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IT'S DONE! Swapped EJ22 for EJ25 in '97 Outback


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136 replies to this topic

#26 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:53 AM

So I gather the only candidates for this swap (as a direct bolt-in/plug-in) are 1995 2.2 liters that came from an automatic car? Is that right?

I'd need to buy one from a 1995 Impreza or Legacy automatic, make sure it came with the intake, and change flywheels to drop it into my 1996 OBW automatic?

This is starting to seem doable. I would be stoked to see some photos of this procedure. If not maybe I can take some if/when I do mine.

#27 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:18 AM

you aren't confined to the 95. newer model 2.2's work as well. if you use a 96/97 2.2 then you'll need the exhaust header as well, that's all. it bolts right in place. get the exhaust header and power steering pump w/ lines connected to it and the newer model 2.2's will swap as well.

#28 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:52 AM

Please correct any errors stated below, as this is what I'm getting from the forum thusfar...

all 1994 and earlier: will not work because they lack EGR ports.


1995 standard trans: will not work because they lack EGR ports
1995 automatic trans: must swap flywheel with EJ25, otherwise direct bolt in/plug in


all 1996: must retain original EJ22 headers because headers do not match EJ25...
must retain original EJ22 power steering pump and lines
?not sure if headers will then work with 1996 OBW EJ25 Y pipe?
?not sure if flywheel matches EJ25?
?not sure if EGR is OK on both standard and automatic models?


1997 and later: not considering because it's an interference engine per: http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=52253

#29 99obw

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:02 AM

I should also add that when putting an AT '95 EJ22 in a MT '99 EJ25 outback, the power steering lines don't fit perfectly and there is an issue with the starter bolts. Both of these are minor IMHO.

#30 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:18 AM

can you specify the starter bolt issue?

I don't want to be pushy here and I can't thank you all enough for posting your wisdom, but I'm getting the idea that maybe you really talented guys spend a week working on these swaps and fabricating stuff to make it work and then post that it's no big deal and it's a direct swap. If you're downplaying the complexity of this job, now would be a good time to mention that.

this really isn't recreational for me at all, so I'd really like to pin this down and know what I'm getting into before I have the hood off a car in the driveway and two engines sitting around. The adventure factor of blindly trying to force something to work really does not appeal to me. :-\

#31 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:55 AM

post that it's no big deal and it's a direct swap. If you're downplaying the complexity of this job, now would be a good time to mention that.

everything is relative, compared to pulling a motor lots of things are minor.

you are correct that 97 started the 2.2 inteference engine.

if you have a 95 engine (dual port exhaust) or a 96 engine (single port) with the exhaust header - everything will bolt right up to your 2.5 liter set up. nothing out of the ordinary or custom needed.

i'm not positive of this, but i thought the starter bolt issues were only on 1998 and up as the motor and auto trans changed some that year. only one of the two starter bolts would line up. in which case your options are to drill out the other hole and tap (the location is already there, it's just not tapped) or only use one bolt. both of which has been done with no issues.

#32 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:59 AM

I should also add that when putting an AT '95 EJ22 in a MT '99 EJ25 outback, the power steering lines don't fit perfectly and there is an issue with the starter bolts. Both of these are minor IMHO.


i believe he only had starter bolt issues because he has a '99 car, if you notice i mentioned that in my last post.

so - your starter bolt issue is solved - because there won't be an issue.

only issue i can see is power steering line related. i think this could be related to the 1999 model year as well. i'm almost certain that if you grab a 2.2 with the power steering pump and the lines connecting to the pump those will bolt right in your vehicle. but i'm not positive on that one.

#33 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:04 AM

I'm really trying to get some confidence going here...

the last engine swap I did was in 1996...
...and it was an international Scout
...and that wasn't easy.:o

:confused:I may be in over my head here.:confused:

I wish I hadn't bought this 96 outback. I thought the 96's were all 2.2's at the time....:horse:

thanks for the support.

#34 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 09:09 AM

sounds like it's going good - at least you don't have the 98 and up issues.

95 and 96 drop right in with only P/S questions. and i bet that is minimal if not non-existant.

#35 Yetimang

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:15 PM

Well, for what it's worth I just confirmed the bubbles in the coolant bottle.

I got screwed by a used car dealer because I bought first and did homework second. My own stupid fault. Thus the official beginning of the swap mission.

going to drive my 88 DL-which does not have a factory defect-to some junkyards and a mechanic friend's shop now.
I had a really good look under that hood for the first time with the idea of doing this swap and I think this is probably way too complicated-sorry to say. I'm really sucking at life this last week...what a costly, foolish mistake. :banghead:

#36 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:19 PM

gotta be careful for sure. cars with signs of issues often end up on the market. sorry to hear yours has issues. no warranty, return options, etc?

#37 Yetimang

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:30 PM

no, I'm just stuck I think. Just have to try and make lemonade with a 2.2

It was definately a foolish moment of weakness. Bums me out because I know better.

I'll say this: if I can do this swap I'll take a buttload of pics and put them on here for other people to reference. It may be a while.

#38 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:19 PM

Hey, you may still want to consider just replacing the HGs on your 2.5L. Before there were lots of "extra" 2.2L engines lying around (like back in 2000) I replaced the HGs in my '96 OBW (that was at between 67K and 97K miles -- I can't remember which) with the new HG material then available from Subaru. I haven't had a problem with 'em since, and I'm now pushing 218K miles. I think that if you catch the probelm early enough -- before the block and heads are cooked beyond repair -- that you might be OK with the repair. And it CAN be done with the block left in the car. I know from experience.

#39 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:28 PM

good point wayne. no need to make anything harder than necessary.

new gasket does solve the issue and there is lots of info here and elsewhere on doing 2.5 head gaskets.

#40 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:53 PM

well, I'm at my friend's shop now and their worry is that this swap will cause the obd2 computer to generate trouble codes that will keep this car from passing utah emissions.

you guys that have done this, do you generate any codes....

these guys are thinking very strongly that this will be obvious to the inspectors and the car will then be impossible to register here.

endless complexities.

#41 99obw

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:55 PM

Making sure that the engine has EGR should prevent codes. We saw 0 codes on the swap we did until many months later and the codes were unrelated.

#42 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:46 PM

:-p well here's where we are:

$1100 estimate to replace EJ25 head gaskets. Just bought the car with the HG issue and don't know if it's been fried. I can reasonably suspect that it has but we'll never really know for sure until we're $700 into it..

$1100 ($400 engine- 1995 EJ22 from Impreza automatic w/80K miles plus $700 labor) to swap...but the shop guys still tend to think that when I go to an inspection the swap will be either visually obvious or show up when they plug it into the tester and I'll be stuck unable to register the car in utah (where any engine swap other than direct replacement is "illegal" **sigh**). The car has just passed inspection and I'm getting plates that will go for a year...they can't take those back so even if it's not going to pass I've got a year to sell it to someone who doesn't live in a Nazi Inspection state. It would be extra helpful to hear some other opinions on whether or not an emissions inspections station is going to know there was an EJ25 to EJ22 swap...more good news on that would seal the deal.


Some other options that have come up are:

option C: park the car in the front yard and spend the $1100 on Crack and Heroin...and start taking the bus.

option D: spend the $1100 on a flux capacitor and either go back in time to before I bought the POS or way way back in time and buy an EA81 off the showroom floor (and, you know...fill it up with $.80 gas :headbang: )

:brow: Good afternoon and thank you for your support:brow:

#43 99obw

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:51 PM

The only possible way they will know is if they know subarus very well and know the visible differences between the EJ22 and the EJ25, or they know the average fuel trims for the two engines and look at the values in your car's ECM.

#44 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:53 PM

so darrel and his brother darryl at cheapo inspecto will probably not catch this?

#45 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:59 PM

There's very little chance of it, unless they're required by the inspection process to confirm that the engine code on the block matches with that linked to the vehicle's original VIN. Not likely, but the fact that engine swapping is "illegal" in Utah has me wondering just what they might be required to check there.... Do you know anyone who does smog checks in Utah that you could ask?? Is anyone from Utah reading this thread right now? We're all just speculating here, guys -- we need to hear from someone with direct experience.

#46 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 05:20 PM

well I googled and found this:

10.3.3 After July 1, 1991 no new verifications of engine changes in accordance with Sections 10.3.4 and 10.3.5 of these Regulations shall be accepted unless it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director that the changed system is equally or more effective in controlling emissions than those systems originally manufactured on the vehicle. Installing an older engine or installing an engine with an engine displacement that is other than that originally available for the vehicle, will result in the vehicle being classified as “tampered”. The rules relating to tampering will then apply to such vehicle.



#47 cookie

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 05:41 PM

I'd tear off the heads and inspect it. Any scoring on the cylinder walls would rule it out, but the only reasonable thing to do is fit new head gaskets.
This is why I stopped swapping engines in CA., it's a pain in the butt.
By the way, is wife swapping legal there?

#48 grossgary

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 05:41 PM

Regulations shall be accepted unless it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director that the changed system is equally or more effective in controlling emissions than those systems originally manufactured on the vehicle.

could you argue smaller motor, better mpg, lower emissions? long process i doubt you'd want to start.

how about getting the emissions tested before you put the motor in? and WATCH what they do, if they don't pop the hood then they aren't looking for the engine code. or just go to one (that you're not going to use!) and watch and see if they are actually popping hoods and scouring around for engine codes.

cut and weld the EJ25 boss onto the EJ22.....WOO HOO!!!! i think i'd do that just for the coolness...DANG I'M GOOD FACTOR!!!!! almost makes me want to do it for you.

#49 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 06:02 PM

Your can of worms gets bigger and bigger. Given my experience with the reliability of the HG fix, I'd say get the new HGs done, and be done with it!

#50 YetiMan

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 06:17 PM

OK, so I got my fat can off the computer and went to have a talk with the tester who's done my truck for the last 2 years.

He confirms that if all the emissions gear is in place and the OBD2 is not showing codes that it is passing.

I am going to think about this overnight and see if any more good advice bubbles up here (and muchas gracias for all of it thusfar), but at this time I'm thinking that Operation Lemonade will be a go tomorrow.

I will then commence referring to myself (repeatedly and enthusiasticly around women...) as an Outlaw. Possibly as an Outlaw: Half Cherokee and Chocktaw.

seriously though, I'll check back tonight to see if y'all have any other goods for me. You people rule all.




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