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  #1  
Unread 24th September 2015, 05:58 AM
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I wasn't going to do a build thread as I didn't think I needed major modifications. But looking back all the minor tweaks over the years have built up. Actually, it has still been less then two years. So here we go...

When I got my Forrie it was the only SG series II that I could afford on my uni student budget and despite a few minor problems (lack of oil and radiator fluid) it was still so much nicer than any of the series I's that I test drove. This was my first car and has still been my only car. I originally got it because I wanted a 4wd that was still nice to drive.

After reading through the forum my first mod was my DIY mark I bashplate which I installed before doing any offroading.



Did a few surf trips and a few trips with forum members. Meeting a lot of great people on here, some of them with an insane amount of very helpful knowledge. The forester proved to be a very capable car off road even in its pretty much stock form. I wasn't going to do any mods as I didn't think I needed them, how ever my bash plate was slowly turning into a bashed plate as I was doing a fair bit of scraping.

So then came the lift. Opted for 1" strut top spacers, mostly because they were cheap, but also because i wanted to keep the half decent articulation of the standard springs. If anything, I'd want softer suspension, as I travel light, with further travel, but there don't seem to be any cheap options for that.



Car looks way better with the lift in! Proportions really suited the car, this is how Subaru should have sold them as stock. At least the newer models come with decent ground clearance.

Now, most the tracks I do are with minimal scraping, occasionally I wish I put a 2" lift in, but I haven't really "needed" it. Since was doing less scraping the DIY mark II bashplate came along.
http://offroadsubarus.com/showthread.php?t=5671



Another DIY job was the easily removable window mounted CB ariel.


Car was doing and looking great. Got the Red XS up one of the tallest sand dunes in Australia first attempt, while Land Cruisers and Patrols were running out of power 1/8th of the way up. But the next thing to fix was the approach angles. I only saw the plastic bumpers limitations as a guideline, hence the scrapes and holes in it. A SubaXtreme bull bar came up for sale locally for a decent price and was in my colour! This was far too good an opportunity to miss.

To be continued...
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Unread 24th September 2015, 07:04 AM
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Main reason for me fitting the bull bar was approach angles. I only gain about 4 degrees based on my calculations down the centre, but I gain a lot more on the corners/in front of the wheels which is where most the scrapes on my bumper were. Now the bars on I also think the car looks way better, but comes down to personal opinion between this bar, the proper series II bar and stock bumper.

Fitting the bull bar was actually a bit trickier than I thought it would be. Quite fiddle getting all the bolts to line up. Definitely a two person job. Then trying to get the bar to sit both level and square was also time consuming. The bar actually sits a few mm to the right as I ran out of adjustment. TBH it's not that noticeable, just a minor annoyance.

This is how I drove for about a week as I was quite limited in time.


Then I cut and fit the bumper and grill. Angle grinder did a surprisingly neat but on the bumper. I thought I would have to hide the cut with trimming, but didn't need to. Only styling issue is that the bumper does sit quite far forward.



Another week later I fitted new indicators and foglights. Interestingly SG series I and Outback Gen 4 foglights are the same, but the Outback ones are about half the price at every wrecker. Also these foglights are not as bright as the Series II SG ones. Still looks good.



Then wired up the spotlights. They're just cheapies that came free with the bar, but still better than nothing. But wiring them into the highbeam was another challenge. It's like the highbeam is both negatively and positively switched. Lots of confusion happened during my trial and error when the spotlights could still be switched on at various times while the highbeam was off.

Then I remove the windscreen washer bottle and replaced it with a cheap aftermarket one in the engine bay. Seams most other models of Subaru had their washer bottle in this spot.

And finally trimmed my much loved mark II bashplate to improve my approach angles. The large wings that I had put so much effort into shaping perfectly were no longer needed



I'm not worried about hitting the air box in the pick above as I'd need 33" tyres to drive over anything tall enough to hit it. Only potential problem might be water getting up there? Not sure if water will flick of the road up the little hole in the bottom. Most Western Australian rivers don't contain water so I don't think its too urgent, but open to opinions.
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Unread 24th September 2015, 07:14 AM
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Next on the to do list is take it offroad to get some better photos of it.

Unfortunately my thrust bearing is making noises that it shouldn't.
So I've been reading through through the forums trying to work out if I can do the job myself or not. Since I might be going to the trouble to remove the gearbox I'll probably replace the clutch. Bit of a shame because I would guess its only about 1/3-1/2 through its life, but that is just a guess. I'm also wondering how much more effort it would be to open up the box and swap an SF 1.447 low range in there.

Research time
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Unread 24th September 2015, 07:47 AM
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Nicely done, Red.

Pretty much similar to my own progress.

Bugger about the thrust bearing.

Do you feel that you really need the 1.447:1 LR, or are you getting carried away with the idea of it? I get the feeling from your description of your sand dune effort that you don't actually need it ... .

How many K's on Red?
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Unread 24th September 2015, 09:08 AM
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I don't need a 1.447:1 LR as I can already get everywhere I want to. Although it would be nice if it was just that little bit easier to take of in the soft sand and if I could go that little bit slower over some of the rock climbs. I'd only do it if it looks like an easy thing to do since I'll have the gearbox out. But I won't do it if it I risk opening up a big can of worms. So just speculations at the moment.

Red's got 206,000Km. A heavy duty clutch was put in by the last owner at ~150,000KM, so has 30,000Km on the other drivers unknown driving style and 26,000Km of my driving which includes soft sand driving. Hence I'm guessing 1/2 to 2/3rds clutch life left and waying up to replace clutch or not.
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Unread 24th September 2015, 10:39 AM
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Scraping the Sf LR idea, not really that much gain in low range and several stories of second hand parts and boxes not going well. Correct way to do it is with something like the All Drive low range and isn't really just a small side project any way.
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Unread 25th September 2015, 10:54 AM
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A really nice setup, looks great & seems to suit your purpose nicely. While you're doing the thrust bearing, it's probably a good idea to do the clutch anyway. The SF LR does make a big difference but depends on what you want. For most touring & beach driving your SG LR would probably be fine, plus its a bit of an ordeal to split the gearbox unless you've done it before.

Nice ride & that bull bar is perfect!
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Unread 25th September 2015, 11:09 AM
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Looks good red, Might be alot of little tweaks, but there's always people looking for how to do something. Every bit might help someone.
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Unread 25th September 2015, 11:12 PM
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I'm always getting useful information of here so time to start adding some of my own.

I've decided to replace the clutch, as a damaged thrust bearing can occasional damage the pressure plate. I don't want to just put in a cheap clutch, as the one I'm taking out probably has more kilometers left on it than a new cheap clutch would. So I'm going with an Exedy heavy duty clutch, FJK 7374SMFHD. Also looking at replacing the clutch fork as they can sometimes go. Seems quite rare, but I don't want to have to take the gearbox out again any time soon. This exercise has already defeated the purpose of buying a second hand car with a new clutch.
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Unread 26th September 2015, 12:22 AM
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Gidday Red

I agree about fixing things that might break in the future, but basically only do this kind of thing if it fails inspection in some way. Ross always rings me if he sees anything that looks even vaguely dodgy ...

I look at things this way.
Roo2 cost us about $18,750, minus the $2,000 trade-in for Roo1. So nett = $16,750.

After purchase, I bought:

alloy spare ($190),
sheep seat covers ($230),
spare chipped key and one non-chipped key ($140),
full service ($180),
then early 125,000Km service (~$900, including Ross replacing the radiator they damaged slightly with a new one for nix ... ),
change gearbox and diff oils ($140)
4x new tyres ($730, including alignment; old ones went on the trailer, along with the steel spare that came with my car).
Picked up roof basket, 2x steel rims and cargo barrier for about $50 s/h.
New rear variable rate, heavy duty struts ($750 fitted). Couple of wheel alignments @ $70 each.
s/h SubaXtreme sump guard (~$200 delivered)
s/h SubaXtreme deluxe roo bar ($450 delivered)
126W Light bar ($89)
5W in-car Oricom UHF radio, plus 2x 2W hand held units (less than $250, including aerial kit).
The only remaining item is a 1" lift kit from NachaLuva.

This all adds up to around $3,600 to make the car better than new, IMO. Since it only had 101K Kms on it when I bought it, it was only just run in.
My total change over outlay has been around $20,500 for a car that cost more than double that price new, without all the nice fruit ... . I reckon that I'm well and truly ahead on the deal.

Much the same goes for SWMBO's SH, except that the only fruit it has is the cargo barrier (about $150 IIRC), the sheep seat covers ($230), the brake job ($560) and a new battery ($150 fitted). We paid just over 56% of new price for a car that still had 3 months of the original warranty left, and only 63,000 kms on the clock.

Both came fitted with tow bar and roof bars.

Neither uses any oil or water, and both perform flawlessly.

Subies generally appear to give around 300K kms and/or 20 years relatively trouble free life (whichever comes first ... ), so one just has to factor the proportion of that life in either years or kilometres that has been used up into one's buying equation.

After 4 years and 15K kms on Roo2 and 3+ years and 27K kms on RonnyRoo, I doubt that we are in for any more 'surprises' with either of them.

Roo2 was 5.5 years old with 101K on the clock, so had about 67% of its economic life left. We paid 39% of new price for the c/o.

RonnyRoo was 2.75 y.o. with 63K on the clock, so had about 80% of its economic life left. We paid 57% of new price for the c/o.

The two of them together (ex-dealer) cost us slightly less than what one new one would have cost. I reckon that all this qualifies as a TKO, or at least well ahead on points ... .

I don't know what your comparative figures have been, but if you work them out as above, you have probably come out well ahead of the game as well.
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