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Old 02-22-2024, 06:23 PM   #1
chuckf74
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Member#: 411146
Join Date: Jan 2015
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pennsylvania
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
Silver

Default 2002 WRX - Rebuild Orginal Motor or New Short Blockl

I'm the original owner of a 2002 WRX that now has 277K miles on the original engine and clutch. It's leaking oil badly enough that it's smoking and will not pass inspection. I'm driving around with a fire extinguisher just in case! My mechanic has told me that it needs a full rebuild, and they need to check all of the internals, and at this mileage, I believe it. The car doesn't owe me anything and has been one of the best purchases I've ever made.

For a new short block and clutch, it will be approximately $6300 or I can keep the original engine and have it rebuilt for $8000. Is there any value to keeping the original engine? I have not noticed that these cars are ones where the matching numbers really matter, and I'm not sure if they will ever become collectible. But still thought it was worth seeing if anybody has thoughts on whether it's worth spending the money to keep the original engine? I drive the car back and forth to work, 80 mile round trip, twice a week and don't race it or anything, but I still enjoy having a fun car. I'd appreciate any thoughts or anybody that's had a similar situation. I think I've made the decision to keep it rather than get a new car, but I'm not 100% on that yet with this kind of cost.
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Old 02-22-2024, 09:10 PM   #2
Charlie-III
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Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

Default

I say, new SB, clutch & flywheel, do heads.
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Old 02-22-2024, 10:01 PM   #3
samb
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Member#: 177235
Join Date: Apr 2008
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Washington
Vehicle:
2016 Focus RS
2002 WRX Wagon

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$50 in new valve cover gaskets and I bet she stops leaking/smoking.
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Old 03-01-2024, 03:34 PM   #4
chuckf74
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Member#: 411146
Join Date: Jan 2015
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pennsylvania
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
Silver

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I bet you're right!
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:29 PM   #5
Elbert Bass
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Join Date: May 2011
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Down yonder.
Vehicle:
2016 Fuji Sunfire 03
Silver

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The Rocker cover gaskets are a definite first try, although camshaft and crank seals may also be a source at that mileage/age.
As far as a rebuild what evidence did your mechanic provide indicating that was needed?
What were the results of the compression test?
What were the results of the cylinder leakage test?
Were there vacuum readings indicative of worn valve guides or other issues?
If none of that information was provided as evidence of repairs required find a new mechanic ASAP - your current one is just looking for some gravy.

BTW: from my experience I find too many high mileage EJ 2.0 twin cam engines have cracks in the head between valve seats and spark plug holes. Might work fine but I wouldn't chance a valve seat dropping on a fresh engine...
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Old 03-18-2024, 04:19 PM   #6
chuckf74
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Member#: 411146
Join Date: Jan 2015
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Pennsylvania
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
Silver

Default

Thanks Elbert.

I didn't see your reply right away so sorry about the delay. I think everything you've written is good information. Honestly, I wish I knew the answers, but I have not had those tests. I've been taking my car to the same shop for about 18 years, although there have been a fair number of changes in the mechanics with one being original but semi-retired now, with the others being younger...and we don't have the same kind of relationship.

I think it's just coming down to the sound of the engine, the amount of oil leaking and the overall mileage now at 278,800 miles. I baby it to keep it going. I'd been inquiring at places like IAG to potentially get new engine, but by the time I checked a few years ago, they didn't sell an EJ205 anymore, and I wanted the original engine. So I had spoken to my mechanic a couple of times about a potential rebuild. And I was actually going to do it, but then the rear suspension broke, so I got new shocks and springs. And even after that, I was still going to do the rebuild, and then I started to notice the front suspension having problems. Maybe fixing the back put more stress on the front? The brakes are also having chronic problems. For a period of time, it was not costing me much but in the last couple of years, I've spent a lot of money on the suspension, brakes and exhaust. I'm worried it's just at the point where I'm throwing good money after bad.


I made the choice to trade it in on a 2023 (new) WRX Premium. I will really miss the 2002 and wish I had the resources to keep it. It has been outstanding and has never stranded me over 21.5 years and 278k miles. I hate to trade it , but I don't have a place to keep it, and I don't want to pay for storage. It's getting to the point where I'm not sure if I will make it to work and back. I hope it ends up with a person who can fix it up.

Thanks,
Chuck
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Old 04-14-2024, 10:56 AM   #7
gmartin1215
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Default wondering the same

I have the same question for my ej255 so posting to follow
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