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My 2.5 to 2.2 swap needs a little help to match CA standards


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18 replies to this topic

#1 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:49 PM

I'm in the process of selling the 99 Outback to a work buddy of mine. We're of course, hitting snags with CA laws. 

 

the 99 was a 2.5 that has been swapped to a 1996 2.2 with matching EGR so as not to throw a code. The engine is performing beautifully but since CA requires that a referee give a sticker to approve any car that has had an engine swap, it had to go in for approval.

 

The cost is only $8.25 and this means no more questions on the car ever for smog tests so it's worth pursuing. 

 

The car was denied for the following reasons - 99 manual cars were non-EGR and this has EGR.

 

The exhaust on this car has 3 cats and the 99 2.2 would have had only 2 cats.

 

Never mind the fact that California has all these asinine rules in place to improve air quality and both EGR and a third cat make the car run cleaner - it absolutely has to match stock 99. (Even more infuriating was that they hooked it up and it passes emissions standards)

 

So the exhaust should be no problem. A 96 legacy exhaust should have 2 cats and bolt right in correct?

 

Can we do a successful EGR delete by the following?

 

Plug the EGR pipe in the drivers side head. 

Swap non-EGR intake manifold and such.

Swap non-EGR Engine computer

 

Will that work to avoid check engine light? Anything else to do?



#2 Rooster2

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:07 AM

Well, since it passes emissions tests as is.............any chance you can go back and get approval without telling them there has been an engine switch? Unless someone knows the physical visual difference between a 2.2 and a 2.5 motor, it would be difficult to tell that the motor has been switched.



#3 grossgary

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:00 AM

Yes - what he said.  Why bother even telling them? 

 

Yes - exhaust components easily swap.

 

EGR - can you just remove the components and block off plate?

Did the car originally have EGR - all EJ25's did right? 

Why are they saying it doesn't?

 

It doesn't make sense that they say "it shoudl" or "should not" have EGR - because 1997-1999 Subaru's vary wildly.  I've seen the same year, make, model, transmission Subaru have EGR and not have EGR and so have others.  there's no set way to delineate some years.  weird.

 

Subaru ECU's are not EGR specific - I have a 1996, same EJ25 as your 1999.  I removed the EJ25 and installed:
1.  a non-EGR intake manifold

2.  non-EGR ECU

 

I still get EGR codes/check engine light.  the ECU's are not EGR specific but somehow they are driven to look for EGR or non-EGR by the body side wiring harness and i haven't figure out how - i even cut the EGR wires to the ECU and still no change. 



#4 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:38 AM

Everything is supposed to match OEM specifications. Since a 99 legacy with a manual and a 2.2 was non EGR (Or so says the info these referees have) this has to also be non-EGR. It's California. No one said it had to make sense.

 

I think this will pass just fine at a normal smog check that doesn't know any better. But with a referee approval, there's no chance anyone can flag it. If it were me, I'd just pass it along as if nothing had ever changed, but since my buddy would prefer to get the sticker, I'm willing to help as best I can.

 

Did that non-EGR intake manifold get the engine wiring swapped over as well? Any chance you remember the color of those EGR wires you cut? Maybe I can follow them on a non EGR car in a junkyard and see where they go.



#5 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

I guess the other question is if the VIN specifies automatic vs. manual trans. We could always pretend that the engine is stock and the trans was swapped to manual in the VIN doesn't betray it.



#6 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:12 PM

Everything is supposed to match OEM specifications. Since a 99 legacy
with a manual and a 2.2 was non EGR (Or so says the info these referees
have) this has to also be non-EGR. It's California. No one said it had
to make sense.

i'm a little confused.

 

your car is a 99 outback ej25 originally, with a manual trans.

it now has a 96 ej22 engine with EGR and it still has a manual trans .

is the manual trans factory?

 

i think the idiot at the referee station is looking up the wrong car.

he sees 99 ej22 and manual trans and is reading legacy.

and this cars in fact do not have EGR.

but he should be reading 99 outback ej25 w/ EGR and manual trans .

 

i agree, take it in and get an emissions test without informing them of an engine swap.

if that does not work,

give them the vin and make them look it up.

 

but i think i have heard something about engine swaps cannot be to older engines in CA.

but not sure.

 

just get it inspected.


Edited by johnceggleston, 26 August 2014 - 05:08 PM.


#7 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 05:16 PM

You are correct on the older motors thing. As far as California is concerned, it's a 99 motor to avoid that snag since visually there's not really any difference among the EJ22s. Basically, in order to pass as a swapped motor it has to match EVERYTHING as a 99 Legacy with a 2.2 instead of a 99 Outback with a 2.5. So since a 99 with a 2.2 and manual trans were non EGR and 2 cats this one has to also be non egr and 2 cats.

 

I believe the trans is factory.

 

I'll work on persuading him to just let California be ignorant to the fact that it was swapped. But if not I don't mind hunting down some parts if there's any chance of an EGR delete without throwing a code. 

 

The mystery is somewhere in the wiring between engine and ECU of an EGR car. Basically if the difference can be spotted between EGR and non EGR as to what would tip the ECU to be looking for EGR, I should find my solution?



#8 johnceggleston

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 05:55 PM

Basically, in order to pass as a swapped motor it has to match
EVERYTHING as a 99 Legacy with a 2.2 instead of a 99 Outback with a 2.5.
So since a 99 with a 2.2 and manual trans were non EGR and 2 cats this
one has to also be non egr and 2 cats.

if this is true, and i assume it is ,

but it makes NO logical sense ti me ,

you have a catch 22.

 

the ECU will throw a CEL if you do not have EGR,

and if you do have it it will not comply.

 

take it to a different testing station and have it tested.

they will never know it is not an ej25 engine,

if they ask,

tell them you just removed a perfectly working ej22 engine

and installed an ej25 so the car would meet and pass the emissions test.

and it cost you over $2k.

 

unless they look at the casting on the block, they will never know.

 

 

and since it passes the emissions tests,

it is only the bureaucracy that is failing it.



#9 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

Yeah. The referee guys openly acknowledged that the car is better as it sits than what they are asking for/requiring of the car to get a sticker. At least they understand that their jobs are worthless. 



#10 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:05 PM

new thoughts - (And remember that since we are discussing California laws, you have to throw common sense out the window and realize there is no real world value to any of this except to fit within California laws and expectations)

 

1. Grind the EJ22 stamp off and replace it with an EJ25 with some high temp JB weld or something and pass it off as a 2.5 - It could always be explained as a frankenmotor 2.5 block with SOHC heads (Or a 2000+ SOHC 2.5) so as to not get flagged or noticed by a shop. (just in case)

 

2. Smog it and run it as is but have the catless midpipe, non EGR intake manifold and such in reserve and should it ever be flagged we try to tackle the EGR delete idea.

 

In theory, there should be a way to get a motor that was originally EGR to run non EGR without any codes. There's just a step after plugging the EGR port on the head and swapping the manifold that as best we know has not been pinpointed correct? Either deleting or swapping some wiring somewhere. 

 

3. Try a different referee and try and talk some sense into them. The referees are there to approve engine swaps/upgrades etc. so at some point customization would have to be allowed for I would think given the number of Subaru powered VWs that exist in California. 

 

4. light the car on fire and buy a brand new prius or tesla since that's what California wants us to do. 



#11 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 07:50 PM

Or, think this one through with me. How long after installing a non-EGR intake manifold would the check engine light come on? If the car were driven to the point that all the monitors were up and the manifold were swapped in just before going to a referee, we would only need it to run with no check engine light long enough to pass smog. If it were inspected by the Refs with no EGR present and smogged, they would issue the sticker and problem solved.

 

Any idea what that timeline would be? If it would pop the code instantly, we're back to the drawing board. If there's a little while before the check engine light comes on, we have a solution. Once the referees hand out a sticker we could swap it back to EGR and there would never be an issue again.



#12 86BRATMAN

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:32 PM

The cel would come on before the ecu set the dtcs for them to test it. The way out of this idiocy is to swap an ej22e ecu from a 97/98 car(96 ecus are dtc exempt because they have a software glitch that resets them every time the key is turned off so that would screw you over again) , a non-egr intake manifold, and buy a m16x1.5 oil drain plug to plug the egr port in the head.

All ej25d's had egr here in the states, the ecus are programmed as such. Manual ej22e cars did not have egr. It's all in the programming, the manual harness in the outback will tell an ej22e ecu not to look for an egr system at all. I can verify this first hand since my manual swap in my 97, I still have an egr system in the car but when the dtcs are pulled it says not applicable with the ej22 ecu, but as soon as an ej25d ecu is put in its place it looks for it.

Don't bother with phase 2 sohc heads, you'll open up another bag of worms that will be nowhere as simple to conquer.

#13 AdventureSubaru

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

Good to know! This is exactly the sort of info I was hoping to find. I'll try and track down a 97 or 98 ECU and the other parts. It will make it all a lot more comfortable and legit to not have to slip anything past smog shops but to just point to the sticker.

 

Thanks again! I'll try and post up a little follow up and maybe a how-to since I don't think there's a documentation of this yet. May fit in the USRM



#14 johnceggleston

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 05:13 PM

In theory, there should be a way to get a motor that was originally EGR to run non EGR without any codes.

in reality, there is not.

guys have been searching for it since the very first ej25 blew a head gasket in 1996.

 

option 5. - LIE, like you are already doing claiming the engine is a 99.

take it to a new inspection station and tell them "IT IS A 99 OUTBACK, TEST IT."

do not say any more .

if they cannot tell the difference between a 96 ej22 and a 99 ej22 ,

there is not way they will spot it not being a 99 ej25.

 

this is the easiest solution.

why are you making it hard?


Edited by johnceggleston, 27 August 2014 - 05:15 PM.


#15 grossgary

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 05:13 AM

new suggestion:  this will only work if they simply look for the physical presence of the EGR valve and no check engine lights:

1. remove the EGR valve from the intake manifold, block it off

2. extend the vacuum hoses to it so you can hide it somewhere.

3. this will remove it's physical presence and also avoid a check engine light.

i'm almost positive that the ECU can't even tell if it's actually installed on the engine or doing anything other than actuating.

 

 

Did that non-EGR intake manifold get the engine wiring swapped over as well?

 

Yes
Non-EGR intake manifold (with original wiring harness - i owned the complete car it came off of)
Non-EGR engine

Non-EGR EJ22 ECU

 

All installed in the same vehicle you're talking about an EJ25D with EGR

 

And 70,000 miles later it still has the check engine light for EGR. 

 


think this one through with me. How long after installing a non-EGR
intake manifold would the check engine light come on?


My check engine light is usually set after 1 - 5 miles (since I've reset mine a 100 times over the years).  as suggested though, depending how they test it, they're not going to test it early until so many run cycles.

 

 

Any chance you remember the color of those EGR wires you cut? Maybe I can follow them on a non EGR car in a junkyard and see where they go.

 

 

I don't recall which wires I cut - I looked at the FSM and cut whatever EGR wires were at the ECU under the passengers side floorboard.

 

Since I swapped absolutely everything - engine, engine wiring harness, and ECU - the only thing that remains "EGR" is the body side wiring harness.  Therefore we can assume (since no one really knows) that the issue lies in the body side wiring harness.

 

***If you wanted to get to the bottom of this - compare the body side wiring harnesses at the ECU of an EGR and non-EGR vehicle.  Whatever the difference is there, should be the issue.

 

THEN TELL ME HOW YOU DID IT!?!?!!!!!  After all these years and 70,000 miles and swapping ECU's, cutting wires, swapping TCU's I'd gladly like to know.


Edited by grossgary, 28 August 2014 - 05:14 AM.


#16 ferp420

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 06:28 AM

at some point in time some one rewired my check engin light to my alternator light i was woundering why there was a funky wire draped from one harness to the other im guessing it was the shaddy dealer my girlfreind got the car from but im not gona mess with it the car came that way its gona stay that way its also a odb1 system i dont think it would work for a odb2 system and i remeber hering that the ecus have the vin programed in to them and can mess with smog if you swap them but a ref could take care of it im sure becuse people swap ecus all the time i know the ecu can also be programed to do what ever you need it to we did it with a lt1 383 stroker swaped impalla ss to get it to pass smog it wasnt cheap though

#17 86BRATMAN

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 07:04 AM


THEN TELL ME HOW YOU DID IT!?!?!!!!! After all these years and 70,000 miles and swapping ECU's, cutting wires, swapping TCU's I'd gladly like to know.

There is no way to do it on an automatic transmission vehicle, only the manuals. Every 95-98 auto ej22e I've ever seen has been an egr engine. The ecu is programmed as such, the manual cars have a ground in place on pin 82 of the ecu connector on the 96-98 ej22/96-99 ej25d harness (95 pinout is different). In am ej22 ecu this triggers it to not look for egr, manual ej22e's didn't have egr.

Edited by 86BRATMAN, 28 August 2014 - 07:04 AM.


#18 grossgary

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

Every 95-98 auto ej22e I've ever seen has been an egr engine.

 

That would certainly explain things!

 

But, others have mentioned auto EJ22's without EGR and i've seen them.  In one case (97 Impreza OBS I bought and pulled engine from) i'm thinking it was all original and had no check engine light.

The ECU I currently have I got from Larry (Imdew here) who pulled it from a 1996 Impreza automatic without EGR. I told him I only wanted it if it didn't have EGR and he verified that.

But oddly i've seen auto impreza's with EGR obviously, that seems the norm.
Maybe it's only impreza's, i've never seen a legacy automatic EJ22 without EGR?

 

Or there's something blowing smoke in my eyes?



#19 86BRATMAN

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 11:12 AM

I don't know about the impreza line, the only one I have any real first hand experience with is my nephew's 97 brighton, it is an auto ej22e with egr. I've had hands on at least 100 legacys though over the years whether by ownership, hired labor, or junkyard excursions, and I've never seen an auto ej22e without egr in a second generation legacy.




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