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1997 Subaru Impreza Outback
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I came across a totaled 09 WRX with all internals intact (except for the radiator being slightly bent) I plan on swapping it into my 97 Impreza Outback..this is my first Subaru so I'm pretty new to this scene so I have a couple questions that can hopefully be answered.

1) is the ECU and Wiring harness compatible?

2) can i use the diffs, struts, and axles off the 09?

3) Will I have to change the wiring at all?

4) can the dashboard be swapped in along with shifter boot/knob?

Any help is appreciated!

-Tim
 

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2009 BL5, 2001 RS
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3,472 Posts
The dash actually can be swapped in but it fits HORRIBLE. Even worse than 02-07 gd dash swaps.
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza Outback
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Damn...alright so what ECU and Wiring harness should I be getting? I'm looking at this but the guy selling seems kinda shady on it so i might just do an EJ20 swap but I want the powwwaaaaa!!
 

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2000 Ej257 swapped 2.5rs
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83 Posts
... the guy selling seems kinda shady...
Yeah, stay away from that, haha.

You're going to need to merge the harness yourself or find someone to do it for you.

Dash will swap but it's hard to make it fit and most will argue that the best safety with respect to airbags is achieved using stock dash.

You can't use the rear diff from the WRX, it's a different final drive. Axles will work. Struts will work if you use your tophats.

Best bet is to do a full drivetrain swap from the WRX including transmission, rear diff, and axles. You'll need a new clutch slave cyl. though.

This falls under the category of "If you have to ask how much it costs....." But, it can be done, all the info you need is here, just please, for the love of god, get a daily driver while you work on this project!
 

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They call me Garrett
98 RBP V4 STi Swapped RS
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4,116 Posts
Damn...alright so what ECU and Wiring harness should I be getting? I'm looking at this but the guy selling seems kinda shady on it so i might just do an EJ20 swap but I want the powwwaaaaa!!
None, 08+ cars are CAN cars and will not work in our cars unless some super fancy software work is done.
 

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Turbo, LS swapped Impreza RS
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5,172 Posts
You should be able to use your shortblock though. Then you need pre 2008 heads/intake manifold/harness/ecu.
 

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Turbo, LS swapped Impreza RS
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5,172 Posts
There really isn't but hey just giving him options. You can get 205 heads fairly cheap too.
 

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1995 WRX 2015 F150
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1,873 Posts
Don't do it. 08+ can bus cars are a wiring nightmare. Just put the idea out of your head and find a 07 or older donor.
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza Outback
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I know someone who can merge the harness for me, I've hear that with the 08+ CAN-bus cars its hard to make the computer happy but can't it still be done? and how unhappy are we talking? I'm pretty set on getting it just because I'm getting the entire car for 2K with only 50K miles on it. which leaves me with about $500 after labor to buy any other part to make this work. Sound reasonable? Why can't I use the Clutch Slave Cylinder off the 09?

and I got a daily on top of this while its in the shop
 

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They call me Garrett
98 RBP V4 STi Swapped RS
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4,116 Posts
I know someone who can merge the harness for me, I've hear that with the 08+ CAN-bus cars its hard to make the computer happy but can't it still be done? and how unhappy are we talking? I'm pretty set on getting it just because I'm getting the entire car for 2K with only 50K miles on it. which leaves me with about $500 after labor to buy any other part to make this work. Sound reasonable? Why can't I use the Clutch Slave Cylinder off the 09?

and I got a daily on top of this while its in the shop
No you do not, and if they think they can, they can't.

CAN uses ~50 ECUs in a car, if you don't have them all, your engine will not work since they all talk to each other and make calculations on how the engine runs is based on more signals than just what the engine sensors are sending. In some CAN cars, even the radio is hooked up into the system.

You will not get it to work.
 

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'01 RS '06 WRX swapped
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297 Posts
I'm not going to say that this works because it is all speculation..but...

07 WRX wiring is very similar to 08+ wiring in terms of engine bay connections etc. You might be able to use the 08+ EJ255 and it's engine harness (with a few repins) and then use a 07 dash harness/ecu/immobilizer/key and possibly get it to work. No guarantees, but it is a thought.
 

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99WhiteMock22B/10TeslaRoadster
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6,659 Posts
I won't say it's impossible if you have the ENTIRE car. That being said, whew...it is most certainly going to be easy or cheap. If you only have $500 extra for spare parts, you may run out of budget way before finished.
 

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They call me Garrett
98 RBP V4 STi Swapped RS
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4,116 Posts
i have a 07 sti swap in my rs and its CAN...
07 is still OBD2

I won't say it's impossible if you have the ENTIRE car. That being said, whew...it is most certainly going to be easy or cheap. If you only have $500 extra for spare parts, you may run out of budget way before finished.
Yes. This.

You need the ENTIRE car, or know how to undo (not really undo, but re-engineer) everything Subaru's software development team has done to make it work properly.

Usually, tossing an entire car into another isn't a big deal in the world of Subaru, but the GR chassis is just extremely different from the GC chassis that it's not really feasible without spending thousands of dollars in fab work.
 

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2000 White RS
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726 Posts
07 is still OBD2



Yes. This.

You need the ENTIRE car, or know how to undo (not really undo, but re-engineer) everything Subaru's software development team has done to make it work properly.

Usually, tossing an entire car into another isn't a big deal in the world of Subaru, but the GR chassis is just extremely different from the GC chassis that it's not really feasible without spending thousands of dollars in fab work.

08+ isn't obd2?
 

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1997 Subaru Impreza Outback
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I am gonna get the entire car. But from what guys are saying it sounds like im better off getting the EJ20 for the swap. So if I do throw in a 07 dash harness/ecu/immobilizer/key with the 09 engine and trans there's hope? my budget for my engine swap is 3K..sounds like the 09 is too much complications and more of a money pit. I'm just so tempted because of the ridiculous deal im getting on the 09
 

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2000 Impreza 2.5RS BRP
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3,555 Posts
It sounds like it would be worth it to buy and part out, but definitely not to try and swap. The 07 was the last year before they moved to CANBUS. Before that, every individual sensor in the car communicated directly with the ECU, which made swapping much easier.

Just to help you understand how much of a nightmare that would be to make work, the 08+ CANBUS cars use the ABS sensors to determine vehicle speed. There is no VSS in the transmission, and the transmission doesn't even have the port for the VSS to be plugged into.
 

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'01 RS '06 WRX swapped
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297 Posts
07 is still OBD2
08+ isn't obd2?
It sounds like it would be worth it to buy and part out, but definitely not to try and swap. The 07 was the last year before they moved to CANBUS. Before that, every individual sensor in the car communicated directly with the ECU, which made swapping much easier.

Just to help you understand how much of a nightmare that would be to make work, the 08+ CANBUS cars use the ABS sensors to determine vehicle speed. There is no VSS in the transmission, and the transmission doesn't even have the port for the VSS to be plugged into.
OBD2 and CANBUS are not comparable things. OBD2 is a protocol for communicating with onboard computer systems to diagnose issues with the car's electronics and performance. OBD is a standardized protocol with most codes being standardized across all manufactures.

CANBUS is how the onboard computers talk to eachother and how a OBD2 reader would connect. Pre 03 Subaru's use ISO 9141 and 03-07 use KWP2000. In 2008 the US government made a mandate that ALL cars use the same connection protocol (CANBUS) to avoid having to buy multiple scan tools for the various connection protocols (SAE J1850 PWM, VPW, 9141, KWP, etc...etc...). Manufactures before 08 still complied to the government rules because once you connected to the ECU with the proper scan tool the OBD2 codes could be read, but you would need different readers for different protocols. Newer passthrough style OBD2 readers that plug into laptops can usually decipher all types of signals because the processing of the signals are done on the computer side, not on the hardware layer.

So CANBUS is a bit more complicated as far as a swap goes because it is newer and people haven't documented the system as much. There are also some MAJOR issues you will run into because of the new style system.

Swaps from 02-07 WRX/STIs (USDM) are so easy because the outputs from the ECU were mostly standardized between all models. There was a pin on the ECU that connected to the tach and gave it an RPM reading.

Newer CANBUS cars the instrument cluster is a computer itself with just a few pins going to it for power, ground, and CANBUS high and low. CANBUS then relays all the information over its data link to all onboard systems including the cluster, which then picks out what data it needs (fuel level, RPM, Speed,...etc) instead of it being fed each signal from the ECU separately.

CANBUS is great because it minimized the amount of wires needed in a car to run functions (possibility of just 4 wires to cluster instead of 6-8+) but it has a downside that you can't easily translate everything back to the older "analog" style devices.

Could you make something that translates everything back into analog and make it work? Yes.

Do you have the R&D budget/time/knowledge to do so?

Nope.
 
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