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2003 Subaru SG5 "Lowerster"

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My problem is that I tend to tinker / tune any car I get so what started off as a stock 2003 Forester has slowly evolved into this.


This is how my daily currently looks - Non-turbo / Automatic / GroceryGetter. My Lowerster. 




Changed from when I purchased her:

* New Engine
* New Transmission

* New Headlights

* Factory Tweeter pods in mirrors

* Factory Double Armrest

* Factory Subwoofer

* Yellow LED Foglight Bulbs

* LED Tailight Bulbs

* New Head-unit w/ Bluetooth & Wireless Charging + Hands-free calling

* 2005 WRX STI Struts

* Tein Lowering Springs

* 2004 Silver WRX STI 5x100 17" BBS Rims

* Front Forester Emblem Overlay
* 2005 Outback Steering Wheel

* Tinted Windows 

* Removed AWD badges on side pillars


Final things to do:

* Install remote start

* 2005 WRX Clockspring to make the horn and airbag work with the swapped steering wheel. 

* Replace passanger Side Fender

* Locate New Drivers seat / Repair Drivers Seat

* Install 2nd Rear Dome light into cargo area.



Now that were all caught up - here is the update for today:


I sccored a 2003 Non-LED Wing + Hatch. Took more than a year and a half of searching to find a good one. I was beginning to consider picking up one from eBay - but many of them will need to be sanded / resprayed and came with an LED & I would have to bother with drilling into my stock hatch rather than just swapping them. Neither of which I wanted.





got it home yesterday and shoved it in 'the shop'




I got busy today with some debadging




and found there are 2 little holes under the "FORESTER" badge on the trunk. Why Subaru!? (simple to help with alignment but, damn it)



Fortunately that's the only spot that will have to be patched / color matched, but the entire thing is going to see a good clean and the other side of a buffing wheel before it goes on the car. 





Got most of the junk off of it and posed for a reflection selfie to snag the picture. I'm going to do some cleanup and hit it with some goo-gone to get rid of the leftovers. I'll do that outside because I don't want it absorbing into the untreated floors of 'the garage' so I will wait for the rain to end.

Anyone know an easy way to removed old crispy / brittle bumper stickers? I'm thinking the first step is heatgun/ blowdryer treatment. 

Edited by BrothersGarage
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As I stated before, I swapped out my stock steering wheel to a leather WRX steering wheel. Problem is that the clock-spring connector on the wheel is different than that of the connector on the stock Forester harness. So this week I picked up a 2004 Legacy steering wheel and clock-spring which should get rid of the SRS light in the dash and airbacg in the WRX wheel currently in the car. 




I finished debadging the trunk that I got and gave it a good wipe down. 






Next step is taking out the heat gun to tackle the old brittle sticker currently still on it, and plugging the holes from where the stick "Forester" badge is on the trunk. 



Edited by BrothersGarage
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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Bro came over and we banged this shit out in like an hour and a half and I can't be happier with how this shit looks!


Got some extra helper time too! On the new hatch he got busy with disconnecting all the electronics


And then helped me yank off the one that came on the car off


Found out that the original had it's glass busted out of it's rear window at some point and was missing like a good 1/3 of the clips on it, so I snagged the missing pieces, and traded up with the best plastics.  



The got her all aligned and pieced together.


Shot of the stickers covering the stock holes for the badge. 


New profile


Even better is Bro managed to get that fucking WAG MORE sticker pulled off! I didn't get more pictures as I had to leave and go help a second friend move his girlfriend into her new place, but the outside is getting close! Everything needs to be hit with a buffing wheel and a clay bar to get all this sticker shit that's left on it off.  Going to take it to get the rear hatch tinted to match because it feels like I'm driving a tube down the street right now with the front and new rear window not tinted lol

Edit for more pictures





Edited by BrothersGarage
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ordered some Glovebox parts from Japan - in this case only available in Russian eBay - tired of having papers that I'm required to carry and those that are just good to like napkins. 




this is what the factory glovebox looks like once opened. it appear that I am going to have to cut in some mounting locations for this glovebox tray.




the glovebox still shuts with this installed but you can see where I will have to notch holes in the glovebox




Edited by BrothersGarage
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  • 2 months later...

Heater went out and since that shit is kinda important during winter, it's time to fix the problem and get that tray shit taken care of as well.



yeahhhhhh that is likely why the theater isn't working. 



and that's because someone who worked on this previously used 3/8" shit to repair what looks like a clip that failed. Time to keep an eye out at the wrecking yard the next time I am out. For now I cut back the wire and cleaned it up and replaced it with new 3/8th connectors. 

Since the glovebox was out to address the fan, a good deal of checking back and forth with the drill and dremel to create 4x monopoly house shapes in the top of the glove box



after testing to make sure the heater fan was working as intended I got it all buttoned up and chucked the important files up top in the glove box


Edited by BrothersGarage
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  • 6 months later...

I've been rockin a lowered 05 saabaru noon turbo for like 5 years as my daily.  I just picked up an 06 turbo that was front end wrecked.  Got some work to do, but I'm a big Subaru fan.


Back a few years i manual swapped an svx and drove that around for a while.  I would love to find a 70s gl/dl wagon with the round headlights to play with one day too.


I also can't stop playing with my daily drivers.  Need better focus.



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  • 2 months later...

JDM Passenger side pocket gives the driver a lower side pocket as well, saw it cheap so I picked it up.


Easy peasy swap. Just unclip the front lower, unbolt the 2 screws in the front, drop the panel below the steering wheel. 


Then it just unclips and slides out. You may need to re-route some of the wiring in the center council to get yourself the correct space on this side. I installed a factory sub woofer under the drivers seat and the factory harness was right in the way. I just unclipped it, and moved it and re clipped it back in. Otherwise it's an easy install where you clip it back in, and then bend yourself into an uncomfortable position to hold it in place while you put the screws back in place, and then reattach the under steering wheel dash and now you have an extra pocket.


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Those are cool pockets.  I'm not really familiar with the foresters, so i didn't know about those.


Would you be willing to measure the height of the shortest part of that panel and the tallest part?


Im interested to see if they would directly interchange with my Impreza side plates.

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here's a rough drawing of the dimensions for the forester "passanger" side panel from Japan / Europe:


You may be able to message @foresterparts on instagram and request they snag you a Euro / JDM (they import as well)  pocket for an Imprezza/WRX if this won't work for you.

It fits a wallet or iphone snugly. 

Edited by BrothersGarage
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  • 11 months later...

So when I bought the car, I never intended for it to be 'perfect' as it was supposed to be the daily but that doesn't meant you can't tweak or fix the little things that bug you. 

That said, on the front bumper - someone who owned it before me must have caught a curb and scraped a hole in the bumper by the driver fog light, and creased it as well. 


Couple that with about 2 years or so ago when a Methhead on a bike who decided to do a front flip over my car and ruin my passenger fender,  so I've been on the lookout for good used OEM parts to replace the annoyances. I managed to track down a silver passenger side fender, and a friend of mine hit me up the other day and told me got a Forester parts car with a nice front bumper, so I went and snagged it from him for a 18 year old bottle of Pendleton and headed home to get into this shit. 


You can see here that I managed to push out most of the dent fron the idiot running into the fender, but it was still creased by the door, and had a nice wavy Z over the wheel arch. Ruse started to set into the under side and it was beginning to flake and it pissed me off every time I saw it so I'm glad to get it taken care of. Pulled off the lower fender spat area that came with the car, and used some 3m auto tape to attach it back at the top like it was from the factory.


(You'll notice that it no no longer has a pinstripe, but I kinda wanted to remove it from the whole car anywho so that will be something to do somewhat soon.) Someone also installed those little rubber bumper guards previously but I don't know if I want to keep those one either so I will likely strip all of those off the car at the same time I'm removing the pinstripe.


Muuuuuuuuuuch better. You know what comes next:


There we go.  Hopefully that will solve the eye tick I had every time I walked past the front of the car. 

Wasn't completely done for the day. Like many cars with the untreated plastics, mine are pretty faded, so after gettin her all back together I washed her down and while she was drying I headed to AutoZone and picked up some faded plastic restoring stuff from Maguire's that I heard good things about.


Wanted to try out the ceramic style so it wouldn't have to be re-done every 3 months. Followed the directions of the CMX Ceramic Trim Restore annnd this is how it came out:


Like fucking dogshit. 

This is the top bar area on the car for where the luggage rack bars go across. You can see where the bars used to be attached on the right, where it looks great - but the faded areas that I wanted to at least 'match' ended up dull and streaky. This is after a buff with a microfiber cloth too...

So I will wait 24 hours and try another application to see if it actually does any better - otherwise I'm going to chemically strip it and try something else, but first impressions are "give me my fuckin money back". 

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On 8/16/2021 at 2:32 PM, BrothersGarage said:

Wasn't completely done for the day. Like many cars with the untreated plastics, mine are pretty faded, so after gettin her all back together I washed her down and while she was drying I headed to AutoZone and picked up some faded plastic restoring stuff from Maguire's that I heard good things about.


Like fucking dogshit. 


Back in the day we always used peanut butter.  😁


The oil in it soaks into the plastic and makes it nice and black again. We would rub it in, leave it on for a bit, then pressure wash it off. 

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4 hours ago, datsunfreak said:


Back in the day we always used peanut butter.  😁


The oil in it soaks into the plastic and makes it nice and black again. We would rub it in, leave it on for a bit, then pressure wash it off. 

I've used the ole peanut butter trick on a carbon fiber hood who's clearcoat had faded and it worked like a charm. May give it a try after I try the chemical guys stuff that I have on the way. 

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  • 1 month later...

So no more fuckin around with damaged UV plastics, I grabbed some of this awesome stuff offa Amazon:


Directions say to use their detergent to remove all traces of oil and grime, so did that, then taped everything off. Here you can see the 'waves' in the UV damaged bumpers


Comes with a shitty little paint brush but just take your time as it has about a 20 minute cure time. Here you can see first coat vs none


Here is how it dried after the fist coat - kinda streaky but even so, drastically better


After going up and down with the first goat I went horizontal with the second. You can see how much darker it is now. 



I will likely hit it with a 3rd coat to just really finish it off tomorrow but this is doing great. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

The black is holding up really well so far. Looks great from 10ft away. 

Last week I ordered a fuel pump for the green 521 and decided to 'splurge' on something else for the daily - a new key / integrated fob - and went and got it cut today with the Lonely Driver killswitch key for the green 521. 


This works for any Subaru owner that wants to move to an integrated key - you just have to find the correct style key blank for your model. For a 03 Forester it uses a "57497AG48A" which will work in Legacy / Outback / Tribeca / Forester.

After it's cut - since the older vehicle does not have an immobilizer in the ignition, you can pair it like any other fob device. You do the ole - put a key in the ignition and switch from Off to On - 10x fast and you will hear the horn honk, open and close the drivers door, and then hit the lock or unlock button on the key - and enjoy your new fangled tech. 

Guide found online for connecting to scoobies stock system:


Edited by BrothersGarage
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