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New to the car community! I've always wanted a car I can modify and now I have one, just not sure where to start to make my car the best off-road version of itself it can be. Lighting system? Suspension? Rack/bumper? Appearance? I'd love to do everything myself, but in reality I have no experience and am too afraid to mess it up so I'm having a hard time getting started since I don't know where to go to get said maintenance done, and I don't know what parts are the good quality ones. Help?? I'm located in San Diego if anyone has a direction to point me in.
 

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Welcome to the club!

How I would start is by getting some protection. Skid plates from manufacturers such as Primitive Racing, Gorilla Offroad, etc. and even custom local shop-made skid plates do a fine job of protecting vital mechanical components.

Suspension lift blocks are available from a variety of manufacturers, but the only two spring lifts I'm aware of are from Primitive Racing via yellow King Springs and Mann Engineering's lift springs.

For off-road bumpers, Gorilla Offroad and Primitive Racing offer some. Australia's market offers a wide selection but are prohibitively expensive to import. Some have cut their front bumper in an effort to improve approach angle.

All-terrain tire options that fit the stock 17 inch wheels while being very close to stock no longer are on the market (the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S in 215/60R17 is discontinued). Close-to-stock diameter/circumference tire sizes would require changing the wheel diameter down to a 16 or 15 inch wheel. It's basically inevitable to have a taller tire when getting a more off-road capable tire at this point.


Sounds like you're new to Subaru, so if you haven't already, I highly recommend you check out the New to Subaru thread.


Also, if you're interested in improved braking as well as chassis upgrades, there is actually a large aftermarket for both brake pads and chassis bracing if you desire a more tied-down sporty driving experience.
 

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Cosmetic stuff is easy DIY with plenty of videos. When you start talking about suspension and wheel/tire mods do your homework - they can be expensive and if not done right degrade performance or worse be unsafe.
 
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