Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'm thinking that I "need" a 14' raft for 2ish folks on overnights and am running the numbers so to speak... I've got a 2004 WRX as a vehicle, and don't really think that I'll be getting a more tow specific vehicle anytime soon. Am I foolish to do that? Can I get an inflated raft on a light trailer over to Grand Junction (and a little beyond) with it? would I be better off getting a little trailer to roll it and tow it? it ain't gonna fit inside easily...

HELP!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,958 Posts
This works for me...



Or this:

 

·
Jared
Joined
·
733 Posts
Turbos don't like towing. Diesel engines get away with this mostly at a stock tune, but once you pump them up, egt temps are the first thing you have to look out for. Gasoline engines are even more at risk, one because the turbo in your WRX is working at closer to it's maximum output to begin with, and your ecu is constantly trying to correct for knock, or detonation, by pulling spark advance away from the engine, that robs horsepower. Your egt (exhaust gas temperature) will cook your turbo from the inside out, and cause premature failure. You can call and talk to your local Subaru dealer, and they might say you can tug up to 1500 lbs, but frankly I wouldn't. A non turbo 2.2 like the one here in the pictures may not have as much punch as the WRX, but it can deal with the thermal load that towing produces.
That said, I've owned 8 Subarus, two of them turbo, and WRX's are awesome. I just picked up a 1995 Legacy wagon with the 2.2 5-speed and love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
I have no trouble towing a 14' boat with my '90 Legacy

It also rolls up fairly small and fits behind the rear seats (below window level) leaving the rack free for the frame, oars, and cooler. Hypalon boats rolls up pretty small, there's no reason you couldn't fit one in a WRX with the seats folded if you don't use a trailer. It also fits on the rooffor short shuttles.

One of our club members has been using a WRX to tow his boat for several years without any problems that I know of but I would ask on a Subaru forum to see what others think.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,890 Posts
I used to cram two 16' cataraft tubes, a cooler, drybox & all my gear in the back of my Legacy wagon, with frame and oars up top, and drive in and out of Durango all the time (Wolf Creek, Coalbank / Molas).

Cats are a little more compact, hold plenty of gear, and are cheaper. You might go that route if you're only hauling you and another person and you don't want to pull a trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
because the turbo in your WRX is working at closer to it's maximum output to begin with, and your ecu is constantly trying to correct for knock, or detonation, by pulling spark advance away from the engine, that robs horsepower. Your egt (exhaust gas temperature) will cook your turbo from the inside out, and cause premature failure.
faaak... so a stage 3 WRX is probably a no-go. :-(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I had an '09 WRX and absolutely loved it, but I had to sell it and get a truck to tow my raft around. The turbos are just no good for towing anything. You would be better off with just a regular 4 cylinder, but having a 6 is definitely nice. You won't even notice you have a raft back there with a 6 or 8 cylinder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
I've had 3 people, a 14ft raft, a frame, oars, cooler, gear, and a dog IN a 1999 olds intrigue. Where there's a will, there's a way. You're rolling in luxury!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
Turbos don't like towing. Diesel engines get away with this mostly at a stock tune, but once you pump them up, egt temps are the first thing you have to look out for. Gasoline engines are even more at risk, one because the turbo in your WRX is working at closer to it's maximum output to begin with, and your ecu is constantly trying to correct for knock, or detonation, by pulling spark advance away from the engine, that robs horsepower. Your egt (exhaust gas temperature) will cook your turbo from the inside out, and cause premature failure. You can call and talk to your local Subaru dealer, and they might say you can tug up to 1500 lbs, but frankly I wouldn't. A non turbo 2.2 like the one here in the pictures may not have as much punch as the WRX, but it can deal with the thermal load that towing produces.
That said, I've owned 8 Subarus, two of them turbo, and WRX's are awesome. I just picked up a 1995 Legacy wagon with the 2.2 5-speed and love it!
I had an '09 WRX and absolutely loved it, but I had to sell it and get a truck to tow my raft around. The turbos are just no good for towing anything. You would be better off with just a regular 4 cylinder, but having a 6 is definitely nice. You won't even notice you have a raft back there with a 6 or 8 cylinder.
I beg to differ on the towing thing. I moved across the country towing a 5x8 uhaul trailer fully loaded and my WRX did awesome (I could comfortably do 85-90 miles per hour awesome). I've also flat towed a Suzuki Samurai 4x4 to Buena Vista with it, and it did great there too (it would cruise at 75 in 5th gear no problem). Gas mileage went down significantly, but thats to be expected. It stayed in boost more often too, but usually under 5-10psi, which isn't going to blow up the engine. Coolant temp didn't bat an eye. Clutch might have had more wear then normal, but it wasn't bad. Essentially, try to stay out of boost for prolonged periods, especially above 10psi, and you'll be fine. This will only happen on the big hills anyway, and the turbo is spooling going up hills anyways. A raft trailer will weight a lot less then either of those trailers, so I personally would pull it with mine all day long.

I've definitely put my WRX through the paces. Its at almost 100k and a bit worse for wear on the outside, but it still runs very strong (I've also upgraded it so its more like an STI power wise which probably helps with towing since the turbo has more headroom). I say go for it. Put it this way, if I was going on a purely rafting trip (no 4 wheeling), I would take the WRX over my Toyota Pickup any day of the week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
We had a WRX wagon when we got our first raft. Granted the raft was small (13' otter) and we had a smaller trailer. But, at least on our WRX, the turbo (I can't remember the year) didn't kick in until higher speeds/rpm, so we never felt the turbo was a factor in the slow towing department (up not-steep ramps), and once you're up to speed it seemed fine. We towed that raft all summer with that car.

However, we thought the WRX was a "numbers" car, like it didn't really perform up to the specs. We sold it and bought a newer (than the WRX) BMW 5 series sport wagon for half the price. It is not a numbers car. But we haven't towed the raft with it, however our raft and trailer are awfully heavy now.

If you do it, get a LIGHT trailer and drive mellow when towing .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Turbos don't like towing. Diesel engines get away with this mostly at a stock tune, but once you pump them up, egt temps are the first thing you have to look out for. Gasoline engines are even more at risk, one because the turbo in your WRX is working at closer to it's maximum output to begin with, and your ecu is constantly trying to correct for knock, or detonation, by pulling spark advance away from the engine, that robs horsepower. Your egt (exhaust gas temperature) will cook your turbo from the inside out, and cause premature failure. You can call and talk to your local Subaru dealer, and they might say you can tug up to 1500 lbs, but frankly I wouldn't. A non turbo 2.2 like the one here in the pictures may not have as much punch as the WRX, but it can deal with the thermal load that towing produces.
That said, I've owned 8 Subarus, two of them turbo, and WRX's are awesome. I just picked up a 1995 Legacy wagon with the 2.2 5-speed and love it!
umm....yea....what he said.

and I like lhowemt's advice to "drive mellow", but if you know ofrog, it ain't in the cards...he should take his own advice and trade the WRX for one of these:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
I have a 96' Baja with a 2.5 turbo - essentially the same engine and tranny as a WRX. Also a 17' cat and an aluminum trailer.. While I have towed this rig quite a bit, including back from the GC this spring, I recently had a heat related issue with the car on a hot day coming back fully loaded from Westwater. Car started bucking and trying to stall. Wasn't engine temp but maybe tranny? Anyway, since then I really baby it going up hills and passes on a hot day - stay out of the turbo if possible. I agree with Learch - turbos and towing on small gas engines can lead to some very expensive probvlems so I would be very cautious of this application.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Yeah it's just too bad those Earth Roamers cost half a mill. I'm sure if he could afford one of those, towing a raft would be the least of his worries...

Anyway, I'm on the side that says go for it with your WRX. You will be fine as long as you're not trying to do 80 up the passes. A light, and small trailer is also key. The notion that one needs a big burly truck to tow stuff is purely an Amrican one. Go to any other country and you will see people towing ridiculous loads with economy sized cars. It is true that gasoline turbos are not designed for towing, but that doesn't mean you can't do it. Just make sure you drive it like you own it... not like you stole it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I didn't realize you know him personally... If he's got a lead foot then the WRX is the perfect car for him... just don't tow anything with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
The WRX has a towing capacity of 1,500lbs which is probably being generous. Most people would recommend that you try to stay under half of your vehicles towing capacity, particularly for longer trips and in the mountains. By the time you get a trailer, frame, boat, and gear back there you are definitely going to be pulling several hundred pounds. If selling your car isn't an option, I would say go with hypalon boat and fold it up in your vehicle. But having done it both ways, it sure is nice to be able to drop your raft off the trailer and go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
Transporting a boat inside the WRX just isn't realistic. You guys must not know the vehicle in question. There's not much room.

How about a Quigley 1-ton 4x4 conversion? I love our van. It's a bit more spacious than the WRX ;-). They're getting easier to find used, which is how we got ours. If you have a lead-foot you'd love it. 10 cylinders have some get-up-and-go! There is this problem with an apparent hole in the gas tank though....
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,408 Posts
The WRX with the 2.0 has almost zero low end torque, would be interesting to see what clutch damage you would incur if you had to get going on an uphill pulling a trailer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Get a wife/girlfriend with a truck and you are all set. When I got married, we got rid of her xterra, bought an '08 STI and kept my Tacoma. Perfect setup. STI averages about 25 mpg if I'm not driving crazy too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
I tow my 14 foot raft, fully rigged for overnighters, on a small 8 foot fold up utility trailer using ym convertible mustang. It has a towing capacity of 1,000 lbs I think. Granted, it's a v* and not turbo, but it works. I think if you can keep the trailer small and light as well as put some stuff in the back to even the load (cooler maybe?), you'd be able to do it.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top