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Old 12-26-2014, 02:48 PM   #1
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
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2002 WRX/Miata

Default 02 WRX - First Subaru learning experience

In the fall I tried the kool-aid and picked up my first* Subaru as a winter beater. It's a 2002 WRX wagon with 277k miles. I've been slowly learning the ways of these cars and rehabbing mine.

*First Subaru I've taken care of, not counting the $400 mega beater Legacy in my past.

Currently my other car is a lightly modded '96 Miata. Most of my car history is Saabs which I've certainly had mine fun with, but that FWD...

Miata:


Monday. 9/22/14
by thestig99, on Flickr

Now for the WRX. 10/13/14


WRX 10/12/14
by thestig99, on Flickr


I had been looking for another Miata for a winter beater, then got send the CL ad for this last Monday. Call the seller he's the second owner, it's totally stock, meticulously maintained (Royal Purple from new, top end rebuilt, timing belt, clutch, etc 50k miles ago, etc). Needs tires and a battery but is a solid runner. It's been sitting since July and is on a donut spare. I think about it for a few minutes, call him back, and hit the road... to Maine. Left at 8PM on Monday, was handing the seller cash at 12:30AM, and got home at exactly 4AM, and went to work at 7:30.

Yesterday went back armed with a battery and a wheel to pick it up and drive it ~4 hours home.

On the road:


15 miles later:


Dead battery. ****. PO had the alternator rebuilt but had some kind of issue with it, so he took the rebuilt one out and put a used one in. He gave me the rebuilt one so I decided it was worth a shot and swapped them in the gas station parking lot.

Then...



made it the rest of the way home without missing a beat.

Rather pretty drive too.



Oh, and there's this:



Drives great, runs smooth, shifts smooth, no noises, everything works. Amazing. I believe it's also the cheapest WRX I've ever seen that didn't have a blown engine and structural rot.

I kinda like it.
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:50 PM   #2
thestig99
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Member#: 215745
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

11/29/14

I have to admit... I like the WRX a lot more than I expected to. Haven't been able to do much with it, but I did spend a little time cleaning up the exterior.

Starting with the hatch and rear bumper. Pushed out as much of the dent as I could and painted both, as they both had plenty of issues. Have yet to wetsand/buff it.

Before:


After:


Some quality factory Subaru paint... it's probably a bad thing when masking tape does THIS.



Restored the headlights....
Before:


After:


Quickly buffed it... possibly for the first time since it left the dealer lot?




Other than that it's just been driving.




WRX 11/26/14 by thestig99, on Flickr

WRX 11/26/14 by thestig99, on Flickr
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

12/20/14

Went for a post-snow drive and brought my camera along...



















Of course, at some point during this drive my girlfriend looked in the back seat and said those magic words...

"What's all that water?"

Huh?



Oh.
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
thestig99
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2002 WRX/Miata

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Water like that, of course, can only lead to one thing. Sigh...



A lake.



There's a spot of rust above the windshield on the drivers side, barely visible in pictures. That, combined with apparent drip marks down the interior A-pillar trim on that side led me to believe the windshield was leaking. A common Subaru issue anyway.

For the time being I took the rubber seal out and filled that seam with The Right Stuff gasket maker. Looks like hell but thus far the floor as remained dry. Once summer rolls around and I have another car to drive I'll have the windshield taken out and take care of the rust properly.

While the carpet is out I decided to replace it. 277k miles of wear and what seems to be a history of owners not big into detailing really does a number on Subaru carpet, evidenced by the gaping holes and staining. As of now, the carpet is still in a brown truck in Oregon.

I also ordered some Stinger RKX36B Roadkill sound deadening. I'll be doing the entire floor while it's taken apart and eventually the doors when I replace the speakers.

For now I finally made it to the junkyard for a drivers mirror that's not held together with duct tape and a hose clamp and duct tape and a front tow hook cover.

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Old 12-26-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
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2002 WRX/Miata

Default

This brings us to today.

Got the sound deadening on the floor. Very impressed with the difference... noticeable before I even got out of the driveway! Still have some left over to do the doors, too. All the more excited to get a carpet in it now.

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Old 12-26-2014, 08:35 PM   #6
silverzj
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Long Island
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2002 Impreza 2.5ts
White

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Looks good for 277xxx miles. those snow pictures are pretty awesome.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
thestig99
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2002 WRX/Miata

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^ Thanks!

Carpet finally showed up. Cleaned it and put the interior back together. There's definitely something to be said for being able to clean every piece individually ()

Old vs new...



Back together...



Compare to how it originally looked...

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Old 01-08-2015, 06:02 PM   #8
PlanB
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2006 Impreza
1998 Honda VFR 800FI

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Nice project you got yourself going there. Now you gotta do something about that mangled-up drivers seat!
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Old 01-08-2015, 07:07 PM   #9
gostt
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2002 Impreza WRX

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Damn, nice to see so much love put into its car. It has a amazing milleage! Really impressive.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:46 PM   #10
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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2002 WRX/Miata

Default

Thanks!

Definitely keeping an eye out for a deal on some decent front seats. Funny thing about high mile cars... the first owner drove it to ~260k, and I can tell you exactly how he sat from the wear on the steering wheel and the "reshaped" foam in the seat bottom...
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Old 01-09-2015, 01:53 PM   #11
mykthex
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Quebec
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2009 Impreza 2.5i
DGM

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Awesome car and you're doing an awesome job at restoring it! It'll be good for another 100k miles

Definitely inspiring me for a future project.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:27 PM   #12
gostt
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2002 Impreza WRX

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You could try to find the OEM WRX semi bucket seats maybe ? Got them in mine, and they look pretty good.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:28 PM   #13
Hondaslayer
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Location: Auburn, WA
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1995 Legacy LSi
1998 Declasse Moonbeam

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That's not OE paint, the car has been hit.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:43 AM   #14
thestig99
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Location: Waterbury VT
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2002 WRX/Miata

Default

Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
That's not OE paint, the car has been hit.
Im curious what makes you say that. The car shows no signs of paint or body work and the paint is flaking off in more than one spot. Do you see something I dont?
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:10 PM   #15
thestig99
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Location: Waterbury VT
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2002 WRX/Miata

Default

Been a while since I've updated this, lets catch up?

4/25/15

Quote:

Not much has happened since then - Just a free set of Yakima load bars and a cheap eBay cat back exhaust after the original rotted in half because Subaru.

Exhaust:




Some bonus ice shots (photos by Mike Schell)











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Old 02-01-2016, 08:11 PM   #16
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

4/25/15 Continued

Quote:
Over the winter I was very glad I ended up with this over a Miata, as I moved to the top of a mountain up five miles of barely maintained dirt roads. One thing in the snow, but a whole different animal when mud season rolled around. This is just from commuting...













In my driveway...





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Old 02-01-2016, 08:17 PM   #17
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

11/2/15

Quote:

As mentioned, the car fell into a bit of a state of disrepair in the summer. Nothing earth shatterying, just a whole bunch of wear stuff. Unfortunately life got in the way and I was too broke to do anything about it. The car sat pretty much all summer, only being driven locally every couple weeks. Then I drove it up to my parents house, putting more miles on it in two days than I had in probably the previous two months. I kept thinking to myself how great it was running. Right up until a traffic light turned red and the brake pedal went straight to the floor.

Limped it back to their house, left it, and started getting parts together. Still have some small stuff to do, but the heavy lifting is done. Parked it there in September, drove it home yesterday (Halloween). I put probably close to 1000 miles on my Miata driving back and forth to their house to work on it.



Done so far:

Energy Suspension Polyurethane front control arm bushings
Energy Suspension Polyurethane rear trailing arm bushings
Gorilla Offroad strut top spacers (1" lift)
4 Wheel brakes
New rear brake hard lines
Brake fluid flush with ATE Super Blue
LR caliper bracket
RF spindle
RF inner tie rod
RF tie rod end
RF steering rack boot
RF axle
LR strut mount
Center driveshaft
Air filter
Fuel filter
Alignment

Needless to say, it's driving better than ever.

Couple of crappy driveway shots for the occasion:






Next: 215/65-16 General Altimax Arctic


12/17/15

Quote:


Got a new exhaust

JDM catless uppipe, Invidia catless downpipe, Invidia Q300 cat back... for a grand total of $320.

Oversized tires have been on for a while now, with somexpected fresh paint on the wheels.

1/13/16

Quote:


While it sounded awesome with the Q300, I did concede that it was LOUD. When the novelty wore off I ended up swapping it for an essentially brand new OEM STi cat back - much happier.



Added two pairs of Hella 500's... driving lights and replaced the OEM fogs. Being able to see at night is pretty neat.



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Old 02-01-2016, 08:21 PM   #18
thestig99
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

1/27/16

Quote:
Undercoated it with Fluid Film.



Finally found a good enough deal to replace the drivers seat. 288k miles does things to Subaru seats... the foam is a completely different shape in the new one.

From



To

And that brings us to present day. The car is driving great at 289k miles. Some more maintenance on the horizon as well as a few boring daily driver themed upgrades.

WRX 1/29/16 by Brian, on Flickr
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:39 PM   #19
Shik
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Central PA
Vehicle:
2006 GT Ltd 5spd sdn
2015 WRX 6spd CWP

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Fantastic job! Love seeing "builds" like this! Looking forward to more updates.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:36 AM   #20
Gootz311
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Virginia Beach
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WRB

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Always a great feeling replacing old nasty parts. That carpet replacement is like night and day!
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:09 PM   #21
thestig99
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Member#: 215745
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Waterbury VT
Vehicle:
2002 WRX/Miata

Default

Thanks!

Yeah, reliability and usability over performance makes for a slightly boring "build", but it does make a big difference in the day to day ownership experience.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:08 AM   #22
Gigs90
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Location: Auburn Hills ,Michigan
Vehicle:
2003 Sti Wagon
@jn_garage

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You seem like the perfect candidate for Forester Struts and the lift they bring !
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Old 02-04-2016, 12:47 PM   #23
thestig99
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Location: Waterbury VT
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2002 WRX/Miata

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I have definitely thought about the Forester suspension. Struts are on the to do list, so it miiiight happen. We shall see.
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