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Old 07-09-2010, 01:34 PM   #1
CastIron
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Default Replacement EJ25 With Extra Parts - What To Keep?

At 110k the original engine in my '97 Legacy 2.5GT suffered oil starvation. I've purchased a '98 JDM EJ25 with 40k miles as a replacement. Attached to the new engine, as listed, are: coil, alternator, PS pump, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, throttle body, all sensors and switches. It's sitting at the shop waiting to be swapped.

My car has always been a midwest car, is older than the new engine, and has more miles than the new engine, but at the same time I know first hand that everything on the original engine works properly and I'd like to keep costs to a minimum. Is there anything that I should have swapped from the old engine to the new engine, or should I just keep all the extra bits with the engine they came with?

Additionally, my mechanic mentioned changing the timing belt, thermostat, clutch disk, and spark plugs. Spark plugs I could/would do myself, but is there any merit to changing anything else with a low-mileage engine? How easy is it to tell if a clutch needs replacement just by looking at it when it's apart for the swap?

Lastly, a shifter return spring is broken; the shifter returns from the 5/R side but not from the 1/2 side. The transmission otherwise functions fine. How much work is involved with fixing that while the engine is out?
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
feint05
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labor to replace the clutch at a later date would be more than doing it now
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:56 PM   #3
CastIron
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Originally Posted by feint05 View Post
labor to replace the clutch at a later date would be more than doing it now
That's true, but parts and labor for replacing it now is still a waste of money if there's nothing wrong with it. I'm just wondering if it's something that's easy to determine visually.
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Old 07-10-2010, 12:37 AM   #4
Patrick Olsen
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Just out of curiousity, how did your old engine suffer oil starvation? Was it underfilled or did you have a broken oil pump pickup?

When I did a similar swap I elected to keep all the sensors and stuff off the old engine, since I knew all that was functional. So basically I transferred the entire intake manifold (with the attached fuel rails and injectors, wiring harness and all the sensors, throttle body, coil pack, etc) from my old engine onto the "new" JDM engine. Be advised that the JDM engine may have some slightly different configurations. For instance, the one I got did not have EGR, so I had nothing to hook the EGR system up to (the port wasn't drilled and tapped in the back of the driver side head).

I think I put a new timing belt on the JDM engine, even though it was "low mileage". As I recall the company I bought it from on Ebay said to replace the timing belt and all the seals (cam seals, rear main, front main), but the dealer techs said if the stuff wasn't leaking, don't mess with it. That was pretty much my thinking, anyway, so it was good to hear them confirm what I wanted to hear. I think I did pull off the oil pump and make sure the backing plate screws were all tight, so then I replaced the o-ring that's behind the pump and the front main seal.

As for the clutch, you should only have to pay for the parts. The mechanic is going to have to transfer the clutch from the old engine over to the JDM engine, anyway, so there's no additional labor involved if you give him a new clutch. You should be able to tell how badly worn the clutch disk is, but I honestly couldn't tell you what's considered grounds for replacement. A new OEM clutch disk is only ~$100 thru subaruparts.com. If the current clutch has lasted for 110k, spending $100 now would get you another 110k miles (if not more). Or you can wait 10 or 20 or 50k miles for the current one to wear out, then pay a heckuva lot more for a clutch install.

Replacing the thermostat is a no brainer while he's going the job, and doesn't cost much.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
Jaren1
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My car had 220k miles on the orginal motor. Just had it swapped with a motor that has 70k miles on it. The motor had just gotten new head gaskets and new timing belt so they didnt have to do that to my new motor, but they did re seal the baffle plate, cam seals, valve seals, oil pump, water pump, new spark plugs. they transferred the entire intake manifold over to my new motor. They also put a new clutch in for no labor charge.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #6
CastIron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
Just out of curiousity, how did your old engine suffer oil starvation? Was it underfilled or did you have a broken oil pump pickup?

When I did a similar swap I elected to keep all the sensors and stuff off the old engine, since I knew all that was functional. So basically I transferred the entire intake manifold (with the attached fuel rails and injectors, wiring harness and all the sensors, throttle body, coil pack, etc) from my old engine onto the "new" JDM engine. Be advised that the JDM engine may have some slightly different configurations. For instance, the one I got did not have EGR, so I had nothing to hook the EGR system up to (the port wasn't drilled and tapped in the back of the driver side head).

I think I put a new timing belt on the JDM engine, even though it was "low mileage". As I recall the company I bought it from on Ebay said to replace the timing belt and all the seals (cam seals, rear main, front main), but the dealer techs said if the stuff wasn't leaking, don't mess with it. That was pretty much my thinking, anyway, so it was good to hear them confirm what I wanted to hear. I think I did pull off the oil pump and make sure the backing plate screws were all tight, so then I replaced the o-ring that's behind the pump and the front main seal.

As for the clutch, you should only have to pay for the parts. The mechanic is going to have to transfer the clutch from the old engine over to the JDM engine, anyway, so there's no additional labor involved if you give him a new clutch. You should be able to tell how badly worn the clutch disk is, but I honestly couldn't tell you what's considered grounds for replacement. A new OEM clutch disk is only ~$100 thru subaruparts.com. If the current clutch has lasted for 110k, spending $100 now would get you another 110k miles (if not more). Or you can wait 10 or 20 or 50k miles for the current one to wear out, then pay a heckuva lot more for a clutch install.

Replacing the thermostat is a no brainer while he's going the job, and doesn't cost much.
The oil pump was leaking pretty badly, but I decided to wait until after a road trip to fix it, and just checked oil every time I stopped for gas. I ended up caught in a huge accident-induced traffic jam in Oklahoma on a hot day, so the AC was on with no airflow, and presumably the oil was very thin due to the heat. Once moving again with the cruise control at 80 or so, it developed a knock and, when I pulled over, had virtually no oil. Lesson learned.

I like the idea of not messing with what's not leaking. Regarding the timing belt, is the DOHC EJ25 and interference engine? Will I have pistons crashing into valves if the timing belt goes? If not, I'd lean toward going by the manual for timing belt replacement. If it is, I'd be happier just getting it done.

I'm not the first owner, so I don't know how many miles are on the clutch; I had a my-family-owned EJ25 Outback from 0-130k miles, during which time I limped for over a year on a dying clutch, and the clutch on my current Legacy feels closer to new than it does to the clutch that I was able to stretch for a long time. It's good to know about the clutch labor, though, and I think he quoted me a lot less than $100 for the disk.

Out of curiosity, why is the thermostat a no-brainer? Do they usually stick open or closed? Would it be easy to replace myself if it failed? Would there by anything wrong with replacing it with the spare from the other engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lezbaru View Post
My car had 220k miles on the orginal motor. Just had it swapped with a motor that has 70k miles on it. The motor had just gotten new head gaskets and new timing belt so they didnt have to do that to my new motor, but they did re seal the baffle plate, cam seals, valve seals, oil pump, water pump, new spark plugs. they transferred the entire intake manifold over to my new motor. They also put a new clutch in for no labor charge.
Since keeping the intake manifold was mentioned twice, I'll make sure I mention it, or ask for it even.

What's the consensus for a 40k-mile oil pump?
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
Jaren1
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MY thermostat would stick open on my old motor. They replaced it on my newer motor.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:31 AM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
I like the idea of not messing with what's not leaking. Regarding the timing belt, is the DOHC EJ25 and interference engine? Will I have pistons crashing into valves if the timing belt goes?
The valves won't hit the pistons, but the valves may hit each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
Out of curiosity, why is the thermostat a no-brainer? Do they usually stick open or closed? Would it be easy to replace myself if it failed? Would there by anything wrong with replacing it with the spare from the other engine?
It's a no-brainer because it's easy to swap out when the coolant is already drained, as it obviously will be. You could swap it out yourself without too much trouble, but it's on the bottom of the engine so you have to drain the entire cooling system to do it. Kind of a pain in the ass compared to some cars, like my Mustang, where the t-stat is on top of the engine so you only have to partially drain the system.

The t-stat is cheap enough that I don't see any reason to replace it with a used one. Just get a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CastIron View Post
What's the consensus for a 40k-mile oil pump?
As I mentioned before, the pump should come off to make sure the backing plate screws are tight, replace the o-ring and front main seal, and call it a day. At 40k there's absolutely no reason to think it needs to be replaced.

Pat
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:03 PM   #9
CastIron
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Developments today at the shop:

One of the three plugs of the wiring harness doesn't match, but it seems like this is moot when considering that the intake manifold and everything attached to it needs to be swapped over to the new engine. They told me this extra bit would be about $400 in additional labor, which I thought to be a bit much. Keeping in mind that Minneapolis is higher than average for costs, does this seem reasonable?

I understood that EGR accommodations on the intake manifold would likely be an issue, but the EGR is also plumbed to the cylinder head, which I didn't realize and, from what I gather, is particularly common in cars in general. Swapping the intake manifold from the old engine to the new engine takes care of the EGR on the intake manifold, but not the cylinder head.

I could just have the EGR capped and then accept the CELs, but what would be the best way to go about maintaining EGR functionality? We could drill and tap the cast-in spot on the new engine. Another idea was to plumb the EGR intake to the exhaust manifold. Any suggestions? Should I just forget it?
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #10
GEE-OTTO
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get a 160 degree T-stat YAY!
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:45 PM   #11
Patrick Olsen
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$400 is exorbitant, considering it's maybe 30 or 45 min of work at the most. It's 8 bolts, the EGR pipe, a couple single-wire sensor harnesses, and a few vacuum/fuel/coolant hoses. Some of that stuff has to be disconnected anyway (the vacuum and fuel lines).

As for the EGR, drilling and tapping the head would get you to the way the factory intended. I just ran without EGR when I went through the same situation - the CEL only pops up occasionally.

Pat
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