Questions for a friend purchasing an '02 Forrester.

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Jim Whall, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Jim Whall

    Jim Whall Guest

    Howdy all!

    I have a friend who is looking into getting an '02 Forester, or
    possibly an '02 Impreza. He is going to be using them for mainly
    cruising around northern Michigan roads, and it is down to them and a
    CR-V. As I am the more usenet literate of either of us, it came to me
    to ask the questions. I'm a Jeep guy so please forgive me if I butcher
    some terms. :)

    Q: The Subaru AWD system seems alot better than the Hondas, but there
    are a couple things that are confusing. Subaru says it has
    'symmetrical AWD'which would imply that it distributes power across
    axles as well as between axles (cool!). My question is how? I have
    done a couple hours of searching but the most I can get on Subaru AWD
    systems is a few years old. I have read that Subaru uses a viscous
    coupling for what I think of as its center diff, but what about across
    the axle itself? Does it use another VC? The ABS?

    Q: Is the 2.5 litre engine an interference motor?

    Q: Is there any advantage to getting the stick vs. the Auto? And does
    that change the AWD system?

    Q: Any huge advantage to getting the Forester vs. the Impreza? (Other
    than the WRX which, try as I might, I wasn't able to talk him into).

    Q: Is the VC center diff sensitive to tire pressure differences; i.e.
    if he doesn't keep his tires at similar pressures damage can result. I
    know that some of the earlier JGC's that used this had some problems
    along this line.

    Q: Is the AWD system a full time variable split between the front and
    rear, or is it more of a reactive system with the power favoring one
    side, like the Hondas?



    Jim Whall, Aug 26, 2004
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  2. Sparky Polastri, Aug 26, 2004
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  3. Jim Whall

    S Guest

    Hi Jim!

    Mmmmm, I think all that they mean by "symmetrical", is that the half
    shafts are the same length on either side. The AWD, at least as found
    on the '02 Forester/Impreza, has a sealed viscous coupling between the
    front and back, a mechanical limited-slip of some description
    (probably also viscous coupled, but I wouldn't swear to it) in the
    rear. The front diff is open.
    Folks I know that have AT Soobies seem to like them. I prefer a stick,
    as I feel it gives me better control of power delivery to the wheels,
    and more options as to where in the engines RPM range I am operating.
    In the end, I'm sure it's mostly a matter of personal preference. I
    will comment that if you spend much time in stop and go traffic, the
    AT is less tiring to drive, and probably less wear-n-tear on the
    drive-train as well. The '02 Forester clutch is known to have some
    issues; the one in m'ladys Forester started getting "shuddery" (that a
    word d'ya suppose?) at around 25K. It's no worse, really, now at 60K,
    but I'll probably put a new one in before winter hits, just to be on
    the safe side.
    The Forester has a bit more cargo room than the Impreza (as compared
    to my WRX wagon; considerably more than the RS sedan), but only a bit.
    Also a bit more headroom, and better ground clearance. Other than
    that, they share a common chassis, engine, and drive-train. The
    seating position in the Forester seems a bit more upright than that in
    the Impreza, but they feel remarkably similar other than that.
    You have to run tires with the same rolling diameter, +/- some small
    amount. Unless one tire is very nearly deflated, tho, I doubt
    differences in inflation would cause problems.
    Don't know. Anyone?

    ByeBye! S.
    Steve Jernigan KG0MB
    Laboratory Manager
    Microelectronics Research
    University of Colorado
    (719) 262-3101
    S, Aug 26, 2004
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