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Old 12-17-2006, 11:11 AM   #1
whitney32
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Default 97 OBS Rallycross car - $1500 Budget for NA power - What to do?

Hi y'all - My 97 Outback Sport with the 2.2 has been great fun for rallycross and as a beater, but 220k miles on the odo, who knows how long the motor will last.

I got the car cheap and I find I have about $1000-1500 in the budget for engine work. I have a lift and have done some engine work before so I'm not averse to digging in.

So I think it's time to make some plans and start working on this before my old motor breaks.

Ideally I'd like to get another 20-30 HP in the car. NA only, I'm not a fan of FI. So what would you do or recommend? Here are some options I have considered but I'm still trying to find info on:

- 2.5 longblock swap? What years would work best? How much wiring/sensors/stuff would I need to get from a donor car?SOHC or DOHC? I really know nothing about the 2.5

- 2.5 shortblock swap + 2.2 heads (rebuilt)? Would this work w/ my existing heads, sensors, and ECU? Would the CR be reasonable?

- Build the 2.2? Are oversize pistons, cams, etc available? Worth it? Any creative options?

- Some other inexpensive NA option I'm missing?

Thanks for helping me spend my money!
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #2
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Without a doubt, go with an EJ25 bottom end. What are the rules regarding motor swaps? If open....keep the EJ22 heads, port them and put 'em on the EJ25 block. Keep your EJ22 wiring as it is now and run it. You can try to pick up a 98RS ECU and plug it into your harness.....the pins are identical. You'll put an extra 500rpm on the rev limit and the motor will be a good little hi compression monster for rallyx.


Jay Storm
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:04 PM   #3
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^ that plus delta cams
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:12 PM   #4
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^^^^^^ Same as they said
For a bit more info --> My Build
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Old 12-17-2006, 03:16 PM   #5
whitney32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm View Post
Without a doubt, go with an EJ25 bottom end. What are the rules regarding motor swaps? If open....keep the EJ22 heads, port them and put 'em on the EJ25 block. Keep your EJ22 wiring as it is now and run it. You can try to pick up a 98RS ECU and plug it into your harness.....the pins are identical. You'll put an extra 500rpm on the rev limit and the motor will be a good little hi compression monster for rallyx.


Jay Storm
Excellent advice. I'm glad to hear that it works.

As for rules, currently there are none except 2WD vs 4WD classifications and street tire vs rally tires. We have a few years of data at this point that most other mods are "noise". So I'm already running in a class with RS, WRX, STi, etc.

Now is there anything to watch out for on 2.5 bottom ends? I seem to have heard of several losing compression due to bad rings. Would a re-ring be in order? Probably would make sense to replace rod bearings as well.

Thanks!

PS - WTB 2.5 shortblock
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:51 PM   #6
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If anything, go with a 00 or newer bottom end for more compression and a slightly better crank bearing setup. I haven't heard much about EJ25 rings going bad.....

I've got a couple phase II blocks not currently in use.....but I hate to ship them. I love visiting the state of NC though.....

Jay Storm
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:09 PM   #7
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The only problems I see with EJ25's are engine seals going bad... But thats usually after lots of miles are on the block.
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Old 12-17-2006, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm View Post
If anything, go with a 00 or newer bottom end for more compression and a slightly better crank bearing setup. I haven't heard much about EJ25 rings going bad.....

I've got a couple phase II blocks not currently in use.....but I hate to ship them. I love visiting the state of NC though.....

Jay Storm
Jay - Where in Northeast OH are you? We'll be making our family Xmas trip up 77 through Columbus and on to Detroit next week.

I'll take this to PM...
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:11 PM   #9
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You got PM'd back!
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:35 PM   #10
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So here's the draft recipe. How would this work? Anyone know what the CR would end up being?

MY97 EJ22 SOHC single-port heads (on the engine now)
MY00+ Phase II EJ25 block

Some questions for those in the know:

- I would plan to have the heads freshened by a local shop which have done a few other heads for me. Anything beyond the basics needed? Valveguides, valvejob, etc?
- I have seen some info on P&P. Never done it myself but it looks to be pretty straightforward to at least do gasket matching. Thoughts?
- Anything that should be done to the bottom end while it's on an engine stand? I would at least plan to replace all accessible gaskets and t-belt.
- What are the options for head gaskets and CR?

THANKS for the replies so far. Looks like I'm slowly turning into a Subaru enthusiast
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:58 PM   #11
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Keep the ideas coming - Mike needs all the help he can get to beat the monstrous rallyx beast that's out in my yard...
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:00 PM   #12
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Keep the ideas coming - Mike needs all the help he can get to beat the monstrous rallyx beast that's out in my yard...
Yeah but you're bored with the RS and I'm just starting to have fun with the million-mile-mommy-wagon

Want to come help with the engine build? Won't that be ironic when I start kicking your ass next year with a motor you helped build?
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:08 PM   #13
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The first thing i would put on my rallycross car is good ice or dirt tires. Im not sure if you already have them or not but that will help much more then power mods. Grassroots Motorsports did a cheap rallycross build on a impreza L.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Keep the ideas coming - Mike needs all the help he can get to beat the monstrous rallyx beast that's out in my yard...
Has he met Anders? I think he needs an EZ30 under the hood.

3.0 H6 into 95 Impreza
H6 FAQ
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:40 PM   #15
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Has he met Anders? I think he needs an EZ30 under the hood.

3.0 H6 into 95 Impreza
H6 FAQ
I live about 1/2 mile from Anders and I have known him for years. I asked him if he would recommend an H6 and he said "No". Motor alone would blow my budget.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:43 PM   #16
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The first thing i would put on my rallycross car is good ice or dirt tires. Im not sure if you already have them or not but that will help much more then power mods. Grassroots Motorsports did a cheap rallycross build on a impreza L.
Done. Car is competitive and fun (R700 tires / STI suspension / RSB / WRX seats / Primitive skidplate).

I just don't expect the motor to last -- hence why I'm asking for specific motor advice in the NA forum.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:59 PM   #17
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I live about 1/2 mile from Anders and I have known him for years. I asked him if he would recommend an H6 and he said "No". Motor alone would blow my budget.
Then just use Anders' engine.
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:56 PM   #18
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Thanks to Jay for meeting me down in Mansfield this afternoon to hand off the EJ25 block!

Now I need to decide on head gaskets. Looks like I need to use 1.5 mm head gaskets to achieve a 11.2:1 CR. Anyone know the part number of the gaskets I should use?

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:48 AM   #19
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No problem Mike. Nice to meet you and the family! 1.5mm is .059". I know Cometic has .060" as well as .053" (and not listed but available .047"). If you call Cometic, ask for Kevyn Kistner, mention my referral and let him know what you're doing. He'll do what he can to make sure you get the right gaskets. Just be prepared for a little leadtime as they are swamped with NASCAR/NHRA orders this time of year (at least for laser cut) Water cut might be a suitable option....

I don't think you'll need an H6 with the potential you're lookin at!

Jay Storm
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:27 AM   #20
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And so it begins. Thanks for the advice so far everyone. See below for some pics and a description of how it's going. This is my first full automotive engine extraction -- I have done plenty of top and bottom end engine work, and I've torn down motorcycle engines, but this will be my first car engine removal...

Old motor is out, heads are off, and cams are out ready to be shipped to delta tomorrow. I have a long parts list already, and I am planning to get a valve job on the head while the cams are at delta.

Any other recommendations "while I'm in there"?



EJ22 extraction. Used the engine hoist with ratchet straps around the intake manifold. I love my lift. AC and power steering are just rotated out of the way. Everything else came off. Trans bolts are all loosened and trans is pushed up with a jack so the motor mount studs will clear the crossmember.



EJ22 came out very gently with the hoist -- no big forces on the tranny input shaft. Since it's on an angle it went like - raise hoist a little, rock engine forward, roll hoist forward, repeat a few times. Popped free with plenty of room to spare with the radiator removed.



Looks a little empty. It's like the trans is saying "feed me!".


First time using my new $99 HF engine hoist. Amazing for the $$. It's huge.



Teardown of the old EJ22 on the engine stand. It's a messy job, and the $15 drip pan saves the floor. So far *everything* looks like it bolts up perfectly to the EJ25 block.



EJ22 heads stripped for cam and head work, to be shipped tomorrow. Even with 220k miles, everything looks in great shape. I bought the car from a car guy who roadraced a Camaro for a while. He used Mobil One since new. Heads are very clean except for some minor deposits on the valves.



Here's my only "oh crap" moment from the teardown. Is one of these head bolts shorter than the other? Happened on BOTH heads, in the same location. 220k miles + PA salt + opening in that bolt sleeve in the head to another threaded fastener = snappy. My back hurts (as does my forehead from when it snapped and I smacked myself). Good thing I'm replacing the block and I don't need to extract it!



So, again, any recommendations for things to replace / tips / tricks / recommendations while I'm at this stage? I have about a week of relatively free evenings in the garage.

Thanks and keep the ideas coming!!
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:58 AM   #21
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Nice project! I just did a V8 STi block replacement with my friend. It can be a major PITA! Don't hesitate to replace anything that looks even remotely worn, as it will save you time in the future. Other than that, don't rush it and always double check torque specs using a GOOD torque wrench. best of luck to ya!
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:14 AM   #22
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Lemme guess....those broken headbolts are from the top right corners as looking at the heads? Mine came out nasty but didn't break. I'm glad they broke coming out and not going back in!!!

My only tip for now is EXTRA LUBE on those 2 headbolts....

Jay Storm
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:00 AM   #23
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ah, memories..... did this a few months ago...
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:53 AM   #24
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ah, memories..... did this a few months ago...
How did it go? Any recommendations or "gotchas" to consider?
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #25
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Hey guys - what kind of clutch do you think I should run on this new motor?

About 3k miles ago (when I bought the car) I put on a new OE replacement (Exedy I think) and I was never happy with the clutch feel. Pedal was very soft and it seemed to take a while to engage.

I'd like something 25% or so firmer and stiffer than a stock setup. Any options?

- OE 2.5RS setup? Or other OE app?
- Something aftermarket?

Cheap is good, and I have a great local Worldpac distributor so something from them would be best!
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