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Hi there guys, Pretty new to Subaru's and recently had a head gasket go on my ej22 in my 97 impreza OBS, priced parts and was about to order them when I found a guy in my town selling a ej22 for cheap and it runs minty, my only concern is that it's out of a 95 legacy and I know that the 95 ej22 and the 97 ej22 have slightly different internals and the compression is higher.


So my question is would the ej22 out of the legacy swap right into my impreza or would i need to play with the harnesses or swap any parts over?

Cheers guys and gals.


Also not sure if this is the right board to post this if not could someone please direct me to the correct one, Thanks :)

Edited by Greatwhitekiwi
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those 97 EJ22 headgaskets are so insanely easy to do even with the engine in the car, i'd just do the headgaskets.  for the same amount of work you get to replace valve cover gaskets, timing belt components, etc.


the 1995 EJ22 will be plug and play and bolt right into the 1997, it's the same engine in those terms.

the minor compression, hp differences are no bother.


the one issue is that in 1995 EJ22's had dual port exhausts - you'd have to swap in the 1995 exhaust manifold as well. a minor point consider how involved an engine swap is.


there is one advantage to the EJ25 - it is a non-interference engine.  if the timing belt breaks, it doesn't matter.  if the 97 timing belt breaks you'll have bent valves.  and the 1995 has the old style tensioner which is more reliable - most 97's i have seen have the new style tensioner, that's right around when they changed.


that being said - it's sort of a wash if you do proper maintenance - at this age the 1997 should have all new timing pulleys, tensioner, and timing belt.  timing belt kits on ebay or amazon are $100 - $200.  i think someone just posted a link to a Gates kit on Amazon for only $100.

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The only reason I want to do the swap is that the engine I'm getting off my mate is cheaper then buying parts for a head gasket/ water pump, I plan on doing the water pump and timing belt on the 95's ej22 The ej22 is just to get me through the winter after that I'm hoping to do a v4 sti swap.

as for the manifold thing thank you for the heads up i'll make sure to grab it. 

thanks a bunch guys.


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Is it really that bad of a idea to swap them? I've never done a subaru swap before but to my understanding i would have to pull my engine to do the head gaskets so my thinking is that since its out why make more work and money of it and just swap in the good engine. But i'm no expert so any advice is welcome.

Edited by Greatwhitekiwi
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two huge points here:


1.  an engine is cheaper than headgaskets and intake manifold gaskets - which would be like $70?  that sounds odd.


don't buy a "head kit" or any head bolts, you don't replace those on Subaru's due to the type of headbolt/material used.  they're reusable and never replaced.  the last guy that replaced headbolts had his head gasket blow shortly after the work...LO


2.  no need to pull that engine for headgaskets - look at it, all 6 head bolts are exposed - you don't have to remove any valve covers, cams, no valve train, nor anything like most Subaru engines. other Subaru engines are far more involved, this is the easiest one to do - they are so easy/quick that pulling the motor would be a waste of time.


be sure to check out the DIY head resurfacing thread here.  it's super easy and takes like 6 minutes to do it yourself. not even worth my time driving to a machine shop.


EJ22's don't generally blow headgaskets, if it wasn't severly overheated you can probably get away without resurfacing the heads.  but i consider that poor long term maintenance...but if you're only looknig for one winter, that's less than Subaru's 12,000 mile 1 year warranty they offer on their headgasket jobs which they don't resurface.

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I see where you are coming from its just I'm the type of guy if I do something I do it all, So if i were to do the head gaskets While I'm there i would redo all the o rings, gaskets, water pump etc etc any thing that I could easily get my hands on and replace. I also prefer to get heads machined if i take them off just a personal thing. 


But yeah I understand that I could do this for cheap by just doing the head gasket and valve cover. But the engine I'm picking up has half the kms and runs like a dream it was only 300$ CAD.

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These heads are so short they almost never warp. Unless they're pitted and corroded around the water jackets or the aluminum is blown out under the fire ring there's no point in taking these to a machine shop.


I clean them off, scrape away the big stuff, then go over it with 2000 grit sand paper.


Head gaskets for that engine are $20-$25 a side, intake and exhaust gaskets are another $20. If they come apart clean they can be reused. Valve cover gaskets I've reused multiple times. If they're old then its a good time to replace them but they're cheap, like $20. Timing kit with cam and crank seals, water pump, and all the idlers is $125 for that engine.

A little over $200 and that engine is running again. But if you're just gonna swap the engine out later anyway, skip the timing belt stuff and save the $125.

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 I'm the type of guy if I do something I do it all,


unless your current engine is un-drivable,


why not get the new engine,

do the head gaskets, $70

water pump and all timing components, $135

replace ALL the seals on the front , $35

valve cover gaskets, $30

and the rear oil separator plate, $35

and then install it in your car.


this way you only have to pull the engine once.


there is almost no real difference in power between the 2 engines,

and the 95 is non-interference,

and it has HLAs so there is no need for valve adjustment, ever.

so resealing it and then installing it will give you an engine that will go 60k, if not 100k, before it needs to be worked on.


 then sell the old engine for $150 ??? needing head gaskets.


just a thought.


but i would confirm the head gasket is bad first.

i think some over heating ej22 engines get caught up in the ej25 head gasket epidemic.

Edited by johnceggleston
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JCE has a good point - EJ22's don't blow headgaskets unless they were previously overheated - make sure it actually is a blown headgasket.


if you want to install the other engine then grab the exhaust mainfold as i said and it's a direct plug and play swap.


EJ22's are robust and easily make half a million km's if they aren't severely overheated or run low on oil.  you've got one of subaru's best engines they've ever made, there's not much gain in over thinking or over doing it.

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My local Subaru dealer diagnosed it, through elimination. Yeah JCE that's what i planed on doing cause I don't know if the timing belt had been done at 100,000, minus the head gaskets though, the engine is pretty low on km's so I'm not to worried about it.


thanks for all your advice on this guys much appreciated. 

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