2002 Subaru Forester SF Adventure-Mobile

TanStin

New member
Hi all,

I’ve lurked for a while, but now that I have a good idea of the direction I am heading with my Subaru I figured I should post a build log here.

First, a little about me:

I am a recent college graduate from ASU. I grew up on Vashon Island, Washington, then moved down here for school. On top of the much needed heat to dry my bones. I also really liked their automotive-centric mechanical engineering program, and am now working as a mechanical engineer on contract avionics programs for aerospace.

I got my Forester at the beginning of the year (2019). I had a Mini Cooper, then it got merged into by a box truck and ultimately totaled the car. Ironically, I had planned on swapping the frame/suspension/engine from a Subaru into it, making it AWD and a little more aggressive.

After being in Arizona for 3.5 years, I decided it was time to get something with AWD, finally. I got my Eagle Scout accomplishment in high school, and have been dramatically missing the outdoors. The Subaru seems to be a good fit of commuter and AWD efficiency, for a single car.

I also own/ed a 1973 Toyota Celica. It's back in Seattle right now as I don't have room to move it down, but it will get a rally treatment, one day...

DSC_5182_edited (1).jpg


Horizontal_Front.jpg

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Fairly recent pictures of the car on its first day trip. The bumper is now painted, and hard mounted, even if it is just a prototype

Suspension:
-1st Goal
: Double wishbone conversion, overall 3.5 added suspension lift (not body). This is the max lift the car can see without my axles going bye bye, on stock suspension geometry. I’d like to get this done before the end of December. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip up to BC and I want a month of shake down before the trip. I plan on running Fox/Radflo 2.0’s all around once it is done. My test shock is already ordered, but they are so far behind on their build date that I have no clue when I am getting it.

Projected Suspension Geometry, droop (don't pay attention to the location point of the upper control arm to the knuckle. I realized after I did these that my kingpin angle is way too steep, and I pushed it more inboard. I was worried that with a shorter control arm, my camber change would be far more drastic, but it seems fine. Scrub is about 2" with the changed offset.
Double Wishbone Style Full Droop.PNG

Picture: Somewhat of a range of full bump. I know it's within the range of interference, but I don't know how much more I can go.
Double Wishbone Full Bump.PNG

-2nd Goal: Lengthened Axles, control arms, steering arms by ~2” both sides. This will increase the track and lessen the angle of the geometry, while keeping the clearance. I may throw a body lift into this as well, just to add more tire clearance. This may go until mid-next year, I’m going to have higher priority tasks beforehand.

Bad garage pic with the tires next to it. Don't mind the jacks, I was just trying to gauge a ride height.
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Engine/Transmission:
-Right now, I have the 2.5 NA engine in my car. I redid the top end, it’s at 150k roughly, and should be fine for the next year or so. I’d really like to pull the H6 from an outback and run it in my for the added low end, but I need to locate and rebuild one first.

-Before that, Torq Lockers just released a mechanical-locking rear diff for the Subaru R160/R180 that I'm going to look into getting.


Body/Overland Prep:
With the added width, I’m going to cut the factory fender lines and accentuate them outboard. I want it to look as "stock-modified" as possible.

The back of the car I want to be able to convert between a backseat and a camp-able rear. Nothing much exciting, however I am thinking about welding the rear doors shut, caging it, and going Bronco on it with a removable hard/soft top.

I’m currently working on a swing out rear tire carrier that hijacks the rear bumper cover. It is hard mounted to the body, but will be covered up by the plastic shield.



Actual Overlanding:

This isn't just a build. I plan on hitting a lot of the west coast routes over the next few years. I'd really like to make it back up to the northwest, and possible up to northern BC/Yukon area if I can time it right.

I'd like to hit a North Rim trail for the Grand Canyon in the spring, once the temps go up a bit, and maybe continue up to Utah or something. Not 100% sure yet.



Is this rational? No. Is it the most bang for the buck? Hell no! I had the chance a month ago to buy a Disco 2 for a couple grand, and turned it down because I want to build this. Am I having fun with it as my daily, as well as my toy? Of course! I got it for $1500 and accepted the fact that most likely, I am going to be about $8-11k in when I am done. I will try and keep this updated as much as possible. Big updates will probably occur once a month at the latest.

-Tanner
 

Shovel

Explorer
I think there's a reduction range gearbox available from Australian-spec Brats (Brumby, over there) that gives a 1.4x:1 low range in addition to your 5 forward speeds, and some plastics available for the interior to give you that Hi/Lo lever.

If you hate yourself an awful, awful lot you might dig into securing one of those.. maybe take your girlfriend to Australia if the funds exist for that.
 

TanStin

New member
I think there's a reduction range gearbox available from Australian-spec Brats (Brumby, over there) that gives a 1.4x:1 low range in addition to your 5 forward speeds, and some plastics available for the interior to give you that Hi/Lo lever.

If you hate yourself an awful, awful lot you might dig into securing one of those.. maybe take your girlfriend to Australia if the funds exist for that.
I've looked into sourcing them, mainly from Fox Imports, but I am torn - kinda in the same sense that I could drop everything on the forester right now and pick up a Tacoma or LR, but alas, the engineering side of me says no.

Funny enough, I actually went to Australia with my ex last year. Fantastic trip, loved it down there. Everyone was incredibly nice and it was gorgeous. I mainly stayed in Sydney, but I drove up to Newcastle for a bit. I'll probably go back before I head to Europe. Film photographers dream, too! Beautiful

-Tanner

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