It's a matter of swapping or modifying the entire transmission - the "low range" is not a transfer case at all, but rather a split input shaft that transfers power through a low range gearset or straight through depending on the selector lever. It has nothing at all to do with the 4WD system - in fact you *can* have an EA transmission in 2WD Low (front wheel drive) if you shift in the low range gearset and not the 4WD transfer gear.
I suspect that what you want is something like the european AWD dual-range transmissions but you'll find they are prohibitively expensive here.
Using an EA transmission can be done with an adaptor plate but this has it's drawbacks as well - those transmissions were designed to handle 90 HP in a lighter car and most have hundreds of thousands of miles on them now. Rebuilding them, while possible, is again prohibitively expensive.
You have to ask yourself - how bad do you really want low range in a vehicle that probably doesn't need it? You are looking at several thousand dollars in parts to do it right and a lot of custom labor.... for what?
I wouldn't say several thousands of dollars. So far from the parts that I have gathered I have 300 for EA82 D/R 5 spd tranny, clutch, driveshaft, EA81 Jerry kit, and a bunch of other assorted stuff, the FT4WD tranny I am taking parts off of was from a parts car that I bought for $125 w/no engine. I estimate:
machine work $50.
Adapter plate is $100-180
custom driveshaft $100ish (if I go with the EA center locking diff)
XT6 clutch kit $200 or custom clutch kit $300
if I want to get fancy an OBX lsd front diff for $450
so total with a EA FT4WD D/R w/the 1:50:1 low range, locking center diff, front and rear LSD. $1380.00. Can probably make it an even $1600 for unforeseen problems and some Uncle Scotty's Cocktail ingredients.
This will be going into a 2k OBS w/2 inch lift and forester struts. thinking of running 27-29 inch tires.
re: the EA82 tranny being able to only handle 90 hp of raw EA power, I have a EJ22T in my RX w/the EA82 FT4WD d/r. Been pretty aggressive with the car, hard launches, 1 rally cross and stuff and it shifts like a champ. Car had about 130k on the odo. I think the major limit to the holding power of the EA tranny is the clutch set up. The XT6 clutch is OK so far. We'll see how it continues to hold up.
There is a 565lb curb weight difference between the 99 Outback (3200 lbs) vs the weight of a EA wagon (2635lbs), how of a factor is that remains to be seen.
BTW I see that you are in Los Angeles. I have the tranny taken apart in my garage right now. When I get the upper gearset back from the machine shop, send me a PM if you want to come over and take a look.
Edited by s'ko, 15 April 2009 - 10:58 AM.