Stripping our 2002 Subaru WRX body for parts

We're still waiting on the machine shop to keep moving forward on our EJ-205 so in the meantime we thought we go through and pull some important bits out of our Impreza chassis. How hard can it be to get out a wiring harness?

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Stripping our 2002 Subaru WRX body for parts

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About the Author: RareCars


  1. It is always fun to strip a car down I pulled the entire wiring harness from a 72 Olds Vista station wagon years ago to use in a 46 Chevy truck my dad and I rebuilt

  2. Man, you pick the wrong year Subaru WRX STI to work on. That’s sad! I can’t believe how rusted out it is. I changed my mind. I can believe it. My 1981 Subaru GLF was totally rusted out on the floors and torsion bars. I went to a auto body shop and they said it would cost $4,300.00 to replace the rusted metal with new metal. I drove it for 2 years and traded it in for a 1988 Toyota HILUX.

  3. Wait a minute…you are throwing the whole body away!?!? I feel like that probably wasn’t the original plan, but I am super-excited to see what the NEW plan is!

    1. Definitely wasn’t the original plan. But it’s too far gone to mess with! Send us your ideas for what we should do with the engine and drivetrain!

    2. @Hagerty modern day dirt track (rally) car. Beef up the engine, drop it in a custom frame and body , and then do a comparison between the vintage diet track car and the wrx rally car.

    3. @Hagerty As fun as it would be to see it shoehorned into a Subaru BRZ, those are still a lot of money. Maybe buy an ’04-’05 Forrester from somewhere in the south that doesn’t use salt and swap in the WRX drivetrain. Stick some tall struts on it and call it a Japanese Jeep?

      I’m not sure if there is something like a Locost or other Lotus 7-style kit that will take the Subaru motor, but that would also be fun. They aren’t super-popular for swaps into other cars because the engine is so wide compared to most other layouts.

  4. I did all of this by myself on jackstands for my Coupe swap… I can’t believe I figured it all out!

  5. For the record, *Haltech* makes an excellent aftermarket universal *Programmable* computer that many “tuners” use for this engine. It allows you to program the fuel and ignition tables for things like more boost, nitrous, etc.
    They have their own YouTube channel. and their customer service is excellent.

    1. It’s an awesome ECU but its also 4500usd, which is probably more than this entire car is worth. You can tune the hell out of the OEM ECU for the price of a tatrix cable and a laptop

  6. The entire drivetrain will fit in any Impreza from 1995-2001, you could do the popular swap like I did! Find a clean base model Impreza and drop in the drivetrain and fuel tank to build the first gen WRX we never got in the US. Be sure to pull the fuel pump controller from the right side of the trunk area! If you want to have the harness merged with another year impreza, you might consider talking to iwire, I went to them for my harness merge and my swap fired up on the first attempt! 🙂

    1. This!!! Planing the same with an Impreza 2.5RS (coupe) except with an 05 – STI underpinnings, add some body panels and you’ve got a 22B

    2. @Scott Ingalls I found a clean base model ’98 coupe with a blown engine for $900 and did this exact swap! My car has everything from the 02 WRX including the front and rear sub frames and brakes and suspension and engine and transmission. I still have a long way to go to make it nice, but at least it has the nice fancy looking pedals! 😂

    1. As a Subaru owner myself, I kinda feel like it’s rare to find a body that ISN’T totally rusted. Lol. These things are cheap, but I guess that’s part of the appeal.

  7. I might be thinking of a different model, but it might need the body ecu as well as the engine ecu for the engine to fire and run.

  8. Yeah, it’s understandable that the body structure underneath makes the wagon unsalvagable. It’s kinda sad, really. But it was the expected fate after the inspection on the first lift.

    And while the it’s unsalvagable, you still have good body parts. I hope you didn’t throw it all away, because some may be used or put for sale. Once the project is over is when it can be scrapped.

    Can’t wait what will come next.

  9. it’s amazing that we were able to see cars that were 50 yrs old brought back to life even tho they were falling apart. When it comes to modern cars tho, when you remove the harness and some interior plastic you will end up with couple of dust pans of Iron oxide.

  10. It’s really sad to see a GD chassis in this shape. I feel like these were the perfect balance. They were still svelt enough to be lively, but had a stiff chassis with just enough modernization, i.e. no traction control etc..

  11. Surprised that you put this much work into that chassis. Once you decided that the car wasn’t worth fixing, it would probably have made more sense to see what kind of chassis you could get (from a state without all those rust issues!). You may have been able to find an Impreza, STI, 2.5RS, Outback Sport, Forester, etc. that someone bought for parts. Heck, with your network, you may have gotten the hook up on a nice car that just needed an engine + ecm.

  12. Thank you for that Subaru outback joke. that was hilarious. I can’t wait to see what the engine is going to be used for now. I had wondered if it was maybe a Beck Spyder a few videos back. Maybe a kit car? Maybe not. Love to guess anyways. Thanks for the videos.

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