Sucker Punch

Ok I’m going to be honest, I loved this Suby from the first time I saw it! It is common to see a WRX or STI lowered with nice fitment in the scene, and on the occasion a Legacy but this was outside the box altogether. John Gartland owns this 2004 Subaru Forester XT and has loved it since the day he bought it. John originally used this car for what is was for, stomping through the woods and helping to pull lesser vehicles (Ford Explorers =D) out of the mud when they were stuck. After trying out autocross, John decided it was time to do something a bit different and add some low and wheels to the mix.

John says many people know of him (or his Suby) in the tri-state area, and it is certainly easy to see why. This is one of the few Foresters that have been slammed, and not into a tree while off-roading, but into the pavement on a set of Megan Racing coilovers. Rounding out the four sides of this crazy box are a set of Rota SVN-R’s, 18×10 all around to be exact. The final offset sits at plus 30 and adds a very aggressive stance and look to the Subaru. John not only focused on the stance of his car, but decided to tweak the engine…….just a little bit.

This Forester is not only unique, but it is mean and clean. Rolling up on this car in traffic will stun you, but to see it pull hard is even more impressive. The cool thing about this funny looking SUV thing is that it shares the same 2.5 flat four that comes in the lethal STI. A few upgrades really stand out, how about a 2007 STI VF-43 turbo, the Brembo brakes, seats, and an original steering wheel from an STI. John basically has turned this off-roader into a full on street carver and if you happen to be a fan of rare fitted cars, you gotta love this one.


2007 STi VF-43 turbo
Grimmspeed external up pipe/dump tube (external wastegate; ceramic coated black)
Grimmspeed internal wastegate block off plate
Walbro 255lph fuel pump, stock injectors
SS Autochrome front mount intercooler
Grimmspeed manual boost controller
Kartboy light weight crank pulley
eBay oil catch can (modified with filter)
Mishimoto Subaru Forester XT Turbo Aluminum Performance Radiator
Mishimoto Subaru WRX and STI Aluminum Fan Shroud
Protuned by John Shafer at Akuma Motorsports LLC (260whp, 265wtq)
Kartboy short throw shifter with full bushing kit
Turnin Concepts trans crossmember bushings
OEM stock clutch
50/50 mix of Motul 75/90 gear 300 and Redline Shockproof (smurfsblood) in the stock 5mt trans
75w90 gear 300 rear diff fluid
3″ bellmouth ERZ downpipe with wideband bung
3″ custom welded cat-back exhaust to a Magnaflow muffler
SPT short ram intake
2006 STi bypass valve
NGK iridium one step colder spark plugs

Importology Forester front lip
5% tint on the rear 5 windows
N/A Forester hood primer grey (painting soon)
Forester sports rear wing
Stock grill painted black
OEM Forester splash guards
‘Garage XTI’ XTi badge on rear gate
2007 STi rear diffuser under bumper
Rolled and pulled fenders

Wheels & Tires
18×10 +30 Rota SVN-R’s in Titanium Chrome with 245/35/18 Yokohama S-Drives (summer)
17×8 Enkei RPF1’s in gold with 225/45/17 Kumho ecsta xs (race); 225/45/17 Dunlop SP sport 01’s (winter)

2005 STi seats
2006 STi steering wheel
Pioneer AVH-P23000DVD double din touch screen headunit
AEM Wideband AFR gauge custom mounted in front of shifter
Prosport boost gauge
2009 Legacy key (single key/fob instead of separate two)
Kartboy brushed aluminum shift knob
Aftermarket sunroof
Little-Trees Cotton Candy air fresheners (worth mentioning hahah)

2004 STi Brembo front calipers and rotors
Hawk HPS front brake pads
OEM SPT Stainless steel brake lines, both front and rear
Megan Racing coilovers: 6k front/8k rear (dampening at hardest setting)
Whiteline 24mm front and rear sway bars
Kartboy front and rear end links
2005 STi front lower control arms
2005 STi rear lateral links
Kartboy rear subframe lockdown bolts
Kartboy rear differential outrigger bushings
Whiteline roll center adjust kit
Subaru Pink trailing arms
Front strut tower brace
Whiteline steering rack bushings
Photos Courtesy of Nick Pro.

Photography by Nick Pro
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  1. Howa on said:

    Add the price of parts, and you just spent twice as much than a sti for an sti station wagon. Congrats @ about 260whp, my sti puts down 300 whp and 360wtq with a turboback and stock intercooler. You’re in reflashed stock evo x territory. Are you well known because they pick on you?

    • Charris90 on said:

      No, actually the forester XT, and the sit are both dohc. Exact same block/heads except the sti has forged internals.

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