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Guest Message by DevFuse

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EJ Engine to Brumby/Brat conversion advice

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9 replies to this topic

#1 neo__04



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 02:25 AM

Hey all,

Chasing some advice on a planned upcoming conversion.

I'm looking at doing an engine swap and want advice on what works best.

For price/performance would you go an ej20 turbo, ej22 or ej25.
I think i like the idea of the ej20 turbo. Running a manual gearbox all wheel drive.

I've read so much on the various forums and just cant decide now!

What do you guys recommend? Any help would be great.



    I divided by zero

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:51 AM

The EJ20 turbo will need the chassis rails cut and modified for the
motor to fit. the early EJ18, EJ20, EJ22 and EJ25 single cam motors do
not need this modification done. You will need to make a crossmember to
suit the AWD gearbox and a tailshaft. A high pressure fuel pump,
upgraded fuel lines and a surge tank are required for the fuel side of
things. Finally you will need a cut down harness and the ECU to run the

It is well worth it icon_smile.gif



ps sound familiar :) http://www.ausubaru....ead.php?t=24110

#3 Gloyale


    It's a sickness

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:56 AM

Do you want a good daily driver or a race car?


I would go for an EJ22 for a DD......maybe a SOHC 2.5 or EJ22 heads on a phase II 2.5 (frankie)


The EJ20g for a "race" car.  WOuld not want to drive this everyday.  Mostly because turbo'd DD's suck gas and need too much maintainance and have limited lifespan vs. N/A 


An STI EJ257 would be an airplane without wings.


Along with what toonga mentioned above, you will need some hybrid axles with 25 spline inner cups...OR open the gear box and put 23 spine axle stubs into the front diff.


FWIW, you don't neeed a surge tank. Espescially if you go with an N/A motor. Just gonna want to keep the fuel level above 1/3 of a tank if you are wheeling or hard cornering.


My lifted EA81 wagon with EJ22 won't stall unless below 1/4 tank and then only when VERY off center/tilted.....espescially if the right side is higher side.

#4 neo__04



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Posted 15 September 2013 - 04:45 PM

Thanks for the info.

It will be an in between car. I have a work car so it won't be a daily driver. So it will be more of a fun car. Trips on the weekend, cruising around town. Just a bit of fun. But something you could go for a drive down the coast for the day and not have any dramas.

Now I can't decide. Lol. Problem is I can't imagine the power in either situation. So don't know which I'd prefer

#5 neo__04



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Posted 16 September 2013 - 07:28 AM

Also have a couple of questions...


- Is there a specific year range, or subaru model i should try and get the motor/gearbox from?

- Can i get power steering, cruise, aircon going on this conversion?


Any info would be great. Looking forward to getting started!

#6 Uberoo


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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:44 PM

here is some questions for you:


What is your experience dealing with engine swaps,wiring harnesses and the like?You asking this so I assume you have never done this sort of stuff before or lack the skills to do it.Just swapping in a non turbo phase one EJ22 has its share of problems and it will documented. Adding a turbo,its oil and coolant lines, and all other related parts is a nightmare for someone asking how to do this stuff.Not to mention the more complicated wiring and engine management.


A better option might be be to swap in a normal EJ22 and see how you fair.


I personally have done several swaps to where I don't think much of installing a EJ22 into something.Heck I am so comfortable with the swap that I am even going to put that engine into an 83 mazda RX7.


So if I wanted to do that swap it wouldn't start with "how do I this", it would start with pics of the donor car,then end with either the engine running or not then I would ask questions.


Asking question at the very beginning of a very large and very expensive project shows you lack either the skills or understanding to see it through. Ive heard of a few EJ20g and EJ257 swaps and all were done by people very knowledgeable in subarus. Starting right off the bat with a EJ20g or EJ257 swap is asking for trouble.A CEL on a non turbo engine isn't normally a bad thing, on a turbo it usually means $$$$$ because when things go wrong with turbos they go wrong in a big way.


a misfire on a non turbo means maybe a bit rough running,a misfire on a turbo engine may end up with a hole in a piston.

Edited by Uberoo, 16 September 2013 - 12:47 PM.

#7 neo__04



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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:34 PM

Well, you make many good points in your comments.


I havent done an engine swap before, havent worked with turbos, etc etc.

I also will never learn any of this unless I have a go.


The reason I asked questions at the start of a big project is to find out any major dramas, problems, anything that i need to be particularly cautious of while doing this project. There are many people around these forums that have done this before, wouldn't I be better to ask some questions first before hitting the problem?


I appreciate your concern, Unfortunately in life if we don't have a go, we will never learn.


You make a few good points in your post like about misfiring on a turbo etc.. Thats very handy. It lets me know once i get the swap done, ill get a mechanic to look over it and make sure its all fine, i'll get an autoelec to do the wiring for me etc etc.


Just trying to have a go and learn in the process

#8 The Pink One

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:32 PM

neo_04, How did you go with your conversion and what did you finally settle on motor wise? Was it worth it in the end?

#9 Naked Buell

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:01 PM

Everybody talks about how the Ej turbos aren't reliable but I beg to differ. I found my turbo 2.2T from an elder couple who had almost 200,000 miles on it and that is when I purchased it. I rebuilt it but really I probably didn't need too right away. I just figured it was out so why not. It is all in how you take care of things. I had a 93 2.2T SS that was awesome. The visor specificily said to let idle for 2 minutues to let the turbo cool down after heavy driving. The car drove beautifully until I dozed off one day coming home from work and cartwheeled it backwards and ruined the car. 

Of course you will be able to find a N.A. Engine easier and cheaper and would still do the Brumby/Brat just fine. I just happened to come across a turbo and was all over it. 

The decision is up to you. I thought that if I was going to build a Brat, I was going to build a kick rump roast Brat. Just my 2 cents.  :)

#10 neo__04



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Posted 27 March 2017 - 04:22 AM

Forgot all about this thread.


I ended up buying a car from the wreckers to use as a donor engine. 97 GC8, 2L WRX, 150,000km

Turned out the car wasn't a write off, engine was in mint condition so i fixed it up and sold it for 4 times what i paid for it lol.


I then bought a 2002 wrx wagon at the auctions, was a repairable write off, just planned on fixing up the panels and selling it. But my panel beater mate stopped doing jobs on the side so i've been stuck with it.


Engine has got a bit of a knock. Wouldnt be too much drama for someone mechanically minded, but I just want to get the thing sold now.


As for the brumby, it was my fathers car and the rust got a bit too far advanced.


I'd love to do the project one day :)

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