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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have the hitch-mounted bike rack. I have no idea what I paid, that was 7 years ago anyway and prices have probably changed. I'd guess $180 or so? No idea.

    Try or visit the site

    The rack itself works well, you don't have to lifts the bikes much and it tilts so you can still open the hatch.

  • msavadmsavad Posts: 14
    do you know if the sub woofer is pre-wired also? thanks

    ---Mike Savad
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    To my knowledge, pre-05s are not pre-wired.
    The harness will be supplied with the unit when ordered.
    The 05s, I have not idea.

  • moe5moe5 Posts: 7
    I just put an 05 subwoofer in, and it's not pre-wired, but comes with the harness. The tweeters are pre-wired. It's not hard to install the sub.

  • I'm thinking about buying a 2001 Forester with 84,000 miles. It's a good deal pricewise but I'm concerned about the mileage. How many miles can a Forester go without encountering expensive repairs. Are the engines/automatic trannies known for going well over 100,000 miles? Any help would be appreciated.
  • My 01 L had 96L when I bought it--barely warmed up, I think, for a car company that is considered the most reliable in the world. So far I've had, let me think...
    ...0 problems (except for a minor squeak and the abovementioned mirror).

    Make sure you call Subaru and check for recalls, warranty repairs and to get yourself registered as the new owner (assuming, as I must, that you will buy this car).

    Make sure that the coolant additive has been installed to protect the gaskets. It's still under warranty until 100K.

    My Forester survived three road trips last month totalling about 5500 miles (all three included mountain driving). It's so much fun to drive that when my wife returned my car after the last trip, I almost kissed the car first.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We saw one on E-Bay with 274k miles. That was a '98.

    Inspect the condition, though, and make sure it had regular service. Call 800-SUBARU3 and see if they can tell if you all the recalls were performed, at least.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First off, thanks to Chuck for the Fumoto valve, which he gave me free of charge. Lots of friendly and unselfish folks on these boards. :)

    Installed it on Wednesday, first oil change I'd done since I got it. It basically replace the oil drain plug and crush gasket with its own gasket and the unit screws right in. Fit like a charm, and doesn't seem to protrude below the oil pan so clearance is unaffected.

    It's the kind without the "lip" so it'll pour the used oil directly into a recycling container, no mess, I hope. Of course the oil pan was empty when I installed it so I can only actually use it with the next oil change.

    One issue was the concern that the oil pan would not be completely empty after drainage, so what I plan to do it pour about half a quart of new oil in to rinse it out, sort of. I use 4.5 quarts or so usually, so I have that spare 1/2 quart anyway.

    I'll take pics when I actually use it. For now you can check out pics at their website:

  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    Thanks all for the posts. I'm going to get a quote from my dealer for the hitch and attachment and then compare it to other alternatives. Anyone out there agree with me that the tilt wheel should adjust to a higher position than it does?
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589

    I installed one on my wife's 2003 Outback. I cut the threaded section down to about 1/2 its length first, so that the last bit of oil would be able to flow out without any obstruction. She has the one with the short extension on it, so you can use a piece of hose to direct the flow exactly where you want it. Very convenient.

  • fbkordfbkord Posts: 17
    Hello everyone.
    My 2002 forester, with 23000 miles on it, is making a high pitch sound as it accelerates. It is most noticeable around 55-60 m/h. I believe it comes from either the transmission or the front axle. As I decrease speed, the sound decreases too. It is similar to the sound of a sewing machine.
    Has anyone had a similar issue? Last year, the transmission was changed due to internal component failure.
    Thanks for your input.
  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    The A/T gets tweaked again to better align with the AWD and to provide greater fuel economy. HP is up 8 in the standard engine and 20 for the turbo. The front end grille is totally revised with new light housings and a more aerodynamic look. There will be a sliding armrest to help those who don't sit all the way back on the track. The rear seat gets an armrest and better cushions for increased thigh support. There is new multi-function center console. The rear cargo area gets more hooks and bars to fasten things down. The rear pillars will now be color coordinated except on the base model. I saw no mention of whether the X will continue with the unpainted bumpers and side cladding or whether the X will get 4 wheel discs.
  • moe5moe5 Posts: 7
    Let us know what you find out. I'm planning on putting a hitch with bike rack on too...
  • All trims get color coded bumpers and lower cladding, to give the Forester a more refined and upmarket appearance. I prefere the unpainted cladding myself, have to be really careful with the painted bumpers.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hate them. Have seen more than 1 time they opened up or were flipped open by accident. Also the are closer to the ground than the OEM plug....

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I assume you can wire the valve closed? All good ball valves (of any variety) should have holes in the handle that you can use to wire it in position. This is typically for safety purposes (ie, to red-tag a valve) but can offer extra insurance against accidental opening or closing.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm not sure, never checked it out that closely, maybe someone with one can say if it has it or not.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Len: what did you cut it with? I thought about that but I don't have the appropriate tools, just a jigsaw, and I didn't think I could get it right.

    Mine is tucked well out of the way, even if I bottomed out there nothing would open it. Might depend on how it's installed, but mine worked out quite well.

    mpgman: unpainted cladding is gone. :cry:

    fbkord: if the pitch is speed-dependent, my best guess is the wheel bearings.

  • amsbearamsbear Posts: 147
    No hole on the lever on the Fumoto valve that I have installed. I imagine though it would be easy enough to drill one, or better yet file a couple of notches in the sides of the tab so that you can secure some thin wire to. Maybe then wrap the wire around the valve itself a couple of times and tie it off.

    I definitely can see how under certain off road situations with branches that may get kicked up that the lever can be pushed up and turned to allow the drain to open. Like Frank Castanza solemnly said, "It was one in a million Doc.... one in a million". Halfway obscure Seinfeld reference :P

    98 OBW Ltd
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    The one I had on my FXT for a while failed - started to weep around the ball valve, had about 30k on it from 2 different Subaurs.

    It had a small spring clamp that (the type you squeeze with a pair of pliers to release) that set into the groove that the lever for the valve used, effectively locking it in place.
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589

    I cut mine with a sawzall using a fine tooth metal cutting blade. You could cut it with a jig saw with a metal cutting blade as well, or even a hacksaw. It's brass, so it cuts easily. Just be careful to make a square cut across the threads. I also used a small triangular file to clean up the threads when I finished cutting.

    Fumoto's literature shows how you can use a spring-type hose clamp around the outside of the valve body to secure the lever in the closed position. I don't use one on my wife's Outback, though.

    After I change the oil in her car, I use a couple q-tips stuck up inside to clean the oil residue off the ball portion of the valve, including the last wipe with the q-tip soaked with brake cleaner, to ensure it is dry in there. I always check the ball valve before opening it on a subsequent oil change, and I haven't found any evidence of oil seepage or weeping yet, after about a year and a half and about 20K miles (roughly 6 or 7 oil changes). I'm pretty OCD about this, so I'll keep checking it every time.

    The only reason I installed the Fumoto on her car is because I always got oil on the plastic shroud during oil changes on this vehicle, no matter what I did to avoid it. I don't use one on my 2001 Forester, because the plastic shroud comes off and I don't have any mess. I would NOT consider using one on any vehicle I planned to take off-roading or one with limited ground clearance, due to the greater chance of damaging the valve.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If I take it off road again, I'll pay a visit to paisan beforehand to get that skid plate he's got.

  • ducktapeguyducktapeguy Posts: 115
    Just thought I'd add in my experience. I've had the fumoto valve on for about 50K miles, no problems so far. I've even taken it off roading a few times with no problems. I have the regular valve without the hose attachment, if you compare it to a standard drain plug, it really doesn't stick out any lower. I used to worry about it catching on something and opening, but if you've used one you'll know it's not that easy to get it to open accidentally. And if you've got the skid plate or sump guard, I don't think you'll have to worry at all.

    As for the extra threads, if you're really OCD you can cut notches in the threads to allow the oil to drain completely. Someone measured how much oil is left in the pan due to the extra length in the oilpan, it's a really tiny amount, not enough to be concerned about. Also, I added a couple of washers under mine so when I screw it down the lever is on top, also decreasing the risk of accidental opening.
  • I bought a 04 Forester X last fall. I now have a little over 12,000 miles on it. Average about 28 mpg with no problems whatsoever. There are a couple of accessories that I would like to add now. They are a trailer hitch and a rear diff protector. What is the best place to get these? How tough is the install? What other accessories would you guys recommend?
    Thanks, Scott
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I just ordered oil filters from and was impressed with their service and prices. I've also used and

    Although I've never installed the above accessories, both appear to be straght foward bolt-ons.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've used (via e-mail) and The latter has a good web site and they accepted my Subaru Bucks, so the order cost me almost nothing.

    I've installed both of those myself on my '98, but the '04 might be a little different.

    Things to know - for the diffy protector, you might have to move the exhaust out of the way slightly. Spray lithium grease on the exhaust hooks to slide them off, then use a jack, jack stands, or tie wraps to hold the exhaust in place while you install the bolts on that side of the protector. It's not as hard as it sounds.

    The jack takes 7 bolts, at least mine did. You remove both tow hooks, 2 bolts each, reuse the same bolts IIRC. You also remove a vaccum canister for the fuel system and reinstall it under the hitch mount. Make sure you reconnect all the hoses.

    The harness is nice, plug and play. Mine had the wiring in the spare tire well. I ran it down through the hole in the bottom of the spare tire well and used the rubber grommet supplied with the kit to seal it up nicely. 7 years later it has never leaked and works every time.

    If you get both and end up doing this, e-mail me and I'll send you some useful photos I have.

    Keep in mind yours might be slightly different, but you'll get the general idea.

  • dcabdcab Posts: 101
    Has anyone used the type of bike rack that attaches to the back of the vehicle with a rear deflector on a 2003-5 Forester? The top tie-downs go under the deflector and do touch the underside of the deflector. I don't believe that they are putting much upward pressure on the deflector though, but of course I don't what to end up cracking the deflector.

    I have a Yakima bike rack and Yakima's instructions don't mention the deflector at all. They do say the the bike rack is compatible with the 1998-2002 Forester's optional spoiler.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    No experience with the deflector, but make sure that you can open up the rack enough to distribute the weight correctly on the bumper if you're carrying more than one bike.

    I bought at Saris 3 bike rack (standard, not a bones) a few years ago. The rear spoiler prevented me from opening the rack one more click like I wanted to. I figured it was ok and made a trip to Cape Cod with three bikes. An hour into the trip I realized that the bikes were pulling the rack down and the top of the rack wasn't resting against the rear glass. I found some old rags to try to relieve pressure of the top clamps. It helped a little, but I still got two little indentations on the top where the clamps go.

    I didn't want to risk any more damage and bought a hitch and Thule rack for the trip back. In your case I think if the straps hit the underside of the deflector it would be ok, since the weight will be on the car and/or glass.

    Good luck,
  • Does anybody know whether the improved brake booster on the 2006 model can be installed on a 2005? I'm trying to find a way to reduce the sponginess of the brake pedal on my 2005 Forester X...

    Thanks for your help!
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    it shouldn't be spongy in the first place.

    1) maybe an air bubble in the system somewhere.
    2) maybe the rear drums out of adjustment.

    It might be worth it to go sit in an '05 X at the dealers, start it up and compare. If they are different, then this would be a warranty fix.

This discussion has been closed.