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1998 Forester Base MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve searched the forums as much as my brain will handle. I’m new and still trying to figure out some of the lingo so bare with me. Heres what I got.
Purchased a 98 base ej25d manual and was told it had a 99 manual transmission swapped into it. (The original 98 was grinding). Side note and this is big. After buying it… I did a vin check and it showed the car as a automatic. So it may have possibly been swapped or the vin website I used was false. OK, so I bought it with a check engine light for the speed sensor, the speedometer/odometer doesn’t work at all and the mileage is stuck at 200k. This issue was also putting the ecu in limp mode causing the revs to wrap out at 4K. I don’t drive it like a race car so not a big issue but annoying at some points. Now I changed out the speed sensor and reset the codes. Still no speedo/odo, but It ran fine for a day then threw the same P0500/P1540 speed sensor codes and went back into limp mode. I then thought maybe the dash cluster had an issue? Swapped in another dash cluster and it had the same issues. So that wasn’t it. Next I jacked the car up on all fours, put it in gear and hooked up a multi meter to the end of the speed sensor. I got some signals. It was working! So between the harness side of the speed sensor plug and the ecu and dash I’m losing the signal. How can I tell if the car was actually manual swapped? (I’ve read these have a TCM but heard they don’t, there isn’t one next to the steering column.) What’s the next step of diagnosis? If the car was manual swapped I read there’s some wire jumping that has to be done ? Is there something else I’m missing that can be done. Any info would be great.
 

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2001 Forester S 4EAT
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86 Posts
It sounds like it wasn't correctly manual swapped. If the ECU isn't for a manual Forester, it's going to be expecting signals from an automatic transmission that the manual one can't supply. You'll get issues like what you're describing.

You need to figure out what was swapped and how it was rewired (if it was rewired at all). A service manual will really help here.
 

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1998 Forester Base MT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, not sure which exact ECU I need then. I forgot to mention, I tried swapping ECU’s with a 90s legacy ej25 manual. Still no dash response and additionally I only made it a half mile before it started starving for fuel and I had to gun it back home.
 

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2001 Forester S 4EAT
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86 Posts
I thought there are two different ECUs, based on transmission, that can't be swapped without rewiring. I could be wrong on that.

Start with tracking down and testing the speed sensor wiring. It might be as simple as a wiring issue for only that sensor.
 

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1998 Forester Base MT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ravi_h Additional +.. Could you help clarify, it currently has a “2 wire” speed sensor and I’ve read the manuals have a “3 wire”..? When reading up on the people that have swapped we’re still able to use the 2 wire speed sensor but needed to jump a wire on the ECU or something???
 

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1998 Forester Base MT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My next plan of attack is to find another 98 manual ECU. I’m trying to figure out (any other possibilities) it could be without removing the entire dash just to chase the wires for a possible break in it. Is that what
 

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2001 Forester S 4EAT
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Does the speedometer work correctly?

The automatic transmission has 2 speed sensors and the manual transmission has 1, they are all 2 wire sensors and are called "Vehicle speed sensor 1" and "Vehicle speed sensor 2." Sensor 1 has a shield on it, which is connected to the sensor's ground, which is why it might look like its a 3 wire sensor. I've attached the service manual diagnostic procedure for DTC P0500, hopefully it helps tracking down the signal path in the car.
Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Pattern
Font Rectangle Parallel Number Screenshot
 

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1998 Forester Base MT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@ravi_h The speedometer does not move at all. The odometer is stuck at 200k.

I’ve looked for a second speed sensor harness and wasn’t able to find one. Which leads me to believe if it was swapped when they changed the harness? and there’s no TCM either. The 2 pages you provided will definitely be helpful. I purchased dealers technician manual online and have been searching and tracing the diagrams but didn’t come across these pages you provided which simplify the wiring route and what exactly to check. I’m on a work trip right now and wont be able to apply any of this until Im home. Until then THANK YOU!
 
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