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AKWesty....Alaska to Florida....and back.
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AKWesty
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Joined: April 12, 2014
Posts: 680
Location: Haines, Alaska
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:15 am    Post subject: AKWesty....Alaska to Florida....and back. Reply with quote

Hey Guys, were back.

Haines, Alaska to Orlando, Florida via
Alaska Highway
IdahoDougs
Hell's Canyon
Craters of the Moon National Monument
Teton Pass
Jackson Hole
Yellowstone
Teton Park
Wyoming
Deadwood, SD
Rushmore
Badlands
Hot Hot Hot Midwest/South
Cape San Blas, FL
Family visits in FL, GA, VA
Hot Hot Hot South/Midwest
Glacier NP
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Alcan back home


Wife, 2 kids, and the dog.
84' Westy
12,542 miles
5 weeks

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Many pics, stories, and lessons learned to come.
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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markz2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Popcorn

Everyone loves a good trip report!
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us more of your adventure!

And you didn't come through Utah! Shocked

I wish I had 5 weeks off to go somewhere... Crying or Very sad
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Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
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Alaska-Mike
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Joined: July 24, 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in time for the rainy season. Wink
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westylife
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!

No doubt Alaska-Mike. Where did summer go.
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AKWesty
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Location: Haines, Alaska
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So our trip started on the Alaska Highway. Lots of critters to dodge. Luckily with the 18hrs of daylight I didn't have to drive at night. Even with the Light Force, the moose seem to come out of nowhere.

Good times. The Alcan (Alaska Highway) is fun to drive. Its like a rollercoaster in places. Obstacle course in others. It is getting better year after year. The road seems to be really good from Watson Lake south.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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It was at about this point that my camshaft seals on the subaru started puking. More on that in my next post. IdahoDoug came to our rescue. Just so you know you can never do enough preventative maintenance. That said...I am thankful for TheSamba community and the Vanagon Rescue Squad. More to come.
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Popcorn
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'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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shadetreetim
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your first post describes a novel. Laughing Don't spare the details, we want to live vicariously through you. The Alaska highway is definitely on my bucket list.
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Doing my best every time I drive it to dispel the myth these Vanagons have to be slow!


'89 Vanagon Bluestar/Country Homes 1.8T & .77 4th
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AKWesty
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Location: Haines, Alaska
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
Tell us more of your adventure!

And you didn't come through Utah! Shocked

I wish I had 5 weeks off to go somewhere... Crying or Very sad


We (as a family) have agreed that air conditioning is mandatory for our next down south adventure. We could have sure used it on this trip. Utah is on our to do trip list. Unfortunately our Westy's PM decided the AC was not necessary and ripped it out. After sweating in 95-100 degree windows down heat from hell 3 out of 5 weeks.....AC is absolutely necessary if you drive south of ummmm....Idaho.
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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AKWesty
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Joined: April 12, 2014
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Location: Haines, Alaska
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alaska-Mike wrote:
Back in time for the rainy season. Wink


And it is so so so nice! 52 degrees and cloudy misty rain. Up at 5am this morning and had my first Sockeye of the summer in the net at 7:15. Back to work so up early every morning to fish for a couple hours.
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just saw this. Cool, so that's quite a list you guys bagged there. It's got to be among the most miles in a short period I've heard of. While it cost a bundle in gas to motor that far in a Westy, it's worth pointing out that it saved a bundle in lodging expenses and food as well, eh? Did the alignment you got here seem to continue to make you happy over the miles? I ask because I'm going to take my Van to the same place if so.

DougM
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1987 2WD Wolfsburg Vanagon Weekender "Mango", two fully locked 80 Series LandCruisers. 2016 Subaru Outback boxer. 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 20V with rear locking differential. 1988 Mitsubishi Van w/ dual spinny seats, mid engine and solid axle.1990 burgundy parts Vanagon. 1984 Porsche 944, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1988 Toyota Supra 5 speed targa project in pieces, 2002 BMW 325iX
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jobenaus
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Joined: March 27, 2014
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Location: Yukon
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to God's country! Looks like your subaru did what it was supposed to do...get you there and back.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great to see your back after a great vacation!
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AKWesty
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Joined: April 12, 2014
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Location: Haines, Alaska
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
Just saw this. Cool, so that's quite a list you guys bagged there. It's got to be among the most miles in a short period I've heard of. While it cost a bundle in gas to motor that far in a Westy, it's worth pointing out that it saved a bundle in lodging expenses and food as well, eh? Did the alignment you got here seem to continue to make you happy over the miles? I ask because I'm going to take my Van to the same place if so.

DougM


Hey Doug, your right...lots of miles. We were planning on being on the road for 6 weeks but we were ready to go home after 5. We had the Michigan UP on the travel itinerary right up until we were in Wisconsin Dells. We decided that our brains were full and we did not want to just blow through the UP and miss enjoying it. We stopped in at Glacier before crossing the boarder north but the park road was only open for 6 miles when we got there. I guess they had some late Spring snow and avalanches that they hadn't cleared yet.

The alignment was perfect. In hindsight I should have stayed at your place a little longer and rotated my tires. I waited until GA to rotate and my tire wear is doing well. The rears moved to the fronts have about 6,000 miles on them now and are wearing nice and even. The fronts I moved to the back are starting to even out. The scallops were pretty deep.

We did OK on the gas bill. I will probably put a post together on the fuel mileage and expenses. The food was no big deal. We grocery shopped like normal. We tried to eat out a couple times but with my girls being gluten free, it was a bust. I tried to eat at a taco bell once. Wow! That was a mistake. After a couple years of no fast food you shouldn't try to eat a grilled stuffed burrito. After living in small town Alaska and then driving south you may wonder what food you would crave the most. FRUIT! We must have ate our weight in Watermelons, Plums, Peaches, Avocados, Tomato, Cantaloupes, Honey Dew, and Oranges. Yea we can buy them here but they are picked green and then spend 2 weeks on a barge before they get to us. Fresh fruit is amazing ...period.

We stayed at campgrounds about once every 3 to 4 days. Boondocked it the rest of the time. Cracker Barrel parking lots are great and plentiful down south. Stayed at a couple Flying J's. Funny how the hummm of a semi motor will sing you to sleep. One or two Walmart parking lots and when on the Alcan we just pulled over in a roadside turnout. Funny, I woke up one night to my dogs bark. She was nose to nose with a bison at the sliding door window. I had to quiet her quick so the thing didn't get mad. It just meandered off after checking us out.

I'll put a post together of us working on the engine. I think I have a good one of our vans together also. Crazy how they become part of the family.
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I'd imagine a Bison could do some damage. Yeah at your convenience I think a lot of us would love to hear more of your trip. Pictures, the economics of it, whatever.

Man, just reading your list of fruit made my mouth water. Here in Idaho the Eastern Washington fruit stands and by default our area will quickly be knee deep in fresh fruit of all kinds. Looking forward to it!

My Van is still not quite at daily driver status. The front doors are still apart, and the rear hatch opening is not complete either. No weatherstrip and headliner still hanging until I can sort something on how to replace the A/C ducting and such I pulled in favor of more sleeping space.

Doug
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1987 2WD Wolfsburg Vanagon Weekender "Mango", two fully locked 80 Series LandCruisers. 2016 Subaru Outback boxer. 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 20V with rear locking differential. 1988 Mitsubishi Van w/ dual spinny seats, mid engine and solid axle.1990 burgundy parts Vanagon. 1984 Porsche 944, 1992 Lexus LS400, 1988 Toyota Supra 5 speed targa project in pieces, 2002 BMW 325iX
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Alaska-Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

westylife wrote:
Nice!

No doubt Alaska-Mike. Where did summer go.


AKWesty wrote:
And it is so so so nice! 52 degrees and cloudy misty rain. Up at 5am this morning and had my first Sockeye of the summer in the net at 7:15. Back to work so up early every morning to fish for a couple hours.


Salmon are runnin' and fire season is over in SouthCentral.

Days are gettin' shorter.

Start planning your Fall Denali trip.
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But I'd rather have a split bus. Wink
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TequilaSunSet
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics, cool ride, I'm envious... sounds like something everyone should do!
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Syncro Jael
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AKWesty wrote:
It was at about this point that my camshaft seals on the subaru started puking.


Crying or Very sad I have one camshaft seal that just started leaking last week. I did the whole replace everything when I installed the new timing belt, water pump, etc. But I had no leaks back a couple months ago and I did not do the seals. Brick wall

Crap! And I just installed the new Rocky Mtn Westy stainless exhaust system a couple weeks ago. Now all that has to come off again Shocked

How bad did yours get leaking?
I have a road trip next weekend and don't want to tear it down right now.

Your trip sounds like it was very enjoyable, except for the humid heat of the south! Cool
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Subaru EJ25 Forged Frankenmotor, Triple Knob.
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lemonspeed
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dream Trip ; Look forward to more posts!
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AKWesty
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syncro Jael wrote:
AKWesty wrote:
It was at about this point that my camshaft seals on the subaru started puking.


Crying or Very sad I have one camshaft seal that just started leaking last week. I did the whole replace everything when I installed the new timing belt, water pump, etc. But I had no leaks back a couple months ago and I did not do the seals. Brick wall

Crap! And I just installed the new Rocky Mtn Westy stainless exhaust system a couple weeks ago. Now all that has to come off again Shocked

How bad did yours get leaking?
I have a road trip next weekend and don't want to tear it down right now.

Your trip sounds like it was very enjoyable, except for the humid heat of the south! Cool


We drove about 800-1000 miles with both camshaft seals leaking. I was adding a quart of oil every 500 miles. The back bumper and rear gate had the typical polkadotted oil mist on it. It seems that once the seals start leaking, thats it. They don't seem to get any worse as you drive it. I say this because as soon as we crossed the border on our way back home the front crank shaft seal started leaking heavy. I drove it 1500 miles back home with it spraying the rear of the van with the oil mist. About a quart every 500 miles on that seal also. The engine is coming out of the van and I plan to rebuild it this fall. I noticed the puff of white smoke when under load and a loss of power on the way home also. When I put this motor in the van this winter, I didn't have time to rebuild before taking this big trip. I installed the small car bellhousing kit and installed the motor with out any knowledge of the shape of the engine. In the spring we ran it up to Whitehorse, Yukon for a weekend as its maiden voyage and the seals held. The compression test was good also. I guess its just the nature of a machine with working parts. You can count on them wearing out.

I am thankful that we made it home. We broke down a couple more times during our trip and I will put some posts together on that when I get to it. My suggestion to anyone doing a used motor swap is to take the time to replace the known wearable parts before you install. My motor is coming out and going on the engine stand in the basement. Wish I had the time to do it last winter when I first installed it but I didn't.

In the end, don't sweat the leaking camshaft seals. Just add more oil and don't be surprised when you have the polkadotted rear bumper and gate. On my motor they did not increase in their leaking over time. They just started leaking at a rate of a quart every 500 and held that rate. The crank shaft seal also. Plan to pull it apart when you get back. I suggest on doing both camshafts seals, crankshaft, and oil pump seals while you are there. -Chad
_________________
84' Westy 2wd
EJ22 - 4spd - Peloquin TBD
GW +1.5 Springs
215/70-16's

www.CatchTheKraken.com

"Never go to Alaska as a young man because you'll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live." -John Muir
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