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Impreza 4EAT into a 1990 Loyale Turbo?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 eulogious

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:13 AM

I have searched, and I have come up with nothing relating to this. What I want to do is purchase a rebuilt 4EAT that was out of an '93 impreza and keep it around in my garage until my 4EAT in my loyale goes out, and then swap in the rebuilt transmission. From what I have heard, everything is the same about the 4EAT until about '97 except for the bell housing on the transmission. If this is the case, then I can just swap the bell housing and diff, and then it should just bolt up to mine? Will I have to modify the drive shaft? What about the TCM and the wiring for it? It seems like it should be straight forward to do and just plug right in, but I don't know. Can I use the old TCM instead of the new one, or should I upgrade the TCM at the same time as the swap? Also can one swap the transfer clutches on these to transmissions? What about the other parts? Are they interchangeable?

The reason I am asking this, is right now my 4EAT is working great, but I can get this rebuilt one for cheap now, and I would like to have a backup around in-case mine fails, which it will at some point.

The other option I am considering is getting a donor lego (I have one in mind, just no money, time or storage for it right now) and doing an ej swap. Would it just be easier to swap the whole drive terrain to ej stuff, or do it in phases ie. when the transmission goes out replace it, and then when the motor goes out replace it, or just go for the gold and do it all at once? What's people's opinion on this?

Oh, and I WANT the 4EAT, not a 5spd, so don't mention a 5spd d/r swap, this is my DD and I like the auto for my DD :) Thanks for all the help!

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:21 AM

sounds like a good idea. with all the ej swaps, it seems like a relatively new idea to use a ej tranny.

you'd have to get under a WRX to see if the trans mounting is dufferent. i'm sure something can be mixed and matched.

i would hope that the wrx trans with driveshaft would be the right length together without mods.

#3 eulogious

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:28 AM

I will to get under a wrx or an impreza and check out the mounting, thanks for that idea. My biggest concern is not wasting money. If parts can be swapped, or this seems somewhat doable to do the swap, then I am game. I just don't want to throw money that I really don't have at something that is going to do me no good and cause me more pain than help me out.

#4 WoodsWagon

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:19 AM

I believe the XT-6 guys have more experience with this as more xt-6's came with the 4EAT than loyales. Most loyales got the sucky 3AT. But, I believe that I remember someone swapping the EA front diff and bellhousing onto the EJ 4eat when the origional EA 4eat let go.

#5 eulogious

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:25 AM

I believe the XT-6 guys have more experience with this as more xt-6's came with the 4EAT than loyales. Most loyales got the sucky 3AT. But, I believe that I remember someone swapping the EA front diff and bellhousing onto the EJ 4eat when the origional EA 4eat let go.


I believe I read the thread that you are talking about in my searching... And I was hoping that was the case. Pretty simple I beleive, but I have yet to do it so I have no idea. Anybody else confirm this by any chance?

I realize that at the end of the day this is NOT a bolt on swap, there will be stuff that I have to figure out and probably won't work right at first, but I am up to the challenge. Like I said, I just don't want to go throwing money around at some idea that will not work at all, but it sounds like this might be a good plan for me to stick with. Another benefit of this swap is that I will have a newer trans in it so it will be easier to work on, and more reliable as well. So far it seems like it's possible... Any more input would be greatly appreciated before I make a move! Thanks!

#6 john in KY

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

Tailhousing is different. The rear mount is slightly diifferent but you can swap that. Also the Loyale 4eat should have a 3.70 ratio and the Legacy a 3.90 so that will have to be swapped.

#7 eulogious

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 11:37 AM

Tailhousing is different. The rear mount is slightly diifferent but you can swap that. Also the Loyale 4eat should have a 3.70 ratio and the Legacy a 3.90 so that will have to be swapped.


The diff's a 4.11 and included w/ the trans :) Thanks for the info. It seems that everything is swappable that doesn't just fit right up. Please keep the info comin'! :)

#8 Gloyale

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 02:00 PM

I installed a 3.9 Legacy 4eat into my 89 GL turbo. Runs fine off of the original GL TCU. (the Newwer TCUs are set up to work with the EJ computers, different values for TPS, etc.....)

You will need to drill a few new holes in you're rear crossmember for the different mounts. super easy.

You'll need to swap the 4.11 Imp diff into you're original Loyale bellhousing. Then bolt it to the IMP trans.

I would also advise trying to make a conversion harness plug set, rather than try to cut and splice all the wires. Makes future trans swaps easier. But either way, the wiring is the same, just different connectors.

You'll love the 4.11

#9 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:50 PM

I forgot to mention that the Impreza trans mount and crossmember are included while the rear diff cover is not. The mounts and crossmember were just left bolted to the trans and the finned aluminum rear cover went on my wife's car months ago.

If I remember correctly the diffs are 4.11 - I'm not 100% sure but they're both there. Any Legacy or Impreza rear diff cover will fit, I'm not sure about EA diffs, if they're the same. Maybe you could put the EJ diff into the EA case and EJ inner joints with diff stubs on EA axles?

Like Gloyale said, you'd have to put the Impreza front diff into your Loyale bellhousing. I recommend resetting the backlash after doing this, kinda a PITA to do one from scratch but needs to be done for a DD when diff's swap cases.

#10 Gloyale

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 06:23 PM

For swapping in the 4.11 diff use the EJ 4.11 Case and Pinion. Mount the 4.11 ring onto the EA diff chunk, and install it in the EJ case.

The EA rear diff cover will work.....may want to cross out the 3.9 sticker and mark it 4.11 with a paint pen or something.


Or you could just get a diff from early Legacy(90-94 5spd, 90-91 4EAT) and it will be 4.11 with stubs to use with the EA rear axle.:grin: easy route

#11 grossgary

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:10 PM

If retaining the original EA82 in the car - the trans won't bolt up....without some extra work/parts.

Speed sensor is electrical, but you just swap your EA sensor into the EJ trans if it is different.

I'd swap all at once and be done with it. With a good choice of engine and trans you have an easy 100,000+ mile car, so I'd just do it once and do it right.

If money is an issue why not just keep driving the car as is rather than fixing something that isn't broke? I wouldn't do phases or purchase parts "just in case", save the cash for when something does happen. Here's why:

4EAT's are a dime a dozen. They're very reliable and not hard to find cheap (because they don't fail very often). Last one I bought from a yard was $150, under 100,000 miles, 6 months warranty, works fantastic and is in one of my daily drivers. Not worth the hassle of storing parts to me when they're that cheap and easy to find. Change your fluid and rotate your tires.

An EJ is only going to be as reliable as the cash you throw at it - timing belt kit, water pump, cam seals/orings, reseal oil pump, tune up, valve cover gaskets, PCV, plugs, wires, rear separator plate, etc. EJ motors are fantastic but I'd also try to keep a clear picture in mind too if money is in the equation.

#12 Gloyale

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:16 PM

If retaining the original EA82 in the car - the trans won't bolt up....without some extra work/parts.

Speed sensor is electrical, but you just swap your EA sensor into the EJ trans if it is different.


He's talking about swapping the EA Trans bell onto the EJ trans.

And the stock speedo cable will just screw into the side of the EJ trans.

#13 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 10:15 PM

4EAT's are a dime a dozen. They're very reliable and not hard to find cheap (because they don't fail very often).


yeah, that's exactly why i wasted time and money rebuilding this one...:rolleyes:

Edited by mountaingoatgruff, 30 January 2010 - 10:17 PM.


#14 Kyoung

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:34 AM

While talking about 4EAT, is it possible to make it shift at higher RPM? My 88 GL10T shifts @ about 3000-3300 when floored, just about the time it starts running good.

Or do I just need to shift it manually?:Flame::banana:

#15 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:02 AM

While talking about 4EAT, is it possible to make it shift at higher RPM? My 88 GL10T shifts @ about 3000-3300 when floored, just about the time it starts running good.

Or do I just need to shift it manually?:Flame::banana:


you need to swap in a 5 speed.

#16 WoodsWagon

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:57 PM

While talking about 4EAT, is it possible to make it shift at higher RPM? My 88 GL10T shifts @ about 3000-3300 when floored, just about the time it starts running good.

Or do I just need to shift it manually?:banana:


Probably cause for a seperate thread... rather than hijacking this one. We should send the Federal Marshals on you!

If the tranny is not clicking off redline shifts, it's not getting the load/throttle position inputs it needs. An 88 could be either the 4eat or the 3at. The 3at uses a vacuum modulator to operate the load circuit, if the modulator is jammed or the hose is miss-connected you'll get early shifting.

With the EAT, it uses a TPS signal to determine load, so I'd check that the TCU was getting the right signal.

#17 grossgary

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

While talking about 4EAT, is it possible to make it shift at higher RPM? My 88 GL10T shifts @ about 3000-3300 when floored, just about the time it starts running good

sounds like you have a problem, it shouldn't shift that early floored. i agree to start another thread about it, but i'm not sure on what would cause it.

#18 grossgary

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

yeah, that's exactly why i wasted time and money rebuilding this one...:rolleyes:

i wasn't trying to undermine your decision. only that EJ transmissions are available for a decent price in some areas - it's not like some parts which fail frequently that are hard to find like an EJ25. it's up to him to determine if it's worth it or not or how easily he can source a trans - www.car-parts.com is a good place to start.

my goal isn't to hurt your sale but to provide options. if money matters there might be a better fit for this guy than buying a transmission 'just in case'.

Edited by grossgary, 31 January 2010 - 01:34 PM.


#19 eulogious

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:50 PM

I want to say thanks for all the good info! I am a little short on time, and thought I would at least chime in real quick...

There's a couple reason why I would like to go this route... One would be the 4.11 gearing. I want to lift my car and put on bigger tires, so have the lower gearing is great for that. I also realize that there are legacy trans everywhere, but they haven't been rebuilt already. For a little more money, I would reather buy a rebuilt one and store it until mine breaks. I have no plans on doing anything to my car until it breaks. It would just be nice to have the parts laying around to fix it, instead of having to source parts and then fix it. This is my DD, so I would like to be able to fix it ASAP when stuff breaks. I also don't mind storing stuff either... My garage already stores my motorcycle, MR2 (my project car) and most some of my belongings as well, it's not really a "garage". So storing a trans isn't really a big deal.

When I have more time I will respond a with some more details, but for now thanks for the good info. Looks like it's doable, and I will have some time to source the other parts I need for this.

I am also not planning on doing an EJ swap anytime soon. My ea82t runs great so far, and until it breaks for good, I can't justify the EJ swap. That's the main reason I don't want to do the EJ swap right now, or else I would. I would also like to take the time like grossgary said and completely redo the engine and put the money into it to do it right, and that requires time and money, of which both I really have very little of. That's why I want to do this in "phases". My donor car is another story, but it's not going anywhere anytime soon, so I am not worrying about it anytime soon.

I like the idea of a of a conversion harness plug set. I am not afraid of a soldering iron, so I will go that route for sure. Thanks for that idea gloyale... That's all for now...

#20 eulogious

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:06 PM

i wasn't trying to undermine your decision. only that EJ transmissions are available for a decent price in some areas - it's not like some parts which fail frequently that are hard to find like an EJ25. it's up to him to determine if it's worth it or not or how easily he can source a trans - www.car-parts.com is a good place to start.

my goal isn't to hurt your sale but to provide options. if money matters there might be a better fit for this guy than buying a transmission 'just in case'.


I just wanted to add, thanks grossgary, that's exactly what I was looking for, options and opinions on the idea, if it was possible, and was it worth my time. I don't want someone getting "butt hurt" over the ideas in this thread or a sale... I was thinking about this before this particular sale came around, so it was already on the for front of my mind, this sale just made me actually ask about it :grin:

Turbone mentioned the same thing (about using a legacy trans) to me when I stopped by his place yesterday as well (Thanks for the AAV Turbone!). I am asking if this is doable because I am thinking I am going to go this route, whether it is with the impreza trans or another trans (legacy or impreza), so it's good to hear the plus side and the negative side. So far it's looking good! Thanks all!

Keep'em coming...

#21 grossgary

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:50 PM

i'm all about having extra parts around, so my gut feeling is buy it. i can always put it in something and sell it or sell it later. but i know that's not always a good fit for everyone.

#22 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:20 PM

My garage has 2 engines and 2 trans sitting in there right now, and all 4 of the vehicles in my driveway have an engine/trans in them (my cummins-powered dodge is the only non-sube). I have yet another trans and a tore down EJ out back. Then there's the "shevy" 454 w/ matching auto trans and d/r 4x4 transfer case I'm trying to get rid of, but those are in my Mom's driveway on Main St. though......

The rack in the corner is loaded with a complete Imp dash, tons of Imp running gear parts, tons of spare EA81 int parts, junk off of cars I've fixed, and raw metal. In fact, between all these spare parts, my rollaway, table saw, tiling equipment, 2 sets of washers/dryers, and some lumber I can only pul my cars about 2' into my single car detached garage.

Space is overrated:lol:

But seriously, buy a spare trans...don't...its all pretty subjective stuff guys.

#23 eulogious

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:14 PM

Hello all,

So I have had a little more time to go through what everyone posted and here's what I have come up with on what I would need to do to swap this impreza trans into my loyale.

1. Drill a few holes in my rear cross member for the new trans to fit up correctly.

2. Swap the impreza diff into my orignal loyale bell housing and use my loyale bell housing on the EJ case.

3. Reset my backlash for the diff after doing #2.

4. Find a rear 4.11 diff out of a early Legacy (90-94 5spd, 90-91 4EAT) for the correct stubs and what not to use in my loyale (ea82).

5. If I can't source #4, then swap diff using the EJ case and pinion, then mount the 4.11 ring onto the EA diff chunk and install it into the EJ case and use my EA rear diff cover marking it 4.11 accordingly.

6. Use the stock speedo cable and screw it into the EJ case.

7. Make a swappable harness so that I can use my original TCM with my ea82t ECM and my new EJ trans. Make it swappable so that when I do my EJ swap, it's not a pain to wire in the new TCM.

What about the drive shaft? Will my EA drive shaft work, or will I have to get one made or pull off another car? Also, what about my half shafts? Can I use my turbo half shafts since they have the 25 splines already, but are they the correct length and such? Obviously the rear half shaft should be fine since I am just using the orignal ea ones, just a new diff with lower gears. I think that about does it with my questions. Please feel free to comment on my steps as well. Any input is appreciated.

I am pretty sure I am going to do this, it's just good to know what needs to be done before I spend money, thanks all!

#24 Gloyale

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:07 PM

What about the drive shaft? Will my EA drive shaft work, or will I have to get one made or pull off another car? Also, what about my half shafts? Can I use my turbo half shafts since they have the 25 splines already, but are they the correct length and such? Obviously the rear half shaft should be fine since I am just using the orignal ea ones, just a new diff with lower gears. I think that about does it with my questions. Please feel free to comment on my steps as well. Any input is appreciated.


sounds like you got a good handle on it.

Axles adn driveline will stay the same.

One note: you may need to grind a bit of the bottom of you're current shifter. It needs to be able to travel down one more notch for 1st gear. Hitting the 1st hold button alone will not lock in 1st gear. You'll get 1st, but with no TQ lockup or engine braking.

Actually you will need to learn to shift to "2", then push the 1st hold button, and then pull the lever down one more to your new 1st position after the light comes on. But the stop momentarily at "2" is needed to get the TCU to trigger 1st hold.

this is my thread from my swap. http://www.ultimates...ht=Legacy trans

#25 eulogious

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:54 AM

sounds like you got a good handle on it.

Axles adn driveline will stay the same.

One note: you may need to grind a bit of the bottom of you're current shifter. It needs to be able to travel down one more notch for 1st gear. Hitting the 1st hold button alone will not lock in 1st gear. You'll get 1st, but with no TQ lockup or engine braking.

Actually you will need to learn to shift to "2", then push the 1st hold button, and then pull the lever down one more to your new 1st position after the light comes on. But the stop momentarily at "2" is needed to get the TCU to trigger 1st hold.

this is my thread from my swap. http://www.ultimates...ht=Legacy trans


Thanks for all the info, and the link, some good info in there :) It looks like this is all doable, so think I am going to go for it and see what happens. At least I will have the trans on hand when mine takes a dump on me, so that's good. Thanks everyone for the info and the help!




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