View Full Version : sti engine swap into 2.5 lgt

02-09-2006, 04:37 PM
well i have a blown head gasket on an engine that was supposedly brand new... so i have decided to either scrap the car and get a different one or put a new engine in it. if i am going to put the money and time into a new engine, then im not gonna settle for the regular 2.5l boxer engine. i want something bigger and the sti engine is number one on my list. is this just a pipe dream or can it be done with few to no complications? are there other engines that would fit that may not be as powerful but are better than my old one? i have seen pics of someone who has done this swap in this forum b4 but i dont have time to go search for the pics or the person who did it but hopefully you might. any suggestions would be much appreciated.

02-09-2006, 04:46 PM
Look in the swaps/conversions forum, Gator GT made a list in there somewhere about all it would take.

I would guess that, unless you want to spend a ton of time/money on it, its a pipe dream for you.

02-09-2006, 04:51 PM
You could just replace the HG with a pair from Cometic Gaskets and be done with it.

02-09-2006, 05:09 PM
It is NOT straightforeward lol. However, it can be done. The main issue is electrical, as in subarus there is one huge harness and you have to splice everything together as opposed to just splicing a different engine harness into the car harness. If you are an electrical guru, or have cash to burn, it can be done, labor usually runs about 2500-3k at a shop.

Also, good luck finding a USDM STi engine for any less than 8k bucks. You'd be better off going USDM EJ20 or JDM EJ20, you can get them cheap as dirt.

As they said, check the swaps/conversions section. This has been done, its just an electrical nightmare. A head gasket swap might be better if money is an issue.

gator gt
02-09-2006, 09:52 PM
Like they said, go with the headgaskets and be done with it. And BE SURE that your block is solid. What I'm talking about is piston slap or rod knock. If you suspect these things before you get your headgaskets done, SWAP YOUR SHORT BLOCK!!! You don't want to slap down hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to have the motor down to the short block just for the headgasket work, to then realize that 2 weeks later, your short block is making wierd noises.

Trust me on this.

Going the swap route is a slippery slope if you adopt the reasoning of, "Well, since I've got the donor motor out, it'll be easier to add this, and easier to add that, and when I do the swap, it'll be easier to add this right at the start" etc etc etc.

Trust me on this too. :lol:


02-09-2006, 10:03 PM
well, this guy just had his shortblock replaced, as I understand...

02-09-2006, 10:33 PM
well luckily money isnt too much of an issue thanks to inheritence but if this is gonna be a real long project and i cant find a good mechanic to swap it then i might fix the HG.

tomorrow the people who put the engine in are going to look at the engine to see if it was a mechanical problem rather than my fault because it is a brand new engine and i had been taking it fairly easy and not hitting high rpms.

thing is the block might be cracked too... so im just waiting to check for that. if the block is done then i am definitely getting a new engine rather than pouring in money to fix it. but if the hg can be fixed at the dealership for cheap or no cost then i am just going to do that.

how much would an EJ20 engine run me? what kind of whp would that engine give me?

02-09-2006, 10:52 PM
stock EJ20t engine would put you right about at 180whp, you're at 110 approximately, right now (AWD sucks power). They're dirt cheap, but don't have much low end grunt. STi engine would give you plenty of low end, and a ton of performance, but be even more of a gas sucker and expensive to get a hold of. Might go looking for a wrecked LGT or Forester XT and get the EJ255 (sister to the STi's EJ257) that puts out 250chp.

Any way you do it, wiring is going to be the real big issue. It'll bolt up, but you'll have to make it run too.

02-11-2006, 10:19 PM
I originally got a USDM EJ20 WRX motor for $3k, with full wiring, turbo, fuel pump etc. off e-bay a while ago.

I occasionally check auctions, and I noticed a complete STI engine go for just over $3500. A little higher mileage than my engine, but considerably less than what I paid.

Other items needed for the swap, such as transmission work etc will add to the cost. Honestly, the labor I paid was not the biggest expense. Plus I had a year to stockpile parts, it makes the financial cost a bit easier.

My car was also gone for almost 3 months. Something else you would need to consider. Question is, how much do you like your car? :)

I questioned my own sanity when I decided the STI swap, but I'm pretty darn happy with the results now. If you want any details, feel free to PM.

02-12-2006, 06:19 AM
How long a swap project takes depends on how long you've been planning and getting all the parts together necessary for this. If you haven't put much thought into it your car could be out of service for a month or two easily just waiting for this part and waiting for that part.

Also, while you're thinking about it, there are some other interesting options other than a straight longblock swap - for example, I have an STi shortblock swap on stock NA 2.5 heads with a WRX turbo on it...

02-12-2006, 11:14 AM
Yep, you can get EJ20ts cheap as dirt. I would advise against using a USDM 02-03 trans though, they blow up super easy. You could even just get a half cut like I did, makes life a little easier

02-13-2006, 11:31 AM
well luckily money isnt too much of an issue thanks to inheritence but if this is gonna be a real long project and i cant find a good mechanic to swap it then i might fix the HG.

Isn't Rallitek in Oregon?
Isn't Kelly here on the board a lead tech there?

Couldn't they do a swap for you?

Stay tuned! :D

02-13-2006, 11:42 AM
Rallitek can do it easy, I talked to them a long time about it when I had my BD. They told me around 3k for labor for the whole thing, engine, trans, etc

02-13-2006, 06:44 PM
They told me around 3k for labor for the whole thing, engine, trans, etc

that's a real good price!

02-13-2006, 07:00 PM
ehh, a bit lower than average but you can get it done cheaper. Remember that is JUST labor, no parts, fluids, etc. I would pay it without a thought though, simply because of their experience in having done that swap before...

02-13-2006, 08:29 PM
yeah, I meant it was uber-cheap because they're the specialists :)

Andres RS01
06-16-2006, 12:31 PM
My friend has a 99 RS just about to be done with a STI swap at


He said they did a great job, although expensive


06-16-2006, 03:56 PM
I've seen it. I have the white GC8 out back thats getting swapped as we speak ;)

06-17-2006, 01:05 AM
Hey sheep, where are you getting your swap done at?

06-17-2006, 11:20 AM
East Coast Swappers in MA. It was a 10 hour drive but def worth it

www.eastcoastswappers.com (http://www.eastcoastswappers.com)

Did you ever talk to Frank or Marti?

06-17-2006, 04:24 PM
Nah not yet. I'm trying to round up some unpaid debt so I can purchase the goodies. Are you sourcing the engine/tranny from those guys? How much is the install?

06-17-2006, 09:29 PM
I got the whole wrx setup (ie engine, trans, diffs, axles, hubs, subframes, control arms, gas tank, exhaust, dash, center console, seats, and everything else that isnt the chassis) through Frank. I think I PMed you his phone number a while ago so you didnt have to daisy chain through me whenever you wanted to ask him about how much something would cost.

ECS is doing my swap, Frank shipped all the stuff straight there. I'm paying a little more than the usual because they are setting up my coilovers, straightening a bent volk, and some other misc goodies while the car is apart. I don't want to give you a price, as it depends on what they are doing, but I'd say around 3k for what I got is in the neighborhood.

Marti is the sales/manager dude at Virginia Import Performance (used to be The Speed Factor) over in Sterling. They could do the engine and trans swap no problem if you were to get the wiring harness spliced for them.