Now Reading
How to Turn a Subaru Forester XS Wagon Into the Force to be Reckoned With

How to Turn a Subaru Forester XS Wagon Into the Force to be Reckoned With

  • 2005 Lifted Subaru Forester
  • Off road mods & overland gear
2005 Lifted Subaru Forester Off Road and Overland modifications
Subaru Forester XS offroading
Subaru forester steel offroad bumper & Warn VR-8S 8000 lbs Winch
Roofnest Falcon 50″ Roof Top Tent, Yakima Rail Grab Towers and Bars
1990s Mitsubishi Pajero Snorkel +5
View Gallery
Subaru Forester XS offroading

In our quest of finding a perfect off-road vehicle, we have come across a man who managed to create one for himself. What do you need to build a capable offroader? A solid base of course. And the 2nd generation Subaru Forester could surely be that base for many reasons. It’s a pretty reliable and affordable vehicle, with the famous Subaru All-Wheel-Drive system and a huge potential for modifications.

The second-generation 2005 Forester owned by our today’s hero shares the base with the Subaru Impreza. Thanks to a symmetrical All Wheel Drive that really works and limited-slip rear differential, this lifted Subaru Forester XS can conquer the most rugged terrains with ease.

Yakima Slim Shady 78″ Awning

Add low maintenance costs and you have more than enough reasons to choose the Subaru Forester as your new overland project vehicle. It is one of the most popular models among offroading enthusiasts. Sometimes a set of off road tires is all you need to make it out there in the wilderness, but Rob, the owner of this unique 2005 Subaru Forester XS decided not to stop there. We sat with him to talk about his pride and joy.

1990s Mitsubishi Pajero Snorkel

How did you become interested in off-roading?
– I bought a 1999 Subaru Forester 6 years ago from a friend and had dreams of lifting it and making it an off road vehicle. Not long after, I started watching “X Overland” and was inspired by their travels and trips. I started finding local trails and easy “off-roading”, and I was instantly hooked. I lifted my old Forester shortly after, and my adventures continued to grow along with my skills. About 2 years into owning that Forester I decided I wanted something very similar, but newer with lower miles, so I bought my current 2005 Forester with 73k miles about 4 years ago. The modifications and adventures started right away.

“I started watching “X Overland” and was inspired by their travels and trips”

Modified Subaru Forester

Why did you choose this particular model for your project?

– Upgrading from my old Forester, I knew for sure I wanted another Forester, just newer with lower miles. I used to dislike the newer model foresters and the 2005 was the latest year I could get of the style I wanted. I knew I wanted something silver with as low of miles as possible, and I was lucky enough to find my Forester with only 73,000 miles on it. A unicorn find for sure.

“I used to dislike the newer model foresters and the 2005 was the latest year I could get of the style I wanted”

What inspired you to choose this modification style?

– My style and “map” for modifications consists of me going out, doing what I want to do with the vehicle, and buying things based on what I feel I need or want most. I’ve always wanted to be able to drive my Forester to the Arctic Circle, and with the way the vehicle currently sits, I could most definitely do just that. I have plans to take 3.5 weeks off work within the next year to make that journey.

Roofnest Falcon 50″ Roof Top Tent, Yakima Rail Grab Towers and Bars

What challenges did you face while putting it together?

– When I first lifted my Old Forester, nobody had lifted Subarus. You could find a handful of pages on Instagram who had a lifted Subaru and that was all. With Lifted Subarus and Overlanding blowing up and becoming very popular over the last 5 years I have worked hard to try and introduce as many companies as possible to the market, to allow more modifications to be available.

See Also

2015 Chevrolet 2500HD LML Turbodiesel Duramax lifted truck for sale small
For sale: 700HP 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LML Duramax Turbodiesel

“When I first lifted my Old Forester, nobody had lifted Subarus. You could find a handful of pages on Instagram who had a lifted Subaru and that was all.”

For the last 6 years, almost any Mod that I’ve wanted that is normally easily available for a 4runner or similar vehicle I’ve had to make happen. Custom fabrication, fitting parts that are designed for other vehicles, going to companies to convince them to manufacture products for Subarus, and prototyping for companies has all been apart of almost every modification on my vehicle. Luckily the last few years lots of companies have hopped on board and there is now a fairly solid offering of aftermarket parts for the “Off-road Subaru” Market.

What do you love about your vehicle?
– I love that its unique, different, and mine. I know my Forester better than I’ve ever known any car, and it’s built to do exactly what I want with it. Plus I just love the thing.
Is it your daily or a weekend ride?
– The Forester is my Daily/Expedition Rig/Mini Baja Truck. The poor thing gets used heavily.
Do you take it off road? If so, where and how often?
– Hahaha yes. A lot. Mainly the PNW but all over the West Coast. The vehicle can sometimes be off road several times a week, but weekly very commonly.

Subaru forester steel offroad bumper & Warn VR-8S 8000 lbs Winch

Specs

2005 Subaru Forester XS
Engine specs & modifications
N/A 2.5L engine with a custom stainless steel intake pipe coming from the snorkel, and a custom stainless steel “high clearance” exhaust cat-back.
Lift height and suspension modifications
5 inches of lift in the front with 5.5-6 inches of lift in the rear. KYB struts and 4.5-inch strut top spacers with half inch lift springs in the front and 1-inch lift springs in the rear. 3-inch subframe drop to keep axles and driveshafts at correct angles. Rallitek Trailing-arm bracket mounts.
Wheel specs
Method racing 502 VT-Spec wheels (15×7, 5x100mm, +15mm offset) with General Tire 235/75/15 ATX tires. 10mm wheel spacers have been added to clear the bottom of the strut perch.

Exterior mods
-Custom Aluminum Front bumper
-Warn VR-8S 8000 lbs Winch
-Custom 1/4″ Aluminum Front Skid Plate
-Tailored Auto Styling Custom Half Wrap
-1990s Mitsubishi Pajero Snorkel
-Custom Retrofit HID Projector Headlights
-Vision X 40″ XPL LO PRO Light Bar
-Vision X Dura Flush Reverse Lights
-Roofnest Falcon 50″ Roof Top Tent
-Yakima Slim Shady 78″ Awning
-Yakima Rail Grab Towers and Bars

Interior mods
-Dometic CFX 35 Fridge
-Custom Plywood Rear Hatch Platform
-Rear Window Molle Racks
-Custom Blue Sea Fuse Block System
-X2 Premium AGM Group 35 Battery
-CB Radio
-Ham Radio Mount

Subaru forester 5 inches of lift in the front with 5.5-6 inches of lift in the rear

What are your future plans for this vehicle?
-Rock sliders and a rear bumper with dual-swing outs when I can afford it.
-More custom underbelly protection.
-A redesigned rear drawer/kitchen system.
-Rock Lights
-Side and rear area lights
-Lots of other cool stuff that will never happen because they don’t any use and are all cosmetic (hood scoop, rear hatch wing etc)

Anything else you would like to share about your vehicle or about the off-roading in general?
The most important thing for anyone to remember: no matter if your vehicle is stock or fully built, or if you’re heavily experienced or completely new: Get out and do what you love. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone’s journey will look different. But don’t let anything hold you back from doing what you love and want to do. Too many people get caught up in not having the latest gear or a fully built vehicle, that doesn’t matter. Get out, have fun, and grow from there.

“no matter if your vehicle is stock or fully built, or if you’re heavily experienced or completely new: Get out and do what you love.”

Vision X 40″ XPL LO PRO Light Bar

Watch the progress and find out more about this Subaru Forester project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @subaru_rob and website DiscoverNewExpeditions.com!

Stay tuned for more project reviews on Offroadium.com – Follow us on social media and share this write up if you enjoyed reading it!

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

©Offroadium.com 2020
All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top