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Dan's $600 dollar 2002 Legacy GT Limited Sedan

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Hello all,


I picked up a 2002 Legacy GT Limited earlier this summer for $600 dollars.




Motor was blown, high mileage, rust, it's a basket case. Good thing I like working on subarus.




Bringing it home (I dropped the driveshaft to dolly it home)


Got it home and took some pictures of the initial damage;




Rusty trunk




Rusty inner door area




Rusty fender


Dented front fender




Day 1 did a tear down of the center console area and parts of the dash. It was filthy:




Gross switches:




Cutting up the rusty inner door area:




New metal welded in:




Sealed with chassis saver and waiting for a sanding and OEM color match spraybomb:




Dumped in a motor I got off a friend:




It runs:




Upon install, we noticed someone jacked the car up by the transmission oil pan. This is bad. It bends up and crushes important shift things inside it.


First drive of the car, motor was great, but the car was stuck in third gear.


Drop the trans pan!




Broken solenoid.




Bought a new one from the dealer and threw it in. The car had gears, but was bang shifting and staying in high gears. WTF


Pulled the codes and had a throttle position sensor issue. Swapped the throttle body off my dead ej25 that came with the car and the trans was sorted! Yay


After that it's chasing down the three check engine lights I have left. All of them evap related. I was told it was probably the filler neck, so I replaced that and the fuel valve.




New one painted with chassis saver:




Filler neck didn't clear the codes, but from what I've read on here, it's possibly an electrical connector near the charcoal box. Doing brakes and fixing that this weekend.


All that's left is:



Get the new tires mounted


State inspection


Now the reason I picked this car up is to build it as a new daily driver. I'm comfortable working on subarus because of all the slaving away I've done on this:




My 2002 impreza RS.


The car is getting gutted and a roll cage once the legacy is done, and the plan is to run stage rally with it!








Thanks for reading.

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Tires showed up in less than 24 hours from when I ordered them from tire rack. Getting them mounted this week. I also put in the comments section of my order "can i have free stickers lol".


Got a huge manila envelope in the mail full of stickers, windshield banner decal, etc etc.


So reading online, I found on legacygt most people had issues with evap shit due to terrible factory wiring, so I went looking.






Strip the wiring loom off the solenoid valve stupid evap thing and found this:




Yep, there's your problem.


Fixed that, get in, clear codes. BAM. Three CEL's killed with one wire.


Fixed all the brakes, then time for a lunch break.




Ripped the rear bumper off to fix some rust and paint stuff.


Took the car for a 20 mile drive.




Car is going for state inspection next weekend. Can't wait to see what they say I need to fix next.


Also, this thing is slow as shit. 0-60 in 11.25 seconds according to the Torque app. Good thing I don't mind. I can't drive wrx's because I have little self control, my RS is borderline too fast.

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haha nice work dude! I love working on them too but that thing was rrrrrusty. I cant believe the size of that hole in the rear door. btw my 2.5 seems quick compared to my 2.2 outback :p


It's actually not that bad at all. My RS had way worse rust in the rear wheel well.






I had never welded before, just sucked it up and did it. Sawzalled a patch panel out of another car.


I've been keeping the RS running for the last two years through a lot of terrible failures, that's why I was able to turn around this legacy so quick, because I've got no issues going deep into these cars.


great job on bringing her back alive!!!




Mounted up a set of brand new Continental DWS's on the snowflakes that came with the car. Throwing those on and buffing the headlights Saturday and it's off to state inspection.

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We didn't realize the tranny had issues until the first drive... It sorta ruined the night until I saw that the pan was dented. It was a really bizarre failure mode, though. It didn't go into full limp.
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987687 has been a huge help. He helped me dump the motor and helped troubleshoot all the other issues.


I got the car stickered today. Passed maine state inspection.


Had to have trailing arm bushings done because they were seperated. I had the dealer do it because they have a press tool to do it, where as I'd take 6 hours to do it. Plus I wanted a sticker now.


Drove it 100 miles today with zero issues.


More pictures and details but imgur is giving me a hard time.




I'm autocrossing it tomorrow for ess and giggles. Mostly to maintain my street cred. And I'm crazy.

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Car did great. It's a big slow boat, but it it held together.


I'm getting some binding/clunking on long left hand sweepers. Not really sure what that is about. Doing tight circles in a parking lot doesnt do it, so I don't think it's torque bind. Need to check my front left everything. Hoping it's just an axle CV because I have spares.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had the tires rebalanced this weekend. Went on a trip for work on the highway and had major driveline vibrations.


Dealership took care of things. Now I'm only getting minor butt vibes, but it's good enough at this point.


Driving 6 hours for work tomorrow. Then driving to waltham mass this saturday to get new fenders and a trunk to really clean the car up since mine are all jacked up. After that it's clean up the interior and fill it full of sound deadening, more so than what came from the factory.


She's coming along.

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Drove to waltham mass because they had a fender and trunk:






Top, origional trunk that I welded up and painted, it looks good, but the napa color match doesn't exactly match, and it would have rusted out after a winter, so new trunk:




I dropped all that stuff off at my parents. My dad was helping a friend do rear struts on his beater forester:






So I jumped in and we powered through the strut job quickly. Then I went to a pig roast.


Today I swapped everything on. Old fender all dented to fudge:




New fender installed:




Legacy now has 1000k+ miles under my ownership.


I also gutted more interior out of the RS:




And when I went to change back into street clothes, the mascot didn't want to let me:



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Cool thread! So how much cash are you "all in" with the repairs?


I'm at around 2500 so far. I budgeted 3k.


The thing is, I called and texted about 20 different people with running driving legacy GT's on craigslist, and they all wanted 5k with zero maintenance records.


My car is up to date, revised headgaskets, timing belt, idlers, water pump, brakes, etc etc. I literally don't have to touch anything for another 60k miles at least (or until my aggressive driving demolishes the transmission).


All I have to touch up look wise is the rear arches. I'm also going to fix a scratched window, tint it, and I have parts to fix the AC in the mail already.

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