Nov 7, 2012 update to the Subaru Impreza WRX project car

More Bodywork for Our WRX

Our WRX looks new again!
Before putting too much additional time and effort into our used fender, we test-fitted it.
Before painting, we fixed a few small blemishes in our new panels.
To hide the flaking paint around the rear window, we painted the area black. This is a budget-conscious alternative to repainting the entire hatch.

Besides being shinier than everything else under the hood, it’s indistinguishable from an unmolested piece.

Our last update left our 2002 Subaru WRX under the knife at our favorite body shop, The Body Werks. Our initial examination left us confident this WRX could be fixed completely, so it was time to finish the job and put it back together.

The first thing we realized was that we were in the market for a new hood and fender. Our WRX’s hood was kinked, while the fender looked like someone had tried to tenderize it.

Luckily, we found a decent used fender on eBay Motors for $59 plus shipping. We ponied up the money for a new aftermarket hood as well. We usually don’t recommend aftermarket body parts, but this measure saved us a few hundred dollars.

After the new body parts arrived, the core support was bent back into its original position with a few different hammers, then painted white. Besides being shinier than everything else under the hood, it’s indistinguishable from an unmolested piece. With that fixed, we moved on to the new panels. They were test-fitted, and once we knew they would work, we fixed the minor damage on them, primed them, and painted the front of the car.

The rear of the car was a different story. We didn’t need any new panels, but the outer rockers and the wheel arches needed a few repair patches welded in where they’d rusted through. After some bondo and paint, they looked new, too.

To fix the chipping paint around the rear window, we first sanded down the irregular paint. Then we isolated few inches of paint below the rear window with tape and painted that section semi-gloss black. This hid the paint issues without having to deal with blending or matching factory paint. Best of all, this simple fix looks like it could’ve come from the factory and complements the lines of the car.

After $1,400-worth of body work, our WRX looks as good as new. Next, we’ll have to address its remaining mechanical issues.

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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
11/7/12 3:44 p.m.

Our last update left our 2002 Subaru WRX under the knife at our favorite body shop, The Body Werks. Our initial examination left us confident this WRX could be fixed completely, so it was time to finish the job and put it back together.

The first thing we realized was that we were in the market for a new hood and fender. Our WRX’s hood was kinked, while the fender looked like someone had tried to tenderize it.

Luckily, we found a decent used fender on eBay Motors for $59 plus shipping. We ponied up the money for a new aftermarket hood as well. We usually don’t recommend aftermarket body parts, but this measure saved us a few hundred dollars.

After the new body parts arrived, the core support was bent back into its original position with a few different hammers, then painted white. Besides being shinier than everything else under the hood, it’s indistinguishable from an unmolested piece. With that fixed, we moved on to the new panels. They were test-fitted, and once we knew they would work, we fixed the minor damage on them, primed them, and painted the front of the car.

The rear of the car was a different story. We didn’t need any new panels, but the outer rockers and the wheel arches needed a few repair patches welded in where they’d rusted through. After some bondo and paint, they looked new, too.

To fix the chipping paint around the rear window, we first sanded down the irregular paint. Then we isolated few inches of paint below the rear window with tape and painted that section semi-gloss black. This hid the paint issues without having to deal with blending or matching factory paint. Best of all, this simple fix looks like it could’ve come from the factory and complements the lines of the car.

After $1,400-worth of body work, our WRX looks as good as new. Next, we’ll have to address its remaining mechanical issues.

Wicked awesome Scooby Rexes in your treeware mailbox. Subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports now.
jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
11/7/12 8:54 p.m.

That looks great! To think you almost used it for a engine donor.

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