Looking to get WRX Wagon 02-03 or 04-05?
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This is a discussion on Looking to get WRX Wagon 02-03 or 04-05? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Looking to get a WRX wagon, budget is around k to include the planned mods. I'll be taking the car ...

  1. #1
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    Looking to get WRX Wagon 02-03 or 04-05?

    Looking to get a WRX wagon, budget is around $15k to include the planned mods.

    I'll be taking the car to Stage 2, doing struts/springs and basic brake upgrades.

    Considering my budget and the $$ needed to perform the above mods I'll be looking at a 2002-2005 model.
    Is one year preferable to another considering the above plans? Car won't be drag raced or launched hard but will see "spirited" street use.

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  3. #2
    Registered User CJ05's Avatar
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    All of the ones come with the 2.0L so no advantage there. 02's had the notorious glass tranny but the 5spd is weak to begin with. The 05 has the updated interior (same as the 06-07 WRX's). I woud get the one with the lowest mileage and with the least # of previous mods.
    Bugeye Mafia #231 - 2002 WRB - sold Dec 31, 2009
    -Stink-Eye Mob- #173 - 2008 SWP - Returned to TD04 Stage 2 in Jan 2012
    Frmr Blobeye Syndicate #173 - 2005 CGM -sold Sept 15, 2008. I miss my STi
    Proud owner of 99 RS coupe with EJ205 engine and tranny swap.

  4. #3
    Wrinklechops
    05 ftw!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ05 View Post
    All of the ones come with the 2.0L so no advantage there. 02's had the notorious glass tranny but the 5spd is weak to begin with. The 05 has the updated interior (same as the 06-07 WRX's). I woud get the one with the lowest mileage and with the least # of previous mods.
    Yeah, I'm looking at low, low mileage one owner cars.

    No difference with parts availability or engine software?

    I saw a few threads on here talking about struts/springs for the 02/03's not being compatible with the 04/05's, and more parts being available for the 04/05's.

    Also saw the 02/03 software was different, for example you could do a TBE on a bugeye with no tune but not an 04/05 due to diff engine software.

  6. #5
    Registered User fire_cky's Avatar
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    as far as i'm aware, you can't put a TBE on a bugeye and get away with no tune. also, they widened the gears a bit (for strength) halfway through the 02 model year apparently. i would go with the 04-05, mainly for gearbox purposes.
    '07 wrx wagon:
    Cobb catback, cobb short ram with intake box, turbosmart small recirc valve, yellow tinted fogs.

    little bit older and a little bit more jaded.

  7. #6
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by poorhouse View Post
    Also saw the 02/03 software was different, for example you could do a TBE on a bugeye with no tune but not an 04/05 due to diff engine software.
    This is absolutely not true. You may have gotten it mixed up with the 04/05s and the 06/07s. Due to the 2.5 motor in the 06+, you will experience boost creep and general bad jujubees if you put a TBE (especially catless) with no tune.

    As a general rule of thumb though, there isn't much you should put on any year WRX without a tune or proper EM to go along with it.

    With Tactrix cables and the OS software being so cheap and available, there is just no excuse to not at least put a safe base Stage 2 map on your car (if you have TBE) until you can get your car to a reputable tuner.

  8. #7
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    I'm not planning any mods without tuning, likely AP as there are no tuners around me.

    Engine plan is up pipe, TBE and AP.

    So the only thing to consider between the 2.0 cars is the trans on the early cars.
    Hers - 2004 Forester X 5spd
    His - 1984 Tercel 4WD 6psd - Looking to replace with WRX
    1977 VW Rabbit 16V 5spd

  9. #8
    Wrinklechops
    Quote Originally Posted by poorhouse View Post
    I'm not planning any mods without tuning, likely AP as there are no tuners around me.

    Engine plan is up pipe, TBE and AP.

    So the only thing to consider between the 2.0 cars is the trans on the early cars.
    AP is a good choice, but expensive. You can accomplish the same tuning goals with a Tactrix cable and RomRaider/ECUflash if you don't want to spend $700 on an Accessport. Over at RomRaider • Index page there are many knowledgeable folk who can help you, and many safe base maps (i.e. Stage 2) for free.

    With regard to the transmission, they were only talking about the 2002 WRX having the fragile transmission. My 2005 transmission has never given me problems and is much stronger than the 2002 for example. The size of the engine (2.0 vs 2.5) has nothing to do with the tranny...although I did hear they changed up some ratios slightly on the 06/07s.

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