Dec 11, 2012 update to the Subaru Impreza WRX project car

Cooling It Down

Our WRX is now sturdy enough to drive in anger!
The original front subframe had seen its fair share of northeast salt.
This was one of the better-looking areas.
Fortunately, our front control arms—a common weak point on these cars—were still in good shape.
We painted everything we didn’t replace with Eastwood Chassis Black.
We replaced a few subframe bolts after having to remove them like this.
The hardest task when replacing the radiator was unplugging all the wires.
We installed a Mishimoto radiator in place of the original.
The new radiator fits perfectly.
The new subframe also fit well. The car is much less nerve-racking now that it has metal instead of rust connecting each side.

Although we may have been able to repair the plastic radiator tank, we were hesitant to chance something as critical as a radiator on a car that will see a lot of track use.

With our 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX looking pretty again, we started driving it much more than we had been. And unfortunately, we found another issue.

The WRX had been slowly using coolant since before we’d purchased it, and we assumed that it was just a weak radiator cap. We found out that that wasn’t the case when the Subaru overheated in the middle of traffic on the way home from work.

The culprit? Not a leaking cap, but a leaking radiator end tank. The end tank had cracked on the underside of the top hose fitting, and had waited a while to fail completely.

Although we may have been able to repair the plastic radiator tank, we were hesitant to chance something as critical as a radiator on a car that will see a lot of track use. With that in mind, we called Mishimoto and ordered a factory replacement radiator for our WRX.

While we were working on the car, we figured that it only made sense to replace the failing front subframe. We bought a new one from The Body Werks, and installed it while we had the radiator out.

Surprisingly enough, these fairly major repairs only took a few hours, and everything was straightforward. We did snap a few bolts trying to remove the old subframe, but we welded the heads back on and kept working. Before putting the new parts in, we bought new bolts from our local Subaru dealership for a few dollars.

Wicked awesome Scooby Rexes in your treeware mailbox. Subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports now.
Join Free Join our community to easily find more project updates.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
Sponsored by

ebay

Cooper Tires

Our Preferred Partners
A891WcCA1FeZqUcfrz93zrZV3kUEUAf9LJAq1aCowVbbYvtdH4v93A6Nb7EhDXKP