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  1. #1
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    O/T Looking for a Good Subaru Mechanic

    Looking to buy a used WRX soon and would like some shop recommendations.

    I'll be shopping Denver and Boulder, so mechanics in both those locations would be handy for the a pre-purchase inspection.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  2. #2
    WWJR
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    best mechanics in town!!

    Suba Performance/Denver. Ask for Kyle. 720-364-1770

    *They belong to awd pirate community. Cheapest and best work in Denver. If you wanna look in Boulder, look for Super Roopair! Ask for Harvey. Other than that, yur kinda out of luck, unless you wanna take it to Burt Subaru Dealership. If so, ask for Jayson Black!

  3. #3
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    Wrx

    After putting over 100K on an '02 WRX wagon, I would recommend not getting an '02. They had a lot of teething problems. Mine would throw various CELs constantly, to the point where I bought a reader so that I wasn't paying $70 every time. I would also definitely look for one with a recent clutch and T-belt.. Those are expensive jobs. BTW, while doing the timing belt, the dealer screwed up the wastegate control. It took six trips for them to diagnose and replace it. That was the end of my WRX love affair. Too much to go wrong.

    For that matter, I would skip the whole 2.0 Liter series and get a 2.5. The 2.0 is great once you are rolling, but off the line it sucks unless you wring it's neck. That causes clutch and tranny issues. Watch for synchro issues. By the end, I couldn't get mine in 1st unless I was at a dead stop, even with double clutching and rev matching. Google WRX synchros and you'll get an eyeful.

    I had the dealer and my local guy take care of it. I've heard Super Rupair in Boulder is good, but I never used them personally. They have more Subie experience than most dealers anyway. I'm sure if you had them do a pre-buy inspection that they've seen everything.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    Mine would throw various CELs constantly, to the point where I bought a reader so that I wasn't paying $70 every time.
    Just FYI - Autozone (and probably others) will hook up their diag reader for free and print you out the codes the computer threw.

    I know this because my '97 Outback throws them with some regularity.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
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    Oh - and when I was looking for a mechanic Mobile Mechanics out in Golden was the Subaru shop of choice amongst most Subaru owners I talked with...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    Unfortunately a 2.5 is out of our budget. I drove an 02 with stage II upgrades and it had 1st gear syncro issues. It crunched going into first even at a complete stop. Hopefully we can find something that hasn't been modified and driven hard all the time.

    It's going to be my wifes commuter car, so she'll put less stress on it that most guys.

    I've heard around $300 for the t-belt, does that sound about right?
    Last edited by Steve71; 03-12-2008 at 02:23 PM.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  7. #7
    skillz to pay billz
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    For all makes and models?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Just FYI - Autozone (and probably others) will hook up their diag reader for free and print you out the codes the computer threw.

  8. #8
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    I'll second staying away from the 2.0, the 2.5 is far better for driving around town, the only place the 2.0 turbo is a big advantage is accelerating up hills on the interstate (or driving like an idiot). I'd love to trade in my '06 Impreza for a WRX, but I won't do it unless its an '06 or later. My friend's '04 WRX also has the worst seats and stereo I've ever seen in a car, my '06 is much better.
    .




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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    For all makes and models?
    Yup. I've had 'em read my Subaru as well as my Honda. I think as long as the car has an OBD-II(?) type computer?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    I'll second staying away from the 2.0, the 2.5 is far better for driving around town, the only place the 2.0 turbo is a big advantage is accelerating up hills on the interstate (or driving like an idiot). I'd love to trade in my '06 Impreza for a WRX, but I won't do it unless its an '06 or later. My friend's '04 WRX also has the worst seats and stereo I've ever seen in a car, my '06 is much better.

    Thanks for the input Dave. A 2.5 RS is on the list to test drive, but used ones seem to fetch almost the same price as a rex, so it's a hard sell.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  11. #11
    skillz to pay billz
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    cheers shtles!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    cheers shtles!
    There's also a website to help you find the OBD-II port too if you don't know where it is... but I don't know where the website is.

  13. #13
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    Here's a good website...

    We're on our 6th Subie, great cars. There's some good info here.

    I've been going to SuperRupair for 19 years (mostly for parts), great shop!
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOby
    For all makes and models?
    noob,

    most parts stores will test for you at no charge... some (checker?) will let/make you do it yourself using their equipment (leave a cc, go out to parking lot, pull code, return to store).

    i assume (hope) this ain't for the new rig?
    [SIZE="1"]when we gonna get that bad boy broken in... roadtrip fruita?[/SIZE]
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

  15. #15
    skillz to pay billz
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    nah, the jetta. lookin to sell it and need see what this indicator means. thanks.

  16. #16
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    2.0L WRX Realities

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    Thanks for all the replies guys.

    Unfortunately a 2.5 is out of our budget. I drove an 02 with stage II upgrades and it had 1st gear syncro issues. It crunched going into first even at a complete stop. Hopefully we can find something that hasn't been modified and driven hard all the time.

    It's going to be my wifes commuter car, so she'll put less stress on it that most guys.

    I've heard around $300 for the t-belt, does that sound about right?

    T-belt job is $5-700. The parts alone are almost $300 if you replace the tensioner and the fan belts. The water pump is a good idea too, but that is another $100. Get one that has had the belt changed, or budget at least $500 sometime before 105K miles.

    Having the clutch done at the dealer is ~$1000. If you shop around, you might find someone to do it for $3-400 labor and you can get the parts online for $2-300. Add another $50-100 for machining the flywheel. You are certainly into it for $600-800 on the low end.

    They are not cheap cars to maintain, and a lot of them are abused.

    I would also add that if you drive them the way you want to drive them, your mileage will be low to mid-20s. If you drive like a grandma, you might see high 20's, but then why get a WRX? Also, the 2.0 versions are painful to creep along in traffic due to the lack of low end torque. Lastly, they are a bit of a handful in the snow. They don't get stuck easily, but if the turbo comes on in a slippery corner, the car pretty much goes sideways. And if you do get it stuck, that smell is the money burning as you roast the clutch. There is no torque to get you out of a stuck without slipping madly.

    I loved the car when it was on a winding mountain road or flying up to the tunnels on I70, but just about everywhere else it was a pain in the ass.

  17. #17
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    www.awdpirates.net

    bugeyes rule! 02's-04's are allgood! Keep up the maintenance schedule, and theyll run forever. the tranny in em ARE weak, but if you drive em correctly, you shouldnt have any issues. when i did my 60K, I converted all of my tranny, rear diff, etc. over to synthetic redline fluids. that in itself, made all of those BS syncro issues go away.

    I run mine with turbo back, Cobb stage II, and some other crap. main reason i bought it was, it handles freakn awesome in any condition! snow IS a lil tricky, but with good snow tires, I can get to Vail in no time, while others are in the ditch, or upside down on 70! Subarus are fukkn dank homey! arrrrrrgh, -pirate
    Last edited by IH8MUD; 03-13-2008 at 11:06 AM.

  18. #18
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    I have an '02 wrx wagon, and it has it's issues but I love it. Got some rod knock at 80k, so had the 2.0 replaced w/ an Sti 2.5 shortblock (kept my 2.0 heads). The increased torque is welcome, as the 2.0 took more work to get moving from a light (esp. w/ the ac on).
    To rebut the question as to why to have the turbo when you need to baby it to get gas mileage is: passing on 2 lane highways. My wife's '01 Outback has more room, but we always take my car on roadtrips just b/c it makes passing a stress free option.
    Do a little research on nasioc.com, awdpirates or clubwrx.net for more/ better info. Also search Uncle Scotty's cocktail - it's a mix of lubes for the tranny that made my once-biggest complaint w/ my car go completely away. 87k on the original tranny/ clutch and going strong.
    And 2nd the recommendations for both Suba and Super Rupair. But Harvey's not at Super Rupair much anymore, Ryan's the guy in the performance department now.
    As for driving in the snow - with snow tires, I don't have any issues - it's really not that hard to stay out of boost when you want/ need to.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    but if the turbo comes on in a slippery corner, the car pretty much goes sideways.
    You say that like it's a bad thing!

    Those repair cost are reasonable. Hell I just had to pay $1000 to get the timing chain replaced in my old 2wd Toyota pickup. Doubled the value of the car.

    I just need to find one that hasn't been beat on too much and then I guess you just take your chances.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    T-belt job is $5-700. The parts alone are almost $300 if you replace the tensioner and the fan belts. The water pump is a good idea too, but that is another $100. Get one that has had the belt changed, or budget at least $500 sometime before 105K miles..
    And if it's anything like my '97 2.5 you'll want to have them put new cam seals in while they've got the front end of the engine off...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    Do a little research on nasioc.com, awdpirates or clubwrx.net for more/ better info. Also search Uncle Scotty's cocktail - it's a mix of lubes for the tranny that made my once-biggest complaint w/ my car go completely away. 87k on the original tranny/ clutch and going strong.
    Thank for the links, I'll check em' out over the week-end.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  22. #22
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    My other big Subaru gripe is that the paint, bodywork and interior trim are crap. It scratches and dents easier than any other car I've seen, and trim will fall off of its own accord over time. The positives are a strong body structure, as evidenced by its good safety ratings, and better handling than any fwd car I test drove. The ABS sucks too, I need to disable it.

    Also... I've owned a bunch of AWD Eagle Talon/ Mitsu Eclipses, and I like them better than the 2.0 wrx... maybe a good option if you can find one in good shape. The mid to late '92s, maybe some early '93s were best, you want the later-model rear end and brakes with the earlier, made in Japan motor if possible. They can be bumped up to 275 hp at the crank without even trying, and 350-400 hp (with a bigger turbo) is safe with the stock drivetrain. One guy I knew made 225 hp at the wheels, uncorrected for altitude (in Denver), with a $300 air/fuel controller and a $50 mechanical boost controller. All stock, 12 lbs boost. The only major issue is the computers are getting old and need to be checked out, some of the electrolytics caps should be replaced.
    .




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  23. #23
    WWJR
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser
    Also search Uncle Scotty's cocktail - it's a mix of lubes for the tranny that made my once-biggest complaint w/ my car go completely away. 87k on the original tranny/ clutch and going strong.
    +1 on Unc's coctail!!

    1qt redline lightweight shockproof
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    (but good luck finding the Castrol HypoyC. i couldnt get it anywhere!)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    My other big Subaru gripe is that the paint, bodywork and interior trim are crap. It scratches and dents easier than any other car I've seen, and trim will fall off of its own accord over time.
    I wonder if this is a new(er) phenomenon. Because I've had two mid-90s wagons that have had no interior trim issues at all. Not even any rattles/squeaks.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Also... I've owned a bunch of AWD Eagle Talon/ Mitsu Eclipses, and I like them better than the 2.0 wrx... maybe a good option if you can find one in good shape.
    Thanks for the suggestion, but we need something with 4 doors and bit of utility with the baby on the way! That and wife wants something newer than her 96' Miata.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

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