Subaru Crew - Modifications II

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Comments

  • jfljfl Member Posts: 1,396
    The tweeters are plug and play.

    However, I thought there was a simple crossover built into the unit. I'm traveling, otherwise, I'd check the tweeters and let you know.

    Jim
  • flasksflasks Member Posts: 14
    Having glanced through and read many of comments in this section, I feel I've come to the right discussion area to get good sound advice. I have a 2001 OB VDC and living in the hilly area of Pa I find myself using the shifting settings with the gear selector (I love it!) more and more frequently rather than just letting the tranny do it's designed shifting for me. My question....am I going to upset a computer, a setting of somekind, or any other mechanical device by doing this? I rarely let the engine turn over 4,500 r.p.m.'s at any time even during passing. I am a mechanical idiot and want my car to last. All comments appreciated. I know that a "stick" shift would be more to MY liking but unfortunately this model comes only with auto and besides that, my wife refuses to learn to drive using a manual tranny. Thanks to all, Flasks
  • outback_97outback_97 Member Posts: 130
    flasks: i'm not aware of any problems with this, but i'm no mechanic either. i routinely downshift when traveling thru the canyons here in utah, to avoid overheating the brakes, and for better control on different road conditions. first is also good for towing cars out of ditches and going around 4wd trucks which are stuck on loose rocky hills ;)

    thanks to all for the quick response on the audio question. i don't expect a huge improvement for $35, but i'm looking forward to trying them out. next step would be better 6 1/2s and a sub... hmmm... IdahoDoug was right, it never stops!
  • oclvframeoclvframe Member Posts: 121
    IdahoDoug, I have the stock sub in my Bean...adds lots of bass...sound is very nice. An alternate to the stock sub would be the Woox by Kenwood. I have one of these in my Odyssey. Wow, for such a little box it does wonders.

    Flasks, If you plan on keeping your car a while, then by no means should you try to keep from revving passed 4500 rpm. Carbon and all sorts of other crap build up in an engine. Revving to redline occasionally helps blow that stuff out. I am not suggesting you redline every gear every time you get in the car, but redlining a couple ever once and a while will actually help you in the long run. Besides, that is where Suby engines really open up and give a nice kick (at least my h-6 Bean does!)

    -r
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yep, redline once per tankful to prevent carbon deposits. Plus, it's fun. :-)

    -juice
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    the 2.5L SOHC is dead in the pants above 5k, but it's fun to take to 6250 anyway.

    -Colin
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It's funny how different my car feels from my wife's. Mine's just getting started at 4000rpm. Hers is just as happy at 3000rpm.

    -juice
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    I do rather enjoy the sound of my Outback at > 5k RPM compared to my wife's MPV with the 3.0 V6.

    I'd bet that I'd also enjoy the melodious sound of a TT H4 or H6 at > 5k RPM. ;-)

    -Brian
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It's not a problem as long as you aren't banging it into gears that it doesn't naturally want to be in. For instance up here in the mts of NYS I often pull it down to "3" from "D" to prevent excessive shifting, this is actually good for the ATF. I wouldn't suggest doing 1-2 shifts manually too often though.

    -mike
  • jfljfl Member Posts: 1,396
    We always did our Italian tune-ups on a warm engine, believing that redlining it then got better results.

    Jim
  • idahodougidahodoug Member Posts: 537
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    good point- that's why I'll risk the Great Head Gasket Blowout and hang on to my DOHC for a while =)
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    245-45-16 Yokohama AVS intermediates. Yum Yum.

    -mike
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    I like mine just fine at $67 each!

    I've had better tires, no question. Better for the money though-- doubt that.

    -Colin
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    $57/each @ Tirerack

    Yippie.

    For $57 it's a bargain!

    I'll probably go for SP5000s for the winter.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Do they have a 185/60R14 size? My Miata needs some real rubber.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    $42/each juice.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Dang, that's my next tire, then. Are they all seasons? Not that I need all season, I'm just curious.

    I have some Sears economy specials on there now, I think Bridgestone is the OE make, but they are nothing special.

    I may go to a pure summer tire. I almost never drive in the rain, much less snow. If lateral grip were the #1, 2, and 3 priorities on your list, price being 4th, what would you go with?

    -juice
  • locke2clocke2c Member Posts: 5,038
    juice, there's hardly anything left in the 185/60-14 for summer tires-- I'd jump on those AVS Intermediates while you have the chance.

    -Colin
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'll measure my tread tonight. If I have less than half left, I'll bite.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    But they are good in the rain, had em on the XT6 way back.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Ugh, the tires look like they'll last forever. I'd hate to just toss 'em.

    I should autocross with them just to wear them down quicker. ;-)

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Well i put on the Yoko AVSi tires, slotted&dimpledrilled rotors, Axxis Metal Master pads, SS brake lines and Synthetic brake fluid!

    Well lets see, the tires give it a nice firm ride.
    The brakes work well, although haven't fully seated them yet so @ 200 miles I'll give a report.
    The SS lines are AWSOME. Excellent pedal feel.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    How much did you invest?

    I guess you needed brakes anyway, right?

    Summer tires, right?

    And what fluid? We want specifics, man. This topic has been slow lately.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Yoks were $60/each + $10/each mounting + $25(for all 4)
    Rotors were $160+shipping for the front from raceconcepts.net Generic ones run about $60-$80/each from auto-zone son no extra cost there.
    SS Lines were $95/4 wheels
    Axxis Metalmaster Pads were $35/axle
    Installation killed me though @ $330 for the front rotors, 4 wheels pads, flush, SS lines.
    Fluid is Valvoline Synthetic DOT 3-4

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I needed tires and rotors and pads, so it wasn't too bad considering. I also need rear rotors, at least that's what the shop said, so I'm gonna order a set of rear rotors for it to match the front slotted&dimpledrilled ones.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I don't get it - why didn't you install the stuff yourself? Don't you even run a little business on the side doing that?

    My guess is you didn't have time - you probably needed the brakes ASAP.

    Maybe you can do the rear axle, then.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    But the rotors would not come off on the front no way no how. They were the original rotors, so 10 years on there upstate NY, probably made them nice and rusted on. I didn't have the bolts to insert to pull the rotor away from the hub. Also the same deal with the SS lines, figured that they were probably nicely corroded as well and once it was there for the rotors, might as well have them do it also. The Trooper is upstate NY so I'm down to just the SVX and w/o brakes it wouldn't have helped me at all. So it was a combo of time and effort thing :)

    Our sidebusiness we try to restrict to cars with less than 10K miles :) makes our lives easier :)

    I'll likely do the rears myself.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You needed Colin's huge breaker bar and some WD40. ;-)

    I'm just bustin' your chops, I've never even done my own brakes (yet).

    BTW, sold my wheel covers to an OBS owner, actually even helped her put them on. The OE wheel covers have a rather bizarre way of fastening on, so once we got those off I popped the Legacy L covers on. Looked good.

    She's a Crew member but I'll let her introduce herself so as to respect her privacy. :-)

    -juice
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    Good to hear about the SS brake lines. I have them waiting to put on. I want/need to get new pads first. Been thinking about Hawk HP plus pads.

    Stephen
  • bsvollerbsvoller Member Posts: 528
    Where did you get the SS lines? That looks like a pretty good price.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Not sure if they have em for the WRX/RS but good price and good quality. The Hawk HPs are nice try raceshopper.com for the Hawk HPs he sells em cheaper than tirerack.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    C&D had good results with the Hawk pads, they even approached full brake kits' performances.

    -juice
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    I will try them. I need to quit forgetting and order em'. :-)

    Stephen
  • idahodougidahodoug Member Posts: 537
    Gave up trying to fit the huge Hella 4000s from a prior vehicle on the '97 Legacy Wagon and bought a set of Hella's new 200 FF series. This is a 6" diameter lamp using the 'free form' reflector Hella technology. Just a fancy way of saying the reflector shapes the beam using a computer designed complex shape, rather than using the lense. There's quite an efficiency gain to usable light achieved.

    Couldn't find much metal as a mount, and really wanted them atop the bumper where they'll be protected from other car parking bumps and from deep snow and the like. Gave that up and had to hang them in the traditional under bumper location.

    I found that there is a spot halfway between the license plate and the headlamps where the heavy fiberglas/plastic bumper impact beam is close to the decorative plastic bumper skin. So I drilled a hole in this, and hung them in what turned out to be a sturdy, wiggle free location. If I resell, these holes are unobtrusive and could be easily filled with a 30 cent plug available at any Home Depot.

    After rough mounting, I was impressed with the included harness, which I hooked up in about 15 minutes - easily a new record. There's a rubber plug on the firewall near the steering column, which was nice to feed through as the wire to the dash switch is actually 3 wires and getting them all through the usual firewall mess would have been a pain. Thanks, Subaru.

    On the inside of the firewall, the wires dropped directly into the driver's footwell - exactly where you want to be. The only remaining choice was where to stick the included snazzy surface mount switch. I like this switch because it has a glowing red light to help you locate it quickly if you mount it low or out of the way. A much brighter green light replaces it when the lamps are on - nice touch. The switch is about the size of 6 quarters, but could have been half the size with today's technology. I found a nice spot for it so the indicator lights would be visible, yet not reflect in the instrument panel or windshield.

    The last step revealed the only achilles heel of the kit - aiming the lamps. Because I mounted them low (best for a fog, but I prefer higher for personal reasons), aiming is extremely crucial. The aiming/locking mechanism is an unneccessarily kludgey system whereby a ball and socket swivel (good idea) and a sloppy hinge (bad idea) are both tightened at the same time by the same bolt (bad idea). As a result, you're holding the whole mess in place and trying to tighten it at the same time. I finally resorted to what people who mount these have done for decades before the fancy mounts appeared - aim them roughly and tighten things up snugly, then use brute force to aim them and do a final tighten.

    On the road, I found the lamp output significantly better than the Hella 500 model I've had several pairs of. But because I've been driving with the massive Hella 3000 and Hella 4000 fogs on my other two cars for years they seemed a bit anemic. The fog beam pattern was crisp, though more like the 3000 pattern I prefer for its slight pattern bleed. The 4000s are so incredibly precise that the feeling behind the wheel is that of a gunport slit - a little too precise for real world use. (I realize that more precision is better in a fog, and they truly are amazing in foul weather) I was relieved the 200 was not like that as it shares the same precise technology. Perhaps Hella realized it and relaxed the fog beam pattern a tad.

    The true test will be the first time I get them out on the usual deserted rural highways around here at speed. I use them primarily to watch for elk, deer and the like, so I was looking for more power than the 500 could provide. I seem to have gotten that for the added $50. I'll provide input on that later - this was an install post.

    They cost me $125 from TireRack vs $145 quoted from my favorite Hella mail order place. I'm unsure of their cosmetics as they're slightly ovoid and I prefer round, but....I'm far more interested in function.

    Overall, an easy install except for the fussy aiming and clamping adjustment. Oh, one more thing. The white stone covers are so difficult to put on that the pressure required disturbs the aim adjustment. More than a nitpick, this is such a pain I'm going to pop another $20 to get the clear stone shields so I never have to remove them for use.

    IdahoDoug
  • jfljfl Member Posts: 1,396
    Are Axxis and Hawk street pads or racing pads?

    Jim
  • idahodougidahodoug Member Posts: 537
    Must be my night to post mods.

    I never drive a vehicle without front fogs, and also feel a rear fog is a requirement for your own safety if you're going to be out in any weather. So, with winter approaching I thought others might be interested in a rear fog install, which I also finished yesterday. There's nothing more comforting when driving in near whiteout conditions than knowing you're blasting a red lamp rearward that's as bright as a flare. The factory built in jobbies are nothing compared to these flamethrowers, which you'll see on rear bumpers all over Europe.

    I used the Hella rear foglamp I've now had on 3 consecutive vehicles. That should say all there is to say on its quality construction. This lamp sits on the rear bumper where it gets coated with grime and corrosive exhaust grundge, so that level of durability is impressive. It has covered a total of 72,000 miles and I opened it to find the interior glossy and dust free before reinstalling it.

    I found I did not even have to drill a hole for it on my '97 Legacy Wagon. Just to the right of the exhaust pipe, there is one of several screws that holds the painted rear bumper fascia up. I removed this, and used the same screw to attach the lamp. Piece of cake.

    I'd planned on installing an illuminated marine grade paddle switch I'd also used on a prior vehicle in one of the switch blanks to the left of the steering column. Unfortunately, when I popped one out I found they are a large piece of plastic several inches long rather than the flat blank I thought I'd find. Too bad, as I usually just drill a hole in the switch blank for mounting and order a new one from the dealer for a buck or two. The new one goes in the glovebox against the day I sell the car, so I can restore the interior to original.

    So the search for a location began. I will also be mounting a rear flood lamp, so I wanted to mount both illuminated paddle switches in the same location. After a half hour of looking, I was starting to run out of options. The center console is off limits as I have a 19 month old boy who loves to "drive" the cars while I'm changing the oil or washing them and he'd quickly snap it off or break it by stepping on it. Plus I don't like to clutter the center console's already precious space. On my car, there is literally nowhere else to put a switch that wouldn't look tacky or be in the way.

    I don't have the sunroof, and I've always wondered why there's an empty feeling headliner bulge up there just behind the mirror. A couple gentle pulls on the A Pillar molding and I could put my hand up there to find a huge empty space. Excellent! So I cut a piece of aluminum sheetmetal I had lying around, drilled it with two holes for the switches, painted it black and tossed it in the oven to quick dry while I finished the wiring. After an hour, this plate became the mount for the switches, which protrude through the headliner and screw tightly against it for a nice finished look. I grounded both switches to one of the screws that holds the driver's sunvisor on and tapped into a switched wire under the dash for power using a straight pin and volt meter.

    I needed to run a single 10g wire straight from the battery (fused, of course) to the jack stowage well where I put a pair of relays - one for the rear fog, one for the coming rear flood. I was about to start pulling up carpet when I realized I could just tuck the wires between the headliner and the plastic molding above the doors all the way to the rear. Took about 4 minutes for this and I was greatly relieved I'd noticed it instead of screwing with the carpet (at least a couple hours work). The most difficult part was getting the power wire up from the driver's footwell through the gap between the dash and driver's A pillar (pillar trim removed of course). I used a coat hanger, but it's crowded in there and took several tries.

    So, the switch wires and the huge power wire were a piece of cake to run back there where I'd already removed the window trim above the jack stowage cubby. Then it was a matter of taping the wires to the body and headliner to prevent rattles before buttoning it all up. Tested the connections before buttoning up, of course.

    Using the large guage wire and relays ensures the rear lamps will get full power - essential for getting the full design light output and long bulb life.

    So now I've got a slick looking black overhead switch panel with a pair of illuminated paddles. They're in my peripheral vision, so I won't accidentally leave these annoyingly bright lamps on, yet they are far enough away from my line of sight I can drive for hours without having them bother me. I might even move the foglight switch up there, too - left room for another switch. There's something kind of "airline cockpit-ish" cool about overhead switches, but in this case the location also turned out to be perfect for my needs. I can't remember what the price of the lamp is - but I think it's around $30 with shipping. The switches were about $7 at a marine supply store and I probably spent about $20 on various connectors, a couple fuses, and a roll of wiring. A 3 banana job (out of 5) because you'll need a rudimentary knowledge of electrical distribution, a voltage meter, and removal of several fragile interior pieces.

    The little console also compliments another overhead item I always install that has been up there since the day after I bought this car - a self rescue tool. Mine is a bright orange LifeHammer and the location up there is perfect as any passenger can reach it and even if the car is upside down at night it will be in everyone's line of sight. For those not familiar, it has a seatbelt cutter and window smasher for fast escape. Even has a glow in the dark section if all the power is lost. With two little ones belted in with complex little clips and such, this would let me get them out in 5 seconds or less.

    Anyhow, that's what I was up to this weekend!

    Regards,

    IdahoDoug
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The Axxis Metalmasters and *some* Hawk pads are street/auto-x ones that don't require heatup. There are Hawk ones though (I think Hawk Blue) that require heatup time to become effective.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Nice writeups, if you don't mind could you send em to me? I'd love to post em up on my website just cause they are so detailed! :)

    I'm debating lighting for the SVX now. The 200s are/were in the running, as I'm used to my high beams being extra bright on my Trooper (my 130w Hella 4000s are linked to the highbeam switch) I'm leaning toward an HID conversion kit of the low beams this year and next year another HID conversion kit for the highbeams instead of mounting extermal lights. The patterns of the 9005 and 9006 projector beam are excellent, just need some more light output.

    -mike
  • taddisontaddison Member Posts: 99
    Doug, sounds like you already know this, but for everyone else:

    Be VERY selective about when you turn those rear fogs on - unless visibility is very poor they are actually dangerous because they blind people behind you and make it hard for them to tell when your brake lights come on.

    In Europe all cars have fog lights but it is illegal to use them unless it's >heavy< fog (visibility less than 50 yards, I seem to remember). Using them in rain is especially obnoxious.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Glad to know about that rubber plug and hole in the fire wall. That'll come in handy for someone. Did you get any pics?

    -juice
  • idahodougidahodoug Member Posts: 537
    Whups, Juice reminded me of another conveniently placed rubber plug I forgot to mention. On the rear fog wiring, there's a round rubber plug under the jack well at the very rear. From under the car, it can be seen as a silver dollar sized plug on the outboard face of the formed frame member. As with the firewall plug, cut a small X with a pocket knife, then put the plug back in. Force the wire through the X and when you're all done a dab of silicone will guarantee watertight integrity is maintained. I didn't take any pics Juice. But the firewall plug is oval in shape with its long axis horizontal. It is within 6 inches of the steering column and inboard of it.

    Mike - you're welcome to copy and paste it off this site. Hope it helps someone.

    On the rear fog, Addison is quite correct - especially these models. My wife and I use them (all our vehicles have been setup identically for a decade with rear fogs, front fogs, rescue tools, rear floods, etc) only during the frequent whiteout conditions we get around here in winter. However, they are also handy when you suddenly come upon a hazard (accident, ice patch, freeway traffic comes to a standstill, etc) to wake up following drivers so they won't rear end you - even on a sunny day. We're in the habit of hitting the emergency flashers and the rear fog at the same time for this purpose.

    I've also turned them on if I'm off the side of the road helping someone who's stuck or disabled to maximize to oncoming traffic that there's something afoot. Though my buddies in law enforcement tell me this can cause a drunk to zero in on the back of your car in a stupor. Lovely thought. Would be nice to be allowed to put a couple land mines 100 yards back to handle that threat....

    IdahoDoug
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Cool, thanks for the tips for future DIYers.

    -juice
  • skooterpieskooterpie Member Posts: 7
    Hi All,
    I've been trying to install a set of Borla headers on my Forester. A few of the aftermarket retailers sell Borla's (model #17183) and are supposed to fit the Forester. I have been unsuccessful 2 times. They repeatedly hit the oil filter to the point of even "crushing" it slightly and the flanges do not line up with the exhaust port studs very well unless you really "muscle" them in.
    Does anyone or has anyone successfully installed headers on their Forester without all of the trouble I've been experiencing??????
    By the way, my stock exhaust manifold fits without any problems, so I know the engine should be OK.
    Thanks for any and all advice,
    /Scott
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    there have been a lot of complaints about the Borla fit and finish, but I can't tell you what exactly the fix is. Are these Gen III or Gen IV?
  • skooterpieskooterpie Member Posts: 7
    They were manufactured towards the end of last month so I assume they are the latest generation.
    Thanks for such a quick response!!!!!
    /Scott
  • 4wdisfun4wdisfun Member Posts: 55
    Need to find JDM STI HEADLAMPS set. Any advice? THX
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    in the US, since the beam pattern is for right hand drive. The morettes are ok though, same look as the Prodrive Style UK300
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    check out the N/A forums on i-club. Lots of good Borla info there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Really Loosh? I thought Borlas were high quality.

    It might be that they're designed for Imprezas, since far more owners of those would buy them, and then they just assumed it would fit on a Forester with the 2.5l.

    Noone here has done headers on a Forester, AFAIK.

    -juice
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