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motor swap from ea82 to rx turbo

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Hello out there. I own a 1986 subaru gl wagon with the 5 speed dual range transmission. I am currently looking into doing a motor swap and the donor car is an 1985 rx turbo with a 5 speed and dual range tranny as well. My question, or questions rather are 1. How similar or different are these motors from each other? 2. Will the rx motor bolt up to my 5 speed? 3. If not, are the gear ratios the same in both trannys so that I can swap both the tranny and motor? 4. How much electrical work will be involved? Any other advice or knowledge will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for the info ????

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not worth it. you can do it but the gear ratios may be different, you will have to swap the entire engine harness and computer and the fuel pump and probably the fuel lines.


plus at the end you will be left with the ea82t.. its ok but not worth it


just grab the trans and rear diff from the rx and put an EJ22 in to it. more power more reliability and it will be about the same amount of work with only slightly more money


thr RX should have a LSD rear diff. which is the most valuable part of that car.

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quick answers having converted an 85 NA EA82 carb GL wagon manual dual range to 85 EFI turbo EA82T using a japanese sedan front cut


  1. strip the inside of the cars: dashboards and anything bolted to the floor, strip the wagon's rear side trims. Remove the front fenders.
  2. you need to swap the entire fuel system: fuel tank (swirl pot), fuel lines (bigger), fuel pumps (EFI version)
  3. you need to swap the steering columns (ECU bolts to it)
  4. you need to swap the entire wiring looms to run the EFI. If the RX is a sedan (not a hatch), you will lose the rear wiper wiring, plus power to the cargo area light). This is fixable if you can trace those wires from the wagon loom, remove them & install into the RX loom. If the RX is a hatch, then it won't have enough central locking wires. Power window loom is separate & unplugs and can therefore be swapped. Rear wiring for the lights runs very differently for the wagon to others (splits & runs both sides of the car vs around the rear, so cut & join this just behind the B piller.
  5. if you're GL wagon is EFI, then the dashboard looms are very similar (only missing the "boost light" function), otherwise swap the dashboard looms plus instrument cluster over. Again, note about the rear wiper wiring.
  6. swap the entire rear subframe so you get the disc brakes, LSD, and rear swaybar. You can cut off the wagon's extra bumpstops & weld them onto the RX's arms
  7. the only advantage of RX part-time trans is the thicker 25 spline front CVs vs 23 spline versions. The low range is worse. The diff ratio is worse (3.7 vs 3.9, but check this by removing the trans sump plug & counting them). You can remove the front stub axles. pull these from the RX trans & put them in your trans.
  8. if you leave your trans & it's a 3.9 diff, but want to use the LSD, then you'll need to swap the crown wheel on the rear diff

As both cars are 5 speeds, the gearbox casings & wiring are identical & are direct swap.

It seems complicated as the cars need a full strip down. Just park them beside each other & be methodical. But IMHO its easier than the EJ swap as everything just bolts in.


My swap was difficult as I went from :

  • 3spd part time 4wd automatic donor to 5 spd dual range part time 4wd, but also did change to full time 4wd dual range as aprt of the swap
  • GL analog dash to GL digital dash
  • sedan (but with JDM rear wiper) to wagon

And I had to keep one car running at all times as I didn't have a spare until later

Edited by wagonist

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