Undercar protection

Submitted: Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2749 Views:3727 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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We are looking at travelling around Australia (mainly in the north and west) for 6 months next year in a Subaru Forrester. The Forrester has relatively low clearance (obviusly) and a plastic sump guard. Has anyone got an opinion on whether it is advisable to get a metal sump protector installed? We are complete novices with limited funding so don't want to be spending unnecessary money. Thanks.
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Reply By: OziExplorer - Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00
Really depends on how you drive. Because the speed sign says 100km, does not mean you have to go at 100km/h. Spending the majority of my time on country roads, and just returned from 1,000k's on country roads, you see the fruit cakes doing 100k's or more on a road that is safe at 85k's. Even in the bush off-road, I travel at a speed suitable to the conditions. If there is a rock or obstruction that may not pass under my vehicle, I get out and do something about it. I don't rely on steel bash plates to do the work for me.

Depends on how much bush bashing you are going to do, and how intelligently you do it. You have to know when it is time to back off and say, 'this is far enough for my car to go and time to turn around'.
AnswerID: 10345

Reply By: Joe - Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00

While you hope it would never be required on a touring trip a bash plate could well save you from sitting by the roadside somewhere with a cracked sump and it good insurance.

A company called SubaXtreme make strong aluminium sump guards for the Forester. Look up importers for them on the net.

Also, make sure that you have good tyres and shockies before you start. Bridgestone D693 A/T tyres will fit and I have seen a very favourable write up.

If you want to discuss things Subaru with a knowledgeable guy I can put you in touch with one. Mail me and let me know.
AnswerID: 10355

Follow Up By: Cj - Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00
The first modifications I made to my Forester were 1. Fitted a steel sump guard. 2, Fitted Bridgestone D693 A/T tyres.
Odly, after fitting sump guards as standard for about 20 years, now Subaru dont even offer one as an accessory?? I fitted one off an earlier 'L' or Liberty (some small easy changes need to be made to these guards) Although the alloy guards Rowena mentioned look good, they are very expensive and the alloy will crack when hit hard - steel bends. If you drive carefully you will probably never even scratch it - but Subaraus dont have a lot of clearance and it is easy to hit a rock crossing a creek etc. I spent a lot of time looking at tyres - they have to be A/T's at a minimum! In the end I chose the DD D693 because of reputation and price - they were $25 cheaper than all others from a Bridgestone Centre.
The other major change I have made is fitting Fulcrum/Kings springs all round - they have a higher rating (load carrying) and give about a 25mm lift. The shockies are still standard 90 000 km - they were tested by Fulcrum and are still good as the car had it easy in its 'previos life'. Have a look at the Qld Subaru Web page - some ideas on where to take the Subi on a holiday!
Cheers from Colin - near Bungendore NSW

FollowupID: 5431

Follow Up By: Rowena - Wednesday, Jan 01, 2003 at 01:00

Wednesday, Jan 01, 2003 at 01:00
Fantastic tips - thank you. Did you (and can you?) also fit a roo bar to the Forrester? Although we don't plan to drive at night I am still concerned about damage to the car.

Joe - I would be interested in talking to someone knowledgable about the Forrester.
FollowupID: 5444

Reply By: Allyn - Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 31, 2002 at 01:00
I live in the pilbara and can tell you first hand that there is EVERY chance that you will hit a roo or at very least be unable to avoid a carcass on the road because of oncoming traffic which will leave you stranded on roadside as previously pointed out. I would go for metal bash plate if I were you given the limited clearance. You really couldn't imagine how many people get stranded with kangaroo damaged vehicles.
AnswerID: 10361

Reply By: Joe - Wednesday, Jan 01, 2003 at 01:00

Wednesday, Jan 01, 2003 at 01:00

E-mail me on joe@joemcdermott.com and I will pass on the contact address. I don't want to publish his e-mail address without his OK first.
AnswerID: 10390

Reply By: CJ - Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00

Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00
Rowena - on roo bars, there is of course 2 points of view on these! I live in a area where roos are plentiful, (especially with the drought they come to roadside for feed) but I don't have a bar - I drive with extreme caution at night and have a good set of driving lights adjusted so the beams cross over to 'see around corners' and light the road side. If I could afford one I would have one that replaces existing plastic bar therefore maintaining or improving the approach angle. Naturally it is sensible not to drive at night in the North anyway. If you are travelling to the West contact the WA Subaru Club - http://www.subaclub.com/ - they have done trips to many of the popular places and you might be able to join in on a trip. Some trips I have done with WA are - Pilbara(incld. Rudal River NP east from Nullagine) - CSR (through Jigalong, Durba south to Well 5 and out via Carnarvon Ra.) Coffin Bay NP SA incld viewing eclipse from Lake Everard) They are also a Subaru ONLY Club and have many members with technical experience on all Subaru models - old and new.
There is also a Yahoo Group for Foresters - http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/subaruforester/
I am off on a 3 week trip to Tasie soon, then planning to do a Vic high Plains trip (probably Tom Groggin to Davies Plain)
If you would like some more details on modifying an older model Subaru sump guard drop me a line colin.johnson69@bigpond.com
Enjoy your trip - PS What part of Aus do you live?
AnswerID: 10575

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