2003 Outback Engine Swap - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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2003 Outback Engine Swap

Hey guys and gals of course. I'm a newbie to the subaru family so be gentle. My latest project is a 2003 outback MT EJ25. I bought the car with a bad engine and was lucky enough to find a low mileage 01 engine for a reasonible price. The 01 came out of an auto car and just getting the engine out of my car last night have noticed some differences. My 03 has egr the 01 does not. The heads appear to be different to accomadate the egr is this true? I also noticed some differences in the wiring harness as well. I guess my question is what all do i need to do to make this swap work. Im guessing since i have no egr im gonna see faults check engine lights etc. Is there anything else i need to be aware of. Thanks

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:21 AM
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This might be one of those where the sensor wheel for the ignition is different, on the heads or on the crank, not sure which.

This bit a friend of mine that swapped an auto into a manual (or vice versa, forget which)

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Exactly,thats why i wanna chat with someone directly who has done this kinda swap before. There are tons of internet mechanics out there but i wanna talk to the person who has actual experience with this kinda swap.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 05:15 PM
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I am in the same position you are, I bought an 04 with a broken timing belt and now I am trying to track down parts for it. Here is what I have figured out, hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong.

If you have a federal emission spec car there is a change between 00-02 and 03-04. 03 and 04 have a egr head, different wiring, and a egr intake manifold. To use the 01 engine you will have to swap an egr head onto the drivers side and use your 03 intake manifold and harness. Everything else on the long block should be the same. Not too bad, you will probably want to put head gaskets and a timing belt kit on it while the engine is out.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 06:46 PM
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You will also need the timing belt guide and associated parts from your 03 engine
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:02 PM
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Ok, here's the skinny:

00-01 share timing components. 02-04 are different in that regard. Easy to fix that, tho. . . just use your 03 LH cam sprocket and crank sprocket and intake.

00-02 are non EGR. 03-04 are. That's a little harder to work around if you don't want to swap the LH head. . no easy way around the intake debacle. I suppose you could swap ECU and harnesses but that is a very un-fun process just to work around that issue. Idle air metering mechanism and a host of other things are different on the 02+ motors as well, best to stick with the ECU/intake/harness that came with your car and make the motor fit it.

It has been suggested by others that you can run the EGR valve without tapping the head as long as you can do something to simulate 'flow' in the valve. One of the other members detailed a way to install a hose to the EGR valve using air sourced from a crankcase vent. Don't know if that'll work or not, just relaying info.

Personally I'd just swap the head and be done with it. 01's still have headgasket issues, might as well fix it while the motor is out of the car.

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I seem to get a lot of "will xx fit in my car?" emails. . . I'm not the authority on everything Subaru, so I very well may tell you the wrong answer as there's nobody else to check me. Please search or ask via the forums first. . .when I answer you via email, it never gets posted and nobody else can confirm or refute my answer.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:20 PM
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What lockmedic said; about swapping the head.

And also both the crank and cam sensors.

The engine is already out. Take it apart, get the heads cleaned, checked and repaired as necessary, new MLS HGs and you'll be good to go for some time. You should already be planning on new thermostat, hoses as needed, plugs, wires, timing kit and cleaning the intake. The rest is minimal considering the ease of getting it done right the first time.
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