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Adventure Subaru - Lifted 1997 Impreza Outback (Lots of pics)

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Looks like an awesome trip, and congratulations on the hitching of you two! Looked like an awesome ceremony. Also:




I Effin' LOVE sheetz. Italian MTO..the *best*.:drunk:

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Impreza is due for a little rust work. Typical of this area, the rear wheel wells are rusting their way out. There's been at least one prior bondo fix, but it's failed and is coming through again.




This followed us home from a trip to Madison. Dig & Save is just about the coolest thrift store out there. Most clothing and small items are purchased (get this) - By the pound! How cool is that?


Anyway, this little welder was sitting there, needing a home and having no one to love it. And it being the Christmas season, my heart swelled with festive spirit as I read the price tag - $25. Obviously there was no testing it in the store, but I plugged it in and flipped the switch and it hummed and had a little green light that came on. Took that as a good sign.


Got it home and hooked it up in the basement. Took some researching. Wasn't thrilled that it's Chicago electric, but was pretty happy that after finding a manual online and fiddling with the dials (A LOT) that it actually made a half decent weld. Probably only useful for light metal welding, but still, it can hopefully help with some sheet metal until I've saved up for the Millermatic 140 that I've been dying for since spring.


So for $25. I'm pretty happy with it. If you're ever in Madison and searching for random tools, clothes whatever, look that place up.

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Doing an alignment soon. Anyone know if I can use stock camber bolts from the front to align the rear wheels?


Got a nice upgrade for my front seats. The original cloth ones are a little flat for some of the long bumpy trips we take.


Found these on Craigslist last night. The guy didn't even know what they were from. :headbang:




So I'm going to be spending part of my afternoon swapping these in. Has all the power stuff for the drivers side, but seeing as I am going for lightweight for a smaller car, I'm thinking I'm just going to swap the Impreza mount over and keep them both manually adjusted.

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Here's the start of the day. Got the old cloth seats. They actually weren't that bad. A rip in the drivers side and they needed a good wash. Just not super comfy for those long trips.






Drivers seat was the challenge. The Baja had power seats. Impreza had manual. I wanted to stick with manual for ease of use and weight. There was no easy swapping over between the frames so I had to tear in and swap a number of pieces. Fingers were crossed that it would all interchange.




Got the lower seat pads off each one.




Impreza recline and bracket now on the Baja seat.




had to switch the metal frame pieces between the two as well. Here's the difference at the start. The mounting bolt holes are different in the front between the two.




Here are the two pans compared. You cans see the Baja had a spring setup whereas the Impreza was entirely foam filled.




Couldn't swap over the spring setup to the impreza pan without welding so I took a serrated knife and cut the foam bottom out of the Impreza pad.




Here's the pad and pan together with the Baja cover and pad. All fit rather neatly. Had to cut about two inches of the plastic clipping tabs away to avoid interfering with one of the mounting bolts.




Also had to make a small hole in the leather to allow another mounting bolt.




All together now. Baja seat on Impreza seat rails and reclining mechanism.




Installed in the car. The seats are so nice that I'm inspired to actually vacuum the interior of the car now. Need to find a way to ditch the tan floor mats sometime too.


Really happy with how they turned out. :D

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They sat fine. Drivers was a power seat and I wanted manual. Turned into a bit of a project to get there though.


Passenger seat is all Baja. Just dropped right in and bolted down.

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This was done with some chunks of 2x3 but I think I'm going to modify the rack to hold the canoe as well. A couple steel pipes and a bit of angle iron should add some rigidity and have the width to hold this canoe.


The canoe was a $50 purchase this spring. It had sat out behind the maintenance shop at the camp that I work with for several years. it was used as a prop a couple times for summer camp stuff but had rotted thwarts and several holes in the fiberglass from water getting in there and freezing. We took it home and patched the fiberglass, made up some new thwarts from a hickory board and painted it this "Sea Hawk Blue" instead of the ugly yellow it had been. All told it was about $85. for this project. Gonna make a few paddles for it when life slows a bit after the move.

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My best friend and I took a trip to the Upper Peninsula before my wife and I moved to California. We've been buddies since we were kids and she (Yeah she) was the "best man" in our wedding. She hadn't seen much of Wisconsin or the north woods before, so we made a few good touristy stops along the way.




Pulled in to the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha, WI. SO MUCH CHEESE!!!!




7 hours later, we were in the north and dog tired. We put up the tent near a boat landing/state park to spend the night before finifhing the trek to our destination - The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness. (Known affectionately as the "Porkies")








There is no place better than Paul Bunyans for breakfast. It's served "Logging camp style" - All you can eat. They bring it right to your table. Fresh donuts, dark coffee, eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, kielbasa, OJ and of course pancakes.




Visited the Presque Isle when we arrived. Gorgeous waterfalls abound here. This is only one of many many waterfalls we visited.




Backpacked into Lake in the Clouds. The mosquitos were horrible so we added an extra 5 miles to the day by going to Government Peak to camp. We hoped the higher elevation would have fewer bugs or at least enough breeze to keep them at bay.




Unfortunately, the mosquitos were just as bad. To add to it, we had two HUGE thunderstorms come through during the night. The tent kept us dry until halfway through the second one, when things finally got wet inside the tent. We hiked back out on little sleep and soaked clothes and gear through flooded, mosquito filled trails.




Trail conditions were pretty rough.




Made it to Lake Superior, tired, damp, itchy and muddy. Took a swim in the cold waters and washed off the grime and dead mosquitos. Even caught a turtle. Packed up and headed for home. It was one of those camping trips that stretches you. Not as relaxing and easy as most, but challenging and rewarding with some good laughs and good memories.


I counted over 100 mosquito bites on myself afterwards.

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I used to live in WI and I do not miss them Skeeters!!!  I remember having to run to our house when we were kids, lol.  But, I would go back in a heartbeat.  Absolutely awesome place to live, visit and vacation.  Thanks for sharing.

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I hear mosquitos are the state birds out there.


I used to live in WI and I do not miss them Skeeters!!!  I remember having to run to our house when we were kids, lol.  But, I would go back in a heartbeat.  Absolutely awesome place to live, visit and vacation.  Thanks for sharing.


We actually used the line about the state bird in some of the outdoor education classes I taught. It was a welcome rainy season after the crazy drought last year but the only downside has been record mosquito numbers. The corn seems happy though.

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Part one of July in which the Adventure car traveled from Wisconsin to eastern Ontario, back again and then got loaded up for it's road trip to California and what is probably it's first time to the west coast.




Loaded and on our way. The boat was Kira's birthday gift to me. Outfitted with a 10HP Johnson Sportwin and an upgraded trailer that has a custom horse trailer axle on 2WD Subaru Impreza rear hubs with Subaru rims and tires to match the car. Pulls smoothly and I always have 2 spares for whatever I may encounter along the road.




Crossed the border from eastern Michigan into Canada around midnight.




And after about 20 hours, arrived at the lake.




Me, my brother and brother-in-law with our lake trout of the first morning. They seemed to be running small most of the week, but still tasted fantastic dipped in batter and fried!




Deep water trolling.




The "Silver Hornet" loaded to the gills. Ended up with some carb issues on the Evinrude so, we used my backup Sears 7.5hp for most of the week.




My lake trout seemed to all be around this size.




Kira on the other hand always seems to have better luck than I do. She went out for trout on the big water only once and landed this fish. (The largest trout we landed all week.)




I got several decent bass through the week but no lunkers.




On the second to last evening Kira landed this 18 inch bucket-mouth. Shoals around evening time fished very well.




had to cut the trip a little short this year to be home in time for a friends wedding.




Some of the best coffee ever. Tim Hortons ranks as high as Sheetz in my book. Great doughnuts too!




A light "clank" sound between shifts got worse on the way home. Eventually becoming a shutter at low speeds. Pulled over and found this. The front joint of the driveshaft was about ready to tear apart. Did a roadside repair in the back of a Denny's parking lot in western Indiana. Kira went to get a a burger, fries and a milkshake to go while I did the fix.




Fixed! (Sorta) two gallon ziploc bags, some duct tape over the top. Then wrapped the sides with electrical tape and tightened it all down with a couple big zip ties. After that we were on the road again but 1st and second gear were extremely slow to accelerate. Anyone have an explanation for how the gearing would work that way? By third gear it seemed a little more normal.


Returned home with boat and all on front wheel drive like that. The local Pick N Pull luckily had a 98 Impreza Outback in it. I got the driveshaft for about $40. and things were back to normal. Great trip to Canada as always!

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Photo journey as the car traversed a 2500+ mile road trip. We shipped most of our belongings by way of a U-Haul U-box. Very economical but turned out to be a huge hassle. but that's another story.




Here's the start of the trip. Left Wisconsin and took this at our first fill up in Illinois. The car was loaded. The boat was loaded. Always just a little bit of worry when you travel this far with a 16 year old car with over 200k. But that's part of why it's an adventure.




Iowa and Nebraska only took half of eternity to drive through.




Colorado started to bring more scenery and fun.




Very different from Wisconsin.



Denver traffic - not so fun.




Finally getting to the mountains.




Car started running hot going up into the mountains. Found a hairline crack in the radiator.




Sanded it. JB Quick welded it. Waited 10 minutes and we were back on the road.






Felt like a freight train going downhill. Fully loaded car. Fully loaded boat. Drum brakes in the rear. We descended carefully.




I LOVE COLORADO. I would gladly call this place home someday. This pic was taken a little east of Vail.




Saw many places that need to be explored in the future. Towing a boat allowed little in the way of off roading.




Pup and I explored a small creek near a rest stop for a little bit of a break.




Scooped up a little trout by hand. Native brookies are about the prettiest fish I've seen. Shortly after this, the dog found a pile of bear poop to roll in. I then had to give her a good dunking and a bath in that creek to be rid of the smell.






Several thunderstorms came and went as we passed through the mountains.




Noticed a rainbow behind us as we came down the western foothills that evening.




Crossed this milestone as we entered the desert. Valley of Fire and the Mojave awaited to see how the car could hold up in 110 degrees+




Visited the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site for a fun pit stop. When I was 12 I wanted to be a paleontologist. I still love dinosaurs.




The adventure car doesn't have sissy luxuries like air conditioning. The girls were not pleased with the 110+ with only windows/breeze. We bought bags of ice and a spray bottle to help keep cool.




Utah was pretty in it's own way. Rugged country out there.




The adventure car on the face of the sun. (Almost) This was west of Las Vegas Nevada.






Evening of day 3 had a brilliant sunset over the desert of eastern California.




Finally made it to the coast on day 4. Pulled into our new little home in the redwoods tired and ready to stay out of the car. The car weathered the trip very well. I'll be replacing the radiator (probably with an all-aluminum one.) and am giving some consideration to swap disc brakes on the rear for those times that i'm towing. Both Subarus have made the drive out here quite reliably considering they are at 275k and 331k. We are now enjoying the consistent mild weather and having the redwood forests and the pacific ocean right in our neck of the woods.

Edited by AdventureSubaru

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Thanks. Spent part of the morning cleaning the interior. The dog and I have been looking up some adventures in Stanislaus area and will hopefully get a couple days to head out that way next month.


Snorkel will be up and coming. Anyone have any good resources on snorkels on an Impreza/EJ22 Most of the info i found was on a EA series body.

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Trip was fantastic. The only real drawbacks being - wife is pregnant so we had to take frequent stops/breaks. This was less enjoyable for her than it usually would be. And the stop and go traffic in the desert west of las vegas was quite miserable. The number of entitled jerks that simply drove down the shoulder of the highway passing everyone was maddening. 9 out of 10 of them were giant SUVs with California plates. Way to confirm the stereotype there.


But yeah, the rockies were the highlight of the trip. Great scenery, wildlife, fresh air, winding roads. Felt right at home.

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Got a hole cut through the fender and some fiberglass that is becoming more snorkel like by the day. I'll get some pics up soon.


Starting to kick around the idea of a d/r and small body lift again. Some of the mountains out here are really inviting. Probably just 2-3 inch body lift, and would add similar strut lift as well. I like the ground clearance this has with above stock angles.

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looks fun when uyou come to cali .......hit me up big bear is awsome ..cant wait to hit some trails ...i like the seats

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