And onto another roadtrip adventure in the name of the Baja.
We begin with a glamour shot of the Hyundai, the
parts hauler in this adventure.
As you all know, shooting a lot of torque through the 5 speed is a ticking time bomb, and the oversized-for-the-wrx tires weren't helping either. Things went klunk and the shiny metal bits that make the transmission work started to come out, solution was to go even nuttier with the project and pickup an STI trans. Found a 2013 trans swap package in Toronto for a good price, but seller doesn't do shipping, I was left with two options, either find a way to get it shipped, or spend twice as much and just go pick it up myself under the guise of another roadtrip/vacation. You should know which one I opted to do.
Location: Toronto, ON - CANADA (Local pickup only, no shipping)
2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Transmission swap available with 10,xxxKM on all the parts. Everything in proper working condition. Serious inquiries only.
USDM EJ257 Transmission SWAP Including:
- 6 Speed Manual Tranny
- Shifter Linkage
- Front Drive Shafts
- Rear Drive Shafts
- Main Shaft
- Rear Differential
Overall great guy to deal with, ended up spending over two hours shooting the **** at the shop, and even managed to get a shiftknob thrown in.
The drive out was interesting, took two and half days to drive there, and two and a half to drive back, we took our time and enjoyed to road.
After driving through BC, the sights weren't as visually stunning as the Canadian Rockies, but still cool to see and interesting to look at.
Rocks and trees, and trees and rocks, and rocks and trees, and wateeeerrrr!
The drive through the twisty sections was pretty fun on the way out, lots of elevation changes and winding roads going through the Canadian shield. The Veloster can definitely hold its own, was a blast to drive.
In Wawa, ON we went to a diner for an early lunch and witnessed an older man walk in, order a beer, down it in one go, and walk out to drive away in his truck. Wow is all I can say.
And time for a crazy trucker story:
Single lane highway each way in Ontario, around 10-11pm, car in front going a bit under the speed limit (5-10km/hr fluctuation, no cruise maybe?). Oncoming cars, and I have a trucker behind me who decided to throw ****ty blue HID's into his headlights which are positioned at a height that's perfect for shining through my back window, especially since he's sitting a foot or two off my bumper. The inside of our car is lit up to a ridiculous extent, I can see the inside of the car infront being lit up as well. Of course with oncoming traffic there isn't room to pass for about 30 min. 30 mins of being blinded as ****, I'm a little irritated to say the least, and I doubt the car infront is happy with the situation either. Finally there's a passing zone and the truck goes past, I pass the car infront so I can put cruise on and throw on my highbeams to return the favor to the trucker. At this point the starts swerving around the road and is going up on the shoulder, I figure he's trying to kick up rocks but there's a few issues with his plan.
1. I'm far enough back that nothing is reaching me
2. I'm actually in my lane so nothing is being projected towards me
At this point I should note that he's hauling a load of brand new cars, and although I hope they have some sort of protection against debris being thrown from the tires, with him swerving around I think whatever is in place might be inadequate and he might have scratched up some new cars (confirm/deny?)
Once his brilliant "swerve around the road to kick up rocks" plan failed he stops in the middle of the road, and opens his door. It's late, he's road raging, I'm not going to risk a confrontation with a more than likely tired and pissed trucker who's got anger issues and might have a weapon in the cab. I accelerate around him and as I'm going, he throws something at us, and we hear *ting *ting *ting *ting. He didn't have time to reach down so I don't think it was gravel, maybe change or crazy trucker teeth, who knows. We go off thinking that's that and continue on our way. A few minutes later I look in my rearview and there's the trucker, barreling down this single lane highway at speeds I'd estimate at 150-160km/hr. Well, ****, he's actually crazy crazy. We outrun him, get a minute or two lead on him, passing a few cars in the meantime and pull onto a side street, flip around and kill the lights and wait. One car passes, going what appears to be the speed limit, next we see the trucker zoom by at blistering speed. We wait a few mins and pull back onto the highway. Next township we reach we turn off and find a nice motel.
Next morning we assess the damage.
Two small scratches on the rear quarter, buffed out really easy. Kind of wish we could have grabbed a plate number, but when he was behind us the lights were blinding us, and when we were behind him we were either too far back or preoccupied with getting the hell away.
Well, made it to Toronto! I hate driving in this city. Too many people, and holy **** some of the roads make Winnipeg roads fell glass smooth.
Picked up the transmission, stuffed in the back of the hatch, strapped it down and bungie corded the crap out of it so that it would stay put, and set off to go to Niagara falls.
And we made it to Niagara Falls
Very touristy place, but oh well, We're tourists, time to embrace it. We stayed for two nights at a nice hotel on the 8th floor with a view of the falls and it ended up being the most affordable place we stayed the entire trip. Tiny town motels and the motel from hell (more on this later) cost us more than this place, what the hell.
We went to go see the bird kingdom and it was a great experience, definitely worth the entry.
We saw an angry Australian
And got to play with these Australians as well
My fiance was apparently not satisfied with the friendly ones that flew onto us, and the ones that were around our feet, and decided she wanted to grab the asshole ones sitting on the anti-social branch and they ended up being very bite-y. Lessen learned.
And saw this radical bird too
After we had our fill at the bird kingdom we made our way to the butterfly conservatory. It's quite the experience walking into a place with that many butterflies, it's like walking through a fairy tail. Only downside is you go through it fairly quick(30min-1hr compared to a few hours for the bird kingdom) and it's really hot and humid in there.
After our stay in Niagara, we made our way back and the road was pretty uneventful. We saw a moose. A baby moose. Just standing on the side of the road, looked as though it was contemplating life, not chewing, not moving, nothing but staring into the distance. The only exciting thing that happened was the motel from hell. It's late at night, it started misting, we stop at some motel/gas station and talk to the clerk. The place is called Cosiana/Filane's Motel off of HWY 17 in Schreiber, ON. He orginally wants $130+tax for a room, ridiculous, being tired and unsure of where the next motel is going to be and with the ****ty conditions outside, I manage to get him down to $75 tax included, still pricey but better than continuing driving. As we enter the room, it's like stepping into the 70's. 2-3" crimson red shag carpet, a tube tv with no remote, two tiny beds (smaller than a twin, my feet were hanging off the end) and one small 40w bulb to give light for the entire room. Go to the washroom and we find pubes on the bath towels and mold growing around the tub. Ok, so no showering, just sleep and leave. We decided to suck it up and just get a few hours of sleep and leave as quickly as possible in the morning. Well, that sort of happened.
I got woken up at 4:00 am by the sound of mice/rats scurrying through the walls and chewing on things in the room, crazy how loud they can be. I wake up my fiance and we get the hell out of dodge. Nobody is staffing the motel so we have nobody to talk to. Of course there's a really thick fog outside so it takes us almost an hour to get to the next town about 20km away, thankfully after that it cleared up a little and we made it back to Winnipeg.
And we're back
May 14, 2014 - SNOW.
A few weeks later I finally got around to detailing the Veloster to get rid of the all the microscratches the dealer introduced upon their pre-deliver "detail" and to fix the crazy trucker damage.
Came out rather nicely I have to say.
Thanks to a poster on another forum I managed to track these down and get them. Made to order apparently, and in a stunning purple. Add that to the pile of bushings waiting for install.
In a frenzy to get rid of all my money, I bought two sets of tires for the Veloster
The winter set alone comes out to around $960 locally, so much cheaper through tire rack even after the conversion. I might have forgotten to mention, but I picked up a set of base model wheels for around $200 plus shipping as a set of winter wheels.
Ordered all these goodies too:
It's going to be exciting throwing on a proper suspension.
And finally, I got around to organizing the garage to free up some room. Still have to figure out what to do with a lot of it, but at least it's much cleaner and roomier than before.
I got so used to the Veloster's exhaust that when I turned on the Baja it was like a religious experience. I need to get that subie rumble back on a regular basis.
One last closing remark - need new summer tires for the Baja since I chewed up the last set on the BC roadtrip. This time I'm going wider and shorter. Previously it had 235/55R17 and this time around I'm going to try 245/45R17 which appears to be a much more popular size so tires are cheaper. I keep coming back to the Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires as they seem to be a good performer, get good reviews, I've liked them in the past, and they're probably the most affordable max performance summer tire on tire rack. The smaller circumference should be more in line with what the WRX/STI OEM size is, while still being big enough to fill the wheel wells. Thoughts?