Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
97 Legacy Outback
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to preface this post by saying first and foremost hello to all of you out there my name is Scrappy and this is my first post to this forum so sorry mods if it ended up in the incorrect place.

A few days ago my wonderful wife bought me a 97 legacy outback for my birthday. Being the car guy I am I immediately took it for a spin straight out to the desert and my first thought is she handles nice but she’s a complete dog. Not terrible but it could definitely use some more power so I’ve been looking for swap ideas bit would really love to if possible keep all wheel drive, and I’d love to keep a Subaru engine under the hood. I’ve seen the 3.6 swapped second gen Impreza and that seems promising but I’d love to hear any other ideas before I go all in.

(Disclaimer I completely understand the work and money involved with engine/transmission swaps I’ve done one before.)
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,139 Posts
Welcome.

Mods may move it to the Gen 1 section or something.

Ideas???? :unsure:

I can come up with lots of things. That one has a 2.5 DOHC and phase 1 4EAT transmission, unless it's manual.

Quick and easy is to boost it. You can use a piggy back ECU to manage the fueling. I haven't looked in to anyone reflashing the ROM on a Gen 1. Safely, 5-8 psi with proper fuel management. Either a turbo or supercharger, larger injectors (550 cc or so), intercooler system, larger exhaust piping, radiator and a little wiring. I'd rebuild the engine before pushing it too much, though. If you put in heavy internals, you could push 15-20 psi, but then you're in to WRX.

Find a similar gen WRX, up to like 2000 would be good and swap the drivetrain and wiring from the WRX to the Legacy. You're best bet is to find a wrecked WRX so you have everything you need. You'll need the engine, trans, rear diff, engine support, rear suspension assembly (actually, you would swap the rear carrier with all it's parts connected - carrier, diff, links, brakes, struts), computers (ECM and ABS - ABS depends on the year and compatibility with the speed sensors), exhaust system, shifter assembly and pedals if yours is automatic. The instrument cluster will need to be swapped with all the interior wiring. Then you also have seats, center console (I think it'll bolt it a Legacy) and any other bits you want including bigger brakes and different wheels.

3.3 swap has been done on Imprezas. Don't know of a Legacy. It would fit.

Swapping a 3.0, 3.0R or 3.6R is manageable. Then you decide if you want 450 HP or more with boost. Again, you'd need a wrecked car handy for swapping the drivetrain. The 2001 up models use the wheel speed sensors in calculations in conjunction with the trans, so this is something to think about. 2001-2004 VDC models with the 4EAT has the VTD center diff for 45/55 torque split. 2005 up H6s are all VDC systems with the H6 and also come with a 5EAT trans and VTD center diff.

These cars are malleable and easy to work with if you have a plan and patience. Don't forget bigger brakes regardless. You want this thing to STOP.
 

·
Registered
97 Legacy Outback
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! You blew the doors off with that reply bro! Thank you! Mine is an auto currently but I’d rather convert to manual. I think I’ll turbo for sure, I intend on using this car as a desert runner here in southern Nevada but also Utah and Colorado where I’ll be moving at the end of the summer. I’ll lift it, widen the track and throw on some beefy tires, maybe general grabbers or something similar, so I’ll need the extra power just for that alone. I’m flip flopping now though between the 3.6 for all that extra (maybe excessive) power, rebuilding my current engine plus hardening it up for boost, or what seems like the simpler Wrx swap. In any case I’ll rebuild the engine/trans I’d hate to blow this thing up on the first run lol.

One more question if you don’t mind (you seem like a wealth of Subaru knowledge) have you heard of anyone reliably rebuilding these 2.5’s and boosting them with longevity? And if so any idea how much power you’d stand to make?
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,139 Posts
There's been a few. The earliest I recall someone boosting one was with a MB SC remote mounted where the air filter box was and he ran 5 psi. He was in San Antonio at the time. He hadn't rebuilt the engine though. The 25D can withstand low boost numbers and put out like a 20-30% HP/Torque increase. It's all in the engine management. Building one - You may as well find a WRX engine. It would amount to the same thing.

I blew the EZ30D engine I boosted after 45k+ miles, but it was due to an injector failure. Detonation. The H6 is a high compression engine, so the fueling has to be spot on and there was no room for error. Other than that issue, it performed every time. So if a high compression engine can perform on 12 psi, your low compression should do great.
 

·
Registered
97 Legacy Outback
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Makes sense! I think I’m leaning towards the wrx swap then. Seems like it’ll be the least amount of headache while still providing enough power to get the job done. I appreciate the help!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top