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Subaru Crew - Cleaning Interior & Exterior Surfaces

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  • Some cars are able to be towed 'wheels down' with little or no modifications. Manual-transmission Subarus are one example. Motorhome magazines often list models of 'dinghy' vehicles and their towing requirements & limitations.

    Cheers!
    Paul
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Subarus with manual transmissions are towable on all four wheels. Probably have about 25,000 towed miles on mine. But I noticed this time that there is rust bubbling under the paint coming from under the middle roof "rail". When it gets warm again I'll have to remove the rail and fix the rust spot. Been really trying to keep this car clean (try that living on a dirt/gravel road :( ).
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited August 2010
    Haven't touched the exterior of my OBW (other than maybe a semi-annual automated car wash) in 2 years. Next month she'll be 8, and with the family down in NYC on Saturday, I finally got to do the exterior right. The deep forest green looked hazy white - presumably the clearcoat oxidized pretty badly.

    Normally it might have been Gold Class, but for this job Meg Cleaner Wax. She sure did clean up nice! The scratches and old swirls buffed out, and the finish looks more like the average 3 year old car now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I demand pics now. Before and After, preferably. :shades:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I can probably get some before it rains, but the last 'pre' pictures were from a few weeks back taken by cell phone when I was pulling a utility trailer to get a load of mulch.

    Oh, Wes - that reminds me. Two weeks ago I bought a rear cargo tray for days when I need to haul bagged items, but don't need the full trailer. Also a Carry-On from Lowes Homecenter. Nice to have the mess out back, rather than in the Outback! (sorry....)

    I had to do some nifty machining using a drill press in the lab. The tray comes with a 2" stinger, the OBW a 1.25" receiver. Picked up a 2" to 1.25" adapter at U-haul, but the now two pins (stinger into receiver into receiver) gave too much play. So I milled a 6 sided slot into the solid bar and inserted a nut! Now I can bolt one of them in tight.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited August 2010
    Grainy cell phone pics are OK for the Before anyway.

    And now we also need a shot of that nifty solution for your hitch. :D

    I can host if you e-mail them to me.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Nice, Steve!

    I have the same problem with mine (too much play) as well. I don't notice it on my trucks (probably because there is more isolation between the frame and the body, so the noise is muffled), but the rattling can be bone-jarring (esp. when towing a trailer) in the Subaru. I solved the issue by cutting a 2" x 1/8" strip of steel about 4" long, then bending it in the middle at a 90-degree angle. I then take my 2# sledge and wedge it between the top of the receiver and the shaft, which locks it in tight as a drum.

    I ran my 1100-mile fishing trip with that set up and it was perfect.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited September 2010
    OK - pictures of an almost 8 year old OBW with 82k miles after a good scrubbing and wax job. As you can see, she is typically parked away from other cars, so the metal is in well above average shape.

    Kept in a bag in the back is my little lunchtime getaway machine, a Dahon Vitesse folding bike! I've used this from early March thru December for the past 3 years. I do a loop around the site, then head out into traffic to get lunch.

    In my hand is the modified 2" to 1.25" adapter for the cargo tray and bike rack. The 1/2" hex nut pulls the stinger in tight with the receiver. I add a 5/8" nut to the cargo tray to lock that side to the adapter, making for rattle-free assembly.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Looks nice, Steve; especially in the third photo with the sun glinting off the paint.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, and those wheels/tires do a good job filling up the wheel well.

    What tires are those? Seems like the tread width nearly matches the section width.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Oh man, I'm going to have to send back that expensive mail-order engineering degree if I keep this stuff up. September 2001 to September 2010 is 9 years old, not 8!
    I realized this when I was suddenly wondering how my average annual had suddenly jumped up to 10k??? It is really 9k per year!

    The wheels are Tire House Sports Edition Fox 5 (made by Fomb in Italy). Inexpensive, yet they look nice and have held up beautifully. That is actually my winter package, with Dunlop Wintersport M2 tires. The tread is insufficient for another winter, so I decided to burn them off over the summer. Trouble is, with my low annual mileage, that could take forever! Come November, I'll go shopping for snows again.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Here I go on a horrid tangent, but I just purchased new winter tires for my Escort today. It came with some studded tires, but I find those to be absolutely horrible in the winter - barely better than your average all-season, if that. I think part of the problem is that they are old (manufacture date is 2002, if I recall correctly), so the rubber just can't handle the cold and remain soft.

    Given that this is my $800 beater, I didn't want to splurge for the best possible winter tire (in terms of expense). I decided to go with the Continental ExtremeWinterContact (185/65R14). The problem is that I made this decision before seeing what was available locally (which is pretty much just those crappy studs I already have, and Blizzak WS-60). So, after much ado, I was finally able to get a local company to order them in for me at $370 ($30 cheaper than ordering off TireRack, delivered). After I get them mounted, I will be in for nearly $450, but I expect they should last me the life of the car unless I decide to be a real glutton for punishment and keep the sorry thing for more than another four years!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Actually, I put those (Continental ExtremeWinterContact) on my wife's Honda Odyssey last year, and was thinking about going with them on the OBW this winter. If you didn't see it, CR did a winter tire test last November (?). The Conti was not absolutely outstanding as a snow tire, but seemed to be very balanced. Given that we can a weeks of dry roads, followed by a drenching rain, heavy snow or ice event, it is important not to go over the top on snow traction only to totally give up wet braking, for instance. You might feel different given that you drive on hard pack for weeks at a time. TR's review of winter tires also gave the Conti high marks. Plus, it was cheap compared to some of the other tires out there.

    Her last snows were on garbage steel wheels. They rode badly (difficult even with a roadforce balancer to get right), so I ordered them on new alloys. Tire Rack Sports Edition F7 this time. Only now they are made in China, and not finished as nicely as the Italian wheels from years back.

    Let me know if you cannot find the CR article, and I'll search for it. It's around the house somewhere.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Yeah, most of the driving here is in "ice" conditions for about six months straight. Snow events, while common, are typically very light (1 to 3 inches). The Ultra Grip Ice tires on my Forester are absolutely fantastic on all surfaces, especially deep snow, but are also more expensive than the Continental. Since I never take the Escort off true roads, I figure there are very few times I will need that extra capability the Goodyear might give me. And, since winter tires are a "new thing" for me, I am open to trying out different brands to see what works best and when. Granted, my cars are night and day different in terms of their base capabilities, but the same tire is not the best for all situations, either! :)

    ---------------

    That said and put to bed, I seem to have some sort of nasty residue all over the sides of my Forester. I cannot tell it is there until I start scrubbing the car, but once I have cleaned it, the surface is very tacky. Try as I might, I cannot seem to get it off. I thought maybe it was sap or something falling from above, but the hood, roof, etc., is fine... the only problem is along the sides. Any thoughts as to what it may be or how I can remove it?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited September 2010
    Something your friend Sara left on the roads? (modicons don't seem to be working...) I'd start by stealing a bit of your wife's nail polish remover, basically watered down acetone. It's a great general purpose solvent that works on a variety of gunk. Follow by rinsing well and some fresh wax as it will strip it all in the process.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Thanks, Steve; I'll give it a shot if I get around to washing cars again before winter sets in.... only a month away now! :surprise:
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Winter.... now that's a nasty thought.

    We've had one of the warmest summers on record, on the heals of last summer which was the second coldest. Frankly, I was in my element this year. Coupled with a lighter lab workload this year, I was able to do more swimming with the kids, and made great strides in landscaping. Yesterday I took the trailer and got another yard of mulch (free from the town - poison ivy and all...) for the distant beds that I'm making. We still had 90+ last week, mid 80's this week. The thought of winter saddens me.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I'm a pretty avid cyclist, and was looking for a better way to transport my various bicycles. The folder is great for short road trips and is always with me, but getting the others around requires putting the hitch rack on. The thought of an 'ever present' roof rack was attractive, but I wasn't sure I could deal with one. And depending on the features, it can be an expensive investment.

    Fortunately, a Subaru OEM E3610AS802 (Yakima LockJaw) came up on Craigslist last week. I had to add $22 worth of aero crossbar brackets E361SXA100 from my Subi dealer, but it was still a relatively cheap experiment for a unit in near mint condition.

    Turns out I'm not a rooftop kind of guy. Last night I experimented with one of my 'expendable' bikes of average weight. Maybe 10 years ago I could, but I struggled with the weight and poor leverage over my head semi-onehanded while trying to lock it in place. It scared the c*&p out of me that I'd lose control when tired. I guess it's going back up on Craigslist, and I'll instead look for a nicer hitch unit.

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    Or, you could spring for a carbon fiber road bike that weighs around 25#. :shades:
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