RPSadler New Reader
Feb. 2, 2013 7:43 p.m.

Hello all, As my girlfriend said, "Your car yield this year is going well"... as we all are, I'm a car farmer. If they made it, I want to own it, fix it, drive it, and 'sometimes' break even. I'm already in the midst of re-rebuilding 1 of the 2 Mazda GTX's, have a Chrysler Conquest track project with my best friend, and literally just developed a external cylinder head leak on my daily driver Subaru GC8...

WHAT BETTER TIME TO SEARCH FOR A NEW STEED!?!

... you know the story: you are sitting on the couch with your lady(man)-friend who puts up with your auto obsession, they are watching TV and you're (I) par oozing Craiglist for fun, nothing serious... you just want to see if that Mazdaspeed LSD has sold... then you find it... the car that is remarkably cheap, closish, and you caught the ad 'just' in time.

The story of my new daily commuter: the 200,000 mile WRX wagon 5-speed

'Twas scrolling though CL and stumbled upon this beauty, thankfully the owner was cool and I went up to SF (about 60 miles way) the next day, test drive revealed no CEL or dangerous issues. Asking price $2500, bought for $2050 (woot woot):

Issues known to purchase: 1) Front end is ugly due to crash, 2) No A/C (no condensor and line to cabin sheared) - from crash, 3) NY registration (live in CA), 4) Clock doesn't work, 5) HVAC only works on setting 4 - high, 6) Alternator housing broken - no diag required, just ordered a used one from eBay, 7) MIrror compass inverted direction - calibrated and done, , + they had and loved a VERY hairy dog - after 2 go throughs it still there!!!

Now it being the cheapest WRX in the hemisphere, I knew something would happen, and it did. Lets give the diag some time.

Found the source of the engine matter was a loose gas cap, yes it was my fault... but the ABS code has proven to be more of an issue. ABS code 25 - RR wheel speed sensor, swapped with the other side, same issue, ohm'd the wiring and V-drops = nothing... which only leaves the ABS unit itself to blame. On order... $65 ABS unit

Next came the clock, which has been done many,many times. A little resistor for the clock lighting breaks, so just pop it out, touch with the Weller and job done. $Free

While I was into the electrics, I suspected the HVAC was dead from a blown "resistor" in the system... its usually the culprit. So ohm'd it out and wouldn't you know, the only on with a realistic resistance was on speed 4, weirdo right haha. Ordered a new "blower motor resistor" - $36

Now, I've gotten lazy in my almost-30 (GF says I have an old soul) and the idea of taking out and putting in a new CD each time is now ridiculous...I'd be losing seconds each day , and I am far too cheap to put in cash where it is not needed, so a little home AUX-IN cable time. RadioShack has the cable for $10, cut the end off, find L & R channels, Aux ground, solder and done. $10

As the car was more and more drivable, easy to deal with, the front just started mocking me...Not to be out done I called 3 of my usual sources and found ZIP, ZERO, NADA from any importer had a 2002-2003 "bugeye" front end... what to do? Upgrade my friends

...a couple days later and by complete chance I found a 2007 STi front end within the 100 mile radius for a good deal ($1180). Grabbed the dog, and we were off:

Next came the chop shop antics, as follows:

All in all, this has been about a week since we got the car until just getting done with the car about 30 minutes ago. The next stage of all of this is to throw a t-belt and clutch at it, evac and fill the A/C, and literally see how long it lasts... until then, cheers!

-Richard

dj06482
dj06482 Dork
Feb. 2, 2013 8:40 p.m.

Great build so far!

golfsierra New Reader
Feb. 2, 2013 8:43 p.m.

Damn, looks great!

I like the RS around the corner haha

gamby PowerDork
Feb. 3, 2013 12:24 a.m.

The new front end is startling and your dog is AWESOME (so happy!!!)

Great work. Some real Wheeler Dealer action there. Killer cheap beater. You'll get all of your money back when you sell it.

You might even sell it on for a profit!!!

crankwalk New Reader
Feb. 3, 2013 10:39 a.m.

Great find! That's a good bang for you buck return. Too bad you didn't go ahead and do the timing belt with the front end already off though!

RPSadler New Reader
Feb. 3, 2013 11:00 a.m.
dj06482 wrote: Great build so far!
golfsierra wrote: Damn, looks great! I like the RS around the corner haha

Thanks guys and gals! Thats the old DD RS.

gamby wrote: The new front end is startling and your dog is AWESOME (so happy!!!) Great work. Some real Wheeler Dealer action there. Killer cheap beater. You'll get all of your money back when you sell it. You might even sell it on for a profit!!!

More dosh in the kitty is always a 'goal' haha.

crankwalk wrote: Great find! That's a good bang for you buck return. Too bad you didn't go ahead and do the timing belt with the front end already off though!

I thought about that too, but it would have been too much work for one day.

dyintorace UltraDork
Feb. 3, 2013 12:14 p.m.

Love it. Please keep the build thread going!

Feb. 4, 2013 8:12 p.m.

Needs moar rear box flares!!!!

Keep up the good work!

RPSadler New Reader
Feb. 5, 2013 9:01 p.m.
SilverFleet wrote: Needs moar rear box flares!!!! Keep up the good work!

The guy who had the front end also had the rear doors & quarter panel sheet metal... you tempting me too ?!? Haha, endless projects, huzzah!

Richard

fidelity101 HalfDork
Feb. 6, 2013 9:02 a.m.

Happy dog is happy!

RPSadler New Reader
Feb. 7, 2013 12:53 a.m.
SilverFleet wrote: Needs moar rear box flares!!!! Keep up the good work!

OK, so I'm really foaming at the mouth to keep the rear fenders from the sedan theme going (sedans have boxy fenders due to a +20mm wider track, and wagons have the hips of a 14 year old boy), so I called my prior source for the front-end... wouldn't you know it.

Rear doors, rear 1/4 panel cut, side skirts, tail lamps, and headlight wiring (2007 to 2002 don't use the same style connector - halogen to HID, go figure) for $400.... SO tempting. Called the guy back and he's making the deal sweeter and sweeter each day.

I think I'm just going to do it and deal with the GF backlash when she sees the rear doors in the front lawn (I'm sure the neighbors will be happy too haha). Anyone know any good/cheap (I know I know) family owned shops I can visit?

Look for update on Friday, to whether I come back with wiring + side skirts OR the whole shebang.

-Richard

Feb. 7, 2013 7:56 a.m.
RPSadler wrote:
SilverFleet wrote: Needs moar rear box flares!!!! Keep up the good work!

OK, so I'm really foaming at the mouth to keep the rear fenders from the sedan theme going (sedans have boxy fenders due to a +20mm wider track, and wagons have the hips of a 14 year old boy), so I called my prior source for the front-end... wouldn't you know it.

Rear doors, rear 1/4 panel cut, side skirts, tail lamps, and headlight wiring (2007 to 2002 don't use the same style connector - halogen to HID, go figure) for $400.... SO tempting. Called the guy back and he's making the deal sweeter and sweeter each day.

I think I'm just going to do it and deal with the GF backlash when she sees the rear doors in the front lawn (I'm sure the neighbors will be happy too haha). Anyone know any good/cheap (I know I know) family owned shops I can visit?

Look for update on Friday, to whether I come back with wiring + side skirts OR the whole shebang.

-Richard

To finish it off, try to find sedan front control arms. They are different than the wagon ones. 2006 WRX's came with aluminum ones, too.

4cylndrfury UltimaDork
Feb. 7, 2013 10:29 a.m.

thats a killer refresh...well done!

Ojala Reader
Feb. 7, 2013 9:34 p.m.

How is sound quality on the aux-in? Any hissing or anything? I never thought to do that.

RPSadler New Reader
Feb. 8, 2013 12:56 a.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: thats a killer refresh...well done!

Thanks mate! I'm chuffed with it too :)

Ojala wrote: How is sound quality on the aux-in? Any hissing or anything? I never thought to do that.

You know, I was a little scared too. With all I've heard on the boards over the past decade, I thought about just buying the $60 add on Jazzy plug... but I am also 'thifty' (thanks UK parents) and had literally, nothing to lose.

The going theory is you need the aux in + daughterboard + ground the the board + blank (soundless) CD... as it turns out you need almost none of it.

I soldered on the $10 cable, grabbed my GF's Beastie Boy CD (loud music) then plugged the iPhone(iPod) in...

CRYSTAL CLEAR! I don't want to set a bad president, but I can't complain about anything... It works, is clear, and cost less than the 6-pack I had that afternoon

Cheers all!

-Richard

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