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Moving back to salt country. Subi question?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 SUBARU3

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:30 PM

I have in motion a plan to return to my home state, PA. I'm debating on car usage during the bad winter days.

I have 2 AWDS. (1) 1995 Impreza sedan Auto 2.2 and (1) 1995 Legacy sedan Auto 2.2. Which of these 2 would be better on snow/ice? Also both these cars are rust free TX cars and I'd like to keep them that way for a long time! Is one of these more prone to rust than the other? Where do I need to take special precautions at with washing, etc during the winter? I love these cars and HATE to even use one in the winter. Maybe I will buy a beater.....then again some consider a 95 car a beater. Well, they are not to me and don't even have 100 K on them yet!:headbang:

Obviously my vintage collection will NEVER be on treated roads! Nor will my 2WD Impreza.

Thoughts?

Thanks guys!

#2 1982gl4

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:55 PM

Imprezas seem to rust a bit faster than the legacys, at least from my experience. A good undercoat will go a long way in preventing rust. Some people use oil based products, this year I used fluid film which is lanolin based, but I can't tell you how it holds up yet as its the first time I've used it. Washing the salt off periodically will help. I usually do mine once a week or so depending on weather. Mud flaps can be a good investment. Keeping salt off your car and rocks from chipping the paint can go a long way. A good coat of wax can help as well. Both of your cars will do fine in the snow/ice. I've always found the imprezas a bit more fun in the snow though..... :brow:

But if you don't want them to rust, don't drive them in the salt. Buy a car you dedicate to the winter. Even driving the beaters in the salt makes me cringe. As my friend puts it "You can hear your car rusting as you drive"

#3 bratman18

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:03 PM

A huge key is to wash well after a storm. Wait till the roads have dried up for the most part, and then wash well! Up in the wheel wells, and the underside. But yes, a good coating of some sort of protectant is a must. I'd have to agree and say the Imprezas seem to rust a little faster, but they both seem to rust in the same spots. Rear quarters, and then down into the rockers. Good luck on your move!!

#4 l75eya

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:08 PM

2wd imprezas actually do pretty good in the snow if you air down the front tires to about 15 PSI.

Little tid-bit.

#5 TOONGA

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:35 PM

Not sure if you want to do this but oil inside every panel is an old one thats used here in Australia to stop rust. Any type of oil is fine (don't use fish oil unless you like the smell), most people use old engine oil. the trick is to fill a degreasing gun with oil and a thinner of some sort then go for it. pull the indicators front and back, open up door trims anywhere you can get into areas where there is an internal space.

Make sure you do this somewhere that you don't mind excess oil dripping out of the car.

Tar based sound deadeners work a treat as well on the underbody, but it is best to put this on before oiling the car :)

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#6 SUBARU3

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 06:48 PM

Some good advice here! Thanks!

I wonder why the Imprezas rust faster? Gosh I have 7 cars and I hate to buy a beater on top of it! But I just hate to use my loved babies.

Question....is it pretty safe to drive in the winter on dry roads, or does the salt linger for some time after a storm? I understand that wet roads reconstitute the salt and cycle starts all over again, but how long does it take for the roads to "washoff" and the salt be rinsed way off the road?

#7 ShawnW

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:36 PM

I would drive the Legacy in the Snow and I would equip it for that function. I would practically park it in the Summer months and "garage" policy that and flip it with one of the classics in the summer. That's how I do it and the insurance is much cheaper that way. They charge me like $6-8/month for a garage policy which covers the car if someone breaks in and steals it when its parked and that kind of damage policy.

I don't honestly think either is better/worse for rusting but an Impreza is harder to come by and I like a manual in the snow more.

Parking on a paved surface really helps. I don't think a garage is necessarily better but dirt is pretty awful.

#8 SUBARU3

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:21 PM

That's a good idea Shawn.

My fleet is this:

95 Legacy LS AWD sedan
95 Impreza LS AWD sedan
95 Impreza L FWD 1.8 coupe...(my high mpg Subi)
91 Legacy LSI sedan
94 Astro Van Extended
81 Plymouth Champ LS "twin stick" 1.6
79 Dodge Colt custom " twin stick" 1.6
79 Subaru wagon 5 speed FWD DL
78 Subaru wagon automatic FWD DL

How in the hell did I get all these cars??? :banghead::banghead:

#9 grossgary

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:24 PM

I hate to buy a beater on top of it! But I just hate to use my loved babies.

i wouldn't buy a beater. properly maintained i think you can stave off the rust on yours. if you get a beater you'll want it to be a non-rust belt variety anyway so it doesn't test your resolve with rusty fasteners, drilling, torching, and welding. complete waste of time - spend that time maintaining yours properly. if you do get a beater, find one with no rust.

rinse often (kind of hard when it's butt cold, damp, humid, windy, and miserable for a month though!).

i would clean them well and have one dedicated for snow service. wash up under the wheel wells/fenders and make sure you don't have debris up under there. sticks, leaves, etc cram up in there and hold water/salt up against the metal. clean it all out.

the rear quarters rust in the same place all the time from the inside of the fender well - properly treat that somehow, i'm sure some brilliant folks here with body/paint work will point the way if asked. that would be a great thread to read. let's start one. i've got 4 legacy's with that rust right now (as new as 2002 and 2003).

I wonder why the Imprezas rust faster?

i think impreza's are generally less cared for because they were cheaper cars and lower end models in general.

I can see the perception though - but I don't think it's necessarily true..or I woudln't say it like that. "correlation does not mean causation" comes to mind. due to rust and unavailability of old stuff, the market doesn't support or hold on to cars nearly as long. old 80's stuff is junk out here, they've all rusted away so they appear archaic to a majority of people. i see some impreza's owned by folks who really wish they were STi's and drive them/treat them as such. you can find them chrome clad and winged up on craigslist. i think some of those things may add to the perception.

but - i also have a bunch of legacy's right now with severe rust in the quarter panels, so they are easily prone to it as well. 4 to be exact, 95, 96, 2002, 2003.

Question....is it pretty safe to drive in the winter on dry roads, or does the salt linger for some time after a storm? I understand that wet roads reconstitute the salt and cycle starts all over again, but how long does it take for the roads to "washoff" and the salt be rinsed way off the road?

it's fairly safe - the water "delivers" it to the road. it washes off fairly quickly but this also depends on a lot of factors - even down to how the locals use salt. some salt heavier than others. if you live close to a government building with critical operations or hospital they care about or a ski resort you'll see more salt than back country road hill billy country.

doesn't take long to wash off in general, it's very obvious and "white" on the roads in areas that salt heavily.

#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:27 PM

I would buy a local car (go south to VA, not quite so much salt used here) and use it as a winter beater. Park the nice ones for better weather. If you value them, keep them away from the salt. It will find EVERY little crack and crevice and the rust will take over, even with any coatings you can manage to spray on the car.

What's one more car to your fleet? :-p

#11 SUBARU3

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:32 PM

Wow...this is becoming a neat thread! Thanks Gary for the added insight! I do believe that I will select a "snow service car" and maintain it WELL. Most likely the legacy.

I know that I am REMOVING that rubber trim that both the Imprezas and the Legacys have on the rear wheel well lip!

The vintage suff will be placed in ziplock bags in the attic during the winter! :clap:

#12 ShawnW

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:45 PM

I just don't think its financially sound to buy one for winter service versus just sacrificing one and taking care of it. You hate rust as much as the next guy so starting out with a clean one and taking the years you can with it being that way is just as beneficial and one less car to buy. Of course if you haven't moved the fleet yet-then selling the two or 3 newer cars before moving them from Texas might be smart and then buy one 1.8 AWD 5spd Impreza for winter service.

#13 1982gl4

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:54 AM


I know that I am REMOVING that rubber trim that both the Imprezas and the Legacys have on the rear wheel well lip!


I go both ways on that rubber trim, I left it on my most recent legacy. I took it off from my last legacy, and found out the hard way that the sand put on the roads can take all of the paint off in that area in one winter. I greased under it on my newer legacy, and I take it off to wash the salt out every so often.

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:37 PM

When I moved form Oregon to Wisconsin for a few years, I bought an already rusty 85 GL-10 Turbo for a winter beater.

Saved my nice rust free Subarus for summer trips.

Seems like you have enough cars that devoting one to a winter car isn't a bad idea.

A 95 legacy from texas, started in the salt from here on out, will not really show real rusting signs until 2020 or so. By that point, it may be old enough to sell and get another.

My point is either buy a dedicated beater, or pick one, drive it in winter.....it will last many years before the rust really sets in.

#15 SUBARU3

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:38 PM

That's a good point. Now I have to choose which one gets a death sentence!

#16 grossgary

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

A 95 legacy from texas, started in the salt from here on out, will not really show real rusting signs until 2020 or so. By that point, it may be old enough to sell and get another.

My point is either buy a dedicated beater, or pick one, drive it in winter.....it will last many years before the rust really sets in.


that was the underlying thought to my response. seems improbable you'll have them all for 20 more years so doesn't seem that practical to me to worry about it too much - as you said - hand out that death sentence and move on. yeah it'll suck a tiny bit - but at least it's protecting all the others. around here the higher probability of loss lies in a deer collision.

that was a good point too - what is one more car? that's why i have so many! but if you've got a non-rusty fleet i'd also go ahead and milk that awesomeness for what it is and keep it that way! working with rusty fasteners is a debacle. i had to have two shipped from CA and TX for that.

#17 SUBARU3

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:10 AM

I guess the trade off "rusty car for family" will be worth it. Life is short and some rust on a car is kinda down a ways on the list of priorities. But we car people love our cars! They are like children in a way!

I'll just call in sick on snow days!:headbang:


Now tell me....why do people seems to like the the 5speed AWD better than the 4EAT? I understand the difference between manual and automatic, but does the 4EAT not do well in snow?

#18 porcupine73

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

Question....is it pretty safe to drive in the winter on dry roads, or does the salt linger for some time after a storm?


Well the salt basically hangs around until in the spring sometime after there have been at least a few good heavy rains. Else you will still see the white salty crust on the sides of the road. That might be ok to drive on if it is perfectly dry, but there's almost always some puddles or slush in a parking lot etc.

5speed AWD better than the 4EAT? I understand the difference between manual and automatic, but does the 4EAT not do well in snow?

Well the older anyway 5spd manual center diff is purely mechanical. The 4EAT has a computer controlling the power transfer. I've never driven a manual soob, but I will say the 4EAT works just fine in the snow. In my opinion it works much better on the 90's soobs then it does on the 2000-2004 soobs. I don't know, they did something starting in the 4EAT phase II that makes it not want to seem to power the rears the same way they used to, like it is much less agressive.

#19 The Dude

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:20 AM

I guess the trade off "rusty car for family" will be worth it. Life is short and some rust on a car is kinda down a ways on the list of priorities. But we car people love our cars! They are like children in a way!

I'll just call in sick on snow days!:headbang:


Now tell me....why do people seems to like the the 5speed AWD better than the 4EAT? I understand the difference between manual and automatic, but does the 4EAT not do well in snow?


Good question. Conventional wisdom is that an automatic is better in the snow and on ice than a manual. One big plus for an automatic is the ability to multiply torque, with a manual you just burn the clutch.

#20 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:10 PM

Now tell me....why do people seems to like the the 5speed AWD better than the 4EAT? I understand the difference between manual and automatic, but does the 4EAT not do well in snow?

Having driven both in the snow I can say I didn't notice any major difference between my 96 MT and my 95 AT (which I no longer have). The AT was just as able to climb the hill I live at the bottom of as the MT is. My test is to stop completely in the middle at the steepest part, then start going again. Both did so without slipping even a small amount. If I put the right foot into it all 4 wheels will spin, and the car accelerates quite nicely uphill, albeit a little sideways. :burnout:

Normal driving and cornering on snowy/slushy roads was no problem for either, even with cheap all season tires. Emergency braking is a bit of a task, but is manageable. Normal braking is fine except for going down a steep hill, the ABS is a little intrusive, which is where some dedicated snow tires would make a large difference.

Overall, it is a bit easier to start the auto going uphill without spinning, but even with some wheel spin, both still proceed in the desired direction with little trouble.

#21 grossgary

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:04 PM

Now tell me....why do people seems to like the the 5speed AWD better than the 4EAT?

they don't. "People" prefer auto's. forum members, car enthusiasts lean more heavily towards manuals.

does the 4EAT not do well in snow?

the 4EAT is great in the snow. tires make the biggest difference. i own both and both seem about the same in snow, but prefer the 4EAT's all around, more control, prefered traction, less maintenance, more reliable. i can install a switch and have it fully "locked" at all times when I want it. which i prefer for the unmaintained mountain roads. can't do that with an MT. i'd like to know more about the MT's 4WD responsiveness - like how quickly they lock and how long they stay locked.

#22 SUBARU3

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:45 PM

Good discussion and points! I would think the auto would have a bit more control. Besides I'm getting older and clutching becomes a pain!

I find it interesting that the 90's AWDs seem better than the new ones.

Todd

#23 porcupine73

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:33 PM

I find it interesting that the 90's AWDs seem better than the new ones.


I'm talking specifically 4EAT phase I vs at least the early 4EAT phase II. Later than that might have more improvements. I would think those with traction control and open diffs would be the best, because then it really can transfer power from the 'wheel' that slips to the 'wheel' that grips.

And not just how they used to say the 'wheels' that slip to the wheels that grip, which really just meant the front pair or wheels and the rear pair of wheels.

Now I don't know how they would necessarily fair for example if the front wheels were in a ditch and you were trying to back out. Whether it could spin the rears would be interesting.

#24 Gloyale

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:51 AM

i'd like to know more about the MT's 4WD responsiveness - like how quickly they lock and how long they stay locked.


They don't lock.....ever....

The center diff is a Viscous Limited Slip. It will grab and transfer some power, just a hair at first and then more as it heats up from slip......

But it never fully locks. So if you are super stuck it's not a true 4wd.

The autos are better for this, assuming the transfer clutch is working (they do seem to wear out eventually)

The thing I like better about manuals in the snow is decelleration via engine braking.....i.e creeping downhill in gear, rather than riding brakes.

#25 grossgary

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:10 PM

The thing I like better about manuals in the snow is decelleration via engine braking.....i.e creeping downhill in gear, rather than riding brakes.

i hear you, that's the most treacherous part of my commute the steep downgrades. back end kicks out on those unmaintained nasty's and you can't get it back. why not downshift auto's?




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