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  #21  
Unread 22nd May 2018, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachworm View Post
Thanks for all the sage replies. Seems I should have bought an earlier model Forester. Seeing I've had my turn at driving fast on both gravel and tarmac and gotten over it, on the limit handling isn't such an issue for me.
Don't let one or 2 opinions get you down on the SH Forester, I love mine! The handling is a little soft but it is soooo much nicer to cruise around in. If they want crisp handling, they should get a WRX. The SH is great for comfortable driving with excellent practicality. Plus the earlier models don't have VDC, a huge advantage offroad.


With a few simple mods you'll be amazed at what you can do offroad. Just this last week, 2 customers have pulled out a bogged 4wd (Jeep & Hilux), one on his maiden trip offroad!!
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  #22  
Unread 22nd May 2018, 11:14 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Default I'm happy with the SH

I get discouraged when I go to 4X4 aftermarket shops and get told that they don't carry anything for Subarus because they aren't four wheel drives. People who drive truck style 4X4s are very prejudiced against anything else and I can see from the conversation here that this kind of approach to life seems to operate to some extent within the Subaru marque. Those who have one type of Subie seem largely ignorant of the features of other models and some are determined to pull them down. Maybe they are justifying their own choice of vehicle. I can see good things about all the styles in my club from the 35 year old Brumby to the latest model Foresters and Outbacks. The fact is none of this is relevant to me because I have what I have, I like it and I must make the best of it. I want to go off road so I recall my military 4X4 training. I must assess my skills and the capability of my vehicle and drive within its limits. If I need to go somewhere that is beyond the limits of my vehicle, I need to modify it (within the limits of the law) and if this is not possible or practical, change it for something that is designed to do the job or stay off the difficult tracks. I'm comfortable with this. By the way what is PM and how do I do it?
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  #23  
Unread 22nd May 2018, 11:18 PM
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"PM" is "Private Message" and acts like an internal email, it's at the top RH side of the page: https://offroadsubarus.com/private.php

I agree that the 4x4 prejudice definitely exists and is very frustrating - it was even worse back in 1996 when I got my Outback!

The SH with VDC was a great improvement over the SGs that had no traction control at all, apart from rear LSD.
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  #24  
Unread 22nd May 2018, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachworm View Post
The fact is none of this is relevant to me because I have what I have, I like it and I must make the best of it. I want to go off road so I recall my military 4X4 training. I must assess my skills and the capability of my vehicle and drive within its limits. If I need to go somewhere that is beyond the limits of my vehicle, I need to modify it (within the limits of the law) and if this is not possible or practical, change it for something that is designed to do the job or stay off the difficult tracks. I'm comfortable with this.
Very well said!



With a background in whitewater kayaking, we all had to accurately assess our own skill levels & what was required for the rapids we were doing. If we got it wrong, the consequences could be extreme. Same goes here, although the risk to personal safety is much less the risk to expensive cars is much higher.


I've found the prejudice in Victoria is very strong but I've been pleasantly surprised in Queensland & outback Australia by how open & welcoming many members of the 4wd community is. The feeling is often (& should always be) that it doesn't matter what you're driving as long as you're getting out there & enjoying the great Aussie outdoors
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  #25  
Unread 23rd May 2018, 01:29 AM
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I did point out that I had an SH as a daily so I wasn’t try to knock a car I didn’t have. If you like the SH then good for you. I never said it was less capable off road. If you ask for opinions then you will get different responses
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  #26  
Unread 23rd May 2018, 01:46 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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I appreciate all the responses. I've lived long enough to know that there are lots of other people who know a lot more than I do about everything and I'm a fool if I close my mind to their views. So I welcome even critical responses. I simply think it's better to make comments more positive. Strongly expressed opinions can have the effect of sitting people back on their heels and stifling the conversation. If a person thinks their personal choice is unwise but they've already made it, it can be difficult to swallow.
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  #27  
Unread 23rd May 2018, 10:46 AM
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As for lift, I took my Forester a lot of awesome places at stock height. Then even more places with 1" lift. Then I got a bit more into offroading and went 2" lift. Now with long travel coilovers things are getting a bit more serious then the original beach wagon that I bought the car for. But getting out there and doing the tracks you want to do and then modifying to meet needs is the best way of doing it. End up with a car suitable to your needs, unlike if you just buy the ARB catalogue straight away. Just need to take things easy when getting started to avoid damage.
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  #28  
Unread 24th May 2018, 06:42 AM
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I agree with a lot of what has already been said. At the end of the day if the car gets you to where you want to go then great and there are no problems. I think I could go a lot of places in my Forester if it remained at stock height, since at stock height it had quite a bit more clearance than my old X-Trail with a 1 inch lift and no other modifications at all. I went plenty of places on the beach in that solo.


Still, I wanted to be totally confident with a full load or for whatever conditions I came across (mainly with a view to beach driving as in Fraser Island and the other relatively local islands). Since I traversed Fraser, Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands with no issues in the X-Trail I was already confident enough since it was only at Fraser Island that I had previously been careful about where I went.


So, I went the 2 inch lift and am glad I did. I bought my SJ Forester new and I didn't want to even think about getting stuck or damaging it. I never drove it off road without the lift but to date I have done what I wanted. I have never once felt like I was about to get bogged or stuck, despite some extended soft sand driving and other adventures. When I was on Fraser Island in the Forester I was actively trying to find the most difficult tracks and the car handled it all extremely well. Larger tyres no doubt helped as well and the lift kit helped as I certainly didn't want to do any bashing of anything to get them to fit.

I haven't noticed any downside in the handling. Maybe I would if I did a side by side comparison but I didn't notice any difference after the lift kit was installed and I have no complaints now.


I also like the look of the 2 inch lift and for me the only downside was the cost which all things considered was reasonable enough anyway.

Last edited by Subaru Man; 26th May 2018 at 01:10 AM.
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  #29  
Unread 25th May 2018, 07:31 AM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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Thanks Subaru man.

I'm glad to hear your comments about Moreton and Fraser as those are two places I want to take my car. I did Bribie and got stuck on a mound between the wheel tracks on the access road on the way out but otherwise no problems at stock height. I have since joined the Subaru 4X4 club and a lot of their trips, including to Fraser are limited to lifted vehicles. I don't want to damage my car either but I do want to challenge my driving skills. I think I have done sufficient research and will go with a 50mm lift.

Thanks again to all those who have contributed to this discussion it has helped immeasurably in negotiating all the various options.
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  #30  
Unread 25th May 2018, 08:38 AM
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You will definitely need a lift especially for the inland tracks on Fraser!
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