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2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I? Help me out...

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2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I? Help me out...

Old 07-30-2015, 01:46 AM
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2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I? Help me out...

Greetings,

I acquired a 2004 WRX wagon from my brother a couple of years ago under somewhat unusual circumstances. He was visiting for the holidays, transmission suddenly started making horrible noises (at ~115k miles), was diagnosed as needing a rebuild and he didn't have the money/motivation to fix it, so he gave it to me to deal with (lucky me).

I don't presently drive a ton (and already had a car at the time), but for some reason I decided to keep the wagon, figuring if I fixed it and sold it, I should at least break even if I decided not to keep it. Disclaimer: I did have some emotional attachment to it, having driven it for a year while my brother was living abroad (during which time I put in a new stereo, boost gauge, etc) and before it was beat to ****. So I paid ~$3.5k (does that seem about right? most of the cost was parts) to have the transmission (5 speed manual) rebuilt and clutch replaced and the car was revived.

Unfortunately, my brother majorly abused the car during the 10 years he owned it and it looks like crap. It seems like he thought that AWD = off road vehicle (not so true in this case) and the car got pretty banged up. Some dents were pulled and bondo'd but never painted, one particularly egregious dent above the rear driver wheel well was never dealt with (now rust is visible), front bumper was replaced but not painted (or secured properly) so it's kinda loose and hanging down a bit, etc etc. To make things worse, I let him borrow the car while he was in town last summer and while he was driving back from Tahoe the rear differential took a dump. I was lucky enough to find a cheap used rear differential nearby which cost ~$800 installed (rebuilding the old one would have cost $2k+). Ack!

Anyhow, I'm considering spending some $$$ to have some body work done, with the the hope that if I needed to, I could sell the car reasonably quickly and at least recoup the money I've sunk into it so far. I have no experience dealing with body shops/body work so I was taken aback when the first place I went to get advice told me that just to deal with the driver's side (replacing rear quarter panel, painting, etc) would be at least $2500 (non-insurance price). The guy basically told me not to waste my money (in the nicest way possible) and that'd I'd be better off putting it towards a new car. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I appreciate the honesty (and after doing a bit of research online, $2500 doesn't seem too unreasonable as this was a reputable shop).

So now I have a dilemma - do I keep the car as-is and drive it into the ground (ugh, not too excited about driving yet another beat up *** car for years)? Do I try to sell it in it's present condition to cut my financial losses? Or do I have some body work done, feel good about driving the car, and not wind up way in the hole financially if I want to sell it? Basically do you think having the body work done would increase the resale value of the car enough to make it worthwhile? It drives great and I don't want/need it to look perfect, but seeing it in it's present state is really starting to bum me out.

I'm attaching some photos, please let me know what you think!! Any advice about how to go about having the repairs done, how much I should expect to pay, recommendations on where to take it would be most welcome! I live in Berkeley near San Pablo so there are a ton of body shops nearby, I'd rather not take it anywhere too far. I've got another car, so I'm fine with the work taking a long time (or being done in phases, or whatever).

Thanks for reading, sorry for being so verbose! I do enjoy driving this thing, I'm just sick of looking at it!! Whenever I get around to buying a new car (not anytime soon), it will probably be between a WRX and a Tesla

Any advice is most welcome, thanks folks!
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2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I?  Help me out...-img_0828.jpg   2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I?  Help me out...-img_0830.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:01 AM
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IDK what you can get for it in that shape but its not much at all.

Why do body work if your brother might borrow it and destroy it again? Just to sell it as soon as its done? What ever you put into it, it will not pay you back.

Its going to keep breaking. Its an older car that has been abused. If it is running I would get what you can (maybe a donation to charity) and move on.


Or make it a race car, that is my vote.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:11 AM
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Rallyx
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:23 PM
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I'd do one of two things... hammer it out and primer it out as a beater... or take everything out of it and put it in a gc wagon or an early forester.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:32 PM
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Bang it out. Prime it. lift it. RallyX it.

More info on the subject can be found here:

DIrally.com
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:56 PM
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2004 WRX wagon body work - should I or shouldn't I? Help me out...

Convert to rwd, roll cage, drift missile.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OneManArmy View Post
... or take everything out of it and put it in a gc wagon or an early forester.
Yes! You should just buy my 95L and do a full wrx swap with dash and everything.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:19 PM
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Matt has a sick roller that you can build on
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