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This is a discussion on WRX Noob! within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Morning all! So I've been looking into purchasing a WRX. I have a few questions as far as what to ...

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    WRX Noob!

    Morning all!

    So I've been looking into purchasing a WRX. I have a few questions as far as what to look out for, things to inspect and try before buying. Also I am trying to gauge if what I am purchasing is a good buy or not. It is an 02 WRX with minimal mods, cat-back exhaust, intake and thats all. 1 owner and 150k~ miles. asking is 4.7k. Took a look the other day and its clean inside and out, engine bay looks like you can eat out of that ish. Anyways any information will be great and any provided readings will be read to expand my knowledge!

    Alittle about myself, I've owned my fair share of 240sx's and currently own a 1993 Mazda RX7, which is under the knife getting a rebuild. The wrx will my DD and minor play toy until the wife finishes up school and starts bringing in an extra income, which then the wrx and rx7 will become track/toy/nasty street cars.

    Thank in advanced!
    -Steve

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    Captain James of the SS Impreza has gone down with the ship Drews's Avatar
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    Take it to a mechanic.
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    Sammich Makin' Pwincess wrxtreme06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    Anyways any information will be great and any provided readings will be read to expand my knowledge!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drews View Post
    Take it to a mechanic.
    I am mechanically inclined (I'd like to think I am atleast hah). But, I can see how it couldnt hurt to pay an extra what 30-50 bucks to get someone to look over it, as anyone can accidently over look something.

    Quote Originally Posted by wrxtreme06 View Post
    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrxtreme06 View Post
    thats helpful to all to know in the future buy as well thanks!!
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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    I am mechanically inclined (I'd like to think I am atleast hah). But, I can see how it couldnt hurt to pay an extra what 30-50 bucks to get someone to look over it, as anyone can accidently over look something.
    Many of us are mechanically inclined...myself, I'm rather Subaru inclined and Honda inclined, but I couldn't tell you a damn thing about an RX-7 rotary...take it to a shop that knows something or two about their way around the boxer. Not any schmoe from the Midas down the street knows Subarus. That's why we say "take it to a mechanic"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    Many of us are mechanically inclined...myself, I'm rather Subaru inclined and Honda inclined, but I couldn't tell you a damn thing about an RX-7 rotary...take it to a shop that knows something or two about their way around the boxer. Not any schmoe from the Midas down the street knows Subarus. That's why we say "take it to a mechanic"
    I see what your saying. Hopefully one day I can be Subaru inclined as well haha. To the mechanic for inspection! Thanks for all the info guys.

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    Best of luck!
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    Thanks for all the advice guys! Car checks out, feels good, drives good and will be my first car that has working EVERYTHING hah.

    My only concern is a bit of difficulty downshifting to first. I would say its safe to assume that this is a safety mechanism to protect the engine? The issue only seemed apparent around 10+ MPH.
    However, I did plan on eventually swapping out the trans for a 6spd and this would probably be a good time to swap the R160 out for a R180 as well. Based on some searching and the information out their seems to have me a bit confused in regards to 6spd swap and the center diff. I would be able to use a USDM STI 6spd trans with DCCD and have DCCD work so long as I have the DCCD controller or an aftermarket alternative(DCCDPro or Neetronics).
    Also, that leads to my next question and to be honest I have not done a whole lot of information searching on this one. Way further down the road, I'll be in the market of swaps and am currently considering a JDM V7 EJ207. Would the USDM 6spd mate up properly to the EJ207?

    Thanks for the guidance!
    -Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    Thanks for all the advice guys! Car checks out, feels good, drives good and will be my first car that has working EVERYTHING hah.

    My only concern is a bit of difficulty downshifting to first. I would say its safe to assume that this is a safety mechanism to protect the engine? The issue only seemed apparent around 10+ MPH.
    However, I did plan on eventually swapping out the trans for a 6spd and this would probably be a good time to swap the R160 out for a R180 as well. Based on some searching and the information out their seems to have me a bit confused in regards to 6spd swap and the center diff. I would be able to use a USDM STI 6spd trans with DCCD and have DCCD work so long as I have the DCCD controller or an aftermarket alternative(DCCDPro or Neetronics).
    Also, that leads to my next question and to be honest I have not done a whole lot of information searching on this one. Way further down the road, I'll be in the market of swaps and am currently considering a JDM V7 EJ207. Would the USDM 6spd mate up properly to the EJ207?

    Thanks for the guidance!
    -Steve
    An EJ207 Swap would be a PITA. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it would require changing the ECU harnessing and throttle cable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    Thanks for all the advice guys! Car checks out, feels good, drives good and will be my first car that has working EVERYTHING hah.

    My only concern is a bit of difficulty downshifting to first. I would say its safe to assume that this is a safety mechanism to protect the engine? The issue only seemed apparent around 10+ MPH.
    However, I did plan on eventually swapping out the trans for a 6spd and this would probably be a good time to swap the R160 out for a R180 as well. Based on some searching and the information out their seems to have me a bit confused in regards to 6spd swap and the center diff. I would be able to use a USDM STI 6spd trans with DCCD and have DCCD work so long as I have the DCCD controller or an aftermarket alternative(DCCDPro or Neetronics).
    Also, that leads to my next question and to be honest I have not done a whole lot of information searching on this one. Way further down the road, I'll be in the market of swaps and am currently considering a JDM V7 EJ207. Would the USDM 6spd mate up properly to the EJ207?

    Thanks for the guidance!
    -Steve
    you are spot on with the safety mechanism. Honestly with the gearing of these cars, there is no need to be downshifting into first unless you are stopped or all but stopped. So, no concern there.

    Going to the R180 would be a good bet at that time. And your assumption is correct, the DCCD will work as long as you have the controller.

    The USDM 6spd should mate to an EJ207, but as Zach said...its more of a pain than anything due to ECU and harness swapping and so on. You'd be better off finding a USDM 2.5L block to mate with the stock heads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    An EJ207 Swap would be a PITA. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it would require changing the ECU harnessing and throttle cable.
    PITA? How so beside the changing of the harness and throttle cable? I was under the impression that the JDM engine harness and ecu mates up just fine to USDM and then for AVCS to be functional some repinned plugs or an AVCS install kit IAP? Throttle cable is new though, care to expand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikie13 View Post
    you are spot on with the safety mechanism. Honestly with the gearing of these cars, there is no need to be downshifting into first unless you are stopped or all but stopped. So, no concern there.

    Going to the R180 would be a good bet at that time. And your assumption is correct, the DCCD will work as long as you have the controller.

    The USDM 6spd should mate to an EJ207, but as Zach said...its more of a pain than anything due to ECU and harness swapping and so on. You'd be better off finding a USDM 2.5L block to mate with the stock heads.
    Yeah, was a bit nervous when I couldnt slide it into first and figured it was just for safety. I was running through all the gears to make sure no surprises would follow hah. Also, how short or long is the thrown on stock WRX transmissions? Just curious as the throw felt pretty short and very tight.

    Now R180's came in a few different nissans as well. I wonder if any of those would be a direct bolt in or if a R200 would work out as well.

    Why would the 2.5L hybrid be better? I heard they are more prone to knock(I am fearful of knock due to my RX-7 hah). Also, that using the EJ20 heads raises up the CR(which is probably why it is said to be more prone to knock) and dont flow very well. The compression issue can be solved with a thicker HG. What about the quench area? Aren't the bores on the ej20 and ej25 different and I would assume the quench area would be as well then and couldn't this also cause issues?

    If I come off as an ass I do not intend to. Just trying to pick everyone's brain for knowledge hah

    Thanks!
    -Steve

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    Luke Skywalker Mikie13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    PITA? How so beside the changing of the harness and throttle cable? I was under the impression that the JDM engine harness and ecu mates up just fine to USDM and then for AVCS to be functional some repinned plugs or an AVCS install kit IAP? Throttle cable is new though, care to expand?
    Everything you just said right above...is what makes it a PITA You'll have to pull the entire enginebay to hell, as well as the entire dash just to get to it all. Not positive on the AVCS at all, though I know USDM STIs have it...I've only heard making it all fit is a pain with that.


    Quote Originally Posted by SDelong View Post
    Yeah, was a bit nervous when I couldnt slide it into first and figured it was just for safety. I was running through all the gears to make sure no surprises would follow hah. Also, how short or long is the thrown on stock WRX transmissions? Just curious as the throw felt pretty short and very tight.

    Now R180's came in a few different nissans as well. I wonder if any of those would be a direct bolt in or if a R200 would work out as well.

    Why would the 2.5L hybrid be better? I heard they are more prone to knock(I am fearful of knock due to my RX-7 hah). Also, that using the EJ20 heads raises up the CR(which is probably why it is said to be more prone to knock) and dont flow very well. The compression issue can be solved with a thicker HG. What about the quench area? Aren't the bores on the ej20 and ej25 different and I would assume the quench area would be as well then and couldn't this also cause issues?

    If I come off as an ass I do not intend to. Just trying to pick everyone's brain for knowledge hah

    Thanks!
    -Steve
    Stock WRX throws aren't too terribly long, but they aren't the shortest. Pop the center console and take a look at what you have there if you think it may be aftermarket. Easy thing to check.

    I've heard about the R180s in Nissans as well, but I'm not sure about popping a Nissan part onto a Subaru.

    2.5L blocks are fine. They have been prone to knock mostly because of the tunes that come stock from Subaru. Get a good tune, you have no problem. However...the 2.5L block will be much better for good low end torque which equates to much better daily driveability. Compression will raise with the EJ20 heads, but you can get them machined for relatively cheap to match the flow specs. Its actually probably more common to do that than it is to do a full swap to an entire EJ25* engine since you don't have to play around with swapping ECUs and harnesses.

    I'm not as technical to answer your questions on the bore and quench areas, but I have seen a ton of threads on hybrid builds and have never heard of that being an issue so long as you do get the heads machines to properly match the 2.5L block. I can understand your hesitancy coming from the RX-7 world...I've heard those horror stories plenty! And I as well as others probably don't see you coming off as an ass at all...just good viable questions. At least you aren't asking about BOVs and Intakes
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    There have been reports of people using a UTEC to stand-alone manage the AVCS. I'd not be keen to that, however.

    Also, you don't need a R180. The R160 will hold 350+ wtq... that means something like 600wtq at all four corners.
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