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The Forester


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4 replies to this topic

#1 KiwiGL


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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:23 AM

Thought I'd share my Forester with you all. I know it's new-gen, but it is 12 years old with 207,000km so it's a long way from mint, the photos make it look waaay better than it is.


Basically, it's a 2002 SG Forester 2.5X. NZDM, so it has the 1.19:1 D/R 5-speed, a vLSD rear, rear discs, and the EJ251, not the EJ202 like JDM Foresters. Plans are to just build it up a bit, get a set of cheap snow tyres off a Jap import for 4x4ing  and just drive it. Snow tyres are cheap here as we don't ever get enough snow to really need them, my photos say otherwise, but they are all taken above 600m (1200ft) and the amount of snow is low anyway. The tyres come in on Jap imports from the mountains over there.


My main build thread is over on offroadsubarus.com at http://offroadsubaru...read.php?t=5568


I bought the car early June, and immediately started modifying it - nothing too obvious as the laws are fairly strict here in NZ, but just a few things that would give it a unique look.


Started off with a skidplate from my old Leone - it died a natural death from multiple causes, had terminal rust in the firewall and A-pillars, as well as surface rust on the roof and bonnet and too many rusty stone-chips to count - basically needed a full respray. The engine was rattly, ticked, leaked and burnt oil and coolant and the 3AT was on its way out (nasty rattle and erratic shifting), and the suspension was shot... If I had a spare 5 grand and a lot of time I'd have restored it but yeah, I'm way too busy with studies and that. So a Forester it was, as the L had failed its last warrant and I needed a car for the winter's skiing. The manual in the Foz was a bonus, I was sick of driving auto.


Here's one of the Leone:



The other attraction with the Foz was the dual-range full-time AWD and the better ground-clearance, without the need for a lift kit (which requires an engineer's certification in NZ). While the reduction isn't amazing at 1.19:1, it's a lot better than nothing, and it works well from the offroading I've done so far.








Diff breather:







I also screwed the bottom corners of the number plate in to prevent it getting ripped off when fording rivers, I've seen it happen before.




I did this to make water ingestion less likely when fording, as the stock airbox wasn't the best design. I've since added another PVC elbow to replace the first box too, sealed the joints with silicone.



Changed the plugs, they were toast, as well as the gearbox/diff fluids. I also touched up my stone-chips to prevent a repeat of my previous car.


To give you an idea of how bad rust can get in the Dunedin climate, here's an old MY wagon from up the Peninsula, just before the Karetai Rd. turnoff:


There's pretty much nothing left below the doors.


Previous owner bent a couple of the pinch welds on the sills.



A shot of it the day I got it, prior to new tyres (slightly oversize at 215/65R16 vs 215/60 stock), RallyArmor mudflaps and removal of the little flaps before the front wheels.



A few shots of it in various scenery:







A bit of flexing. I could have flexed more, but I had to reverse out, I was by myself down a long dirt track and I didn't want to get stuck due to diagonal spin.




Anyway, that's probably enough pic dumping for one day.

Edited by KiwiGL, 02 August 2014 - 07:30 AM.

#2 AdventureSubaru


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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

Nice looking forester! Great ride for exploring. 

#3 KiwiGL


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Posted 24 November 2014 - 04:01 AM

Well, I now have a dedicated set of 215/65r16 Bridgestone Dueler 697 A/T
light truck tyres! They're pretty hardcore compared to my road tyres.
I've driven these tyres about 30km offroad on my dad's pathfinder and
was most impressed compared to the old roadies, so when a set of 4 BRAND
NEW came up in Mosgiel (about 15km out of town) I jumped. Was
remarkably good luck considering I had a set of +48 offset 16" steels
lying around...

Anyway, the bloke from the tyre shop was selling them on behalf of a
mate who'd gone to 15" muddies on his Suzuki. I'd seen them for $298NZ
each, which is a bit rich for my blood (Scots ancestry :P).

I waited, and they came down to $150NZ each. I managed to bludge the guy
into giving me free fitting and balancing too, and had a bit of a chat
to him about his Subaru blue Anglia (beautifully restored and tuned,
lowered etc) while he fitted the last tyre up (I got there a bit early).
So I got a set of Duelers for $600NZ! That'll keep me in tyres for a
while, with my near new Kumho KH18 roadies as well.

I can now also put chains on all 4 wheels for really boggy terrain. Although they barely
squeak past the front strut base with a bit of light touching, but
that's not an issue as I only have one pair of chains that fit anyway! I
only fitted the wheels to the right side for pics.

I tell you what, I can see why you guys say TYRES as the first mod... So stoked to get it offroad!!! Finally.




Clearance at front of rear guards is good.


Stacks of room at the rear strut perch, was a little worried chains wouldn't fit but they clear easily.


This is where I had clearance issues with the WRX wheels and road tyres
for chain fitment. They were too close to the shaft of the strut.
There's plenty enough clearance here now and even more at the front. Pic
has been rotated 90 by my host?


I thought the chains might rub on this plastic ridge behind the front wheels but clearance is fine.


This is the only point the chains rubbed, just on the bottom of the
spring perch - but it's not major, just barely touching really. Not too
worried as I only really have chains for one of those days at the
skifield where they make you put them on, so I'll just throw them on the
back end (which is where you want them, to stop the arse sliding out
going downhill!).


Another rotated one...


Split personality :P You can see the bashplate is higher on one side
than the other - did that last Thursday when going for a day tramp in
the Silverpeaks, let's just say there was VERY deep pothole that I
hit... I'm glad I had the plate, and that I didn't crack an alloy!
Alignment seems fine too, weirdly.

#4 KiwiGL


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Posted 16 May 2015 - 04:55 PM

Well, this happened yesterday on the way back from a 4wding/ hunting trip:


I was driving up a gravel road heading home, coming around a right hand blind corner.

In NZ we drive on the left, so the guy coming towards me too quickly in a 2wd hilux was on the inside. He locked up, slid sideways and took out the rhs of my Foz.

Luckily no one was hurt, he's paying for it all so no harm to me. Pity for him though, it won't be cheap to fix! And he punctured one of my D697s... Grr.

#5 KiwiGL


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Posted 06 June 2015 - 04:50 AM

Well, she's toast, the damage to that rear corner is more severe than it looks and the fuel filler etc is affected and has been pushed back into the taillight. Basically it needs that entire corner cut out and replaced and that's going to cost more than the car is worth as a whole.

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