Forester: ExPo Subaru Project


We are still working out the engine issue, which will likely take a few more weeks minimum. Some parts are starting to show up though, like the Ironman Coil Spring lift.

More updates as soon as we have one :D
No worries, and good to know it's moving along.

Could you toss us some details on the springs? Haven't heard of the Ironman ones and would like to check them out.
Can,t wait to see this thing come together. I've been shopping around for a newer vehicle, but can't seem to find anything better for us. A bit more ground clearance would be nice. I know its trivial but I would like the rear hatch to swing like a barn door. Its a PITA with the canoe on top!

Scott, are you planning on doing any gearing changes? Thats my only other complaint. I'm not the type to ring its neck. Id rather chug along, but its not really her style.


Good thing I'd subscribed to this thread - it had slipped my mind in the meantime :D While we're waiting for news on this one, here's a quick rundown of where I am with mine:

Picked up a fully-loaded '99 S with the 4EAT autobox, working A/C, and 125,000 on the clock. Currently runs on 3.14 cylinders (bad compression on #4, which I suspect is down to a burned/cracked valve), but pulls surprisingly well despite that. Haven't torn into it yet, but am in the process of acquiring everything necessary to address the usual head gasket / timing belt issues while I'm in there. It's not going to be a cheap job, but seeing as I got the car in really clean condition for $800 it's definitely worth doing.

Tyres are slated to be General Grabber AT2s in 215/65R16. They'll fit the stock rims, shouldn't introduce issues at that size (stock is 215/60R16) with rubbing or having to trim, and will give a useful extra half-inch or so under the body. Fuel economy should remain about the same with them on there, though with the valve issue it's currently getting around 12mpg (or about 3mpg less than my lifted XJ) so making a real call on that one remains to be seen.

Subtle Solutions has a 2" lift kit in the works that should be hitting the market in the next couple of weeks. It's reportedly able to work correctly with the stock suspension, so new springs and/or struts may not be necessary. I'm waiting to see early results on this one before either going with that kit or the traditional 1" springs plus 1" spacer combo; the suspension on mine basically feels OK, but I'm not sure how much life is left in it. Getting the engine running correctly has priority over buying springs and struts, but depending on how much that blows the budget (or not) will have a big effect in this regard.

Skids will be either the Primitive Racing or Subtle Solutions oilpan / rear diff combo in 3/16". Haven't decided on a supplier yet, but I'm leaning towards Subtle since they'll probably be supplying the lift anyway.

Parts are on order to do the 4EAT lockup mod. They should be here in a few days and I'll jump in on soldering those together into something that hopefully works. May pick up the factory digital compass gauge pack if I can't find a compass/temperature mirror at a reasonable price - running GPS is a non-issue, but sometimes it's useful to just be able to tell which way you're pointed. Knowing the ambient temperature is a plus as well, since it gives you some idea of the likelihood of overheating or ice depending on conditions.

Haven't come to a decision on recovery points yet. The main issue with that is figuring out where on the unibody a pull could actually be effected without ripping it to shreds. The current plan is a towbar at the rear and OK4WD D-ring mounts with reinforcements somewhere up front, but neither one sounds quite like they're going to be as bulletproof as I'd like. Could just be overthinking this, but I'd rather eliminate potential problems up front than find out that it really was a bad idea in retrospect.

On the plus side, the one thing I've managed to actually do is repair the two solder joins that always go bad in the digital clock. So, y'know. That's nice, too ;)

Plan is to have it all finished in about six weeks. After that, it's cross-country to CA with the first planned wheeling stop being in Moab.
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mmmmm pie

Yeah, I had to re solder my clock too. The LED on the cruise switch has stopped. My dash lights on the left side side or the instrument panel require a good whack on occasion.

All this talk about head gaskets, I believe mine are starting to go. I'm loosing oil and gaining coolant! Oh well 180k is a good run I guess. I'm blaming it on ethanol and gravity.


Want to keep on this thread? Right along the lines of what I've been thinking about. Thanks for posting.


Just to avoid cluttering this thread up further with my own stuff, I've started a thread here for my build. Work progresses, though we're not quite in the buildup stage yet :)

Scott Brady

Yes, unfortunately the car blew up shortly after delivery. The PO had the engine rebuilt by a shop in CA - they are not taking any responsibility for the failure.

We might do another Forester, but this was too good of a deal and now it is no more :(


this is to bad... it would have been great to see what you came up with...
Did you try to find a junk yard motor for cheap.. I will donate 20 bucks for the prchase of a new motor :bike_rider: