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2004 Leg Outback, 2.5L SOHC, 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a rather odd '04 with a evil sounding knock (like the piston slap of the early 2.5's, but louder), toasted clutch, 95% sure toasted HG including oil/coolant mixing, and rust-welded/now-snapped exhaust manifold bolts. It's odd because there's 3-4 extra O2 sensors and there's no throttle cables. I believe it's a single port exhaust too, highly annoying. I haven't actually pulled it out yet, not sure how I'm going to get the remaining semi-dissolved exhaust nuts off without harming the manifold. Also, the intake manifold looks like it's a bolted together 3-piece unit

The '06 motor I pulled yesterday; it has a ton more miles on it (192k on the '04 car, 252k on the '06 car) but sounds/runs perfectly fine other than oil weeping from somewhere (possible it's only the power steering o-rings). The '06 has a couple extra gizmo's on the driver side head, as well as the proper dual port exhaust. The '06 ran far too good for 252k miles and it split apart with literally NO effort so I'm not sure if the engine was swapped or if it was just a semi-recent clutch job, either way I really really want to use it rather than the other '01ish 2.5 I have. The best part, to me, is the exhaust manifold studs came out with no issue's.

I plan on swapping another '03-'04ish intake manifold that has the EGR stuff onto the '06 long-block which should fix all the various wiring hang-ups and allow me to replace some of the nasty looking coolant pipes on the '06. The '06 looks like it's a solid piece with spacers to lift it higher off the heads/block but the only big difference I can see is the stupid coil pack placement and possibly less tucked coolant lines. I also plan on doing all the gaskets & timing belt on it "just because".
The problem with the other 01ish 2.5 is there's no EGR port on the head and it's also got 2 seized/broken exhaust manifold studs and I can't get my flux-core weld to stick to the stud.
As I'm posting this I realize I'll have to take a closer look at the water pump outlet as that was also different on the '06 but I might just try stuffing the '06 radiator into the '04 and hope it goes better than trying to stuff a '03 radiator into a '98 did (so much fail with that idea lol).

Does anyone know how big of a hang-up the extra gizmo's on the '06 head will be? I'm probably not as worried about the dual vs single port exhaust bit as I should be but I can add a bunch of extra bungs to the '06's dual-port manifold if I have to. With how everything else is going right now the intakes probably won't swap either but I'll find out soonish as I have the "right" intake manifold ready to swap on. Still waiting on the timing belt stuff to show up.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,956 Posts
do you have the whole ej253 2006 car parked next to the 2004 car ?
(wiring harness, ...exhaust, gauge cluster, ecu ?) = seems like a whole lot of stuff to move even if you did not have to pay by the item.
(I am not even sure if the gauge cluster of a 2006 neatly fits in a earlier dash)

2003-2004 EJ251 autos and manual engines are easy to come by in wrecks and rust buckets. = even clean air states 2004 EJ259 weirdos. (many with a good head gasket job on them already)
 

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2004 Leg Outback, 2.5L SOHC, 5MT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why would I need to change anything car side to change the motor? Especially when all the wiring is on the intake manifold which I plan on changing as well?
But yes, actually. The '06 is is parked back to back with the '04.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Why would I need to change anything car side to change the motor? Especially when all the wiring is on the intake manifold which I plan on changing as well?
But yes, actually. The '06 is is parked back to back with the '04.
I meant transferring from one car to another. such is needed for none native engine swaps like this going from EJ253 into a EJ251,

....but this is not even a cool swap. (I don't think I have read of many people even bothering, ....vs. say dropping something faster in where the local state will let you without plugging in for a inspection).
 

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2004 Leg Outback, 2.5L SOHC, 5MT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The "direct" swappable 2.5 I have has exhaust studs stuck in it and no EGR ports, the '06 has the EGR port and no exhaust studs stuck. The motor currently in the '04 now has 1 broken stud and at least 2 nuts that turned mostly to dust.
The EGR option seems to be rather rare in my state despite how "unofficial state car" Subaru's are so yes, another '00-'04 2.5 is a dime a dozen but the EGR valve seems to be rare.Whatever is going on with the exhaust having 5+ O2 sensors and the front 2 hanging off the timing cover is also pretty rare.
Junkyards think they're gold, want $1000+ for a 100k mile motor that still needs the HG & timing belt done.
Trying to work with what I have now.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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The "direct" swappable 2.5 I have has exhaust studs stuck in it and no EGR ports, the '06 has the EGR port and no exhaust studs stuck. The motor currently in the '04 now has 1 broken stud and at least 2 nuts that turned mostly to dust.
The EGR option seems to be rather rare in my state despite how "unofficial state car" Subaru's are so yes, another '00-'04 2.5 is a dime a dozen but the EGR valve seems to be rare.Whatever is going on with the exhaust having 5+ O2 sensors and the front 2 hanging off the timing cover is also pretty rare.
Junkyards think they're gold, want $1000+ for a 100k mile motor that still needs the HG & timing belt done.
Trying to work with what I have now.
I would not call a 2000-2002 EJ251 a direct swap into a 2003-2004 with the EGR.
I have my own running 2002 2.5 auto rust bucket sedan, and I am only going to put the power plant in a rust free 2001-2002 auto. 2003-2004 had EGR, and mine does not.


Is this 2004 you are working on a EJ259 clean air car? (see the build plate on the shock tower in front of the driver)
I see you are a Vermonter. and I am in Upstate NY,...so states where those were originally sold and easy to round up. = weird one year things though.
(lots of special parts / tolerances)
 

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2004 Leg Outback, 2.5L SOHC, 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've had a 2004 for 2 years now, came from Colorado in '17. Under the hood it looks like every other '98-'03 I've had other than the EGR stuff and the MAF Subaru could never decide was better than a MAP sensor. Subaru themselves gave me single-port exhaust gaskets for it based on the VIN when I had someone do the head gaskets on it before I really looked at it, the exhaust turned out to be a 2-port head and took the UEL header I originally got for a '00 Forester with no issues (the cat-back I also got for the Forester doesn't fit around the rear diff at all, not enough "kick-out").
This "new" 2004 is all kinds of what-in-the-heck-is-going-on. I'll have to check if it's a EJ259, I'm pretty sure it says "California Emissions" on the hood sticker but so does my "older" '04 which has none of the crazy-ness.
The '01 long block is the same as '03-'04, the driver side head just got drilled & tapped for the EGR pipe. I'd drill & tap mine if the exhaust stud's had come out properly, I believe it's just a M20x1.5 tap and 18mm drill bit. The '06 long block also looks mostly identical other than a funky oil pan shape, funky valve cover shape and extra gizmo's that I'm hoping can be ignored on the driver side head.
 

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2004 Leg Outback, 2.5L SOHC, 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welp, the spare '03-'04 IM I have isn't in the awesome shape I thought it was in, I apparently tore off the connector to the front driver side O2 sensor and either cut or tore off the CPS connector as well when I pulled it off the motor years ago.
Got it bolted onto the '06 longblock though, nearly a direct swap. The EGR pipe bolts right in, no issue's.
The IACV port on the passenger side of the bellhousing had to be removed as there's no need for the 'T' in '03-'04 (FYI it's a pressure fit, not a screw fit. wish I had known when I started).
The ECTS is on the wrong side of the coolant passage on top of the block, the boss where it belongs is still there but it isn't drilled or tapped.
The knock sensor also has to be swapped out, the sensor is 2-wire for '06 while the '04 is 1-wire and the connectors are way different.
There are a ton of gizmo's left unused, I'm guessing they're extra camshaft position sensors and oil pressure sensors but don't quote me on exactly what they are.

End of the day? Just because the parts book says it doesn't swap, doesn't mean it doesn't swap :cool: I usefully named the images, not sure if the forum will eat the name or not; these are either close up's of things that change or overview's to show it's a 06 longblock and a '03-'04 IM.

Did confirm that the "new" '04 that doesn't look like any '00-'04 I've had in the past is a EJ259 engine code. Not sure what the 06 is, where I expected the engine code plate to be was just a pile of rotted strut tower. Pretty sure my "old" '04 that looks like every other '00-'04 I've had has a EJ253 engine code.
2004 Subaru Outback engine code plate.jpg
06 engine with 04 IM driver.jpg 06 engine with 04 IM front.jpg 06 engine with 04 IM passenger.jpg 06 IM on top - 04 IM on bottom alternator view.jpg 06 IM on top - 04 IM on bottom TB view.jpg ECTS to be moved to lower right bung.jpg knock sensor to swap.jpg t-fitting to swap.jpg
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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I skimmed over your posts...and I'm not sure I completely follow. But here's what I know, not really answers, but might give you a direction of what challenges you might have to watch for/research.

The '06 is an EJ253, which means Variable Valve Timing. I don't have any hands on experience with these, but I've heard of people locking off that system, implying the default cam profile if you just leave it disconnected may not be ideal.

The EJ259 is a weird *******. Electronic throttle body, single port exhaust (looks like the same port as a first gen EZ30D, but it's a bit smaller), and many many sensors. A person could probably use the EJ251 intake manifold, wiring and sensors, on an EJ259 block/heads with EJ259 exhaust manifold, but it'd be a bit of a mess. They're not terribly common (04-05 California Emissions, IIRC), so not very well documented.

As always, check the crank and LH cam sprockets. There are at least 2 different tone wheel patterns, and not much consensus on what uses what. This has caught up many a seasoned and backyard mechanic alike.
 
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