Just starting out, update. It's a long one......


New Member
Hi there everyone!!

Just thought i'd share with you all the progress of my new found hobby.........soft-roading.

I've had my Subaru Forester X 2006 for about 4 years now, and strangely in the last 6 months i've been keen on taking it a bit more off road.

I joined this forum a few months ago to get some tips and learn from people that have been in the game for years, and this has only added to my enthusiasm.

A friend of mine has just bought a Toyota FJ and he invited me to join him on a trip from Yarra Glen to Buxton, via Murrindindi.

Being aware that my car is only a "soft-roader" I investigated ways that I could make it a bit more able to go off road. The major advantage 'proper' off roaders have over my humble Suby is ground clearance. So after a bit of investigating, the easiest way to gain a bit more clearance was to fit off road tyres to it. I did my homework and settled on a set of BF Goodrich All Terrain KO 215/70 R16 tyres. I’d read some good reports on these tyres, so decided to invest. I was a bit worried about how tall a tyre could fit my car, but after seeing a video of my exact same car with these sized tyres on it, I was pretty sure.

Fitting these tyres instantly gave me a 15mm lift. Not much, but it was a start, and was relatively cheap too.

The day out on the trails was fun. we drove some trails and had a great time in the bush.

So, my thirst for more off roading continues.....

Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking a bit more into how I can lift my car. I’ve been online, ringing car mechanics and generally trying to get as much info as possible. I had a few questions. Why lift? How to lift? How much? Who to trust?

I’d seen everything from 1” body lift blocks to full on 8” custom chassis lifts. It was very hard to find info on lifting Suby’s, as they were not meant for ‘proper’ off roading. I got the general vibe that the higher you go, the more it costs and more you need to modify.

After absorbing all the info, I’d decided on a 3” lift kit from a mob up in Queensland and replacing the springs and struts with new ones. King Springs and KYB Struts came highly recommended.

I contacted the guys at King Springs and they put me in touch with CenterLine Suspension in Thomastown. Chris, at CenterLine, was super helpful and really knew his stuff. He was very wary about the 3” lift. What effect it would have on the CV Joints and how would it effect the roll of the car. I could see his concerns.

Chris was pretty confident that the King Springs he’d fit would increase the clearance of the car by about 20mm minimum and not effect the CV Joints.

So, i bit the bullet and left my car in his hands.

2 days later I returned to see my car. The transformation was amazing!!! He’d taken my car from a 6yr saggy bottom gal and lifted her an amazing 5cm!! Yep, a full 2”!! It’s totally changed it’s handling too. No bobbing before she settles and no diving while steering. It’s like a new car.

So, my “soft-roader” is slowly getting a little meaner. I’ll never be able to afford a new proper 4wd, but I can play along a little.

Today we drove the Fords crossing on Ractliffe track out at Lerderderg. It’s the most techy track i’ve driven and it gave me a chance to test out the cars new clearance. It was perfect.

What have i learned? Ask questions. Gain information. Get get second and third opinions. You get what you pay for. Buy local and support local.

If you are just getting into off roading and want to make your car more capable, start small. Tyres are the best and cheapest thing you can do to gain a bit of height.

What’s next? Well, i’ve joined the Subaru 4wd Club Victoria and I’m doing a 4wd skills day down near Angelsea in late Jan. Then it’s just up to me to get out there!!

Bring on 2013!!


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Active Member
Good one Frug - the Subies are great cars that can be modded to do a lot more than most people would expect.

Keep us apprised of progress.