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Old 01-20-2022, 08:13 PM   #1
dmang
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 326320
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default New to Subaru, looking for help restoring my wagon

TLDR: An idiot bought someone else's build and wants to restore it but doesn't know what to pick. What engine should I go with? Rebuild, IAG block, or JDM? Did they make a 2002 era STi wagon? Front seat suggestions? Wants to make the car nice again, reliable, pass it on to his kid and teach kid to drive a manual and maybe a track day or 2 or 3 or....etc



Hello, so I kinda lied already. I've owned my Suby for quite a while, about 10 years actually. Thing is I bought my car all decked out with stuff and it just kept on pluggin along for many years. Unfortunately it got pushed to the side in favor of cheaper to drive eco boxes and over the years my poor car has become rusty and neglected.


It has reached 200K miles and I can hear a rattle of some sort coming from...somewhere, lots of somewheres. Exterior wise I plan to upgrade the front end with a jdm front clip (if I can find one) and have a local friend remedy the rusty rear quarters, paint and that's all. I'd love to get an STI drive line for it but I'm not confident I will have the $$ for that, at least after what I assume the engine will need.


Speaking of engines, this one sounds like we got some light knocking going on. It's been a strong runner for some time now but with the mileage reaching the ol' 200 mark and things getting leaky and ticky I was thinking I'd like to freshen it up. I just....don't know how to start. Looking at some threads here I might as well be trying to read Japanese. Things say they go with my car but need "parts". Threads talk about swapping blocks and open and closed face decks or sandwiches. I've seen other threads that suggest you just get a JDM long block and swap it in. I'm not sure where or how to start. I know about now most of you are screaming "Read some [email protected]#n threads!!!" at your screen, but I'm looking to see if someone would be kind enough to suggest a path. Yes I know, I am silly for buying someone else's modded car and just kept it running. At any rate, here is a list of stuff on the car:



2002 WRX wagon (silver)
Suspension Upgrades:
BC BR series coilovers
Hotchkis sway bars
Whiteline Endlinks
White line roll center adjustment kit (end links, ball joints)
White line anti-dive bushing (street)
Carbing front 6-point underbrace
Carbing front underpanel
Kosei K1-TS 17x7 wheels with Blizzak snow tires (winter wheels)
Rota Subzero 18x8 (every other time)
4 pot WRX front calipers
2 pot rear brakes

Goodridge Stainless steel brake lines
Motul RB600 Brake fluid
McGard Spline Drive Lug Nuts

Drive Train:
SouthBend clutch
Fidanza 14# fly wheel
White line shifter bushings
Whiteline Differential Lock
STi Group N Transmission Mount
Redline Fluids in Diff and Trans

Engine:
Optima Battery 1yr old
Cobb AccesPort tuned by MachV Motorsports in Sterling, VA
VF34 Turbo Ported and Polished, Ceramic coated on the exducer housing
Hallman Pro Manual Boost controller
DC sports header
Cobb Inconel up-pipe
Invidia Bell mouth Catted Down-pipe
SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) Cat-back muffler
Walbro 255lph intank fuel pump
STi 565 Pink injectors
Perrin Black Front Mount Intercooler with Blow-Through MAF tube
GrimmSpeed MAF Block Off
Perrin Recirculating Blow Off Valve (config'd for atmo vent)
Turbo XS intake and Filter
Gimmick Motorsports Turbo Inlet hoses
Crucial 165 Degree Coolant Thermostat
Mishimoto Radiator hoses
Gruppe S metal exhaust gaskets(Heads to Catback)
Greddy catch can
Perrin lightweight crank pulley (not reduced size)
STi Group N Engine mounts (3)

Misc:
Prosport gauages (clock, Boost and oil pressure), Momo Race Air knob, Kartboy short throw shifter
timing belt changed at 75k miles
accessory belts and idler pulley changed at 100k miles


Would a JDM block replacement work for me? I'd love to push this to 2.5 liters if I could. Would an IAG 2.5 replacement long block like this work? Could my stock 2.0 heads swap on here? I'd love to cam the car, for no other reason than sound to be completely honest. With the vf-34 and a cammed 2.5 would the stock 5-speed become even more of a grenade waiting to pop? Of course it would but would it be usable for daily use or maybe a track day or two? No competitions just fun spirited driving.


Full transparency here, I would like the 2.5 for the sound. I love the sound of STi's, where the 2.0 is a bit tinny to me. I also need to redo the interior, there are some terrible 07, I think, WRX seats in it that have seen better days. Is it feasable to get and STi like interior in a wagon. I know anything is possible with $$. Did they make an STi wagon in my year? Seat suggestions? Also I have no idea if I really have any kind of rod knock or piston slap I just want to refresh the car and make it as good as it used to be. I miss it, my dd is electric and as economically superior the car is it is soulless and BORING.



If you read all of this you are a champ and I appreciate your dedication. Constructive suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by dmang; 01-20-2022 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 01-20-2022, 09:57 PM   #2
K3rm1tth3fr0g
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 508105
Join Date: Nov 2019
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Vehicle:
Link tuned 02 WRX
EJ205 20G-XTR JDM 6MT E85

Default

Do not waste time on a rusty Subaru - seriously. These cars rust like you wouldn't believe in salty areas. If it has rust in one spot, odds are it has rust in other spots. Thoroughly check the car for rust before dumping money into this vehicle and if it does have lots of rust - time for a new chassis.

You already answered your own question - the knowledge you seek are in threads already.

If you want someone to hold your hand and guide you through the whole process, I would contact a shop near you who is competent in turbo subies to help you spec out a build if you plan to move forward with this.

You are going to get 10 answers from 10 people on the best way to proceed - so do so with caution and do your research.

No there was no USDM 02 STi, there was JDM and ADM 02 STi IIRC.

You can JDM 2.0 swap it, or build a motor. The 205 and 207 are your options. Some 205s come without AVCS, you cannot use AVCS (variable cam control) without the JDM/ADM ECU. And that ECU eliminates your ability to use an Accessport and in my opinion, limits your tuning options.

Your 205 heads will work on a 2.5L but hybrid motors with those heads suck and are a waste of time in most cases IMO.

The 02 5 speed absolutely blows so get ready to 6 speed swap it or replace the 5MT if you turn up the power.

The vf34 is a sick turbo for the street - spools and responds very well compared to the other ihi lineup - I'd keep it if you plan to build the motor.

There's absolutely no purpose to cams with a VF34 for your goal - It will just kill spool. Also you really need built heads to run cams which is a ridiculous expense just for the sound.

Last edited by K3rm1tth3fr0g; 01-20-2022 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 01-21-2022, 12:38 AM   #3
dmang
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Member#: 326320
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default

K3rm1tth3fr0g, thanks for your reply. It was very informative and exactly what I was looking for.

So first things first, I will take the car to my local shop (MachV I think) and have them check out the chassis. I found patch panels from Subie Savers for the fender and rockers if needed, so hopefully thats all it will need. I know the Carbing underbrace is SUPER rusty and I planned to remove it and have my local power coater clean it up.
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Old 01-21-2022, 09:18 AM   #4
Jack
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Chapter/Region: NESIC
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2021 Building
It Better

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Kermit has some good points. But they can be quite expensive. I'll agree that a 6 speed is a far better transmission, but unless it's from an 04, you'll have a lot more expensive stuff to buy.

First thing to check. Remove all the interior panels inside the back. Look at the metal on the shock towers. It is VERY common for wagons to have huge holes and rust. If you're ok as a welder, you could fabricate fixes, but this is structural and holds the rear suspension. If these are rusted, look at the subframe mountings. Lots of these cars are metal scrap. You don't want to be pouring money into a lost cause.
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Old 01-21-2022, 12:00 PM   #5
K3rm1tth3fr0g
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 508105
Join Date: Nov 2019
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Vehicle:
Link tuned 02 WRX
EJ205 20G-XTR JDM 6MT E85

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
I'll agree that a 6 speed is a far better transmission, but unless it's from an 04, you'll have a lot more expensive stuff to buy.
My non DCCD 6MT from an 01 JDM type RA bolted right up to my car, and I could even use the 6MT axles with my front hubs. So if you go done that road, OP it may be worth it to try and find a specific 6MT, be it the non DCCD or the 04 unit, rather than just chucking whatever 6MT you can find in the car like I see 80% of people do these days.
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Old 01-21-2022, 01:17 PM   #6
dmang
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Member#: 326320
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I was really tempted to drive it to work lol (its around a 180 mile round trip), but decided against it. I will certainly start to tear the interior apart to check out the sheet metal. Thank you all for the tips on trans options, budget is a concern but it will just determine how long the project will take tbh. I don't want to needlessly spend but I do want to get the best parts for what I'd like to achieve, just a good street car with the ability to do a lite track day if I get the chance.
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Old 01-24-2022, 03:13 PM   #7
ActivatedAlmonds
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Having just built an (albeit completely stock) EJ205, using a factory shortblock I would say building your own engine is completely doable if you want to save some $$ and have the time. Plenty of videos out there that guide you through the steps, if not I would recommend spending $20 for a months subscription of Alldata to walk you through the disassembly and the reassembly of the engine. If you're dropping $$ on this build and thinking seriously of it I would start with the block itself.
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Old 01-26-2022, 05:24 PM   #8
Unabomber
👏 Big Ron 👏
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: I can save you a ton of cash
Vehicle:
on car parts so PM
me b4 j00 buy

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If you have more money than brains, then don't ask the internet. Take it to Mach V and talk to Dan about options. Rebuilding an 02 is super dumb and a huge waste of money as every dollar you put in, you get 4 cents back on return value. I just spent $6000 repainting my 04 and man was that a stupid idea. But I have more money than brains so I stepped on the financial rake with both eyes open. Any motor option will be at least $5000. Trans will be $3000 minimum.
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Old 01-26-2022, 07:00 PM   #9
K3rm1tth3fr0g
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 508105
Join Date: Nov 2019
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Vehicle:
Link tuned 02 WRX
EJ205 20G-XTR JDM 6MT E85

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
Rebuilding an 02 is super dumb and a huge waste of money as every dollar you put in, you get 4 cents back on return value.

A truth I know all too well.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:44 PM   #10
Unabomber
👏 Big Ron 👏
Moderator
 
Member#: 18062
Join Date: Apr 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: I can save you a ton of cash
Vehicle:
on car parts so PM
me b4 j00 buy

Default

And being a dumbass and throwing money at a ****box car IS a thing. Don't think its not! But you must love the car and spend wisely. In my case, the driveline is super legit, so I went to the body. Next up is probably the interior. Actually next is a new center differential as NO ONE swaps that out, so I might as well be the crash test dummy for that!
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