Hi! I need tips on how to spot a fake STI (Maybe by VIN #?)
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This is a discussion on Hi! I need tips on how to spot a fake STI (Maybe by VIN #?) within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hello, I have been looking for a WRX STI to buy, however I realize that it wouldn't be too hard ...

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    Hi! I need tips on how to spot a fake STI (Maybe by VIN #?)

    Hello, I have been looking for a WRX STI to buy, however I realize that it wouldn't be too hard to make the standard WRX look like a fake STI.
    Can I tell by a digit in the VIN number?
    What is something I can look for to tell the difference?
    Looking for a GE/GH hatch but I'd take a GD if it's a good deal.
    The main reason I would want an STI is for the better differentials. Anyone have a picture illustrating the difference between the WRX and STI diffs?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Registered User lytlec's Avatar
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    You can always run the vin number through car fax report to be 100% certain.

    When I check mine it says 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX.

    I just searched an STi on auto trader and ran the vin and it comes back Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
    Last edited by lytlec; 01-27-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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    Registered User GarrettKoonsman's Avatar
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    The VIN is the most fool proof way but there are other ways to really tell. 1. Interior, especially gauge cluster 2. Transmission 6 vs 5 speed 3. Brakes 4. Wheels (bolt pattern). Not to sound like a jerk but if you can't tell the difference between a WRX with some STI mods and an actual STI then you need to do more research before buying
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrettKoonsman View Post
    The VIN is the most fool proof way but there are other ways to really tell. 1. Interior, especially gauge cluster 2. Transmission 6 vs 5 speed 3. Brakes 4. Wheels (bolt pattern). Not to sound like a jerk but if you can't tell the difference between a WRX with some STI mods and an actual STI then you need to do more research before buying
    Well no technically one can swap in all STi components and still retain the stock R160 differential. By "better differentials" I'm assuming the front LSD and DCCD? There aren't TOO many documented failures of the R160 rear. In that case it's easy because the STi transmission with the front LSD and DCCD is a 6 spd.
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    Registered User GarrettKoonsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Well no technically one can swap in all STi components and still retain the stock R160 differential.
    Ya but how many WRX's have you ever seen swapped to an STI to the point where you couldn't tell with a little poking around? And we frequent a WRX/STI site
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    UnBanned Sinister's Avatar
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    Here's one no one thinks about....


    On the 05+ STi, the rear fender has a lip to make it wider to handle wider tires. It's a pain in the ass to replicate, and no one does it. You can do everything else on the car to make it an STi, but that usually sticks out pretty solidly
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrettKoonsman View Post
    The VIN is the most fool proof way but there are other ways to really tell. 1. Interior, especially gauge cluster 2. Transmission 6 vs 5 speed 3. Brakes 4. Wheels (bolt pattern). Not to sound like a jerk but if you can't tell the difference between a WRX with some STI mods and an actual STI then you need to do more research before buying
    That's why I'm here!
    I found a WIKI about Subaru VIN numbers
    Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN codes)/Subaru/VIN Codes - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
    but they list a WRX STI as a 7th digit "K" and I ran a VIN on a 2009 STI with a 7th digit of "9" and that comes up as an STI.... ??? ...

    Also read that 04 STI is 5x100 bolt pattern, 05+ STIs are 5x114.3 whereas standard WRX is still 5x100, can you confirm?

    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Well no technically one can swap in all STi components and still retain the stock R160 differential. By "better differentials" I'm assuming the front LSD and DCCD? There aren't TOO many documented failures of the R160 rear. In that case it's easy because the STi transmission with the front LSD and DCCD is a 6 spd.
    I read that WRX has an open rear diff whereas the STI has a LSD type. is this true?

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    Registered User GarrettKoonsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keepinitoldskool View Post
    That's why I'm here!
    I found a WIKI about Subaru VIN numbers
    Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN codes)/Subaru/VIN Codes - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
    but they list a WRX STI as a 7th digit "K" and I ran a VIN on a 2009 STI with a 7th digit of "9" and that comes up as an STI.... ??? ...
    Also read that 04 STI is 5x100 bolt pattern, 05+ STIs are 5x114.3 whereas standard WRX is still 5x100, can you confirm?



    I read that WRX has an open rear diff whereas the STI has a LSD type. is this true?
    All of that is correct. Well I don't know about the Wiki Vin stuff but the bolt pattern and diff info
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