'02 Impreza WRX STi
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This is a discussion on '02 Impreza WRX STi within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey there, I drive a well-maintained 2002 Impreza WRX STi w/ 145,000 miles and no mods (other than paint job). ...

  1. #1
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    '02 Impreza WRX STi

    Hey there,

    I drive a well-maintained 2002 Impreza WRX STi w/ 145,000 miles and no mods (other than paint job). At about 140,000 I noticed that the car would start "knocking" whenever the car had been driven for more than 30 minutes and I made turns to the left or right. After getting the CV axels replaced at 141,000 miles, I noticed that the issue remained (what a waste). Around 143,000 I took the car into two mechanics who told me that the car was definitely drivable, but that the transfer case (which I was later told Subaru doesn't have) was going out and would need replacing.

    Over the last 250 miles, the car has decreased in power by about 90%. Though the engine revs well, if the car is on any kind of incline, it will not go. And if the car is on a flat drive, it takes a good 10-15 seconds to get up to 30mph.

    I've been told that either I have to spend the cost of the value of the car (~$4500) to get a new transmission or that I need to find a salvage yard that has my car model and swap out parts (which would still run upwards of $1000-1500.

    I wanted to reach out to you to see if you had any previous experience, thoughts, or advice.

    Thanks!
    z
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    Zach McNair Creative Director & Photographer

    zachmcnair.com | @zachmcnair

    2002 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

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  3. #2
    Registered User DorBink's Avatar
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    Hi
    Sounds to me like your clutch is slipping. It will wear out with time so your high miles would line up with this. (I had a Mazda that had this same problem). I would avoid those mechanics you went to. This isn't a complete tranny replacement. When I need major work done I use Subaru on the i10 and barker cypress. I have heard good things about the north Subaru dealer but both are expensive But they know what they are doing. Clutch replacement is expensive more due to the labor but ask them and they should be able to tell you an estimate of the time and parts before you commit.
    If you want to be cheap... They will tell you what the problem is and if you source the parts yourself and find a cheap mechanic that would be cheaper but you need some one who knows subarus they are slightly different then other cars. If you are not mechanically inclined I wouldnt attempt this.

    But saying that go to a dealer and find out what is really going wrong I could be wrong. Let me know how it goes and good luck!
    Jared

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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    They could be talking about either the front differential or the center differential, which are both located inside your transmission. If you are sure either of these are fried, the viscous couplings can be replaced for about $1,000 including labor. I know because I've had that work done, and that labor was at a dealership as well with OEM parts.

    If this is not your problem, then it could be clutch, and that would be less expensive to replace.

    You'll have to define the "knocking" that you're experiencing to get a better idea. What does the car do when you get up to speed at about 75mph and then let the car coast and slow down to about 50-60mph? If it shakes/vibrates violently then your front diff is likely going bad. Since you have already replaced the axles you can rule those out.

    Have you had a donut on the front end with a larger diameter tire on the other side? Do you keep your alignment and tire rotations periodic? Do you keep your tire pressure in check? Have you had uneven tread wear between any tires? Did you put a new tire on without replacing the other 3?

    These are all things that could contribute to destroying the viscous coupling in one of your differentials.
    Last edited by wreckingball man; 08-25-2013 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #4
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    Thanks for your input, guys!

    The knocking sound isn't really noticeable on the freeway, but when making turns that's when the loud knocking is noticeable. If you were to take a hammer to metal, that's probably what it sounds like.

    Tires are in good condition from what I've been told.

    The clutch would explain slow acceleration, I think, but the knocking in the transfer case area throws me off. Both make it feel very unsafe to drive it, and I have no gauge for how much I am going to have to invest in parts and labor.

    -z



    Quote Originally Posted by wreckingball man View Post
    They could be talking about either the front differential or the center differential, which are both located inside your transmission. If you are sure either of these are fried, the viscous couplings can be replaced for about $1,000 including labor. I know because I've had that work done, and that labor was at a dealership as well with OEM parts.

    If this is not your problem, then it could be clutch, and that would be less expensive to replace.

    You'll have to define the "knocking" that you're experiencing to get a better idea. What does the car do when you get up to speed at about 75mph and then let the car coast and slow down to about 50-60mph? If it shakes/vibrates violently then your front diff is likely going bad. Since you have already replaced the axles you can rule those out.

    Have you had a donut on the front end with a larger diameter tire on the other side? Do you keep your alignment and tire rotations periodic? Do you keep your tire pressure in check? Have you had uneven tread wear between any tires? Did you put a new tire on without replacing the other 3?

    These are all things that could contribute to destroying the viscous coupling in one of your differentials.
    +

    Zach McNair Creative Director & Photographer

    zachmcnair.com | @zachmcnair

    2002 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

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