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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at buying my first Subaru and am not sure what engine is in it. The car is a 1997 Outback Legacy AWD, 5 door wagon. The owner says its a 2.5L with 5 sp manual. On line I see 1.6L as the engine. Can you tell me what engine would have come with this car? I have no reason to think it's not the original engine.

Thanks,
dmend
 

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Can you tell me what engine would have come with this car?
2.5 liter EJ25.

On line I see 1.6L as the engine.
If you google search "Subaru outback 1.6" there's zero information which suggests that.

Since that's impossible, and you'd have to ignore infinite good information to get bad information, tell us where you saw that it's a 1.6L so we can help you help yourself the next time.

No major source of information online would suggest it's an EJ16:
Subaru Outback Archives 1995-1997: options, prices, history.
wikipedia, ebay, edmunds, KBB, online Subaru forums...etc.

The EJ16 never came in a Subaru in the US, in fact i think it's an impreza only offering even internationally.
 

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Homebuilt VW Trike: Yamaha front end, VW 4 speed manual, and a Subaru 2.2L ej22 (1995) (formerly a 1600cc Dual Port VW).
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not looking to replace the engine. I'm considering this engine to replace a VW engine on a trike. Your comment got me looking further into this and it looks like the biggest issue is the head gaskets and overheating. I will use this on trips to the hills out west, as I live in the Midwest, and will be pulling a 700 lbs trailer with the trike. Driving 70 mph for 6-8 hrs and pulling up hill, would you consider that hard driving for this 2.5L EJ25D engine?

Other there other issues I haven't come across yet?

Dmend
 

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Make this easy on yourself and have the owner read off the engine type off of the VIN plate under the hood - From what I could find, the EJ25D came in the Outback, the EJ22 in the Legacy.
 

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Driving 70 mph for 6-8 hrs and pulling up hill, would you consider that hard driving for this 2.5L EJ25D engine?

Other there other issues I haven't come across yet?

Dmend
it can do it just fine - the driving conditions don't have much to do with the engine failing.

it is generally the worst engine Subaru ever made, it's not bad, but the headgaskets just make it annoying. other than that they're perfectly capable engines that see 200,000+ miles rather reliably and predictably if you know them well.

resurface the heads and use an excellent headgasket to get the best possilbe HG mitigation.

later Phase II (2000+ and 1999 Forester and Impreza engines) have "better" headgasket issues, but are still extant.

EG33's (SVX engine) are more reliable and 50 more hp, but hard to find and get parts for.

EJ22 is a far superior engine - one of the best subaru has ever made. get a 1998 or earlier.
 

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I'm not looking to replace the engine. I'm considering this engine to replace a VW engine on a trike. Your comment got me looking further into this and it looks like the biggest issue is the head gaskets and overheating. I will use this on trips to the hills out west, as I live in the Midwest, and will be pulling a 700 lbs trailer with the trike. Driving 70 mph for 6-8 hrs and pulling up hill, would you consider that hard driving for this 2.5L EJ25D engine?

Other there other issues I haven't come across yet?

Dmend
I would not consider buying a used EJ25D unless you are a experienced subaru buyer,...
= there is a reason why it is being sold, as its ready to be used as a boat anchor.

the better engine if you are looking for 165hp, 168 torque,
is the later EJ251 / EJ252 (manual trans), these are SOHC and found in 2000-2004 subarus,
(some in 1999 foresters,...and avoiding any rare oddball EJ259 in 2004 cars),

lots of these are up for grabs in rust bucket cars now....

all these need are headgaskets, typically due to external oil leaks, but a easy job to replace them with better ones, with the rest of the oil seals.
(I would think in a rust bucket or wreck more then 2/3 would be already done, by this late date).

______

but if you want more power: 212hp, 210torque, a EZ30d can easily be had too. and its not that much bigger in area then a EJ251
(its DOHC, so on a trike that maybe more then you want).

this is one of the best engines the company made. (actually all the 6 cylinder ones are), however, people do have individual trouble,
some due to poor maint. or and many 2001-2004 6 cylinder subarus are on the market with head gasket problems. (overheating),...and as such probably best to get a used JDM engine for that type.
 

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I was just thinking: if one can find one at this late date, and can tolerate the hp/ torque.

a EJ18 or EJ22 out of a early car like a 1990-94 maybe ideal for a trike project, as these were the Non-interference type.
(blow a timing belt,...toss another on,...ready for a post apocalyptic world,...no head gasket problems either)

@dmend what VW engine do you got in it now, with the hp / torque #s?

are you looking for more?
 

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you can also bolt EJ22 heads to that EJ25 and get a compression/hp bump and simpler/cheaper heads/timing gear components. the EJ25 vehicle/wiring harness will plug right into the EJ22 intake manifold/wiring and run the EJ25 like a champ. so all you'd need are EJ22 heads and intake manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am currently running a VW 1600 Dual Port, 1640cc with a 4spd trans, header and dual exhaust, two barrel progressive carb. Estimate about 65-70 HP. At elevation, 3-5k ft, there is too much power loss. I'm looking for more horsepower and to get away from the maintenance issues the VW requires (valve adjustments, points, jetting for altitudes).

These other engine suggestions being made look good. I've been looking for a while and have found that in the Chicago area junk Subarus are a rarity. The car/engine that I am looking at, I came across as I was cruising through a small town in Iowa and there were two sitting in a guys yard with grass growing around them and other vehicles and stuff in the yard. It turns out he "collects" stuff. According to the owner it only needs a fuel pump. I need he engine, wiring harness and computer to make this engine swap, that's what makes this 1979 Outback appealing. The suggestion of upgrading the heads and intake are intriguing.

Dmend
 

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if you were to make a hybrid of a EJ25D block with some type of EJ22 heads,

make sure the EJ25D is not overheating when you buy it, the overheating ruins the main bearing,

people do headgaskets on them, and then in a few weeks after that they have a main bearing failure and then want to sell the car vs. tearing the engine down again.

and sadly people that are out looking for cheap AWD, and out buying such old subarus, may not have the money to deal with these kind of expensive problems. (and they pop up here looking for answers,....very very sad answers).

a EJ25D shows its headgasket problem by mild overheats and temp spikes, that get progressively worse over like 3 weeks.

so if you were to look at one, pick a nice humid hot day.

______

and here is a great starting point for you a 1995 legacy with a 2.2, (the engine and year most sought after, for those poor people with EJ25D boat anchors).

with fluid changes, that engine and the 4EAT trans can go 500,000 miles,...and manual trans go right on it too.

https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/d/1995-subaru-legacy-lsi/6254002534.html

I just typed into the chicago craigslist "subaru rust"

and for anyone that thinks LSI = 2.5, such did not exist in 1995

http://www.cars101.com/subaru_legacy_archive95_97.html#1995

edit: here is what was in the craigslist ad,
the rust holes show that the car was loved, and what a pretty color,..

1995 subaru legacy lsi - $950 (Skokie)
1995 subaru legacy
condition: fair
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 181000
paint color: green
size: mid-size
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
type: sedan
4 door, auto, runs excellent, 181,000 miles, i've been driving this car every day for 8 years.

have kept up with all maintenance. very reliable car. has some rust and dents, and interior is poor.

this was the top of the line Subaru, with sunroof, aluminum wheels, 4 wheel disc brakes, abs, and AWD.


 

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The EJ25 in that 1997 outback has very common headgasket issues, it's the worst engine Subaru ever made, though it's not all bad, it's just a lot worse than their other engines. The spark plugs are much harder to replace because they lay vertical and are wedged against the frame rail. And the valve covers are trickier, twice the number of cam seals, and timing components more expensive.

Keep it from ever overheating and you've got a decent engine, but that's hard to verify on 20+ year old vehicles and the particular way in which it fails often leads to multiple/severe overheats, which compromises oil and rod bearings often afterwards. "I replaced my headgaskets now I hear a knock"...." or "...now I blew a rod bearing" - are fairly common for that reason. Don't overheat or compromise the oil and they're fine - you just may be replacing headgaskets. But if you can wade through that - they're still good engines and easily make 200,000+ miles.

One down side to bolting EJ22 heads to an EJ25D block is you increase the compression (hence the 25 hp power gains), but you'll probably need to use higher octane gas.

One up-side is you can buy Delta cams for it and only need 2 cams (for the EJ22 head) rather than 4 for the EJ25.

90-94 is OBDI - some people like that for conversions, although I'm not sure why since the wiring and electronics are nearly identical to the first series of OBDII engines.

1990-1998 EJ22 is the "bullet proof" engine. Don't let it run low on oil or overheat and it's about the easiest and cheapest 300,000 miles you can buy.

1997-1998 are equally robust engines but interference. Replace the timing belt kit properly (belt, tensioner pulleys with high quality parts) and it's a non-issue.

1990-1996 is non-inteference - no need to worry about
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Given a couple of choices now available, 1995 legacy and a 2001 Forester L, on craigslist both with similar mileage, same price, and both having the phase II 2.5L motor (this is the EJ22 right?) I thinking its worth the extra few hundred dollars to buy locally and get the motor everyone is recommending. I'm thinking the Forester since its newer, though it has 10,000 more miles.

I can't post links yet, but the Forester address is:
Forester L: chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/d/2001-subaru-forester-193k/6247026466

Eagleeye's link to Legacy LSI: chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/c...254002534.html

Is there any reason to think the older LSI motor would be better?

Thanks for the link to Everything Subaru.
dmend
 

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Get the 1995 legacy hands down - that's the Holy Grail of Subaru engines, much better than the forester.
Forester has headgasket issues and is interference.

That will be around 135 hp, forester engine is like 170.
You can get delta cams to bump up the EJ22.

Given a couple of choices now available, 1995 legacy and a 2001 Forester L, on craigslist both with similar mileage, same price, and both having the phase II 2.5L motor (this is the EJ22 right?)
you're information is all wrong. Let's work through some terminology.

Simply put you want a 1998 or earlier 2.2 liter engine, not a 2.5 Clearly the forester isn't a 1998 or earlier and isn't a 2.2 liter.

In that way we can avoid a lot of the terminology issues.

But if you want to learn:

2001 is Phase II EJ25
1995 is Phase I EJ22
(1995 is not a Phase II nor an EJ25 as you said)

1995 is OBDII (not Phase II) - maybe that's where you're confused? Some terminology since I think you're getting confused:

EJ25 = 2.5 liter engine, it's an EJ series
EJ22 = 2.2 liter engine, it's an EJ series

EJ is the series and 22 or 25 is just the size/displacement of the engine.

Phase I and Phase II are Subaru EJ engine specific designations - same engine family (EJ) but quite a few electronic and mechanical changes were made between those two iterations.

OBDI/OBDII is federally mandated electronics compatability - so you can plug a scanner/code reader into the 1995 because it's OBDII

That 1995 will run 300,000+ miles without blinking and be very inexpensive and easy to work on. The forester engine isn't bad but I'd some really compelling reason to avoid the best Subaru engine you can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Project Update!.....I now own a 1995 2.2L Legacy. One thing I've learned with Craigslist is you have to act fast.
Thank you @idosubaru for that clarification. My first time into Subaru and it was a bit confusing. The engine runs well and the rest of the car is crap, but I got what I need in one place and the project can move forward.

No oil leaks and with 181k miles I'm thinking I should put in a new timing belt/chain and leave it alone, or is it worth putting in new main seals while I have the engine out or just leave it since there are no known issues?

Thank you everyone for your input on this post.
Dmend
 

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updated thread title.:smile2:

hope we get pics and progress updates

edit: I added the stuff from that craigslist ad to my initial post, only posted for sale there yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, this is gonna be a project. I just found a 22 page write-up on doing the conversion. I've ordered a Subaru manual so it will be a couple of weeks but I'll post some pics on a new thread once I've made some progress.

Thanks again....
Dmend
 
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