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Old 02-07-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
yama200
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Default Road Trip!

I'm planning an EPIC 3-4k mile family road trip for a couple months away from Arkansas to San Diego in my 03 WRX. We'll be hitting a bunch of national parks in the southwest on the way. Car's got 95k on the clock now so I know I need to do the timing belt before the trip-any ideas on other preventative maintenance etc that I should think about? Any good tips to improve MPG on the way? General travel tips?
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
340Duster
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Only pick up hot hitchhikers.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
HinshawWRX
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Timing belt would be wise, it's 105 months or 105K miles.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:58 PM   #4
cenix
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white sands new mexico is a gotta see place and photo shoots are awesome there.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
hozouria
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Hit me up when you get to San Diego! I'll show you all the best driving roads around here. Drive safe!
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:59 PM   #6
bc9235
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Ive always wanted to fo to the hoover dam/grand canyon. Yosemite is awesome.

And i'm sure you know, but always over estimate your costs so you know that you'll have extra in case of an emergency.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:05 AM   #7
yama200
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Thanks cenix for the White Sands tip, looks AMAZING. Never heard about the 105 months rule Hinshaw, that means I'm already overdue - I'm planning on doing the belt myself (first time,) can anybody guide me to good write-ups or any tips in general?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #8
Shanaru242
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IDK if it's along your route or not, but if you could hit Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon in Utah . . . they're pretty awesome. Lots of eye candy. I went through there on the motorcycle on the way to the Grand Canyon two summers ago.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:07 PM   #9
guidojuicehead
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We always stopped at the crater of diamonds in hopes of finding diamonds, but in reality my father was just making sure we were asleep across Texas. Looking back at all the cool places we went I think that was his goal. Now having been to many of these places as an adult, I can't thank him enough.

Zion is kind of a let down IMO, very beautiful, but it is a rather small park. The age of your children would be a good deciding factor for your detours. Are they old enough to hike for hours on end? If so, go straight to the Bright Angel Trail and march them to the bottom of the canyon. Then they will sleep all the way to Cali.

Maybe go to Lake Powell and rent a boat and camp. The Petrified Forest is unusual... Four Corners has some local markets a long the way. Most of these places have campgrounds with showers and flush toilets. Far cheaper than a hotel. Some places like the Grand Canyon have no camping and only hotels. If you go one mile out of the village, there is national forest which is your land to camp on.

There are so many suggestions...
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #10
yama200
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Juicehead you rock! Kids are 5 and 2, so pretty young. Camping would be a great idea just depends on what the weather is like at that time of the year. Definitely checking out White Sands/Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest so far.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:35 PM   #11
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Changing your timing belt is a great idea. I just use Suby bucks for mine last week. The tensioner was starting to weep oil and one of the idler rollers was gronchy and not long for this world. Almost 10 years old and ~62,000 miles.

I'd change out the brake fluid and make sure there is enough meat on the pads. I'm not familiar with the SW, but I know you will be driving in mountainous terrain.

It sounds like one hell of a fun trip and your kids will remember the highlights forever.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #12
cheezman88
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To improve MPG? General guidelines to follow i would say is to keep anything unnecessary out of your car to lower the weight. Make sure your tire pressure is correct. Perform any sort of maintenance thats required soon. No sudden acceleration, and make sure you give yourself enough space between the car in front of you and red lights so you don't have to come to a complete stop all the time.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
yama200
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I've seen some great timing belt write-ups but haven't bookmarked any of the good ones, anyone have any suggestions? Also, before I even get into it, what's the worst thing I could **** up during the replacement if things went south?
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:45 AM   #14
cmk82600
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Bent valves if you don't get the timing marks right.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:47 AM   #15
HinshawWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yama200 View Post
I've seen some great timing belt write-ups but haven't bookmarked any of the good ones, anyone have any suggestions? Also, before I even get into it, what's the worst thing I could **** up during the replacement if things went south?
Not only bent valves, but valves hitting pistons. You'd essentially destroy most of the motor at the WORST.

There are quite a few write up's on here, and scooby mods on how to do timing belts. Meaty even did a youtube series on how to do it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:39 PM   #16
bugeye829
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Just my opinion but if everything is running good now i would just leave it alone and do the timing belt when you get back rather than risk something going wrong during replacement. When i replaced the t-belt for the 1st time at 105k it still looked new. You will have a blast on the road trip. I drove mine across the country at 195k car had no issues at all.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #17
Web Foot STi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HinshawWRX View Post
Not only bent valves, but valves hitting pistons. You'd essentially destroy most of the motor at the WORST.

There are quite a few write up's on here, and scooby mods on how to do timing belts. Meaty even did a youtube series on how to do it.
That's why the dealer got $728.34 ($700 of my Scooby bucks). I've been saving up for this.

Brake pads are duck soup. I changed out the fluid my self when the same dealer refused to change it out after two years. I've had hydraulic cylinder's rust out and leak in the past. Very interesting when a rear wheel locks up on snow. You wind up looking where you have been...

P.S.: I floated the valves one time at the local track and rebuilt the 2002 BMW engine in my garage. I installed a rev limiter after that expensive driver error.

Changing out the other belts is a good idea too. No extra labor as you have to R&R them anyway.

Last edited by Web Foot STi; 02-12-2013 at 05:18 PM. Reason: e not a
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