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Old 10-01-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 225362
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Default 98 forester engine swap

Hi folks
I just joined up to search for a definitive answer to my question on an engine swap. I've searched in the twch forums as well as the general forum but cant find a definitive answer. I have the opportunity to buy a 98 forester L with leaking head gaskets for $500 and a local gent has an 2000 forester that was totaled (rear-ended) but he kept to part out that he would sell the motor for $350. I've read enough to find out doing the swap would be a wiring problem but no one has asked/answered about doing it with the 2000 ecu and harness which I can also get. I've done a few swaps with my son in his hondas and accuras making some major mods but would like to make this one as easy and cheap as possible. I'm currently unemployed and driving a 3/4 ton gas hog chevy pickup thats killing me. If it's major electrical surgery then I'll just do the gaskets and move on, however if it's just a couple plugs and I can get the info the swap would be a lot faster. Thanks to those who can help in advance I'm hoping to make theese deals the begining of next week cause its gettin cold here in New England
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
Rick Schumacher
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 210864
Join Date: May 2009
1998 impreza 2.5rs
black on gold


youll have alot less headaches if you just get the head gasket replaced

funny part about all this, ive also helped rebuild alot of honda motors too, but i dont really know that much about subarus, though i have owned mine for almost 7 yrs and
100k miles

-you might want to grab the motor, just to have a spare, since it is cheap as forks
you can even part out the block. not sayn there is high demand for those peticular enigne parts, but people are always looking for replacement parts, and you could end up making a few bucks that way.. they have changed things slightly over that past years, but mostly, the peices are about the same in most cases, which means, something that is for a different phase of motor build, may work or even be a better combo!
im actually rebuilding my block, nothing special, but i am getting a phase 2 block from a friend, who did say, that the phase 1 heads ( which are dohc, and im pretty sure yours are single, may be duel, idk)work really well with the phase2 block!
you probly have the same phase1 block i had in my 98rs.
which will now be a slightly higher compression ratio, after the mixing, keeping the same whp and adding about 1 -3 ft lbs of torque

you should probly just fix the head gaskets, but do some research. you might want to mix the blocks.

good luck anyway !!
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
Scooby Guru
Member#: 159682
Join Date: Sep 2007
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Maine
1995 WRX
2015 F150


They are not the same engine. Your 98 forester is a dohc phase 1 2.5 and the 2000 is a sohc phase 2 2.5. This is not a simple plug and play swap. You'd be better off doing the head gaskets. An easy swap on a 98 forester is a 95-98 2.2, everything just plugs in, you need the matching y pipe for 96-98, 95 is the same as your forester.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 225362
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Thanks guys, I was hoping that with the ecu and harness it would be simpler but I guess doing the head gaskets is the way to go. I am trying to get this running as quick as possible and from what I've gathered this motor has the most problems with the heads of any suby motor. I figured if the swap had worked I'd be upgrading to a better motor and most of the work had been recently done.
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