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Old 02-06-2009, 01:07 AM   #1
fishoutofwater
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Default known problems with 2002 wrx?

ive been thinking about gettin rid of my truck for a wrx. i was lookin at some bugeyes and there alot of 2002's out there and most of which are cheaper then the 03's. not only that but most people i know say that thhe 2003 is better. im just wondering exactly what on the 2002 is inferior to the 2003.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:10 AM   #2
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im just wondering exactly what on the 2002 is inferior to the 2003.
The lack of lighted key ring.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:11 AM   #3
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raw fuel smell...
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:37 AM   #4
fishoutofwater
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looking more along the lines of something major. as far as i was told the tranny on the 02 is alot weaker and cant handle too much power
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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you have a long way to go nemo. i have an 02. i love it. i got mine for 10k with 107 thousand on it. i drive it like i stole it cause for that price it was a steal. i've got about 3k$ on top of purchase price in bolt ons. stage 2 about 220whp/220tq on stock turbo.
you cant go wrong. awd turbo is mad fun and the sky is truely the limit with these cars.
if you want crazee power like 400whp then consider an 04sti for 19k$ so you have the 2.5 block 6 speed and brembro brakes. if you enjoy building your car up save the 10 grand and get a bugeye. you can basically clone the sti on these forums for pretty reasonable.
as far as the glassbox theory in the transmissions..its all driver. its true that the stock gearboxes in the wrx are not as wide and strong as the sti but the sti is ready to race.
the wrx is a turbo charged grocery getter. how do you think a honda or toyota trans would do if you added 200whp/200tq to a stock transmisssion?
the 02's gearbox can be upgraded as well...but at a steep price.
remember in the go fast world of cars you gotta pay to play but this is by far the must fun car i've ever owned. oh it it looks great in world rally blue.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:03 AM   #6
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looking more along the lines of something major. as far as i was told the tranny on the 02 is alot weaker and cant handle too much power
This is a false statement. The later models do have a stronger gearset, but it's not a huge difference.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:11 AM   #7
fulie
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and i think he Retiarius means later as in 06, 07 are stronger then 02-03..... I think
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:25 AM   #8
fishoutofwater
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thanks for all the feedback so far, as far as modifications i deffinetly wouldnt stay stock for long. i wouldnt go crazy with it but anywhere from 300whp+ would be nice. i know its a great car, a friend of mine has an 03 which made me consider it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:29 AM   #9
fulie
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just making sure you know that 300whp will cost you 2,000 and I think thats on the low side. Also they say 300wtq is where the tranny gets iffy. You drive good and its fine, you drive like you cant drive a manual or like someone who has to prove something every day and it might not last so long.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by fulie View Post
and i think he Retiarius means later as in 06, 07 are stronger then 02-03..... I think
The WRX's transmission gears were widened to RA with in the later portion of 2003. That is when they became stronger, but like mentioned its not a huge difference.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:16 AM   #11
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$2,000 for 300+whp is definitly on the low side, especially if your talking about buying a bone stock wrx. Now, if you could find one with light mods then you might get in closer to that number. I'd say buy it go stg2 and save your money for the goverment their gonna need all the tax dollars they can get.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:43 AM   #12
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transmissions are strong its the drivers making them weak.
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Old 02-06-2009, 11:47 AM   #13
tabrad
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Even with the tranny not being as weak as people think, it still would make more sense just getting an 03 for the same price, and getting the slightly stronger tranny
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishoutofwater View Post
im just wondering exactly what on the 2002 is inferior to the 2003.
Nothing is inferior on either year, but be aware that some of the '02/'03s had issues with ABS controllers. Subaru eventually put out a TSB on it, after months of whining from people like us. If the car has a defective controller, the ABS kicks on WAY too easily (like over a rough section of pavement).

I think this and the raw fuel smell problem were the only "major" issues on these years. Other than people smashing transmissions...
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #15
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Nothing is inferior on either year
uh except the tranny
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:26 PM   #16
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raw fuel smell...
Oh its not that bad once you get used to it
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SubieTheThird View Post
Nothing is inferior on either year, but be aware that some of the '02/'03s had issues with ABS controllers. Subaru eventually put out a TSB on it, after months of whining from people like us. If the car has a defective controller, the ABS kicks on WAY too easily (like over a rough section of pavement).
Just to clarify.... It was never determined to be a "defect". In 2003 the NHTSA did a full investigation which included thorough tests of vehicles from complainants at a DOT facility. Their conclusion was:

Quote:
As a result of the work connducted by VRTC and ODI during this investigation, a consistent or chronic pattern of poor brake performance has not been identified. VRTC conducted over 11,500 brake tests. They did not observe any long-duration, low deceleration events (some owners reported delays of 4 to 10 seconds) in the test vehicles. See ODI's closing report and VRTC's test report for full details.
The ABS ECU replacement that was offered by SOA (to those who wanted it) was solely to improve the "feel" under those conditions.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:12 PM   #18
crazyasian815
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see i was told that the 02 is the strongest year for the tranny in the wrx because subaru tried to use as much as possible from the design of its rally car. i have an 02 and love the hell out of it. i picked i up for 14000 with only 51000 miles on it. on stock turbo and a couple supporting mods, my car ran a 13.3@101.34. the gas smell, well if you have an 02 and it has under 100,000 miles on it, you can take it to a dealer and they will replace your fuel lines and rails for free. it isnt a recall but since it is a safety issue they will do it. there is a whole thread for that here somewhere. 300whp+ is def doable. im trying to do it on a vf 39 which is gonna be excitin and interesting. good luck to you though. remember, the newer ones may look nice, but 02 was the first year of it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by crazyasian815 View Post
see i was told that the 02 is the strongest year for the tranny in the wrx because subaru tried to use as much as possible from the design of its rally car. i have an 02 and love the hell out of it. i picked i up for 14000 with only 51000 miles on it. on stock turbo and a couple supporting mods, my car ran a 13.3@101.34. the gas smell, well if you have an 02 and it has under 100,000 miles on it, you can take it to a dealer and they will replace your fuel lines and rails for free. it isnt a recall but since it is a safety issue they will do it. there is a whole thread for that here somewhere. 300whp+ is def doable. im trying to do it on a vf 39 which is gonna be excitin and interesting. good luck to you though. remember, the newer ones may look nice, but 02 was the first year of it.
You were lied to
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:24 PM   #20
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i may be wrong crazyasian815, but when I bought my wife's 02 wrx the owner had to have the tranny rebuilt during his ownership, and said the some items in the gearbox were made with copper and combined with heat were softer than the later years WRX's, which switched to brass or some other metal (still not very strong, but stronger).
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Old 02-06-2009, 04:40 PM   #21
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i love my 03 about to do a hybrid build....just want more out of it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:10 PM   #22
crazyasian815
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i may have been told wrong. but what i do know is that i have put A LOT of HARD driven miles on my tranny and it is still holding up to 6500rpm launches.
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Old 02-06-2009, 05:40 PM   #23
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i may have been told wrong. but what i do know is that i have put A LOT of HARD driven miles on my tranny and it is still holding up to 6500rpm launches.
You're lucky then. 2002s are the weakest year for trannys no doubt about it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:06 PM   #24
Retiarius
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i may be wrong crazyasian815, but when I bought my wife's 02 wrx the owner had to have the tranny rebuilt during his ownership, and said the some items in the gearbox were made with copper and combined with heat were softer than the later years WRX's, which switched to brass or some other metal (still not very strong, but stronger).
First time I read this:

Second time I read it:

You think WRXs have copper and brass gears?

You realize how malleable copper is when heat is applied right? Copper wouldn't last 100 miles in a transmission.
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:39 PM   #25
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Default known problems with 2002 wrx?

I haven't had ANY problems yet after having the car for close to 8 years and 145k miles.
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