AdvNerds 2014 Forester Limited

So I sold my Outback a few months ago. Here's a few shots from that one.

And I just bought back into the Subaru family. After 44k miles I learned the Outback was making my leg hurt on long trips and I wanted a more upright seating position. So I picked up a 2014 Forester Limited. I wanted X-Mode so without going to the XT I had to get a Limited or Touring. The car definitely feels a bit older than my 2016 Outback, the refinement isn't as nice but I do find it more comfortable and I LOVE the sunroof. I feel like the windows and sunroof put you more in touch with whats going on outside the car.

So here it is. I have a 5th wheel on order (full-size spare is always my first addition).

I'm also going to vinyl wrap some parts. Eventually, I want to wrap the whole car, I hate silver cars. I'm going to start with the wheels and rear hatch. I've never worked with vinyl before so that should give me some practice before I jump into the rest of the vehicle.


So I got some new tires today! The ones that came with the car only had a few thousand more miles on them so it was a great time to replace them with some offroad tires.

I thought long and hard and decided to spend some extra money to get a setup I wouldn't want to swap out next year. Instead of getting the Cooper AT3's again, I decided to up the money and go for BFG KO2's. They are much heavier, but I wanted to give them a shot. Foresters are pretty limited on tire choices, it's basically Yokohama Geolanders (more highway focused), Cooper AT3's (good mix of highway/offroad) or BFG KO2's (more offroad than highway). Lots of Forester guys will swap out for a 16 inch wheel, or even a 15 in rally wheel and go with a more aggressive offroad tire in those sizes. I didn't have that much money and wanted to find a middle ground that I could live with for a few years.

The tire guy couldn't believe they fit, and they almost didn't. They had everyone in the shop come take a look at it in amazement. He said it was the tightest fit he's seen.

Front Driver Side

Spring Clearance Front Driver

Front Bumper/Fender Clearance
This is so close it has raised some questions. I just bought the car 2 weeks ago and everything looks to be in very good shape. However, this looks much closer than the passenger clearance. Now I'm going to try and find out why that's the case. This is thinner than a pencil. Note that it DOES NOT RUB. There's about 2 mm of room there. I will probably take a heat gun to the fender liner to give it some extra room.

Rear Driver Side

It looks meaner that's for sure. It feels like a tank driving around now. Potholes mean nothing. Milage is taking a pretty big hit. It's looking about 3-4 MPG on the highway. More if there's any sort of hill. Kinda bummed out about that. I will just keep an eye on it over time. I might have to budget for more fuel and keep things off the roof.

So I did a few more small things. I got an alignment done at Firestone and paid for their "Lifetime Alignment" package. It was $189 for the Lifetime package or $89 for one. I'm very methodical about tire rotations so I figured it would be worth it to get it checks up every 6000 miles. These were $200 per tire so I'm gonna make sure they last me a long time.

Next up I installed a Brightech Bluetooth adapter. I did some research on Amazon and found this one with a few high star reviews for cheaper than the other ones I saw with poorer reviews. I think it was like $17. It works perfectly. Sure it feels like a cheap piece of plastic, but it turns on with the car and automatically connects to my phone. It also sounds like it has a ground loop isolator built in because there's no feedback from my engine anymore. Much cheaper than a radio upgrade. I'll report back on call quality, but for music it seems to do the job.

My spare wheel came in from Ebay. The first attempt with eBay and the wheel was sent to the wrong state. I had to wait a few days for that refund, but then I tried a seller with more ratings and this one actually got here. Not sure if I'm going to put a TPMS in the spare or not. Discount Tires was out of my tires so I have to wait for them to stock up again. Turns 225/65R17 isn't a common BFG KO2 size, who knew?

And finally, I added my Overland Bound sticker. I've got to build up my brand stickers again. ExPo will have a home on here too!

I have a few hundred more dollars to spend on gear. Here's what I'm looking at. If anyone has any thoughts on the list or can suggest some items please let me know.

  • XBull 10T Traction Boards - $100 (on the fence about getting these. The price is right but I might need some other things first)
  • Viair Compressor 88P - $55
  • ARB Tire Puncture Kit - $55
  • Cam Chef Summit Stove - $100

That leaves me with about $200 for misc items. Here's the list of things I still need. I may have to move some cash around to get the most important items first.

  • Tent, I have a 10-year-old backpacking tent that needs new poles. It would be nice to have something bigger so I can do more in my tent. I would like to get a 4 person tent so I can set up a photo editing laptop away from bugs/rain.
  • Cot - A better night sleep will help with long road days and general comfort.
  • Cooler - Can't afford a fridge, but my current cooler is 20 years old and won't hold ice more than about 10-12 hours. There are some much better ones available for under $100 now.
  • CB Radio - Some sort of communication equipment for either highway or offroad use
  • PLB - The older Inreach models are about $260 now, it would give my mom some piece of mind as I travel.

Plus I'm moving to California in a month or so. Which means I have to plan to pay an extra $800 in taxes the moment I register my car out there, so that's something else I need to budget for.