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Old 07-10-2005, 11:35 PM   #1
supermoose
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Default FAQ: JDM EJ20 swap. the easiest way IMO.

this applies for EJ20(G,K,T,05, 07, etc)

if you dont know how to work on a car, please refer to the trusty FSM (factory service manual). A subaru is simple enough that with $100 worth of hand tools you can do anything.

You can find downloads for the 2002 USDM GDA FSM and the older JDM GC8 FSM somewhere on this website. hit the search button, i wont give it to you because i dont know where it is.

so what you need to know.

#1. All imprezas are almost fulley interchangable, All motors will fit each other, All transmission will fit each other. You may have to convert things to make them totally compatible, BUT they will fit - provided you do the proper monkey work and have the right parts.

Examples

can i put a ej205 2005 WRX engine on my 1994 FWD transmission??
-YES.
Can i put a 2001 AWD gearbox on my 1993 EJ18 engine??
-YES.
etc, etc, etc

#2. transplanting the proper bits from your setup is rquired -

Example:

problem: i wish to put a 1998 DOHC Ej25 engine on my FWD 1995 automatic impreza
solution: get EJ25 converted to 95 EJ18 wiring harness, then bolt up COMPLETE automatic parts to it (torque converter plate, torque converter etc)

#3. Can i convert my FWD to AWD? Can i convert my AWD to FWD? can i convert my FWD/AWD to RWD

-YES. Look for the proper FAQ to find the solution.

Steps in logistically doing your conversion:

1. find FSM for your existing setup and for whats going into it.
i.e.- if putting 1996 Sti-RA EJ20 into 2003 USDM 2.5RS, get both FSM. you need all the info you need.

2. Figure out the logistical scope of your project; how much $$$ you need to blow, how much $$$ you have to blow, how much time / manpower / tools you need and have.

3. Get all your ducks lined up - get all the parts in or slotted to arrive JIT (just in time)

4. do it.


so my secret to doing efficient (time /cash) EJ20 swap.

--my personal pervious experiance in swaps;

2002 - FWD-> awd gas tank / disc brake conversion on 93 impreza
2003 - EJ20G sti version 1 into FWD 94 EJ18 5 speed car
2003 - EJ25 DOHC into EJ18 FWD car
2003 - AWD sti version 1 gearbox into FWD EJ18 car with Hyrolic clutch conversion and turbo transmission setup / clutc
2003 - EJ20G sti engine into EJ18 FWD car - full engine bay conversion
2004 - drove car around and was happy
2005 - 1998 180SX type X blacktop into 89 Sohc S13 car
2005 - 1995 STi-RA v2 v-limited 3.9 Gearbox swap into place of 4.11 sti version 1 gearbox with Mechanical LSD rear swap into Viscous 3.9 housing
2005 - (coming up) 1995 Sti-RA V2 V-limited EJ20G entire engine bay and interior into 94 impreza with RHD conversion, electronic climate control and brake/clutch conversion for RHD......

So - going into my personal favorite conversion - what i am doing and what i put my money into (i dont listen to anyone who dosn't put their money where their mouth is)

you have a early impreza (1993-2001) i prefer early (pre 97 because its lighter). you want to have better stuff-

you need to buy a front clip. YUP. entire frekin front clip.

why the whole monty?

You actually get everything. no cut wires, nada.
You get more than you need - you can sell off anything u dont need.
Cool toys come with it -$$$$ aluminum control arms, Fatty radiator, Extra coolant overflow tank, Waterspray tank, Power steering oil cooler, Etc, etc.

if you are lucky you'll get a undamaged hood and a bumper too.

regardless, you can sell everything you dont need and it'll help offset your costs severely.

No turbo kits, no excuses, no lamearse EJ205 engine that needs $2000 thrown into it to be interesting, get the real deal. you need a JDM EJ20.

why? its the best bang for the bank. easy, Cheap (relatively), simple to do.

You can do a USDM swap, but for the expense involved ill pass. a 2004 STi would be nice with EJ257, but that is for ballers. if you get your hands on an entire USDM car dirt cheap, go for it. otherwise stick with the JDM.

have i worked on the USDM WRX? yes. i sold them before you drove them. Do i like it? my best friend has a well tuned 235 AWHP machine that i enjoy. is it good? of course its good, but $2000 of tuning bits dosnt seem a really good deal on top of the stock EJ205. not in my book. more reasons that the EJ205 isnt good enough - look at the market demand for EJ207's.

so EJ20G old skool is the best bank for the bang. comparisons with a well tuned EJ205;

will the Ej20g will be less responsive? will it make less power?

yes--IF comparing STOCK 94-96 EJ20g with hydrolic lifters, stock downpipe / flywheel/crank pulley and everything in comparison to a EJ205 standard usdm WRX motor with no cats, ECU retune to 300 CHP, aftermarket downpipe and up pipe.

Why? its obvious, response and tuning does what you pay $2000 for.

Is the older EJ20g head design inferior to the newer MEchanical ("sti version 6 head casting") ??

Yes. It is not as responsive at higher rpm's -6,000 +

does it matter? not really. not for the price differance.


What about putting an older Japenese motor in my newer car (i.e. 94-96 EJ20g into my 99 RS). Sure, why not? JDM motors only have at most 60,000 miles - it plugs in and works just fine.

all this being said, if i coould get a version 8 EJ207 to drop in my own car instead of my sti-RA version 2, id do it in a jiffy, but last time i checked - longblocks were abo9ut $8000. i dont have $8000. if you do, procede to the baller section and read somone else's FAQ.

ok. prices;

EJ20G 1994-1996 WRX front cuts can be bought for under $2500 bucks. UNDER $2500.
EJ20K 1997-2001 WRX front cuts should run you about $4500 or so.

is it worth it to go for the later ones? in my opion no, but to each his own. I'd rather spend the extra $2000 on footwork or really good food and beer, or a ticket to go to TAS.

wont the earlier clips be harder to put in my later car?
perhaps, if u are doing the wiring yourself. Otherwise the wise guru's at lachute and i-speed and the like are professionals at wiring, and it shouldnt phase them at all.

Mechanically, they are all the same.

in my book, there are 2 ways to do this conversion.

LHD and RHD.
************************************************** **********

the LHD conversion is intense. Mad props to sam (powerlabs), and anyone else who has the guts to deal with 40 lbs of wiring hell. MAD props.

i will do any sort of monkeying mechanically, but wiring scares the ehll outa me. wiring on a SR20DET wasn't bad, but thats a walk in the park compared to a subaru.

option 1 for LHD - strip all harnesses out of your donor clip and your current car, send both to a ace shop - lachute, i-speed, rallispec, etc. Pay them $$$ for their hard work, and they will chop both harnesses and make them into one proper one for you. Will you pay for it?? YES. but its worth all the cost. I'd budget $800-$1000 for that option, i'd never do it myself.

option 2. Be an animal like yamaharocket, or powerlabs and do it yourself. when i think of this option i usually cry like a little girl. you need to pinout all the wiring, and splice things to where they need to be. not fun.

option 3. be king of monkey labor and extend all the RHD wiring. We've done this on my friends 1994 STi version 1 swap. Not fun, but easier IMO than splicing to USDM harness. figure out where everything needs to go (from looking at the JDM FSM) and then make the plugs happen there.

************************************************** **************

RHD swap. its like a choose your own adventure book.

For a JDM EJ20 conversion, I feel that RHD swap is hte best way to do it. i'm going this route for my personal car - i put my money where my mouth is.

why?

everytrthing fits perfectly. Every single wire, EVery sensor for electronic climate control, Every bit for power steering, AC, Everything.

what is the catch - ? you have to learn how to drive RHD, but the mail man does it, and my IQ is > than the average mailman, so you can do it too.

if you want to complain to me about RHD, go away. im not listening to it. half the world drives RHD, suck it up.

only 1 wiring plug to deal with, its R1 off the SMJ - goes to the rear bundle (fuel pump, Turn signals and the like. Besides for that, you are golden. Plug it all in and you hott.

************************************************** *************

what about the Hydrolic pedal box and such? which gearbox should i use.

the 4.11 gearbox that comes with the JDM wrx is awesome. the USDM WRX gearbox is a POS in comparison, trust me.

you'll want to use the proper JDM gearbox with the proper JDM EJ20 motor. you'll have to make sure you have a 4.11 rear diff, LSD or not isnt important for now, deal with that later if you havnt already done it.

for RHD cars you can run the complete RHD hydrolic pedal box assembly, feor LHD you need to obtain a LHD hydrolic pedal box and clutch MC assembly. the slave cylinder is good for either LHD or RHD. Use the turbo clutch and everything in your kit - youll neeed to have all the parts, but it will all be there because you are buying a complete front clip intact.

Buy the sucker intact. FULL front half of car. the full monty.



anything i left out - please post. if you want to debate USDM vs JDM, please post on differnt thread. i'm extremely biased and have good reason to be so

if you care about emissions or need to pass inspection - find a shady smog man. or register your car in a cool state like michigan. a JDM Ej20g WILL pass california smog legit, you just neeed to have it properly installed with cats.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:20 AM   #2
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I couldnt agree more with the buying a complete clip. It will save many headaches. And as a plus you will know true mileage on the engine. I truly hope you dont believe all imported JDM engines have less then 60K. It should also be said that not all imported engine are JDM, many are UK, AUS, GB.

I couldnt agree less with making the car RHD, unless you get a very complete clip(including door cards and seats) and know a good body man that can cut and weld on your firewall. You are looking at much more cost in doing a RHD conversion.

It took me about 2 hours to wire my car. I cut and extended about 30 wires. All was done without any wiring diagrams (they are impossible to find for a Ver 6). I had a 100% complete jdm harness from my clip. It ALL went in my car, headlights to taillights is all JDM harness. All the ecu and dash wires fit without any moding, I just flipped the harness. I had to lengthen wires going to front lights and fuel tank, thats all. Very easy.

Its kinda frustrating when other members ask me about wiring, I cant really help. I didnt do what Sam and others have. It was soo much easier doing it the way I did but its almost like I cheated myself . Mad props to all the people that cut and mix harnesses.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:36 AM   #3
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looking back on my swap I wish I had started with a JDM swap...so when I graduate I plan on doing a complete ver.7 spec C engine and drivetrain swap...I will miss my cable clutch though, sooo much feel
and I think this needs to be stickied, considering the flood of noob questions about such things...
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:54 AM   #4
supermoose
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roarf. extending the wiring is the way to do it. Doing RHD is pretty bolt in though, kingpin has a photo write up on it, all bolts in - i think he did 4 welds in the footwell or somthing.

all my motors have come from complete clips guage cluster intact. the statement was ment to notify people that they can look at the guage cluster to see what the milage is for themselves-- my sti 1 had 60K miles, my verison 2 has 61,000 KM on him.

the dash and bits bolt on to the RHD crossbar, the crossbar is fully bolt on. also a bonus with going RHD is that you can use all the standard RHD AC bits - from experiance the OG ej20g radiator will not clear the stock USA LHD AC condensor. in texas you going to die with no Ac, the grass was committing suicide (self flame on) this monday....
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:56 AM   #5
supermoose
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yeha, the only harness bit im missing is the rear tail bit from the SMJ. but 26 wires shoudlnt be that hard to splice in, i have the JDM wiring manual
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:56 AM   #6
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Default Since I got mentioned twice on this thread...

I will have to agree with you on the whole harness swap VS harness cut/splice mess. Cutting your harness is *NOT* difficult. It really doesn't require any great brainpower. It is, however, fantastically time consuming, boring, and requires a long time focusing on a huge wire mess, which is bound to cause headaches.
Interestingly enough, I had the entire wiring harness, from a complete front clip, and I could have done the simple harness swap with a couple wire extends, but I didn't. I believed that by not removing the dash I would be saving myself time. I still firmly believe that, given a COMPLETE wiring diagram for the JDM and the USDM engine, the swap could be done faster and with less work this way than by removing the dash and replacing every wire in the car... However, when you find that your diagrams were not complete, as I did, then you're in for a lot of time and frustration...

Oh yeah, a reminder of what splicing harnesses is all about:

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Old 07-11-2005, 05:17 AM   #7
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Good post there Moose!! Outstanding, very informative and quicly answers the standard 20 questions a week we get!!
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:50 AM   #8
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Swaping the harness is just as much of a PITA as cutting and splicing. With cutting and splicing all the work is done in the same general area. I wired up a 98 Legacy GT yesterday in seven hours and that was with removing and re-installing the dash too as well as running the wires though all the factory locations, yes through the DS fender well and the big rubber grommet. If you do all your prep work and have your labels ready cutting and splicing is by far the easiest way to do a swap. If you are doing a JDM swap you have to do even less work as far as removing the dash and heater core as the harness will have to run along the outside of the firewall.

Z
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:16 PM   #9
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I just bought the connectors I needed for about $75 and am building my own harness. It's pretty much done at this point for maybe another $75 in materials (the connectors I'm using are somewhat expensive). I've spent maybe 5-6 hours total on it, and all I have left is to connect the wires I need to the RS harness. The only real issue I see doing it this way is if you are missing power supply or ground wires that come together at a certain junction, but I have yet to encounter anything that does that apart from the front O2/MAF/etc. part of the harness.

If I had a spare WRX harness to cut up I would have gone that route, but wiring things like you would a standalone ECU didn't look that daunting of a task, and hasn't been thus far.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:21 PM   #10
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DWX - Did you get the connectors from IAP?
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:27 PM   #11
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Yeah some time ago. They were off a V7 STI I believe. The only bad part about extending wiring is you just can't get the colors that Subaru uses for all that stuff, for a reasonable price. So my stuff is all broken down by which ECU connector it goes to. From there it isn't that bad.

Last edited by dwx; 07-11-2005 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermoose
if you want to complain to me about RHD, go away. im not listening to it. half the world drives RHD, suck it up.
Said in true Scotty style.

Franken-cars are cool. Now if only that black Mini sitting at Munks motors was for sale.
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:28 PM   #13
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nerf nerf narf. hmmzort. i rink coffee now.

DCCD on stupid mode is really fun. lift then throttle to power into corner and adjust.
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:11 AM   #14
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Interesting to hear your thoughts. Might want to step back from the soapbox and give pure information, sans the opinionated stuff.

With all the crap I hacked out of my wiring harness, I've been able to go back through just about anywhere and replace with the exact wiring. This was just going from the full GD wiring harness to my GF. I'm rather amazed to hear stories about people doing this stuff without removing the dash. There is so much more room with the dash and HVAC out of the way.

-Jon
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:15 AM   #15
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Default best thread on the site...

This is by far the most useful thread I have read on this entire site. 'Course Moose has been talking me through how to do a swap for a few days now and Im sure Im driving him crazy with all my questions haha.

Im just worried about taking on such a big project and worried about the risk involved. Has anyone who has done a swap regretted it? Thought it wasnt worth the time/money? Or had major mechanical problems not long down the line? Id like a nice fast cool car but at the same time I gotta get to work and often times I got a baby in the backseat.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:20 AM   #16
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I know of atleast two people who went with the EJ20G and wish they had gone USDM.

-Jon
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:52 AM   #17
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*subscribe so I can find it when I do my swap*

Thanks,

-- Dave
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy
I know of atleast two people who went with the EJ20G and wish they had gone USDM.

-Jon

Really? Why?

I know of one guy who got a JDM motor and the motor was ruined, and another who had his JDM motor damaged during shipping which caused it to fail later on. Aside from that, and from having to pass strict emissions tests, I can't see why anyone would want to pay more for a weaker, less powerful, and harder to swap engine...
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:47 PM   #19
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Tuning options are the biggest reason. Cheap tuning, injectors, bolt on turbos, etc.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwx
Tuning options are the biggest reason. Cheap tuning, injectors, bolt on turbos, etc.

Ummm... Yeah, but you would need a couple grand of tuning just to get to the level of a bone stock JDM motor, and then you would be running your block much closer to its limits and get much shorter use out of it...
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpy
I know of atleast two people who went with the EJ20G and wish they had gone USDM.

-Jon
I am all for JDM swaps but I would do a USDM over a EJ20G also. The G engines are 15 years old and are no stronger stock then an EJ205. The EJ205 will pass emissions and they are easiled tuned with tons of aftermarket parts. If you want to make lots of power without building an engine get a Ver 7 or 8. If you just want a turbo swap do a USDM. Dont mess with those old G blocks.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerlabs
Ummm... Yeah, but you would need a couple grand of tuning just to get to the level of a bone stock JDM motor, and then you would be running your block much closer to its limits and get much shorter use out of it...
Bone stock JDM motors can certainly make more power from tuning, just like any other motor... A USDM WRX engine with a reflash makes as much power as a 250-260hp JDM motor, and will last pretty much forever. Stock turbo, stock injectors, etc.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwx
Bone stock JDM motors can certainly make more power from tuning, just like any other motor... A USDM WRX engine with a reflash makes as much power as a 250-260hp JDM motor, and will last pretty much forever. Stock turbo, stock injectors, etc.
My stock JDM WRX made 280HP. With a full 3 inch catless catback its making over 300HP. Stock. It cost me $2500.SPDUSA has some very good info comparing the "15 year old" G blocks with the new USDM WRX. Some quotes:

"Japanese engine runs different cam profiles and variable cam timing. With the better octane fuel in Japan, the Japanese WRX runs much more timing advance, not so much "more boost". The engine is able to make more boost down low because of timing and cam factors, not the other way around. Drivability is much better as a result. Or, as a friend said of the low speed running of the Japanese WRX, "It feels like a V-8" in comparison to the US car."

"Again by way of comparison, the American car as a throttle than can only be described as 'wooly' to use the old British tuner expression. It does not want to go below 3000 rpm, and the motor just does not feel happy at all below 2000 rpm. The Japanese WRX runs on light throttle at 1500rpm, pulls cleanly and smartly from 2000 rpm and is making good power by 3000 rpm."

"In the EJ205 'world motor', Subaru engineers have made a turbocharged engine that runs more like normally aspirated engine below 3000 rpm with a transition range to 4000rpm where it behaves like a turbo motor. It has only the quality of materials internally needed to stay alive at modest power levels"

I'll take JDM
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:09 PM   #24
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Wouldn't believe everything you read...
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #25
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Mike was talking about the jdm STi motor in that qoute.
The jdm wrx has small port heads with lamer cams then the us wrx... it has avcs, but ehhh and it is using a ej205 short block.
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Who has the JDM EJ20 Swapped in their L? MY99 2.5GT Mid Atlantic Impreza Club -- MAIC 16 09-09-2002 06:37 AM


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