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new to me old Impreza engine options?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 enchained

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 05:09 PM

Hi folks,

I haven't had a Subaru in a few years but I just picked one up. Here's the story: 97 impreza outback, 2.2 auto, 236k. I know the last two owners (since 109k) - both are coworkers, one bought it from the other a couple of years ago. last year it started using coolant, so the previous owner parked it and drove her truck through the winter. she went to start it this spring and the battery was dead, when she went to open the hood to jump it the hood latch cable broke. she decided to junk the thing at this point. I thought it'd make a nice gas saving winter beater if I could fix it (rather than driving the old landcruiser @ 12mpg...) so I offered to match what the junkyard would pay. she called AAA it showed up in my driveway a couple of days ago.

I jimmied at the latch through the grill with a screwdriver for a while until I finally hit it just right and got it open. checked for presence of oil and jumped it. It started right up, and I was happy until I noticed....clackclackclackclack...I have heard subaru lifter noise before and it's much more hard and metallic than that. I came in the house and googled a little, went back out, checked the timing belt tension - it seems tight, jumped it again, and started pulling injector wires. sure enough, when I pull #4, the noise is gone - so it sounds like this is a rod knock and this engine is done. I did not grill her too hard about it but I can put 2 and 2 together, using coolant plus not super car-knoweldgable owner = it likely overheated at some point. I guess it's a moot point but I drove it around the block and don't see any signs of HG failure (no milkshake oil, no steam in the exhaust, didn't overheat)...

what are my best options for this car? I've never pulled an engine before but I have a shop and tools and more time than money so it might be a fun learning project :P. I was a little confused as to what will work in it - when I searched there are tons of people talking about 2.5 swaps and so on - I am not trying to get high performance, just a semi reliable good mpg winter commuter. I am into it hardly anything at this point and would be happy if I can get it on the road for a grand or so - think this is possible? from searching it sounds like the consensus is that it's more cost effective to replace with used rather than rebuild? what should I ask for when I start calling junkyards? my objective is cheap and reliable, no go-fast.



#2 enchained

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 06:42 PM

here's a video if anyone would like to second my amateur diagnosis

I am messing with the injector wires in the video, you can hear it go away when I pull #4 and it seems to get louder when I pull the others



#3 upnorthguy

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 10:27 PM

I'll wait for the big boys to chime in, but I will say that pulling the engine wasn't as hard as I thought.  I just pulled a 2.2 out of my '95 Legacy so I could fix some oil leaks.  It is taking me some time because of work and weather, but it hasn't been anything too bad.  Of course, fasteners can be more of a challenge for a MN car...

If you end up needing to do an engine swap it sounds like you've got the ability to do it.  A copy of the FSM and a few videos should get you there.

 

The EJ22 is pretty bomber and generally considered one of Subaru's best engines and not one that typically has any headgasket problems.  The 2.5 (EJ25) from the '95-98 generally suck and have bad HG issues.  Many people swap in an EJ22.  Only the crazy ones swap in an EJ25.

 

I don't know what Chesney's has for Scoobs/engines, but you never know.  Actually, I just searched on www.car-part.com and they have a few '95-'98 2.2s (search Legacy and Impreza) but Chesney's wants $500-600 for all of them (with pretty high miles). I think the Impreza had a 2.2 up to 2001, but if you end up swapping, the '95 and '96 EJ22s are non-interference which is nice if you have a timing problem with the belt/pulleys. 

 

I don't know Imprezas very well, but others here will weigh in.  The EJ18 (1.8) from that era that some Imprezas had is supposed to be solid like the EJ22.

 

I do know Chesney's prices have gone up in the last few years as they have started to get more savvy with online parts prices.  I used to be able to call ahead of time and get the "first" price, and then negotiate a lower one at the yard by offering to pay cash with no receipt.  They didn't go for that last time I was there and tried to suggest a price for a item that was within a few bucks of a new non-OEM part (a radiator fan for a Honda Civic).  I laughed and said why would I pay that price?  They came down quite a bit when they realized I knew accurate pricing.



#4 heartless

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 07:14 AM

pulling the motor really isnt all that hard if you are even a little mechanically inclined. rusty bolts/nuts are a bit of a concern up here (I am in Wisconsin) but other than that, the hardest part is often getting motor & tranny separated. Flywheel bolts can be a bit of a pain too...

 

definitely use car-part.com to search for available options around you, upnorthguy covered what to look for pretty well - 95 plus. (90-94 has completely different wire harness connections) Also, make a note of which type of exhaust you have - single port or dual - it does make a difference.

 

You will want one from an automatic car for the EGR setup (saw that in your video) - I guess manuals didnt have EGR. You will have to do multiple searchs using the different yrs/models - Legacy, Impreza, etc. you can sort by distance from you, or by price... and dont be afraid to call ones that dont actually list a price - sometimes they are better deals than those that do have prices listed.

 

I can tell you to stay away from North Imports Auto in Shakopee, MN - bunch of friggin crooks. Bought a tranny from them that was supposedly good, only 31,000 miles - 30 day warranty - cost me $500 plus the 7 hours round trip & fuel costs to go get it. They then tried to blame the shop for screwing something up when the tranny failed within 5 miles on the test drive after install - insisted it had to be shop error that caused the failure, but they refused to talk directly to the shop - wanted me to be the go between. Never did get any money back from them.



#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:00 AM

the 96 - 98 ej22 (from auto trans car, impreza or legacy) is a direct swap into your car.

the 96 is non-interference.

if 98 is used, swap in your intake manifold ,

this will accommodate the charcoal canister in your car under the hood.

and as mentioned, you need EGR, auto trans donor car.

 

a 95 will work, but you will need the matching exhaust y-pipe / manifold.

 

the ej18 will also work, 93 - 97.

my understanding is they all have EGR and dual port heads,

so you will need the exhaust y-pipe as well.

and use your original intake manifold.

this will eliminate any obd1/2 issues and or harness stuff.

the later years, 96 - 97 may not need the intake swap,

but better safe then sorry.

the ej18 is non-interference.

 

the ej18 may be a cheaper buy, not as much demand.

but you should be able to get either for $500 or less.

 

if i can do the swap then you can.

given the fact you isolated and diagnosed your engine problem,

you are way ahead of where i was when i did my first.

 

most folks who work on subarus after time with other brands talk about how easy they are to work on.

and there is lots of ''how to'' help and tips.


Edited by johnceggleston, 17 May 2014 - 09:04 AM.


#6 johnceggleston

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

TIP:

when takling to the salvage yards,

if you tell them the car you are working on,

they will only sell you the engine the software indicates is a match.

(if they sell the mis-match engine they will void any warranty.)

they will not sell an engine that needs ANY modification to work.

 

but trial and error has taught us what other engines will work

and what changes are needed to make it work.



#7 enchained

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 04:35 AM

thanks for the advice folks. I searched on car-part.com and yeah it looks like most of the ones local to me are pretty high mileage - they do have a 94 1.8 with 150k that might be interesting - there are a couple more lots I know of that I don't see coming up on there so maybe they aren't in that database. I have some spring chores to get done so I'm going to back burner this for a few weeks but I'm sure I'll be back with questions once I dig into it =D



#8 MilesFox

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 08:04 AM

the first time i had pulled an engine, it was a subaru. now look at me, that is all of my auto experience in 15 years is ezclusively subaru. The 2.2 from 95 and earlier is going to be your most reliable option, to either swap with a know n runner or repair the current engine.



#9 enchained

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:35 PM

how much more work would it be to make a pre 96 one work? found a 2.2 from 93 legacy with 142k for $300



#10 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 08:31 PM

That 93 is a good option with light miles and a good price. Those motors were non interference - best of the best for the EJ22 motors.

 

To swap it in, I think you'd want to swap in intake manifold from your car since it's OBDII, and you would need a dual port exhaust manifold from the 93 or any of the 95 and older or 2000-2004 cars.

 

I'd try and get the exhaust manifold from that 93 and throw it in there. (Most auto dismantlers are a little negotiable, so if you tell them you'll take it if they throw in the manifold, you might just get it lumped in there.  If not, used exhaust parts aren't usually that expensive.) Those non-interference motors are worth a little extra effort and $$$ to have. More peace of mind.



#11 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 08:04 AM

the only other issue is EGR or not.

the 93 does not have it.

if your 97 is an auto trans , it does have it.

but there is a work around,

so i would snag the engine and go with it.



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:09 AM

Just put the 97 intake manifold on the 93 engine. Done. Run a hose to the EGR valve from the intake tube.

These engines can be pulled, resealed, and re-installed in a weekend easy. And if you have the other engine ready to go in you could probably do it in a day.

#13 enchained

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 06:05 PM

are you guys sure the older legacy exhaust manifold will work in the impreza (i.e. will it match up at the other end)?



#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 09:57 PM

Yeah, they're all the same at the front. The cat back is different length for the shorter wheel base.

#15 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:18 PM

easy peasy.






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