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About travelvw

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    Ozarks, MO
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  • Biography
    80's Japanese, please!
  • Vehicles
    Lifted WRX, '79 Brat, and a couple of Toyotas.

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  1. I don't know much beyond the 02-07 Impreza and that brace, which I never gave much thought to before...so here is an aftermarket full skid i had on my '02 and now my '07: K
  2. WRX prices are falling as they age, but they still are not cheap. I will definitely be doing the STI upgrade in the near future while retaining my perfectly good OEM brakes and 15" wheels. STI 6MT I have heard is a great gearbox plus more gear choices and a better clutch. I have a little noise in the front diff on deceleration, but other than that my 5MT has held up well and shifts great, so the turbo 5 speeds seem to be improving (the bugeye 5MT I had was junk)? You are correct, initial low end torque is not very good on a turbo car, but that could possibly be improved with a tune. H6 is likely better on the low end, although heavier than a 4 banger turbo. I hear ya' on the lift, but I don't like having to drive like a grandpa down local trails. I started nicking the rockers when I got off the gravel/two tracks, and on to the real trails, which are tight, rocky and high clearance in MO. I can't clear most of the trails here. I also like to spend time out in NM and CO and those trails are no joke. Few more inches is all I need. Right now it sits about like a new Outback, so I have no intentions of going crazy with the lift. I think I can get a little more out of it on the trials and not loose much for handling, but I won't know for sure until I try it. This '07 is the newest car I have ever owned. I like the old, all manual stuff too (everything else I own is that way), but the new stuff is surprisingly durable. The vacuum? actuated climate control setup in particular drives me crazy! K
  3. I imagine I am not going to convince you to consider a turbo 4 cyl? If you want relatively lightweight and plenty of power, why not an Impreza WRX wagon? Cost/reliability? I too like the Impreza wagon body: small, yet large enough to carry all your gear. Perfect size to negotiate the tight trials in Missouri. The King/AGX/Group N combo is fantastic for rowdy driving at speed, but no better than anything else out on the trails with 1/2" less travel than a Forester setup. Speed is what a modern Subaru does best, but it takes a lot of work to make it more capable off road. I think you are on borrowed time with that airbox :). So that car is an auto? I did a creek crossing not too long ago and hit a boulder I couldn't see in the water square on with the front of my bumper, rolled under, gouged the skid plate and down my floor pan. If I hit something like that at speed, it could really tear things up! I also nicked the rockers a couple times on that same trail. I think a body lift would solve most of that problem with good protection down the middle, along with some rocker protection. I don't want to take it as far as you did with the '99, and I don't think I will have to if the body isn't so close to the ground. It'll hurt the handling at speed a little, but I'm willing to give some of that up to get places I can't right now. K
  4. If you can get away with building a bumper minus the plastic skin in IL like you can here in MO, what would ever be the interest in retaining such a thing? All they do is get ripped off, vibrate off and take your fenders skins with it. Front bumper cover was the first thing to get trimmed on my rig after running some forest roads. So is the '02 the new adventure/exploration rig and the '99 for racing? Bumper looks stout! I see opportunity around the plastic airbox (especially) and below the engine for a full skid plate? I personally drilled a series of small holes in the lower-center of my bumper to help with airflow to the radiator. Rad/engine don't seem to be getting very dirty and engine runs cool. The best thing I have done to keep mud and junk out of the engine bay is a full skid on the bottom. I built my front bumper out of plate with a little bit of square stock in the middle, but I really think it needs more for impact, much like you have done. I did a full 4x4 square on the rear of mine like the '99 front, along with a little plate work. Its heavy, but ready to back in to a tree and not take out the rear end. Originally I was concerned with weight, but as I continue to build on mine, I realize I'm going to have to do something with the suspension to compensate for the additional weight no matter the fact that I want more clearance and articulation...King Springs/AGX are not going to cut it in the long run. K
  5. For sure. Nothing holds up better than the original coating from the factory. After you wear thru that, its a scramble to keep on top of the rusting process. Missouri south of HWY 44, or Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas are good somewhat nearby areas to pick up cars. The older Subaru's in this area of the country are also seriously under-valued, especially with that kind of mileage. Very much looking forward to seeing your struts in action, and in person...after I get my body lift done, I'm going to do something about the lack of travel. K
  6. A thin layer of etching is by far the best on clean, bare metal (like after welding), follow up coats with zinc primer (then any top color of tinted primer you wish) is a great combo for retarding rust. I use a heavy wire wheel on a grinder and/or a light wire wheel on a drill to polish exposed metal clean, then scuff for paint (red scotch pad at a minimum, 220g sand paper is best). Proper cure time is equally important. I've personally been struggling trying to get some metal work done on my rig in the middle of an unusually cold winter with plenty of salt exposure and inadequate dry time: nothing really works well under those conditions, so some do-over's this spring, no doubt. No spray can works if you are painting over rust, nor does anything work if there is serious rust from the inside out. In that case, the metal will have to be cut out and replaced (like in your case). In pontoontodd's situation, primer should hold up a bit longer with the constant spray of gravel/dirt or salt?...not so positive on the later, as I don't see as much salt down here in the long run. Primer is soft and durable. The ruddy orange/red zinc stuff is particularly so (I like the Ace hardware brand personally)...so soft it gums up sand paper instantly, which makes it extremely durable to abrasion and the zinc also retards rust. Enamel simply chips off until there is nothing left, which is why I commented. Bet it takes little time to go from shiny black to bare surface rust? K
  7. Definitely looks like a chemical issue on your filler seal. Might start using etching primer? You can buy it at Slow Reilly's, etc. Holds up way better than any other rattle can, even with minor prep to paint (scotch red). Zinc orange/brown primer is the most durable 'final coat'. I have painted whole cars this way for use/abuse and worked great. K
  8. Crazy cold temps up that way followed by a warm front and more grey: gotta love the Midwest winters, back and forth with plenty of moisture! Not really any sun in the last couple months, either. Always look forward to hints of spring right about now... 45 pages here, and I have only skimmed some of it. Fab work and motivation is impressive, let alone that fact that you drive the sh*t out of what you build! K
  9. Wow, that's a lot of on-going effort on a rusty IL salt rust car... let me know when you all head back down to the Ozarks. K
  10. travelvw


    I've built and had/have quite a few different rigs over the years, trying to find the "ultimate" for me. Mostly I use my rigs to explore public land to find killer, unknown camp spots all over the west and around here, the Ozarks. I was caught up in vintage, and beat expensive early split buses with nothing but rear engine, rear wheel drive, open diff, and a steering brake. By the time I gave those up in favor of exploring 4WD options a few years back, having $15-$20k in one was average (10 years ago I could build one for $5-$10k). I also built a full-bodied baja bug on 30's w/proper gearing and a big engine. It was pretty capable, but couldn't haul much gear. One of my all time favorites is my 84 Toyota extra cab, which I have owned for many years, now. It seems those are mentioned on here quite a bit. It gets me everywhere I need to go, is relatively cheap, and reliable... much like Sube. I've always wanted a capable 4WD wagon for solo trips, but didn't realize they really even existed until about a year ago. I bought Kyle's rig b/c it was mostly set up how I wanted, and for less than I could build one for, let alone the time involved. The only complaint I have about EA82's is the lack of gearing options, which it seems folks are getting around with transfer cases and such... but how much Sube is left? Why not a short bed Toyota truck w/camper shell and rack? I agree, you can't beat the ride of a strut suspension vs. straight axle, which makes the Sube more comfortable to drive than the Yota. Stock gearing and 30's w/2.2? I don't know how ya'll do it. I dropped to 215's w/a 2.5, which puts some fun back in to driving a small trail rig, despite still being massively over-geared. Its unfortunate they came with donut spares from the factory and no aftermarket support... also part of the challenge and satisfaction in building such rigs as I see on here. The only option I know of with lockers and gearing that nobody has mentioned in that price range, is a VW Syncro Vanagon. I have a 5.83 geared, front/rear locking project, 30" tires (could run up to 32's, but I like having some power), which other than the cost, will be one helluva rig. Unfortunately, it takes every bit of $20k to build one, even if you are smart in acquiring parts. I am currently debating selling it or the Sube, both of which have their good/bad... so far just have the Syncro for sale. K
  11. Appreciate the clarification... deleted posts with no explanation leads to newbie confusion. I guess I missed that this is a gallery and still don't see where it says so specifically, considering there is a gallery section and this is the forum section?? I understand the need to stay on topic, but topic based conversation keeps a forum functioning. Nice! Looks like ya'll are having a helluva good time in the Mt.Vernon/B-ham area. I've spent quite a bit of time out there, but there ain't nothing like that going on around here. Look forward to getting back up to the PNW! K [/url]
  12. ] Testing the snorkel... works ! It is indeed the Jackson wagon, and still getting plenty of mods/upgrades by me... soon to be in Oregon, where there looks to be quite a following for these up thatta way. The avatar pic is what I use to spend a lot of my time doing... had a ton of fun building bajas for over a decade, both buses and bugs, drove them all over the West, but have since moved on to 4WD for obvious reasons. We like the wagon for its quirkiness, much like an old VW going places it wasn't meant to be. K
  13. Thanks. I have been out to the MTNF thata' way in the past, but its been a while. Pics are large, but if you attach them through the forums, they're small thumbnails you have to click on to enlarge. I'm not sure how to post them bigger without posting elsewhere and linking it? Kind of a pain in the rump roast. Thanks for the info on the stereo. I'm working on bike mounts for the rack and did the final cleaning in the rockers and rear panels in prep for welding them up. Also ordered a set of Hella 90's for the front. Hope to get that all done before the camp trip next weekend, right? K
  14. So, the SOCAL wheeler built by Kyle Jackson, is now in SW Missouri, just outside the rust belt for those who are concerned for its fate : http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/106448-so-california-ea82-wheeler/ Beyond the rear hogged wheel wells up into the body cavities, I'm extremely happy with the car. Kyle did a fantastic job on the build! On top of that, him and Marra were a great first introduction to Subaru folks; thanks again, you two! I'm starting a new thread, as I'm taking it in a slightly milder, multi-functional direction. I already have a real wheeler , a 1984 Toyota Xtra cab, so this car is to be my daily driver, part-time camper, and mountain bike hauler... not to say I won't be hitting the trails! Took it cold weather camping for the first time last weekend: Not sure how to post full-sized pics on a post without posting them elsewhere? So far I've dropped the tire size so its more fun to drive, with some KM2's on IFS Toyota steelies which have proper offset for the car. Interior is currently gutted for a rear camping/hauling setup I have yet to build, to be able to wash out the rockers and rear well cavities until I get the chance to weld 'em up, and for the now removable, shortened roof rack w/zero wind noise (the deer antlers were quite loud). A smaller spare tire will be mounted out back, so I can utilize the space up on the rack, including some bike mounts. Got plans for plate bumpers and DOT custom headlights when the time comes. That's about it for now. Cheers, K