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Old 10-31-2000, 08:10 AM   #1
Matthew Nelson
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Overland Park, KS
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2000 Impreza 2.5 RS
Blue Ridge Pearl

Question Engine swap? All power-crazed tuners please read!

I searched the BB's for anything relating to engine swaps. I discovered some discussions focused on replacing the engine of the 2.5 RS with a genuine Japanese-spec. WRX engine (EJ20). However, I could not find any posts regarding the future possibility of swapping a 2.5 liter engine (found the the 2.5 RS) for a new, U.S.-spec. WRX.

Could it be possible to swap the engine of a 2.5 RS for the turbocharged engine of a WRX? I cannot stress how many articles I've read about power-hungry Honda tuners taking a Prelude engine and dropping it into an Integra GSR.

I realize that, in the past, it was difficult to trade one of our RS's engines for the Japanese version simply because of the differences in engine layout. I would guess that the new WRX that will arrive on U.S. soil next spring will be similar in design and layout to the current 2.5 liter version. At any rate, wouldn't you guess that the turbocharger equipped on the new WRX would be easily adaptable to the engine of the 2.5 RS?

I apologize (in advance) if this topic has been covered. I just became a little excited at the possibility of equipping the WRX turbo (the U.S.-spec. version, of course) on the engine of a 2.5 RS. Just think: we could potentially have the power of the new turbo'd WRX plus and extra half-liter of displacement.
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Old 10-31-2000, 08:14 AM   #2
JGard
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I'm probably wrong here... but i believe the engine we're getting next year is the EJ20, which is the Japan spec engine. I would assume some of the emission controls would be different, but i think it's the same engine, and same car...
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Old 10-31-2000, 08:23 AM   #3
ColinL
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Matthew,

I would imagine that the new WRX will have a crossmember different from the current 2.5RS but it will share motor mounts because it is an EJ series motor.

But that's just speculation. The reason your search didn't turn up anything is because no one has gotten their hands on one yet. The turbocharger is probably too small for ideal use but better than the Legacy turbo JC Sports is selling. That's speculation too.
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Old 10-31-2000, 08:25 AM   #4
Marco
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Matthew,

To the best of my knowledge, no one has had a chance to see the new WRX in person, much less to see what the engine looks like. Based on the release pictures of the Japanese and European WRX, the engine looks almost identical to the previous EJ20. Even if the engine fits, there are still several other factors that will need to be sorted out.

In short, no one can tell for sure until the US WRX is released and we have a chance to to take a close look at it.

Cheers,
Marco

[This message has been edited by Marco (edited October 31, 2000).]
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Old 10-31-2000, 05:04 PM   #5
rx
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I have a friend here in Sydney who turned his Impreza GX into a sleeper WRX (He kept the GX badges, steel wheels and hubcaps... and it had a 206kw Sti motor)

It definitely needs the wrx crossmember (no, this is not just speculation) and he used the wrx gearbox as well.

He also swapped the differentials to the 4.44 ratio Sti ones.. but was pretty sure you're going to need the wrx gearbox if you want it to last.

I'll get some more details, but this guy was fairly adamant a whole lot of wrx chassis components were required, essentially meaning you needed an entire (wrecked) doner car for the job.

Lucky he's an importer and wrecker I guess...

This guy has funny stories of WRX drivers sneering at him when sitting at the lights, and when the lights went green this "GX" Impreza would overtake all these WRXs with 4 skinny wheels SMOKING!

Think about it.. 4.44 ratio, 206kw, 185 width 70 series tyres on 14 inch wheels. LOL!
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Old 10-31-2000, 06:37 PM   #6
Andy_T
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Absolutely marvellous - I'll look out for him
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Old 11-01-2000, 01:58 PM   #7
gumball
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Question

Why go through all the trouble and expense? I mean the cost of your RS plus the cost of an engine swap has got to up there near $25K to begin with, plus the new car is under warranty and has 3 times the chasis rigidity and more leg/headroom to boot! What's the point? i can see if some sorry soul wrecks their 2002 WRX and you swap in the drive train, but no matter how ugly the new one is, it still has some things the old one never will.
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Old 11-01-2000, 04:27 PM   #8
Catfish
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72 Datsun 240Z

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One good reason for doing this would be the legality. Here in CA, swapping engines is only acceptable if you are swapping in an engine that is the same year or NEWER than your current car. Meaning if you have a 2000RS, you can only swap a 2000+ engine into it. To do otherwise is a big nono, and accompanied by MASSIVE fines and major headaches.

It's all speculation at this point, but I don't really see Subaru re-designing this engine from scratch for the US market. More than likely, they just tweaked it a little, and revised the engine management to meet US emissions requirements. I heard it has 3 cats now, instead of 2. Like Colin said, it is an EJ series engine, so it should bolt up with the exception of the crossmember that would be needed to clear the turbo. Keep in mind, our RS is very similar in all other aspects aside from the turbo engine so I doubt you would have to swap the entire drivetrain to get it to work. It may even bolt up to the newer 7 bolt RS trans.

Also, the new car is rumored to list at $25k. This is $7K more than what I paid for my 2000RS Sedan. More than likely, these cars will ask a premium due to short supply and high-demand, meaning that I could be saving as much as $10k. With all this extra money, I'm sure I could find and swap a newer engine into my car and still have plenty of change leftover for race gas, new tires and future mods. There are a lot of people besides us Subaru fans waiting to purchase on of these pocket monsters (aka Pokemon car), so don't put a lot of faith in that $25k rumored sticker price. Supply and demand will dictate the final price. We'll just have to wait and see.

Either way, I'll stick with my car and keep this EJ20 swap thing in mind.

Cheers,
Dave
'00 Subaru 2.5RS Sedan
'00 VW Passat GLS 4Motion
'72 Datsun 240Z
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Old 11-01-2000, 08:12 PM   #9
gumball
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Dave- how do you like your 4Motion???
Is that w/ the 30Valve V6? I've always been a big VW fan, owned a lot of em and my best friend has a B5. The build quality these days is fantastic- real solid. How did you pick that over a 00 Legacy? Have you heard of the Borla (Jetta) VR6 All-Motion concept? That could be sweet.

I see your point w/ supply & demand, but still sometimes it just seems like when you add up the base price of your car plus all the headaches/trouble of swapping in an engine or doing $5-$10K of mods, itd be better to just buy the newer model w/ factory warranty etc... I wonder how many they'll actually make anyhow. Heck, now that the new A4 is coming out, I bet the older/used ones are going to be cheap and worth a look too.
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Old 11-01-2000, 08:20 PM   #10
JaiMak
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I have a whole crapload of stuff on the new WRX my bro got in Japan. As well as very detailed diagrams of the engine AND transmission, specs, sizes, etc.

The Engine looks like it is exactly the same, the difference being with the emission controls. As to modifying the cross member, that is probably a given, but the engine looks like it should fit. The only thing I'm leery on is the fact that the intercooler is now tipped in a different angle, so some modifcation might be needed there.

Oh, BTW, the STI is a six speed, has 280hp, and about 30lbs/ft more torque than the old STI ver6 had. It also has shorter geering. It would probably be easy to dump the new engine in the current body, but I think people will be jonesing for the STI motor and transmission.
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Old 11-01-2000, 10:47 PM   #11
Hashiriya
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I WANT THAT TRANSMISSIO~~~N!!!!!
I hope the new STI mission'll be available through someone in the states....
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Old 11-02-2000, 03:55 PM   #12
Matt Monson
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Matthew,
I am surprised you didn't find anything on this one because I have started a few threads regarding this( as well as redirected some others-I know bad etiquitte). Anyways, The WRX and STi are now available in Japan as of last week. I know a guy who has seen one in person and he was very impressed. Speculation says that the engine will swap, and I concur.
Question..Why swap a USDM 218hp EJ20 when you can get an STi version with 60 more hp?
Especially since we will be getting an open deck EJ20G like they get in Europe. The engine of choice is a closed deck pre-'97 EJ20K Sti version. The new STi is a semi-closed deck that would probably be as good, but a lot harder to get and much more expensive.
The only difficulty to the swap is the crossmember and getting the engine complete with exhaust and ECU. And while you are at it get the 6spd tranny and WRX diff!
And, at least in my experience with Honda swaps, there are ways to get around the CARB issues Catfish mentions about us unlucky souls in CA. The trick? Don't tell the BAR inspector your engine is JDM. Their little book will say a USDM 2002 WRX has an EJ20 in it. Well, you swap could be a 1996 EJ20 for all they know. They do not have access to serial numbers, only engine codes. I know of more than one Hybrid Honda with a JDM B18c and a CARB certification that just claimed the donor was a 1997 Integra Type R. Oops, did I change the subject?:0
Anyways, to get back on track, you can swap either a US (when they get here) or a JDM EJ20 with a little love.
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Old 11-03-2000, 12:49 AM   #13
Catfish
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72 Datsun 240Z

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Well, I don't want to dilute this thread, so I'll try and keep the VW stuff short. If you want anymore info Gumball, just send me a PM.

Anyways...
Yes, it is the 30V V6 with 5spd Tiptronic and 4Motion. It could use a turbo or two, but otherwise it has decent power. The only thing I don't like about the tiptronic is the shift delay. It takes ~0.8sec to shift, which is a little too long for me, especially when you're in the 'tip' mode. But, there is a "tip-chip" that brings that down to 0.2sec, so it really isn't a problem.

You're right, the build quality for VW's these days is simply amazing. I am a VW fan at heart, and have owned many (although I'm from the air cooled side of the family).

I chose it over the Legacy because:
a) It is for my Fiancee, and she really liked it.
b) It felt much roomier.
c) It has a V6 instead of a 4cyl.
d) It had a 5spd Auto w/ Tiptronic
e) The overall feel and build quality of the materials and structure is better.
f) I liked the color (Antracite Blue)
g) It's German, and I love German cars

As far as the US spec WRX, I'll still pass. I really don't think it's too much trouble to swap in an engine that basically bolts in. Handling minor wiring harness changes and such is no major headache for me. Welding in new engine mounts and such definitely would be a pain though. Besides, I just can't get myself to like the looks or at least accept them, no matter how many times I tell myself "It has a turbo...it has a turbo....etc.."

Cheers,
Dave
'00 Subaru 2.5RS Sedan
'00 VW Passat GLS 4Motion
'72 Datsun 240Z
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Old 11-03-2000, 07:48 PM   #14
rbehny
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Well i'm almost to the same conclusion that I should put a WRX engine in a Impreza just for the genuine STI turbo. But how much would you think it would cost just for the STI turbo/ecu?
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