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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks! I'm KB in FL, and I joined this forum to get educated and to get help in researching/acquiring a WRX. I've been out of the scene for about three years (read "car-less"). I was into the EVO 6/7/8/9s and dabbled a bit in BMWs and Mercedes in Europe.

I like the 2002/3 WRX style lines and simplicity, and I am currently doing some hunting around for a decent one. Can't afford a newer model, but then again, I don't really like the newer models (look too busy).

My goal is to have a decent 2002/3 WRX in the next few months, and I have noticed that the pricing does vary significantly from as low as 4.5K to 12K, and this is from viewing the offerings from both private and used car dealers. Any pointers to be wary of with the 2002/3 models? My inclination is to stay away from moderate-to-heavily modded ones, having learned this from working with other cars and bikes and to just concentrate on un-modded or lightly modded (simple bolt-ons, suspension, wheel/tire upgrades, etc). I notice the wagons are cheaper than the sedans... is this because of popularity? I've been searching craigslist and autotrader, as well as using NADA/KBB for pricing purposes.

The end-goal...to have a car that is going to be a DD, good on long-trips and fun and reliable (means I don't plan on pushing the edge of riding on near detonation; again, lessons learned and I don't need a track car for now, but still want to have some fun), as well as an excellent platform to start again and grow with (I know the mod bug is gonna bite again at some point, but hopefully I'll have something else I can satisfy the urge with)

I hope to learn from you all, and I hope this forum is active bcz I do like to exchange ideas and ask questions... nothing worse than walking into a bar that isn't friendly lol!

I'm happy to be here!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh! I just discovered WRX Trader just from reading someone elses post! Nice!
 

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Thanks :)
 

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Look for one as close to stock as you can find, modded can be a headache. I paid about 10k for my modded 2003 wrx from a dealer, spent roughly 3-4k in repairs and about 2-3k in performance/other parts.
 

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Thanks, Josh! Was the 3-4K spent on "fixing" mods gone bad or just on things that needed to be replaced bcz of the age and wear? My habit from before was to change out bushings, blown mounts and other consumables as well as full fluid change/servicing on other used cars I have had in the past shortly after buying them. What mods did you go with first? In the past, I used to upgrade the suspension pieces, replace the factory brake lines with steel-braided ones, and some exhaust/intake work. My intent is to not get crazy and try to constrain myself from getting away from the DD aspect since gas is expensive and I don't need tickets :D
 

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The repairs were not because of age, for the most part. I had a rear main leak, tranny leak, oil pan leak, a and a bad tune witting the first year.

Mods started out with going back to stock, then moving from there. Stage 2, then a vf39 and supporting mods. Next will be a complete engine rebuild, as my valves are starting to leak oil. I also wanted to either get a 6 speed or stronger 5 speed gears. I have a long way to go to get where I want to end, bu can you ever really end?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's good that the repairs weren't due to age... has the car been a Colorado car all this time? I suppose the weather there is dry and moderate unlike here in FL. Yeah, those leaks are gonna be on any car with some age and it is always a good idea and get under there and check for fluid leaks/replace gaskets/re-torque bolts. What kind of aftermarket tuning are you using? Did you upgrade your injectors or are the stock ones still good for the VF39? I got a lot of reading/visualizing to do bcz I don't know who/what is best recommended for the WRXs. I have heard that the 02/03 gear boxes aren't strong and that people have been swapping their gear boxes for the 4th gen Impreza RA ones from Japan, but what are some other alternatives some people are going with?

Modding... it never ever ends until the funds end bcz even a guy with a moped has dreams and some are just insane YouTube - ‪Moped V.S Subaru Impreza‬‏ I'm pretty certain the moped beat the Impreza
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Irvin!
 

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I think my car was in 2 or 3 different states before they brought it to Colorado. Myblock has also been split as the mechanics said, so I have no idea what really in there either.

I am using a Cobb accessport, which doesn't utilize full potential for my setup. I like it though because when I want more power, I can just get a custom tune.

I am using sti pink (mine are 2008 so they are blue) injectors.

The gears were widened in 2003. They are only fragile if you treat them terribly. Definitely a myth that they are glass boxes. Other options include 6 speeds or dog boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I guess you could try to look up vehicle history via CARFAX or something, or I suppose once you do an engin rebuild you will know what was done inside the engine.

Cobb Accessport... I need to read more about this tuning accessory. Does the WRX turbos use a factory electronic wastegate controller? I have read some threads where people are opting for a manual boost controller. Those are simple and reliable... I suppose the factory set-ups have issues with boost creep or is that with the aftermarket options?

I would ask what the factory CCs are for the STi, but I think that info is here on the boards.

That's good to know about the gear boxes, and you are right about things breaking if you treat them harshly, so I assume that we can get aftermarket hardened replacements for the gear box internals. IMO, 6-speed is just overkill and I do have some experience with the HKS dog box, but... that was in a friend's RX-7 FC3S, and it was good for nothing but drag
 

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I had autocheck Dom the dealer and it said I had a 2.5 liter, when the wrx didn't get those until 2006.

The is a stock ebcs, which works and doran have problems. When you tune you ecu you include the ebcs. The Cobb ap is good with features but many people dislike them while many people love them.

I only know stock go not cc's. Sti is 305, wrx is 266 Iirc. I am around 350 with my setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah nice!

I meant what the stock CCs are for the injectors you have, and CCs (cubic centimeters) for your engine is 2475 (round up to 2500) or 151 CID (cubic inches of displacement)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just researched that the stock ones are 420cc, and that to increase beyond ~270ish WHP the stock fuel pump and FPR just won't cut it. The info I got from i-Club, and this info may be outdated, but I guess it is good to know :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks! KB as in Ken Bouyoutlane
 

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Is that your tool box your bike is up against? Snap On KRL series? I have the KRL1001B which is the same as that box without the edition to the right side of the box by the front wheel.. Love it.

Welcome, good luck with the search and be patient.
 
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