EJ swap time! I had actualy planned to do this a few months from now but my ea71 had other plans. The headgasket went out one day on my way home from work. No big deal right? I took my time and spent about a week replacing it. All was good until the following weekend. We had got about 6 inches of snow here in St Helens and i was out having fun in the Subarus natural environment. I was driving responsible just putting along up a hill when the throttle sticks wide open.There is nothing i can do to bring the rpms down aside from throw it in a lower gear to stop the uncontrollable acceleration and shut it off. this happened in about the worse possible spot as there was no safe place to pull over (narrow country roads). So i was forced to coast a ways and then start the engine again for a little bit, then shut it off. I had to do this about 8 times as the safest place was about a mile away. I pull over and turn off the car. Looking around finds nothing out of the ordinary. I start the car again and it sounds like its running on 2 cylinders. Im just barely able to limp the car home only to find out the headgasket went out again. It was at this point I said "F**k it, Im putting in an ej now" and tare down began that night.
I probably could have gotten away without removing the dash but at the time I thought it was a good idea. If I was you I would try to avoid that at all costs. Its bad
Now i had heard multiple different people say that the ea81 tank would cause fuel starve issues and that the lines where to small, others say they worked fine So i decided to do a little upgrade that i knew would work. Hello 17gal RCI fuel cell
Now the original plan was to make it fit in the stock location without cutting up the floor buuuut that didnt happen. With only a 4 inch lift there just wasnt enough room. If i had a 6 inch lift i probably could have made it fit
Here are some pics of the underside and the custom mustach bar to make it fit
Since you cant use a 4 speed sr top starter on an ej this was the perfect chance to swap to a 5 speed dr. 4 speed on the top and 5 speed on the bottom
Next was actually finding an ej because up until this point i didnt have one yet. I got lucky and found a wrecked 98 outback with the ej25d for $500 picked it up and drove it home. The dash in that came apart much easier then the GL. I spent maybe an hour or so every day one week to tear the harness down from this
Then it was time for engine mock-up. Being a DOHC it didnt quite clear the frame rails. I could have gotten away with just clearancing for the timing cover but i decided to go the full length of the engine as valve cover and spark plug clearance was tight.
The next problem was the radiator hoses witch now didnt fit. So i went down to Macs Radiator and for $60 they put new outlets on
After taking almost a month the swap was finally done. But as with anything there was a few little problems. Taking it out on its first drive, I had gone about 60 miles, and then i started having problems going into gear. Come to find out i had modified the ea82 clutch cable to fit in the ea81 but the ea81 cable has a grommet that prevents the cable being pulled out of the clamp where the ea82 doesnt need because its bolted to the pedal assembly. Without said gromet whenever i would push on the clutch it would pull the cable housing out of the clamp rather then disengage the clutch. So i came up with another bracket. its just a fender washer welded to the top of the bracket to prevent it from being pulled out. i cut a little more out of the cable pocket after i took the pic but you get the idea. So far it has worked great
Driving along one night and after getting on it a little I smell a strong coolant smell. I get somewhere i can pull over and find this.
The lower radiator hose literally fell off. And yes the clamp was tight. i purchased the flexible stainless steel radiator hoses from Summit Racing thinking they would make the swap easier. Turns out they don't allow enough flex. I went down to NAPA and got a real radiator hose for like $12 and haven't had an issue since, although that was only 2 days ago.
Even with all the little problems I love the ej swap. Hands down the best thing Ive done to this car so far. Even with the rpm limited to 4500 (No vss yet) its still MUCH faster. Having the low range also makes it much more capable, even with having an open rear diff in currently.
Edited by Rallyru, 22 February 2017 - 12:38 AM.