AWDfreak household's 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ Eyesight - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default AWDfreak household's 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ Eyesight

DISCLAIMER: Not my vehicle, but a vehicle I have modified for the household to further improve safety and capability.


Image album:
https://imgur.com/a/305l0kS

Too lazy to post pictures right now...

but here's what I have got on it so far: (to be edited and updated as additional mods added)

* Primitive Racing triple armor skid plates
- Primitive Racing engine skid plate w/ oil drain plug hole cutout (plastic splash guard trimmed and retained)
- Primitive Racing transmission skid plate
- Primitive Racing rear differential skid plate
* Subimods 2015+ WRX/STI fire extinguisher bracket SM-EXT-BRK/VA
- w/ H3R Performance MX100B - Black Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher
* RAM Mounts X-Grip smartphone cradle mount RAM-HOL-UN7BU [mounted on RAM Mounts 30" Rigid Aluminum Rod]
* RAM Mounts RAM POD I Universal No-Drill™ Vehicle Mount with 30" Rigid Aluminum Rod & Diamond Adapter Base P/N RAM-B-316-1-30-238U
* Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads P/N HB711R.661 (FMSI D1539) front, HB557R.545 (FMSI D1114) rear.
* BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport in 225:60R17

To be installed:
* Fumoto Drain Valve



Eyesight is as excellent as I remember it being on my 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Limited w/ Eyesight loaner vehicle I used when I was waiting for my engine shortblock to get replaced under warranty on my 2014 XV Crosstrek. Handling is still very well-balanced for a tall crossover, though obviously leans towards understeering. Body roll is more than a Crosstrek, but that's expected with the taller roof.

Stock brake pads leave a lot to be desired. They became glazed after an off-road drive using X-MODE's hill descent control at 8 MPH downhill. So I have ordered some Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads, as the low-mode of the Lineartronic CVT provides insufficient engine braking for safe downhill operation. I can't believe Subaru believes that low-mode operation is safe, the engine braking is so weak that one must excessively rely on the braking system to slow the vehicle down on downgrades.

From Hawk Performance's website description of the Street Race compound
Quote:
Pad Description:
  • Aggressive Torque
  • Great Rotor and Pad Wear Life
  • 100-1200F Operating Temperatures
  • Smooth and Predictable Control
  • Designed to Deliver High Deceleration Rates
  • Smooth Braking Feel
  • Consistent Brake Release Characteristics
Hawk Performance - Race Proven, Street Legal

For a frame of reference, I have a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek 5MT that I am using as a basis for modifications, though I am trying not to go to the extensive/excessive nature of what I have done to my car:
http://www.clubcrosstrek.com/forums/...nual-2083.html

So please do not expect a version 2 of my XV Crosstrek on this build thread, but rather, expect a toned-down mindset to my modification style (emphasis on safety, touge-capable, and adventure-ready).

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Old 06-01-2018, 04:23 AM   #2
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Well, I found a screw lodged in the right rear tire.

It is impaled in an area that is not repairable at the edge of the tread right next to the sidewall.

So the Forester is going to get a set of four new BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires. The stock Yokohama Geolandar G91F tires in P225/60R17, although designed with fuel efficiency in mind, did not impress me in handling, braking, or off-road performance.

The BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires were chosen for the following reasons:
  • A sportier tire than the standard tires
  • A higher traction rating than stock
  • A higher treadwear rating than stock
  • Cheaper than stock replacement tires
  • Made in the USA
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:45 PM   #3
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So I may have made a mistake choosing the Hawk Performance Street Race compound for this Forester's brake pad choice.


Although the Forester will see spirited use (most of the drivers in this household are spirited drivers), they will likely never see the full potential of brake pads with a maximum operating temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the criteria I forgot to mention was that the brake pad compound must be legal for use on roadgoing cars in the United States. Although the enforcement of such a rule is borderline nonexistent, I figured to err on the safe side so as to meet or exceed the performance of the original equipment, stock Subaru brake pads. To meet the requirement of being road legal, the compound has to be sold with specific markings as required by respective U.S. laws and regulations. As far as I'm aware, having DOT pad codes printed on the brake pad should suffice.

The factory pads have a DOT brake pad friction rating of FF. In order to meet or exceed this, I needed to choose a compound that would not overheat under severe use (function acceptably at perhaps around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit) while meeting or exceeding the factory friction rating of FF (friction μ 0.35-0.45 at both 0 degrees Fahrenheit and 600 degrees Fahrenheit). This also ensures that Subaru EyeSight will still function properly, instead of choosing an inferior brake pad compound that may hamper the performance of EyeSight.

When shopping brake pads, I usually gravitate to the smaller companies, especially Japanese brake pad manufacturers such as Endless, Project Mu, Winmax, etc. However, the Japanese brake pad manufacturers have no interest in meeting the "read legal" requirements, despite providing brake pads that would meet safety regulations. Smaller American companies such as Carbotech and G-Loc brakes have the same issue, where the products are de-facto safe, they do not meet the road legal criteria. So although they are safe products, because they do not bother with the process required to meet U.S. certification, they do not meet the road legal requirement I set for this specific vehicle.

Doing further research on brake pads with the FMSI pad codes of D1539 [front] and D1114 [rear] on the same day the pads are getting installed, I realized a more-suitable compound was actually available that I overlooked that met the same requirements.


To further clarify, these were the complete requirements I had in mind when searching for brake pads to buy for this specific Subaru Forester:
Quote:
  • U.S.A. road legal
  • meet or exceed FF friction rating of stock brake pads to maintain safe operation of Subaru EyeSight
  • very high fade resistance (perform acceptably at around 1000 F)
  • safe cold bite
  • somewhat street-friendly
For those unaware, the Hawk Performance Street Race compound is identical to the Hawk Performance DTC-30. Some even say it is a modified DTC-30 for better street characteristics, which is likely the case as they share the same exact operating temperature ranges.


It dawned on me that Ferodo makes a brake pad that better meets those requirements, especially the street friendly characteristics, as I am almost certain the Ferodo DS2500 compound will be quieter than the Hawk Performance Street Race compound. A friend of mine used the Hawk Performance Street Race compound on his old EP3 Honda, with satisfactory performance but still had awful noise. And there are many reviews that support that the Ferodo DS2500 is relatively quiet for its high performance nature. This household's drivers would greatly appreciate a quieter compound that still provides the anti-fade characteristics that far exceed OE-grade brake pads.

Despite not being advertised for the Forester, I found the brake pad part numbers for the Ferodo DS2500 that match the D1539 and D1114 FMSI brake pad shapes, which applies to the following Subaru models, USDM:

Quote:
  • MY 2013-2017 Subaru XV Crosstrek (Subaru Crosstrek/Subaru XV) [GP chassis]
  • MY 2012-2016 Subaru Impreza non-turbo [GJ/GP chassis]
  • MY 2014-2018 Subaru Forester non-turbo [SJ chassis]
Ferodo DS2500 brake pad part numbers for the above applications:
FCP1639H front
FCP1947H rear




So with that blunder I've made, perhaps a more-suitable solution would be to buy the Ferodo DS2500 brake pads with a set of rotors for the Forester later, then swap the Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads with the matched OE rotors onto my 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek. But I guess I will at least bed-in the brake pads to the rotors before they may eventually see use on my XV Crosstrek.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:07 AM   #4
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With the new P225/60R17 BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires and Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads, it really transformed the Forester into a safer and slightly more-fun vehicle to drive.

When the OEM pads were glazed, EyeSight felt very lacking when it would initiate brake assist on stock tires. With the Street Race brake pad compound and these Advantage T/A Sport tires, EyeSight performs excellently. So far, the higher friction brake pads and slightly-sportier tires do not have a negative impact on EyeSight's capabilities. In fact, it enhances the safety capabilities.

For spirited cornering, the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires are more gradual at letting loose grip, and seem to have superior roadholding capabilities over the stock Yokohama Geolandar G91F tires.

Overall, significantly-better (if not, overkill) brake pads paired with slightly-sportier tires is not a bad option at all for those who want a better safety margin and/or wish for a more fun drive for those who drive spiritedly.




Picture dump below.

Newly driven









Getting the Primitive Racing skid plates installed...






The oil drain plug hole was optioned for easy oil changes, as this will likely not see severe enough off-road use to warrant a solid plate.


Trimming the plastic engine bay splash guard to work with the engine skid plate was kind of a pain.


Receiving the Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads






Hawk Performance brake pad burnishing instructions (bed-in procedure, bedding procedure)

Quote:
Hawk Performance requires all brake pads have to be bedded-in with the rotors (new or used) that they will be used against. Properly bedding-in new brake pads results in a transfer film being generated at the pad and rotor interface to maximize brake performance.

Burnishing Instructions
  1. Seal all brake ducts if applicable.
  2. At medium speeds slowly engage brakes 6 to 8 times without coming to a complete stop. DO NOT DRAG BRAKES.
  3. Increase speed to simulate race conditions. At near race speed engage the brakes 6 to 8 times without coming to a complete stop. DO NOT DRAG BRAKES!
  4. Allow the system to cool by immediately parking the car for 15 minutes or longer. Brakes should reach ambient temperature or cool to the touch. Do not engage brakes during cool down period. Remove duct seals. Brakes are now ready to use.

HB711 STREET RACE
HAWK HP800 GG B17
326-1AE03U

HB557 STREET RACE
HAWK HP800 GG B17
325-1CD26U
Hawk Performance Street Race brake pad markings, to include the "GG" friction code that exceeds the factory "FF" friction code.


Hawk Performance Street Race brake pad stickers, which meets leafmark rating [set forth by the Automotive Manufacturers Equipment Compliance Agency (AMECA)] of B, which indicates less than 5% content of the brake pad compound is toxic.


Went off-roading at night on Buzzard Lagoon Road in the Santa Cruz mountains.







Playing with the lights at night...


Quick-access trauma first-aid kit (designed to address severe bleeding and/or rescue breathing) and a little 1 lbs fire extinguisher mounted to a SubiMods 2015+ WRX/STI fire extinguisher seat bracket. Also seen is the Ram Mounts X-Grip and aluminum rod that does not require any drilling and is a completely reversible modification.





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Old 06-05-2018, 04:10 AM   #5
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Oh, and I forgot to mention, these BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport tires look awesome!







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Old 06-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #6
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Took the Forester off-roading to Hollister Hills...

Here's some pics to tease you before showing some off-road onboard footage.







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Old 06-13-2018, 06:26 PM   #7
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So when I went off-roading at Hollister Hills SVRA, I can safely say I did exceed the approach, departure, and breakover angles of the 4th generation Subaru Forester. I also discovered how amazingly capable they are. Do note that the Primitive Racing skid plates were crucial in being able to get out of the SVRA without needing a tow truck, as the Forester may have had an oil pan ripped off without the plates.

driver (left) front fascia damage from off-roading


passenger (right) front fascia damage from off-roading


minor passenger (right) rear fascia damage from off-roading






Now, onto the videos!

Onboard footage of the course I enjoy the most, the Hollister Hills Adventure Track area at the Upper Ranch. It's the same place that Jeep debuted its Jeep Renegade Trailhawk as shown in this FCA video here: https://youtu.be/Jywa0e6xpao


Forester onboard off-road footage here:









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Old 06-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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So one thing I noticed when off-roading with the Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads is that it actually makes the brakes perhaps overly sensitive when utilizing hill descent control with X-MODE engaged. I found myself inadvertently stopping the Forester a handful of times on downgrades when I only intended to bring my speed down.

So for those who actually go off-road with their Forester but want better fade resistance, look into the coefficient of friction as well as the friction code of the brake pads you purchase. Do not settle for anything less than an "FF" friction code, and do not go for a "GG" friction code if you want better modulation of the brakes under low-traction situations. Yes, I am basically saying get a compound that will likely retain an "FF" friction code but with a higher maximum operating temperature.

I have confirmed with Akebono (one of the largest OE manufacturers of stock brake pads) that the maximum operating temperature of your typical consumer-grade brake pad (to include most OEM/stock brake pads) is around 572 degrees Fahrenheit. Or at least, that is what a customer service representative told me about their brake pads. So before one purchases brake pads that claim any sort of "fade resistance" or "anti-fade characteristics", check or inquire about the maximum operating temperature. If it does not exceed 600 degrees Fahrenheit, or if they refuse to disclose such information, avoid the product and look elsewhere.

But those worries go away as soon as I hit the pavement... Instead, the upgraded brake pads and stickier tires made for a fun drive out of there with the mountainous twisting road out of the area.


With that, I am even more convinced I should slap the Hawk Performance Street Race pads and matched rotors onto my XV Crosstrek, and buy the Ferodo DS2500 brake pads, which match the stock "FF" friction code and would likely perform better off-road versus the overly-sensitive "GG" friction coded Hawk Performance Street Race pads. Unlike the stock brake pads, the Ferodo DS2500 won't be dangerously-faded when the brake temperatures exceed 600 degrees Fahrenheit like the stock ones would.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:17 AM   #9
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The intent on this trip was to visit the New Idria Mercury Mine which is maybe 30 miles south of Panoche, California. It's one of the largest ghost towns in California.

On the way there, I discovered another Bureau of Land Management area, Laguna Mountain Recreation Area.
https://imgur.com/nyMPF7F


To get there on my presumably-through route, entry into Clear Creek Road has a self-paid $5 toll, cash only.

With a through pathway traced on Google Maps, I proceeded to use what I believed was a southern entrance... only to find it gated just north of the Clear Creek Road gated terminus...

approx. coordinates of gated road northbound to Idria mine
36.368255, -120.756330

https://imgur.com/bLovL8W


https://imgur.com/Oi4yXFG


It turns out the only legal way via land to access the Idria mine is to use Panoche Road north of it, then head south on New Idria Road.


So instead, it became a trip exploring a little bit of the Clear Creek Management Area. Beware, this is part of a large area where naturally-occurring asbestos is prevalent throughout the area.

https://imgur.com/LSjTPkZ


https://imgur.com/sFTxRxw


https://imgur.com/CTOYOIn


https://imgur.com/oG3WC48


https://imgur.com/3nhckXd


Bureau of Land Management route T103 in Clear Creek Management Area
https://imgur.com/SjhDvpB


Afterwards, a trip to Hollister Hills SVRA once again reassured the off-road capabilities of the Subaru Forester.

https://imgur.com/l5RBdc2


https://imgur.com/8XDLCSS
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:52 PM   #10
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These videos demonstrate what brake noise to expect with the Street Race brake pad compound by Hawk Performance in various driving conditions. The Street Race brake pad compound features identical characteristics to their DTC-30 race compound which has specialized use in dirt track circle and rally racing use. They even share the same exact operating temperature range of 100 - 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hawk Performance Street Race brake pads P/N HB711R.661 (FMSI D1539) front, HB557R.545 (FMSI D1114) rear...

...Installed on a 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ CVT.


Forgive the engine drone, but this Subaru is equipped with the Lineartronic CVT.


Brake noise under various city driving conditions.


Brake noise during light, medium, and heavy braking.


Brake noise during light brake application.
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