New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski car vision

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Fixing up an older Honda Civic AWD wagon primarily as a "ski car". Plenty of threads debating the best snow tires but I am also wondering about things that will enhance winter weather vision. Looking for suggestions for best windshield wipers, washer fluid, and windshield treatments as well as aftermarket headlight bulbs, fog lights, etc. Anybody know if there is such a thing as retrofit heat tape for mirrors? Anybody have any luck with the rear window defroster wire repair kit?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 29

Interesting questions. I have a couple of opinions. First of all, don't go cheap on the tires. My dad taught me long ago that the ONLY thing that connects you to the road are your tires. But there are a lot of good options for reasonable money. And depending on how far you'll drive, etc. I'd think about studs. I've had good success with a set of Hankook studs on one of our cars. Seem almost as good as the Nokian Hakka's on another at half the price.

 

Wipers? I've tried everything on a bunch of cars, and in the winter, I keep using the good old Anco winter blades. The ones with the red tips. Just bought a supply for $5 each at WallMart.
I've also spent close to $80 on a set of blades, so it's not a price issue. I find the cheapest to work the best in this instance.

 

If you want to treat a windshield, the best stuff that I have found is Aquapel. It's tremendous, and it's really great on older windshields that may be pitted, or have been sandblasted a bit. It's one of those products that really works. I have found it to be much better than RainX. Google shop it. I buy it through Tire Rack. Easy to apply when it's warm in the fall.

 

I still just use the cheap windshield wash. I know that it allegedly eats wiper blades, and probably wears off the Aquapel faster, but I have had zero issues. I've tried the expensive Rain X stuff.

 

Can help on the heating element questions. I had a couple of cars with "add on" defrosters that I installed in the 70's, and they "sort of' worked. Presume the technology's better now!

 

I would also pay attention to your headlight lenses. If they are plastic, you want to clean them, and buff them. I use 3M marine products, purchased at a WestMarine store. Use Plexus for the final polish. Makes a big difference. On my glass lenses, I have clear X-Pel 3M covers on one {added when new}, and I use Aquapel on the others.

I would also go with the best bulbs that you can for your headlights, and replace all of your light bulbs as preventive maintenance. One accessory that you can add, easily, is a thermometer that reads outside temps, if you don't have one. Highly recommended, and cheap.

Make sure that the defroster runs well, that all ducts are clean, etc.

I love projects like this. Years ago I had a car that I kept up at our ski house. Painted it with a gallon of Rustoleum red, and a gallon of white, mixed, by brush. Was an interesting shade of pink, and it even cover the duct tape.  Have fun.

post #3 of 29
Dude, I had to get a new windshield in my subie when I bought it so I went all out- I rain-x'd the hell out of it, bought the Rain-x streak-free blades and use only the rain-x washer fluid...  And couldn't be happier, it's like 1080p HD for driving, no bullshit.  I'll never go back!  I don't even need wipers on the hwy and for someone who has crap vision like me, it is a very VERY big deal, especially if I don't have my contacts in.  Above and beyond that, buy good bulbs or HID kits if you can afford them, they go a LONG way towards increasing your visibility.   
post #4 of 29

think keeping the blades cleaned is even more critical for vision as windshield treatment.  Keep a little bottle of alcohol in the garage and wipe the blades 3 or 4 times a year with a clothe, disgusting the color of the stuff that comes off.  Let the blades stand upright for a while and they don't mess with anything on the windshield.  The blade people probably don't approve but think it makes a big difference, even wipe the squeegee down while I,m doing this to reduce transfer.  The wife used to laugh at me about it, now she asks me to wipe hers down too. 

Just what I need, another obsessive activity.

post #5 of 29
I have not tried the aquapel stuff, sounds good. I'll second the rain-x windshield fluid though. Works great and has made me lazy for treating the glass.The other benefit is that when snow and water freeze on the windshield while parked, it remains little beads frozen on the glass instead of sheeted to the glass and is much easier to remove.

For wipers, I'll agree that Anco is superior esp. for the money to all the Bosch micro-crap. However, I've used Silblade and have been very impressed.  I've literally had the same pair of winter wipers installed now for 5 years and they've only recently been streaking. I used to go through them constantly. Originally I had the summer and winter ones but just left the winter ones on. It's time for new ones, but they still work better than failing Bosch garbage. I haven't tried the new flex blade style of silblade.
Wiping blades clean when cleaning the windshield is also key.
I got mine from http://www.expeditionexchange.com/silblade/
Here's the company site:
http://www.silblade.com/
post #6 of 29
Get the right tire wheel combination. This IS the single most important item for a winter/ski vehicle. This often means minus one sizing. Think narrow for snow use!!!

Then all the battery you can get (I like Optima). Proper grade engine oil and don't forget the engine coolant as well. I also like the Anco winter blades (I wipe them down with alcohol weekley!)

It should go without saying you need the winter emergency kit in back, as in sand, blanket, jumpers, chains/cables, etc.

If you do it right it can be great fun and safe, and you'll never miss first tracks!
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Great stuff guys - thanks a lot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post

 

 Years ago I had a car that I kept up at our ski house. Painted it with a gallon of Rustoleum red, and a gallon of white, mixed, by brush.


My first car was a '69 Rambler American that somebody had painted with a brush - was that you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

bought the Rain-x streak-free blades and use only the rain-x washer fluid...  And couldn't be happier, it's like 1080p HD for driving...   

 

HAHA - luv it - that's what I need!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Get the right tire wheel combination. This IS the single most important item for a winter/ski vehicle. This often means minus one sizing. Think narrow for snow use!!!


If you do it right it can be great fun and safe, and you'll never miss first tracks!

 

I'm all about narrow "pizza cutter" snow tires and first tracks!  Hotrod battery, thermometer, and emergency gear are def. on the list plus a remote 12V outlet in the cargo area for bootheaters too. I'm thinking this could be used for glove and goggle dryer during the day but I would hate to come back to a car fire!

Any opinions on amber vs clear foglights?
post #8 of 29
The pink vehicle was an old CJ5. Got a sweet purple body two years later. This was in the late 80's. Traded it for two road bikes.

I would go amber on the lights if you're planning on using them primarily in the snow, but it's personal preferance. I've had good luck with them. I have yellow plastic covers over the factory fog lenses on a Subie Legacy GT wagon. Very pleased.
post #9 of 29
Mule, tell them about your old VW squareback.  The one all the down parkas in Maine wouldn't keep you warm in.
post #10 of 29

Newfy, Funny how many guys fail to remember that orange pumpkin as fondly as I did. Heat? What heat? I do remember that beers were real quick to freeze and explode in it. By the time I GAVE that car to a neighbor's kid, it was on it's third engine. It was rocket for a VW of the day, and had a bad habit of breaking valve stems. Remember the hand made wooden rack that would hold about 50 pairs of skis? Made it great in the wind!! Wind in Maine? No chance!

 

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post

The pink vehicle was an old CJ5.

 

I've had 3 near near death experiances in old CJ's so they have great sentimental value to me and I would love to someday own one.   Ever heard of the Pink Jeep tours in Sedona Arizona?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Mule, tell them about your old VW squareback.  The one all the down parkas in Maine wouldn't keep you warm in.

Those old air cooled, rear engine V dubs got around great in the snow but they made NO heat for the interior! Ever see the old book "Hippies guide to VW repair" or sumpin' like that? Each repair job would tell you how many beers and doobies it would take to complete!   
post #12 of 29
Tranny cooler :   


yay or nay?
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


Tranny cooler :   


yay or nay?
 

For a heavy haulin' truck with auto trans especially in hot weather - definitely yay.  Never even heard of one for a manual trans in a light car. My Honda has a 6 speed manual with a "granny gear" low and a viscous coupled automatic AWD system and 4 wheel independant suspension that flippin' works! Can't hardly MAKE it spin a tire! And it is a 1988 so it is relatively easy to work on and parts are cheap! (Like me!  )
post #14 of 29
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
James Bond always goes in style! I think I like the body lines of the older Lotus better.

Now HERE is a ski car!



Earlier this winter I saw a Toyota Landcruiser with a track kit out at one of the snowparks. Talk about a luxury snowmobile!
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cznskier View Post

For a heavy haulin' truck with auto trans especially in hot weather - definitely yay.  Never even heard of one for a manual trans in a light car. My Honda has a 6 speed manual with a "granny gear" low and a viscous coupled automatic AWD system and 4 wheel independant suspension that flippin' works! Can't hardly MAKE it spin a tire! And it is a 1988 so it is relatively easy to work on and parts are cheap! (Like me!  )

 

Look under your Honda. You'll find it has a live axle in back. My wife has had one of these for years. It creaks and groans, but it's very reliable, even with nearly 250,000km. Heater is a little weak, and statistics on problem areas have shown the clutch to be a weak link. The carburetor seems to need frequent tinkering. Either it doesn't want to idle at all as it is warming up, which requires several restarts until it's fully warm, or it wants to idle at 2,500 rpm. We adjust it, it's OK for a while, and then it drifts off in one direction or the other. Typical of carburetors of the era.

You can't hardly make it spin a tire because it only has 76 bhp.

We keep a stick in the back to prop the hatch open, since the hydraulic struts gave up being strong enough in cold weather several years ago.

I don't recall seeing an oil cooler on a manual transmission in a light car, but there are a few out there with oil pumps to provide pressurized lubrication.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
You can't hardly make it spin a tire because it only has 76 bhp.
 
I was referring to slick conditions. Mine has the fuel injected (I won't own a carbureted car anymore) 1.6 liter 16 valve overhead cam motor. Not sure of it's rated HP but a while back I took it up a road with almost a foot of heavy new snow and it pulled itself along dragging it's belly no problem at all with half worn summer tires! I actually have two of these (an '88 and a '91) and will be Ebayin' some parts that I won't be needing before I dispose of the extra hulk - sorry no liftgate shocks that are any good but let me know if there is something else in particular you are looking for.
post #18 of 29
I'll see your trax car and raise you a Snow-Motor

http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/topic,213971.0/topicseen.html
post #19 of 29
2wr19gp.jpg
post #20 of 29
 Audi A6
Rain X
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
That snow motor thing is cool! Speaking of the Jetsons I've been following this Skycar for years now but it just can't seem to "get off the ground".

But when it's ready make mine black with ghost flames and a ski rack!




But overall I think this is about the coolest ski car I have ever seen.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by polariso View Post

 Audi A6
Rain X
 


That'll work!
post #23 of 29
1d478e85.jpgAmandaShelby012.jpg
post #24 of 29
AmandaShelby012.jpg


 


That's it!  The Snowmotor!  click on my link above for action video
post #25 of 29
Wonder if there were ever SnowMotor races?   That thing is way too cool.
post #26 of 29
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cznskier View Post
remember JC whitney, they sold a auxiliary,gas operated heater for VW's, it worked great. had one in a beetle and my squareback



Those old air cooled, rear engine V dubs got around great in the snow but they made NO heat for the interior! Ever see the old book "Hippies guide to VW repair" or sumpin' like that? Each repair job would tell you how many beers and doobies it would take to complete!   
 
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by polariso View Post

 I found this thread fascinating...
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=229248&showall=1
 

That is cool! Thanks for that!

I saw some little thumbnails of this thing there, I guess you put RainX on your goggles...

sled1.jpg


Then there is the Gonckulator...


post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4cznskier View Post

 I guess you put RainX on your goggles...
 

Seriously though, anybody ever try this?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion