Subie Mechanic Needed
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This is a discussion on Subie Mechanic Needed within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hello All, I am new to the site. I own a 2002 WRX in need of some help. I experienced ...

  1. #1
    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    Angry Subie Mechanic Needed

    Hello All,
    I am new to the site. I own a 2002 WRX in need of some help. I experienced a cracked radiator and it overheated. I am not a mechanic, but assume I will need to replace the motor. I really like the car, but am at a bit of a loss right now. I do not know weather to have it fixed or try to sell it to someone with more time, money and talent than I have. I live in North Central Florida. Any help/advice would be appreciated.

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    Admiral Ackbar the 1st mycologist's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club and sorry for your misfortune.

    Did the motor fail or make strange noises? How long was it overheated? I wouldn't write it off based on what you posted, but it well might be toast.
    "From a little spark may burst a mighty flame." - Dante
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    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycologist View Post
    Welcome to the club and sorry for your misfortune.

    Did the motor fail or make strange noises? How long was it overheated? I wouldn't write it off based on what you posted, but it well might be toast.

    The motor failed. I noticed it over heating, tried to make it home and it completely quite before i got there. If I end up keeping it, I have thought of having an STI motor dropped into it. Any thoughts? Any headaches that I am not thinking of?

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    Registered User JackalMech's Avatar
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    Maybe I can help.

    I am not a subie mechanic but I am mechanic in the Army. Is it just the radiator that is cracked or are you talking about the block being cracked?
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    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackalMech View Post
    I am not a subie mechanic but I am mechanic in the Army. Is it just the radiator that is cracked or are you talking about the block being cracked?
    I know the radiator is cracked and I assume the motor is fried as well. I ran it until it stopped and it will not do anything now. I know, I am a crackhead...i just thought i could make it home.

    Any thoughts on the STI conversion?

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    Registered User NjBuGeyEdWRX's Avatar
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    do you want a full STi swap. or do you want to do the hybrid build STi bottom end and your stock 2.0 heads?

    many people do the hybrid build but it is going to cost you a pretty penny probally around 4-7k$ to have a shop do it.
    03 WRB WRX STAGE II
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    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NjBuGeyEdWRX View Post
    do you want a full STi swap. or do you want to do the hybrid build STi bottom end and your stock 2.0 heads?

    many people do the hybrid build but it is going to cost you a pretty penny probally around 4-7k$ to have a shop do it.
    I spoke with two shops...both in Orlando (which is about 2.5 hours from me). One shop suggested just replacing the 2.0 with the same. The other shop suggested what you have described as the hybrid option. The cost difference is about $1500. I was told the 2.5 bottom end is much stronger and would make it a more reliable motor. Honestly, they could both be blowing sunshine up my @$$ and I wouldn't know. Therefore, I am asking for the expertise and or experience of you guys here.

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    Registered User NjBuGeyEdWRX's Avatar
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    the STi bottom end is deff stronger then the 2.0 bottom end. i wouldnt replace your motor with a 2.0 being that its only a 1500$ difference i would take the step up to the hybrid(if money isn't a big deal of course). but that also comes with extras as well you'll probally want to get a bigger turbo at least one of the ihi vf series turbos vf34/39/43 etc.

    there is alot that could be added to the cost being that you have an 02 wrx you do have the weakest tranny. so if you do the hybrid swap you could run into problems with your tranny depending on how much hp/ftlbs you put down when you dyno.


    the 2.0 might be the way to go for you depending on your money situation plans for the car etc.

    now when they do this swap are they building you a motor or just slapping in a motor. are the doing pistions, headstuds, cams etc?
    03 WRB WRX STAGE II
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    BUGEYE MAFIA #199

    LET ME QUOTE THE LATE COLONEL SANDERS " I'M TO DRUNK TO TASTE THIS CHICKEN . . ."

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    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    I was told he would build the motor based on the 2.5 short block. I was not aware of the weak tranny in the 2002. Is there anything I can have done while the motor is out to help or is it just a matter of time before I end up replacing it as well? The $1500 did not seem like a big enough issue for me to not consider the 2.5 short block. I really like the car and would like to hold on to it. However, if it would be wiser to move to another year model, I will consider that.

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    Toboggan T0rque's Avatar
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    No other year WRX with a 5 speed is going to give you any less of a headache. You might as well do the hybrid 2.5 liter/2.0 liter heads. Later on you should upgrade to the 6 speed trans, it is kind of your decision at this point you could purchase the 6 speed and everything needed to swap it out and sell all the 5 speed stuff since its still good. Or you could wait til the 5 speed blows. Since you can get some decent cash for a good 5 speed since people like to have them built up Id off the 5 speed or have it built up with your motor..


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    Registered User JackalMech's Avatar
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    Smile

    If they are talking to you about that, then your block is vracked aslo. You do have a bit of a decision here as I have been reading.
    Something you want to consider is how much of spirited driving you are going to be doing. Granted that standard WRX is built for some spirited driving, the STi Hybrid conversion would give you a more suitable platform for spirited driving as it was made for it.
    Also, consider how many aftermarket parts you plan on putting on. If you are going to heavily modify go with the swap. Heavily modifying an engine wihtout modifying the internals will leave you in the same situation that you are in now, granted it will take awhile since the motor will have been rebuilt. The choice is yours.
    If you do go with the swap, I would recommend soon swapping in the tranny for the STI. If you will not do that, you will need to beef up your tranny (which if you are not into it) can be a bit of a hassle. So save yourself some headache and swap the tranny when you can afford it.
    Good luck
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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    It's all gonna come down to how much money you have to work with.If you are not very mechanically inclined and are short on funds,just get the normal 2.0L to put back in there.Once you start getting into engine swaps,bigger turbos and crap you are going to need deep pockets.Plus the fact the more you do,the less normal mechanic shops will want to touch it.You will have to take the car to specialty tuner shops that charge alot more per hour for labor.
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  14. #13
    Registered User jauxpa's Avatar
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    It sounds like I should either replace both the motor and transmission (with a 2.5 short block and an STI transmission) or get rid of it and buy an STI...lol. When you have mentioned "beefing up" the 5 speed transmission...could you be a little more specific??? What could I have done to it to make it more durable/reliable? Would it be cost effective to do this or just opt for the STI transmission? Also, (and I apologize if this is a really stupid question) are all the STI transmissions 6 speed? If not, are the 5 speed STI transmissions any different than the WRX 5 speeds?

    I know I am asking a lot of questions from everyone. I just want to say thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the help and enjoy the interaction.

  15. #14
    Registered User JackalMech's Avatar
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    Beefed Up Tranny

    Basically what you can do to beef up your tranny is go to a performance aftermarket clutch and flywheel that is rated for the HP and TQ that you are expecting to put out. I would at least do a mild upgrade on the clutch and flywheel. The clutch is what you mainly need to worry about when beefing up the tranny as too much power and you can be in a world of trouble. Also if you decide to do this option, make sure you drain the tranny fluid and replace the filter inside the tranny as well. Use only a synthetic oil in the tranny if you are going to be doing a lot of spirited driving.
    I am not sure about whether or not all STI's had 6-speed trannies. I want to assume so, but I had an 06 with the 6-speed, so I do not know how far before that they were running those trannies.
    If you move to a six-speed, I believe that you will get a shorter- gear ratio up front 1-3(or4) and plus you get the 6th gear for more speed. I could be wrong you may want to do more research before making your decision. IF you keep the 5 speed, upgrade the clutch and flywheel, move to a fully synthetic gear oil. Also you may want to consider replacing the bushings with polyurethane bushings as they are stiffer.
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  16. #15
    Registered User NjBuGeyEdWRX's Avatar
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    all STi's are 6spd trans. and by beefing up the trans its not just the clutch and flywheel, its more about the gears. you would need to look into a set of ppg's or something of that effect.
    03 WRB WRX STAGE II
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    BUGEYE MAFIA #199

    LET ME QUOTE THE LATE COLONEL SANDERS " I'M TO DRUNK TO TASTE THIS CHICKEN . . ."

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