Off Topic Forester XT work log


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I know, I know.. it isn't a Mazda. That's why it's in the off topic section. I do have a few friends here that like to keep up with my car adventures and pranks, whatever you want to call it :). Well here it is! 2004 Subaru Forester XT. Picked it up with 68XXX miles. Completely stock, for now 😂.




Maintenance & expenses:
  • ??/??/???? - Previous owner states spark plugs were replaced. Date and exact mileage unknown: around 50,000
  • 09/01/2020 - Previous owner changed timing belt, water pump, and related components, new radiator, A/C recharged: 68,222
  • 09/11/2020 - Purchased vehicle: 68,360
  • 10/06/2020 - Changed oil: 68,700
  • 10/10/2020 - Purchased and programmed second key fob: (29.95)
  • 10/14/2020 - Replaced suspension with Swift lowering springs and KYB struts, see post 11 for details: 68,760 (773.79)
  • 10/16/2020 - Alignment, front wheels balanced: 68,830 (75.00)
  • 11/03/2020 - Cleaned MAF sensor. Checked ATF, fluid still appeared red, topped it off: 69,425
  • 11/10/2020 - New battery: 69,461 (158.72)
  • 11/11/2020 - Installed STI rear sway bar, mounts, brackets, bushings (110.68)
  • 11/19/2020 - Installed ADF Lateral Link Brace Kit (40.00)
  • 11/21/2020 - Installed Megan Racing rear upper strut bar, part # MR-SB-SI02RU-1UP (75.00)
  • 04/19/2021 - Installed rear cup holder, part # 66150SA100ND (51.68)
  • 05/18/2021 - Installed STI TMIC and accessories (310.00)
  • 05/21/2021 - Drained and refilled ATF with Valvoline Dexron VI Full Synthetic, blue bottle: 70,965 (31.79)
  • 07/30/2021 - Changed oil: 72,200
  • 10/08/2021 - Changed front brakes: 73,976
    • Wagner E-Coated rotors, part # BD126174 (94.14)
    • StopTech Street Performance Pads, part # 309.09290 (76.32)
  • 11/02/2021 - Replaced window regulator and motor, front driver side: 74,356
    • WAI GLOBAL part # WPR4814LM (69.19), labor (153.00)
  • 12/13/2021 - Changed oil: 75,815
  • 03/14/2022 - Changed passenger side valve cover gasket: 76,600
    • OEM valve cover gasket, part # 13270AA190 (14.65)
    • OEM half moon seal, part # 11051AA070 x 2 (18.40)
    • OEM spark plug seal, part # 13293AA051 x 2 (17.30)
  • 06/29/2022 - Changed front and rear differential fluid, part # SOA427V1700 (31.98): 77,233
    • 1.2 quarts front, torque plug to 51.6 ft/lb (copper gasket)
    • 0.8 quarts rear, torque both plugs to 36.2 ft/lb
  • 07/11/2022 - Changed oil: 77,344
  • 07/13/2022 - Changed air filter, Purolator A24278: 77,388 (18.86)
  • 11/16/2022 - Changed oil: 80,457
  • 12/05/2022 - Replaced grille clips (24.00)
    • 91017AA010 - two upper
    • 91017FA080 - two middle
    • 91059FC041 - two lower (not installed, originals unbroken)
  • 01/13/2023 - Replaced spark plugs, NGK (7913) SILFR6A (50.66): 81,070
  • 02/07/2023 - Replaced radiator and hoses: 81,248
    • DH Racing full aluminum radiator (114.47)
    • Gates 20953 upper hose (12.79)
    • Gates 22498 lower hose (14.14)
  • 02/20/2023 - Replaced rear caliper slide pins and boots: 81,330
    • Slide pins, RAYBESTOS H15100 (12.20)
    • Slide pin boots, RAYBESTOS H16083 (8.58)
  • 02/21/2023 - Replaced cabin air filter, Mahl LAK371 (10.17): 81,342
  • 03/10/2023 - Replaced hot side A/C hose, recharged A/C, state inspection: 81,467
    • A/C hose, UAC HA 111913C (26.36)
    • Labor, A/C recharge, state inspection (270.63)
  • 06/26/2023 - Changed oil: 83,295
  • 07/03/2023 - Replaced a tire with matching used tire from eBay.
    • Used tire with matching tread (79.12)
    • Mounting and balancing (25.00)
  • 07/10/2023 - Replaced AC Idler Pulley, Gates 38030 ($31.00): 83,450
  • 09/12/2023 - Pumped out PS fluid from reservoir and topped off: 84,206
  • 03/11/2024 - Lots of fun stuff. 86,837 ($514.34 total)
    • Oil change ($40)
    • Replaced Oil Cooler Gasket, MAHLE B32074 ($6.78)
    • Replaced outer tie rods, DELPHI TA1812 ($27.24)
    • Replaced lower control arms, DELPHI TC7950, TC7960 ($128.58)
    • Replaced Front left knuckle assembly (pinch bolt and axle seized)
      • Knuckle, DORMAN 698327 (698-327) ($147.89)
      • Wheel bearing, SKF FW176 (20.89)
      • Hub, DORMAN 930501 ($21.79)
      • Seals, National 710464, 710463 ($12.89)
      • Retainer clip, TIMKEN RET176 ($4.21)
      • Axle, Trakmotive SB-8040 ($54.07)
      • Labor for pressing assembly together ($50)
  • 03/25/2024 - More fun stuff. (209.79 total)
    • State inspection (20.00)
    • Alignment (125.79)
    • Tire balancing, all (64.00)
  • 04/01/2024 - Replaced front brakes: 87,039 (85.76 total)
    • CENTRIC rotors 12147018 (63.97)
    • WAGNER PD929A brake pads (21.79)
  • Swift lowering springs on KYB GR2 struts
  • STI rear sway bar
  • Megan Racing rear upper strut bar
  • ADF Lateral Link Brace Kit
  • Some aftermarket Bluetooth radio
Last edited:
Nice pickup! I've got a couple of buddies with that gen Forester, they love their cars.
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Yeah, my wife has one as her "fun car" and it took me a couple months to get up to speed on how to maintain one. The more I drove hers around town, the more it became apparent to me that it would make the perfect dad car so here we are today. Wife's FXT is crazy, it's an STI clone whereas mine is an automatic and stock lol :p


Over the weekend, I took the car on a short trip down the street only to notice that the car started overheating. I turned the car off for a bit and made my way home. I was only less than a mile away. It turns out the hose clamp on the thermostat housing was just loose enough to allow coolant to leak out. Tightened the clamp up, checked all other hose clamps, and burped the cooling system without issues. A small set back but thankfully a really easy one to solve.

The underside is super clean and rust free. I'm not counting surface rust.


The clamp and the drip.


I got some goodies coming in the mail over the next couple weeks so more pics to come.
Slipped in the “dad car” hehe.
So happy for you on many levels. Your wife’s STi clone made me happy to drive
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Very nice find! I have always liked that Forester body style.
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Gave the car an oil change yesterday too since it was already up in the air and was on my to do list. Triple checked under the car for leaks before moving it out of the garage today. Drove around on my very first errand with this car. The ultra-gauge showed coolant temp was fine.


Yeah, I need a replacement shifter bezel surround piece. This one looks ruined. It's not dirt or grime.


Came home to some goodies.



The STI tmic itself won't make much of a difference on the car since I'm super stock. It'll give some bling factor and be more efficient at cooling the air. I think I may be missing 1 coupler for the swap but I'll figure that out later. Most likely will clean the tmic and apply some heat deflective tape on the end tanks.
The stock Impreza WRX suspension was an option I considered as it was a bit softer than the Impreza STI suspension. But after thinking about it, I decided to go with swift springs for only a small drop. Heard good reviews about the ride quality and performance aspect. Rather keep the clearance on this one. :)
I made a wtb thread on the subaru forester forum for the tmic stuff. Took about 2-3 weeks. Then randomly ran into a for sale thread for the springs and sway bar on nasioc only to find out seller also posted a for sale thread on the subaru forester forum too lol.
Pulled the forester into the garage today and removed all the struts! New struts and related components should be arriving tomorrow. Surprisingly, all the struts removed are still in proper working condition so I will be gifting them to the person that bought my first forester since he's also looking to lower his forester.


Oh yeah, this broke while I was undoing a strut mount nut lol.

The camera body is a Canon 5D Mark II mated with one of the cheapest plastic lenses, the Canon 50mm f1.8 II. Owned the camera body since 2013. Purchased it as my forever photo camera. I've been trying to use my camera more these past few months.
Yeah! I've wanted the 50mm 1.4 for the longest time for better build quality but I never got to it. Now it doesn't matter that much to me anymore lol.