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Old 05-31-2008, 12:30 AM   #1
cbickell
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Member#: 179407
Join Date: May 2008
Default I'm back! And I need help on an EJ22 swap

Hello everyone, (skip the 1st paragraph if you're just lookin' for the question)

I used to haunt this board (as 'defcon5') way back in the day when the RS was as hot as Subaru's came stateside. Cobb was just a tiny little company making performance parts for obscure AWD econoboxes, and a guy named Shiv was the man - (apparently not so much anymore). Anyway, I had to part ways with my beloved '00 RS around 2003 and have missed it ever since. While I've liked some of the newer models, I have a place in my heart for the GM/GF platform. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I stumbled into a 1999 OBS with a 'blown engine' for a price I couldn't pass up. So it looks like I'm back in the club.

I'm reading as much as I can, and trying to catch up on 5 years of Subaru tech, but in the meantime, I need to ask you guys (and gals) for a favor. I've got a bargain replacement engine lined up for this project, but need to know if it's worth jumping on. What follows is a list of what I've GOT, and what I'm looking AT - take a look and see if anything throws a red flag. I know this is long, but if you can take a minute to throw some knowledge my way, it would really help me out. Long-winded explanations, diatribes, and manifestos are welcome. Thanks for your time!
Here's the list:

Me: Cash strapped, but mechanically inclined, amateur road racer (plenty of low-tech engine swaps), not afraid of any car jobs, good size shop, engine hoist, air tools, welder etc...

The budget: under 2k unless it's really worth it. *cough*EJ22t w/RS 5spd*cough*

The car: '99 OBS, EJ22, Automatic - appears stock. My best guess is that the motor's got the dreaded Subaru spun-bearing disease. Nasty rotational 'clacking' that never goes away or changes pitch. By all accounts, this car should have the 'Phase II' motor, but it appears to have single port exhaust. I can't keep straight which Phase has how many ports, so here's a photo of the passenger side exhaust for reference.

So, which motor is that? Phase I or II? Is that good or bad?

The 'new' motor: '96 USDM EJ22 (single port exhaust) out of a Legacy, 96k miles. Comes with ECU, and full wiring harness(es) I can also get a 5 speed manual/pedals etc if desired. This is no race motor - it'll need a little TLC before it goes in.

The miscellaneous: I can probably pick up a good condition EJ25 longblock (block and heads)

Now, I'd love to do a WRX or STi swap, but my house payment just ain't gonna let that happen right now - I just need to get this thing on the road - soon. My main concern is this whole Phase I vs. Phase II issue. I want to make sure that I don't get myself into a situation where I buy this motor and find that I'm going backwards in engine technology. Besides the obvious exhaust fitment issues, this car is going to do some rallycrossing, so I definitely don't want to lose 10-15 HP.

So with the above list, I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on what they'd do. Straight swap? Hybrid build? 2.5 bottom end with 2.2 heads? Ideally, whatever I do will use the items listed above,but if you've got anything interesting, I'm all ears.

Thanks again everyone - it's good to be back.
-Chris
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