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‘97 EJ22 in a ‘04 Forester??


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Toying with which car to buy next, I would like to know if anyone can enlighten me as to whether an EJ22 will easily swap into a 2.0 NA ‘04 Forester.

I have a  damaged complete ‘97 Legacy with 90k miles and I am looking at the numerous options before buying a replacement car. 
one such vehicle is a clean 2004 2.0  NA Forester, but has 230k miles. -Not necessarily a problem but I don’t need a high mileage lemon!

I would love to keep that EJ22 as a  future replacement, but obviously only if I have a compatible car.

 We are in Europe and have Japanese-made Subarus.


 Thanks for any information

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OK I get you.

As far as I can tell the European Subarus retained OBD I much later than the USDM models, our ‘99 Forester and ‘97 Legacy still have the old “connectors and CEL flash codes” system, no dash-mounted diagnostics socket.

I am not so sure about the ‘04 models though.

This is all theory to help me for my next purchase- 

thank you 

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  • 1 month later...

As an addendum to this post, as I eventually bought a ‘00 Forester, also with OBD 1, ej20 sohc

What would required for a swap from ‘99 EJ20 to ‘97 EJ22?

Both NA and SOHC, 5MT.

Could I ‘simply’ physically fit the EJ22 long block, using the EJ20  inlet/exhaust manifolds, EJ22 engine loom and perhaps the EJ22 ECU...?

This is merely theoretical at the moment as I have no urgent need to swap engines!


 Thanks for any ideas, I’d love to have a reason to keep hold of that 2.2!

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I have swapped my '97 Forester EJ20J (122hp) for a '96 Legacy EJ22E shortblock. I kept all the electronics, intake manifold and exhaust and it works just fine. The reason I did the swap is that the EJ22E is non-interferential and has low end torque.

But compatibility between EJ engines is not a science. The EJ202 (125hp) is easier to swap with a EJ251 as the connectics/electronics are compatible and you can still run the EJ202 ECU.

Finally, its more of an electronic rather than a mechanic issue.

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