Possibly buying an 02 WRX. Ideas?
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This is a discussion on Possibly buying an 02 WRX. Ideas? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; What's up all? I'm thinking about buying an 02 'X with some mods already accomplished. I've never owned or worked ...

  1. #1
    Registered User hookemdevils22's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Tempe, AZ

    Possibly buying an 02 WRX. Ideas?

    What's up all? I'm thinking about buying an 02 'X with some mods already accomplished. I've never owned or worked on a WRX before, but I'm ASE certified and a fairly good (in my mind) mechanic. I've got plenty of tools and people available.

    The only problem this appears to have is the motor. It's got an STi short block in it. I talked with the guy and he said it was tuned by a now-defunct shop here in Phoenix, who I guess screwed up the tune, thereby burning up the motor. I haven't gotten a chance to take a gander at the vehicle, but from what I understand, it needs a short block only (I'm sure there's more to it, but I'll figure that out later). He's asking $9500 obo.

    Question: Do you guys think this would be a good buy? I know that, without looking at it, you can't make a very good judgment, but I'd like to hear from some WRX-heads before going in on a job that could get messy quickly. Also, could you point me in the direction of any reputable shops here in the Phoenix area that could rebuild the bottom-end? And/or perhaps somewhere to get another STi short block?

    I've been looking around, and every decent WRX seems to be around $14-15k, so I figured I could get away with a $5k (max) swap/rebuild and have a much better car for the same price.

    Here's the specs:

    2002 SUBARU IMPREZA, 77,500 mi, WRX, VF30 aftermarket turbo with the turbo XS kit, HKS turbo back exhaust, new sti ra gear set with about 1000 miles, too much to list, needs a motor, currently has an STI Short Block

    $9500 obo

    5 speed

    Installed Features
    Driver Air Bag
    Anti-Lock Brakes
    Air Conditioning
    Alloy Wheels
    AM/FM Radio
    Cruise Control
    Compact Disc Player
    Passenger Air Bag
    Rear Window Defroster
    Power Door Locks
    Power Mirrors
    Power Windows
    Power Steering


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  3. #2
    Registered User Micah's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Ocean Grove, NJ

    You can get a block from them. UTEC/OpenECU/Cobb - take your pic.
    Torch Red 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 46k mi.
    Black 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX 6-speed 94k mi. my mod list
    10/08/2006 - 14.089@103.01 (5-speed with well worn clutch, no launch)
    "Six stars gleaming, five speeds breaking, four tires chirping, three differentials working, two liters screaming, one turbo boosting... it's what makes a Subaru all-wheel-drive, all we'll drive."
    for Bugeye owners my BOV thread Service Manuals

  4. #3
    Registered User MindzeyeWRX02's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Stockton, California 209
    Is the STi block the USDM 2.5? And is it a Hybrid set-up?? STi block with WRX heads, cams, etc? or STi top and bottom?

  5. #4
    Registered User hookemdevils22's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Tempe, AZ
    The guy said he just did the short-block STi swap, so the top-end is still from the ej20. I don't know if any work has been done to the heads or if the cams are stock, but I'm going to assume it's all stock. I'm going to see it on Monday - the guy's in California this weekend.

    Also, I'm not sure if it's the USDM. We'll find all that out Monday.
    Last edited by hookemdevils22; 07-07-2007 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Add to reply.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    I Support ClubWRX
    So why did the first motor blow? Did he go into that? The RA gears are in probaly because he killed the stock setup.

    So my assumption would be the car is abused or atleast driven rather hard. This would explain 2 shortblocks and the tranny. The mods are enough to probaly kill the tranny torque wise if driven hard.

    If the car has a USDM STI shortblock you can get a replacement block for around 1,500. You'll want all the obvious stuff like water pump, oil pump, T-stat, belts which will be another 500-1000 dollars guessing.

    So for probaly close to 3 grand you can have a decent car. I'd try to knock his asking price down a good bit if you can and if it's the car you want.
    0-60 faster then your first sexual experience.
    "You've come far, and though you're far from the end
    You don't mind where you are, cause you know where you've been"

  7. #6
    Registered User hookemdevils22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Tempe, AZ
    Oh I'm almost certain the car has been driven hard. That's the fine line you walk when looking for a modded vehicle. I don't want something completely stock, but I know that people like pounding on upgraded cars. I'm the same way with the Nova. Luckily the drivetrain and suspension can handle plenty more than the 400+ ponies under the hood, so there haven't been any incidents (yet - knock on wood).

    As for why the motor blew, he just said it was a bad tune. I can't imagine that being the sole cause, but I guess the shop that did it went out of business, so they couldn't have been the best shop to go to. I'll definately try to get it for a bit less than asking price, and use the rest of the money I budgeted for this to do some other things to the car. I was at the very least going to swap out the clutch, if not have the trans freshened up a bit. I've had my fair share of tranny problems, and I'm not about to take chances again.

    The nice thing is I'm in no hurry to get a car, I just want something better than my Pathfinder (Nova's not daily-driven; it's not exactly a 'street' car). I've pretty much narrowed it down to a WRX - I want something with decent gas mileage and performance; I absolutely f***ing hate the ricer scene; I will never EVER own a Honda, Acura, Mitsu, etc.; I really like the sound of a boxer engine, even to some extent with the loud-ass ricer exhaust; and Subies are too goofy-looking to be considered 'sport compact' or 'ricer' (ps - that's a good thing. I dig on the goofy look). Oh, and every GTO I've found has literally been driven off the lot by the guy who beat me to the dealership by 30 min.

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