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1999 Subaru limited GT 30th anniversary

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At our Christmas gathering, my 28 year old nephew asked me about how to get rid of a subaru. I suggested calling a local junkyard. I said most yards will give you at least $300.


The car has 231,000 miles and the motor just froze up. So, it needs a ej25d twin cam engine along with a few cosmetics ... Drivers fender, lg turn and body side moulding skirt.


My son, 17, is a high school senior that needs a college because the 70's camaro we restored. together drinks far too much fuel. So, I asked him what he thought about the Subaru Gt He was really excited, awd, spoiler, bodysurf moulding .... looks cool. It has an automatic. My brother in owned car prior to nephew, so good history.


So, we went over to look at it a few days after christmas, offered his cousin $485. Both parties seemed pleased.


Project "tight pockets"

- find a good running 2.5 engine $800 to $1,300

- fender $50 to $75

- turn signal $20

- driver running board skirt $50

- maaco paint $400

- misc supplies $200


In summary, for $2k to $3k we will have a fun, yet practical daily driver.

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Welcome. If you're looking to get maximum longevity and reliability out of the car I suggest you start looking for an ej22 from a 95-98 automatic. It will be a straight swap, most years needing the exhaust manifold swapped, and will run off your electronics. Do some reading on the forum here, it really is a near bulletproof engine and generally pretty cheap to buy compared to the ej25d. Where are you located? Will help get an idea of pricing.

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jumping from a 70s camaro to an ej22 may be a bit of a let down,

but the ej25 ain't no camaro either,

so no big deal.


but bratman is right,

the ej22 is cheaper and easier to find,

more reliable, more durable, and much more forgiving.

keep oil & coolant in it and it will be running long after he has moved on.

and the 95 - 96 are non-interference.

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EJ22 swap.  EJ25's suck, particularly that EJ25D variant, it's the worst, probably one of Subaru's worst engines they've ever made in terms of reliability/cost of repairs.  Get a JDM or used junk yard engine and you still have failure prone headgaskets.  Granted...he apparently almost made it to the moon and back in mileage but who knows how many headgaskets/engines it took in the past 15 years too.

Edited by grossgary

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Thank you for the input, so swapping out an Ej22 instead of an Ej25 is relatively straight forward.

Same wiring harness?


I joined the forum to gain a understanding of Subaru's.


My son is a HS Senior, I want a reliable car for him thru college and beyond. I will definately consider the 2.2 and read up on the swap details. I like the non-interference of the 95-96.


I have read the 2.5 was head gasket material issue? So, many continue to have issues after new gasket material?


I think we may have the highest mileage 2.5 around ... My brother in law purchased it with about 30,000 miles on it, then gave it to my nephew with about 170,000 miles on it who drove it to 231,000. Therefore, knowing the history between 30,000 and 231,000, it had no engine or transmission problems. The only expensive repair they had was new wheel bearings on all four corners. I was surprised to see automatic transmission go that long, but know it has mostly highway miles.

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86 bratman, I live in the Seattle Tacoma area ... I have been seeing ej22 from $550 to $800.


The lower price typically has 180k plus miles


The lowest mileage being 121k for $750 in Portland ... A three hour trip.


Locally I am seeing some sub 150k motors, but mostly the 97 thru 98 mode year ....


The 95 to 96 motors with lower mileage are getting harder to find, yet preferred due to non interference motor.


We found fender for $40. Installed that last weekend.


My son and I are going 50/50 on cost so he is saving up slowly while we carefully search for engines.

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Update:   I found a 1996 2.2 Liter in Kent for $500 w/ 126k miles on it and 185 lbs of compression.     I was happy to get the non interference motor.   


I did need Y pipe for it as I've seen in this forum.  


However, they would not sell me the 2.2L Y pipe from the exhaust because it had the Cat converter on it. 

Evidently, junk yards can not sell cat portion of the exhaust system.


So, I'm looking for an Y pipe from an individual instead. 

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That junk yard doesn't know what they're talking about, 95+ there is no cat in the y-pipe. It bolts to the cat section, but doesn't contain it. If you can convince them to look at the piece they can see that first hand.

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Update, I finished up the project


The 99 legacy now has a 2.2 in it.


I found a y pipe in Olympia for $50 for single port.


We had a few challenges, as always there is something:


1) the camshaft seal that came with junkyard motor leak really bad ... I tore off front covers and belt .. One camshaft seal was falling

2) harmonic balancer keyway was bad ... Extra wide

3) the timing belt gear was frozen on pretty good ... Got it off, but had to use undMGedone from old 2.5



The engine has been going a few weeks it passed emissions with a catch ...it was not passing using plug in obd2, so my son

mentioned it wWas a1996 ...they said oh,we have exception paper work for 1996 subaru's ... They get tested using rollers instead of obd2 data . It passed.


It did not have cel first few weeks,but does now ... Will need to investigate


The 1996 2.2 does have EGR as it came from automatic.


Overall we have about. Two grand into it, it will get paint next.


These go for close to $4k around here, so I thing we are still ahead.gotta go,more later

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that's odd, you must have a good relationship with these guys or they don't care? LOL  that exemption applies only to 1996 Subarus due to monitors not setting properly, usually they can't exempt a vehicle due to equipment from another year. 


1996's do have exemptions due to monitors that will never full set and show as "ready". 


did you swap the ECU?  i always assumed that exemption was due to the ECU and not the engine, but i never tested for it.


good idea at some point to replace the complete timing belt kit, pulleys, tensioner, and belt.  the kits are only $110 on amazon and as you now know it's easy.


i'd reseal the oil pump while you're in there (easy).


not only did you come in way under book value, you did it and have ended up with about the cheapest most reliable 100,000 miles you can get.  not that your highschool son may rack up that kind of miles but good stuff nonetheless.

Edited by grossgary

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I think my son just charmed his way thru the emissions test and went there thinking everything should be fiThe early obd2 have something along the lines you mentioned ... The 1996 monitors do not fully record the data as they should.

I think the 95 might have same recording issue but am not certain.


The car passed on the rollers using a pipe test. The testing called dept of ecology for approval/ work around.


The ecu is from the 1999, no change there.


I had a sense the timing belt and pulleys look like brand new. I cleaned belt with mild cleaner to get the oil off it.

My thought is in 50k I will purchase new belt and swap it in. Then 50k after that do full up belt and pulleys again ... If we get 100k we will be happy.


If I did not mention it I did reseal the oil pump ....


I know the state of Washington plans to sunset emissions testing by 2018 ... We still have two more tests prior to then.

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