2003 wrx engine swap with sti
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This is a discussion on 2003 wrx engine swap with sti within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I have a 2003 WRX. Was thinking of doing a STI engine swap. What year STI engine would be the ...

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    2003 wrx engine swap with sti

    I have a 2003 WRX. Was thinking of doing a STI engine swap. What year STI engine would be the best swap? Any suggestions/advice? Thanks

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If your current engine runs, forget it.

    If your current engine has failed, figure out why first. That may prevent the same thing happening to the expen$ive replacement.

    After that, consider a hybrid build. If you search "hybrid motor" or "hybrid build" you will see info. This will get you a brand new shortblock, and along with it compression, management, oiling, and fueling problems.

    The issue I'd want to avoid with a newer STi engine (intact) is the wiring, valve control, etc. Hybrid or bust IMO.

    EDIT: By the way, "hybrid" and "bust" are not mutually exclusive in my view. Nonetheless, I disagree with the assessment about the pistons below; however, the link is at the very least a good start.

    Hybrid Engine's - Subaru WRX Forum: WRX Forums
    Last edited by SD_GR; 10-02-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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    The reason I am considering this is because a valve spring just broke. I have some mods but nothing on the engine. Any insight on why a valve spring would break under normal driving conditions?

    Ill look into that hybrid motor.

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    Are you wanting to build a hybrid, or swap an entire ej257 longblock/wiring/ECU/etc?

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    Not sure at this point. My thought was, I like the idea of swapping for an STI engine because of the reliability and ease of getting parts. I need to do some research on this hybrid build idea. Sounds like it's pretty reliable and cheaper/easier to do a hybrid rebuild than swap for engine since I would have to replace many other parts.
    Last edited by mzeek; 10-02-2012 at 12:12 PM.

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    Hm... I've not had any issues with my Subaru. I know on other motors if they are over-rev'ed this can cause an issue that starts as a float or hop and ends in tears. Did you over-rev the motor or something maybe?

    By the way, if it's "just" one spring (I say just because it's a lot of work anyway) then you are looking at "just" one head, so you can leave the motor in the car. It's tight but not impossible once you clear everything out of the way. I'd rather have everything out on a bench though -- but at that point you're adding a clutch to the full timing belt job already.

    Still, that way you're not buying, building, etc. an engine.
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    Bought the car in 2004 with 10k on the motor and it now has 130k. The last 30,000 miles or so have been relatively easy, but the the 100,000 prior have been rough at times, so it likely (by likely I mean definitely) has been over revved.

    I like your idea of replacing the valve spring and calling it a day. It has been a really tough motor and I am probably getting over my head/budget with a engine swap idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mzeek View Post
    Bought the car in 2004 with 10k on the motor and it now has 130k. The last 30,000 miles or so have been relatively easy, but the the 100,000 prior have been rough at times, so it likely (by likely I mean definitely) has been over revved.

    I like your idea of replacing the valve spring and calling it a day. It has been a really tough motor and I am probably getting over my head/budget with a engine swap idea.
    Yes you know, realistically, parts are expensive, the car isn't appreciating any in value as time goes on, it's got 130K on it etc. If the rest of the motor seems OK, I would consider doing the minimal to get the car back on the road, and drive it along with the "big 200K" goal in mind. Your call. I tend to be frugal if/when possible (I like money). Have a hard stare at the engine bay, see if your knuckles are up to head work in situ vs. removing the motor. (Then again, if the clutch is aging anyway... then maybe... etc.).
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    The clutch might need replacing soon. My sister got 150k out of her 04 wrx before replacing a clutch, but mine has been used a bit harder. I hear you on the being frugal. Springs are around $27 a peice so replacing the one spring and waiting for the clutch to go later is probabably what Ill end up doing.

    All in all, I am pretty happy with the motor. 130k and not a single issue before this is pretty damn good. Might as well keep it going for cheap.

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    OK then with that outlook, I'd definitely invest in a shop manual. I believe they are available as PDFs online; have a look around. You'll need it for torque specs, procedures, etc. Then you can decide whether to have at it as it sits vs. removing the engine.
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzeek View Post
    Not sure at this point. My thought was, I like the idea of swapping for an STI engine because of the reliability and ease of getting parts
    Uh.....

    Explain to me how the reliability and ease of gettting parts for the EJ205 is less?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Uh.....

    Explain to me how the reliability and ease of gettting parts for the EJ205 is less?
    It's a smaller number engine...205<257. Obviously it has less parts available because it has less in the number.
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    I've been pre occupied and just yesterday got to fixing my 2003 wrx. I recently bought a stock JDM 00-05 2.0 engine and tranny. It was cheaper, or at least I thought/hope it was cheaper than getting my USDM engine rebuilt. The problem I have now is that the intake manifold on this JDM is different (is this a year issue or a JDM thing), has no engine wiring harness, and I cant take my old engine wiring off because of these differences. Did subaru make an intake manifold change from 2003 to 2005? If so, this would make sense that the engine I received could be an 2005 and I need to make these adjustments to fit my 2003 wrx.

    Here is a link to what I bought: JDM 00 05 Subaru Impreza WRX EJ20T Turbo Engine EJ20 2 0L Forester EJ205D Motor | eBay

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    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in order to run that whole engine setup, you'd have to swap a wire harness and ECU as well if it's JDM. I thought EDM/JDM/USDM are all different. Meaning you can't run a JDM engine, with USDM ECU/harness.
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    I really, really hope thats not the case. I was able to make the old manifold intake fit and not swap engine harness or any of the other junk strapped to the intake manifold. I just need to mess with the intercooler plumbing a bit tomorrow, oil change, tranny oil, and a few other things and I will be able to hopefully start it after that. Ill let you guys know if the ECU gives me any issues. Fingers are crossed on this one...

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