Engine swap on a 1999 Forester

Asked by Sep 05, 2013 at 02:14 PM about the 1999 Subaru Forester S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1999 Subaru Forester and the engine just burnt up on me.  I have been looking
at local Junk yards for a replacement; I have called two so far. They have both told me
that the motor for a 99 Forester cannot be replaced with anything but another 99
Forester motor. It can’t be changed out with a 99 Legacy, outback, or anything. I was
told that the 99 Forester is a one off motor only in that vehicle.  I have searched online
forums and have found no evidence of this and I am curious if this is the truth. I have
done some research on found the 99 Forester has a SOHC 2.5L EJ25 motor. Online I
have read many articles about replacing them other EJ25 or EJ20 engines from any
Subaru from 1998-2003. Regardless if it’s a SOHC or a DOHC 2.0 or 2.5L. Is this really
the case or not? Please help me out so I don’t go out and waste any time and money.
Thank you!

3 Answers

Jeff Smith

The local junk yards aren't entirely correct. The 1999 motors had some differences in the intake and manifold, but that can be taken off and used on a later year motor to be swapped in. 1998 was a phase 1 DOHC motor and will not work in your Forester without substantial effort. However, from 1999-2003 the SOHC 2.5L motors will directly bolt in. Sometimes, however, cam and crank sensors and sprockets will need to be swapped depending on the year/model, but the motor itself can be swapped.

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.

I have a 1999 Subaru forester L with manual tranny. I swapped the original EJ25 engine with a EJ20 from Japan. Most parts are compatible from EJ25 to EJ20: Same timing belts/covers and waterpump, clutch components. Parts that have to be swapped from EJ25 to EJ20 is intake manifold with ignition coil, a/c compressor with mount and one of the camshaft sprockets ( i don't remember if it was the left or right). Engine bolts right in to stock transmission and exhaust. The engine is not as torquey as EJ25 but it is more revy which is a nice thing. Also, more fuel efficient.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

did the car through any codes or a check engine light

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