Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Some Assembly Required: 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

It has been a little over a year since I sold my daily driver STI and I have to admit that I miss some of it.  I don't miss the creeping feeling that some expensive mechanical failure will run me $3k for a new engine or transmission, or the feeling of every single piece of unperfect pavement being drilled into my backside, or the sensation of moderate understeer under every sporty driving condition except wide-open-throttle (the STI is a strangely fast beast, but you can't drive it carefully and with fine inputs, you've got to grab it by the scruff and mash things -- it is not unlike trying to ride a rhinoceros)....but I do miss the thrub-thrub exhaust note that is either love or hate.  Anyway, if I was to get back into an STI, I might be tempted to find an example that needs some work and turn up the boost a bit. Find this 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI offered for $5000 in Silver Spring, MD via craigslist. Tip from Jeff S.

From the seller:
2004 subaru wrx sti 
fuel: gas 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
2005 STI project. 179k miles. Engine out, one plug is cross threaded, needs heads pulled and fixed. Bottom end is up to you.

Complete car. 

STI pink struts
clean interior
nearly perfect original BBS wheels and good tires
new sub frame and tie rod ends
new Invidia turbo back exhaust
new perrin turbo inlet
new group n motor mounts
new oil pan

some dings on the body as shown, passenger front fender and hood
rust spot under the rear wing
engine needs

Car was running and driving when I bought it, then discovered the plug issue so engine was pulled. Looking to sell it as a project before I dive into fixing it. of course I have much more into it then asking, but you win some, you lose some. I've been mostly losing on these lately. Bring a truck, a trailer and some cash and take her home.

See a better way to build some boost?


  1. Behold, the Subaru in it's natural habitat (laid up, engine out).

  2. I have loved these cars so much over the years. First from afar, as they were forbidden fruit to us, then with overwhelming joy once Subaru deemed us worthy to purchase their little rally warriors in their various trims and guises. I waited, biding my time, as they've depreciated down to where a cheapskate enthusiast like myself can justify picking one up as a toy. But, having heard the testimonies of d.t. adherents, I can only feel a sense of disappointment mingled with relief as I strike these from my wish list. Those two words: "engine out" fill me and my limited budget with far too much dread. Damn...

    1. Yep same here. A couple years ago I saw one that had an LS swap and was rear wheel drive. That concept sounded good, then I saw how much fab work went into it and have decided WRX's are just not for me.

  3. I love Subies & absolutely fear head gasket issues, so I bought a Legacy Brighton wagon with the EJ22 - seems they're known for legendary reliability as well as slowness. I do admire my peers with their fancy turbos, dohc and an additional .3 liters of displacement ... right up until they wonder where their coolant went.

  4. I’ve owned 5 STis in my time and so far, not had a single bad occurrence such as above.
    Take this case in point. The engine is out because some dipstick cross threaded the spark plug.

    Having owned early STis in the UK that were both UK cars and Jap imports and now some in the US, I think the 04/05 years are the best for feedback and feel.

    My current daily is a 2015 Launch edition with 75k on the clock. It’s not as raw (but deep down I love the heated seats).


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