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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello fozworld.
I have an 04x automatic with an EJ251. I'm on my 3rd HG failure within 30k miles. my thought is warped block, so i'm thinking i'm just going to replace the engine. it has 200k on it anyway. I'm not an aggressive driver, but I am a little concerned about going from 165hp (according to wikipedia) down to 140.

So who has done the swap? What are your thoughts on power loss? I'm not concerned about the work. will It be that noticeable? how much power has been lost on my 2.5 with 200k on it already?

Let me know what you think.
 

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2000 Forester Auto
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I dont believe your correct about the horsepower difference, it was my understanding they are only about 9 hp different.
anyway, i have done the swap on one of my 00 foresters, i honestly cannot tell the difference.
if you do it... then remember the most important things.
1) the flywheel/flexplate is about a half of inch smaller on the 2.0. use your old one off the 2.5
2) BOTH the crank gear AND the drivers side Cam gear must be changed, use off the 2.5 along with the sensors.
3) you must use the intake from the 2.5 and all the goodies on it
change the EGR valve while your there.
it really is an easy change over.
I watched Subaru Mike on youtube to learn how to pull the engine. ive done it 4 times now and can do it by myself in about 3 hrs.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Cooktruck! I really appreciate the feedback.

I hope I'm wrong about the power difference. All of can go off of is what google/Wikipedia tells me haha. I'm hoping that I would not notice the difference in power. I have a lead on a 2.5 on CL locally right now with 150k on it for $300 so I'm looking into that but I love the idea of the 2.0 swap.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i have done the swap on one of my 00 foresters, i honestly cannot tell the difference.
Was this done on an Automatic or manual trans? I have heard people being fine with the manual, but then people saying the power difference is terrible with an automatic. Thanks again for your input
 

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2000 Forester Auto
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My Car is a automatic.
I put a engine from the junkyard in one of my cars for about $225 only because it was mostly removed already and it turned easy. its a gamble on doing that.
I am happy with the 2.0 swap. I really do not feel any power loss. it seems to run quieter however.
I am trying to talk my wife into letting me do it again since i have 1 more car that needs an engine. but I think she is gonna make me do a rebuild on it.
I think that the machine work, parts, gaskets etc will cost more then the 2.0 swap.
But you know, what momma wants momma gets
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is good to know. I have heard that they are quieter running than 2.5s Have you noticed any MPG gains?

I have considered doing a rebuild on mine, but i'm not sure what the actual root of my problems are with my 2.5. there is a rebuild youtube series I watched that said an all in rebuild (he didn't re-ring) but I think he said was about $500 with machining and gaskets, but while i'm confident in doing a 2.0 swap, i'm not 100% confident in doing a complete rebuild myself.

I appreciate the feedback. It seems as though a lot of people have done the swap, but no one seems to want to talk about the results haha.
 

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2001 Forester 2.0 4EAT
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I'm almost completed with my 2.5 to 2.0 swap (2001 Forester NA, AT). I had engine failure due to a seized main bearing caused by multiple episodes of oil starvation (going on long trips with unknown oil leaks). The engine had 280k on it.

I too am curious about the after swap MPG. I had about 25 MPG before I killed my engine.
It would seem that the 2.5 to 2.0 swap is so good, nobody posts about any issues (except for improper swap). Or it is so rarely done there just isn't publicity...

The 2.0 I got is imported from Japan (so 60k or less on it), It's a 20E engine, and is probably from a 2003 Forester or Impreza. Ordered it from online distributor, JDM Engines Import.

As far as rebuilding goes...
I had another Forester that I fixed up for my brother 2 years ago. I practically rebuilt the engine on (had bad headgaskets) I tore it down to the short block, cleaned everything, replaced seals and gaskets, resurfaced the heads myself (so no machining costs). I ended up spending about $800 to $1000 on just parts. (timing belt and pulleys, water pump, new head bolts, Six-Star MLS headgaskets, valve cover gasket and seals, sparkplugs, various seals and gaskets, rear oil plate, etc...) I used OEM Subaru parts wherever I could, and I did scrounge for them in the cheapest places I could find.
So, rebuilding is not option I look at first anymore. It takes a decent amount of time if you making sure you are doing it to spec, and you want to make sure you have a decently strong engine that will easily last another 100k to make it worth it.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@bjrey Thanks for the reply!
please keep me update on the MPG difference once yours is complete. My 04 was getting an average of 20mpg so any improvement on that would be awesome haha. I am getting close to getting started on mine. Im really trying to find the best place to get it from (and waiting for warmer weather), how was your experience with JDM engines import? Since i'm doing the swap myself i'm nervous about getting a bad motor and not being able to get it replaced.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
I did the EJ25 to JDM EJ20 swap on my 03 Forester with MT. I have heard that doing this on an Outback with AT is a dog, but that is just anecdotal info, I've not done that.

Reading on the threads here and elsewhere lead me to the same info mentioned above about the Intake Manifold and Cam/Crank gears. I did a timing belt job and used my EJ25 oil pan on the EJ20 engine.

I've gotten about 23 mpg average city/highway driving and on a long trip got 29 mpg.

Only issue was the PCV valve connection on the EJ20 block is slightly different but a piece of 3/4" rubber tubing, threaded reducer bushing and a couple of clamps solved the issue.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks @Miker104 ! I have also read someone saying the swap into an AT outback was pretty doggish. Do you notice much power loss going fro the2.5 to the 2.0? @cooltruck up above said he didn't notice much power loss in his AT with the 2.0 swap.

This guy
did the swap in his 04 AT outback and says he doesn't notice much power difference. I love this video, he goes through it pretty thoroughly.
 

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2001 Forester 2.0 4EAT
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I'm completed with my swap, went out for a test drive, and have no issues with the engine! (I had two problems that were intake related, but were due to my tinkering. I tore the intake apart and painted the manifold and fuel lines, cleaned everything up, swapped over parts from the 2.0 intake)

I didn't have time for a long drive, so only did around 43 miles, but the results look promising! Approx. 27-30 MPG highway! I will need to go on a long trip (200 miles) to actually find out if I got a true reading.

JDM Engines Import was pretty easy to deal with. I called their number, told the guy what engine I was looking on (I guess they have stuff on eBay too), he told me to go ahead and purchase the engine on the website, and he would send me a paypal invoice for freight (I had it shipped to my place of work where I had a skid-steer available) . If your shipping address is different than your billing, make sure they know. (I had to call them on it, the engine invoice only had the billing info available to enter, and they didn't look at the paypal shipping address). It took a tad longer than a week for the engine to come, and you will probably need to call them to get the freight tracking number. The engine came on a semi-truck without a lift gate ( I didn't take the lif-tgate option ), unloaded it with a skid-steer. It had a little shipping damage, but nothing major, just a few scrapes and bumps on the timing covers and oil pan. 4 guys could probably lift the engine pallet off the truck too. It did not come with the two bolt studs, or alignment studs, or transfer plate (which is just as well, because you are supposed to use the transfer plate from your 2.5 anyway). You can take the bolt studs off your old engine using two nuts torqued together and using the inner one to unbolt it out.

The 20E engine had an EGR, while my old 2.5 did not. The delete was easy though, take an old oilpan plug, put some thread sealant on it (I went ahead and did a crush ring too), and put it on. I replaced the cam gear, and crankshaft gear. Replaced the timing belt and pulleys while I was at it (used standard 2.5 timing kit). Replaced the valve cover seals (sparkplug seals were leaking on the 2.0), replaced the sparkplugs, went with BKR5E-11. I used my old knock sensor since the plug didn't match my 2.5 wiring harness. I left the other sensors on the 2.0, the oil pressure, coolent temp, cam sensor, and crank sensor. (my 2.5 wire harness connected to them just fine).
If the intake of the 2.0 didn't have the EGR (and a few other sensors in places that didn't match the positions on my 2.5), I probably could have used the 2.0 intake as well ( I would have done a sensor matchup, and make sure wire the harness terminals pins matched the components from both ). The 2.0 did not have an oil cooler, my 2.5 did, after research I came to the conclusion the oil cooler is mainly intended for 2.5's with turbo's or if the NA 2.5 is in a colder environment. Mainly because it didn't have a oil cooler already, I left it off, (also one less thing prone to leak oil, and can always put on later if I want).

So for power results, I can notice a small difference, but I do have a lead foot... Honestly the NA 2.5 AT Subaru's aren't really that powerful anyway. I'm not really going to miss the 10 HP, esp if I get more MPG from the 2.0 since I use the Forester for long trips anyway.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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I never drove the Foz with the EJ25. Since it has a MT I find the only issue is needing to shift at a higher RPM when accelerating onto highways. Usually I shift at 3k rpm but if a short on ramp I will shift at 4k.

I have never had an issue that dropping into a lower gear hasn't helped me increase acceleration when needed with the EJ20
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@bjrey Thank you so much for the write up! Im glad to hear everything is going well so far. I was thinking about swapping over the fuel lines from the 2.0 intake as well. Good to know about the sensors. I was planning on swapping all of those over, but if I can get away with just doing the knock sensor that would be great. My engine does have the EGR and what Ive read the tubes match up perfectly from the 2.5 to the 2.0 so shouldn't be any issues there. Thats awesome that the oil pan plug fit as the EGR delete for you! I never would have thought to try that. Good to know about the oil cooler also, I will be swapping mine over for sure, Michigan gets cold. I just replaced the gasket on the oil cooler so Im hoping it should be leak free for a while. I am actually thinking of installing a block heater while i'm at it. I will be swapping all of the timing components and valve covers over from my 2.5 because I just replaced all of the pulleys and gaskets within 30k. my plugs are 2 years old so I will probably keep those. Im debating on getting the motor shipped to my work because I have access to a forklift, but the only vehicle i have that could get it back to my house is, you guessed it, the forester it need to go into! oh the irony. Im sure I can figure it out, for the money savings.

That is good to hear about the power. I'm a pretty reserved driver (because i'm cheap and want to get the most MPGs I can) Thanks again for the info. please keep us updated if anything wonky occurs.
@Miker104 Thank you for the response as well. Everything I read is that people have better thoughts about the swap with a Manual vs the Auto. I feel much better hearing real feedback from people who have the 2.0.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@bjrey couple questions, did you swap over the coolant crossover tube from the 2.5? in the video that i posted ^ the guy swapped his over because the coolant temp sensor was on the opposite side on the 2.0 vs the 2.5.

Also, did you use the PCV valve from the 2.0 or did you swap over the one from the 2.5?

Thanks!
 

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2001 Forester 2.0 4EAT
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@353foz, I'm curious how the 2.0 intake and your 2.5 intake match up, since they both have the EGR. If the sensors match, you could almost use the 2.0 head! The only reasons you shouldn't would be due to the injector sizing, and throttle control (that is more on the ECU tuning though, than anything else).

Also why people with manual transmissions don't notice it as much is because they are able to match the new optimum shifting points (pretty much what @Miker104 is saying). The AT would be able to work better if the shifting points could be tuned.

It's also been mentioned elsewhere, but the 2.0 has less lower end torque, and actually only get's it 155HP rating if goes to 8000 RPM, but since the 2.5 is limited to 6000, and the our cars have the rev limiter set, we actually see a lot less HP from the 2.0, but like I mentioned, these aren't fast cars to begin with. I haven't done research yet if the rev limiter can be adjusted, and if the AT shifting points can get adjusted. If both of those can be done properly or at least the AT shift points, we probably wouldn't notice the power loss as much.

Forgot to mention the 20E came with MLS headgaskets, which make sense, since I've heard the 2.0 have a little higher compression than the 2.5. I'm going to do a pressure test on all four cylinders and record it, and probably check it every 50k to make sure they stay healthy.

The fuel piping from the 2.0 didn't match my 2.5 as the EGR pipe has the fuel piping routed away from it, while my 2.5 pretty much has fuel lines all the way around, so re-used my rusty 2.5 fuel piping just painted it to help with the rust, also the 2.0 used a different style of injectors than my 2.5.

I also re-read what you mentioned about getting a 2.5 with 150k on it. The word I'm hearing is that the 2.5 NA headgaskets usually fail around 160k. So unless you plan on replacing the headgaskets with MLS it's not worth it. It will cost you at least $320 in parts to redo the heads (new head bolts [always recommended so they can keep their torque, also the torquing technique described in the Headgasket install is meant to break in the new head bolts so they won't stretch], valve cover seals/gasket, MLS headgasket with intake and exaust seals), plus machining costs for the heads, and more labor.

Honestly, I don't really care about the marginal power loss, its enough to notice but it still has enough power to do what you need, and possibly have a little fun. I'm just happy to have a engine (with 60k or less miles) that potentially gives better fuel mileage, and that can last the life of the Forester.



(PS, I know a couple people might jump on me for thinking about using the 2.0 intake with a 2.5 ECU. The main reason why it's NOT recommended to use the 2.0 intake is so idiots don't do it and fry their ECU with incompatible intake components, I'm talking about if the intake sensors DO match for what the ECU needs and reads. Or I might be just day dreaming, and the 2.0 and the 2.5 intakes will never match and are always setup differently...)
 

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2001 Forester 2.0 4EAT
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@353foz, just seen your latest post.

The coolant sensor matched up the same side as 2.5, so I just left the 2.0 coolant crossover.
(the one from the Video was an outback, mine is a forester, and I'm like 90% sure the engine I have was from a Forester, I actually reused the 2.0 air filter mount that is on the engine)

I actually left the old PCV valve in the 2.5 intake. I probably could have swapped the one from the 2.0. (I still might) it was exactly the same PCV setup on both. I actually just left the PCV hoses on the 2.0 that came with it, stuck on my 2.5 intake and it hooked right up.

Just make sure if you use stuff from the 2.0 intake, it matches what you already have on the 2.5. Honestly, if you want to avoid possible issues might be better just to leave the 2.5 intake alone and maybe just use the 2.0 sensors already on the engine (if they match your connectors)

If you need pictures for matching up with yours, let me know.

I just noticed the JDM Import Engines website is down, I hope it's just a technical issue... I was thinking of getting another 2.0 for another subaru I have... I may call their number to find out. I did find one on eBay that looks like the same kind of engine I got (I don't think that one is a EJ203, as those used electronic throttle bodies, and I still see a cable on this one) https://ebay.us/wx8vlW.

When looking for the 2.0 for mine, I tried looking for an engine that looked closest to what my 2.5 looked like.

I may be wrong about mine being a 20E, I was just taking a guess since the 20E is rated for 155HP, there wasn't any info on it other than being made in '03 and the engine serial and part numbers. It's possible I have the EJ201, EJ202, or EJ203 (although I thought the EJ203 had an electronic throttle control body), in any of those I probably only have 138 HP.
Looking up the EJ 2.0 NA SOHC, there are quite a few ranges in HP between the models and years, so unless you know exactly what model the 2.0 you get is, and what it came out of, you won't know the real HP.
 

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04 Forester x JDM 2.0 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@bjrey,

I officially started tearing apart the 2.5 getting it ready to be pulled. All I have left to do is the motor and trans mounts, remove torque converter bolts, bell housing bolts and then im off to the races.

Im not adventurous enough to try and use the intake from the 2.0 even if it does end up lining up. I don't plan on doing any ECU tuning if i can avoid it. Likely the motor I get will be a 203 so it would have electronic throttle control anyway.

Good to know about the fuel piping. You just saved me a bunch of time finding that out on my own haha. Although, since my engine does have EGR, I wonder if it would be the same..hmm...

Yeah I mentioned the 2.5 with 150K on it just because it was super cheap and local. I was planning on doing HGs and all timing water pump and all that good stuff before I thew it in, but that was sold long ago.

Yeah the more I hear peoples feedback I really don't think i will have any issues with the power loss. As I mentioned in a pretty reserved driver. However, I occasionally tow a small trailer (with a motorcycle or similar weight on it) Do you think that would be a problem with the 2.0? Its so infrequent that it is really negligible but worth asking about.

From the research I have done, it sounds as though you have a 202. I believe the 201 did not have EGR and the 203 had EGR and the electronic throttle. That could be wrong, buts what it sounds like anyway. Maybe I should look for a 202 with the EGR and cable throttle and toy with the possibility of using the 2.0 intake...you know, for the sake of science... we will see. Anyway, as always thank you for your info and feedback! I will keep this updated as I venture further into my project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got my 203 a few weeks ago and have everything swapped over from the 251 and ready to go, but I decided to buy a new t-belt and cog idler. Everything else was smooth and quiet but that idler made a little noise. The one from the 2.5 (even though it has less than 30k miles on it) makes the same noise. The 203 has 45k on it with the original t-belt but I figured I'd change it for price of mind I guess. Everything went smoothly until I busted off one of the bolts holding the egr valve. Ended up having to tap it out to an m6. Not ideal but it's torqued. Then I got to swapping over the drivers cam gear. Holy crap. From factory that thing was well over 200 ft-lbs. I'm amazed I didn't snap the bolt. Should be ready to go back in the car this weekend. Fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got my new idler and timing belt on and everything buttoned up and ready to go. The Ej203 came with a factory denso thermostat that has a temp stamp of 82C, but the OEM Thermostat I bought for the 2.5 a year ago had a temp stamp of 78C. The difference is 4 degrees, my instinct is to go with the one that came with the 203 with 45k miles on it, but the new one has about 15k. Im going to test them both just to be absolutely positive they are functioning normally. (I know they are both fine, but better safe than sorry right?)

So my question if anyone has insight is, does it matter which one i put in the car? I live in Mi, (cold temps and such) if that would make any difference. Im going to be doing more research so I will report back anything i find out.
 

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2001 Forester 2.0 4EAT
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@353foz My question would be if the 203 came with a oil cooler, if it didn't I would put the 78C in since you would have installed the oil cooler from the 2.5.
If the 203 came with a oil cooler, just go with whatever you feel like. Personally I would go with the 78C, just so it wouldn't run as hot.
 
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