(All Years) When replacing an engine-what fits what? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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When replacing an engine-what fits what?

Hey all,

I'm in the process of looking at purchasing one of several Foresters or an Outback Impreza Sport...and I got to wondering, what fits what when it comes to plug and play engines?

Example: one Forester has a blown headgasket. It's a 1999, L model I believe. Dirt cheap and I might just replace the engine to get it going quickly and then rebuild the current one. Manual transmission. Must I only find a donor from a 1999 with the L badge, or does the 98 fit as well (both years were DOHC if memory serves me right)

Another example: There's a 2003 Outback Impreza Sport that I found. Blown engine beyond repair. Manual transmission again. Can I only take from 2003, or would other years work too? I found one for $1500 rebuilt, but this is way out of my price range for what I would already presumably have into the car after purchasing it.

I was trying to find a list about this but having trouble formulating a reasonable search. Any insight is appreciated!

Thanks all!

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:11 AM
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This comes up a Lot, now fit vs function.

Any of those engines will fit and bolt up, but engine management becomes the real concern, ie MAP vs MAF, EGR or no EGR, AVCS vs none.

Also be aware, a DOHC intake may not bolt up to a SOHC set of heads and vice versa. Some early 2.2L engines WOULD accept the 96-99 DOHC intakes. But that ended with the introduction of the 97 EJ heads.

1st the 99, It came from the factory as a SOHC MAF engine. So just about any 99-05 engine will work so long as you bolt on your intake and sensors. You MAY have to also use your cooling crossover pipe ( single coolant sensor vs 2 sensors ) and be certain it is the same EGR or EGR-less as far as the rear drivers head port attachment.

Same goes for the 2003 OBS .... also built as a SOHC but here a MAP engine. Same rules as above.

The EJ engines built from 1989 thru current ( 2013 Turbo's still use the EJ engine ) have been referred to a Lego blocks. Just about any will bolt to any. Biggest difference to getting it to start and run is engine management.


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Last edited by ferret; 11-29-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for this!

Does it matter if the car is a manual or automatic when it comes to engine replacement? I would think not, but the engine replacements I've done have been on motorcycles.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 04:28 AM
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Auto or Manual does NOT matter. Just move over the Flywheel or Flexplate. When you do I suggest new bolts. The FSM suggests new bolts each time. Some may have reused the old bolts, but I never have.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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^ thanks for this as well!

I've heard nightmares regarding people getting creative only to find their ECU doesn't like the look the new engine gave to it while you were out of the garage grabbing a beer or that some other major component got pissed and doesn't want to play nice anymore. That's why I'm so concerned in finding an exact year, exact model fitment. But it seems that for the OBS for example nearly any EJ25 would work as long as I make sure it has the MAP and figure out the EGR issue? Just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-29-2012, 07:59 AM
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YES ... MAP or MAF shouldn't matter. I move the entire Intake over, sensors and all. Year to year there have been minor changes to other sensors and your ECU may not like them. Easier to move the old intake complete with throttle body over. When it's out of the car, it's only the 8 bolts ( 4 per side ), Throttle body coolant hoses and unpug a few connectors ( knock sensor, cam and crank sensor, oil pressure, maybe power steering pressure are a few that come to mind )

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Are there obvious checks I can do regarding EGR from a picture of the engine? I'm trying to figure this out BEFORE I make the drive.

Possible example-would a 2.5 from a 2001 Subaru Outback Limited fit well for this 2003 OBS? Did all these cars across the board use basically the same engine with minor differences in intakes and sensors, etc? Despite the headgasket problems, that's pretty damn impressive.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 08:31 PM
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YES, they are all pretty much the same.

As far as the EGR port, look at the picture of the rear of this DOHC engine in this thread. On the left side of that picture you will see a tube running vertically from the rear of the head to the intake manifold. Just above it you see the EGR valve. This is what I am referring to. If you need a engine with an EGR port, insure the 'new' one has this port on the rear of the drivers head. If you do NOT, then I guess it doesn't matter, as you can buy a plug to seal that hole in the rear of the head.
(TN) Parts Engine 98 Forester S 2.5

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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ferret, thank you again for the helpful reply.

Why did some engines come with an EGR port and some didn't? Was this an emissions thing based on state or something?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 09:18 AM
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It's mainly because FHI couldn't make up their minds. I know flstffxe has even drilled and tapped a few engines to make it work. It's an extra step though. Also, if you are installing a a/t engine into a m/t car, remember to move the timing belt guide over. It's a small thing, but it will keep you from jumping the t.b. if you ever have to pop the clutch to start the car.


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't have known that, thank you for the heads up!

Assuming I get all these pieces to come together and I have the 2001 Outback 2.5 engine in front of me ready to drop into the 2003 OBS, where do I go for help? I doubt a lot of people have done detailed DIY walkthrough's for this...

I will be coming here soon again for the timing belt replacement on my fiance's '06..and I *almost* stepped into a 99 black Forester yesterday with 124K for $1000 but the damn thing got sold out from under me-so back to the OBS for one of us!

But yeah, where should I go for help? I don't want to litter the Forester forum with OBS questions and don't tell anyone but I'm not a huge fan of NASIOC. I'm not a tuner, don't want to be, and I feel way more comfortable here.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 03:11 PM
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We're still willing to help out here. Just try to keep it in one thread, or search others for your answers. You'll find the people here pretty friendly, and knowledgeable. As long as you verify the egr question, and follow some of our general swapping tips that can be found elsewhere (and I'll be happy to retype again), you'll find it to be really simple. Another good resource is RS25.com.

1) Any sohc 2.5 will drop in place of any other.
2) Check if you need an EGR.
3) Use your intake, wiring harness, crossover pipe, and peripherals.
4) Either inspect or re-use your left cam and crank pulley.

***explanation of #4***

FHI liked to change the cam and crank sensor firing points. These are points on the two aforementioned pulleys. You need to use the pulleys from the same car as the rest of the electronics. Or at least make sure your donor motor has the same pulleys. You basically need to do a T.B. job to get these pulleys off, so now's a good time for that as well.

04 X - getting a little too tired to keep beating up in the mtns
02 Pathfinder w/ only 224k miles
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 03:47 PM
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There are many good Subaru forums out there. We have a good forum here, however there are also many members of other forums that have valuable information that are often not a part of SF.org, though many do visit multiple forums

To name a few:
Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
http://bbs.legacycentral.org/
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
Subaru Legacy Forums
Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community: RS25.com

There are more....

As jgrote said you are more then welcome to keep it going here and we will offer up what we can, when we can.

You are right, there isn't much out there for DIY engine replacement, swap threads out there. It is mostly ask "how do I make this work?" or "what do I need to do?" and a few members chime in with guidance. I think a lot of that comes down to the fact that these cars are like LEGOs and Subaru used that to their advantage many times in being able to grab parts from a bin.

08 X Prem 5mt
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrote View Post
We're still willing to help out here. Just try to keep it in one thread, or search others for your answers. You'll find the people here pretty friendly, and knowledgeable. As long as you verify the egr question, and follow some of our general swapping tips that can be found elsewhere (and I'll be happy to retype again), you'll find it to be really simple. Another good resource is RS25.com.

1) Any sohc 2.5 will drop in place of any other.
2) Check if you need an EGR.
3) Use your intake, wiring harness, crossover pipe, and peripherals.
4) Either inspect or re-use your left cam and crank pulley.

***explanation of #4***

FHI liked to change the cam and crank sensor firing points. These are points on the two aforementioned pulleys. You need to use the pulleys from the same car as the rest of the electronics. Or at least make sure your donor motor has the same pulleys. You basically need to do a T.B. job to get these pulleys off, so now's a good time for that as well.
I have done all of the above except change the left cam pulley. Will this cause the car to still not start?
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis_Jackson View Post
I have done all of the above except change the left cam pulley. Will this cause the car to still not start?
Left hand, USA drivers side cam pulley is used for camshaft position sensing. There are a few different designs depending on model/year, you MUST use the original cam pulley for your computer to work


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