Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone! First post here, been viewing these forums for 6mo+, really great community. I have a couple quick questions that I'm hoping a few experienced owners might be able to shed some light on.

For starters: I bought a 96 Legacy Outback three to four months ago and have had very few issues. EJ22 totally stock everything at the moment, 5-speed manual transmission AWD. Overall, very positive first experience with Subaru. Unfortunately, I was driving up to Denver on the interstate and threw a rod... punched a hole straight through the top of the block. I've always been very good about vehicle maintenance, so it's unfortunate that I am placed in this situation; early oil changes, fluid flushes on everything, the whole deal. I'm enlisting Air Force and leaving end of next month, and would like to get this car back up and running for my family before I leave.

What I've been trying to determine is the most cost effective way to get this bad boy chugging along again. I've considered going to a junkyard and taking a chance on a healthy looking block from a totaled body, but that scares me - I'm really trying to keep this thing reliable, as I am one of the few in my family who is mechanically inclined whatsoever. Of course, I could always buy a proper rebuild with a warranty but that will be in the thousands. Another idea I had was to buy another broken Outback or Legacy from Craigslist or something with a 2.2L (or 2.5?) and swap that engine into mine - one with a failed transmission or the like.

I'll get to the point - I'm trying to spend as little money as possible to achieve reliability. If I were to buy a broken donor car, so to speak, which blocks from which vehicles would bolt on with little to no harness merging? Looking for a plug-and-play solution. I've heard of people mounting their 2.2 heads onto certain year EJ25 blocks but I don't want to buy something in the blind and find that it ends up being more expensive than another option or just not possible. Or potentially I could swap in an entire 2.5 long block, but will the ECU be okay with that? Can I use an engine from an automatic, will it work with my MT? Or will there be MAS/MAF? What about timing with the heads? A lot of details to consider, and the details will be what slow me down. Not sure which direction to head with this one.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks for your time guys!
- Dan
 

·
Registered
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
I'd go with finding another Gen 1 ( or maybe another model?) with the 2.2 - you can probably pick one up for maybe $400 or less (kelly bluebook shows them as being dawn in that area) - drive it home, and swap engines. Someone else with more thorough knowledge of that generation engines can give you more details, but as far as I know, the 2.2's are all the same, and if you get an auto instead of a manual, I believe that all you'll need to swap out is the flywheel to mount your clutch on. there may be another sensor or two that needs to be swapped to the new motor, but again, I'm not positive about that.
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks Richard for your thoughts, that was my first idea. I've found quite a few Outbacks of the same type but all are Automatic Ts, also they all got sold so no dice... but I have been talking to this guy, take a look at his car - [can't post links yet, i'll put some info below].


-- start --
1999 Subaru Legacy L Wagon 4D
Manual Transmission
"car bucks and stalls once it is warm. drives perfect on cold engine. needs to be towed. 700 obo. i need a good daily and dont have time to fix this car. ej25 manual miles on engine unknown body 121k."

-- messages --
"[Head gasket failure] was my worry as it is the ej25. But codes shoe cylinder 3-4 misfire. Which is other side of engine. No coolant. Oil mix found. Codes were pulled for 02 sensor. Cylinder 3 4 misfire and a weird code that nasioc believes is the problem...No white smoke. Just unburnt fuel in the exhaust"

"Runs great when warm then crappy after. My check list is compression, coil pack, coolant temp sensor and neutral safety switch. All things that have been recommended or the codes lean too. I'm not leaning to compression as much since it's the 2 cylinders on opposite sides. The nasioc article for the code I can't remember right now is the neutral safety switch. Symptoms sound similar. I just haven't had time to truly dig in"
-- end --


Doesn't have to be pretty, just has to have a functional engine. It's an MT 2.5L SOHC from a Legacy L, he believes EJ25D. I appreciate this because it's the same transmission, so in theory no harness issues, also it's a SOHC so my intake/exhaust manifolds should bolt right up..? He did say it has some issues once warm, which I imagine are head gasket-related. But I want to do the head gasket job before I put it in the car regardless. Would I want to bolt my own heads on from my busted EJ22? Or continue using his from the 25? Maybe this is too much risk? But he's willing to sell cheap which is pretty nice, because I can sell the rest of the car back to pull & pay and get something back for it, potentially. Also I'd get an extra set of wheels out of this which would be great. But I'd get that by buying any Legacy or Outback, so... Seems like an easy option, especially since it still runs so I wouldn't have to get a tow, depending on how bad his idle problem is. But not sure if that engine would be happy in my car.

Thanks again to everyone's advice on my situation!

Edit:
Pay no mind to this 99 Legacy - idosubaru said its phase II so no fit
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,620 Posts
vacuum gauge testing is cheap and easy - not great for subtle issues but, you might compare readings warm vs cold - search online for info on what a vacuum gauge can show. maybe a vacuum leak is opening up when warm?

engine temp sensor might be holding the car in 'choke' mode after warm-up.

waste-spark ignition so, misfires on opposite side cyls could be a bad coil.
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,197 Posts
@idosubaru

I guess a 1996 outback manual does not have a EGR

what would the choice engines be to drop into this one.? (no need for the typical discussion for swapping a 2.2 into a EGR equiped EJ25D car )



any impreza / impreza outback sport engine with a EJ221?

foresters only came on the seen in 98 with EJ25D turds, and then EJ251 in 99.

______

I am thinking for easy hunting 1995 and 96 model year 2.2 in impreza and legacy should be looked at,
...1.8 being kind of anemic ...and really pokey for colorado.

later 2.2s may need intakes, whole exhausts, and a matching ECUs for a manual trans.

edit: and moved to 1995-99 gen 1 section.
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,391 Posts
This thread is confusing. You’re asking about putting that 99 engine into the 96 or fixing the 99 or fixing the 96? Hard to help with so many words and no questions to follow....

The 99 engine will not work in the 96.

96 outback you can install:
Any 1996-1998 EJ22 is bolt in. If it has EGR just remove it, no big deal.

A 1995 EJ22 if you grab a dual port exhaust manifold.

Any 1990-1994 EJ22 if you grab the exhaust manifold and bolt the 96 intake manifold to it.

Any EJ18 if you grab a dual port exhaust manifold and bolt the 96 intake manifold to it.

Nearly any EJ block at all if you bolt your EJ22 heads to it. Find a bent valve engine and you’ve got a block to out your heads on. EJ22 or EJ25 and bolt your EJ22 heads to it.

If the engine was likely starved of oil you might just want a new block though.

I’d avoid EJ25s due to headgasket issues but you can also use Any EJ25 from 1996-1999 outback, SUS, or GT or 1998 Forester or Impreza RS. (Reread that list - it’s specific - if you have to ask the answer is “no”). The 99 legacy doesn’t fit that list because they’re all Phase II EJ22s, it just happened to be swapped to EJ25 Phase II which won’t work in yours.

The 99 is a Phase II, not an EJ25D like you mentioned. EJ25Ds were not SOHC nor did they come in base model 99 legacy’s. The Phase II EJ22 was swapped for a Phase II EJ25.
 

·
Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
·
16,119 Posts
Sounds like this guy can do his own wrenching. The Springs is too far away for me to help with something like this.

I do like a nice Gen1 (OB) / Gen2 (Leggy) tho ... Miss my '95 MT
 

·
Registered
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
As others said, forget that '99 - wrong engine, and not a good one. keep looking for something with the 2.2.

unfortunately, my '96 won't be up for sale for maybe another year! :)
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for your ideas, 1 Lucky Texan. Unfortunately, sounds like that car won't work, but I will keep up the search.
And eagleeye, I appreciate you moving the thread - still trying to find my way around these parts.

Sorry for the confusion idosubaru, you did end up getting it right. I was simply trying to determine if I could salvage the engine from the 99 to use in my OB but it sounds like you answered that question quite thoroughly. That was exactly the type of information I was hoping for - now I know what to hunt for. I am absolutely amazed as to how educated you are with these engines, and humbled that you are taking the time to share what you know with me. You guys are helping me out big time.

traildogck, I have to agree with you, I prefer the earlier models. Just easier to work on in my experience. This is my first real swing at the guts of an EJ though so I don't really know what I'm talking about :1pat: - I'm usually working on Honda & Hyundai engines (just finished a HG / timing job on an Elantra).

Thanks for the verification Richard, sounds like the crowd is unanimous. I will start hunting for idosubaru's list of vehicles, wish me luck!
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@idosubaru Again, just to confirm, out of that list you provided me. It's all the same information regardless of whether AT or MT? Thanks again, you've been a huge help!
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
By the way @traildogck, if you happen to come across a vehicle that might work for my situation, feel free to give me a shout! I'd be happy to tow down from Denver, I had to do the same with my OB in the first place so it would be no big deal, especially if it's a bolt-on, good looking engine. If I can help it, I'd rather leave the engine in one piece and not have to deal with transferring heads.

For the record, here are a few images to support what I've been talking about, in case anyone is interested.
 

Attachments

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,197 Posts
tow = Flat bed or trailer 4 wheels up. (the subaru way,...less torque-bind is what you want).

unless you disconnect some drivesahafts, but still 2 wheel dollies just plain suck.
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Absolutely. To tow an AWD with a tow dolly is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot. Four wheels are safer anyway
 

·
Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
·
16,119 Posts
By the way @traildogck, if you happen to come across a vehicle that might work for my situation, feel free to give me a shout! I'd be happy to tow down from Denver, I had to do the same with my OB in the first place so it would be no big deal, especially if it's a bolt-on, good looking engine. If I can help it, I'd rather leave the engine in one piece and not have to deal with transferring heads.

For the record, here are a few images to support what I've been talking about, in case anyone is interested.
So you want 2.2 block, or cheap car from 1995-1998? I knew of one, a '95, but I think it's been scrapped. I would have to look in my usual places.
 

·
Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
·
16,119 Posts
Dan, in Thornton/Northglen/Henderson there's a shop , RetroRoo. He runs the ultimatesubaru.org site (Shawn) - you might speak with him about a car/repairs/pre-purchase inspection, etc.



Retro Roo
Yep. Great Suggestion.

I can actually walk there in about 20min if I have a spring in my step. Just not "the Springs"
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,391 Posts
@idosubaru It's all the same information regardless of whether AT or MT? Thanks again, you've been a huge help!
doesn't matter. the specifics i've outlined are the only thing you need to know, sometimes those items may correlate to AT or MT, and therefore throw off junk yard exchange info, but AT and MT is meaingless if you look for the details i outlined.
 

·
Registered
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
Joined
·
17,620 Posts
Yep. Great Suggestion.

I can actually walk there in about 20min if I have a spring in my step. Just not "the Springs"

He should be able to find good resources in the Spgs - every time I visit my daughter there, is a shock , Subaru density seems like 1,000% more than here in DFW !


I just have never really read of a shop there that folks 'love' so, can't make any suggestions other than to cross-reference google/yelp/angieslist reviews I suppose.
 

·
Registered
1996 Subaru Legacy Outback
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
@traildogck: Essentially yes. I really appreciate you checking things out, I hope it's not out of your way! I'd be infinitely grateful if you found something that would work, however 1 Lucky Texan is right. There are Subarus EVERYWHERE down here. I just have to be patient enough to stumble across the right one. I will reach out to Shawn at RetroRoo, but I cannot afford to pay someone else the labor - I'll be doing everything on this project myself, along with some intermittent help from a few others. Maybe he'll just have some suggestions for me, that would be ideal.

@idosubaru: Fair enough. I just wasn't quite sure, because I've heard of horror stories with mismatches seeming to be due to AT/MT mismatch, but honestly, it was probably just the wrong engine in the wrong car. When I have a lead, I'll run it by this thread to see what you guys have to say about it. These cars are starting to seem like lego blocks, where you can mix and match tons of different parts and they all seem to go together in some way, shape or form... haha :5:
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top