New member here. Hoping to buy a WRX soon
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This is a discussion on New member here. Hoping to buy a WRX soon within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys, I'm pretty stoked to be on here. I'm looking for a WRX right now and have been reading ...

  1. #1
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    New member here. Hoping to buy a WRX soon

    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty stoked to be on here. I'm looking for a WRX right now and have been reading these forums religiously. The car buying threads have been wicked helpful so far. I do have a question for you guys concerning rex buying though. Right now I'm checking out two cars. One's an '03 WRX wagon, black, original owner, 138k miles, some rust on the rear wheel wells, he's putting in a new tranny (5 speed) and claims to have "broken it in correctly"(his words), asking $5500. The other is a 2004 WRX wagon, black, 141k miles, clean body, and the engine looks clean, asking $8,900. Both claim to be stock with no engine mods. The '03 sounds like a solid win right now but the body rust concerns me. I have an '03 legacy wagon right now with the same deal. Bought it two years ago and the "minor" rust on the wheel wells is pretty much gobbling up the back quarter panels. SO is it worth it to spend more on a solid body with more miles or go with the cheaper one and get the body work done somewhere?

    Thanks guys

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    I would stick with whatever option gives you a more solid drivetrain and something that is mechanically sound. Body work is cheap by comparison. Even if you had to replace entire panels, you're only looking at a few hundred bucks for each panel. Drivetrain work, by comparison, is potentially thousands of dollars.

    IMO, the '03 is a better option. Fewer miles, new tranny. No way I would spend $3400 for MORE miles with a 'clean' body.

    That being said, a good paint job can add up to serious $$ pretty quickly. You'll probably want to shop around some body shops to get pricing on panel replacement plus repaint if you're interested in a pristine looking car that's 11+ years old.

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    Thanks man, that's a pretty good point. That '04's tranny could go soon and then I'd be in pretty big trouble. Do most wrx transmissions go around the mid/early 100,000 mile mark? A buddy of mine called the '02-'04 transmission the "glass box" transmission saying that they fail wicked easy. Should I be looking out for that if I find another car with the same miles?

  5. #4
    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    My tranny finally gave in at 250k miles. I had the 02 "glass box" tranny.

  6. #5
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    Just because you have an older model with 100k+ miles doesn't mean the tranny will explode at any time. But buying a used car with 140k+ miles and unknown driving history might throw up some red flags, that's all.

    Like I said, a more solid car with a new tranny with FEWER miles for LESS money seems like a no-brainer to me. You can always dig out the rust and spray some rust converter in there before filling/priming/painting properly. Or you can buy some replacement fenders. Depends on how "pristine" you want your car to turn out. I'm not sure I'd care about a perfect paint job with 140k+ miles and 10+ years. I'd make sure the car runs 100% and then whittle away at the body work later.

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