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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Current 2015 STI
Old 2005 Journal

I got a 2010 Forester XT Limited for the fiancee. She named it ThunderCake :D

2010 Newport Blue Pearl Forester XT Limited

XT includes:
2.5L 4 cylinder turbo, intercooled engine with Active Valve Control System (variable valve timing), 224horsepower, 226 torque, DOHC, Premium 92 octane fuel required
Automatic SportShift 4 speed transmission w/ Electronic Direct Control (no manual available)

Fog Lights
Engine cover
8.9" ground clearance
Tail pipe exhaust tips, dual
Liquid filled engine mounts
Tilt plus Telescoping steering wheel
Aluminum gas and brake pedal covers
Rear spoiler, body colored, with brake light


Limited includes:
Driver's seat back map pocket
Leather wrapped automatic shift knob
Leather interior- perforated leather seating surfaces
Leather wrapped steering wheel with Audio Controls
Power driver seat, 10 way with power lumbar support
All Weather Package includes heated front seats (4 settings), and One Touch defrosting outside mirrors and front wiper de-icer (heats lower front windshield).

Stereo: Premium Stereo 80 watt, 6 disc CD changer, 6 speakers, SRS auto audio enhancement. (optional iPod interface)

Factory Options:
1. Homelink rear view mirror w/ compass, auto-dimming, garage door remote

Exterior:
1. Curt Manufacturing 13147 Class III Receiver and 4-pin wiring
2. 225/55R17 Dunlop Wintersport 3D tires on stock wheels
3. Bosch Icon wipers

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I wanted to get a 2011 Touring instead for all the little extra features it has like HID headlights, backup camera, dual zone climate control, but all I really wanted is the cold weather package that this at least has. She didn't want to spend the extra $3000 for the 2011's available, and liked the blue anyway.

Directly after purchase I was gifted with a P0021 code, and replaced the drivers side AVCS solenoid myself. I did the 60,000 mile maintenance in a rush one day before I left for a trip. The spark plugs had already been replaced by some yabbo when they aren't due till 60k. They were all loose, and both of the drivers side retaining tabs on the electrical clips were broken off :mad:

Two of the rubber boots stuck to the spark plugs, and I had to pull them out with needle nose pliers. The one on cylinder 4 was missing the coil spring inside to conduct electricity! I figured, "I have one of these from my 2005 that had a coil pack die!" but then remembered that I threw it away when I moved. Soo, I took the coil spring out of a clicky pen, and shaped it to fit inside the spark plug boot! Works like a champ.

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Oh, my 3rd Curt hitch that I've installed as well, to take over snowmobile towing duties:

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Discussion Starter #2
One of my favorite mods on my 2005 sti was a QTP electric cutout on the exhaust. It cost twice as much to have P&L do my custom welding than it did to purchase the cutout from Summit Racing. I already had the 3" APS R1 exhaust on the car, with the optional metal substrate catalytic converter. Pictures courtesy of WolfPlayer:





Which left me with the unused test pipe:



Since the piping is identical to what's installed on the car, I had Paul (Pavel?) at P&L chop the test pipe in half, and weld it to the downpipe to make a cutout:

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The result was exactly what I wanted! It didn't change the performance of the car at all since it's after the cat, but I could open and close it whenever I wanted without worrying about tuning. Man did it sound awesome!

So I'm hoping to do the same thing to both my 2015 sti, and my 2010 xt. This time I want to use the Cobb downpipe for both:

COBB Tuning Downpipe Catted Bellmouth Subaru WRX 2008-2014 / STI 2008-2015 / Forester XT 2009-2011 / Legacy GT MT 2005-2009 524202 at RallySportDirect.com



Because it has the cat close to the midpipe, and it mates to the factory catback to be as quiet as possible. Road trips with the APS would get annoying. I'm hoping to squeeze the cutout in front of the cat, so that I can have a catless protune when open for maximum power and noise, and catted when closed for minimum noise and emissions.

My only problems are that I don't have 2 of the perfect test pipes to chop up, and the rear o2 sensor bung is ahead of the cat on the 2008+ cobb downpipes. They say since a tune is required, the o2 sensor codes have to be disabled. I don't know how the cat performance was for their GD downpipes, but it sounds like an excuse for the cat not working well enough, not warming up fast enough being far from the turbo, or for the sensor wires not reaching behind the cat. I never removed ANY cel codes from my 2005, and the APS cat performed flawlessly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
These are slightly used BRZ wheels that I put on last night. I only had time to grab a quick pic on my way out the door:



Huge difference! I'm thinking about getting 225/60R17 tires when these wear out, to fill in the gap.
 

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225/60 17 damn that's tall. lol.

Wheels look really good though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Time for an overdue update! A year ago I installed a Pioneer SPH-DA120 AppRadio 4 as a birthday present for the wifey, and because we just had a baby. I wanted the convenience of apple carplay for her phone to keep eyes on the road at all times. She just wanted a touchscreen :p



Last year I replaced the rear brake pads with StopTech Street Performance and Centric Premium Brake Rotors from KNSbrakes.com They have a lot of brake dust I found out, but I had chosen them so I could get something with matching pads front and rear, whenever I needed to do the front next. I guess the forester normally has semi-metallic pads in the front, and ceramic rear, just by looking at which ones Napa says OE next to. How do you make sure you have the desired factory brake bias if you have different pad compounds? I re-greased the rear caliper pins while I was at it.

Skipping ahead a bit, I did the front brakes last weekend, because the left outer pad was rubbing the rotor lip on the backing plate! I had figured the front rotors would have been replaced by the previous owner, so I only planned to have them resurfaced for $10.50 a side at Napa. After seeing how rusty the cooling veins were, I wish I had purchased the Centric rotors for the front as well to match the rear. At least they sandblasted them for me. Re-greasing pins was again a pain due to those silicone collars that get pushed up the pin. The new pads came with new spring clips, which I tried at first against my better judgement. Re-assembled everything, test drove, and the brakes were dragging... :mad: At it's worst, the car would not move after removing my foot from the brake pedal, until I used the accelerator.

Both front brakes smelled, both front wheels were covered in brake dust, and were equally hot. The next morning it was better as I pulled in to the garage. I figured the spring clips were not letting the pads release from the rotors somehow. The factory spring clips did work better, but by that point I had noticed the pad surface was worn at an angle. Those stupid caliper pins don't hold the calipers at a right angle to the rotors well enough! I have this same problem in the rear of my tiburon, and just hate any brakes that use slider pins, which is 99% of them I guess. I wish I could just put giant brakes on my STI, and put my STI brakes on the forester. So after the pads have worn into their new angle, they work alright. Still, the stopping distance on this forester is weak compared to the STI. More pedal pressure results in nothing but more pedal travel.

While doing an oil change, I looked through a drain hole in the underpan, and saw a coil spring. Pulling it out with needle nose pliers, it was the missing coil pack spring from before! I'm amazed that it hadn't fallen out of the car.

Moving back a couple months, my wife reported a check engine light, flashing cruise control, and very rough running. When I pulled it into the garage it was fine (of course), but the CEL showed cylinder #4 misfire. When I last did spark plugs, I had moved the coil that was missing a spring to cylinder #1, and installed my improvised pen spring. This time, I checked all 4 spark plugs which looked good, did a compression test which was good, and swapped plugs and coils from 4 to 1 again using the actual coil spring that I had found earlier. A couple days later, #1 had a misfire, so I ordered two new coil packs, but one on #1, and it's fixed.

A week after that happened, the wife reported ANOTHER check engine light!, and more rough running, but not as bad. It was another P0021 code, and I recorded this log below:



The AVCS is controlled by a feeback loop in the ECU, watching the advance angle, and changing the solenoid duty cycle as needed. The drivers side oil control valve must be sticking, and overshooting it's target. So I replace the 2.5 year old drivers side AVCS solenoid AGAIN, and the problem went away. How can such a basic part keep failing? My only guess is the oil control valve piston/cylinder isn't machined well enough, and sticks.

Next up will probably be new summer tires. The wife loves BFGoodrich, so I'm looking at Sport Comp-2.



Maybe I can read whatever numbers are on the Subaru TPMS sensors I had installed in those BRZ wheels instead of buying a reading tool, but I'd still need to buy another tool to program the car twice a year. Not very user friendly Subaru.

I also have a cheap back up camera to install, that replaces one of the license plate lights. Hopefully I can sneak it through one of those rubber wire channels at the hinge...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So after letting the brakes wear into whatever shape makes them happy, the forester stops quite well now. Whatever front pads the previous owner had on there must have just been garbage. I'm happy with the overall stopping force as well as the good initial bite with much less brake pedal pressure than was previously required.
 
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