Run Forrester, Run! | Dominique’s STI Swapped Subaru Forester

4 Posted by - January 9, 2015 - Features

Unique builds, we love em. We wish we could feature more of them! To me, they are one of the marks of a real car enthusiast. You don’t need to necessarily build from a unique chassis to be considered a “real enthusiast”; you can still build your S13 and be a real enthusiast. However, you must recognize the subtlety of other builds, the things done to underrated chassis’, and the quality of things done to cars that fall under the radar.

Dominique’s Forester is exactly the type of build we’re referring to. I’m sure you’ve all seen 2nd generation (2003-2008) Subaru Foresters done up in STi spec. They look awesome, and they can be crazy scary sleepers. They have been gaining popularity in recent years, but even they only have a handful of feature worthy examples.

Dominique’s Forester is a 3rd generation Forester, and I had NEVER seen any from this generation done up in STi spec. When I first began following his build on Instagram, I knew it needed a feature. From afar, it may look like a normal Forester with some wheels. Put let me post a pic of a typical 3rd generation Forester XT:


Now that you have that image in your head. Lets hear what Dominique has to say about his build.

What inspired your build?

What inspired me to build this Forester is to have a one of a kind Forester. Before getting the Forester, my dad and I had been eyeing on a Subaru WRX STI but we ended up getting a Forester XT because we needed something to fit the whole family in. The Forester XT already comes with a turbo, which gave us a little taste of the STI. A couple years later, my dad passed down the ownership of the car to me and after that, I have started putting mods on the car. After putting so many heavy mods in the car, the engine blew due to lack of tuning. The car was left in the garage for months till I thought about either selling it, rebuilding it, or swapping it. I contemplated for months until I saw an article about Subaru almost making an STI version of a Forester called the XTI, then I just decided to swap it, making my own version of the 2009 Subaru Forester XTI concept.


What are some hardships you went through to make the build possible?

The hardships my dad and I went through to make this build possible was trying to come up with the money and time to complete the build. During December of 2013, my dad and I discussed on how we can afford parts to make it an XTI. I managed to find a salvaged STI on an online auction. We were able to win the car for $8,000, but before we could get the car, we had to get a loan from the bank for 8k. We took a huge risk on purchasing a salvaged car, let alone purchasing it for $8,000. By the time the car came, my school had already started for spring semester and it was difficult for to me work on the car because i attend school at SDSU and the drive was 2 hours away from my house to my school. So my dad ended up taking over the build. We really had to be smart with our time because, I was in San Diego most of the week and my dad had work. My dad spent most of his days building the car. I was able to help my dad on the weekends, when I came home from school. After 6 long months, we were able to finish the car.


How did the build shape you as a person?

This build really tested me, because not everything we planned for the car worked out. It shaped me to be a very patient and dedicated person. There was a lot planning before we even started the build and right when we started, we were already running into some issues. We did not know what to expect, we just planned. It really took some patience in the beginning because we had a plan set and our plans did go the way we wanted. It took time to plan everything over. Once we were able to start the build, it was smooth sailing from there. It just took time and dedication to actually complete the build


What did you learn from it?

What did I learn from this experience? I have learned a lot of about the car and its parts. Learning the functions on each specific parts of the car and able to assemble and disassemble it. Figuring out the troubleshooting and fix it is the toughest part to do, but I manage to learn from it. This experience have taught me so many things like how to maintain a vehicle and learned from my mistake that I made from the past. I’m happy that this project was built in the right way.



I would like to give a special thanks to my dad who helped me most of the build, without him this build would never happen. I would like to thank my little brother, my cousin and my friends who helped out to do the heavy lifting. Lastly, I would like to give thanks to CARSXHYPE for the opportunity to let this car be featured in their site.

Mod List:


2010 STI EJ25 engine

2010 STI differential

STI 6-speed manual transmission

Stage 2 clutch

GFB Blow-off Valve

Perrin Crank Pulley

Tomei V2 Downpipe

Perrin Alternator Cover Belt (Red)

HKS Headers

K&N Typhoon Air Intake

Turbosmartwastegate actuator 7 psi

OBX catback-exhaust system

STI Strut Bar




Megan Racing Lowering Springs

2010 STI Brembo front and back brakes (calipers & rotors)



Subaru JDM Side Under Skirt

Subaru JDM Front Grille

Subaru JDM Roof Spoiler Kit

Subaru JDM Waist Spoiler Kit

Subaru JDM Front Bumper Skirt (Sport)

Custom Rear Underskirt



2010 STI Front (driver &passenter) seats

2010 STI steering Wheel

2015 Subaru STI shift knob

Subaru SPT short-shifter

Subaru STI SI-Drive

Cobb Accessport V3

Subaru SPT Boost Gauge



Work Emotion XD-9 18×9

Muteki SR48 Lug Nuts (Neo-Chrome)

Bridgestone Potenza 245/40/R18

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