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Just got a '99 Legacy SUS and it needs a bit of work


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28 replies to this topic

#1 matt167

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:54 PM

Got this car for a steal knowing that it needed a bit of work, and that it might even be not worth fixing. Cheap enough tho, I could easilly make my money back if I had to part it.

Being cheap, I want to get it on the road for as little $$$ as possible... As far as what it needs, I have no speedo/ odo working, ABS light and it needs a head gasket or 2. Oil appears to be clean, but under the cap does show just a bit of milkshake.

 

I know that the Speedo/ ABS light is likely the VSS because it needs to register 8 MPH for the ABS system to check ( as per the owners manual )

The engine has probably cooked more than once, so I'm thinking replace rather than repair, and where needing help comes in. I have located several 1995 Subaru Legacy 2.2L's in yards with just over 100k.  I know they fit and work with the 10 mins of research that I have done, but is there any road blocks that I will run into, beyond the charcoal canister lines? My car is a '99 Legacy SUS Limated with the 2.5L DOHC, which I understand is a Phase 1 engine as is the '95 2.2

 

How involved is an engine swap in a Subaru?


Edited by matt167, 08 April 2013 - 10:54 PM.


#2 Numbchux

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:48 AM

I can offer a little insight. First off, '99 was a mid-year change for Phase II. I have a '99 SUS that's Phase II engine and transmission.

That doesn't really change almost anything as far as swapping in a 2.2 is concerned. Especially if it's an automatic (as the Phase II 8-bolt 4EAT bellhousing still has a stud for the lower starter bolt).

I believe the change was at the same time, which would mean that a quick glance at the transmission would answer that question. External filter = phase II.



Get a code reader on that. If the VSS isn't working, it should be throwing a CEL (and probably an AT, if applicable) code. These systems all use the same sensor. So if the ECU knows that the vehicle is moving, and the gauge doesn't, than it's the gauge or wiring.


Oil contamination can happen from a few things. I wouldn't look into replacing the engine unless you know this ones bad. The car will have more value (to most people) without an engine swap done to it, and it may be a cheap fix. Do a compression and leakdown test

Edited by Numbchux, 09 April 2013 - 09:49 AM.


#3 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:22 AM

The coolant resivore has a milkshake in it, gets up to normal temp within a mile, overheats in about 10 miles.. Previous owner put new timing belt/ idlers, water pump, alternator and other associated parts but didn't touch the head gaskets. Car has been driven about 2 miles daily for 6 months, and that's the reason I was thinking replace rather than repair.. I just want quick and cheap as this will be daily transportation, not too worried on sale as long as I could make my money back out of it if the need came. Roughly $1,200 total investment if I can use the '95 Phase 1 engine

Good to know about the VSS. The ABS light, and CEL are on but not the AT light. I need to buy a code reader. I gave mine away as I had a chain of OBD-1 vehicles.

 

I will do a check on compression/ leakdown, but I'm concerned with the bearings in the lower end if it's been sucking coolant.


Edited by matt167, 09 April 2013 - 11:25 AM.


#4 lmdew

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:09 PM

Good 2.2 is the best way to go, IMHO.



#5 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 12:58 PM

New issue. Starter now turns the motor over without key in ignition. Engine shuts off when turned off but starter keeps going. I'm not sure if the starter stops when the engine is running or not. I'm sure it's a small issue, either the starter is stuck energized internally or the key switch is providing 12v to the S terminal all the time .. Engine does make a bit more noise than I think should be there. noticible miss when accelerated in park. If I actually fix this car, it will be with a replacement motor. I would check over the 2.5L bottom end, but I'm pretty certin I won't like what I find and I don't have the time to mess around anyway. If I could do the motor swap in a weekend ( I have the tools/ knowladge ), I would be out a $400 2.2L and some time for a runable DD.


Edited by matt167, 09 April 2013 - 01:00 PM.


#6 Numbchux

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:09 PM

The coolant resivore has a milkshake in it, gets up to normal temp within a mile, overheats in about 10 miles.. Previous owner put new timing belt/ idlers, water pump, alternator and other associated parts but didn't touch the head gaskets. Car has been driven about 2 miles daily for 6 months, and that's the reason I was thinking replace rather than repair.. I just want quick and cheap as this will be daily transportation, not too worried on sale as long as I could make my money back out of it if the need came. Roughly $1,200 total investment if I can use the '95 Phase 1 engine
Good to know about the VSS. The ABS light, and CEL are on but not the AT light. I need to buy a code reader. I gave mine away as I had a chain of OBD-1 vehicles.
 
I will do a check on compression/ leakdown, but I'm concerned with the bearings in the lower end if it's been sucking coolant.

Alright, fair enough. With those symptoms, I would say it's probably got blown gaskets. It might be repairable, but for personal use, it's probably a prime candidate for a 2.2 swap. I'd still say a little time into further diagnosing the 2.5 is probably not wasted, though.


If you don't feel like buying one, you can rent OBD readers, most places don't want it leaving the premises, so you may want to wait until the motor is fixed.

The cruise control is another system that uses the VSS. So if that works, the sensor works....

#7 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

OBD scan tool that uses a laptop is only $50, so that's probably my best bet.. I'll take it around the block to see if the CC works.


Edited by matt167, 09 April 2013 - 01:23 PM.


#8 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:47 PM

Starter has now stopped working. Click- click when the key is turned, so I think it was shorted internally and was most certinly spinning with engine running. I could hear the over-run clutch wizzing



#9 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

Can I get a verification on the Phase I/II?  I have read that all '99 Subaru's are at least a mix of Phase I/ Phase II. My car has the 3 connectors on the bellhousing which I have read makes it phase I electronics, but also that the bottom end is Phase II. I do not see an external trans filter, but I also don't know what to look for. is it a spin on?. Does that mean I can get a Phase I 2.2L and do the swap? It has the EJ25D and the car has a build date of 8/98.. If I can use the '95 2.2L, I will go get 1 on Thursday as I found several with less than 150k complete for $3-500. I should be able to do the swap over a weekend. I have an engine crane, and the tools to do it.


Edited by matt167, 09 April 2013 - 03:45 PM.


#10 Numbchux

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:38 PM

Can I get a verification on the Phase I/II?  I have read that all '99 Subaru's are at least a mix of Phase I/ Phase II. My car has the 3 connectors on the bellhousing which I have read makes it phase I electronics, but also that the bottom end is Phase II. I do not see an external trans filter, but I also don't know what to look for. is it a spin on?. Does that mean I can get a Phase I 2.2L and do the swap? It has the EJ25D and the car has a build date of 8/98.. If I can use the '95 2.2L, I will go get 1 on Thursday as I found several with less than 150k complete for $3-500. I should be able to do the swap over a weekend. I have an engine crane, and the tools to do it.

external trans filter is a spin-on just like an oil filter, on the driver's side. I don't think the electronics changed. But, most importantly:
 

That doesn't really change almost anything as far as swapping in a 2.2 is concerned. Especially if it's an automatic (as the Phase II 8-bolt 4EAT bellhousing still has a stud for the lower starter bolt).

The only things I can think of that are different between a phase I and II are the 8 bolt bellhousing, #5 thrust bearing, and timing belt tensioner. If you put a phase 1 motor in there, the tensioner and thrust bearing don't matter at all. The bellhousing just means you won't use some of the holes in the transmission bellhousing (a bit of an issue with a manual, as one of those bolts holds the starter on, but as I mentioned, not so with an auto).

#11 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:54 PM

Thanks, I will probably take my truck out on thursday ( next day off ) to get a motor. I have looked it over, and I feel that 3-4 hours or an entire weekend with some beer/ coffee breaks to make the swap. I will probably do a timing belt on the motor before I swap them, and I will keep the DOHC in case I get a chance to look over the bottom end



#12 lmdew

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:49 PM

T-Belt

Cam an Crank Seals

Re Seal the Oil Pump and loctite the oil  pump cover seals.  You need the Oil Pump oring and gray RTV

Valve Cover Gaskets

Rear Breather Plate reseal

Plugs

 

Those are the items I usually do on the Junk Yard motors before I drop them in.  Yes it cost a little, but it's much easier to do when you have it all out.

 

I've done a bunch of these swaps, best option if you don't know the history of the engine. I've seen may folks that have put $1500 into the HG and maintenance only to have the rod let loose a year later.



#13 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:58 PM

I was thinking along those lines. The timing belt was on the top of the list. I actually know the previous owner as he is a coworker of mine, so I know it has been driven at least 6 months with the head gaskets blown, and cooked at least once.. If I get a chance, I could check the bottom end of the DOHC and determin if it's savable or not and swap it back in at a later date to gain back the lost 30hp with the 2.2L swap



#14 matt167

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:14 PM

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#15 Rooster2

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:53 AM

The loss of 30 hp is not a big deal. I drive a converted 2.2 in my 98 OBW. Lots easier to find a good used 2.2 then a 2.5 with a questionable background.



#16 matt167

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:03 PM

I figured 130hp was good enough in the older cars, it would be good enough in a '99... One question. Because this car needs scanned for inspection as I'm in NY, will the '95 EJ22 throw a CEL with the EJ25D ECU?



#17 Rooster2

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

I figured 130hp was good enough in the older cars, it would be good enough in a '99... One question. Because this car needs scanned for inspection as I'm in NY, will the '95 EJ22 throw a CEL with the EJ25D ECU?

If your 99 is an automatic, the 2.5 in your car has an EGR valve. You will need to find a 2.2 with the EGR valve. From what I have read, the automatics have the EGR, 5 speed stick shift does not. So search for a 2.2 motor that came from a car with an automatic. The point is...........if your car is an automatic, it will throw a CEL, if not hooked up to a motor with an EGR. Otherwise, there will not be any CEL problems.

 

Lots and lots written here in the archives on this forum about doing 2.5 to 2.2 engine swaps. Easy to find under the "Search" area. Suggest reading all you can about doing the swap. It will save you a lot of time by learning what you need to do, and not do. The easiest swap is a 2.2 motor from a 95 model, because the exhaust is the same as what is used on the 99 with the 2.5.

 

Keep us posted on your project...



#18 matt167

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:25 PM

Cool. The yard I'm hitting up tomorrow has 2 '95 2.2's, 2 '96 2.2's, a '97 and a '98 2.2. All from Automatics ( have EGR ) and most are in the $300 range, this was all listed from Car-part.com. I know the yard has no stored part storage, so they are most likely still in cars.

 

I'v searched high and low on this site and others confirming what I needed to know.. I will probably get an engine tomorrow and then spend the rest of the day pulling the EJ25D


Edited by matt167, 10 April 2013 - 07:26 PM.


#19 Numbchux

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:39 PM

Not all 2.2/4EAT combos had an EGR.....so make extra sure you get one with.

#20 matt167

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:50 PM

I planned on checking for the right connectors, and an EGR. He has several so I will come back with a motor most likely.



#21 Rooster2

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 09:14 PM

I planned on checking for the right connectors, and an EGR. He has several so I will come back with a motor most likely.

Sounds like you are on top of your game............good luck............hope you find a good motor.



#22 matt167

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:10 PM

Back empty handed. The yard which I have heard is disorganized, is indeed disorganized.. Every Subaru engine they had listed on Car-part.com has been crushed, as the yard guys crush on a cycle of whatever they see fit and then do not tell the yard master so the invintory is all wrong. They had 5 '96 Subaru Legacy 2.2's. 1 had 140k miles but was raped of several parts and the rest were pushed well past 200k miles. A 1996 Imprezza Auto looked promising as it had a very clean looking motor until I checked the coolant resivore and found a ton of oil in it.. It was a 2.2L with EGR..

 

Found another yard with a '95 2.2L that has 162k miles on it, but he does not know if the wiring is still on it. I will probably still buy it if it does not have the wires tho..


Edited by matt167, 11 April 2013 - 02:13 PM.


#23 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 05:43 PM

Back empty handed. The yard which I have heard is disorganized, is indeed disorganized.. Every Subaru engine they had listed on Car-part.com has been crushed, as the yard guys crush on a cycle of whatever they see fit and then do not tell the yard master so the invintory is all wrong. They had 5 '96 Subaru Legacy 2.2's. 1 had 140k miles but was raped of several parts and the rest were pushed well past 200k miles. A 1996 Imprezza Auto looked promising as it had a very clean looking motor until I checked the coolant resivore and found a ton of oil in it.. It was a 2.2L with EGR..

 

Found another yard with a '95 2.2L that has 162k miles on it, but he does not know if the wiring is still on it. I will probably still buy it if it does not have the wires tho..

No fun coming home empty handed. I read you liked the '96 Impreza Auto with clean motor oil, but had oil in the reservoir. Sometimes reservoirs build up dark looking crud, that looks nasty, but that doesn't mean the motor is bad. By chance did you remove the radiator cap, and look down into the radiator. If the inside of the radiator, and the under side of the radiator cap were relatively clean, then it could still be a good motor. It is just that the reservoir was never cleaned, and that old antifreeze turned dark in the reservoir. Any chance the motor can still be started in this car?? Might be worth a second look.



#24 matt167

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 06:22 PM

It might have been a good motor. I didn't check the radiator, but the resivore had at least 1/2 pint of oil in the bottom of it. It could probably be started with a battery if there is still gas in the tank. keys were in the ignition and it was a fairly clean car.. The place is sketchy tho, and if it was bad or had an issue, they would not be any help. He had also said that motor would have been in the $500 range ( was not invintoried, go figure )

 

The motor I'm looking at getting has a 3/3000 warranty on the heads and rotating assembly, 162k mi on it, and the guy I talked to is familliar with EJ25D-EJ22 swaps. He only wants $320 for that, but also has 2 '96 EJ22's. 1 with 118k and 1 with 140k, $400 for higher miles and $450 for lower miles. If he has the manifolds and Y pipes to make the swap, I will come home with the $450 '96 EJ22. He's calling me in a few days to let me know if it has the wiring still and an EGR


Edited by matt167, 11 April 2013 - 06:25 PM.


#25 Rooster2

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:00 PM

It might have been a good motor. I didn't check the radiator, but the resivore had at least 1/2 pint of oil in the bottom of it. It could probably be started with a battery if there is still gas in the tank. keys were in the ignition and it was a fairly clean car.. The place is sketchy tho, and if it was bad or had an issue, they would not be any help. He had also said that motor would have been in the $500 range ( was not invintoried, go figure )

 

The motor I'm looking at getting has a 3/3000 warranty on the heads and rotating assembly, 162k mi on it, and the guy I talked to is familliar with EJ25D-EJ22 swaps. He only wants $320 for that, but also has 2 '96 EJ22's. 1 with 118k and 1 with 140k, $400 for higher miles and $450 for lower miles. If he has the manifolds and Y pipes to make the swap, I will come home with the $450 '96 EJ22. He's calling me in a few days to let me know if it has the wiring still and an EGR

$500 from a junky wrecking yard with what sounds like little support in selling to you or guaranteering the motor is a poor deal indeed.

 

The 96 with 118K miles for $450 and a guarantee is the much better value. Yea, the 96 motor requires a Y pipe swap to mate up to your existing 99 exhaust system. No big deal. Last year I paid $400 for a 95 2.2 motor with appx. 150K miles. I was fortunate in that the motor runs perfectly. I couldn't ask for a nicer transplant into my 98 OBW. Since then I have had to replace the knock sensor, and timing sensor. I had my installation shop replace the T-belt and pulleys. Motor should be good for another 100K miles, providing my wife stops running into things. Body work is starting to look rough.






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