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A '92 Legacy Story to Tell!-The True Test of a Subaru!!!
Posted 23 July 2003 - 12:52 AM
I was moving from Dallas to Starkville, Mississippi to possibly go to school there at the advice of a friend. So I sold most of my furniture, etc, and decided to take what was left; you know, pics, some cookware, etc etc. When I bought my Subaru, it had a tow kit already installed. So I figured I could get a ball and tow a U-Haul trailer with it. Not knowing the exact weight limit of the hitch, I just went with the Class 1, and got a 4'8' trailer. I loaded the trailer on May 31 and headed for Miss. via Houston(my little brother was graduating high school). So I headed off to Houston from Dallas with the trailer lights coming on intermittently and finally me and my friend Mike realized that it wasn't grounded properly with the chains...adjusted the chains and it worked just fine...though no turn signal on one side...go figure.....Made it to Houston just fine, and I took off the trailer to drive around town. Now, you have to remember that this trailer was fully loaded and it was damn heavy. I could feel the pull in the Subaru though I have to say it handled it pretty well for an 11 year old car and having 155000 miles on it......On Saturday, I noticed a sort of whining sound in the engine...checked the oil, half a quart low, checked the belts, front diff. oil, and tranny oil...all fine.......loaded up and headed out to Miss down I-10 and then up I-55 to Jackson......We stopped in a town called Iowa, Louisiana and had lunch, to gas up, and then headed out......this time of year in Louisiana is HOT so we indulged and turned the air on, which works ok, but not nearly as well as the FrigidAire in my old '69 Velle, (sorry Subie lovers!) Anyhow, about 15 miles east of Iowa, traffic starts getting thick and slowing down and I hear a *noise* in the engine...and then I notice that the brake light and battery light are on...damn, what could this be? I told my friend Mike who immediately shouts out, "It's the alternator!"...well, we get a couple more miles to stop under a bridge so as to be spared from the sun and get out to see what the problem is.....I open the hood to find the alt. is smoking profusely......I've never seen one smoke like that.....so we call Highway Patrol and they come along and ask us what's up......they help us get some numbers for local Auto Part shops....none of the towns on 15 miles either side of us have Subaru parts..they must be ordered.....we call to Lafayette to the Auto Zone(one of two there) and they don't have the part but the other one does. So, we contemplate what to do. The Officers explain that in about 6 hours the shoulder is going to be ripped up for construction...can't leave the Subie there.....hmmmmm.....so I take a chance....I unplug the alternator and start it up...no lights on, the cars running fine.....we get up to the next town....the cop says, maybe you can make it far enough to get to a hotel room.....Oh, I forgot to mention that one of the redneck cops made a comment that I find kind of funny. He said "Suuuubbbaaruuuu, hmmmmm, I'll bet the alternator's worth more than the car" and I replied "Hmmm, Chevy makes the parts for these cars, I guess it should be worth something" He wasn't pleased. Anyhow, we continued on our trek...the car made it to Lafayette, but we didn't see a town...I asked my friend Mike what to do: he said, keep driving, hell we might get off the highway and end up in the ghetto......so we continued to drive...I knew if we made it to Baton Rouge, then we could definately get the alternator and fix it......all the while we're paranoid about the battery and turned off all unneccesary electrical devices.....
If you've never driven down I-10 going to New Orleans, this is just a side note here: there's about a 30 mile or so stretch of swamp before you hit Baton Rouge. The Atchafalaya Bridge, I belive it's called. There are call boxes every two miles if you break down. It's that deserted. We got this Subaru on this bridge doing 80 miles an hour so we could get across it and not get stranded on that bridge. I'll be damned if we didn't get across that bridge and the car started losing power. I stopped the car(still running) and plugged the alternator back in, hoping it might have some life left in it yet.....we creeped along the shoulder for a mile or so before the engine kicked back in and we had full power again.....We managed to get to the bridge before you enter Baton Rouge...it spans the Mississippi River..and wouldn't you know? the car starts losing power again, able to only go 20 mph or so.....so we have a choice: either attempt to cross the bridge into civilization or exit and not be for sure if we can get into town.......I put my life in my hands at this point and said "F*&% it" and got on the highway....people honked, we're almost getting hit by cars....Mike is sweating bullets and I'm gripping the steering wheel so hard, my knuckles are white....a semi nearly rams the back of us...but somehow, the old Subaru had life in her yet and lurched us across that bridge....we exited the first exit and had a choice: right or left...we went right...into downtown Baton Rouge....we saw a Chevron station and I said "That's where we're stopping" and we did. And wouldn't you know, it was the ghetto!! Through more drama involving a cab, a street person and getting a jump from drunk college kids(LSU was nearby) we got the Legacy back on the road with a new alternator and belt and made it to Starkville by 3 or 4 am.
All I have to say is WOW...the Subaru went over 90 miles with no alternator, carrying a loaded 4' X 8' trailer, two big men(I'm 6'0, 250 and Mike is 6'2, 280) and still got us where we needed to go....I don't know too many cars that can do that these days........I'm proud to own my Legacy, no matter what shape it's in, and I hope you liked my story!!!
Posted 23 July 2003 - 06:49 AM
I'll agree with ya. These cars may have issues here and there, but the hell you can put them through before they die die is quite a bit.
I know that bridge too....there is absolutely NOTHING out there, and yes it's uber hot out there this time of year.
I've made about 7-8 long cross-country trips in my sube, and several of those were with the car loaded down with pretty much all I owned, and she didn't mind cruising along at 90+ mph
Posted 23 July 2003 - 02:06 PM
Whif...whif...PHEW! Fried diodes anyone??
It lasted 11 years and 174,000 miles. Unplugged, I only had to drive ten miles to my local Sube dealer...not quite as epic a journey as yours
Gotta love Legacies, as Josh says they may have faults - what ten year plus car doesn't? - but somehow they never leave you stranded.
Posted 23 July 2003 - 04:07 PM
Must'a taken a while to type up too!
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