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Guest Message by DevFuse

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85 brat to ea82t swap

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8 replies to this topic

#1 swootton



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Posted 07 May 2014 - 06:52 PM

My son and I have a 85 brat and just acquired an 87dl with complete ea82t drivetrain. Can we swap in the engine with the existing 4spd without any major modifications? What other parts do I need to find? He's not looking to swap in the auto that the donor car has. I know the cross stitch member needs notching for the turbo pipe and the distributor to master clearance issues. We ill be gutting the donor this weekend and want to make sure we grab all the parts we need.


My shop does a lot of Subaru work but nothing this old so it's going to be a learning curve.



#2 Crazyeights



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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:22 PM

I wouldn't. The EA82T really is a downgrade in my opinion from the original EA81 engine . A quick search on this site will yield all the info you need to make the best choice if a swap is really desired. There are better alternatives available that make more power, are more reliable, and cost less money.

#3 Prwa101


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Posted 07 May 2014 - 09:41 PM

Ej22 swap. It's the perfect build. More power and very reliable

#4 swootton



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Posted 08 May 2014 - 04:19 PM

Ok, I've read all the posts and know there might be better choices to transplant, but this is a similar era engine and the price was right, nearly free for the complete car. 90K original miles so we feel it's worth the effort.


Please respond with items that need to be addressed in order to make this swap. I'd rather know before we start taking things apart than when we have a pile of parts(or 2). We're not looking for a hot rod so the minimal improvement and fuel injection will make a world of difference in driving especially when warming up. 


Thanks for all the input.


#5 Crazyeights



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Posted 08 May 2014 - 11:02 PM

Grab the engine with the complete vehicle wiring harness and computer, exhaust, fuel pump, etc. You will also need to notch the engine cross-member in the Brat to clear the up pipe. The more you grab from the donor the better off you will be. While it's out you might as well do the head gaskets and ALL the coolant hoses, including the little ones, water pump, seals, TB, ect. 

Edited by Crazyeights, 08 May 2014 - 11:04 PM.

#6 swootton



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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:06 AM

That was the game plan, head gaskets and TB job complete as well as belts, hoses, tune up stuff.


Any idea about distributor clearance issues I keep reading about. Does it hit the master cylinder, lines?

How about the clutch and transmission, donor is auto and we want to keep the Brat stick.

Will all the stock components bolt up?

Upgrade clutch? What parts will fit? 

Radiator from donor or Brat?

Will A/C parts from  donor fit Brat? We could upgrade while doing the swap.


Any help would be great, I'm sure we can figure it out after the parts are all pulled.

#7 bratman18



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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:32 AM

The engine will bolt up but you might be better off finding a 5spd transmission from an ea car. It'll be stronger.

#8 MilesFox


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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:56 AM

An ea82 5spd will swap in if you make a little bit of tunnel clearance and swap over the 2 piece driveshaft and make a carrier bearing mount. you will need a non-turbo ea82 5sd that has the correct 23 spline axle stub.


Otherwise, when using the 4spd, you can drill out the holes on the ea81 flywheel to a larger diameter to match the pattern on the ea82 engine. The pattern is the same, the holes i believe should be 12mm, but you WILL NEED EA82 FLYWHEEL BOLTS as the ea81 are smaller diameter. The timing marks are about 30 degrees off with an ea82 flywheel, so you will have to transfer tour 0 deg mark, although the center bore hash mark !!! is the same orientation.You should be able to use a whole ea82 flywheel withthe 4spd disc and pp. or ea82 fly and pp with 4wd disc. 5spd disc is totally different


The clearance issue with the disty is mainly the installation process, where it is easier to drop the engine in and then install the disty. You can swap the MC from the donor car , being an AT, as it has less lines and fittings and no hill holder which may improve clearance. In my experience, i cut off a tab on the disty and clocked it way cray, enough th rearrange the wires on the cap to keep firing order correct.


The timing belts covers may be a tight fit between the frame rails. With ea82's i recommend removing the covers as it take s a lot of labor away from changing belts, say from more than an hour to less than 15 minuts if you are proficient. Otherwise, just cut off the bolt tabs on the outer edge.


You will have to swap the ea81 pitch bar mount to the ea82 bellhousing to use the brat's pitch stopper bar


you shouldl use all the ea82 anciliaries and make the ea82 steering pump fit the ea81 lines.


Use an ea82 radiator as it will fit, and the hose orientation will be correct. Here is a hint: the ea82 upper and lower radiator hoses are the same part number.



I have done a few of these, athough the last one was a good 10 years ago. But this is how i learned my subarus.


Judging by your post, you know your subarus and know what you are doing, if only you could see a live example to know what to expect. Good luck with your project; i will be following.

#9 Gloyale


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Posted 09 May 2014 - 11:16 AM

Hardest part is the full engine wiring harness stripdown.  Maybe it's allready been done to put the turbo in the DL???


It's just as much work as an EJ swap.


I personally would not do this swap.


Your taking the most finicky problem riddled engine subaru has ever made and crammin it into an engine bay were it's even harder to work on.....and your doing a ton of wiring and harness work and CUTTING UP A BRAT CROSSMEMBER to accomplish it.


Get a 90-94 legacy for a donor car and use it's Engine/ECU........more power......more available parts......WAAAAY more reliable and it'll fit better in the engine bay.  All you need is an Adapter.


You do not want an EA82T in your brat.  I mean, it would be kinda cool running good but first time there is an issue you are boned......hard to get right parts.....not many heads left.....most of them crack and leak water into the exhaust then overheat.......


A/C stuff won't bolt in either almost nothing is a direct swap.

Edited by Gloyale, 09 May 2014 - 11:16 AM.

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