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“BRU” Our new workhorse.


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Here is our new twenty-year old lugger.

’00 SF 2.0i. 

Solid, rust free, 140,000 miles, 5MT dual-range.

It needs a few of the usual bits fixing: axle boots, oil seals, new plugs etc. etc. but it runs fine and vacuum gauge reads a healthy motor.

I have a howling rear bearing and tired rear drums. Perhaps I can swap the broken Legacy’s rear hubs complete with disc brakes to save some money....

So we now have two Foresters; a fine team.




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The repair schedule so far:

Rear quarter/tail lamp damage letting in water, so unhook all that trim and unleash the panel beater’s kit..


Not too bad for a preliminary hammered repair..08D94685-354C-4DBC-99E8-644F47C43597.jpeg.a25238742f32160e90c6860c6a3e6af3.jpeg

...and then sweep up the accumulated detritus whilst in there ED551DA1-B064-46EB-AE55-A838CC9C56AC.jpeg.e30387eec903f5d53c2f5566d438594e.jpeg

Rear diff plug: now I know why the magnet. Is this serious?E67F8F1E-A005-4B11-87CE-2816A624272F.jpeg.cfa0b31e914ab438ca0ddd4b8ca20527.jpeg

The  rocker covers will be coming off soon...all four seals are  leaking7EA18AB8-FDA7-4118-BBFB-8FDF26FA20A1.jpeg.70b7375e206a5a2bad2d666920efadaf.jpeg

 And the PO threw in an unused steel skid plate. How kind.8AE8B324-BC21-408D-985A-7B9E723F6A18.jpeg.2f2a5375946d1c982686f5bb03199d8a.jpeg


Edited by Mitchy
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There is a great satisfaction in repairing driveshafts. I don’t really know why....


....and also giving the dirty motor the once-over. They always come out nice after a little scrubbing...


Ready for the overhaul work to come.

Edited by Mitchy
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Now to find out where that water in the rh foot well is coming from....

-Sunroof drains all good

-Cleared the mud from the windscreen lower cowl drain holes.

-HVAC box and drain, all dry and clear

-Pulled out tonnes of mud and plant shoots from inside the lower front splash guard and trim panel.

 It has been raining heavily and horizontally for a few days, but actually the car already smelled fairly musty when I took delivery.

Probably never get rid of that smell ...



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Having just checked, the windscreen appears to be aftermarket, branded XYG, compared to the Splintex original on our ‘99.

I have just been doing some research on the XYG screens- appearing to be an unpopular choice. Bugger.

 So now at least I have a likely culprit to start tracking down that leak.

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Pulled out the glovebox, peeled the cracked and loose ‘asphalt’ coating off the sound deadening foam to let it breath. That stuff really holds a lot of water.

Now to leave the engine running with the foot blower on full heat to dry it out a little.

I couldn’t find any leaks inside behind the dash, sprayed water all around the windscreen, but no drips, wet spots, nothing. Just that soaked carpet and sound deadening foam. Higher up the firewall it’s all dry.

 This car has no rust, no visible holes in the floor.. maybe I have a faulty window seal, or the PO left the passenger door or window open when washing/raining. No other wet footwells. 
Not been using air con, drain is clear and dry.



Edited by Mitchy
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And it continues...

I ripped out the sound proofing up as far as I could to seek the source of the drip (it is running down the firewall), unblocked an inner wing drainage gap which seemed to have helped, squirted water all around the engine side of the firewall, removed the windshield side trim and squirted water.

Took it to the jetwash and blasted all around the windscreen, no drips inside.

 Then I got crazy and blasted the firewall, got some drips inside again. Probably to be expected though....

I hope that’s that now!

I was going to remove the heater motor box but I realise that I’d have to remove the whole dash. 
Not going to happen just yet.


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Well at least now it is dried out and with the sunny weather it doesn’t stink any more. Time will tell when the rain comes again.

But meanwhile, as we also have a leaky out-house roof, the ‘Silver Bullet’ acts as ute/builder’s van...




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  • 2 weeks later...

Stripped out the rear interior trim again to find a leak through the roof headlining. 
It was dripping from the top of the LH ‘D’ pilar onto the rubber floor mat.

 Pulled out the sunroof drain tubes to double check for clogging but the water flowed through fine.

I then remembered that the rear washer was not working, and gave it a squirt.

 With the headliner out washer water sprayed all over the place.

I soon found the cut or broken tube inside the tailgate hinge bellows.

A piece of pvc tube connecting the ends and that should be an end to at least one of the water ingress mysteries.



Not very exciting entries these.

Next up will hopefully be clutch changes, timing belts and oil seals, and some suspension mods.

 The rear of this car is a bit saggy, most likely due to aftermarket struts with the original SLS springs. 
I have ordered new non-SLS KYB springs to go on the Outback struts, hope that makes a difference!

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Speaking of rear suspension, I just had my KYB springs delivered. They look good, and are certainly are about 10% thicker than the old SLS springs I pulled off the Silver Forester when I installed Pedders springs and struts some years ago.

The rear springs on the green Forester are indeed the same thinner SLS springs, but with aftermarket struts, so they’re giving a really saggy butt!

 Can’t wait to get the new hardware on there!


Edited by Mitchy
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well now, KYB Legacy Outback struts with KYB Forester SF springs has given me a surprising additional 2” clearance at the rear end. More than I was hoping for!

 The Outback struts are very similar in dimension to the Forester ones when put side by side, but obviously they must be stronger. They have a thicker piston rod, larger nut, etc, but it all fits into the  original Forester top hat 

So these struts with thicker Forester springs makes for a good strong rear end on the Forester.

I thought the struts I removed were aftermarket, but they have Tokico  stamped on them. The springs were certainly softer than these new ones.


Edited by Mitchy
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It looks like I might need the camber bolts after all. 
Now on to the fronts..

Later this year I shall be getting some Yokohama 215/70 15 on some 7” alloys which I have been storing

Edited by Mitchy
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Up-close the difference is considerable, I was quite surprised as I’m using apparently stock Forester springs, and the struts don’t appear to be longer.

I’m not after a massive rock crawler lift, just the clearance necessary, so I’m happy. We’ll see if I need some spacers up front to level out the chassis.


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  • 9 months later...

Been a long while since posting here, whilst getting on with some building and family projects. 

The green Forester is now up on all four KYB OB struts, new Forester springs, slightly wider wheels and the ever so slightly larger than standard Yokohamas.

It sits plenty taller than before.

 It is really fine on the road, firm, stable and those M+S Yokos really stick the brick to the asphalt. 

The only slight problem is the apparent topping-out going over some abrupt bumps.




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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...


Nothing has happened recently, other than a broken collar bone from a mountain bike accident. Car is wonderful, the shocks top out every so often, and I must replace the clutch, but urgently!!

 Love those Yokohamas. Fantastic tire.

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