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I keep the maintenance up on my 04 Forester with 148K miles on it.  I'd take it most anywhere tomorrow.

I keep my AAA paid up and take my cell phone when I go long distances in it.

Now, however, Judy has a brand new Forester with only 5500 miles on it so we will be using it for most long trips.

Do replace the timing belt at the recommended interval, I did on mine.  The new 2011 Forester engine replaced the timing belt with a chain which is the way an engine should be built.

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rotor removal

On a 4x4 it looks like a bit of a PITA but nothing technical, basic tools except for the one torque tool.

Most auto parts stores will lend you the tool with a deposit if you buy the rotors from them.

Its a 2 sixpack job :)

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Happened years ago.  Truck got stuck, not broke down, and not to far from home.

Call to Amoco Motor Club and wrecker guy met me in short order.  But where was Erik (RI) and his 2 friends, who got the 4 wheel drive truck stuck in the first place?

Why they were out in the woods hunting turkeys while dad took care of their little problem.  Hmmmm........


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A few years back the wife and I were in Salida Co. when the vehicle broke down.  It took a couple of days for the local shop to get the part.  AAA paid for the towing, food and lodging. Totally worth it.
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Just to clarify, what he meant was I should drive it until these pads are shot and then it's time to replace the rotors.  On the other hand, I may just throw another set of pads on and see how long I can keep it going.

Also, for the record, I'm a decent mechanic and have been fooling around with engines since I was a kid.  What I don't have are a decent set of tools or a place to work on stuff.   But I did just fix the non-working electric window on my wife's car.  (okay, all it really took was a screwdriver and some contact cleaner but still ;)

Timing belt jobs with associated parts and labor seem to run between $700 and $1000 for my make and model.  I'm calling Carl tomorrow.

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Okay, I guess it's overdue.  I'll call Carl tomorrow to see how he feels about changing out my timing belt.

As far as the brakes, the pads are fine and have plenty of meat on them but the rotors are almost shot.  Given how much stuff would need to be pulled off to change them, it's a $1000 job.

I can't really afford a timing belt change right now, but given the mileage I can't afford NOT to do it either.  I knew this.

Just about any decent backyard mechanic can replace the rotors, even in a 4WD. About $30-60 in additional tools that even a basic set won't have is all you will need. Snap ring pliers and a wheel bearing packer. Maybe a bigger 1/2" drive socket for the caliper mount bolt. This shows you how to and what you need. The instructions say to cut the seal from the outside but if you are careful, I found it easier to pry it out from underneath. Try not to mar the rotor where the seal rests in.

Is there a place you can rent a bay at a DIY shop? Some of those even let you rent tools on site.

Looks like the rear rotors will be much easier as it is not part of the wheel bearing assembly?

Get a service manual for the XTerra, Haynes, Chilton, Bentley or even the OEM manual. Looks like they have it in pdf form.

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Bob Frankenfield

I know of a couple guys that have been stranded on western hunting trips.  It wasn't a break down that caused problems.  It was hitting deer.  One guy is on his 5th deer hit while on western hunting trips.  Another slid off the road.  The possibilities are endless.

Best idea is to rent I think.

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Jeff--I haven't read the responses as of yet but would suggest that most here on this board would lend a helping hand and that help is just a phone call/text/e-mail away.  However, and I realize this may be just a function of where I live ;-). but I don't travel too much to hunt and any break-downs simply would not be an issue.  I have made the decision to live where I hunt for the most part...hint, hint, hint.  ;-)
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I figure a payment on a new vehicle is about 500/mo or 6000/yr.  I budget 3000/yr for repairs/maintenance, as I view it cheaper than a new car.  Not to belittle 3k, but in hindsight, it is far cheaper.

If I dont spend the 3k, i am that much farther ahead.  If I start to spend more than my budget, then I start to consider it may be time to replace.

Just my on little matrix for justifying repairs.  Takes the sting out of paying the bills.

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Not to hijack the thread here


What kind of rebuilt motor did you get? did you install it your self? I have a 94 suburban with 234,000+  getting ready for hunting season.

cap and rotor

spark plugs and wires

fuel filter

transmission flush

air filter

oil and filter

brake pads( first time ever I didn't have to do the rotors)

new tires I am trying the treadwell warden retreads

I bought a bunch of beer (schells october fest) and called one of my motor head buddies over we got most everything done ourselves in front of my house except the tires and the transmission flush

Someday I am going to need a motor hoping to get another 66,000 miles out of her

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braque du upstate
i don't expect it but.... don't underestimate  kindness ,from random stangers. i've had my butt pulled out the fire a few times. i always try and repay the favor when i can.
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The question of when should a timing belt be changed on a '96 T-100 on Answers.com and the answer was:

"120,000 miles or when it breaks since it is not an interference motor, so it won't do any damage."

I'm no machanic and I don't know what an "interference" motor is but maybe your Nissan has an "interference" motor so if the timing belt were to break it would not cause damage.

I have the '97 T-100 and the same question was asked on Answers.com and the answer was:

"in 97 they decided to extend the change interval to 90,000 miles. the 3400 engine on this model has a very good record for not breaking. let it go til then and you should be fine. one note though, replace the waterpump at the same time. if it isnt leaking yet, it will be soon and you'll save about 4.5 hours labor to remove the timing belt again and do the pump when it does finally go. the pump is about 100.00 and the extra labor is minimal compared to starting from scratch."

Just food for thought I don't know if Toyota's and Nissan's are similar.

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