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Old 04-15-2011, 09:54 AM   #1
Homemade WRX
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Hey guys,
I recently decided to pick up a DD as diesel prices are getting ridiculous and driving (more so parking) and F250 isn't exactly fun. I was shopping for various cars; used 911's, new STi, an 08/09 Spec B, etc when I came across a great deal on a used 02 WRX from a local NASIOC member. I decided that I'd snag GD and start a project of reviving higher mileage, used WRX.
The goals and intent of this project are to breath new life into the aging chassis, engine, drivetrain and suspension with goals to out perform those newer cars at a fraction of the cost while retaining driveability and decent fuel economy.
I've contacted a few of our wonderful vendors on here for some input for ideas and have recieved some good feedback from them.
With that said, if there is something that you think needs to be covered, speak up and let me know!

Now for the details.
2002 WRX with 159k on the clock.
-Shifter feels like jelly
-the trans is a little notchy
-motor is burning oil (see compression test)
-it's lifted on FXT struts/springs and handles like donkey doo
-power steering is removed and lines were cut
-clutch squeals
-seat belts squeels
-engine is covered in oil and dripping on my my driveway
-surprisingly stock and worn out
-beginning to get light scratches on the windows from worn out guide pads

First things I did is get a base line and give the motor new plugs (pics of the old ones to come) and oil/filter. I then ran a compression check.
cyl 1 - 100 psi
cyl 2 - 145 psi
cyl 3 - 147 psi
cyl 4 - 143 psi

Plan of attack is rathe simple and go various routes.
-Upgrade intercooler
-Repair/replace transmission
-Rebuild with a budget 2.1L stroker
-Upgrade to VF or similar turbo...possibly finally do TD05hr setup that I've been wanting to do for about five years now.
-Keep to small bolt-ons and stay on factory ECU (no stand alone)
-repair/replace worn bushings/parts
-address fuel system (injectors, pump and possibly explore E85 as poor mans race fuel)


the reserved DD spot in the driveway


showing off it's monster truck prowess


I get the pick of litter from my STi strut collection which I'll be sending off to Odi @ Feal. He's generously decided to help with the project. I'm very excited to see how the revalved struts will ride. I will be running a tarmac revalving. Springs are still undecided at this moment. This setup will get the girlfriend test in pothole riddled Washington DC


A spare EJ205 block that I'll be doing the build on. You can pick these up usually in the $100 range and prebuilding the engine saves you down time!


JDM STi tmic sitting around, already on...obviously.


VF39, sitting around, already on along with a GT Spec EL manifold that I had sitting around. Sounds too much like a Honda I suspect this is partially due to the stock catback and the long tube aspect of the manifold.

**Yes, too many projects at once makes chaos in the garage. My wiring harness showed up and Brighton will be out soon. My brother's LGT will have it's new engine put in and then there will be for diving further into the bugeye.
**Forgive my photography newbness. These are literally the first pics I took with my new Nikon.

Because the battery was charging, it missed the 1 hour long tear down of the Ver 3 RA trans that'll be going into this. Also parts sitting around but not too different from many of the other used 5-spds floating around.
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Last edited by Homemade WRX; 03-08-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:55 AM   #2
Homemade WRX
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DIY AC recharging:
Directions on on the bottles but if you have any doubt on the location of the low pressure side fill valve see below.




Handbrake tightening if you've never done it before:
Simply pop off the center console/parking brake handle cover and see how dirty it is underneath there


Now find your adjustment nuts. Not the top nut is a jam nut so loosen it first, then tighten the lower nut.

You'll need two 10mm wrenches or might be able to use a deep socket.


Adjust until you reach the recommended number of clicks (found in your manual...which I don't have) I tightened my to 8 clicks as I recall my old GC manual had said 7-9.


I tried squeezing in blacking out headlights but weather had another idea.

I did manage to fix my air horns as two of the three had blown diaphragms.

(it's so lonely now)

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 04-28-2011 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
Homemade WRX
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saved for more pics
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
Homemade WRX
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saved for even more pics
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:15 AM   #5
blaze wrx
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interesting, mines approaching a pampered 150k, and has none of those problems. burns an undetectable amount of oil is all, only clue is the smell coming from the turbo
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:19 AM   #6
poly_poly-man
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holy cow that thing's been beaten on! Good luck with it, can't wait to see your progress
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
Homemade WRX
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yes, she was flogged and had bad/no upkeep. I don't think the plugs had ever been done nor the brakes bled. The fluid was BROWN and the driverside rear caliper's bleed screw had rusted the bleed hole shut, solid

Quote:
Originally Posted by blaze wrx View Post
interesting, mines approaching a pampered 150k, and has none of those problems. burns an undetectable amount of oil is all, only clue is the smell coming from the turbo
for those well taken car of cares and guys simply looking for something new/faster but still streetable, just ignore the abuse repair section
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
mattwho
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Small piece of advice - the sloppy shifter is probably due to worn out shifter linkage bushings. Do this: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=753869 or buy TiC's upgrade solution. I did the custom design and it was night and day vs. my worn out bushings on my bugeye.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
Homemade WRX
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already have an STi short shifter with Kartboy bushings waiting to go in

like my other higher mileage Imprezas, I suspect the plastic bushing is worn out as well.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
Crystal_Imprezav
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No power steering? Gangster
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:21 AM   #11
iheartmysuby
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Odi is the shiz. I'm sure you'll be happy with his services.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #12
TDagen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystal_Imprezav View Post
No power steering? Gangster
I was thinking the same thing! Well this should be pretty cool, I'm always down for a good bugeye revival. Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:27 PM   #13
juanmedina
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WRX VF39+E85 12.0, 121mph

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Can you make a LR 2.3L with the EJ20, would it be better than a EJ255/57 2.3L LR? I don't know why I was thinking about a 2.3L engine yesterday

Sweet project
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:33 PM   #14
DerickRyoung
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Whiteline steering rack bushings are a really nice and cheap upgrade, good luck, I am still enjoying my 02' PSM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:30 PM   #15
fastwrx25
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I'm suprised that radiator hasnt leaked yet...if that was the original
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #16
Homemade WRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartmysuby View Post
Odi is the shiz. I'm sure you'll be happy with his services.
I'm quite excited to see how they turn out. I don't know of anyone in Virgina or Maryland with firsthand experience with them. In fact most people don't know about them. Hopefully this can help spread the word on a good product!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by juanmedina View Post
Can you make a LR 2.3L with the EJ20, would it be better than a EJ255/57 2.3L LR? I don't know why I was thinking about a 2.3L engine yesterday

Sweet project
I could do a 2.34 LR on the 205 heads. To do it with the block, I'd have to sleeve and with the power goals for this motor, it would be a waste (sleeving and long rod setup).
The 2.1L will be punchier and more fuel efficient for a little power (350-400whp on E85) daily driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerickRyoung View Post
Whiteline steering rack bushings are a really nice and cheap upgrade, good luck, I am still enjoying my 02' PSM.
Well considering he said the rack was leaking, I've been on the look out for a used STi rack and to get those same bushings
Such a great bang for the buck product!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastwrx25 View Post
I'm suprised that radiator hasnt leaked yet...if that was the original
It isn't the original. The original did however leak rather nicely and rusted the crap out the passenger side bracket support bolt...it had snapped off on the previous owner and two E-Z-outs as well. So it has a lovely drilled hole and safety wire at the moment.

Like I said, I got a great price on the car
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #17
Homemade WRX
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I need to add 'recharge AC system' to the to-do list. It was bit toasty on my road trip this past weekend.
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #18
nhat
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my bugeye will kick more ass than your bugeye...once it's back on the road
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #19
twistymaster
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idk man, I got my bugeye for a steal too. Competing projects!!!

Lets get down to brass tax here, How much was the beater ?
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:19 AM   #20
Homemade WRX
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I picked it up for $1700. I did some more work on it yesterday on some small things. I charged the AC system via a DIY kit, adjusted the super stretched handbrake, cleaned the engine bay a bit from oil residue (stopped realizing I was wasting time as the motor will come out ), stole the hood prop grommet from my coupe (racecar) to replace the missing one on the bugeye.

Now I don't have to get it out of the trunk when I want to do something under the hood
Some update pics to come. Packing up the struts to go out to Odi @ Feal Suspension. I'm SOOO stoked about it.

Nhat, if you really want to make this about who's bugeye is faster, I'll just snatch the long rod motor and 35R out of the coupe

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 04-24-2011 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:22 PM   #21
HeyImDave
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Can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:31 PM   #22
Homemade WRX
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Well, I just found a great deal on a local EJ207 with a spun rod bearing. So it may be getting the JDM AVCS, a 207 base block and then the 2.1L stroker setup. Should make things even more interesting

Sorting pictures from the trans and other projects this weekend, for both this and my coupe projects. I'll get the pics up tomorrow most likely.

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 04-24-2011 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:27 AM   #23
nhat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX
Nhat, if you really want to make this about who's bugeye is faster, I'll just snatch the long rod motor and 35R out of the coupe
you don't play fair...
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:16 AM   #24
mke723
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nice to see a revival.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:38 AM   #25
elicea
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I just revived a 2002 WRX in silver! mine cost me about 1000 ofr the car. it had a blown engine so I bought a shortblock from someone here in NASIOC. she running great... so far. Good luck with your build. Its definitely worth it!
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