Alright, there is a lot of detail missing in this thread... So I might as well step in and provide some info.
Originally Posted by 03SilverForest
I'm looking to do a simple replacement on a 2003 too. I'm looking at later model tranmissions however. Every car has the 2.5L nonturbo engine.
2005 Imprezza Outback
Would these bolt right up, requiring no other changes or modifications?
The transmissions from 2008+ Imprezas, 2009+ Foresters, and 2010+ Legacy use a different vehicle speed sensor (VSS) arrangement which isn't directly interchangeable on older models. You would require a VSSPro unit from DCCDPro.com
to have the speedometer functioning correctly.
For future reference of those who end up in the same boat. the 2004 is not directly swappable with the 2003. I've been told that you must have the differential from the 2004 to do a direct swap.
The Forester non-turbo 5MT remained unchanged from MY03-08 in North America. The gear ratios and final drive ratios are all the same. They also all use male front axles. Transmissions from MY02 and older used female front axles. The Impreza and Legacy lineup made the transition from female to male axles during MY03 as some models still used female axles before switching over to male axles. Even the MY04 FXT uses female axles whereas the MY05 switched to male axles. You can adapt a female axle onto a newer male-axle transmission using the same principle that the 6-speed guys use to swap STi gearboxes into older cars.
You buy the axle stubs, oil seals, and new cir-clips and adapt the transmission over. Here is a parts list of what is needed for such a conversion:
Left Oil Seal (P/N: 80673042)
Right Oil Seal (P/N: 806730041)
Axle Stubs (P/N: 38415AA100) x2
Axle Circlips (P/N: 805329010) x2
This doesn't mean you need the transmission and rear differential to do the swap, it means you would technically need the transmission and updated male front axles in order to swap out the older style transmission.
Many thanks for that. Always helpfull!! Am I right in assuming then that all forester XTs have a final drive ratio of 4.444, irrespective of being 2.0 or 2.5?
Not all Forester XT's have a 4.444 final drive ratio. Yes all of the manual XT models were 4.444, but the automatic models were 4.111 much like the non-turbo Foresters. Also note that the FXT's switched from female front axles to male front axles for the USDM MY05 cars (JDM MY04). To use a MY05 or later FXT transmission in an earlier, female axled version you would need to do the conversion I listed above.