Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vans and things

Friday night I stumbled upon a 2002 Eurovan with 90,000 miles on it that I knew could be mine for 5 grand. I mentioned it to Heather in passing (my way of planting the seed). Saturday morning she asked if I wanted to go get it. The one pictured is a Westy with the pop top. The one I was looking at was just a straight up 7 passenger model but it was blue with these wheels. The downer about this model is that the back seat isn't really one you can sleep on. I think I could find the back seat and table out of a Weekender model but I think the mounting points are different and would require some fabrication to make work. It belongs to my good friend Adam. Through the years we have swapped cars often because we both get tired of them every few years.

I love these vehicles. There's simply gobs of power from the VR6 motor. They had the cool climate control. All of the AC components have been replaced. The auto trans works fine. They are supposed to be super easy to work on. However, the biggest downside of them is that VW didn't make any extra parts for them. If that normal CV style axle (which many vehicles use) decides to grenade then you either have to find a replacement at a junkyard or get it rebuilt where they grind it all out and then go to bigger bearings. These vehicles are very hard to find in the yard which is why you generally see speciality yards where all they do is these and then they can charge whatever they want for parts and there's NEVER any negotiating. You can get the alternator for this either directly from Bosch or from a special yard place in San Francisco for $500. You can get it at NAPA as well but they're gonna order it from Bosch and it then runs $600 with a hundred dollar core charge.

When the AC stuff was redone it needed a relay. There was 1 in the country and it sold for $90. That cool climate control is not operated via vacuum lines or cables but all by a separate computer. I can't imagine there's many of those floating around. So...I decided to pass on it because, at some point, something is going to wrong with it and it's going to cost a fortune to fix.

I love my Subaru. As I'm getting older (it just so happens that I'll officially be another year older this week) I find that I want a vehicle that can do it all. The wagon hauls a boatload of crap. It's rock solid reliable. Super fun to drive with all of the suspension/brake upgrades it's gotten. It's killer in the snow and on fire roads where it's rally inspired genes shine through. I'm going to do the adult thing and just hang on to it until I get a bit older and buy a Buick or an Oldsmobile.

That about covers the Vans. The such would be that I got out for a great 2 hour ride on the SS yesterday. Then Heather and I went to PF Changs for a less than stellar dinner. The Egg Drop soup seemed extra slimy. I'm not that guy that bitches at restaurants but our server asked if I wanted to try the other soup and I said sure. I was not aware that it had Tofu in it though. I don't understand Tofu but I find the texture to be simply stomach turning. Ever try to casually spit Tofu into a napkin? The meal itself was good. The lady sitting at the table next to us had the biggest eyes I've ever seen and, frankly, they were creeping me out.

Oh well...It's Sunday morning. I'm going to sit here and continue to drink coffee while listening to the great Gillian Welch and David Rawlings while I try to figure out where to ride. Get out there and do something fun!

1 comment:

Sebastian Gaydos said...

I’m glad that you find comfort in your car. It’s nice to know that you want to spend your years growing old with your trusty Subaru. It’s like having your own sidekick. It’s mostly what I look for in a car as well: one that will serve its purpose well until I get old.

Sebastian Gaydos