I am the proud owner of a 94 Loyale, previously taken care of by another USMB forum member. He was an engineer, I am not, but he did a lot of work to optimize gas mileage, so the engine is in better shape than I would imagine most Loyale's at 260K mileage would be. See all details of previous work here:
So now I have the summer to get used to her and begin restoring some interior components that need a little love. But I also am planning ahead to next winter, where I intend to take her to Mt. Baker 3 out of 4 weekends a month. So thats about 3 hours driving, mostly highway, but then sitting in a cold parking lot with often 1 foot of new snow when you return. As I am not a mechanic or car tech, for all I know this vehicle may be perfectly fine for all of the above conditions, but I wanted to see if there were certain upgrades worth pursuing.
Specifically what I am thinking about is having the engine run reliably when it's super cold (although it never really gets east coast cold in WA). Being able to reliably heat up the car and defrost the windows (do people upgrade defrost components?). Wipers, making sure they are top notch, and the engine runs fine (is this a simple upgrade beyond quality wiper blades?).
The car already has a new set of snow tires and a 1 inch lift, so I'm thinking ground clearance is decent.
Lastly, and this is a long shot, but has anyone ever made an effort to decrease highway noise on a loyale? I saw the Safariwagon thread where the car was completely stripped to its metal frame and some sort of sound insulation added. Wondering if this is likely the only way to achieve this.
I also had hopes of even working with a mechanic to swap in an EJ22, but given all the work the previous owner put into her, I feel I should roll with the EA82 for a while.
Thanks in advance for any tips and experiences from you other snow and mountain lovers out there.