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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After seeing Cribbies post here and there online, and being broke, I decided to roll the dice on this swap. There are a lot of people online asking about this swap but not a wealth of information about doing it. This is not a step for step tutorial as I felt this swap was fairly straight forward. I will just be offering some tips and explain some things that we had to do that were not explained online. *Disclaimer* Different versions of the EJ motors might have slight variations so I can only speak to my own experience. I didnt have to much info on my JDM EJ20. I purchased it from MD JDM Motors, Inc., I believe it is an EJ201, my stock motor was an EJ251. MD JDM Motors, Inc. were very cool to deal with. I payed for mine over the phone and when I went to pick it up they had 5 of them to choose from.



The first thing we did was pull the battery, fan and radiator. Then we unbolted the AC Compressor and laid it in the battery tray. No need to disconnect any of the AC stuff.

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The next thing is to unclip all electrical connections and disconnect any hoses that need to be disconnected at the engine. Remove the starter and all bolts that connect the transmission. Then remove the bolts for the engine mounts. This is all straight forward, standard stuff.

The first major advice I would give is to unbolt the Torque Converter from the Flex Plate before you pull the motor (at least if you have an A/T). This is a little tedious but well worth doing. To do so you will need to lift the motor and transmission off the cross member to gain access to the opening at the bottom of the transmission bell, just to the drivers side of the oil pan. Turn the crank shaft with a 22mm drive to line up each bolt in the opening. There are a total of four bolts. We had to use an extension and a knuckle/swivel socket to get to the bolts. Once this is done you can now pull the motor.





Next step is to strip down the JDM EJ20 to just the block and heads. For now you can leave any hoses and wires that are attached to the block, assuming that they arent cut or damaged. At the end you should have something similar to this.



Also, Remove these transmission lines from the JDM EJ20.



Next step, go ahead and replace the timing belt and all timing components on the EJ20. Take your time with this. We messed this up the first time so Im not going to give details because I dont want to confuse anyone. The timing belt on the EJ20 is the exact same as on the EJ25 and there are tons of good threads online describing this procedure. Just remember that the cam notches are at 12 o'clock, the crank gear notch is also at 12 o'clock, the arrow at 3 o'clock, and keyway at about 6 o'clock. REMEMBER to use the crank pulley/harmonic balancer from the EJ20, NOT the EJ25. Also Cribbie said to swap the cam gears, on our particular motors there was no difference in parts, however we did it anyhow. Your cranks are going to spin when you do this, watch carefully to be sure you know which direction they spun so you can rotate them back to proper position.

Now you want to strip down your EJ25. You need the intake manifold with injectors and all wiring. Also, in my case but maybe not all, the PCV valves were different on each motor. On the EJ25 the PCV line had a screw hose outlet to the block. On the EJ20, the PCV line was on a pressed in larger hose outlet. Luck for me, the EJ25 outlet screwed in very snug to the EJ20 outlet.



Also, there are two ground wire connectors that needed attention. One of them on the EJ20 had a different connector so we simply unbolted the one from the EJ25 and bolted it to the EJ20 in the same location.



The other, I dont have a picture of. It is located near the rear passenger side of the block on the EJ25. This connector is not present on the EJ20. You MUST remove this connector from the EJ25 and put it in the same location on the EJ20. This ground connects to the wire on the passenger side front fender and without it, your fuel pump will NOT stop priming and it will cause problems with the ECU.

Go ahead now and mount the EJ25 Intake Manifold and reconnect ALL wires and hoses on the block. Also remount the alternator and mount, Steering pump and mount, and AC compressor mount. You should have something like this.



Now its time to put motor back in car. But check that the flex plates are the same, mine wasnt and we had to pull the motor twice.:mob: The EJ25 flex plate was larger. Added hours to the job.



Now just hook every thing back up, remount the A/C Compressor and belt. Check all hoses and electrical connectors. Fill all fluids. Reconnect the Flex Plate to the Torque Converter before bolting down engine mounts (again, tedious, but not the end of the world). Double, triple check everything. If you were careful, fire her up first try!



Final step: Love your Forester again!



Special thanks to M.H. and M.H. Jr. for taking timing out of their lives for this project. Also for providing tools, shop, and support. Forever grateful. Power of NA!
 

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1998 Forester Manual
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So this is essentially a 2.0 with 2.5 inlet, throttle body and exhaust manifold yes?
What's it pull like? Was it worth it do you think?
 

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I am also curious about this swap,I just bought a forester with a blown HG and getting a jdm EJ20 swapped in. Is the HP and tourque the same? And how does it pull?
 

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I am also curious about this swap,I just bought a forester with a blown HG and getting a jdm EJ20 swapped in. Is the HP and tourque the same? And how does it pull?
No ,depending on the what model,year ,its about 10 hp less, not sure on the torque.
 
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