So by far the most often question I get asked is how to do the sedan widebody conversion , what parts are needed and how much it costs. So this is to answer those questions.
This project cost $1000s more than it was supposed to cost as I originally took my vehicle to a questionable shop that further damaged the metal work on my car requiring the rear taillight housings to need a lot of fabrication and repair work
I am not a restoration or body work professional , I am a computer engineer who plays with cars for fun. This is the information I have collected over the last 7 years of research and actually doing the conversion.
What do you need to get started ?
- 2002-2007 Subaru wrx Wagon with minimal rust
- 2002-2007 Subaru Wrx or STi rear quarter panels cut off or oem from Subaru
- $3000-$6000 + budget
- Years of experience in bodywork or an experienced restoration shop you trust
If you lack any of the above its going to be an absolute nightmare for you to complete.
Do it right the first time
DO NOT SEND THIS TO A SHOP UNLESS YOU 100% ARE CONFIDENT IN THEIR ABILITY , YOU WILL SPEND $1000s MORE FIXING THEIR MISTAKES ( Learn from my suffering )
Does your car have rust issues ?
If your car has rust your conversion will be far more expensive as you have to first repair the rust before you weld in new panels because you can’t weld good metal to rust. If your car has any large amount of rust that is visible from the exterior its probably best to find a clean shell as you will find a lot more rust. I probably spent $2000-$3500 on just fixing rust that was found all over the car. You will find it in the fenders , door sills , wheel wells and more.
Collect your parts
So here is a short list of what you will need to do the complete conversion
- Sedan front fenders
- Sedan fender liners
- Sedan front bumper
- Sedan rear doors
- Sedan quarter panels cut off a donor car
- Sedan fuel door assembly
All of the above is easy to acquire but the sedan quarter panel cuts are the biggest pain , Here is an example from Team Scream and their cuts are almost identical to how mine were. You can always give your body shop more material to work with so cut away.
So what you see here are the optimal cuts that give you as much panel as you need to work with and will ensure a better finished product with less labor for custom metal work. The fronts all bolt right up and require no custom work , almost all of your labor will be in the rear panels.
Installation and Panel work
Once again Team Scream was nice enough to offer excellent pictures where I had failed to document in the past due to sheer anger of having to switch body shops.
Here is what they removed from their Wagon and roughly what I removed as well. Its most of the Wagon outer quarter panel
Panel mock up and installation
Same approach , Mock up then blend the panels using minimal sealer and keeping it all metal.
JN Garage Wagon
Pictures from Team Scream
This shows the final result and how the welding looks on the inside as well
FYI , You do have to install your wagon rear window glass into the Sedan doors. The sedan windows simply will not fit.
The bumper is the last part that is a headache to get right as the body lines don’t line up very well with your new sedan panels and wagon rear bumper. To do this correctly you have to section the bumper and plastic weld it. Methods will vary if you are going for the 2005-2007 USDM STi look with the added oem flare or the clean 2002-2004 Wrx / STi style without the flare.
Here is an example of my bumper , notice how the body lines match the wheel arch. My body shop took material out of the wagon bumper so that the body lines would match up.
Here is how Team Scream is doing it on the 2005+ style bumper , same concept as what was done to mine.
Glorious finished sedan Widebody how the car should have looked from the factory
Other cars that look wonderful , links below to their build threads as well
Here are a bunch of build threads that have a wealth of information about this conversion