Subie newbie wants to build a race car (2005 wrx 5MT)
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

This is a discussion on Subie newbie wants to build a race car (2005 wrx 5MT) within the Builds forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hooray! I got a subie! It's a 2005 wrx wagon, it's red, and it's excellent. Thanks to the previous owner ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    11

    Subie newbie wants to build a race car (2005 wrx 5MT)

    Hooray! I got a subie! It's a 2005 wrx wagon, it's red, and it's excellent.

    Thanks to the previous owner it's sporting a few upgrades:

    catless STI uppipe and Stromung turboback
    Enkei RPF1s (18")
    Some kind of aftermarket springs
    and a tune that has it running a little rich

    In the long run I'd like to gut it, cage it, drop in 4 harnessed buckets, build the motor, and have a mean little 4 seat hill climber.

    In the short term I might replace the brakes, shifter linkage, maybe the shocks and springs, and anything else that doesn't require a re-tune while I hoard money for the engine later. I think the most important next step is to find the shop (LA area) that I want to build my car, and talk with them about my goals. I'm not opposed to doing a drivetrain swap if that will get me the power I need more reliably. I've thought about other cars but there's not a lot of options for small sports cars that can genuinely seat 4 people.

    I'm about to get some new tires as mine are nearly bald, I'm thinking Hankook Ventus V12 for now, a local shop will do em for $540 mounted and taxed.

    Right now the car is sitting at 107000 miles, and has a slight [s]head[/s] valve cover gasket and steering rack leak. Any advice on maintenance and upkeep would be greatly appreciated, as well as any input on the long-term goals! It's my DD right now but I want to get an econo-box soon, and hopefully upgrade to a tow vehicle around the time I build the motor.
    Last edited by Bookworm; 06-24-2015 at 09:13 AM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    CA, US
    Posts
    24,643
    I Support ClubWRX
    If you have a head gasket leak, that's a priority. Is it leaking coolant into the combustion chamber or is it leaking oil externally? Either way I'd address this before attempting to make more power. If it's "merely" leaking oil externally I'd first try re-torquing the head carefully, and hope for the best. You might get lucky that way and I'd rather be lucky than good any day. Coolant is bad news and I'd park the car, since it can have corrosive effects (a used oil analysis would show this too).

    At 105K miles there is a full service plus timing belt scheduled. For my car, I did:
    timing belt
    ancillary belts
    coolant
    water pump
    thermostat
    all 4 cam seals
    crank seal
    all front pulleys/rollers
    timing belt tensioner
    and the parts alone ran around $500, using a Gates timing belt kit and water pump but a Subaru thermostat and Subaru gaskets. About 60K later I swapped out the Gates water pump for an Aisin and since everything was apart I swapped another fresh Gates belt (prematurely; they're 105K intervals). Figure a solid weekend's worth of work.

    I'd sort out the known existing problems and the "good" news (there isn't any, really, I'm being an optimist) is that to fix the head gasket you have to take the front apart anyway, at which point you'll do the timing belt stuff as a matter of course. One leads to the other.

    The fuel pump is very reliable and there is zero reason to replace it now, especially with a leaking head gasket, full timing service, and a leaking rack to contend with. I'd focus on the known issues first.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    11
    It's leaking oil very lightly, the mechanic who diagnosed it said not to worry, but not to wait too long either. I will get it replaced as soon as I can, I just don't have immediate funds as I'm living off savings while I get through the training period with my new job (got the wrx a couple months ago at the old job, but just left for greener pastures). It should be a $500-$700 job, right? Should I put in a high-end part to prepare for future work on the motor when it's opened up?

    edit: forgot to say the 100k service was done by previous owner, and he also replaced the thermostat, idler bearings, water pump, and all the belts. Still on the original clutch though.

    When paychecks start coming in from the new job I should be able to get the head gaskets and steering rack done by a shop quickly. I'm not rushing to start modding, I'm definitely going to do peace of mind maintenance first.
    Last edited by Bookworm; 05-16-2015 at 11:55 PM.

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    CA, US
    Posts
    24,643
    I Support ClubWRX
    Quote Originally Posted by Bookworm View Post
    It's leaking oil very lightly, the mechanic who diagnosed it said not to worry, but not to wait too long either. I will get it replaced as soon as I can, I just don't have immediate funds as I'm living off savings while I get through the training period with my new job (got the wrx when I got promoted at the old job, but just left for greener pastures). It should be a $500-$700 job, right? Should I put in a high-end part to prepare for future work on the motor when it's opened up?
    Since the front of the motor will come off, it makes sense to do all the timing stuff at the same time. I'm thinking around $800 in parts alone plus labour. I don't know how long a pro would take or what their book will list as hours, but it'd take me a long time.

    I'd use authentic Subaru parts. I suspect it makes no sense to "build" the existing motor since you are behind on maintenance and repairs, money is tight, and substantial output increases are feasible without modifying the motor's internals.

    Maybe by Monday more people will have seen this thread and you'll get other opinions too. Good luck.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    11
    A motor build is long term plans, like 2 years+. First is obviously maintenance, then handling, then power. I'm not trying to buy a new turbo for christmas, but I want to work on the car with the end goal always in sight.

    I replaced the oil right when I got it, and I also got new coolant, gear oil, and brake fluid which I need to swap in. I'm trying to take the best care of this car I can.
    Last edited by Bookworm; 05-17-2015 at 12:04 AM.

+ Reply to Thread

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself. We strongly suggest that you stay away from using aol, yahoo, msn, and hotmail accounts. Sometimes the mail server blocks the emails from our server. As a result you will not receive any notifications including the confirmation email.

Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •