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Old 09-09-2013, 11:57 PM   #1
Kyle_B
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Default Mechanic Told Me To Buy A New Car

I have a 2002 WRX. So my car was making some weird noises and hasn't been really looked at since I got it so I decided to bring it to a shop. I haven't brought a car to a shop in as long as I can remember as I usually do my own work or get my buddy to help me out (he works at a shop).

The guy told me that it wouldn't be worth fixing as my car is too far gone.

He said it needs:

new sub frame (it's completely rottet out)
all new bushings
new suspension
new tires (winters on it now)
fix the leak in the tranny where the shifter goes in
and a few other things

He said that looking at the subframe, and all the rust that's on it, it isn't just going to be the subframe that I will be replacing, it's going to turn into a huge job. All the bolts are most likely seized and things are on the verge of breaking.

I live in Canada and the guy that owned it before me, didn't undercoat it, always parked it outside in the winter, and didn't wash the salt away.

So, I really don't know what to do. I really want to keep it and fix it up but I don't want to start dumping money into something that is just going to make me broke and then have no car. I'm saving up for a house.

I actually am debating selling it and buying something else. I test drive a 2002 Forester today. It also needs work.

Anyone have any words of wisdom that will help me decide what to do?
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
Back Road Runner
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You will just need to weigh the cost vs buying another car.

Frankly, the raw parts are likely not all that expensive. The harder part will be either (a) finding time to do the work on the car or (b) paying a significant amount extra in labor cost to have someone else do it for you.

Buying a 2002 Forester may not be much better depending on the condition of the vehicle. I've got a 2002 Forester that has a pile of issues too. The subframe is certainly rusty, the engine seals and pistons need refreshing, and I just spent money on the transmission. Old cars cost money, and that money often becomes pretty continuous. You might spend $2000 a year to keep it running. It will run a long time doing so, but you need to weigh the hassle associated with the work, the inconvenience if it's your only car, and the cost per year versus a newer car without repair costs but a sizable car loan. What ends up being more cost effective? Old cars can be less costly if you can do the work yourself, but there is the investment of time. Newer cars give you a lot of trouble free years where you don't have to do a single thing with the car besides change oil. For many, that alone carries significant worth.

In the end it's your choice.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:47 AM   #3
Dat8687
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I have an 04 and have replaced EVERY bushing, new control arms, laterl links, swaybars etc..

Basically have spent thousands on bringing the car to back to like new as far as the underbody goes.

Its no picnic I tell you..
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:08 AM   #4
Scooby921
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I would say you're looking at $1500-2000 in parts. Depending on condition of the body and number of miles on the chassis a 2002 WRX may only be worth $3500-5000 these days. If you're dumping at least half the cost of the car back into it just to keep it on the road it may not be worth it. Then again when you replace that much stuff you're chassis is in pretty good shape for another 150k miles.

If you do the work you'll have a pretty well refreshed, fun, reliable car to drive for the next few years. The risk you run is the potential loss. If you have a collision and the car is totaled you may never recover the money you put into fixing it. It's a risk you run, but I'd still go the route of fixing it. But I'd do the work myself and save the labor cost. This is only possible if you have the space, tools, and can spare a little money for a replacement DD / beater while doing the work. Hopefully the cost of said beater is a wash as you may buy it for $1000, drive it for 2-3 months, and sell it for the same $1000 you paid.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:14 AM   #5
Kyle_B
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dat8687 View Post
I have an 04 and have replaced EVERY bushing, new control arms, laterl links, swaybars etc..

Basically have spent thousands on bringing the car to back to like new as far as the underbody goes.

Its no picnic I tell you..
And you're from Texas? Where there is no snow or salt on the ground for most of the year? Well that's discouraging.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:20 AM   #6
Kyle_B
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Default

also, if I did get a beater, I wouldn't spend more then $1000 on it. I got my WRX with about 91000km (57000miles) on it for $3500. It's in pretty good shape considering. Just wish it was in better shape.

I did take it for a cruise around last night. First time in a long time since I've done that. Made me want to keep it and fix it up. It's a hard decision.

Anyone here replace their subframe that can give some input as to the difficulty level it may be?
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:43 AM   #7
Robin2
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which part of Ottawa are you from? east, south? gatineau?

maybe bring it to Subaru friendly mechanic? post and i'll give you some references.

it's a big enough job... and there's been enough 02-03 with this issue. subaru has front control arms as an issue for rust but the subframe wasn't part of it. they should add that also... if the car wasn't rustproofed over the years, i doubt it's worth in saving / putting that $$ into it since wrx are getting so cheap.

look at www.ottawasubaru.com
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
Kyle_B
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Default

I live in Kanata. Not Gatineau Ottawa hehehe

If I can get it on a lift soon, I'll take some pictures and see what kind of suggestions you guys have. Also, WRX's are still going for about $7000 here. If I get rid of this car, I'm not going to be getting another WRX. I would finally be getting me 2006-2007 STi. I was 1 day away from getting one (it was exactly what I was looking for) but then the wife informed me we were going to have a kid. Now that my kid is over 2-years-old, it might be time to look back into getting one of these. Maybe keep the WRX as a winter beater and the STi as a summer fun car. That would be in a perfect world though.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:30 AM   #9
trueno92
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also from canada, but toronto, and I have had my car Krown'd 4x since 2005.

how are the rear quarters on your bugeye?

Re: subframe, I have heard of guys remove it completely and in Asia the subframe isn't installed from the factory.

Can you remove it or find a mechanic that deals in old rusty beaters, BY NO MEANS TAKE THIS CAR TO A 'PERFORMANCE SHOP' for this kind of chassis work as anything other than swapping mufflers is impossible, .
a race shop that does chassis prep is a diff story. Removing stuff without breaking too much of it is all about experience, so keep us posted.

a forester is nice, but headgaskets aren't.

If your child is almost 2, get something that won't require you to turn wrenches on it often. Your wife and kid will be more than appreciative! my girl just turned 3 and that year between 2-3 is worth holding off on a car for.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
Robin2
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02's wrx are more in the $3500-5k range... but there's $7k or more but mainly dreamers.

There was a really nice 07wrx that sold locally and it was low mileage and very clean for about $13k....

A cheap sti doesn't exist... there's some 04's in low 12-14 range but they're rough or high mileage.

here's one shop on the south end not too far for you and they're subbie specilists (not a performance shop)

In the Ottawa area :
Legacy Autotech
613-898-9855
http://legacyautotech.ca/en/
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #11
Kyle_B
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by trueno92 View Post
also from canada, but toronto, and I have had my car Krown'd 4x since 2005.
I'll be doing this once everything is fixed up, or on my next car



Quote:
Originally Posted by trueno92 View Post
how are the rear quarters on your bugeye?
bad. very bad. If I keep the car for a long time, I will need to get one side cut out and replace the metal. It's beyond fixing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by trueno92 View Post
Can you remove it or find a mechanic that deals in old rusty beaters, BY NO MEANS TAKE THIS CAR TO A 'PERFORMANCE SHOP' for this kind of chassis work as anything other than swapping mufflers is impossible, .

Ya, I would try and do it myself or at my buddy's shop with him. He's been a mechanic for many moons so I trust him 100%



Quote:
Originally Posted by trueno92 View Post
a forester is nice, but headgaskets aren't.
I know this from experience. My first Subaru was a 98 Forester. It was a lot of fun. Maybe a little too much fun... Blew the HG and sold it for a few pennies



Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin2 View Post
02's wrx are more in the $3500-5k range... but there's $7k or more but mainly dreamers.

There was a really nice 07wrx that sold locally and it was low mileage and very clean for about $13k....

A cheap sti doesn't exist... there's some 04's in low 12-14 range but they're rough or high mileage.

here's one shop on the south end not too far for you and they're subbie specilists (not a performance shop)

In the Ottawa area :
Legacy Autotech
613-898-9855
http://legacyautotech.ca/en/
I will check this out. I really want to keep it. I think I would go into depression if I sold my WRX that runs fine and has literally perfect interior, for a crappy Forester or Legacy wagon.

Maybe I'll see about a bugeye'd WRX wagon? I've always had a love for those. I'm all over the place. I just need to get through the winter with something fun.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:47 PM   #12
Teddy7
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Maybe consider buying a shell and swapping your parts over, I don't know if it was mentioned before. But in the past I went through something similar in one of my Rx7s, couldn't bear to let it go even though the rust on the body was terrible, fuel hard lines and brake lines were rupturing, jack points were not longer structurally sound etc. I found a clean shell for a couple hundred$ and swapped my stuff over.
It's a lot of work and it won't be the cheapest option, but it's less than another wrx and replacing rusty chassis sections is the one of the least pleasant things in the world to do.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
Kyle_B
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that is way too much work for me to do right now
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:06 PM   #14
trueno92
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write off this winter with a cheap beater or drive this gingerly until next spring and in the meantime, work with getting the parts you like off the car and just get ready to unload it? If you already know you are going to be battling rust, this could be a war you may not be able to win.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
Kyle_B
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So looks like I'm going to be keeping it. I'll be keeping an eye on things and fixing what I can along the way. We'll see what happens.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #16
paulpat
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There are all how to 's for just about every bushing on here. I'm in Cali and I had to buy bolts that I couldn't take off. So I sawed off bolts then replaced everything with bushings from turninconcepts that don't need a press to insert the new bushings.

Pb blaster and a torch then sawzall usually works. Good luck.

Btw. The black u shaped front subframe thing is useless take it off or get a used one for 50$
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:40 PM   #17
Robin2
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Southern cars.... and 0 rust! wouldn't it be so easy....
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:42 PM   #18
walker164
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Fix it if you love it!.....and if you have the time. You could totally manage a cheap-o beater while you work on it and have it jacked up.

My buddy rolls around in a 1981 cougar that has a headlight duct taped on. The radio doesn't work either so he bluetooth's his phone to a jambox. Hilarious.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #19
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I would get rid of it if I were you. Spending thousands just to replace the rusty parts doesnt seem worth it. Sell it, save and buy one thats not rusty. That way you can invest your money in mods rather than restoring the car.
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