How hard is a Loyale engine swap

Asked by Dec 30, 2011 at 08:13 PM about the 1992 Subaru Loyale 4 Dr STD Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my question....

I've got two subaru loyales, one with a beat up body but ok engine, one with a blown engine but straight body. How hard would swapping the good engine into the good car be?

-The engine info stickers show them to be the same (1.8L tbi) and they look the same, and the two cars are same make, model, and within 2 years of each other in manufacture.

-I am a pretty good shade-tree mechanic. Last summer I stripped my 4runner's engine totally down for new gaskets and timing chain. When I put it back together it ran on the first try.

I've never cracked a block, but from the book this looks pretty simple: undo the fuel and air lines, electrical, and exhaust, then unbolt the engine from the tranny and hoist it out. Reverse process for the other engine.

How long should I budget for this?
Is there anything I should look out for, or any reason I shouldn't try it?
Is there any possibility the good engine might not swap in, even though it looks the same and has the same underhood sticker/model#?

1 Answer


Great question. Since you have the motor and the body it is smarter to swap it out. The only warning would be if one is an automatic and one is a manual. Other than that yes swapping out the motor is fairly simple in these older Loyale's, GL's, and DL's (if they are manuals otherwise you have ti unbolt the Flywheel from the Torque converter) Remember while you have the motor out you should do a timing belt swap and valve cover gasket on this motor since it so easy once removed. Also the Head gasket could be changed at this time relatively simply and then you'd have a very tight motor. Please note that you can only do the head and valve gasket when it is out. A new clutch would make all the components that are hard to change complete on this list besides a water pump. This is because all of the components show wear after years of abuse. Otherwise I would recommend a EJ2.2L conversion!

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