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Thread: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

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    Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Ok it's finally time for someone to break this down into a sticky.

    If you are considering swapping engines in your legacy you should know from the beginning it is not as simple as swapping your brother's civic hatch. Mechanically it's not too bad, depending on the extent of what you are swapping (I'll explain this later), but there is a lot of wiring. And when I say a lot, I mean a LOT.

    The reason for this is that subaru's use one large wiring harness for the whole car, unlike say a honda which has a harness for the engine and a harness for the car, which you can pretty much splice the connectors and be done. With subarus, you will have to splice the two harnesses together at some point along the way, whether its in the dash or right after the ECU.


    Motors

    That being said; Mechancially it's pretty straightforeward. Any EJ series engine will bolt to any EJ series transmission, and any EJ series drivetrain will fit into any car that had an EJ series drivetrain in it before. This pretty much means that if you have a post 1990 4 cylinder in there now, you can put any other post 1990 4 cylinder in.

    The exception to this EJ series engine rule is the EJ20tt (twin turbo). This mechanically would bolt up, but it was never available in the united states, and therefore the way the turbos are routed makes it impossible to install and have it clear the steering rack on a left hand drive car. If you want to do a right hand drive conversion just so you can upgrade to a single turbo to make any power later, go right ahead. Otherwise, leave these motors for the dune buggy and VW beetle guys.

    Common swap motors that WILL fit are:
    -USDM EJ20t (US wrx engine)
    -USDM EJ25t (EJ257) (US STi engine)
    -USDM EJ22t (US 90-94 legacy turbo engine)
    -JDM EJ20t, EJ20G, EJ20K (Japanese wrx/sti engines of varying years)
    - A hybrid of two or more of these (to be discussed later)
    - SDM EJ28sq (Gotcha, I made that one up)

    Each of these motors (except the one I made up) has it's own advantages and disadvantages. I'll go into each briefly.

    USDM EJ20t -- This is the motor out of the US Impreza WRX. It's 2 litres, and generally makes around 160whp stock. The biggest advantage of this motor is that it's fairly common in this day and age. The WRX has been in the states for 5 years now, and there is tons of aftermarket support for the platform. You can purchase pretty much any motor upgrade for whatever year wrx whose motor you took and use it with the same results. Also, if it breaks, it's easy to find someone who knows how to fix it, and easy to find parts. Just go to your local subaru dealership. Really the only disadvantage with this setup is cost, most of these motors are still pretty new. However, deals are to be had if you know the right people. Also, if you plan to go very high horsepower (400+) You'll have to do a LOT of modification, including possibly swapping the block for something different. If you have the money to do that, you might want to start with a better platform, or a hybrid platform.

    USDM EJ25t (EJ257) -- This is the motor out of the US STi. It is rated at 300hp at the crank stock, and is a great motor. You can go to extremely high horsepower levels with the right upgrades. With built internals, this motor has tons of potential. It is also more torquey than the 2 litre motors. It has the same convenience of parts and repair availability as the USDM EJ20t, plus the increased potential. However, the offset is cost. These motors are difficult, and therefore costly, to track down. As said before, if you know the right people this can be reduced, but look to spend around 7-10k for everything you'd want for a swap. Also, the wiring can be a bit more difficult for various reasons, some of which is the transmission, but I'll cover transmissions later.

    USDM EJ22t -- This is the motor out of the 1st generation Legacy Turbos (SS's). If you haven't figured out the system by now, this motor is 2.2 litres. The advantage of this motor all comes down to how sturdy the block is. It is a closed deck (not as much coolant runs through the block itself), so the cylinder walls are much more supported. With built internals, this motor can be a real killer, as you can run obcenely high levels of boost without having to have the block sleeved, and if you do, I doubt youd ever ever blow it up, ever. This being said, this motor comes with it's share of disadvantages. First and foremost, they stopped making the legacy turbo in 1994. The engine is old, and so are the cars they come out of. They are difficult to find, and even more difficult to find ones that arent high mileage or broken already. Therefore, if you go this route, plan on at least doing a basic rebuild. Also, this motor is not OBDII in and of itself. That makes things interesting with wiring if you have to pass emmissions. Lastly, the heads don't flow well, the turbo is wimpy, and the transmisions will have just as many miles as the motor. More on this in the hybrid motor section.

    JDM EJ20G -- This is the JDM v2-v3 STi motor. Similar in many ways to the USDM EJ20t in terms of parts interchangeability (by NO means the same, but similar). The wiring is interesting, because you have to decipher JDM wiring diagrams, but it can be done, and isnt that much harder than a USDM swap. You run into the same OBDII problem with this motorset. The largest advantage of this setup is that the EJ20G is also a closed deck block, only 2 litres instead of 2.2. The best way to do this swap is to find a JDM STi front clip, and get everything, so you don't have to worry about tracking down little parts you need for an already pulled motor.

    JDM EJ20K,t -- This encompasses the remainder of the JDM STi and WRX motors. Power levels vary a bit, but its all pretty much an EJ20. All the same disadvantages as an EJ20G, with no sealed deck. Good motors, good turbos, fun out of the box, and inexpensive. Plan on taking your time with the wiring, or you'll regret it later.

    Hybrid motors -- Basically, this is what the name says. You take two or more of the motors from above, and combine the parts you want. This requires more knowhow in terms of engine building, as you have to deal with changing compression ratios with different heads and ECU tuning, but its definitely worth it if you have the cash to do it right. One good combination is to get everything for a WRX swap, and use the EJ22t block with the WRX heads, turbo, etc. You can use an STi turbo with any of the above platforms, really whatever you want. As I said though, this requires more mechanical knowhow.

    Transmissions

    4EAT automatic -- I don't have much personal experience with this transmission, however I do know it doesn't handle much aftermarket power well. You also have to find a motor or ECU for your motor that had an automatic in it before, you can't get a manual ECU to work with an auto tranny as far as I know. Luckily for those of you who would want one (i havent met anyone yet, but im sure they exist), the USDM and JDM WRXs came in automatic form.

    5 speed manual -- This is the standard 5 speed manual that subaru puts in most everything. If you have a 5 speed, chances are its built off of this platform. The strength of these transmissions, ive discovered, is all pretty much the same. Different gear ratios, rear end ratios, etc, all make a difference when putting a motorset together, but for the most part they are all the same. The exception to this (There always seems to be one haha) is the JDM STi 5 speed, which was available with the DCCD. This transmission is stronger than the regular 5 speed (Cryo treated gears). It also has the variable center diff (DCCD), which can be wired in to work if you get it with a front clip, or even a pulled motor with all the stuff.

    6 speed manual -- USDM STi trans. Much more sturdy than the 5 speeds in any form, plus the DCCD. Don't be mistaken, its still a subaru transmission, you can still break it. Wiring the DCCD in can be a pain, especially if you are putting this in without the rest of the STi stuff (ie on a hybrid motor).


    Dash/subframe swaps

    The "I'll explain later" parts above are explained now. It is possible to swap the dash, subframes, suspension, gas tank, hubs, etc into your car, with some modifications. If you are more mechanically inclined and would rather spend the extra money on these parts and not do nearly as much wiring, it is definitley worth it. I had it done this way on my GC8 swap, and am extremely pleased. You avoid all the wiring harness splicing because you simply remove the old harness out of the car and weave the one from the donor car in, lock, stock, and barrell. You splice taillight connectors, window switches, and the like, but if you cant do that you shouldnt be doing your own engine swap to begin with. However, be prepared to do a lot of modification to make the dash fit, modification to make the subframes fit, shimming the control arms, switching driveshafts, re-assembling emmissions systems in the gas tank, etc. It is a LOT of work mechanically, and is in no way easier than doing the wiring. It's just as hard, just hard in a different way haha.




    Let me know anything that should be added to this, I want it to be helpful so people don't ask the same questions every time hahaha
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    SDM EJ28sq
    Ah yes. The illusive Swedish Domestic Market Subaru engine. A stout one, indeed.


    This is a great post. Thanks, sheepdog.

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    Nice job, Sheepdog, this deserves a sticky (which I cannot deliver, unfortunately)
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    Quote Originally Posted by EXP1787
    SDM EJ28sq
    Ah yes. The illusive Swedish Domestic Market Subaru engine. A stout one, indeed.
    those crazy sweeds.

    nice post sheep.
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    bump for proofreading of the updates
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    great update. If people don't read this, they're missing out.
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    Awesome writeup, though there is no such thing as a 'sealed deck' subaru motor. The term you're looking for is 'closed deck'. The coolant still flows through the block with this design, it's just that there is much more support around the top of the bores.

    ej25 open deck: Note there is no vertical support of the cylinder bores
    http://www.cgperformance.com/images/cg% ... k%20WP.jpg

    ej257 semi-closed deck: Note the supports above and below the bores.
    http://www.performancesubaru.co.uk/dbimages/2-5sms.jpg

    ej22t closed deck: you can see there is much more material around the bores:
    http://users.adelphia.net/~wedge138/ima ... _block.jpg
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    This is why I have people proofread haha. I'll fix it, thanks bud
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    Glad to be of assistance, keep up the great work!
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    AussieDan: Do you have a picture, similar to the open/semi-closed/closed deck, showing sleeved?
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    You might also want to add, information about the JDM 6 speed (which I didn't know about). Same strengths as the USDM and gearing is equivalent in gears 1-4, but it has shorter ratio 5th and 6th gears.
    Finally, I have a functioning hoodscoop

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    Yea, I just gave an overview of the most popular ones, and left out more detailed transmission stuff like that. A lot of the JDM 5 speeds have different gearing from what I remember, as do the usdm 2.5RS, legacy, outback, etc. I'll make a note about differing gear ratios though. Thanks bud.
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    How about info on swapping in an H6 for a 2001 Legacy GT. Can one do this with the newer model of H6 (250 HP). I have an automatic transmission and therefore am a bit limited in the turbo swap.


    Cheers

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    ej20tt swap

    so what your sayin is I can put the ej20tt in my 97 legacy and work both turbos if i did the RHD conversion right
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    Re: ej20tt swap

    Quote Originally Posted by J-Rock!
    so what your sayin is I can put the ej20tt in my 97 legacy and work both turbos if i did the RHD conversion right
    yes you could but youll need the right turbo crossmember for the car.
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    One more thing just to confirm, if i had a Legacy L - EJ22 And i bought.. a Ej20, the tranny will be a direct bolt up?
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    im lookin to get rid of my EJ22 for something with some more kick. any ideas for a "cheap" conversion?
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Quote Originally Posted by 95USsubaru
    im lookin to get rid of my EJ22 for something with some more kick. any ideas for a "cheap" conversion?
    How cheap? EJ25s are rather cheap these days and it will bolt right up to the tranny...
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Our a/t tranny died on our 96 BG Legacy so we decided to do an engine swap. Donor is an auto transmission JDM Forester st/b (?). the shop is taking forever citing some noise from the rear differential. Will post here any bits of knowledge/info gained (if any).

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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Did you swap the rear diff too? The final drive is probably different!
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    this really helped more than i can say you answered almost all my questions in one thread

    THANKS ALOT
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    if anyone is looking to do a EJ255 (06+ WRX and 05+ legacy) swap
    you may want to consider buying a wrecked WRX, then the youll have
    the wheel engine ecu dash seats steering wheel transmission and rear diff. at
    your disposal. PLUS you could put all your unused stuff back in the WRX
    and have a shitty little commuting car or you can sell it part by part recoup
    some of the money back. thats what im doing.
    i just bougt a wrecked 06 WRX for 4000 US dollars. now i am getting
    ready to do my swap
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Quote Originally Posted by jey
    Did you swap the rear diff too? The final drive is probably different!
    To my knowledge, swap was from engine to axles. The instgrument cluster and ECU were also swapped. I already had a JDM turbo axle back prior to the engine swap. I'm trying to source down and midpipe... and probably the up pipe as well. My shop discourages changing the exhaust manifold. He says it is stronger than stainless steel ones. Our objective is power with reliability so we are doing modest upgrades. Once the exhaust bits are complete, we will do a remap or install a piggy back ECU. Any thought on this?

    Our new instrument cluster does not have door ajar warning light working and it's bugging me. The power locks also don't work. Has anyone had similar problems with the JDM swap?
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    So, can I swap a 2.2 turbo from a 1994 legacy to a 1996 outback currently with a 2.5?

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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Quote Originally Posted by rsaunders
    So, can I swap a 2.2 turbo from a 1994 legacy to a 1996 outback currently with a 2.5?
    Sure. Just swap everything from the donor car to including the whole wiring harness, engine crossmember, etc so there's no surprises. Problem is the car is now OBD-I (from OBD-II), and the fact that you put in an older engine (which isn't legal to do in many states, generally you have to put in a same year or newer motor), meaning it might not be registrable in your location. Not a problem if it's a dedicated track car, though.
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    I have found that the JDM forester transmission with a EJ20 puts out higher speed and stronger than the WRX or STI trans
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    When doing a hybrid, such as the Ej22t block with WRX heads, is the motor still OBDI? And if so is there any way to convert it to OBDII for ease of tuning and for local emmisions? Any imput is greatly appriciated.
    UNNAMED '97 GT Wagon just picked up. Build thread soon.

  28. #28
    SLi O.G. httrdd's Avatar
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Quote Originally Posted by LGT Kirby
    When doing a hybrid, such as the Ej22t block with WRX heads, is the motor still OBDI? And if so is there any way to convert it to OBDII for ease of tuning and for local emmisions? Any imput is greatly appriciated.
    Going from obd1 to obd2 is a Pia! You have to add o2 sensors, rewire to the ecu and more. I have not seen it done yet.
    TJ

    99 LGT H6 Limited OBP

    A little bit of Wrx, a little bit of 2.5RS, a little bit of STi, a LOT of SVX!

    Will I ever supercharge this Eg33???


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  29. #29
    SLi nOOb LGT Kirby's Avatar
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    Lame.. I want the closed deck 2.2 block for durability but I really don't want OBDI, unless I put it in a first gen Impreza..
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  30. #30
    SLi Supporter mike-tracy's Avatar
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    Re: Engine swap questions READ HERE FIRST

    Quote Originally Posted by LGT Kirby
    When doing a hybrid, such as the Ej22t block with WRX heads, is the motor still OBDI? And if so is there any way to convert it to OBDII for ease of tuning and for local emmisions? Any imput is greatly appriciated.
    For your purposes, OBD-1/2 is dependent on your wiring, so if you rewired your car for the OBD-2 WRX heads (and used the 2.2t shortblock) then you are still OBD-2.
    NOOB Classifieds Moderator
    Giggity
    Quote Originally Posted by ericem
    oh boy, thats bad for canada!
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    ?????

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