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Longtime lurker; first time poster. Original owner of 03 outback 2.5L w 260k. first Headgasket done at 180k, now HG blown again. replacing w 2.0 jdm motor at shop for $1200 or selling car for a few $$ is only options at this point. Any advice from owners/mechanics who've done this swap would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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1,224 Posts
The swap is relatively easy (keep your intake manifold, cam & crank sensors and drivers side cam gear. I have heard that the EJ20 in Outback wagons with auto transmissions are rather doggy, but that's only third hand info.

I have an EJ20 JDM in my 03 Forester with Manual Transmission and I have no issues accelerating or crusing at 75 mph
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,325 Posts
why don't you replace it with a US spec Ej251 2003-2004 EGR engine from a pick and pull from a wreck? (closest would be a leg/outback)

(you can look right down at them and see the head gaskets/ gaskets on the intake manifold,...and maybe find one that is young in miles on the listing and have nice head gaskets on it).

I mean a used engine for one of these from a pick and pull is like $250 ? . (vs. ponying all those bucks up for a JDM)

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then there is no issue with it having only about 140hp,

...any tuning vs. check engine light vs ECU silliness that your state won't like.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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1,572 Posts
It's a pretty straightforward swap. You would essentially be using the engine block and cylinder heads, however. Like @miker104 said, you'd be keeping everything from your intake manifold and up (accessories, brackets, wiring, etc).
 
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