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I would definitely say wait to find a rust free car, unless you are good with autobody. Check floor boards. Check rocker panel, and fenders behind the wheels. Check around windows. Check for the seals being in decent shape (they can get spend, specifically look at the rear window seal and the rear cargo window seals). The more shiny parts still on the car the better (hood trim, eye trim, lower grill piece, door pieces that hold outer squeegees all seem to be hardest to find and most expensive). Not terribly hard to swap to manual. Im still collecting parts for my swap (hardest part to get would probably be the brake/clutch pedals). Stock motor is pretty torque-less, I would definitely say swap in a L20b, but only after you have driven the car with the L16 for awhile to make the decision final. Paint, who cares, you might get lucky and find one with decent paint and simply buff it, or if you are like me you find one with a million rock chips, a simple rattle can job can gain you some mileage (mainly just to seal the car from any further rust exposure).


I love my car. But I need to do stuff to it as it just doesnt get the same mileage as my jetta does,nor the horsepower, nor the torque, nor the quietness, nor the sound system, but somehow it still brings a smile to my face. (I like to drag race with my friend, he has a 79 VW rabbit diesel with 56hp. He beats me off the line, but somewhere around 50-60 I start passing him)


Good luck on your hunt!

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L20's are everywhere, so the stock motor can be upgraded easily, keep checking the forums and cl, you will find something you can work with eventually.


Just last week their was a decent 510 good on Portland cl, but I think it sold, they don't stay around long on cl because they are starting to get a not harder to find.

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Welcome!! I myself love the look of the wagon's, and once I am content at where I am at with my 2 door I will be joining you in the wagon family :) Once you have one so many random people will start telling,you how they used,to drive one back in high school, and like Rotarito said, you will get a lot of thumbs up. there is lots of good info on here, and dont be afraid to ask questions!! Good luck on the search and the project! P.S. Dont forget to check the events page on upcoming shows, so you can come check them out, sometimes there are some for sale at them...

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