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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Warning: Wall of text inbound.

My family is about to go down to a one-car family, and we've decided to go with either my 2002 2.0L WRX or a new vehicle. That being said, the WRX has been used a bit hard, and the engine has had two head gasket replacements, the turbo is leaking, and the suspension/drivetrain is old. My wife was very specific: "I want to effectively put a new car in an old body."

Basic Rules of the Refurb:
  • No rebuilds. All new parts
  • I need good ballpark costs
  • EVERYTHING is getting replaced
** Engine, Engine Accessories, Drivetrain, Suspension, Transmission, AC system, Differentials, Shifter. It all needs to be costed and replaced.
* Reliability over everything. If my family is going to spend this kind of money (we're currently thinking $15-20K), it has to be reliable for years, preferably 5+ with nothing more than preventative maintenance, and barring any manufacturing defects.

My Problem:
I know just enough to know I don't know much. I can do basic and some intermediate maintenace (thanks, YouTube), but completely gutting a car and starting over from scratch is beyond me.

What I Need:
Help with pricing, mostly. I need to know a good, solid number that I can bring to my wife, I can show her the line items, and we can have the conversation about the decision of whether or not to get a new car or spend the money to make my car nice, functional, and reliable.

I also need a parts list. I'm an aircraft mechanic, so I know there's always small things that you don't remember or the instructions assume you know, but my specialty is aircraft, not vehicles, and while the actions of taking stuff apart and putting it together largely translate, the institutional knowledge is different. So a parts list is a must. Here's what I understand I'll need so far.

Engine Block
Oil Pump
Water Pump
Engine Mounts
Front/Rear Struts w/ Springs
Front Diff
Rear Diff
Front/Rear Hubs
Front/Rear Half-Axles

And that's what I've got so far in the "make this car reliable for years" department. I'm under the impression this is a good starting point, but I don't know what I don't know.

Stores are another thing I need pointed at. I need suggestions for me to look at to do my own research on parts costs, so if you have suggestions for stores that focus on OEM-ish or that lean more towards bolt-ons and beginner/entry level, it'd be greatly appreciated.

And that's about it. If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading.
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