New guy looking to get a WRX
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This is a discussion on New guy looking to get a WRX within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I'm sure this is not at all a new story, but nonetheless I am looking to get into my first ...

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    Smile New guy looking to get a WRX

    I'm sure this is not at all a new story, but nonetheless I am looking to get into my first Subaru, as well as my first foreign car

    In the past have had...

    95 Ford Taurus (sold...while on fire...)
    02 Chevy Tahoe 5.3LT (sold)
    06 Cadillac CTS 3.6L (sold...great car)
    89 Ford Bronco II 4 on the floor with OD (trail truck/sold)
    02 Mustang GT 5-speed (sold...tons of fun!)

    04 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 (current)
    11 Husqvarna TE250i DS (current/selling)
    12 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (current DD)

    I'll keep this short because I usually type way too much lol. I recently moved from central NJ to Maryland, near Washington, DC. I have always liked the WRX's and of course a manual trans sports car. I'm looking for something that will make a great DD year round. Great for me means quick, manual trans, comfortable, and reliable.

    I've been looking in the sub-$15k range for 2 cars each, one for myself and one for my gf. We both like the WRX's

    My questions are...

    Is the 04 WRX a decent choice? I've seen quite a few under my $15k limit with around 55k miles in what seems to be great shape. My worry is that they are known for transmission issues as well as some other problems. I can't be having things break on me all the time, I get enough of that out of my explorer LOL.

    I'd be looking for a manual trans for myself, and an auto for my girl. Hers would remain mostly stock (aside from possibly tint/HID's etc.) and I would be looking to "tastefully" mod mine. IE - Turboback/intake/tune/interior and exterior work/brakes/brake lines/clutch/BOV/possible suspension work... I like a tight car

    So, what does the general WRX community think about this? Is this realistic for a reliable DD? Any insight into the world of Subaru's would be greatly appreciated! I am not at all new to cars, but I am certainly new to Subarus!

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  3. #2
    zax
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    The EJ205-powered WRXs (2002-2005 2.0L) cars are reliable if proper maintenance is performed. A few considerations:

    1. It is difficult these days to find a single owner unmodified WRX, especially an older 2L WRX
    2. These cars aren't made for big power. If you're looking for 500whp, this isn't the car to buy. That being said, although the transmission isn't a strong point, it should have no issues provided you aren't dumping the clutch at every stoplight or trying to extract 500whp from the motor.
    3. These cars take premium fuel and premium fluids... i.e. don't fill up with the cheap gas or use cheap oil.
    4. Drive one for yourself. A 2004 WRX is hardly fast by modern standards, especially not in stock form. However, IMO, it's more enjoyable to drive than most modern cars... but that's personal opinion
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    A 2005 Sti is what got me into cars.. Seen one brand new and have always wanted a Subaru.. Finally I will be ordering mine in November good choice for your next car ;P

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    zax
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    Also, before purchasing anything: Get a leakdown/compression test done on the motor and ensure that the timing belt maintenance has been performed.
    2015 CWP WRX STi ... But how did I get roped back into an EJ motor?!
    Zax's utterly unimaginably stock 2015 STi build thread
    Zax's Shaggin' Wagon Build Thread Now tuned for 99% pure Unicorn Jizz!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Welcome to ClubWRX!

    The EJ205-powered WRXs (2002-2005 2.0L) cars are reliable if proper maintenance is performed. A few considerations:

    1. It is difficult these days to find a single owner unmodified WRX, especially an older 2L WRX
    2. These cars aren't made for big power. If you're looking for 500whp, this isn't the car to buy. That being said, although the transmission isn't a strong point, it should have no issues provided you aren't dumping the clutch at every stoplight or trying to extract 500whp from the motor.
    3. These cars take premium fuel and premium fluids... i.e. don't fill up with the cheap gas or use cheap oil.
    4. Drive one for yourself. A 2004 WRX is hardly fast by modern standards, especially not in stock form. However, IMO, it's more enjoyable to drive than most modern cars... but that's personal opinion
    1. Well aware, single owner is nearly impossible. Unmodified isn't SO hard. I know what to look for in that regard (luckily!).
    2. I'd be content with 300bhp! Not looking for a street demon
    3. I never cheap out on maintenance and upkeep
    4. I have, now I want to drive one every day!

    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Also, before purchasing anything: Get a leakdown/compression test done on the motor and ensure that the timing belt maintenance has been performed.
    This is good info! Do you have any recommendations as to how to do this prior to purchase? I can't imagine many people would be too fond of having that test done on there car prior to a sale haha.

    Thanks for the help thus far!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Also, before purchasing anything: Get a leakdown/compression test done on the motor and ensure that the timing belt maintenance has been performed.
    And is that for new vehicles as well?

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    zax
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevonDisaster View Post
    And is that for new vehicles as well?

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    No. You know what I meant.
    2015 CWP WRX STi ... But how did I get roped back into an EJ motor?!
    Zax's utterly unimaginably stock 2015 STi build thread
    Zax's Shaggin' Wagon Build Thread Now tuned for 99% pure Unicorn Jizz!

    Zach | Moderator -- Mid-Atlantic States, Tech & Modifying & General Repairs
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    I just wanted to make sure

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    Registered User ClosetSubyLover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Also, before purchasing anything: Get a leakdown/compression test done on the motor and ensure that the timing belt maintenance has been performed.
    I know there really isnt such a thing as being over paranoid depending on what kinda "car guy" you are but if the OP is able to find an 04 unmolested(to a point, maybe an intake and tune), is that a little extreme as far as the leak down test goes? I guess what Im getting at is, is this a normal thing to test for on the Subaru's when buying your first one?

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    Yeah that's a fair question it does seem excessive. At the same rate I'm all for being thorough haha
    Aspiring WRX owner!
    '04 Explorer XLT 4x4 (Selling)
    '12 Kawasaki Ninja 650 (The DD)
    '11 Husqvarna TE250i


    Searching for a WRX for sale!

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    If buying from a dealer YES. If buying from 2nd or later owner YES. If the car has had mods without a tune YES. Basically, if the owner cant prove that all mods were done correctly or if they cant give you full history YES. Get the test done.

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    Good to know. Thank you for all of the replies I appreciate the help!

  14. #13
    zax
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClosetSubyLover View Post
    I know there really isnt such a thing as being over paranoid depending on what kinda "car guy" you are but if the OP is able to find an 04 unmolested(to a point, maybe an intake and tune), is that a little extreme as far as the leak down test goes? I guess what Im getting at is, is this a normal thing to test for on the Subaru's when buying your first one?
    From my own experience: not at all. I will not buy a performance car without a compression or leakdown test performed prior to the sale.

    When you say "unmolested," can you (without a shadow of a doubt) prove that the previous owner did not run an intake untuned, producing lean conditions and damaging piston rings?
    2015 CWP WRX STi ... But how did I get roped back into an EJ motor?!
    Zax's utterly unimaginably stock 2015 STi build thread
    Zax's Shaggin' Wagon Build Thread Now tuned for 99% pure Unicorn Jizz!

    Zach | Moderator -- Mid-Atlantic States, Tech & Modifying & General Repairs
    Rollin' with the Bugeye Mafia #302 | N.E.R.D. Subject Zero
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