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Terror Factor

Original Poster:

89 posts

56 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi all,

I've been thinking about getting a cheap impreza wagon (turbo!) and putting it on lpg, so I'd end up with a cheap daily driver, that's fun.

I currently drive a 1994 mx-5 1.8 turbo. A couple of reasons why I am thinking about a change:
-tax advantage with the impreza wagon (60 gbp (+0 for lpg) vs 250 gbp(+120 for lpg), I'm from belgium, and the impreza can be registered as a cargo vehicle)
-mx-5 is not exactly legal (engine tuning is not allowed. A turbo is difficult to hide. Passing the technical inspection every year is about having luck. My setup does look pretty OEM, but still.)
-more relatively cheap power for the impreza
-technical issues with the 5 (overheats when giving it the beans, leaky headgasket is probably the cause, map needs to be tweaked)
-lpg has less negative influence (bootspace/weight distribution)

Pro mx-5: looks more special (lowered + oem bodykit), cheaper parts, cheaper insurance (by 120 gbp), no hassle to find another car/sell it, steering wheel on the right side (would probably get an impreza from the uk, as they are a lot more expensive and rare here), *should* be more of a drivers car

The main reason is the tax advantage.
I had a couple of passenger rides in impreza turbo's (non wrx/sti, 1 stock, 1 stripped), and drove the stock one myself for a bit. Can't really say if I like it better or worse than the 5.

So, cheaper tax vs cheaper maintenance, and looking for a car vs sorting this one, hoping it passes inspection every time (can be fixed by getting a 1600 chassis, as they made a mazda approved turbokit for that, but finding one and switching all the parts costs quite a bit of money and time).

What would you do?

Ordinary_Chap

7,520 posts

129 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I think if you buy a cheap Impreza I'm guessing a classic then you reasonably have to expect higher maintenance costs (see my topic in 'readers cars' for instance).

And because as you say living in Belgium where they are rare you'll need to be willing to get the parts shipped and then I don't know if a local garage will be ok to work on the car?

I think your best chance would be to get a unmodified example (lots out there) with a full service history and then should you choose to modify the car you can do so for a relatively low cost but will have a car that has been unstressed over its life.

Lee

ScoobieWRX

4,863 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
You should be able to pick up a 2001/2002 NewAge Bugeye Sportwagon without galactic mileage for not a lot of money. So long as mechanically it's OK you'll be fine. you don;t have to go for Classic Impreza.

Doesn't matter so much at low prices if the bodywork isn't great as that can be easily fixed in time because NewAge cars really don't rust much at all. You might find a little bit here and there but really nothing much.

It's just the paintwork on these cars isn't the best so likely a full respray and a bit of bodywork would make your wagon look beand new again.

ETA: Standard WRX Sportwagon is quick enough for most and handles well out of the box. If you remap a standard car with high flow flat panel air filter (direct replacement for standard filter) you should be able to see another c.30+bhp.

You can do some very sneaky DIY mods yourself that doesn't alter the appearance of your car in any way such as removing the catalyst material from inside the uppipe (before the turbo) and scrubber cat (after the main cat) yourself which means you keep the original pipework and cat housings so it all looks completely original.

You will only need the main cat in place to pass even the most stringent European MOT emissions test.
Then with a remap you should see c.270bhp no problem and your car will be better on fuel not to mention considerably quicker that an MX-5, and a damn site more practical.

Edited by ScoobieWRX on Monday 8th October 09:04

Terror Factor

Original Poster:

89 posts

56 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the answers, some stuff I forgot to mention:

I would be looking at a classic, not only the price, but the (lack of) weight is an important consideration.

Impreza's themselves aren't that rare, but the wagons seem to be. The cheapest impreza turbo here is between 5000 and 6000 euro (4-5k pounds roughly). It might be better in Holland or Germany, but still, it's not comparable to the UK smile

The MX-5 -with a good map- should be able to make 230-250 hp. A mapped impreza will probably be slightly faster (but probably feels a lot faster, the kick of the turbo is a lot harder than in the mx5).

ScoobieWRX

4,863 posts

112 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
93-96 Turbo Wagon 1270Kg
97-98 " " 1292Kg
99-2K " " 1324Kg
01-02 " " 1410Kg for newage bugeye but 120% Stiffer body than Classic.
Advertisement

rossub

456 posts

76 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Head gaskets and rotten rear arches will be the main issues to look for. These are causing many UK cars to be scrapped, since the cars can be bought from upwards of just £1k here.

Corroded fuel lines causing leaks and the fuel filler pipe rusting inside out are also happening as they get older.

Rocker cover gaskets all fail in time (especially drivers side) and start to drip oil onto the manifold/up-pipe after a while. Relatively easy fix, but 2-3 hours at a garage to do both.

Check for leaks from the block (usually crank seal).


Terror Factor

Original Poster:

89 posts

56 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
@ScoobyWRX: I'd prefer an early classic, I don't think the extra stiffness is worth the 100 kg weight penalty?
Is there a good reason to go for a more recent classic?

Headgasket and rotten arches, kinda sounds like my mx5 at the moment biggrin
Are the arches a hard/expensive fix on one of these? Multiple layers of metal on the inside?

rossub

456 posts

76 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Best part of £300 per side with a decent blow over of the quarter and blending with the door. This assumes its not too far gone. If its an MOT failure up into the suspension mounting, then its not going to be worth it IMO.

If you can see rust on the outside, it is ALWAYS worse on the inside, as its just bare metal on the inside. Its a real shame they didnt protect it properly from the factory.

ScoobieWRX

4,863 posts

112 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
UK Newage cars are a slightly different prospect. They're manufactured using more up to date processes and materials, better ECU's, have alarms and immobilisers fitted at the factory (OMEGA Systems) etc...

They come undersealed from the factory unlike imported classics and really don't have a rust problem. Equally they are newer and have had less time to succumb to tinworm. Who knows in another 10yrs what they'll be like but so far there are no issues to speak of. My car is a 2002 and there is no rust on it or underneath, it's absolutely solid and is a UK car.

IMHO mechanically, engine and gearbox, i feel newage are a bit more robust and things like MAF sensors etc...are a bit more reliable, although it has to be said late classic from 99/00 used similarly manufactured/type sensors as newage cars so a late classic might be an option if you can find a decent unmolested example at the right money, and without any of the piston slap issues suffered by some late classic cars.

Ultimately there is personal choice as well. You may well absolutely love the look of a classic in which case if you can find the right one, go for it!! They are a bloody good car and if you get a good one i've no doubt it will look after you well so long as you do likewise.

My personal choice is newage, and as i say, bugeyes are very good value for money although i've no idea how many bugeye wagons will be left for you to choose from as they seem to be the hot acquisition of the year. Just in the last few months i've seen quite a few being bought by PHers never mind anyone else.

Everybody wants one!! biggrin

Terror Factor

Original Poster:

89 posts

56 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks guys!

I'm not really that fussed about the look, they all look pretty decent imo, it would be hard to pick one.
The main reason for the classic, is the weight, price, and low-tech (well, that's all very relative of course). Less electronic stuff that can go wrong, and I don't really care about that anyway smile

Anyway, thanks again. It'll be hard to decide what to do lol.

WeirdNeville

5,887 posts

101 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
there really isn't a lot of electronic stuff to go wrong on any impreza! They've very much old school mechanical tech.
No traction control.
No Active diffs/braking (except DCCD Sti's)
No fancy pants sat nav/integrated on baord computers.
It's jsut ABS, LSD's, a good old manual gearbox and some driveshafts under there.

I don't think the newages are any more electronically complex than the classics really, except in the alarm and security. And the electronics (apart from MAFs' I've heard) don't really go wrong anyway.

rb5er

5,606 posts

58 months

[news] 
Saturday 20th October 2012 quote quote all
You really do feel the weight on a newage over a classic that feeling of inertia is much larger in the newage and it feels less nimble, so a classic feels much closer to what you are used to.

The newages are much better rust wise than a classic though whereby you really do have to look carefully and not find one that has rotten rear arches or sills.

They are great cars and real bargains for the money now whatever era you choose.

Terror Factor

Original Poster:

89 posts

56 months

[news] 
Sunday 21st October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks guys! I'm getting the mx-5 properly fixed atm. Maybe the need to change lessens if it drives like it should lol.

I still have the feeling that the impreza would be a step in the wrong direction. I'd probably have fun in it, but ultimately, I'd like something as close to a street legal gocart as it can get.

I'll probably put the mx-5 for sale for a rather high price, and see what it does. If someone would want to buy it, I might change. I'm just not looking forward to having to sort another car out etc etc. If I can sell the 5 for my price, I'd have a bigger budget and should get a pretty decent car without too many potential failures.

Being rich would help lol, no need to choose, just buy them all! biggrin
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