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Thread: rkrenicki's 2010 SH9 Forester X Limited - 2020-09-25 Bilsteins and Pinks

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    rkrenicki's 2010 SH9 Forester X Limited - 2020-09-25 Bilsteins and Pinks

    So, we made the decision to purchase a newer vehicle and I decided I wanted something bigger like an Outback or Forester. I did a quick search and found this 2010 Forester X Limited right in my price range at a dealer nearby.

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    I am not going to go too crazy with this car, it is just going to be a daily driver and possibly a tow vehicle for the Sambar. That said, I did order a couple of mods already.

    Exterior Mods
    Subaru Hood Deflector
    Subaru Sports Mesh Grill
    Subaru Forester 2011-2013 FM/Satellite Antenna
    JDM Subaru Forester S-Edition Badge
    JDM Legacy Bilstein Badge
    Forester XT HID Headlights w/JDM Exiga Leveler Switch
    JDM Subaru OEM Rain Visors
    Subaru OEM Hitch
    Mitsuba Alpha II Compact Horns
    Forester SH Touring Mirror Turn Signals
    LED Bumper Reflectors
    Subaru Backup Camera
    EUDM LHD Subaru Forester Tail Light with Rear Fog Light (Installed, but not yet wired)
    Amber Hide-a-way Strobe Lights (Installed, but not yet wired)
    JDM/EUDM Headlight Washer Assemblies (Installed, but not yet wired)


    Interior Mods
    Kenwood DMX907S Wireless Carplay/AndroidAuto Head Unit w/iDataLink RR Integration Kit
    SiriusXM Connect SXV300
    Kicker 40CS674 6.75" Speakers Front and Rear
    Kenwood KSC-SW11 Underseat Subwoofer
    Subaru 110V Outlet
    Homelink Mirror
    Subaru Footwell Lighting
    Forester SH Touring Cluster
    Subaru Auto Sensing Wiper and Headlight controls, JDM Catalog Option
    JDM Exiga Paddle Shifters (Installed, but not yet wired)


    Mechanical Mods
    Forester SJ Bilstein B6 Struts
    JDM Forester STI Catalog Springs
    VA chassis STI 20mm Rear Swaybar
    PowerStop Powdercoated Tribeca/Legacy GT Front Calipers (Arrived! - Not yet installed)
    SH Forester XT Wheels w/Firestone Winterforce 2 Tires (Winter Setup)


    Planned Mods
    Tint?

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Well, over the weekend I placed an order for a good number of parts.

    From Dubai:
    12x OEM Tokyo Roki Oil Filters (The black ones that are no longer available in the states)
    Side mirror turn signal lights.

    From Japan:
    OEM Window Rain Visors (I later found out that a version of them is also available from the US dealer, but it is too late to cancel)

    From US Dealer:
    Side mirror covers with hole for turn signal lights
    Engine undercover (not on this trim)
    Radio surround trim for navigation unit
    replacement parking brake boot
    Hood deflector
    Sport Mesh Grill
    Trailer Hitch
    Footwell Illumination Kit, Blue
    Backup Camera
    110V Power Outlet
    Cargo Net for Back Seat
    Homelink Mirror mounting bracket adapter (to transfer my Homelink mirror in the RS30)

    I normally would have spread this out a bit, but back when I bought my BG9, I did the same thing where I tried to order all of the OEM accessories that I wanted, only to find that half of them were discontinued. I did not want to be in the same situation if I tried this 6 to 12 months down the road. Hopefully this car is new enough that most if not all are still available.


    I also ordered all of the parts to integrate the Kenwood DDX9904S that I have into the car. I did find the OEM GPS antenna mount and center console USB connector that I will hack to work with this radio. I picked up the iDataLink Maestro RR to handle the steering wheel controls and add data collection from the car itself as well. The OEM Backup Camera that I ordered will take a little doing to get working, but I think it will be well worth it.

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    The only good thing with owning an old money pit subie is you can go to WBM (which we should be at today-I hope it will still go on!) and spend almost no money
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenines' View Post
    The only good thing with owning an old money pit subie is you can go to WBM (which we should be at today-I hope it will still go on!) and spend almost no money
    I am a bit of a cheapskate and I go to great lengths to find the cheapest price for the things I want. The vendors at WBM are far from cheap, so that is never a problem for me.

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    I couldn't even find anything from a vendor selling used stuff! Hope to you and the fozzy in September at WBM
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    Some progress on the radio install today. It is raining (and now thundering) outside, so I figured a job entirely inside the car was ideal. I do not have all of the parts here yet (dash trim, GPS antenna, antenna adapter), but I did what I could.

    The Maestro Rr1 and the Subaru harness arrived yesterday, and today the AUX/USB input insert showed up. The Maestro USB input adapter claims to not work with Carplay for some reason, so I decided to take the AUX/USB insert apart and turn it into a glorified USB extension cable. It had no electronics inside, so I am not really sure why the Maestro adapter wouldn't have worked... but this was far cheaper anyways.
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    I have not made an adapter for the 3.5mm AUX input, but the iDataLink RR1 Subaru wiring harness had an appropriate connector for the backup camera (which this car does not have). I will fabricate an adapter for that sometime later today or tomorrow. It is not a priority at all since I never use AUX, but I have the bits on hand so I might as well.

    The RR1 has a connection to the OBDII port, so it can pull information from the car via CAN. I have not changed the configuration at all, but I did check to make sure that it was working.
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    I tried to install my SiriusXM radio module, but I was having some issues with reception. I am not entirely sure if my antenna is any good, so I may need to pick up a replacement. I also do not have any FM radio because of the lack of antenna adapter (not a big deal for me, now that Carplay and Bluetooth are working). It started to thunder, so I whipped it back together for the day. It looks a little goofy with the big gap around the radio, but it is only temporary.
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    Many of my parts showed up today, so I went and picked them up from the dealer in the Sambar. Turns out that this dealer also has a JDM Sambar Fire Truck in their showroom, up above the offices! What was odd is that many of the people that worked there didnt even realize it was up there at all. I pointed out that it was the same model as mine and many said that they had never seen it up there before. There was also an old 360 Truck, an SVX, a BRAT, and something else that I could not immediately identify.. I think it might have been an FF-1 Wagon?
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    Here is the most of the pile of parts that showed up today. The only thing missing here are the Rain Visors that showed up in the afternoon.
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    It started raining shortly after I started installing things, so I did not get much done today.. but I did manage to install the mesh grill, hood deflector, 110v outlet, homelink mirror (I already had this, just needed the adapter that showed up today), and the replacement parking brake boot. Since it is still thunderstorming outside, I only have the picture of the front end complete... albeit wet.
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    How does one not notice all those cars? Anchor Subaru-in R.I. has a 360 in a display case that you can see on the outside at the top of their dealership.
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by thenines' View Post
    How does one not notice all those cars? Anchor Subaru-in R.I. has a 360 in a display case that you can see on the outside at the top of their dealership.
    I didn't notice it at first, but Premier also had a 360 Sedan over the front door. I am going to go back there on Tuesday to pick up the STI Sway bar, and I will take photos of all of the cars at the same time. Long in Webster has a 360 Sedan, and Holmgren in Norwich has a 360 Truck on display, both in their lobbies.

    Otherwise, the Hitch, Rain Visors, and Footwell Lighting were all installed today. I also significantly cleaned up the wiring for the radio and installed a generic XM antenna. The OEM GPS antenna is being shipped from Latvia, so that will be quite some time before it arrives.. and I also ordered an OEM FM/XM antenna, but I will need to have a custom cable made up for it once it shows up.

    My to-do pile is shrinking quite quickly.. I only have the Mirror turn signals (I need to find connectors for them), speakers, and mesh cargo net to install at the moment until the few remaining things show up.

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    I've seen the one at Long subaru-that's my go to dealer-the impreza is there right now-tooling around in a '20 Leggy loaner.
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I went out and took a couple of photos of the Foz and Sammie next to each other.

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    I also managed to get the speakers installed today, even with the 85%+ humidity.

    I ended up buying some Rockford Fosgate speakers from Crutchfield, so they sent me some mounting brackets and wiring adapters. I went back and forth on which to install, and in the end I decided to go ahead and install the Kickers that I originally intended. I am not sure what I will do with the Rockfords right now, but they will go on the shelf where the Kickers used to be. I also used some extra FatMat around the speaker openings and some medium density adhesive foam on both sides of the mounting brackets. All in all, I would say that they came out very nice. It sounds better for sure.

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    My Forester Touring cluster arrived today, and I swapped it in. I had some difficulty with the Check Engine Light, because Subaru apparently changed the way it worked in 2012, and this cluster is from a 2012 model. I ended up hacking in a wire to restore the original way it worked. I also attempted to reset the odometer to match, but that also did not end up working as I could not find the mileage data in the EEPROM that I found on the back side of the cluster. It is possible that there is one on the front side, but that will require removing the needles which I do not want to do.

    All in all, I am extremely happy with the results.

    Old cluster:
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    Subaru sure has come a long way in interior gadgets and features.

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    Indeed they have. The 2004/2005 models seem to be where they really took a jump in that respect. The creature comforts are a welcome upgrade over the earlier Legacies.

    Today, I changed out the engine under cover. The non turbo models get two small covers on each side, but the XT gets a full engine bay cover, much like the H6 models in 3rd gen. It was a direct bolt on except for where it connects to the crossmember. The existing jacking plate only has the one mounting hole in the middle, where the turbo version is wider and has 3 holes. I connected the cover using just the one for now, and I ordered a replacement jacking plate which should be here in a few days.

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    Today was overcast, but still a nice temperature before it is supposed to shoot up to 90+ degrees for the next few days. I took the opportunity to install the 2015+ STI 20mm rear swaybar and installed new endlinks at the same time. It took about 30 minutes start to finish, and it is an amazing upgrade for the car. It has significantly less roll and is far more planted in turns. The best $85 I have spent so far, hands down.

    Here is the 16mm bar next to the 20mm bar, before I corrected the endlink connections.
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    I don't miss my '03 outback-my only subie w/an engine under cover-was always an oily mess/damaged. But, I know you like clean lines with your rides.
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    I found a set of HID headlight assemblies from an XT, That will be a suitable lighting upgrade for me. I ordered some new D2R (low beam), HB3 (high beam) and yellow fog light bulbs from Rockauto yesterday, so once the bulbs arrive I will install the assemblies.

    I also snagged a paddle shifter mechanism and headlight leveler switch from a YA4 Exiga, both which are a direct fit for the 4th gen Forester dash. I do need to make up a simple wiring harness for it to tie into the sportshift controls, but that will be quite straight forward. The leveler switch would require a harness as well, but it will be far simpler than trying to retrofit the Auto Leveling system from an XT.. besides, I prefer the manual adjustment.

    I also ordered a set of front calipers from the 4th gen GT/Tribeca for some future brake upgrade. PowerStop sells some that are powder coated to prevent rust, but they keep going in and out of stock on RockAuto. I got an email this morning that they were back in stock, so I snapped up a set. I will figure out rotors and pads at a later time, but those are pretty easy to get anywhere when I am ready to do the rest of that upgrade.

    In other news, I received the jacking plate from a 2009 WRX which is the same part as the XT plate, and with the N/A exhaust there is no way it would fit without some modification. That said.. it turns out that it does not have any additional connection points for the undercover anyways. There is a clip on each side that looks to attach to "something", but I have no idea what it would be. I will have to do some more research.

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    For brake pads and rotors for the upgrade I was very happy with Hawk HPS pads and Centric Premium rotors on my 3.0R. That set up might be worth looking into.

    I do have a question about your headlight upgrade. Do you know yet how much of the wiring needs to be adapted to go from the halogen housings to the HID housings?

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Thanks! I have used Centric rotors before and I like them. I used Stoptech (aka Centric) pads before, and while I liked them.. they were very dusty for my tastes. How is the brake dust on the Hawks?

    As for the headlights, they appear that they may be "plug and play", at least for the basic functions. The service manual does not indicate a different pinout for the HID model, and the physical connector is the same. I have not yet tried them because I need to take the bumper off to do anything with the lights. I figure I will wait until the bulbs are here before I start taking it all apart and trying things out. The levelers have their own connectors, but the servos are the same as the 3rd gen JDM lights, so I have plenty of those connectors around.

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    The Hawks make more dust that stock pads. I would say similar to the Stoptech street pads. Maybe slightly less than that.

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    The STI Catalog springs showed up today, as well as the replacement lightbulbs for the HID headlights. I had to superglue one of the headlight mounting tabs back together yesterday, and hopefully I can get them installed tonight. The springs will have to wait until I order the Bilsteins to go with them.. and I have no immediate plans to do that. I just wanted to order the springs before they ended up getting discontinued.

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    EDIT: So the XT HIDs are plug and play for the other models. I still have to deal with the levelers once the leveler switch shows up from Japan.. but that won't be for a while.

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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I am not the sort of person to put an STI badge on a non-STI car.. (or at least a car without significant STI parts).. but I decided to up-badge my car with an S-Edition badge. I know it isnt turbo like the actual S-Edition, but to me it indicates the "special edition" that my car is turning into.

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    I am working out the final bits for the suspension upgrades. It looks like one of the Bilsteins is on back order, and there is a second "Inner Dust Boot" for the fronts that I did not know about.. so I need to order a pair of those. In the meantime, I stuck all of the bits on a shelf for now.

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    I am also trying to decide what to do with the brakes. I am toying with doing Cross Drilled/Slotted rotors in the front, but I am not married to the idea. I am also considering doing the 2010+ Legacy GT brakes in the rear as well, but PowerStop does not have any of them in stock with the powder coating on them.

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    Nice upgrade
    Legacys are like potato chips-You can't stop at just one!

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    3 of the 4 Bilsteins arrived yesterday, because one of the fronts is backordered.. I am also waiting on an inner dust-boot for the front struts as well that I did not realize was a thing on the 3rd gen Forester. That said, everything was here to assemble the rear struts, so I went ahead and did that. They went together quite easily and I did not even need a spring compressor, just had to put a little weight on them to get the top nut to grab.

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    The other strut is about 3 weeks out, and the inner dust boots are 2 weeks out. Once they all show up, I will get the fronts put together and on the car.

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    Most of the headlight washer parts arrived from the UAE. New washer tank, pump, and the washer assemblies themselves. The hose that connects it all together, some clips, and the caps for the holes in the bumper are still on their way from Japan.

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    The hoses and clips for the headlight washers arrived today, but I am still waiting for a timing relay to arrive from Lithuania before I have everything. If I can get a cooler day outside, I will start installing what I have.. but it appears that we are in another hot streak.

    In the meantime, I finally finished the wiring for the 2011+ Forester FM/SiriusXM antenna, the Backup Camera, and installed the Subaru GPS antenna up inside the dashboard. That last one needed a small connector adapter which just arrived a few days ago, but since I had to take the dash apart.. I figured I would do all of the radio-related things at the same time. I am happy to have everything finished on that front.

    Dash mounted GPS antenna, this is up above the cluster. This one is for a 5th gen Legacy, but it is exactly the same as the 3rd gen Forester except I had to drill one hole on the bracket to line up properly. I also needed a Sumitomo HFC to Hirose GT5 adapter to connect the Subaru antenna to my Kenwood radio.
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    Otherwise, here is a shot of me working out the wiring for the camera. Many OEM cameras are strange in that they use 6-9v for power, and NOT 12v. Luckily the iDataLink Maestro has an 8v power output just for this purpose.. even if it is not well documented what it actually is.
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  27. #27
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    If I can get a cooler day outside, I will start installing what I have..
    Ask, and ye shall receive. Today was a beautiful day, mostly sunny and low-to-mid 70s... so today was the day to get most of the outside stuff done on the car.

    Most of the headlight washer bits went in today.. The washer sprayers, washer tank with pumps, and hoses are all installed. I will need to take the bumper off again once more to do the wiring once the timer relay shows up (it attaches to the tank)
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    Cutting the holes into the bumper was fairly straightforward, there was an outline on the inside of the cover for where the holes were to be cut.
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    While I had the bumper off, I also ended up getting the horns installed.
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    I also installed the Mirror Turn Signals. The wiring is not complete, just run into the door.. but the lights and covers are finally on.
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    And lastly, some LED rear bumper reflectors. I just hooked them up to a battery to show what they look like, but again, the wiring is not yet complete.
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    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    The last strut finally arrived, so I assembled the front suspension this morning. My wife took the car today, so I will need to wait until the weekend to install them.

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  29. #29
    Administrator rkrenicki's Avatar
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    I ended up installing the suspension this morning. The fronts mostly just slapped right in.. since these are struts for the SJ Forester, I had to flip the ABS sensor wire bracket around and use a nut and bolt to hold it on. The rears also just dropped in, but I was just not familiar with this particular suspension setup where the shock sits inside one of the lateral arms, so it took me a little while to figure out the order of operations to get them in and out.

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    I took it to get an alignment right after, and apparently my trick of "all the way out" for the camber adjustment bolt only works for legacies.. For at least this forester, it should go all of the way in.

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    After driving it around for the alignment, and then taking my favorite suspension testing road on the way home, I took some measurements. With the slightly softer STI springs and the slightly-stiffer SJ struts, I only dropped 5mm in the front, and about 2mm in the rear. This is perfect, as I was hoping to be as close to stock height as I could get. I must say, the suspension is more communicative, less floaty, and not at all uncomfortable. I am extremely pleased with the end result.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkrenicki View Post
    I am not going to go too crazy with this car
    Quote Originally Posted by also rkrenicki
    huge list of things done/bought
    Mmmmmhmmmmm...
    1995 Legacy L wagon. Silver/black, with planets.
    1995 Legacy L wagon. WGM.
    1993 Honda Civic Del Sol Si. Black
    2000 Legacy Brighton wagon. White.
    1999 Outback. Silver

    Quote Originally Posted by Lancaster6
    A sherpa could rip ass somewhere high up in the Himalayas and my Prius will be blown almost off of the road.

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