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Ej swap...which tranny?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 SuperchargedRS

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 09:15 PM

Currently I have a 89' Loyale, it has the push button 4wd 5speed. I was asked if I was going to keep the push button or swap over to a dual range with my EJ swap.

Currently I really like the push button (on-road and off) as it has worked great for the mud/trails as well as the road. Aside from the gear ratios is there a strength difference or other reason I should steer away from my push button?

#2 Suberstar88

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:57 PM

Push button sucks. For the "average" off-road situation it fairs quite well, But If your going to upgrade the motor, throw a 5 speed d/r tranny in it as well, it will make a world of differance. In other words, the snowdrift you were stuck in with the push button, you would be mobbin the hell outa it with the D/R:lol:

#3 grossgary

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 12:29 AM

My thoughts. For most folks I don't think dual range is going to really matter. I use my vehicle a fair amount in snow and off road and I can't think of a time where it would have made a difference. But I'm not into it for sport, hobby, or crawling. If that sounds more like you then go the D/R.

You could entertain FT4WD as well, might open up your sources and they are nice.

I also think that all dual ranges aren't created equal. Some are 4 speeds (older EA81 only maybe). And then some are lower low gearing than others, I think you want the low ones as the others don't offer much reduction - probably not worth the swap. 1.59 comes to mind?

#4 SuperchargedRS

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:57 AM

So the only advantage is the gearing?


Which one has a better final gear ratio for highway use?

#5 Numbchux

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:13 AM

Let's just assume we're only talking about EA82 transmissions. as the 4-speed D/Rs would be a ridiculous amount of work for an inferior design. Also, the '85-'86 RXs had a part-time 4WD D/R trans that had the short 1-5 gears and the little low range gear. avoid this transmission, again, extra work (new axles, 25-spline instead of 23) for a lesser setup.


they would have the same gear ratio on the highway (assuming we're talking about non-turbo part-time 4WD 5MTs). but you have the stump-puller gears in low-range.

also, the push-button system is ridiculously complex. using an electric switch (which the contacts tend to wear out and cause you to loose 4WD), controlling 2 electric solenoids, which redirect a vacuum source (which can leak or come disconnected), which operates a cable (which can seize), which engages 4WD.

the dual-ranges have a bar, to a lever in the cabin. much like the other 5 gears. Much more reliable, and it happens when you want it. since the push-button setup relies on engine vacuum, which varies depending on rpm and engine load, it can be unpredictable.



the FWD setting can be irritating with the stock EA82 suspension and EJ22 torque (wheelspin). So you might want to consider going to some sort of full-time setup. although you'll sacrifice some mileage for it.

EA82 FT4WD is neat, but only available in the turbo models and XT6s. the turbos have the super short 5th gear, which makes them very annoying on the highway. XT6s have very nice gearing, but are fairly rare.

or, grab an EJ AWD trans. better clutch, better center diff, nice gearing (look for one with 3.9 gears, you'll have better highway gearing AND you won't have to swap out your rear diff). take 2" out of the EA82 driveshaft, and a little creativity with the shift linkage, and some more creativity with the mount (or get XT6 crossmembers). Here's a good chart of different gear ratios for EJ transmissions:
http://www.northursa...rannychart.html

compared to EA numbers (the N/A and turbo numbers remain the same, whether they're dual-range or not):
http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=84798


IMHO, ditch the push-button setup. and either get a D/R from an N/A EA82. or use an EJ AWD 5MT

#6 wysei82

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:24 AM

if it were me I would try to find myself a turbo tanny with dual range

#7 SuperchargedRS

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 05:55 AM

So the major factor I am facing with the push button is a possible contact failure or vac leak.

Are there any strength differences between the two?

For the type of off-road operations the loyale sees I dont think I am going to need a lower set of gears in combination with the 30 something percent increase in HP and TQ that I will experience with the EJ.

I think I can handle the contacts and vac leak, as (correct me if I am wrong here) those issues would be picked up with standard maintenance.

The big issue for me is when I am driving the loyale in a ... spirited manner is not damaging the tranny with the power I will see with the EJ22.

#8 eulogious

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 07:15 AM

From what I read and experience the 5 speed D/R is very durable/reliable and more usable than the push button. Even more so with the EJ power, the low range rocks. You can seriously go just about ANYWHERE one typically needs to go with the 1.8 and an D/R, so add the EJ power to that, and wow, good combo. With that being said, I would say rock what you have until it breaks, and then go with the D/R swap. I believe it would just be a bolt in swap... If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The D/R's seem to be fairly cheap, at least around here, so when your push button decides to fail, just pick up a D/R and throw it in. Maybe even pickup up a good used D/R and have it kicking around before hand just in case. This is just my own opinion, but that's what I would do.

#9 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:16 AM

push buttons fine unless you go with big tires say over 25-26" and want to do hill climbs

#10 Gloyale

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:00 AM

So the major factor I am facing with the push button is a possible contact failure or vac leak.


Worst case would be the vac diaphram failing and not operating hte lever. But if you one needed to they could reach under there and hand operate the lever. They typically don't fail unless very rusty.

Are there any strength differences between the two?


None. In fact I think the 1 piece Input shaft of the S/R could be argued is stronger as there is no gearset or snynchros to transfer power though. The D/R uppershaft is 2 pieces, with a shift collar that links them end to end for Hi range.

For the type of off-road operations the loyale sees I dont think I am going to need a lower set of gears in combination with the 30 something percent increase in HP and TQ that I will experience with the EJ.


you are probably right. You likely won't have any need for low range unless you go with much larger tires.

I think I can handle the contacts and vac leak, as (correct me if I am wrong here) those issues would be picked up with standard maintenance.


Well, not tune-up stuff......but the system is very simple to maintain.

The big issue for me is when I am driving the loyale in a ... spirited manner is not damaging the tranny with the power I will see with the EJ22.


Singel or Dual are really identical trans, other than the Lo gearset. They are 90% the same a the first EJ5spds. Same bearings and shaft sizes.

Also, when "spirited driving", it is not always easy or safe to:
1. take you're hand off the gearshift,

2. look for the Hi/Lo/4wd lever,

3. and try to shift into 4Hi(and not get nuetral or Lo)

4. then get hand back to the shifter to downshift before the cor.......BAM!!!......ner:eek::mad:


The Pushbutton is much nicer if you are only ever gonna need Hi range.

#11 oskar_subaru

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

i´ve been thinking about this and i know about a car here with a dual range AWD trans with a diff-lock button.
it´s a EDM turbo wagon and the only car with this kind of gearbox here in iceland.
i think this would be a very nice setup with the EJ25 i´m thinking of putting in.

maybe a EJ trans would be a better way to go but having broken two EJ gearboxes i don´t trust them as well as the EA ones

#12 Numbchux

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:55 PM

i´ve been thinking about this and i know about a car here with a dual range AWD trans with a diff-lock button.
it´s a EDM turbo wagon and the only car with this kind of gearbox here in iceland.
i think this would be a very nice setup with the EJ25 i´m thinking of putting in.

maybe a EJ trans would be a better way to go but having broken two EJ gearboxes i don´t trust them as well as the EA ones


that FT4WD D/R is nice, probably the same as our RX trans. I had one in my wagon with the EJ22......if you spend any time above about 60mph, I would not recommend it, as the gearing is very short.

the EA internals are the same as EJ. no more or less reliable.

#13 SuperchargedRS

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 12:10 AM

Worst case would be the vac diaphram failing and not operating hte lever. But if you one needed to they could reach under there and hand operate the lever. They typically don't fail unless very rusty.



None. In fact I think the 1 piece Input shaft of the S/R could be argued is stronger as there is no gearset or snynchros to transfer power though. The D/R uppershaft is 2 pieces, with a shift collar that links them end to end for Hi range.



you are probably right. You likely won't have any need for low range unless you go with much larger tires.



Well, not tune-up stuff......but the system is very simple to maintain.



Singel or Dual are really identical trans, other than the Lo gearset. They are 90% the same a the first EJ5spds. Same bearings and shaft sizes.

Also, when "spirited driving", it is not always easy or safe to:
1. take you're hand off the gearshift,

2. look for the Hi/Lo/4wd lever,

3. and try to shift into 4Hi(and not get nuetral or Lo)

4. then get hand back to the shifter to downshift before the cor.......BAM!!!......ner:eek::mad:


The Pushbutton is much nicer if you are only ever gonna need Hi range.




THANKS, looks like I'm going to stick with my pushbutton 5spd.

I'll be sure to examine the engagement system if I find myself under the car for oil changes and whatnot.

#14 oskar_subaru

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 03:57 PM

that FT4WD D/R is nice, probably the same as our RX trans. I had one in my wagon with the EJ22......if you spend any time above about 60mph, I would not recommend it, as the gearing is very short.

the EA internals are the same as EJ. no more or less reliable.


still, from my experience the EJ D/R box is still weaker than the normal EJ 5 speed, i´ve never had a problem with one of those.

and no i normally only drive around town, i rarely drive over 60mph and when i do i´m going flat out anyway.

do you think that i would be safer going with a EJ or EA gearbox with the EJ25, i planing on trashing it around somewhat.
i know that with the EJ trans at least i have a stronger clutch.

will i have to use turbo axles (25spline?) with the EJ trans ? or can i use the EA axles and the inner joints from a EJ ?

Edited by oskar_subaru, 25 December 2009 - 04:06 PM.





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