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Old 02-21-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
sarom058
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Member#: 342904
Join Date: Jan 2013
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Vehicle:
2002 SF5 Forester L
Platinum Silver Metallic

Default So Lost

Hello all. So, I've been lurking/buying on NASIOC for about six months now, and I've had really high aspirations for my SF5. It was a hand-me-down to me from my father, who bought the car in '03 when I was five, and I've grown up with this car. I'm 17 now, and have driven it, mostly with 185,000 miles of help from my father to a 197,000 odometer readout. I've helped my dad work on the car, we've given it regular and frequent maintenance, and last year, I started to drive it daily. It has developed MANY problems over the years, and in my current high-school status, I cannot honestly fund a return-to-new project, and I don't know what to do.

The issues are:

leaking head gaskets
197,000-mile-old engine gaskets/internals
4EAT on last legs (jerks HARD while shifting (in D), stays in neutral for first 5-10 seconds of being in reverse/ being in drive after reverse-ing)
Dent on every body panel
Leaking coolant like mad (have to entirely refill system ~every 4 days)
Rattling catalytic converter
stripped oil drain plug threading (needs new lower oil reservoir/oil sump)

. So as the title says, I'm kind of lost. I do all my own mechanical work, and I'm determined to rebuild the engine, but if I am going to end up spending more than $1000 just for parts, I honestly don't know if it's worth it. Not to mention, I found a metre-wide pool of oil underneath my car this morning, and a couple hours after it was parked at school.

What should I do? Should I just get a new car? Swap an old 2.5 RS motor and 5MT (and pedals, and diff, and ECU, etc.) in (I know how, and would prefer to drive manual)? I don't want to spend a lot of time rebuilding a piece of junk if it won't last, though. Not to mention, I would love a beater S13, E30, or NA. In any case, what would you all recommend I do?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
Thunderpaw
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Dallas
Vehicle:
2009 wrx
blue

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarom058 View Post
Should I just get a new car? ?
Yes

You can fix the coolant leak and oil leak. Rebuilding transmission is over your budget.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
Gallo2011
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: So Kali
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2011 SSM STI saloon
Church!

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Who is So and what did he lose?

What's your budget, if you were to buy a used car?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
ClemRoo
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Charcoal Gray

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Get a new car my friend
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
blue sedan
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WRB

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Sorry to say, but the car sounds tired!Better to purchase something newer/fresher.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
Spenk
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Evo Orange Mica (1/644)

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Ship it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
sarom058
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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2002 SF5 Forester L
Platinum Silver Metallic

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
Ship it.
What do you mean by that, haha?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
leecea
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Certainly sounds like you need a different car but used cars are expensive in my area. Have you looked at what you can afford?
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
575rider
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Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bends epic singletrack
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03 hybrid 6spd wgn
YETI 575

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarom058 View Post
What do you mean by that, haha?
Ship it off, it's done. Buy another car and work on it as a project to learn about car mechanics, but it has so much wrong with it and high price tag to repair it all that you're better off buying another daily driver.
Not saying get rid of it, just saying it's a serious project. Buy a driver, throw this on a rack or jackstands and work on it when you have some money for parts and/or time to tinker.
You could buy a lower mileage better condition car that's ready to drive TODAY, rather than dump all the time and money in to that Forester. I'm sure there are many more small problems under those big ones....it's a SERIOUS project!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
aerosaaber
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Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Vehicle:
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WRC Blue

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have you tried changing the trans fluid?
is coolant/oil leaking from anywhere besides the head gasket and oil pan drain plug?
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:28 AM   #11
NCORWRX
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Location: Back in the Rogue Valley baby!
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007 LGT LTD
DGM stg1

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarom058 View Post
...(dad) bought the car in '03 when I was five... I'm 17 now...
Am I the only one having trouble with this math? Did you hit 88mph at some point?
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:14 AM   #12
575rider
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Member#: 112024
Join Date: Apr 2006
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bends epic singletrack
Vehicle:
03 hybrid 6spd wgn
YETI 575

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarom058 View Post
Hello.....my father, who bought the car in '03 when I was five, and I've grown up with this car. I'm 17 now?
^^^ you're right, OP should be 14-15 yrs old, it's 2 mos into 2013, car purchased in 03, that means the family has owned the car 9 yrs....

That's an interesting statistic to point out, but the car still isn't worth being an only car, right now. All the repairs it needs, that's a whole lot of downtime if OP wants to throw it on a rack or jackstands and rebuild or replace......just about everything.

I still vote for OP keeping it to wrench on, lots to learn and good experience to be had. Just purchase a DD so you have transpo, while you rebuild it over a period of time. It's going to require lots of tools, lots of bloody knuckles, lots of specialty tools, lots of manual/online reading, lots of frustration, lots of calls to a Suby shop to ask question, more tools, tons of PB blaster, LOTS more money than you think for all the small bits....you get the picture.

There's great potential, I think it's cool to keep the car in the family. But, it definitely isn't a weekend project. I'd get a cheap realiable car that will relatively hold it's value, drive that while you fully rebuild the Suby. Once your project is finished, sell the cheap transpo, and rock your Suby.

That year is based on the Impreza platform, build a sweet WRX/STI Forester. Done tastefully, that could be an uber Forester.

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

Last edited by 575rider; 02-22-2013 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:22 AM   #13
sarom058
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Member#: 342904
Join Date: Jan 2013
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Vehicle:
2002 SF5 Forester L
Platinum Silver Metallic

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCORWRX View Post
Am I the only one having trouble with this math? Did you hit 88mph at some point?
Whoops, haha. I was seven years old. I mean, this is a minute detail, but nevertheless, my apologies.

As for the question regarding the location of the leak, the majority is not dripping down the front/center of the engine, but rather almost entirely from the very rear of it. If this is a hint, it is dripping directly onto the exhaust. Bear in mind it is not a leak anymore; the 'leak' resembles a stream. What specifically could this be?

The transmission fluid was changed ~30,000 miles ago. I'm under the impression that this is not THAT long, correct me if I'm wrong.
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