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Old 04-04-2006, 01:54 PM   #1
michaelpatrick
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Default STI conversion in an 02 wrx..

I am starting to look around at different junk yards by me for a junked STI, in hopes of swapping the motor, tranny, interior, etc. into my 02 wrx. I am curious though, how much needs to be done to do this sort of thing? Is the wiring all different? Do I just need a wiring harness? Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2006, 03:03 PM   #2
STIRS
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I am currently trying to figure out the same thing, heres what I need to know:

-Does the STI power steering pump and A/C compressor compatible with the lines from the WRX?

-In order to get the throttle by wire to work can you attach the STI TPS to the WRX pedals or do you have to swap the STI pedal assy?

-Does the whole wiring harness (meaning interior and engine bay side) have to be swapped, and if so will the WRX HVAC, and other accesories like the windows and radio, plug into the new harness?

-Is the WRX radiator the same size as the STI and will the fans plug into the STI wiring harness?

That is all I can think of so far, but if theres anything else please add it to this thread
-Thanks
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:01 PM   #3
uberspeed
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Save yourself some money. Buy an STI. Seriously. I got my '02 WRX for as cheap as you can get em with 130k miles on it. $7500. I drove it for a year and then did a 2.5 swap with Baja-T trans and diff and STI IC and Turbo. I did not rewire so no AVCS or do the interior and I spent $7000 and I was being FRUGAL. I plan to get some money for my 2.0L stuff but still will be into like $12k and I challenge you to do it cheaper. Of course I did all my own work too. If I would have gone with a 6sp and the interior and brakes...pfff you can buy '04 STIs with 40k miles for $22k now.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:18 PM   #4
STIRS
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Ive worked out the numbers before and instead of getting a used car, again, with all the problems it may have. I would rather upgrade the WRX since the engine and tranny are on the way out. I figure I can find a wrecked STI or atleast a clip for under 10K and since I can do the work myself I dont have to pay for labor.
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STIRS
Ive worked out the numbers before and instead of getting a used car, again, with all the problems it may have. I would rather upgrade the WRX since the engine and tranny are on the way out. I figure I can find a wrecked STI or atleast a clip for under 10K and since I can do the work myself I dont have to pay for labor.
Your logic does not compute. You want to avoid a used car by taking your USED car and installing a USED/WRECKED drivetrain etc. into it? A drivetrain that you can't testdrive before buying?
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:56 PM   #6
STIRS
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Yes but if it all works out then I will have a bugeye STI which was my original goal when I started the car. Also in the long run it will be a lot cheaper to build the STI engine and not have to worry about the compatability issues with running a 2.5L block with WRX heads and such, and the weak tranny and brake setup will also be eliminated. Basically if it ends up costing around as much to swap my car as it would to trade and get an STI it does not matter, the money is there and I want to do this swap. Originally I was going to sell the car, I even put it up for sale, but I really want to keep it now and go along with the original plan I had when I purchased it.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:22 PM   #7
subenick
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Find a JDM STi Version 7 drivetrain, it is the simplest swap into your chassis. You only need to add 4 wires or so for the AVCS, the rest of you wrx harness plugs right in!
You can keep all your wrx power steering lines and use your old wrx AC pump. It all fits!
Also, V7 is cable throttle, where as USDM is drive by wire…
Use your WRX rad with the STi engine and it should be fine. Im using an RS rad on mine without any problems in +35C even with the AC on!
The JDM 2.0L 207 is a beauty of an engine, stronger than the 2.5, and you get an 8250rpm redline!
Engines/transmission, diffs, shafts, brakes, wiring (though you don’t need it), ecu (this you need!) kits are about 9500USD!
Easiest swap… all bolt in!
You wont be disappointed!
Good luck
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:48 PM   #8
STIRS
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With a JDM ECU I wont be able to pass emissions I believe, unless the OBD interface is the same, which I am unsure of. But thanks for the info I havent even thought of going that route.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #9
subenick
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jdm V7 and newer is OBD2 compliant. my obd2 connector works on my V7!
alot of guys in cali are running jdm engines, do i search on emissions and newer jdm engines... im not 100% sure but i dont think they have problems with emissions tests as long as you keep it stock!
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:00 PM   #10
kpmatt00
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TOO expensive!!! Just go buy a used STI adn get rid of ur 02 wrx. I did the swap similar to uberspeed, jdm sti v8 motor, brakes, suspension, tranny, diffs, etc, and it was a great car. Tuned up nicely, and all said and done was abt 15k..and that is fairly cheap i thought. I replaced a LOT of brackets, bushings, bearings, braces, and even though it had a good feel, you cud tell it needed more, replacing the parts that hadn't been replaced yet..even mounts and bolts...Save yourself time and money and please buy an STI...good luck!
-Matt
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STIRS
Yes but if it all works out then I will have a bugeye STI which was my original goal when I started the car. Also in the long run it will be a lot cheaper to build the STI engine and not have to worry about the compatability issues with running a 2.5L block with WRX heads and such, and the weak tranny and brake setup will also be eliminated. Basically if it ends up costing around as much to swap my car as it would to trade and get an STI it does not matter, the money is there and I want to do this swap. Originally I was going to sell the car, I even put it up for sale, but I really want to keep it now and go along with the original plan I had when I purchased it.
Just trying to give my advice so don't take it the wrong way. If you are hellbent on having a bugeye STI, then buy an '04 STI and get the '02 sheetmetal and headlights. The reason I say this is you mentioned swapping everything over. interior, drivetrain, suspension, brakes, and wiring. There would be NO difference then except it would be easier, cheaper, have better resale value, be newer, and more reliable. Good luck.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:19 PM   #12
STIRS
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I understand that it seems more reasonable to just buy the STI, but a V8 drivetrain, engine, ecu, and harness is only like 10k. My car would go for like 10k max as a trade. I cant really get a good low milage STI for 20k, and on top of that im only 19 and insurance would go up lots. My rex has almost 80k, the clutch is slipping, the synchros are pretty bad, and the motor has a bad lifter tick. I really want to keep this car and dont see much of a point to fixing these problems with WRX parts when I can put in stronger ones from the STI. It seems really unreasonable from the financial standpoint, I know, I appreciate the input from you guys but I want to do the swap so I can keep the car, have it running better, and also gain some experience from the project.
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Old 07-08-2006, 04:13 AM   #13
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See this is the problem: you think that since your clutch/motor/tranny is crapping out, you will gain. You gotta examine that since used WRX trannies are like 500 (you can buy a brand new gearset for 900 i think, synchros and bearings another 300), used WRX longblocks are like 1000. If you are planning on doing the STI swap yourself, you can most definately swap to these WRX parts. I am going to reiterate this following point many times: spend 10k on the v8 drivetrain and your car is stil far from an STI.


If you just do the Drivetrain, your bugeye will still be far from an STI. It will be a bugeye that has the STI drivetrain, and that's it, period. Far, far from it. There is more like 20k in random parts between a wrx and an STI. I'm serious.


STIRS, I pretty much did what you want to do: I swapped to an STI block and ported heads and cams, did full conversion, etc. etc.

Did you know that the WRX ECU maxes out intake tables before the STI's does? So to run a big GT35 setup like I'm planning I need to go standalone or swap to STI ECU.


Anyways I'm not here to encourage or discourage you. I'll just say that I was hellbent on putting uber power into a bugeye - I kinda am rolling my eyes now. If I had to do everything over again I would have just sold my car and got an STI (actually I would have bought a C6 vette...) but now that I'm about 1/3rd the way through, I might as well go through with it. Thankfully I have a good job and I make enough money such that I can just keep throwing it at this money pit lol.

Because it's not just the drivetrain and even suspension that you need. Let me break it down to you (well, from what I got):
Complete drivetrain (duh)
suspension
strut bars
HID lighting
wheels
ECU (as I mentioned they are different)
AVCS wiring (you want to get this, believe me)
DCCD wiring (you want to get this, believe me)
LSDs may be required
Interior - seats, gauges/cluster/trim (expensive!!!)

After you do all this you basically have an (almost) stock STI. Also your car will break down because dude, even if you are an expert mechanic do you HONESTLY think you will do a better job of assembling an STI than those precision robots in the Subaru factory?

IT IS SO NOT WORTH IT. Lol ok I said I wouldn't discourage you, but I changed my mind. Including me there are THREE people in this thread who have ACTUALLY DONE WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING who are discouraging you from taking this route. If you have like 32184732 dollars because you are a retired NFL star or something, yeah sure.




The bottom line to think about is how doing all this crap over a period of 6 months to a year, nets you an almost-STI.
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Old 07-08-2006, 04:19 AM   #14
verc
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Again, there are three people in this thread who were super gungho about doing the exact thing you want to do (I for one thought it was a great deal since my motor/tranny were crapping out, just like you!) and discouraging you.

I simply cannot stress that enough. It's like you walk up to a cave and you meet three dudes who just came out with no arms and they are like "dude don't go into the cave" and you are like "I'm going into the cave!!!"

In all fairness I'm pretty darn happy with my setup. I've got a unique setup, I'm hoping for 500whp+ once the GT35 gets tuned. Love my car. Just wondering about the C6 vette I could have gotten...
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:59 AM   #15
subenick
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Almost an STi??? for 10k he should be able to get engine, tranny, ecu, driveshafts, diffs, wiring, suspension, and sometimes even v7 wheels! It depends, you can run up a bill if you want to go all the way and even do the right hand drive swap…
Minus the interior, he’ll have something better… a jdm STi! hehe
And if anyone has ever done the swap before… they know what im saying when it doesn’t take an FHI robot to assemble this drivetrain properly… infact hand built is always better than any machine… you can literally count the number of bolts it takes to do this swap. It’s a no brainer. Subarus are lego!
For wiring.. different story. But since you have an 02, all you need is the diagram to hook up the 4 wires for the avcs (I have these if you need them)
My car is bone stock v7 STi, and is faster than a brand new 06 usdm sti. (but yes it is the lighter GC chassis)
Anyways, to each their own, id say do it, the experience is worth it and the jdm drivetrain is beautiful!
But verc has valid points… this project can easily become a money pit! lol
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verc
Again, there are three people in this thread who were super gungho about doing the exact thing you want to do (I for one thought it was a great deal since my motor/tranny were crapping out, just like you!) and discouraging you.
It's a good thing I found this thread, because I was thinking about a 2.5L conversion on my 02 bugeye.

I am willing to people who think this is too much to swap, but there is another factor here nobody is thinking of: insurance. Here in SoCal, my insurance costs are totally rediculous. I can't even imagine what STI insurance would cost. For insurance reasons, they pretty much declare your car whatever it was coming off the lot. The price difference in insuring a WRX over an STI would probably more than pay for the one time swap cost difference. Even better if you start with a base Impreza.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:54 PM   #17
subenick
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dont forget tho, that youre insurance will be pretty much void with a swap. most companies will not even insure your car if you mention you changed the engine (even for another subaru one!) you can get it insured but you would have to have the car evaluated and probably find a broker who will cover you... which in the end i have found will cost more than insuring a brand new sti!
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subenick
dont forget tho, that youre insurance will be pretty much void with a swap. most companies will not even insure your car if you mention you changed the engine (even for another subaru one!) you can get it insured but you would have to have the car evaluated and probably find a broker who will cover you... which in the end i have found will cost more than insuring a brand new sti!
WTF??

I've never heard of a company denying insurance for a motor swap. That's rediculous. My insurance company covered every aftermarket part on my last car when it was totalled, so I would expect them to do the same on this car, even with a different engine.

Secondly, they won't know it's really a motor swap. Especially since the engines look almost the same. Any assessor who looks at the car probably can't tell the difference, so it's not that much of a point anyways.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:14 AM   #19
penusai
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hmmm.... i was thinking just in the near feature when my engine goes, i'll just swap in a built 2.5l axis motor... how does that sound? i'm not looking for my bugeye to become a jdm sti or anything.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:25 PM   #20
STIRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subenick
Almost an STi??? for 10k he should be able to get engine, tranny, ecu, driveshafts, diffs, wiring, suspension, and sometimes even v7 wheels! It depends, you can run up a bill if you want to go all the way and even do the right hand drive swap…
Minus the interior, he’ll have something better… a jdm STi! hehe
And if anyone has ever done the swap before… they know what im saying when it doesn’t take an FHI robot to assemble this drivetrain properly… infact hand built is always better than any machine… you can literally count the number of bolts it takes to do this swap. It’s a no brainer. Subarus are lego!
For wiring.. different story. But since you have an 02, all you need is the diagram to hook up the 4 wires for the avcs (I have these if you need them)
My car is bone stock v7 STi, and is faster than a brand new 06 usdm sti. (but yes it is the lighter GC chassis)
Anyways, to each their own, id say do it, the experience is worth it and the jdm drivetrain is beautiful!
But verc has valid points… this project can easily become a money pit! lol
That sounds like an even better idea than the USDM swap. But I have a few questions about it.

-Will the JDM ECU communicate with tuning software, and OBD scannners?
-Will I need the JDM cluster to display the DCCD and if so how much altering to the wiring harness will need to be made?
-Also my biggest concern is will I be able to purchase parts here for the motor, esp maintenance items?

Thanks
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:47 AM   #21
subenick
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Your concerns will soon be disintegrated! hehe

There is tuning software that works with jdm ecu’s. I know a lot of people have used ecutek and have been very pleased. Im looking into a tune for this fall.
Verision 7 and newer ecu’s are obd2 compliant. very useful when doing the wiring!
Im not sure about the DCCD display as I went with a non DCCD 6spd. But for jdm, 99% of the time you wont get the DCCD controller… neetronics offers the best solution with an aftermarket controller that has a display and even allows up to 90:10 torque split I believe (as opposed to the 65:35 – 50:50 factory)

As for maintenance, if you get a v7 and newer motor they share almost 100% of our usdm wrx parts. I changed my oil pan with a brand new 02 wrx pan… same part.
MAF, o2 sensors, bcs, belts, filters, etc etc… they are the same part numbers we see on the usdm wrx and sti. There are a few parts such as AVCS solenoids and I believe the idle control valve that are jdm specific.

Good luck!
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