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Hello from Perth

SubyForester

Forum Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Perth
Car Year
2008
Car Model
Forester X
Transmission
Auto
Hi all,

I don’t have a Subaru yet and with my budget am trying to decide between a 2005-2007 vintage outback or a forester. I’ve looked at other vehicles but am impressed by the capabilities of the Subarus without being as extreme as a full blown 4x4.

I plan to tinker with it (lift kitand use it for the odd bush trip on my own and with the family so am interested in the pros and cons of each. The forester, while it has less space, seems a bit better in that they all seem to have a vlsd and smaller overhangs.

Any way, look forward to seeing what the collective brains trust have done and figuring out what to get 😊
 

Ben Up North

can only hope to improve
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
1,416
Location
FNQ
Car Year
2004 | 1992
Car Model
SG Forester X MY05 | 92 SVX
Transmission
5MT D/R | 4EAT
Some things I've learnt:
  • Subie Lift Oz makes great lift kits for a reasonable price, from mild to crazy.
  • if you're thinking about forced induction buy an XT, doing your own is crazy expensive.
  • If you're thinking about a locker, already having a VLSD means you have to change the diff housing.
  • The standard dual range on the foresters is considered by most to be pretty naff and prone to breaking, but it's better than no low at all!
  • 215/65/R16 Dueler AT tyres will fit in the spare well. bigger tyres don't.
  • Halogen/HID beats the pants off LED for driving lights.
  • LED lights are great for spread.
  • Winches are heavy.
  • UHF radios are pretty cheap nowadays.
  • EPIRBS/PLBs are affordable, don't go remote without one!
 

Ben Up North

can only hope to improve
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
1,416
Location
FNQ
Car Year
2004 | 1992
Car Model
SG Forester X MY05 | 92 SVX
Transmission
5MT D/R | 4EAT
Some personal opinion things, camping stuff more than anything else:
  • If you have a family and plan on going bush get a trailer before a roof basket. far more flexible with what you carry, particularly bulky items (i.e pushbikes).
  • If you have a family, the more space you have in the car on long journeys the better, less risk of junk overflow (which alwasy happens if you havea family. Stuff just appears from nowhere.
  • If you've got a trailer, a camper tent on it is a great option if you are staying somewhere for a few days or more.
  • roof baskets are uncomfortably noisy, but useful (if you haven't got a trailer ;))
  • If you have a trailer, update the wheels & tryes to match your car. Then you've got potentially 4 spares (assuming three on the trailer)
  • Camping fridges are awesome. Don't leave home without one.
  • Get the right snatch straps, shackles, equalizers for your vehicle and carry them at all times. I've never needed mine, but they take up little space and make all the difference if you do get stuck - most other vehicles in the area are likely to be bigger 4wds. Their straps could possibly rip your car apart.
  • Always have a torch or two in the car.
  • Always have a lighter in the car, or other fire starting tools.
  • Always carry a toolkit that has (most of) the right spanners etc for your vehicle. keep a can of RP7 in it too.
  • Always carry a few towels in the car. As per H2G2, towels are essential when traveling.
  • You can never have too many fire extinguishers. Well, you probably could, but it's unlikely.
  • If you are going remote carry a heap more water than you think you'll need (trailers are good for this too!)
  • Warm water tastes a hell of a lot better than warm beer. which assists in decision making when filling up the camping fridge.
And finally:
  • Ensure you keep a can or two of beer at the top of the camping fridge when you set out on your trips. Nothing tastes better than a cold beer after setting up camp ( Or during. Or before you start setting up... Or when you get off the bitumen - 1 middy only of course. 🤫)
 

Kevin

Administrator
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
5,523
Location
Sydney, Oz
Car Year
MY'03
Car Model
Forester
Transmission
A/T

SubyForester

Forum Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Perth
Car Year
2008
Car Model
Forester X
Transmission
Auto
@Ben Up North

Thanks Ben Up North, appreciate the feedback - bugger about the changing the diff housing to fit a locker...
The ability to tinker and lift kits that maintain suspension geometry was a factor in favouring the Outback/Forester
Got an PLB for Xmas :)

With camping I will travel as light as possible working on the principle that less weight means less stress on the suspension/tyres/drivetrain etc. I favour a roof pod rather than a tray or a trailer for lighter stuff... But I take your point that if it all exceeds the volume/weight the car can handle, then a trailer's required.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SubyForester

Forum Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Perth
Car Year
2008
Car Model
Forester X
Transmission
Auto
Get an auto. Much more versatile offroad. ;)
Thanks Kevin, not opposed to an auto - what's a transmission lifespan like? Any common issues? Assuming fluid changes etc? I've seen a couple of XT auto's coming in at the top end of my budget with 190-240k on the clock.
 

Kevin

Administrator
Joined
Jul 28, 2008
Messages
5,523
Location
Sydney, Oz
Car Year
MY'03
Car Model
Forester
Transmission
A/T
The 4EAT is very reliable; I'm not sure of lifespan but mine is not dead yet.
 

ABFoz

Forum Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
689
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Car Year
2005
Car Model
Forester XS
Transmission
4EAT
Thanks Kevin, not opposed to an auto - what's a transmission lifespan like? Any common issues? Assuming fluid changes etc? I've seen a couple of XT auto's coming in at the top end of my budget with 190-240k on the clock.
With regular drain-and-fill maintenance, they will last a while. Here, drain-and-fill is recommended every 30,000km with mostly city driving, which most manufacturers classify as extreme driving condition, and around every 48,000km with mostly country/highway driving. Owners with 4EAT that are in the high mileage club follow the recommendation.

Some 4EATs in the high mileage club (500,000 miles and up) just use this recommendation. Those that have reached 1,000,000 km already (non-US models) log their mileage using a logbook. Cheers.
 

El_Freddo

Forum Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,118
Location
Bendigo, Vic
Car Year
1988
Car Model
EJ22'd L series
Transmission
Locking FT4wd 5spd Manual, 4.111:1 diff w 1.59:1 low range & front OBX LSD ;)
I don’t see the issue with needing another diff housing (or just an open diff of the matching ratio to your running gear) for the locker.

Pros towards this way of thinking/action:
- if not going DIY, drive your car to who ever is doing it, leave open diff and locker with them, pick up locked diff once it’s installed.
- less down time on the vehicle.
- have original diff to swap back in to take locker to your next subi or sell on when the time comes to move on the vehicle.
- more time to do silly things like this:





I’m still able to drive my L around until I’m ready to swap it in. Easy to swap on the L compared to anything that comes after it!

And welcome @SubyForester!

Cheers

Bennie
 

Ben Up North

can only hope to improve
Joined
Oct 1, 2017
Messages
1,416
Location
FNQ
Car Year
2004 | 1992
Car Model
SG Forester X MY05 | 92 SVX
Transmission
5MT D/R | 4EAT
I don’t see the issue with needing another diff housing (or just an open diff of the matching ratio to your running gear) for the locker.
I don't see it as an issue either, just something I've learnt. :)
 

El_Freddo

Forum Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,118
Location
Bendigo, Vic
Car Year
1988
Car Model
EJ22'd L series
Transmission
Locking FT4wd 5spd Manual, 4.111:1 diff w 1.59:1 low range & front OBX LSD ;)
I don't see it as an issue either, just something I've learnt. :)
The way it comes across when someone says you need another diff makes it sound like a huge negative and a good reason not to do a locker. I reckon it’s the opposite!

Best bit is that open diffs are everywhere and generally cheap. Just make sure you get the matching diff ratio to what your car is. That’s the key!

Cheers

Bennie
 

OneSixty

Forum Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
114
Location
Outer Perth Area, Western Australia
Car Year
2003
Car Model
SG Forester 2.5X
Transmission
5 Speed Manual
Welcome! If you haven't already I recommend joining the MtnRoo Western Australia facebook group
As for Outback or Forester, I'd go with a Forester although I might be a bit bias towards them.
 

SubyForester

Forum Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Perth
Car Year
2008
Car Model
Forester X
Transmission
Auto
Thanks for the replies and advice - I’m buying a ‘poverty pack’, pearlescent white 2008 my09 forester (212k). Runs good on regular gas, steel wheels etc. It’s an auto that’s been reasonably well looked after with good service history. I’ll be picking it up Tuesday. I’ll be servicing it myself going forward (practiced on Peugeot/Citroen/Volvo) so are there any particularly good resources for finding parts/service manuals/how tos? Are timing belts etc within the realm of diy? It’s a bugger on a Peugeot with little space (transverse engine).
It’ll need a roof pod installed for trips and I’ll look at fitting a lift kit and underbody protection - but getting to know it and servicing first...
 

ABFoz

Forum Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
689
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Car Year
2005
Car Model
Forester XS
Transmission
4EAT
Congrats, @SubyForester, on the purchase.

For basic maintenance, you can use MrSubaru1387's YT channel (MrSubaru1387 a general visual service/owner's manual. Pretty much all Subarus pre-3rd generation boxer follow the same methods. Please keep in mind that his experience is in the North American market, so he will have opinions on the quality of the manufacturing there. Cheers.
 
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