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Pamela's snow wagon


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26 replies to this topic

#1 SoobieDoo

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 12:48 PM

It's official...we now have a fleet of subarus! :banana:

We just bought a very clean '87 GL wagon from Scott, to build into a capable snow rig for our move up to Mt. Hood, Or. Currently Pam drives a full-size bronco, which is good in the snow, but not for a long commute at 12mpg best. :eek:
She's not currently interested in joining the forum...well see how long that lasts!

Plans are to NOT destroy it off-road. This car will primarily be a commuter, and is only lifted to tackle the white stuff.

*EJ22 with SJR adapter plate.
Not included in the sale, but will be added sometime this summer. The stock motor 'aint gonna cut it on this one! Hwy 26 has a true speed limit of 65, with some long, steep grades, bigger tires, and fuel injection for those cold starts.

*15" STEEL pugs.
I'll have to piece together a set, but I've got a lead on one or two. Probably powder coated, due to the rarity of them. If I can find enough, maybe a spare set for mounting studded tires.

*Tires
We're thinking 29-30", No bias ply. A/T's studded, summer M/T's not.

*Custom or ATV snow plow.
The driveway won't be plowed because it's private, and even this rig won't tackle the 4+ feet of snow at times. We'll see how long my back holds up before this is done!

*Heated OB seats and remote start.
This is my wife's car...only the best for her. :)

*Spare welded diff. or quick disconnect axle.
Obviously a welded rear is not ideal for commuting, but may be needed to plow snow and for play. I may work with Scott to design a shear axle to prevent damage, and also serve as an easy, quick disconnect for leaving the W3.90 in.


http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=1058

#2 Markus56

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:38 AM

for a commuter, you should get 27's instead of 30's. and drilled rims work great. save some money on pugs for something else

#3 eulogious

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:01 AM

*Heated OB seats and remote start.
This is my wife's car...only the best for her. :)


For the remote start, I installed the Valet 562T model I believe and it works great! Picked my unit up used for $20 off ebay! I converted my power door locks to "progressive" meaning press unlock button once it unlocks drivers side door, press unlock again unlocks all the doors. I still have all the documents and diagrams I used to install all the features in it, so if you go that route I can e-mail them to ya. Here's the thread where I got alot of usefull info:

http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=105193

The heated seats seem like a cool idea, let us know how that install goes. If it's fairly simple, I will probably to that myself. Seems like a cool upgrade, no pun intended ;)

Congrats on making a subie fleet! Sounds like this should be a fun project and be pretty cool when it's all done! Good luck!

#4 The Dude Abides

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:13 AM

If you were worried about simplicity for your wifes car you should just go LSD. Granted not as good as welded but you dont half to worry about your wife blowing axels all the time. And if you have gas mpg in mind keep it under 28 inches on the tires. I dont think youll need more then this. You have got the right idea about the engine. I have 27s on my subaru and the stock ea82 fi doesnt like the added weight. It really only likes me in the car. Legacy motor is the way to go.

+1 on the legacy seats, looking forward to that write up.

#5 SoobieDoo

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:38 AM

I believe Scott said those are 30 or 31's in that pic...they look great, but if 27's don't look like doughnuts under that lift, they would be better for commuting. I might just put the 6-lug on it from the other rig. This one's the pimp car, then I can bolt up the generals, and see how they look. I'm fine with drilled rims on the trail wagon...it's getting uglier by the day anyway. :headbang:
An LSD never occurred to me, that's a great idea. How well does the LSD perform in the snow compared to welded?
Killer price on the remote start...I was expecting much more than that! I'll have to look over that link in detail soon. Thanks for the suggestions, guys, keep 'em coming!

#6 The Beast I Drive

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:36 AM

An LSD would be great for commuting or just dinking around with 30" tires, but you saw how worthless my LSD was at Walker... With 27's though it should work just fine, but bigger tires just have too much leverage over the clutch friction.

-Bill

#7 The Dude Abides

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:53 AM

I would agree with beast. If its just a commuter - snow wagon i would think the lsd would be great. But any extreme wheelin and i would go for the welded. As far as tires the only thing i would say is that if they looked really small under that huge lift it would be a turnoff for me.

#8 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:27 PM

Plans are to NOT destroy it off-road. This car will primarily be a commuter, and is only lifted to tackle the white stuff.


Get an LSD. It will be alittle more forgiving. A welded rear diff will make the rear end step out, even in 2WD and will make driving for your wife that much scarier.

#9 Bash

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 08:20 AM

Remote start, I thought they were recomended only on automatic cars with FI engines. What is the plan for the standard with carbed engine?

#10 SoobieDoo

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 10:48 AM

LSD it is then. I don't mind putting some moolah into this one...my trail wagon is the "cheap" build. Pam doesn't care about preserving this car as much as I do. :lol:
I don't think she'd currently take it off road without a roll bar, but maybe after a few more ride-alongs.

Remote start, I thought they were recomended only on automatic cars with FI engines. What is the plan for the standard with carbed engine?


This car was SPFI to begin with, and the engines been pulled already. I wouldn't even try remote start with a carb! As for the automatic recommendation, I don't really care. She'll learn very quickly not to leave it in gear! It will prob only be used in our driveway, nose up on a 15%? grade, with the ebrake on.

#11 monstaru

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 12:11 PM

an VLSD walks on snow and ice less than a LSD does....i vote VLSD .

if she gooses it more than she should she will end up sideways without a blink.i guess it depends on her driving expertise.
can she drive?or not?(relative question)cheers, brian

#12 SoobieDoo

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 12:23 PM

an VLSD walks on snow and ice less than a LSD does....i vote VLSD .

if she gooses it more than she should she will end up sideways without a blink.i guess it depends on her driving expertise.
can she drive?or not?(relative question)cheers, brian


Oh yeah...she's prob more experienced than I. My hometown portland/metro area doesn't get much compared to here. She used to drive large American RWD's with baldish tires in it so... :eek:
The VLSD would sure be easier and cheaper to get, though. That would just require hybrid axles, correct?

#13 r_kirky

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 06:35 PM

Get an LSD. It will be alittle more forgiving. A welded rear diff will make the rear end step out, even in 2WD and will make driving for your wife that much scarier.


Agreed. when I played in the snow with a welded rear end the car was way worse off than the guys that were running completely open. I say leave it open, and save yourself the cheddar.

#14 SoobieDoo

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:27 PM

We'll probably go VLSD, unless I happen across an LSD in a yard. :rolleyes:

#15 SoobieDoo

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 05:29 PM

It has begun in earnest! :banana:

The power plant will be a '96 EJ22. It's ideal for this car, being one of the more powerful of the 2.2's, while still being non-interference...I believe. The only downside is the more complex OBDII wiring, which I'm working on over here:
http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=115361

Since starting this thread, Pam had taken the wheel at Walker valley and liked it, so the diff will need to be welded. A pulled axle, and 3-wheel-peel should be fine for daily use. If I'm understanding this correctly, it's ability in 4WD will be the same as an open diff? Updated pics to come shortly!!!

#16 michael appel

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:38 PM

Just to butt in to everyones rant lsd does not mak it better for snow open is actually better if you are going bigger power plant with a lsd you have to give power to get it to slip and that will get you sideways or even more stuck. I have drove through snow with 2 wheel and front and rear drive cars and I believe it is the driver vlsd is the better of both because power can be applied slowly and it switches with the slip locked will only dig or get you sideways unless you know your rig really well and nothing is good on ice ever unless you got chains and lots of torque and low gearing but other then that going up hood is isnt that hard I actually go out and make my own trails through snow its fun cant slip and always backing up lol

#17 SoobieDoo

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:05 PM

Butt right in there, Micheal...you're experience is welcome!
Several guys agree that VLSD is best in snow, but my dilemma is having it capable off-road as well. Maybe I'll just go buy that new Subaru air locker. :rolleyes:
I believe I answered my own question about the welded diff with pulled axle: it won't be as good as an open diff, because it can never transfer any power to the other wheel. Still, that's even more traction than FWD, and it alone does quite well in the white stuff. I'm leaning back towards the quick-disconnect/shear pin axle idea. Pam doesn't want to be the guinea pig, but I could test it first on the trail wagon, both commuting and at Walker valley. 3-wheel-peel for plowed roads, etc, or fully locked in minutes!!! A couple of 1"? pipe flanges, damn good welds, and a selection of different grade bolts for shear testing should do. :grin:

#18 SoobieDoo

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:41 PM

K, I'm all moved and getting settled now, so time to get this project rolling...
The Snow wagon is finally home!!!

Posted Image


Posted Image


Posted Image


The 2.2 and SJR adapter are in now (actually done before the move, thanks for the help Scott), and the wiring harness just needs power and grounds soldered up. :banana:


Posted Image


Posted Image


I'll need to buy a few parts to get her roadworthy: alt, p/s pump & lines, radiator, fans, etc. Tires will be 235/75R15's on drilled alloys. Think I'll give these retreads a try with the Kedge Grip option. Apparently they'll wear 15-20% faster...but I don't care for the price, if traction's better.

http://www.treadwrig...5r15-atg-c.aspx

Posted Image

These are AT's!!!?!!! :slobber:

#19 Idasho

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:50 PM

Cool project!

Ive heard nothing but good things about treadwright, those tires should do you real well! And as aggressive as they are, I dont think you will even see a need for the LSD.

#20 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:15 AM

I like it. Looks great!

#21 Gloyale

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:21 PM

I'm leaning back towards the quick-disconnect/shear pin axle idea. Pam doesn't want to be the guinea pig, but I could test it first on the trail wagon, both commuting and at Walker valley. 3-wheel-peel for plowed roads, etc, or fully locked in minutes!!! A couple of 1"? pipe flanges, damn good welds, and a selection of different grade bolts for shear testing should do. :grin:


It's pretty easy to just pop an axle in one side.

Jack up the rear, (helps to have Hi-lift and good bumper) slide the axle onto the stubs and drive the pins, then drop her down.

Depending on the model and lift, you may need to unbolt the lower strut bolt to let the wheel drop a bit more. I never need to on mine but I've seen others that do. It depends on the drop of rear diff relative to the subframe.

Either way, to me it seems easier than making a shear axle. Plus with how often axles break, you would want to be able to replace it easily.

Another Idea. Leave the diff open. Bolt in a Welded diff if and when the car get's taken to Walker (or other) Swapping the whole diff car be done very quickly. 7 bolts.

#22 SoobieDoo

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:28 PM

It's pretty easy to just pop an axle in one side.

Jack up the rear, (helps to have Hi-lift and good bumper) slide the axle onto the stubs and drive the pins, then drop her down.

Depending on the model and lift, you may need to unbolt the lower strut bolt to let the wheel drop a bit more. I never need to on mine but I've seen others that do. It depends on the drop of rear diff relative to the subframe.

Either way, to me it seems easier than making a shear axle. Plus with how often axles break, you would want to be able to replace it easily.

Another Idea. Leave the diff open. Bolt in a Welded diff if and when the car get's taken to Walker (or other) Swapping the whole diff car be done very quickly. 7 bolts.


I actually made and tested the shear axle on my other wheeler.....and my welds weren't nearly good enough. Don't think it made it even 100ft up the first trail before it snapped, and that was with just (2) 3/16" grade twos holding it together. :eek:
As for the diff, I am just leaving it open for now, and probably putting the original open one back in my rig for the winter. Like you said, it's easy enough to swap diffs, and install an axle, but for regular winter driving open's prob better than locked anyway. 3ft of the white $hit expected here this weekend!!!

Thanks for the nice comments, guys...but it will look just a tad better with some 29's on there. :rolleyes:

#23 kanurys

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 02:45 PM

I was looking at the Treadwrights, as well, to put on my AA rims. Right now I'm running 235/75/15 Firestone AT's on old re-drilled Montero rims. I had to do some trimming and inside-fender-well pounding with those, but they will fit.

I can't wait to find an EJ...:slobber:

#24 SoobieDoo

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 07:34 PM

I was looking at the Treadwrights, as well, to put on my AA rims. Right now I'm running 235/75/15 Firestone AT's on old re-drilled Montero rims. I had to do some trimming and inside-fender-well pounding with those, but they will fit.

I can't wait to find an EJ...:slobber:


Yeah, they'll fit just fine. The first pic in this thread has 31's on it. I've got 16" rims for it now though, so will probably go with 235/70R16....about the same size.

#25 SoobieDoo

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

Finding this in the JY made up my mind for me on traction possibilities:


Posted Image

:grin: :banana: :eek: :lol: :) :slobber:

Rear disk brakes are next, if still there on Friday!




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