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2002 Outback Wagon with factory Tow package, 2.5L non-turbo
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all. This is my first post here, so be gentle. Anyway, to get to the point, I have a 2002 Outback wagon, 253k miles and the motor is starting to chatter at start up till the oil gets circulating. It also can be heard slightly at cruising speeds on the highway also.

I rescued the car about a year ago when I was at a local salvage yard repairing a tire on one of their loaders that they carry the cars for crushing with. I just happened to look up and saw someone pulling this car in on a flatbed trailer, talked to someone inside and then jumped in it and drove it across the scales for scrap price.(around $400 at the time). I talked to the owner of the salvage yard and purchased it for $1200 w/clean title. I just couldn't see it going to the big boneyard in the sky at 235k miles.

Anyway, when I got it it ran fine, but the typical head gasket issue has cropped up since, nothing leaks internally, all to the external side. uses maybe a pint of antifreeze a week and about a quart of oil every 1-2 weeks. The car still runs well, no hesitations, etc, and drives excellent. Factory trailer package is a bonus also since I don't own a truck. I'm looking to purchase a used motor for it and have found a motor from a 2001 Forrester that was scrapped for hail damage. Looked like about 2 dozen major league pitchers threw balls at it all day. Engine runs great and has only 99k miles and I can get it for $750 and no core charge.

Was wondering if anyone knows if there is any major differences between the two models that would prevent an easy swap. I switched a motor in an old 1990 legacy sedan I used to own myself about 3 years ago(wife sold it(wanted to strangle her for that) and its still running). changed it out in about 10 or 12 hours, full removal and reinstall. From what I can tell, both vehicles use the same EJ251 SOHC motor, just hope there's not a lot of other parts needing changed. would like to be able to complete it in a days time if possible. this car is a daily driver to work, and no spare car if it takes a crap on me.

Any info is super appreciated.

thank you.:)
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,551 Posts
could be low oil pressure from the backing plate on the oil pump - though, honestly - I read about that on older cars.

at 99K, may as well put the whole timing belt, water pump, etc. kit on the front of the donor engine. needs it at 105k anyway.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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1,401 Posts
i'm pretty sure the 02 has EGR and i know the 00 - 01 does not. so that would be an issue. if you can get the car inspected with a CEL and don't care about the light always being on you can swap the forester engine as is.

the better solution would be to use your original intake manifold and drill / tap the driver side head for the egr ''pipe''. then you will be good.

other options would be to use your heads and intake, or find an 02 - 03 engine. there are always lots of them around. www.car-part.com

the clatter, valves need adjusting?

the forester engine may be a great deal, miles for the money, and in a car with 250k miles it may not make a difference, but if i was swapping an engine i probably would replace the head gaskets when i did the swap. it isn't a whole lot of work or money, maybe another $100. the only reason i would not is if there was absolutely NO evidence of seepage or leaking. and i think this will be rare, based on what is posted here. but then there are more folks here fixing cars than there are folks here talking about owning one for 250k miles and never had a problem. so maybe the forester engine does not need gaskets. but i would not be surprised if they are seeping oil or coolant.

good luck.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon with factory Tow package, 2.5L non-turbo
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'd have to look into the EGR thing. I've looked on car-part.com, but the nearest thing listed for indiana is about a 2-3 hour drive one way to get to it. The 'clatter' as I put it is more of a knock. sounds like main bearings since it's more of a heavier sound than the lighter ticking sound a valve makes. The current engine in the car does have some seepage of oil and coolant, luckily it's all to the external side. thanks for the responses.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,289 Posts
JDM Engine Depot

JDM engines cheap with a warranty and low mileage since the cars are cycled out of service by 85k kilometers. Comes with all the accessories.

They also have transmissions.

When I found my H6 with them, they had a twin turbo 2.2 for less than 1200 complete.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
same engine. as long as you work through the EGR issue it's fine. the only one that's hard is installing a non-EGR engine into an EGR equipped vehicle...any other combination is easy, that one can be a deal breaker.

should be a plug and play swap - some early EJ25 SOHC stuff you have to swap the crank and drivers side cam sprocket as the triggers are slightly different. just swap it and be done or you can check the backs and see if the triggers are different.

should be installing a new timing belt kit anyway so not really any extra work.

be advised - a used EJ25 may need new headgaskets. if you're swapping and already removing the motor you might just want to install new turbo headgaskets.

i've seen folks mention Subaru suppliers selling long blocks for $600 rebuilt in Oregon, though i emailed the guy for contact info of that swap and he never got back to me. a new $600 long block with your reconditioned heads might be an even better deal.

JDM isn't worth it unless they're very competitive price wise - all EJ25's are prone to headgasket problems so I'm not a big fan of high prices unless there's a compelling reason.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon with factory Tow package, 2.5L non-turbo
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the info. never knew that there was a difference with the EGR thing. just even though the area I live in is only about an hour drive from where most north american outbacks are made(Lafeyette, IN), there just doesn't seem to be many that end up in bone yards or used in this area. But I have spoke to some of the auto auction houses around here(my company does a lot of business with some) and most subaru's in Indiana that come up on the auction block get bought up immediately by people from chicago and up north. hard to come by here... this place that has the forrester engine has 5 subaru's but the only ones that fully interchange are over 200k miles aready at nearly the same price. I dont really want to pay that much. I'll keep a look out on stuff. thanks all for the information.
 

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JDM Engine Depot

JDM engines cheap with a warranty and low mileage since the cars are cycled out of service by 85k kilometers. Comes with all the accessories.

They also have transmissions.

When I found my H6 with them, they had a twin turbo 2.2 for less than 1200 complete.
Do you know if the 2.2 twin turbo would swap into my 2002 outback? Looking to get more power. It’s an automatic and I’ve got a good suspension upgrade already. Thanks
 
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