Subaru Forester - '18 XT

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Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

Thanks for the tips @Wawa Skittletits and @njedgexj !

I looked at the Wyeth-Scott model, and while it seems like a great piece of kit, it's way out of my price range (I'm still a student; textbooks are expensive and the 91 octane I need for my engine ain't cheap)! :wink: Still, I want to be safe and effective with what I purchase...

I've been looking at the Hi-Lift and I like it as a tool for things other than jacking (e.g. log splitter, come-along, ability to pull things apart, push things together when doing metalwork). I can get one at a good price locally, and I was thinking of buying a Lift-Mate to supplement it. The Lift-Mate would fit into the steel wheel's holes. Since I don't have a steel bumper, I could jack it up there, and rest it on a jack stand to change a tire.

The other option I'm considering is a small bottle jack, and one of the two Maasdam cable pullers I had linked earlier (144SB-6 or 6000S models). As far as weight goes, the Hi-Lift comes out to about the same as the bottle jack + Maasdam option. The 6000S can pull 3 tons, but both have good safety margins; the smaller 144SB-6 has a minimum break strength of 8,400 lbs. when used in a double pull. Both of these cable pulls comply with ASME/ANSI B30.21 specs, which covers the design and testing of handwinches. My understanding is that each winch must be tested at 125% of the rated capacity to be in compliance.

If I had to chose between these two options, what would you recommend?
 

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njedgexj

Rank I
Member

Traveler I

233
Florida, NY, USA
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Johnson
Member #

17144

My first jeep I got stuck all I had was a hi lift and the winch kit. Took a awhile to get unstuck but it did the job. I have also used come a longs to move stuck vehicles before I got a winch. Hi lift is a good multi purpose tool. It's always nice to have a few options with you.
 

Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

My first jeep I got stuck all I had was a hi lift and the winch kit. Took a awhile to get unstuck but it did the job. I have also used come a longs to move stuck vehicles before I got a winch. Hi lift is a good multi purpose tool. It's always nice to have a few options with you.
Glad to hear about your experiences! I'll wait to hear what others have to say as well about the Hi-Lift and the Subaru, but it certainly sounds promising. I've always been ambivalent about them because I've heard a lot of horror stories, but at the same time, I figure if you're safe and don't put yourself in the handle's line of fire, you'll likely be fine.

Really nice build!
God job on the roof rack.
Well done!
Great conversion of the trunk.
Have fun!
Thank you, and welcome to Overland Bound! :-)
 
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Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

So today was the last day for the Hi-Lift jack being on sale. I bought it, and it turns out I can borrow my friend's Lift-Mate. I'll give it a try over the weekend to see how it suits my vehicle. I'm thinking it'd be useful to help slip my traction boards underneath, and as a short, 4-ton come-along, and as a jack in muddy ground (Lift with Lift-Mate, then slip a jackstand and board under). Not to mention, I can use this for other domestic purposes around the home).

That said, the Hi-Lift is unwieldy and heavy for a Forester. The handwinch option is still appealing though. The 4000lb Maasdam has a 2x safety factor (minimum break strength is about 8400 lbs). I understand a minimum 1.5x safety factor is necessary for winches, straps, etc. Does this apply to the rated capacity, or minimum break strength? If the former, that means I'd want a 6000 lbs minimum winch, correct? So the (massive) Maasdam 6000s, correct? I can get one of those for $100... the Wyeth-Scott and Lug-Alls are $450 plus unfortunately. Not something I can afford right now.

Cool build man! We did something similar with ours :) View attachment 85370
Looks fantastic, dude! Love that sink setup. Nice to have everything - including the kitchen sink - inside a Forester, ain't it? ;)
 

tyleromyah

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

So today was the last day for the Hi-Lift jack being on sale. I bought it, and it turns out I can borrow my friend's Lift-Mate. I'll give it a try over the weekend to see how it suits my vehicle. I'm thinking it'd be useful to help slip my traction boards underneath, and as a short, 4-ton come-along, and as a jack in muddy ground (Lift with Lift-Mate, then slip a jackstand and board under). Not to mention, I can use this for other domestic purposes around the home).

That said, the Hi-Lift is unwieldy and heavy for a Forester. The handwinch option is still appealing though. The 4000lb Maasdam has a 2x safety factor (minimum break strength is about 8400 lbs). I understand a minimum 1.5x safety factor is necessary for winches, straps, etc. Does this apply to the rated capacity, or minimum break strength? If the former, that means I'd want a 6000 lbs minimum winch, correct? So the (massive) Maasdam 6000s, correct? I can get one of those for $100... the Wyeth-Scott and Lug-Alls are $450 plus unfortunately. Not something I can afford right now.


Looks fantastic, dude! Love that sink setup. Nice to have everything - including the kitchen sink - inside a Forester, ain't it? ;)
Yes!
 
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Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

Been a while since I last made an update... Things have been keeping me busy at university, but I had time to install a solar panel!

92166

Began with some vinyl wrap and knifeless tape to follow the contours of the hood bulge.

92167

I then applied 3M VHB tape to the rear of the panel. The VHB will adhere to the vinyl; so if I need to remove the panel, I remove the vinyl, and not my paint job.

92168

I sealed the edge with silicone, and am waiting on a new solar controller. Once that gets here, everything will be wired in.

92169

Thanks for looking! Better pics will be here soon.
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,077
Greenville, SC, USA
First Name
Jeffrey
Last Name
Dill
Member #

15578

Ham Callsign
W4FOZ
This is an amazing build!

Have you had any "opportunities" yet to test out the 6000s and see how well it does for getting you out of a tough spot?
 

Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

This is an amazing build!

Have you had any "opportunities" yet to test out the 6000s and see how well it does for getting you out of a tough spot?
Thanks man! No opportunity for the 6000s as I didn't end up getting one. I figured it'd be better to spend my money on a Dometic fridge (CC40), 2" lift, and skid plates. I'll keep off the rougher stuff for now ;-) but I can say, my traction pads have gotten me out of every deep bit of mud I found myself in. Out of the two times I found myself in door-sill-high mud and didn't make it through, the traction pads took me the rest of the way. One of them did break though (X-BULL), so I've got to get that replaced.

The fridge was absolutely worth the money though. As a student, I have little money to spare, but the thing pays for itself even when I'm not overlanding. Planning on buying the lift, then a rear hitch, hitch gate, and probably an electric winch that'll slot into a 2" receiver on the front or back. I'm thinking this is the best option as it's portable, so I can use it around the house for yardwork too.

Took some pics of the rig today:

96767

Really enjoying the solar panel. It's 30W and keeps the spare battery float charged, plus it can run the fridge. Add some portable 60W solar and the fridge can run indefinitely.

96772

Went to a lot of work to make sure form follows function. The fridge is latched down tightly, but can unlatched relatively easily to access some compartments underneath, or just removed. The sink (a repurposed stainless steel flowerpot) drains to a small grey water tank, and out through a port in the bottom of the vehicle. The spare tire will be moved to the outside - "the hold" it was in has been emptied, and provides A LOT more storage space. Also, the moose head/bottle opener swings out for easy access.

96773

The pull tabs are some inexpensive leather ones from IKEA. They look good, and make it much, much easier to grab stuff with winter gloves on.

96774

Princess Auto has these great stainless steel pop-up tiedowns for truck beds. They're half the price of most others, in their clearance section, but much better quality, IMO.

96775

The fridge, ampmeter, 110v outlets, 5v outlets, and switches for the pump/filter and inverter. I've had this fridge for the past month, and really enjoy it. Definitely one of the best things I've spent my money one, just wish it had proper anchor points. Right now, I plasti-dipped the ends of some carabiners, so they don't cut into the plastic handles.

With the inside more or less complete, I'll be adding a 2" front, 2.5" rear lift, plus skid plates.

Thanks for looking!
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,077
Greenville, SC, USA
First Name
Jeffrey
Last Name
Dill
Member #

15578

Ham Callsign
W4FOZ
Thanks man! No opportunity for the 6000s as I didn't end up getting one. I figured it'd be better to spend my money on a Dometic fridge (CC40), 2" lift, and skid plates. I'll keep off the rougher stuff for now ;-) but I can say, my traction pads have gotten me out of every deep bit of mud I found myself in. Out of the two times I found myself in door-sill-high mud and didn't make it through, the traction pads took me the rest of the way. One of them did break though (X-BULL), so I've got to get that replaced.

The fridge was absolutely worth the money though. As a student, I have little money to spare, but the thing pays for itself even when I'm not overlanding. Planning on buying the lift, then a rear hitch, hitch gate, and probably an electric winch that'll slot into a 2" receiver on the front or back. I'm thinking this is the best option as it's portable, so I can use it around the house for yardwork too.

Took some pics of the rig today:

View attachment 96767

Really enjoying the solar panel. It's 30W and keeps the spare battery float charged, plus it can run the fridge. Add some portable 60W solar and the fridge can run indefinitely.

View attachment 96772

Went to a lot of work to make sure form follows function. The fridge is latched down tightly, but can unlatched relatively easily to access some compartments underneath, or just removed. The sink (a repurposed stainless steel flowerpot) drains to a small grey water tank, and out through a port in the bottom of the vehicle. The spare tire will be moved to the outside - "the hold" it was in has been emptied, and provides A LOT more storage space. Also, the moose head/bottle opener swings out for easy access.

View attachment 96773

The pull tabs are some inexpensive leather ones from IKEA. They look good, and make it much, much easier to grab stuff with winter gloves on.

View attachment 96774

Princess Auto has these great stainless steel pop-up tiedowns for truck beds. They're half the price of most others, in their clearance section, but much better quality, IMO.

View attachment 96775

The fridge, ampmeter, 110v outlets, 5v outlets, and switches for the pump/filter and inverter. I've had this fridge for the past month, and really enjoy it. Definitely one of the best things I've spent my money one, just wish it had proper anchor points. Right now, I plasti-dipped the ends of some carabiners, so they don't cut into the plastic handles.

With the inside more or less complete, I'll be adding a 2" front, 2.5" rear lift, plus skid plates.

Thanks for looking!

I love the solar panel implemention. On top of the vinyl wrap protecting your paint, it also makes the solar panel blend in to where you almost wouldn't even notice it was there.

That's a great idea about a hitch-mounted winch. I'm in the same camp as you about not wanting to drop a crazy amount of money but still want to be safe and prepared.

Do you getting any rubbing from your tires? My next bigger purchase is going to be a lift as well and I'd like to go up to 225/65R17s at that time (factory on my 2010 Foz is 225/55R17), which are just a hair taller (about a half inch) than the 215/65R17s you're running.
 
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Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

I love the solar panel implemention. On top of the vinyl wrap protecting your paint, it also makes the solar panel blend in to where you almost wouldn't even notice it was there.

That's a great idea about a hitch-mounted winch. I'm in the same camp as you about not wanting to drop a crazy amount of money but still want to be safe and prepared.

Do you getting any rubbing from your tires? My next bigger purchase is going to be a lift as well and I'd like to go up to 225/65R17s at that time (factory on my 2010 Foz is 225/55R17), which are just a hair taller (about a half inch) than the 215/65R17s you're running.
Thank you! Coincidentally, the blue of the solar array matches the blue of my Subaru badge, and I think the vinyl fits nicely with the rest of the vehicle. I used a Lensun solar panel, and if you want flexible panels (which I'd definitely recommend for vehicles) they're the way to go - they have excellent build quality and higher quality materials (e.g. PTFE, fibreglass) compared to most other panels. Good prices too! I'm going to add a little waterproof junction box behind the front bumper so I can plug a portable solar array into it, and set it away from the car while camping. That way, the cabin can stay in shade, while the hood and portable panels can stay in the light. I'm finding it's these little details which don't necessarily cost a lot of money, are the ones that make all the difference in user-friendliness and practicality.

I'm really enjoying these tires. I'd recommend them to anyone. I do get very slight rubbing at full lock and only when going over a rock or curb, but I also have mudflaps. Without them, I'd be fine. With a lift, you can definitely go bigger. I think there's a chart for that on the ADF website.
 
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Jeffrey Dill

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,077
Greenville, SC, USA
First Name
Jeffrey
Last Name
Dill
Member #

15578

Ham Callsign
W4FOZ
Thank you! Coincidentally, the blue of the solar array matches the blue of my Subaru badge, and I think the vinyl fits nicely with the rest of the vehicle. I used a Lensun solar panel, and if you want flexible panels (which I'd definitely recommend for vehicles) they're the way to go - they have excellent build quality and higher quality materials (e.g. PTFE, fibreglass) compared to most other panels. Good prices too! I'm going to add a little waterproof junction box behind the front bumper so I can plug a portable solar array into it, and set it away from the car while camping. That way, the cabin can stay in shade, while the hood and portable panels can stay in the light. I'm finding it's these little details which don't necessarily cost a lot of money, are the ones that make all the difference in user-friendliness and practicality.

I'm really enjoying these tires. I'd recommend them to anyone. I do get very slight rubbing at full lock and only when going over a rock or curb, but I also have mudflaps. Without them, I'd be fine. With a lift, you can definitely go bigger. I think there's a chart for that on the ADF website.
Awesome. Have you noticed any increase in road noise with the Falkens? I'm either going to go with those or the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015s.
 

Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

Awesome. Have you noticed any increase in road noise with the Falkens? I'm either going to go with those or the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015s.
No, not much more noise! I was actually pretty surprised how little the change from the stock Dueler road tires to the Falkens made in that respect. I'm also considering Geolandar A/T's for a summer off road/mostly highway driving tire. I love the Falkens and don't want to wear them down too fast (they're also my winter/off-road tires, since they're severe snow service rated) but I've heard all sorts of conflicting things about the Geolandars' capability. Consider the Cooper A/T tires too. I'm still undecided about what I'll go with.
 

Baipin

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

Took the Subaru out for the first real trip of the season; traveling throughout Ontario and Quebec. I spent most of my time along the Ottawa Valley overland route, which can be found on graveltravel.ca. I am honestly, very impressed with this vehicle. It got me through a lot of nasty weather and terrain, and was very comfortable to live out of!

Some photos. (This camera shoots in IR and visible light, though I lost my IR filter at the beginning of the trip, hence the peculiar tonality):

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99247

99248

This was the gnarliest section I had to drive through. It went on for hundreds and hundreds of feet, and was about a foot deep in some sections. The Forester - and those Falken Wildpeaks - handled them like a champ!

99249

Setting up camp near Brownville, QC was a nice way to end the day.

99250

Some of the shots in colour infrared...

99252
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,077
Greenville, SC, USA
First Name
Jeffrey
Last Name
Dill
Member #

15578

Ham Callsign
W4FOZ
Took the Subaru out for the first real trip of the season; traveling throughout Ontario and Quebec. I spent most of my time along the Ottawa Valley overland route, which can be found on graveltravel.ca. I am honestly, very impressed with this vehicle. It got me through a lot of nasty weather and terrain, and was very comfortable to live out of!

Some photos. (This camera shoots in IR and visible light, though I lost my IR filter at the beginning of the trip, hence the peculiar tonality):

View attachment 99246

View attachment 99247

View attachment 99248

This was the gnarliest section I had to drive through. It went on for hundreds and hundreds of feet, and was about a foot deep in some sections. The Forester - and those Falken Wildpeaks - handled them like a champ!

View attachment 99249

Setting up camp near Brownville, QC was a nice way to end the day.

View attachment 99250

Some of the shots in colour infrared...

View attachment 99252
Super cool pics! The black and white ones have a very Ansel Adams-esque feeling to them. That last color IR pic is beautiful.
 
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