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Old 04-24-2018, 02:58 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 481803
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Omaha, NE
2004 Baja Turbo
Satin White

Default EJ20X into a 2004 Baja Turbo

hey guys, newer member here. bought a baja to have a reliable car for when I move, then it lost compression in two cylinders about a month before the move. after trying to diagnose the issue for a couple weeks I decided I didn't have time to mess with it and went with a swap.

problem is, EJ255s are hard to come by and expensive, but you can get a 50k mile EJ20X/EJ20Y for under a grand. Plus, they make more power or whatever. not really something I cared about at the time, I just needed to get the thing running.

a few elephants in the room:
it has 9.5:1 compression
it uses a twin scroll turbo that isn't compatible with typical usdm intercoolers
it has dual avcs
it doesn't have TGVs. this is a good thing, but also puts you in limp mode

the solutions I used for these elephants:
93 octane, good e85 candidate if feasible
swap headers, up pipe, and turbo from the EJ255 onto the new engine
leave the exhaust avcs unplugged. that's literally it.
swap over the TGVs. I'm keeping the jdm ones for later, but I just needed to get it running.

the long and short of it is to swap everything from the old engine onto the new one. exhausts, coolant plumbing, intake from the TGVs up (so, the entire thing) all come over. I found I was able to reuse the motor mounts, but YMMV. the only non stock items I added were a catless UP and DP.

it's not a sexy build since I'm using the factory charge pipe, intercooler, TGVs, TD04, and other tragic parts on it, but when I turned the key for the first time it fired right up and I went for a drive.

i know this isn't much of a build thread or anything, but there is so much information out there on these swaps you've got more people talking about it than actually doing it so there's more speculation than anything of substance.

it works, it's rather simple, and the only code I got was from the o2 that was cut off with the oem downpipe.

you will need to get a tune, but it will idle, run, and drive gently right out of the box.

editing for a tidier lil writeup:
everything from the tgvs up including injectors and fuel lines come from the 255. the exhaust manifold, up pipe, turbo should come from the 255.
if you want you can take the tgv deletes from the 20x. mine didn't fit perfectly but I got them to work. TGV deletes will cause subarus to have check engine lights. there are many threads covering this.
if you want you can keep the 20x exhaust manifold, up pipe, and turbo. you will need to fabricate a down pipe. nobody makes one that fits. fabricating one is easy if you know what you're doing. you will also need a solution for the difference between the td04 and vf38
do not touch the cams, do not mess with the timing, do not worry about the exhaust avcs. the car will run fine without touching them. mess with them if you want to, but it's unnecessary.
you must get a tune. it's simple and should cost no more than $400.
if the old engine was blown then the turbo might be blown as well. td04s are very cheap. vf39/48s are pretty cheap and much better.
for sensors, be sure the plug on the 20x sensor matches. if not, exchange it. I'm pretty sure the coolant temperature sensor needs to be swapped.
there will be other minor things to bring over, they are easily spotted. one such thing is a block off plug on the rear passenger side where the 20x has a hose outlet.
do your rear main seal, valve cover gaskets. same part numbers as the ej257.
I suggest you do your charge pipe as well. eventually they wear and tear and are a pain to replace when the engine is installed. either do oem or a decent performance one, not cheap garbage.
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Last edited by UncleLimpy; 04-13-2021 at 06:36 PM.
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