Forester: ExPo Subaru Project

Scott Brady

Founder
Expedition Portal has started a new project vehicle, a 2003 Subaru Forester 2.5 Automatic. These vehicles have a great reputation for economy and durability, proven suitable for nearly all improved dirt roads and even serious long-distance exploration. It is the split personality family hauler, dog hauler, Costco hauler, Scandinavian Flick performer and dirt road challenger.



Why the Forester?

This vehicle can easily serve daily commuting duties and provide high 20mpg economy while still being able to travel on remote dirt roads and even mild Jeep tracks.

What are the plans?

1. We are currently researching full underbody skid plating and various rally bits to protect the undercarriage.

2. We are also researching a small 1-2" coil spring lift to provide additional ground clearance and load capacity.

3. We are researching suitable tire sizes to provide an additional .5" of clearance while having minimal affect on fuel economy. Taller, but not wider (maybe even narrower than stock). A slightly more aggressive tread pattern and a blocked shoulder.

4. We are also going to work on communications, recovery points and gear, tools and spares, storage and loading/lashing, lighting, etc.

Once its finished, we have a few fun trips planned for it.

Updates and more pictures soon. First I need to tighten the e-brake cable a bit :rally_guys:
 
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jim65wagon

TundraBird1
It is the split personality family hauler, dog hauler, Costco hauler, Scandinavian Flick performer and dirt road challenger.
This vehicle can easily serve daily commuting duties and provide high 20mpg economy while still being able to travel on remote dirt roads and even mild Jeep tracks.
Coolness. Can't wait to see how this develops. I really dig vehicles with split personalities. Daily driven, grocery gettin' and capable.....
 

rammland

Observer
I'm excited to see this project come along. This car should prove to be even more surprising than what it will already do in stock form.
Good Luck
 

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gahi

Adventurer
we just put svx front springs in my buddies legacy, lifted it another 3/4 to 1 inch more than the legacy outback springs that were in there. He is now out of the camber adjustment range, but I guess there is a bolt kit that allows for more. I believe the forester and SVX spring hats are the same. but the legacy ones are different. I'll have to ask him what he has for the rear lift.
 

Scott Brady

Founder
Our first point of research is skid plates. That needs to happen before we even consider a gravel road. The engine oil pan is completely exposed, as is the exhaust.

Does anyone have recommendations on light weight and quality aluminum skid plates for the front, gas tank and rear diff?
 

4air

New member
cool project! I have a sand rail with a subi 2.5 and I have a modified oil pan from Outfront Motorsports that is a couple inches shorter and rebuilt with plate steel on the bottom. Some guys still have a skid plate but I know many that will wheelie on that oil pan and cause no problems. Yes sand is softer than rocks but it is a good starting point and drastically cleans up the profile under the belly of your forester. They specialize in high performance Subaru engines for the sand sport industry. Great people and will answer any of your questions.
 

ttora4runner

Expedition Leader
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brngk

Observer
Will definitely keep my eyes on this one. Almost picked up a Forester this weekend, but they are just too bloody small for me. Only thing I've found with >20mpg economy running under 10k is the CRV. I'll be interested to see how you handle recovery points etc on this Forester, maybe even try to glean some tricks for other soft roaders; most of which will rarely see anything much worse than gravel roads anyway.
 

brngk

Observer
Actually this build kind of reminds me of the Yellow 300TD Merc that was kicking around on these forums. Ultralight-eco-overlanding, I'm sensing a new subforum :sombrero:

re: shipping from Aus. I might be cheaper to just have some springs wound locally, and see if you can get a quote on some skid plates. I've heard the shipping is a bear.
 

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ScottyDog

Adventurer
My friend just picked up a 2004 Forester last year... sold his lifted Jeep ZJ with 5.7L due to the commute and painful gas prices... and the transmission was going.. I think he's going to subscribe to this one..... I was also thinking about getting a Subi too... so I can keep the miles off of my FZJ80...
 

Elliot Press

Observer
re: shipping from Aus. I might be cheaper to just have some springs wound locally, and see if you can get a quote on some skid plates. I've heard the shipping is a bear.
It's mainly the front bullbars that may be worth getting shipped, although would be costly. The custom offroad front and rear bars made in Australia for the Subarus are second to none. No one else does them near as good.

This is my mate's rig. If this doesn't get you going, nothing will.

 
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