2002 WRX Wagon - The Full Restoration Documentary.
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This is a discussion on 2002 WRX Wagon - The Full Restoration Documentary. within the Builds forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I recently traded a friend of mine for this car... a 2002 WRX Wagon with 144k on the odo. i ...

  1. #1
    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    2002 WRX Wagon - The Full Restoration Documentary.

    I recently traded a friend of mine for this car... a 2002 WRX Wagon with 144k on the odo. i traded a perfectly running, rockin and rollin 2002 Ford Explorer sport.

    I've loved this car since he bought it and brought it home in 2003 and i love a good restoration project, so i'm pretty excited about this deal. I've started this thread to document the progress, as well as bounce ideas off you guys, with the hope that i can have a decent DD that will be far more fun than the exploder.

    the car had been sitting in his garage for around 3 months when i approached him with the offer. once he decided to go for it, i sprang into action. removed the battery and had it checked. it was, of course, DOA... so i got lucky and exchanged the battery for a used one the guy had laying around. (i just want to hear it start and make sure i'm not trading for a paper weight at this point.)
    installed the 'new' battery and some new cables and she cranked right up on the first turn of the key!

    there was some ticking from under the hood, not sure if it was injectors or not - buddy says it has always done that... didn't seem to vary with increased idle either, so i'm not too worried about it.

    there is some smoke and smells of burning something coming from under the turbo, not sure if the turbo is leaking oil of the half shaft's melted boot is slinging grease all over the downpipe.

    suspension is FUBAR, will need new half shafts and suspension all the way around.


    first goal is to get this thing road worthy, as my business is about to hit busy season again and i'm gonna be driving all over the state in a couple of months. this is my rough plan so far:

    1. suspension
    2. locate and repair burning whatnot
    3. brake job (might upgrade to larger, x drilled or slotted rotors)
    4. inspection
    5. drive and enjoy
    6. appearance repairs
    7. additional go fast mods will come later

    some pics of how it sat when i picked her up:





    Last edited by schufflerbot; 01-01-2014 at 05:22 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    what do you guys think about KYB shocks?

    Subaru Impreza WRX KYB Shocks Struts Front and Rear Excel G 02 05 04 STI | eBay

    does this seem like a decent deal?

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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    The GR-2 aka Excel-G is excellent for a stock replacement strut. I had those for I don't know how long, no complaints, great quality. You won't see a performance upgrade with those though. Depends on what you want.

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    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wreckingball man View Post
    The GR-2 aka Excel-G is excellent for a stock replacement strut. I had those for I don't know how long, no complaints, great quality. You won't see a performance upgrade with those though. Depends on what you want.
    awesome. not going to be tracking this car, it's already got 144k on the odo... i figure it's days of rough life are behind it now and i'll treat her nicely.

    stock replacement with no performance upgrade is just fine with me, thanks for the info!

  6. #5
    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    spent 10+ hours over the last two days cleaning this thing up and getting her ready for replacement parts.

    here she is in the driveway before the work began:



    interior is cleaning up nicely, vacuumed out a ton of dirt and cat hair lol:





    headlights before:


    and after:


    pics dont do it justice but - driver side before and passenger side after:


    removed the scoop and painted it black until i can source a new hood/scoop in blue:








    i cant belive how easily the paint came off of the scoop! scraped, sanded, primed, painted and cleared it

    here it is after first coat of clear, it started to rain and the sun went down so i had to call it a night... will re clear and wetsand/polish manana:


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    Registered User Andr3ww's Avatar
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    Awesome work so far. Can't wait to see more progress!

    Sent from HTC One via Tapatalk

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    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    started on the motor detailing, started pulling pieces from the passenger side and will work my way over to the driver side:



    started polishing the mishimoto radiator and cleaning other elements, starting from the top working my way down:


    dropped a 10mm socket into the engine bay at one point... 45 minutes later i had finally retrieved it:




    turns out, this engine setup is a son of a bitch. i came from the LS world (corvettes, GTOs and camaros) so im used to being able to extend a lazy boy in the engine bay and work from there. Subaru is the devil.


    more pics and progress to come, so stay tuned!




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    Registered User Ampliified's Avatar
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    Awesome thread I look forward to the final outcome car looks pretty good for the mileage and the newer WRX are a little easier to work on got some space in the engine bay (not much)
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    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    i need to go ahead and place the order for timing belt / water pump replacement... anyone have recommendations on a good replacement kit, or suggestions on who to steer clear from?

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    @ schufflerbot, what did you use for cleaning up your headlights? If I may I would like to suggest the Meguiar's Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit. I've been using it on my headlights and works amazing!

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    For suspension? what are your goals with the wagon? D.D. / D.D. + Weekend drive / D.D. + AutoX / Ect. ect.

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    keep fighting the good fight!
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    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by othon View Post
    @ schufflerbot, what did you use for cleaning up your headlights? If I may I would like to suggest the Meguiar's Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit. I've been using it on my headlights and works amazing!
    the kits are nice, but i already have all the paint correction materials i need to restore these headlights... at least get them back to decently clear. i'm not finished with them after all, i was just out of 1000 grit sandpaper so i had to skip a step.

    i use 600 grit to remove the yellow residue, then 1000 to remove the sand paper marks, then heavy cut meguires, then ultimate compound for the finish.

    Quote Originally Posted by othon View Post
    For suspension? what are your goals with the wagon? D.D. / D.D. + Weekend drive / D.D. + AutoX / Ect. ect.
    this will just be a spirited daily driver. no auto x or racing of any kind.

    i ordered the timing belt and water pump kit today... went with the gates oem setup. my buddy, who works on subies all day, will be doing the install at his shop.

    i'd like to get some new wheels for it, probably go 17" or 18" and might drop it an inch with new springs.

    i've been sick since yesterday so no more progress has been made as of yet. i'm feeling better and will get back on the detailing manana.

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    Registered User schufflerbot's Avatar
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    ordered a new timing belt/tensioner/pulleys/water pump kit from Gates and dropped it off, along with the car, to my local subie dealer yesterday. they're doing a few things for me;

    valve cover gaskets, oil filter o-ring and a couple other gaskets that had given out over the last 140,000 miles and needed to be replaced. turns out, this is the smell of burning oil i've been smelling - not the axle boot grease that i thought it was.

    here are some pics of the scoop as it sits now, not what i want but still a TON better than the chipping blue paint it was before:






    next up to spend money on is the suspension. gonna go with the KYBs mentioned earlier in the thread and, while i'd really like to drop it, i don't want to do a 1.5" and 1" drop. anyone know of any spring sets that will only drop her .5" or so?

    i know it sounds silly but i'm picky.

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