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1998 Forester S
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if swapping a 2.5 for a 2.2 is worth pursuing. I've heard that the 2.2 is damn near bullet proof. Do any of you know and pros or cons for this swap, what it entails, or anything else I'd greatly appreciate you feedback. Thanks so much in advance.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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Which direction?

2.5L NA to 2.2L NA

2.5L NA to 2.2T

2.5L T to 2.2T
 

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Registered
1998 Forester S
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Which direction?
Looking to switch from 2.5 to 2.2. Is this possible? Simple "plug and play" or does it require switching everything from computer, wiring harness, transmission and everything else? Beginning to really really dislike my subaru at this point. Damn thing needs head gaskets, while I'm there I'll put new timing set and water pump. Will have to have the heads checked by someone to make sure that they're not warped or cracked. If they are I've got a pile of junk that I still owe $3000 on. Doesn't really seem that difficult to change the head gaskets or water pump, but I'm not really mechanically inclined. Nobody locally will work on it (we don't have a local subaru dealer) and the mechanics that I've talked to seem to develop hives when I tell them I have a subaru that needs to be worked on. My father in law though came across a subaru mechanic in West Virginia that says that the 2.2 is a much better motor than the 2.5 so that's why I'm wondering if the switch is possible, or if I should just fix the damn thing with what I've got.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
Yes the switch can be made, but to clarify you want to go from a 2.5L NA(naturally aspirated(there is a turbo version)) to a 2.2L NA(again there is also a turbo version).

There are NA and turbo versions of both engine and the swaps are more intailed if you are going 2.5L NA to 2.2L turbo(T).
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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So here is the run down for 2.5L NA to 2.2L NA with a couple of variations.

Option 1
Find a '99+ 2.2L na with the same style valve covers your 2.5L has. This 2.2L should have single port heads allowing you to use your current exhaust manifold and IIRC the intake is the same as your 2.5L(or will work). This option is as close as you get to a direct plug and play swap.

Option 2
You do the same as above but you have to use your intake and wiring.

Option 3
you use any 2.2L NA shortblock with your 2.5L NA heads along with your intake, sensors, wiring and exhaust. Not plug and play will work.

It is a very specific 2.2L that is a direct swap.

Notes:

Some 2.2L are dual port heads, which will not bolt up to your exhaust or intake.
 

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1998 Forester S
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Okay...so, with the 2.5 being DOHC (98 forester s) it won't be an issue....at least not much of one...to switch to the 2.2? How do I know if the valve covers are the same...just by looking at them? I'd rather not use my current heads..as those are the ones that are intent on making me gray headed way before my time..LOL. Thanks so much for your help and input. Do you know of any issues with the 2.2 that would be reason for not putting it in my car?? I'm trying to find out all that I can before I make a decision as to what to do. Thanks again. Sorry to take up so much of your time.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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Mental thoughts to my self right now, "of coarse he has a '98(only year forester with a DOHC) and not a '99 on with a SOHC"

Off the top of my head I can not think of a 2.2L NA that is DOHC(at least not state side).

As such you would have to use your heads. Only the shortblock would be of any use to you.

All in all, on a 12 year old car. I would do the HG mill the heads check the block and move on. I would think it would be less money then buying a 2.2 and playing legos to put it back together.
 

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1998 Forester S
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, once again I thank you for your help in this matter. I guess that settles what I get to do with for the fix. Looks like I need a repair manual and a couple nerve pills. This could be interesting........
 

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03 x
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384 Posts
doing head gaskets on a subaru motor isnt as hard as some people make it out to be. its fairly straight forward like most engines but you have to do everything twice. the hardest part is putting the timing belt back on, if you are using a new timing belt it gets easier as most new belts have the timing marks on the belt. good luck with the repair its easier then it looks.
 

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2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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It really is not that bad to do. The key things are to make sure both the heads and block are flat, clean, proper torque specs are used. There is no clear cut verdict on if the head bolts are reusable or not. There are a few how to threads on various subaru forums. but none of it is had, If you can do brakes HG are not bad just more steps.

Others may chime in on a 2.2L NA that is DOHC but I honestly can't think of one.
 
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