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  #1  
Unread 28th December 2015, 08:05 PM
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Default Forester XS vs L-Series

Hi guys,

Keen for some opinions - I have a nice little L-Series now, used as a weekend/beach/play car, but was considering upgrading to a 2004 Forester X Manual.

I know the Forester is a newer and nicer car, but from a technical perspective would it be better off road? It has slightly more clearance, larger wheels and of course a much more powerful engine, but the L-Series has a lower low range and a locked centre diff, where as the Forester is an open one as it's AWD - is that right?

It's probably about $2k changeover to upgrade to the Forester, perhaps that's better spent putting an EJ20 in the L-Series and some better suspension. OR....maybe I'll a get a Brumby, are the 90s ones all dual range? Decisions decisions...

Also would nab an RX Turbo sedan if one was about...I think I need a shed.

Mocky.

Last edited by Mocky; 28th December 2015 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #2  
Unread 28th December 2015, 11:06 PM
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Gidday Mocky

AFAIK all SG manual Foresters have a centre vLSD and rear vLSD. Only the front diff is open.

Contrary to some opinion, vLSDs do work. However, they are all but invisible to the driver when they are working, unlike any form of mechanical LSD.
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  #3  
Unread 29th December 2015, 12:44 AM
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I did a trip a couple of weeks ago with Tom in his EJ22 L Series and myself in a 2006 XS Forester. We drove from town to town only using beach and sand tracks.

http://offroadsubarus.com/showthread...0607#post90602

Basically the Forester was the better car in the soft sand. The only times I got stuck, the L Series was more stuck. At one point we were both bogged on the beach and had to camp over night. The L Series didn't make it any where near as far down the soft section as I did, yet we still spent more time digging that out.

How ever on one particular dune, where we were both lifting wheels, I felt the L Series was the better car. Plus the better low range means you can take off with either less wheel spin or less clutch slipping.

So I would go the Forester for deep soft sand, as awd is better for that sort of stuff and the L Series for wheel lifting action and 4wd is better in that area.
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Unread 5th January 2016, 12:15 AM
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Thanks all, great trip report there RedXS, thanks. I know that area well being from WA, it's VERY soft sometimes.
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Unread 23rd January 2016, 09:18 AM
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Tyre choice has a lot to do with it too.

I'd be interested to hear more about the tyres each vehicle was using in the above comparison.

Also, the gearbox would've played a big part if Tom was running the typical 27 inch tyre setup on the L. 3.7 ratio diffs are not nice with 27's for power etc, especially on the beach. AFAIK Tom's not running a tyre of that size just yet.

Supercharge the EJ22 and you'd basically have the same package as Hatchie from back in the day - that thing was unstoppable on the beach and in other areas too - even with 3.9 ratio diffs.

Other areas should also be looked at: Age of the body, boot space, what is it that you really want to use the subi for as this will basically predict which one would be best for the job.

How much money are you willing to put into the L series for a conversion, lift etc before you end up going for a foz? Will you do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you (if paying someone thing $$$$s)?

Lots of questions!

Cheers

Bennie
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  #6  
Unread 23rd January 2016, 09:51 AM
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Tyres would probably make a larger difference than anything else on the vehicles. I had the stock 215/60r16 (26 inche) tyres and Tom's were much smaller, I think 185/65r14 (23.5 inche). Plus Tom's suspension has collapsed giving him very little ground clearance. With 27's and correct gearing both cars would be unstoppable. But stock vs stock the Forester would win in sand due to tyres alone. There's too many variables for a fair comparison. But I think due to emotional attachment, modifying the L was the right decision for Mocky.
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