Headlight lens polishing kits actually work. Who knew?
In celebration of the CDs 30th birthday, the Forester gets an upgrade from it’s original cassette deck to a new “compact disc” player. By “new”, I actually mean an OEM Subaru/Clarion head unit out of a 2001 Subaru Liberty RX. This $60 eBay purchase, and subsequent $15 Nissan Double Diversity antenna adapter purchase, has brought the Forester into the pre-iPod world of scratched discs and a 74-minute limit.
However, neither my MacBook Air, Mac Mini or Toshiba Libretto have optical drives. While the Mac Mini that runs the TV does have a DVD burner, I don’t have any blank CDs, and I don’t think I can bring myself to buy any.
What to do? Add an SPST switch, a hacked-up C-bus cable and an 1/8″ audio jack. Courtesy of a design from a Kiwi Lamb, I made this auxiliary in / iPad adapter:
The Forester, much like just about every other Subaru, had some fairly pronounced rear suspension sag. I addressed this issue on the old 2007 Outback Sport by swapping the front springs for a shorter pair off of a WRX. This time I wanted to keep the front end where it was and instead raise the rear.
This Forester has a nifty mechanical self-leveling rear suspension. If I understand it correctly, the rear struts have a ratcheting mechanism that will automatically maintain the strut length at a pre-determined setting no matter what the suspension load. This being the case, a taller pair of springs would not alter the rear ride height. However, raising the body on the strut tops will raise the ride height.
As luck would have it, I found some ‘saggy butt’ suspension spacers from Subtle Solutions which are specifically designed to address my sagging suspension. The spacers are made from 0.25″ HDPE plastic and fit between the strut tops and the body. Here’s what I did and what happened:
- 12mm socket and wrench
- 14mm box-end wrenches (2)
- floor jack
- 15-20 minutes per side
Before and After Measurements:
|Original Wheel Arch Height||Wheel Arch Height with Rear Spacer Installed|
|Front (avg. L/R)||73.6 cm||73.8 cm|
|Rear (avg. L/R)||71.0 cm||72.9 cm|
Note: I drove about 50km to settle the suspension prior to measurement.
- Remove rear cargo cover, trim covering strut top
- Remove three 12mm nuts and strut top cover
- Disconnect rear sway bar (14mm nut and bolt)
- Raise rear corner of the Forester enough to let the strut top drop and clear the body
- Install spacer(s)
- Align strut mounting studs to body, lower the Forester
- Reinstall strut top cover, reinstall bolts and torque to spec
- Reinstall interior trim, cargo cover
- Reattach rear sway bar
- Repeat steps 1-9 for the other side