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Mrs Forester


bikerphil
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My partner wanted a car to replace her transit van that died recently. Something with a big enough boot for a pair of border collies, and something fun to drive.

So yesterday we went hunting for a forester and picked up this one, an early 2006 2.5 XT

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The price was good but it's got a few, hopefuly minor issues.

Brakes need looking at, work ok but uneven disc wear.

One section of the roof rail trim missing

One front splash guard trim missing

Small oil leak from the sump area

Suspected drop link - knocking very occasionally.

Warning light for the headlight levelling mechanism is on, i read thats most likely a sensor and to check it's output with a multimeter?

Otherwise, seems ok. Certainly goes grips and turns nice.

 

Looking on eBay at discs, pads and sliding pins they seem amazingly cheap, even recon calipers pretty cheap. Is there anything to avoid and are the calipers prone to seizing? I'm more used to bikes and bike prices (which are a LOT dearer) and on non opposing calipers it's usually the pins that seize rather than the pistons.

Any advice on sorting any of these issues or what to avoid would be nice.

 

OH, and hello to all!!

Cheers

Phil

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Hello welcome, the calipers are rubbish as they don't use stainless pistons from the factory, have a look at godspeed or similar companies that will refurb your calipers with stainless internals, cost a bit more than a straight recon swap from the likes of the bay but will be worth it

Sent from my SM-G850F using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the info. I may rebuild the calipers. Pistons, seals and pins doesn't work out too bad at all. I could get them bead blasted for not a lot too.

 

When you say check the rear suspension do you mean for leaks? If so it's fine, i looked round it pretty good. Feels ok damping wise but then i've nothing to compare it to.

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I think Bitmans keen eye might be right on rear ride height.

you won't see leaks because issue is the self levelling valve system fails within the struts. they drop between 25 & 55mm with this problem but appear fine besides ride height. Normally towing or heavy loads & poor roads wear them out quicker but in general they can go for 100K or more before start sagging.

SLS struts are made by Tokiko & only available from Subaru at not a nice price.

You can fit non SLS KYB excel G struts from the SG forester & get matching non SLS springs from springcoil.co.uk for a little under £200 the lot. Have a thread on it with links to parts if needed.

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I took a look with it on the level and it doesn't look as bad. But tyre to arch dist is greater on the front by 20mm. We would never have known had i not posted on here so gonna make out like i never read your posts. Ignorance is bliss.

It'll be a future job - if it ever bothers me that much. lower the front to match maybe :)

Brakes are first on the agenda. In fact no, buying a jack and some stands is first on the agenda as i only have tools to work on bikes.

 

Thanks for the info again though. i did find and added to my watch list those springs and dampers.

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^ yeh it not a big issue if not towing or carrying weight, rear should be little higher than front when in good order.

Can go for years in light use & the fix with kyb shocks & springcoil springs is easy on wallet & fitting & good end result too .

Enjoy the Fozzy & do main important stuff like brakes & take rest as & when needed.

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We are both enjoying it so far. Dead impressed with it's urgency and surefootedness. Gives loads of feedback too. 

The brakes have actually improved, the wear pattern on the disks is widening, it probably hasn't been used much and the disc edges went rusty and scuffed the pads. Still too late for them, although i have a lathe and could skim the discs if they have enough meat remaining.

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Check them first, you have 2 , one on front suspension & one on rear.

it could be linked to your saggy rear end causing the level warning light, try disconnecting the rear sensor arm & positioning it so it thinks rear is sitting higher & see if warning light goes out !

Normally issue with these is dead sensor or corrosion on plugs/contacts, they live in a vulnerable place so do get issues.

Check connectors on sensors & feed voltage/earth then find the signal wire & check the voltage reading varies as arm of sensor moved.

very rare have issues else where unless accident repaired car or you very unlucky.
 

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I had a quick look at the rear headlight sensor and the arm is just dangling there with the end socket broken. I can't actually tell what it's meant to attach to. theres a bracket on the suspension arm thing (sorry i don't know what it's called, i only know bike bits lol).

Could anyone provide a pic of what it's meant to look like and attach to? I'll then try and make a new arm and bracket for it.

Cheers

Phil

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Oh, hold on, i found some images on google. I think the entire metal bit is missing that goes on the arm.

 

However,  a pic of a rear one showing how the bottom bracket sits would be real useful.

Ta

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Thanks for that pic. having a starting point for the angle of the arm should make it easier. Might make the link from 2 mini rose joints. That plate thing over the link arm is completely missing.

Cheers

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Something a bit worrying happened today. Took it down the motorway, got 20 mile or so and the temp gauge suddenly shot up. Slowed down and pulled off, steam coming out of the bonnet, and coolant flooding down the road from underneath. Looks like the expansion tank had been overflowing, water everywhere around it. Took the rad cap of slowly, loads of pressure in there, and coolant level in there is low and very foamy.

Filled it with water, and carried on, absolutely fine the rest of the 60 mile journey. Went to check the level before returning home and it had maybe lost a little 200ml perhaps but again foamy. Drove 60miles home and the temp stayed normal even when given some.

I know these are prone to HG fail, and foamy coolant a sign, but anything else could cause this that i should try?

Cheers

Phil

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I spoke to TEG sport in Warton today, they specialize and race subaru's and  they sounded pretty sure it's HG from the symptoms. Probably gonna drop it off for them to have a look at in the next day or so.

I really need a garage then i can do more stuff myself. I build and race drag bikes, do pretty much all my own engine work, got a milling machine and lathe, could skim the heads, reface valves and seats, pretty much anything. But i'm geared up for bikes and work in my cellar (although getting a dragbike into a cellar ain't so easy!), but when it comes to working on cars, i don't have a driveway- in fact i don't even own a jack!

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Ok, so the engines out and heads are off to be skimmed tomorrow. Should have it back by the end of the week.

Seems the oil leak was the sump heavily rusted, also the steel water pipe almost rusted through. Seems odd as the underside of the car is the cleanest of all the foresters we looked at.

Plugs seem to show it's poss been running lean, so a dyno run to check the fueling might be in order. Could be a knackered fuel filter, lift pump or weak fuel pump maybe?

No cat in the up pipe apparently.  But there has been a weld repair to the exhaust and we are contemplating a freer flowing exhaust and remap, do wrx systems fit and what recommendations has anyone got for a good but still pretty quiet system?

 

Gonna be a big bill, but we didn't pay over the odds for the car so fingers crossed nothing else will go wrong and we can enjoy it.

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