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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    that Oz-spec Forester PDF. Some interesting info there...

    Of particular note, is that the self-levelling rear suspension, found on their XS model, is an oil (hydraulic) unit, and does NOT have air bladders to worry about. :)

    Also, the dual-range 5-speed DOES have "shift-on-the-fly" capability, from high range to low range! The gear reduction being only 20%. :)

    Bring both these features over here SOA!

    It was also mentioned that the Hill-Holder clutch is particularly helpful in towing situations, when starting off on a hill. I sort of assumed that to be the case.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's true, the biggest problems are aim and height, but with HIDs, the results are far more blinding. Plus, what about driving over the crest of a hill? Then they shine right into your eyes. And no dimming mirror would help that.

    BMWs are the worst offenders, paisan. No doubt. I flick the mirror to dim it AND use my hand to cover the side mirror. Still, remember my top it down, so it looks like the cops are shining a massive spot light in my interior, LOL!

    If you have them, please just make sure they are aimed properly and not mounted too high.

    Reminds me of something. Last week a UPS truck was behind me at a light, I had my top down. He actually had the courtesy to turn his lights off! Just the headlights. I was so shocked, that had never happened before. I gave him a thank you wave.

    Sounds like we could narrow it down to unpainted cladding or monotone, and offer a moonroof on both, and that would make people happy.

    Kajko: lots of people are curious to see that. Please take before and after pics. Also, please measure the height to the top of the fender, to see the actual lift caused by the new springs.

    Thing is, I may not be able to justify selling Sandy. If I keep her a lot longer I'd consider those springs too. I'm curious about ride quality, and suspension articulation too.

    Looking forward to a full report, Special Agent Kajko!

  • I don't read Japanese, so hard to tell exactly how that version differs. Was interesting, though.

    Navigation might be nice, but at $2000 + or - I'm not sure I'd get that anyway. From my persepctive, when it might earn its keep would be when I run into contstruction/traffic jams in unfamiliar locations. Hopefully it would provide an easy way out of those messes. Otherwise, I think Juice's approach of the $3.00 map (or free map from AAA) is the way to go.

    I couldn't tell what the item below the Nav photo was. Looks somewhat like a cell phone in a cradle, but not enough buttons to be a cell phone. Somewhat related, I tried to paste the phone in here, but couldn't make that work. How do you get a photo in a message?

    Even though we're not getting all the goodies some other markets get, I'm still happy with my '02.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $2000 at MSRP, maybe $1400 via a wholesaler.

    If you have the Chase card, you might save up that much in a year or two, and get the Nav for free.

  • I have the Chase Card. I'll probably use the coupons for routine service, at least the major ones. (What's the 15k service usually run?). Guess if I have to have GPS I could always go with a less expensive hand held model or PC-based model (I think they're out there).

    Beyond that, I'll probably try to save some for a down payment on the '06 Forester, which by then should have the dual range tranny and maybe a six speed too, self levelling rear shocks, variable valve timing, and a little more power.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't know because I've done it all myself, at least so far.

    I should get a Chase card. Really, I think I will.

  • ninianninian Posts: 16
    I know it won't deal with glare in sideview mirrors, but I've become a huge fan of the self-dimming mirror I swapped in a few months ago. Got it more for the compass feature - the poor man's GPS. In spite of her many terrific qualities, my wife has little sense of direction, and if she gets turned around in a strange place and the sun isn't out, she's in trouble. Anyhow, the variable dimming feature does a terrific job of taking care of bright lights from straight back, no matter how bright they are. Seemed like an extravagance when we bought it, but I wouldn't live without it now.

    While we're on vehicle safety issues, let me add those spare tires mounted on the rear of other mini-utes, which limit visibility behind the vehicle. I watched a Sportage back into the grille of my Forester a few weeks back, while trying to get out of a parallel parking space. Fortunately did no damage I could detect. (Bottom of grille seems not to be attached to anything now, but maybe that's normal, folks? Didn't notice one way or the other before the bump.) If Subaru can figure out how to get these tires into the well, with a can cooler to boot, why can't other manufacturers? Maybe Subaru - and people who buy Foresters - are a little bit less interested in maintaining an SUV image and more concerned about safety? I think we all deserve a pat on the back for this. :-)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Don't blame the gun, blame the people!!!

    I've driven lots and lots of miles and park in manhattan with my rear mounted spare tire, never once hit another car with it! People just don't pay attention, these are the same people who would smack your car anyway. The reason for them being mounted in the rear is many fold:

    1) Off roading you don't want to be digging it out from a well below the cargo floor of your vehilcle (you might have to unload all your cargo)

    2) Can't get mounted underneath cause if you get a flat you might not be able to lower the tire down from underneaths

    3) Inside doesn't work cause then your utility goes out the door.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I do think the idea of an auto-dim mirror with compass would be really cool. Don't have the time to wire it myself - two little tikes at the juice household right now take up all my time (not that I mind), but I'd consider it as an option next time around.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    the rear bumper extended beyond the tire. Unfortunately, most if not all, don't. I think the Land Rover Disco has a pretty decent rear bumper. I think(?) it sticks out to the edge or beyond the tire, IIRC.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's what the hitch receiver is for. ;-)

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    FWIW I saw a Forester with an externally mounted spare in France last week. The spare was mounted on a swing-away metal rack that hinged at the passenger side and extended past the bumper. I have no idea whether it was aftermarket or a dealer-installed accessory.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have seen some that mount to the hitch receiver, that was on a Jeep (aftermarket). But what would you put in the empty well?

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    In France last week? Where? I'm going next week to spend 16 days touring southern france and northern spain. I can't wait! I'll look for that Forester with the external spare! :)

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Brian: it was in Paris. I saw it near the Musee d'Orsay. It was a first-gen, base model in silver. Ironically, most of the Foresters I saw in Italy were black. ;-)

  • kajkokajko Posts: 70
    juice, i thought about the extra room such an arrangement would provide for trips (hitch mounted spare tire). I would fill the space with: spare 12V battery (very handy), first aid kit, water filter, and perhaps a collapsible water tank. A Penfold pack would be handy (check Subaclub of QLD under Recovery & Safety). For day to day driving though, i would leave the spare where it's at.

    BTW, the shop quoted me $480 to get the springs installed, including wheel alignement afterwards. ouch!
  • texan5texan5 Posts: 23
    In the event of even slight rear collision, you would have to replace the entire rear door with this setup. Looks cool, but....
  • kajkokajko Posts: 70
    texan5, agree completely, that's why it would be handy for cramming more things for a trip off the track, yet not practical for monday-friday...

    So, i was comparing the stats between the Australian specs and US models (following the link i posted) of the Forester 03 X:
    US >>> Aus
    Mass: 1401kg >>> 1372kg
    Payload: 408kg >>> 578kg
    Towing: 1089kg >>> 1400kg (w/brakes)
    Roof: 68kg >>> 80kg

    I remember that a while back someone mentioned the US lawyers' influence in this. I realize that it might be true, but i would think the self-leveling suspension might also have something to do with this. why would i be able to load the forester with 375lbs more in Australia? or stick another bicycle on the roof?
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    It sorrt of looked like the one on the red car, but IIRC the wheel was closer to center and the tubes were round. My memory could be tricking me because I only saw the spare as the car drove past. The spare was covered as on the white car and the cover had the words "Subaru Forester" in the corporate font and the six-star logo imprinted on it.

This discussion has been closed.