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Whats the Best Swap option for my 1998 Legacy?

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My 1998 Legacy has 523,000 Kms on it.

Sadly she has started spewing oil out of all orifices and its time for a overhaul.

I'm having trouble getting a JDM EJ25 DOHC N/A engine. (There is one place in Montreal.... but its throwing up a lot of red flags)

Then I started reading and I was thinking maybe another Engine from another year?!!

Is it better to try and rebuild the existing engine?

Maybe another block with the existing intake and heads?

Whats the best-est and easiest scenario in your opinions?

 

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Are you in Canada? EJ22 or EJ25 engine?

Why is the JDM throwing red flags?

You could buy a newer EJ25 block and bolt your EJ22 heads to it.  Have a machine shop rebuild your heads or try to buy some lower mileage EJ22 heads.

Subaru even sells new EJ25 motors for $2k. I’m not sure the oldest generation they have but if 00-04 are available tjose would work. Doubt they’d honor the warranty in that application though !

Easiest is an EJ22. In the US any 90-98 EJ22 could be installed in your vehicle.  1996-1998 would be easiest.  

90-95 requires: dual port exhaust manifold and bolt your 98 intake manifold onto the 90-95. Then it’ll install.

There are EGR differences too but they can be worked around and often it’s a non issue.

EJ25s have a lot of headgasket issues so after a quarter century it’s difficult to know what you’re getting. I have a good block to sell but distance and logistics no way. Post what you want in parts wanted maybe someone wants some  

 

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2 hours ago, idosubaru said:

Are you in Canada? EJ22 or EJ25 engine?

Why is the JDM throwing red flags?

You could buy a newer EJ25 block and bolt your EJ22 heads to it.  Have a machine shop rebuild your heads or try to buy some lower mileage EJ22 heads.

Subaru even sells new EJ25 motors for $2k. I’m not sure the oldest generation they have but if 00-04 are available tjose would work. Doubt they’d honor the warranty in that application though !

Easiest is an EJ22. In the US any 90-98 EJ22 could be installed in your vehicle.  1996-1998 would be easiest.  

90-95 requires: dual port exhaust manifold and bolt your 98 intake manifold onto the 90-95. Then it’ll install.

There are EGR differences too but they can be worked around and often it’s a non issue.

EJ25s have a lot of headgasket issues so after a quarter century it’s difficult to know what you’re getting. I have a good block to sell but distance and logistics no way. Post what you want in parts wanted maybe someone wants some  

 

I see you mention 96-98 the easiest EJ22 to swap in. ( what about the 1999? )My kid has a great running 1999 EJ22 rusted out, Impreza 4dr L model. Could this be put into a 1998 Legacy? If "yes", is there such a thing as an average price to pay to have someone do this? It's going to start snowing here & I don't think I can pull it off myself  in time, & outside, since I've no experience in this. And I imagine it will need to be run through inspection, in MD.

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3 hours ago, bork said:

I see you mention 96-98 the easiest EJ22 to swap in. ( what about the 1999? )My kid has a great running 1999 EJ22 rusted out, Impreza 4dr L model. Could this be put into a 1998 Legacy? If "yes", is there such a thing as an average price to pay to have someone do this? It's going to start snowing here & I don't think I can pull it off myself  in time, & outside, since I've no experience in this. And I imagine it will need to be run through inspection, in MD.

***Youre asking in a thread by what I think is a Canadian member. So the original poster should clarify comments made about years/compatibility.

For US market - 99 is phase II. It can be done but there’s a lot of issues to work around. If you’re asking about price for someone else to do it I doubt it’s a good fit.  Have to swap entire 98 intake manifold wiring harness onto the 99 and still work around additional issues. The idle control being different with no easy work around being one.

The “easy way” to use that engine would be to bolt thr 98 heads to the 99 block - that’s just a standard block swap pretty much.  Remove 1998 and do a headgasket job but use the 99 block instead of the 98. Then the intake and working all stays the same - bolt 98 instake to the 98 heads installed on the 99 block.  That’s essentially a headgaskets job with A little extra disassembly for the 99.  $2,500 plus or minus 500  

If you want the entire 1999 engine in the 98 - since that would be such a custom job price would vary depending how one did it  and who you found to do it.

If by inspection in MD you mean Maryland State safety inspections - they only inspect upon purchase unless it changed recently?  You can swap away and it never matters until the car is sold/changes owner.  But you’ll need check engine light out and to pass emissions in most (or all?) areas of Maryland.

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Sooooo would be prudent to have a dealer do head gaskets, if I could purchase a 98 legacy cheap enough? Is there such a thing as an average dealer flat rate fee to do 2.5 HG?

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www.car-part.com

Pick up a low mileage 2.2

Do the Timing Belt and seals, reseal the rear breather cover and plug it in.

I've done many of the 2.2 swaps and have been happy with them.  If you can match the EGR and exhaust port config. its even easier.

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16 hours ago, bork said:

Sooooo would be prudent to have a dealer do head gaskets, if I could purchase a 98 legacy cheap enough? Is there such a thing as an average dealer flat rate fee to do 2.5 HG?

Approx $2,500 for dealer to do a 2.5 head gaskets in the vehicle.  

It can vary. Resurfacing (some dealers do, many don’t), timing components, valve covers, etc.  and regional rates demand and staffing vary too.  Call and ask they might give you a quote for an “average” headgasket job. That’s a fairly standard job locally speaking and some will give an estimate over the phone  

A cheap 98 legacy needing headgaskets can be questionable. If it was overheated bad enough the engine isn’t worth repairing. I’d walk cautiously around blown headgaskets EJ25s now - they’re old, not worth much and more prone to people limping them along and further compromising the lower end bearings. 

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Most folks don't keep and eye on the temp gauge.  They overheat the bottom end, which is why I'd do the 2.2 swaps.

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On 11/27/2021 at 8:02 PM, lmdew said:

Most folks don't keep and eye on the temp gauge.  They overheat the bottom end, which is why I'd do the 2.2 swaps.

Agreed.  $300-$1,000 engine + $500-$1,500 for parts and install and the total cost of $800-$2,500 can easily be less than a headgasket replacement on a questionable DOHC EJ25. 

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