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Registered
2005 LL Bean 3.0
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, admittedly I've done a small amount of homework on this but I'm hoping to start a "thought-provoking" conversation around this. I've been looking at manual transmission Subarus to replace my 2005 H6 really only because I want to daily a stick shift again. However, I adore my car - it's been a loyal companion and just takes whatever I throw at it. It is, however, getting old - 206k miles and climbing and things are starting to squeak and leak all over the place. Three winters in upstate New York did not do this car any favors.

I'd love to eventually swap in a low-mileage EZ36 (more power, ability to run safely on 87 if needed, better reliability than a turbo EJ, etc.) and a six-speed (likely a 3.90). Basically, the drivetrain in Super Gramps from Mighty Car Mods but without the turbo.

I'm assuming the best bet would be to run standalone - either AEM or Haltech (if their ECU can be compatible with a USDM car).

What do you guys think is my best option here? I'm thinking Tribeca engine and a STi drivetrain (sans engine) plus standalone. I'll likely replace the rear subframe too given mine is rusty now.

Lots of pie-in-the-sky stuff I know, but humor me! Think I could pull this off for less than $10k? Any major roadblocks I'm ignoring?

474958
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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9,945 Posts
I think any of the EZs are great engines. I did an EZ30D swap myself that I detailed a lot here.

I have probably 100+ hours in it but very little cost because I got lucky and bought a donor car and had a freshly rebuilt engine and a new transmission to sell to pay for it.

That wouldn't work for you.

I actually just saw a video on this the other day. Basically to do it right expect 10k for the swap. Plus the engine.


What experience do you have swapping engines? Interiors? Merging harnesses? How detail orientated are you? Those things could be a factor.

Please do it.
 

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Registered
2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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324 Posts
Well, haltech has a plug and play ecu for this gen of car, works world wide. Send them an email and ask if it would work for an ez36 swap. In that case, it seems to be just nuts and bolts + exhaust. If you can do the labor yourself, probably 3-4k in parts and another about 2k i think for the ecu.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
Joined
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9,945 Posts
Well, haltech has a plug and play ecu for this gen of car, works world wide. Send them an email and ask if it would work for an ez36 swap. In that case, it seems to be just nuts and bolts + exhaust. If you can do the labor yourself, probably 3-4k in parts and another about 2k i think for the ecu.
It would need a manual swap as well since it's currently a 5EAT 3.0 car.
 

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Registered
2005 LL Bean 3.0
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, haltech has a plug and play ecu for this gen of car, works world wide. Send them an email and ask if it would work for an ez36 swap. In that case, it seems to be just nuts and bolts + exhaust. If you can do the labor yourself, probably 3-4k in parts and another about 2k i think for the ecu.
Oh dang! That's good to know. I'll definitely reach out. I was factoring in around $2K for the ECU.

I think any of the EZs are great engines. I did an EZ30D swap myself that I detailed a lot here.

I have probably 100+ hours in it but very little cost because I got lucky and bought a donor car and had a freshly rebuilt engine and a new transmission to sell to pay for it.

That wouldn't work for you.

I actually just saw a video on this the other day. Basically to do it right expect 10k for the swap. Plus the engine.


What experience do you have swapping engines? Interiors? Merging harnesses? How detail orientated are you? Those things could be a factor.

Please do it.
I'll definitely look through your threads then - thanks for letting me know. I've swapped a JDM EJ25 into a 97 Outback before and have pulled/installed a couple of other EJs into friend's Imprezas. I'm not too worried about the mechanical aspects - it's the wiring where I'd want help - likely from a Subaru speed shop. Maybe get the guts swapped in and trailer it there with an ECU and say "shut up and take my money." In my head, this would be the perfect DD so any investment made would hopefully be worth it.

Figuring I could use the pedal assembly from a manual trans third-gen and perhaps the center console for the shifter position. I'm sure I'd need to have a custom driveshaft made for it but I think the trans, rear diff and axles from an STi should all work.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
Joined
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9,945 Posts
Oh dang! That's good to know. I'll definitely reach out. I was factoring in around $2K for the ECU.



I'll definitely look through your threads then - thanks for letting me know. I've swapped a JDM EJ25 into a 97 Outback before and have pulled/installed a couple of other EJs into friend's Imprezas. I'm not too worried about the mechanical aspects - it's the wiring where I'd want help - likely from a Subaru speed shop. Maybe get the guts swapped in and trailer it there with an ECU and say "shut up and take my money." In my head, this would be the perfect DD so any investment made would hopefully be worth it.

Figuring I could use the pedal assembly from a manual trans third-gen and perhaps the center console for the shifter position. I'm sure I'd need to have a custom driveshaft made for it but I think the trans, rear diff and axles from an STi should all work.
OK now we're talking.

So I'm not an expert but I think the 6 speed swap will require a diff, axles, driveshaft, and possibly hubs. Are you wanting to swap to 5x114 or stay with 5x100?

When you're after the 6 speed do you care about the ratios? I think the Legacy had slightly lower ratios and might be a better starting point since the Outback is Legacy based.

Something like this? https://jdmracingmotors.com/en/subaru/jdm-6-speed-sti-transmissions/5758/jdm-subaru-legacy-spec-b-6-speed-ty856wbdaa-manual-transmission-swap-with-hubs-calipers-driveshaft-l/

It's not a bad option really. You get the aluminum suspension arms that people pay hundreds for. The sub frame and transmission mount SHOULD all bolt up since again it's a legacy.

Do you want ABS? Do you want Cruise Control? At least on Gen 2's the manual and automatic had different units for both and would also need swapped.

Do you want to pass emissions? Do you want to have trouble codes and full integration with the car?

From here you'll have an EZ30 6 Speed. The EZ36 makes I think 40 more lb ft of torque but roughly the same HP.

I would plan to start to here and see how you like the car once you have the bugs worked out.

If you want to keep going:

The EZ36 is roughly the same size as the EZ30R. Hooray asymmetrical rods. So it should fit. Assuming you used the 6 speed legacy I linked it should handle the power just fine.

The torque is nice. Would go nicely. But it's a LOT of work for 40 lb ft.

The engine would probably be 2k? Not sure here. Might be better to start with a state side model.


Are you going to buy a used model and slap it in? Are you going to do a full rebuild? Somewhere in between? Do you want any "while you're there" upgrades on the engine if you do rebuild?

Stand alone EC? Factory ECU? CANBUS is going to come up.

I would have the harness ready to swap in before even considering starting the swap. It can be massively time consuming. I wouldn't have a plan of "take to shop and have them do it" unless they have a long and detailed history/reputation of doing it.

Other than the regular/premium difference I'm not sure the effort for the EZ36 swap would be worth it.

But please do it.

Also I'm not trying to over load you with questions just thinking out loud more than anything.

The swap I did was pretty straight forward and I did it myself in a couple of weeks but there are STILL minor bugs to be sorted even nearly a year after starting.
 

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Registered
2005 Outback 2.0XT, 2003 Audi TTq, 2000 Ducati M750
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296 Posts
DOOOO EEEEEEEET
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,185 Posts
While I (and my mangled knees) prefer the 5EAT myself...The thought of a 3.6 in a Gen 3 body is pretty much my idea of the perfect Outback.
 

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Registered
2005 LL Bean 3.0
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
While I (and my mangled knees) prefer the 5EAT myself...The thought of a 3.6 in a Gen 3 body is pretty much my idea of the perfect Outback.
Right!? Gen 4s are so ugly. Gen 3s are probably the prettiest cars Subaru has ever made in my opinion. The 5EAT is a suburb transmission but it has one fatal flaw that's not even a fault of the engineering - it's an automatic. My personal preference is always going to be stick shift for a DD (this ain't no trail rig or drag car).

OK now we're talking.

So I'm not an expert but I think the 6 speed swap will require a diff, axles, driveshaft, and possibly hubs. Are you wanting to swap to 5x114 or stay with 5x100?

When you're after the 6 speed do you care about the ratios? I think the Legacy had slightly lower ratios and might be a better starting point since the Outback is Legacy based.

Something like this? https://jdmracingmotors.com/en/subaru/jdm-6-speed-sti-transmissions/5758/jdm-subaru-legacy-spec-b-6-speed-ty856wbdaa-manual-transmission-swap-with-hubs-calipers-driveshaft-l/

It's not a bad option really. You get the aluminum suspension arms that people pay hundreds for. The sub frame and transmission mount SHOULD all bolt up since again it's a legacy.

Do you want ABS? Do you want Cruise Control? At least on Gen 2's the manual and automatic had different units for both and would also need swapped.

Do you want to pass emissions? Do you want to have trouble codes and full integration with the car?

From here you'll have an EZ30 6 Speed. The EZ36 makes I think 40 more lb ft of torque but roughly the same HP.

I would plan to start to here and see how you like the car once you have the bugs worked out.

If you want to keep going:

The EZ36 is roughly the same size as the EZ30R. Hooray asymmetrical rods. So it should fit. Assuming you used the 6 speed legacy I linked it should handle the power just fine.

The torque is nice. Would go nicely. But it's a LOT of work for 40 lb ft.

The engine would probably be 2k? Not sure here. Might be better to start with a state side model.


Are you going to buy a used model and slap it in? Are you going to do a full rebuild? Somewhere in between? Do you want any "while you're there" upgrades on the engine if you do rebuild?

Stand alone EC? Factory ECU? CANBUS is going to come up.

I would have the harness ready to swap in before even considering starting the swap. It can be massively time consuming. I wouldn't have a plan of "take to shop and have them do it" unless they have a long and detailed history/reputation of doing it.

Other than the regular/premium difference I'm not sure the effort for the EZ36 swap would be worth it.

But please do it.

Also I'm not trying to over load you with questions just thinking out loud more than anything.

The swap I did was pretty straight forward and I did it myself in a couple of weeks but there are STILL minor bugs to be sorted even nearly a year after starting.
This is exactly why I posted this thread hahaha! I always forget about the canbus. Honestly, I would waste so much time trying to wiring the swap myself and don't really intend to. I'd have someone else do it.

Cruise control would be nice but is not a necessity. Inspections - eh. I have a tendency to say "f the state" and I know I shouldn't, but that's not too much of a worry for me. I'm not about to cut out the cats and belch smog everywhere, but being able to plug into a state-owned computer is the least of my worries. I'd just want the car to be reliable.

Staying 5x100 is a goal. That link you shared is super tempting. STi six speeds are usually going for $3,500 on CL so that's really reasonable, especially since it would get me the subframe components I want to replace anyways. The car already has Whiteline lateral links but the control arms and subframe are original and rusty.

I haven't compression tested the EZ30 currently in the car but I have no reason to believe it's unhealthy despite the mileage. It doesn't overheat (knock on wood) and pulls smoothly and strong. I changed the plugs recently and the old ones looked like your typical older plugs - no sludge or oil residue. Oil is always synthetic and clear of shavings when it gets changed.

What gets me overall is this - do I put close to $10k into a car worth about $3,500 OR... do I cut my losses and hunt down something like a first gen SS (one of my absolute dream Subarus) or just buy into a 05-09 LGT? I have two Jeeps and am about to be gifted a Land Rover from the in-laws, so having four utilitarian cars seems silly - even if one has a flat six and a six speed.

Cars are hard guys - sometimes I think I should just get back into bicycles...
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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9,945 Posts
What gets me overall is this - do I put close to $10k into a car worth about $3,500 OR... do I cut my losses and hunt down something like a first gen SS (one of my absolute dream Subarus) or just buy into a 05-09 LGT? I have two Jeeps and am about to be gifted a Land Rover from the in-laws, so having four utilitarian cars seems silly - even if one has a flat six and a six speed.

Cars are hard guys - sometimes I think I should just get back into bicycles...
You could put 3500 into it and have a 6 speed. The 5EAT might recoup some costs but not much.

Having owned one, I wouldn't buy a Gen 3 XT/GT if it was free.

I had one for a short time and after finally getting the exact configuration I wanted (LGT, Black on Black, Wagon) I was really let down by just how meh the whole thing felt.

Everyone I know with one has had serious engine issues and at best they're all over 10 years old now. A 10+ year old turbo Subaru is going to be a maintenance queen.

For trouble free fun I'd go EZ30/36 any day and make slightly less power.

Which reminds me.

You could consider just opening up the EZ30 you have and doing a 6 speed swap.

Exhaust, intake, and tune tends to open them up.

There is an EZ36 with just those mods making 350 lb ft at 2500 rpm on a dyno.

You could tune the EZ30 you have with bolt ons and be more powerful than an EZ36 and most stock EJ255's. (If those exist anymore.)

I've seen others say the EZ36 has oil starvation issues at high G (Track day Legacy cars blow up) so if you're REALLY going to beat on this thing the EZ30 might be better engine option regardless.
 

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Registered
2005 3.0R
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205 Posts
Cars are hard guys - sometimes I think I should just get back into bicycles...
Maybe this will make you feel better about spending ten grand on your car... ;-)


Edit: Do it.
 

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Premium Member
1999 Legacy SUS Ltd, BGM && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean, WGO
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335 Posts
Yus! I like the sound of anyone playing around with the H6 powertrain. Though I've long since decided I have no desire to daily a stickshift, I'm enjoying my first year with the 5EAT. If you want it, though, take lots of pictures and notes for the rest of us!

As for the EZ30 -> EZ36 swap, I dream of doing that if/when my headgaskets go, too. I've looked into it a lot, at least the wiring, 'cause that's what I can figure out best from the armchair. Best I can tell, the wiring and pinout is actually 90% - 95% the same! There are a half dozen different signals, and about 20 that go to different ECU pin locations. Basically, there's variable intake and exhaust on the EZ36, and just intake on the EZ30. My take is that you can get an EZ36 engine harness, do some pin swapping, and plug it and the EZ36 ECU into the same EZ30 body harness.

A fellow over on LegacyGT forums did a very similar swap/build, and posted a "common wiring" chart. I've started verifying his work and making my own, though I paused a few months back it wouldn't be hard to start again. I'm going to try to read the FSM for each year, for the 2.5i, 2.5T, and 3.0, and compare to some (undecided) EZ36 to account for any different pin locations.
Let me find that thread to link here!
 

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Premium Member
1999 Legacy SUS Ltd, BGM && 2007 Outback 3.0 LLBean, WGO
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335 Posts
Alright, I found it: https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/bought-me-3-0r-lots-custom-goodies-flared-evo-x-219871p3.html OP starts with a 3.0R and swaps for a 2011 EZ36.
This "Dead Mr" is a bit of a wizard at making things "fit" -- see other posts in the thread, for work on a BD Legacy, a Forester, and fitting Evo X calipers to the Legacy knuckles (a bit of welding, but he managed it).
The engine swap starts at post #116, and continues. Last time I caught up, he was still fabricating the custom intake. IDK why, honestly, but I think that's finished now. His electrical research starts on post #136. If you really wanna go ahead with this, I'll push to get through my wiring lookups again, too... I'll want it sooner or later for myself anyway!
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
Joined
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9,945 Posts
Alright, I found it: https://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/bought-me-3-0r-lots-custom-goodies-flared-evo-x-219871p3.html OP starts with a 3.0R and swaps for a 2011 EZ36.
This "Dead Mr" is a bit of a wizard at making things "fit" -- see other posts in the thread, for work on a BD Legacy, a Forester, and fitting Evo X calipers to the Legacy knuckles (a bit of welding, but he managed it).
The engine swap starts at post #116, and continues. Last time I caught up, he was still fabricating the custom intake. IDK why, honestly, but I think that's finished now. His electrical research starts on post #136. If you really wanna go ahead with this, I'll push to get through my wiring lookups again, too... I'll want it sooner or later for myself anyway!
Good stuff! Looks like he got it running and sold it. I'm impressed he ran the EZ36 on the EZ30 ECU. It might be an easier swap than we realize if one doesn't mind losing AVCS.
 
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