13
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Damn benson,
you're bad luck. after coming home tonight, I get in my driveway and smell something burning. Thought it was my tranny again, but I opened the hood and a huge cloud of smoke comes billowing out. At first it looked like I owned a ford or something. But then after about 5 minutes, I found out my CV boot busted and the grease is all over the exhaust. This has nothing to do with this topic, just too lazy to start a new one.

Suspension...back on topic.

Oh yeah, forgot to add. Everything depends on how much you're willing to spend. Just take a ride with the ferret to see the limits of a forester

Last edited by ducktapeguy; 05-21-2004 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 09:35 AM   #14
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I can't speak about XT's with a modded suspension, but I do know that my 1993 Sentra SE-R would leave my XT far behind on a road with a lot of curves. The body roll on a sharp curve is pretty severe and the steering feel is nil ( much like my grandmothers Buick Century).
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Old 05-21-2004, 01:56 PM   #15
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Ferretboy! You had me going there for a second!! I was just asking Roo about you the other week. Congrats on yr business! Hope you still have time to run the canyons.

ducktapeguy: are you kidding about passing hundreds of corvettes (driven by senior citizens?).

Getting back on topic here, I'm just getting used to my new setup. I've got 22mm swaybars front and rear. It feels much stiffer and handling is awesome. There is this one curve that everyone brakes for, and I could just blow right by it right now with no brakes! I already have front/rear Whiteline strut bars (which I ordered right after Ferretboy ordered his from SubieGal), and they make the car's chassis feel much stiffer, like a European car would.

My next suspension project is to install the GR-2s that ducktapeguy already has on. After that, I'll start focusing on power, eg. catback, exhaust.

Last edited by hunts; 05-21-2004 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 03:55 PM   #16
looney
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferretboy
man..what's a guy have to do to get flamed in this forum?? I thought for sure I'd have all these XT guys jumping all over me..
~ferretboy
come on over to the south east region...we won't let you down...
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Old 05-21-2004, 04:20 PM   #17
ferretboy
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Looney, go smoke a cohiba! this is MY forum I own all muahahahahaha! Hunt's time is a premium now-a-days but yeah,I do get to run once in a great while and I'm slow as molasses now. I brake at every corner and stay bleow 50mph.

~ferretboy has a non-performance oriented NA Forester..well according to some.
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Old 05-21-2004, 04:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferretboy
I don't post much anymore as us NA guys have taken a back seat to the FI guys in both the forums and the eyes of the vendors.
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Corkfish
I can't speak about XT's with a modded suspension, but I do know that my 1993 Sentra SE-R would leave my XT far behind on a road with a lot of curves. The body roll on a sharp curve is pretty severe and the steering feel is nil ( much like my grandmothers Buick Century).


Post edit: and when I woke up from my dream, I was looking at the tail lights of the XT that had smoked me like a salmon, and was already going around the third switchback ahead of me, doing a perfect drift...

Unless you have a couple hundred extra HP in that Sentra, and some wicked coilover suspension, you won't be keeping up... And BTW, you would stand about as much a chance of keeping up with the Ferret as predicting when Cobb will ACTUALLY release their AccessPORT...

I play with the STi's and the modded Rex's in the twisties up here, and here's the general sentiment:

"That's an automatic??"

"Why can't I leave you behind in that Forester of yours??"

"Yeah, you can't tell me that Forester XT is stock...
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:22 PM   #20
Corkfish
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Umm, sorry to burst your bubble, but I own both cars ( mines a 5 speed). I went around a curve the other day in my XT that caused body roll so severe I thought my tires would rub. There are loads of cheerleaders out there, "oh I'll smoke vettes in my XT" and the "XT handles like a sports car". It's a great car and I don't regret buying it, but lets get real here.

Last edited by Corkfish; 05-21-2004 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:43 PM   #21
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The XT handles like a piggy SUV stock. Make things easy on yourself and install Impreza suspension bits. There are a myriad of choices for WRX's and STi's. Everything fits perfectly and allows the Forester to handle just as well as any WRX or STi, because the chassis is the same. Who needs ground clearance anyway?
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:14 PM   #22
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No Forester is a sports car, but I've driven plenty of piggy SUVs, and the Forester is not even close. I've driven rental Cavaliers and Tauruses that were worse.


oh hey Ed and ferretboy- You wanna know lack of vendor support? Try driving a Legacy for a couple years!
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Old 05-21-2004, 06:29 PM   #23
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Plus I don't think there's much more support for the XT than there was for the SF. Most of the 2.5RS stuff like cams could be done to the Forester or a Legacy. The support for the turbo SG is only because a lot of it bolts up from the STi.

Now there is more support for the SG suspension wise, but that isn't exclusive to the turbo....except the Cobb bars which are the same ones Hotchkis makes for the STi, so again we're back to piggybacking off of STi support. I don't think there would be much FXT support if there was no STi. Hell, the whole damned STi suspension bolts on, so it's more a function of platform similarity than a conscious effort on the part of the aftermarket.

Last edited by lucien2; 05-22-2004 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Plus I don't think there's much more support for the XT than there was for the SF. Most of the 2.5RS stuff like cams could be done to the a Forester or a Legacy. The support for the turbo SG is only because a lot of it bolts up from the STi.
.....and more vendors are willing to carry it IN STOCK. I had to get a custom one-off made Rallispec Exhaust because if you do know...the RS exhaust is a tad short and would possibly cause damage to the rear bumper skin. (read possibly before you guy flame me) and....all of a sudden now..people start noticing that the Forester is a worthwhile car in the twisties....and yes I've kept up with many of them on stock suspension+swaybar and tires. Anyways, I do feel for the Legacy owners, you guys have it real hard well that makes me also..because I'm trying to do little bits to my Mom's GT sedan and it's tough to find things.
~ferretboy
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Old 05-21-2004, 08:24 PM   #25
lark6
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Quote:
Originally posted by lucien2
I don't think there would be much FXT support if there was so STi. Hell, the whole damned STi suspension bolts on, so it's more a function of platform similarity than a conscious effort on the part of the aftermarket.
I see your point. I remember buying a Cusco front strut tower bar from one of the Tri-State vendors; although the packaging was written in Japanese characters the letters "SF" were clearly indicated along with "GC." I pointed that out to him and told him that he should update his website to indicate the bar would fit first-gen Foresters as well as first-gen Imprezas. His response in so many words was "I never thought about that."

Seems like the things that don't bolt right up are related to breathing - intakes and exhausts - mainly because of how they are routed under the hood and under the body.

Quote:
Originally posted by maestro
Who needs ground clearance anyway?
Now let's not go there. Some of us take our Foresters on gravel, dirt and sand, and we have some pretty nasty, pothole-ridden pavement around here too. Coilovers would be the best solution but unless I moved someplace with perfect tarmac and no seasons I couldn't see really dropping mine too much.

Ed
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