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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here's my dilemma. I want a functional SUV with a manual, so Outback is obviously the only choice (unless I opt for a Cayenne). Problem is, the 3.6R is not offered with a manual, and the 2.5 (EJ253) doesn't make enough power for me. My current car is a G35 6MT, previous car was an MR2 turbo.

I was thinking, since the new Outback is literally a lifted Legacy, maybe I could convert the EJ253 to EJ255 (from what I could gather in a couple hours they are basically the same other than SOHC/DOHC+FI). Or maybe the best bet is to find a small bolt on turbo with or without an IC. I'm not sure at all, this would be the first Subaru I'd be buying.

First, is it possible to convert the EJ253 to EJ255 that's found on the '10 Legacy? I would be quite happy with the hp around 250.

Second, if I get a bolt on turbo (with or without IC), what kind of power can I expect from a safe amount of boost?

It is a brand new car, and I'd be voiding my warranty, so I need the set up to be as reliable as a stock Legacy 2.5GT. Would I also have to upgrade the intake, exhaust, injectors, and what about reprogramming the ECU? I know very little about Subaru ECUs, I've only done bolt on mods on my 2, and had a piggy back chip on the ECU. I'd like to keep the total price including installation and tuning under 5K, as that's the difference in price of 2.5 vs 3.6R.

If this is possible, I would be a fan of Subaru forever!
 

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Zombie Killer
02WRX to 04 STi to 98RS-EJ255
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Subaru's are lego's. I dont see any reason that you couldnt do the swap. You'll need the EJ255 engine, wiring harness, turbo crossmember, and ECU same as you would any other swap. Millenium Auto, a vendor on here, offers pretty decent deals for motor sets. Although, if you are having a shop do the swap, its gonna be tough to stay under 5k. The engine set alone is around 3k, and wiring usually costs about 800. Labor would be dependent on the shop.

As for a bolt on turbo, expect to spend around 1k to get the parts you'll need. I wouldn't recommend pushing anything more than wastegate pressure, if even that (TD04 is about 8psi) on a stock motor. You should expect to see about a 50HP gain. (I could be wrong here though, I'm no expert on turboing an N/A)


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply.

If they're like legos, is it possible to keep the short block and pistons and fit a DOHC and other needed things, and add a factory turbo to it? I'm not sure if that's even possible, but having a 2.5GT Outback would be perfect.

From what I've been reading, aftermarket FI could significantly shorten the life of the engine, so I'm a little weary. And NA tuning probably won't get me far enough...
 

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2003 Subaru Forester Black/Gra
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Dont waste your money on a brand new car and turbo it or mod it, you can get a wrx or sti that does the job, but if you got the money to make 2010 outback 6-speed with a STI swap that be awesome. They did it to s 2009 Forester and it was successful, but they expent about $40000-50000 on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I need a bigger car, so I'm set on getting an Outback, else I'd be getting a Legacy 2.5GT. My problem is that the manual only comes with 2.5i. I was just wondering what $5K in mods would accomplish...
 

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2005 Subaru Impreza RS 5MT
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Except that the outback isn't really an SUV, which is what you say you want in your first post. Why not get a turbo Forrester? I think they come with either a 5 or 6-speed.
 

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2000 Impreza 2.5RS BRP
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Just to clarify, the EJ253 is substantially different from the EJ255. Given the choice between turboing the stock EJ253 and swapping in an EJ255, I'd definitely do the EJ255 for closer to OEM reliability.
That said, to do that sort of work on a brand new Outback... I wouldn't do it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Except that the outback isn't really an SUV, which is what you say you want in your first post. Why not get a turbo Forrester? I think they come with either a 5 or 6-speed.
The Outback is actually bigger than the Forester, and was voted SUV of the year by Motor Trend. I also like the Outback's interior, which is identical to the Legacy.

The Forester XT has a standard 4speed auto, no manual available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just to clarify, the EJ253 is substantially different from the EJ255. Given the choice between turboing the stock EJ253 and swapping in an EJ255, I'd definitely do the EJ255 for closer to OEM reliability.
That said, to do that sort of work on a brand new Outback... I wouldn't do it :)
Thanks, this is what I needed to hear. It's a shame though, I really want a quicker manual Outback....
 

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2006 2.5i San Remo Red SC
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Just to clarify, the EJ253 is substantially different from the EJ255. Given the choice between turboing the stock EJ253 and swapping in an EJ255, I'd definitely do the EJ255 for closer to OEM reliability.
That said, to do that sort of work on a brand new Outback... I wouldn't do it :)
And on that take I disagree...minus the pistons and HD bearings for all model EJ's ,head gasket(I'm still stock boosted) and the open deck compared to a semi closed is about it..OP you've done your research so you can say that like you said is basically the same motor minus the deck...ARP headstuds and it'll hold 3X the stock studs that with cometic head gaskets and that EJ253 will gladly stay with an EJ253...while he's worrying about cooling and EJ's have that issue for some reason your engine is seeing cool temps...sure closed decking the motor is good for wall thickness..but he's look at 250 to the wheels..the set up I just explained with gladly and should gladly exceed 300 awhp.
 

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2001 D2 A8L
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holy back from the dead batman!
Hahahaha wow, such a bad idea to buy a brand new car and void the warranty like that. It would be wiser to buy the 3.6R and swap a manual tranny into it. Course don't think that would help the warranty either.
 

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2000 Impreza 2.5RS BRP
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And on that take I disagree...minus the pistons and HD bearings for all model EJ's ,head gasket(I'm still stock boosted) and the open deck compared to a semi closed is about it..OP you've done your research so you can say that like you said is basically the same motor minus the deck...ARP headstuds and it'll hold 3X the stock studs that with cometic head gaskets and that EJ253 will gladly stay with an EJ253...while he's worrying about cooling and EJ's have that issue for some reason your engine is seeing cool temps...sure closed decking the motor is good for wall thickness..but he's look at 250 to the wheels..the set up I just explained with gladly and should gladly exceed 300 awhp.
You wait over a year to disagree with me? Then you list everything that's different between an EJ253 and an EJ255 and say I'm wrong? :lol:
I'm not discounting the validity of turboing a stock EJ253, but please read the thread to get some context there.
 

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2006 2.5i San Remo Red SC
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honestly ididn't look at dates but did read your thread. If you've moved on then so be it..only issue with a 3.6R is harness pain in the ass.But fun mod on older RS's. again just in case some other bloke comes along and is having the same idea. LOL moost common is search the threads as an answer.
 

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Hey just wondering what you ended up doing? I have a 2012 outback and am starting to look into possibly swapping to a ej255 now that my headgaskets took a dump. If you did swap it could I get details?
 

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Just sell the car and get one that's turbo from the factory. It's so much less work and headaches. It's also pretty inexpenaive to just replace the gaskets
 

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If swapping end up being overly expensive or not possible then I will just get the heads redone. They didn't make a turbo'd outback in that year frame and I have done way too much to the one I have to wanna just dump it
 

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Getting the heads redone will 110% be cheaper, easiern and less headaches than swapping to a turbo engine. Its a lot easier to do on the older cars (this forum mainly caters to 93-01 cars with some 02-05 imprezas throwj in the mix.)

Anything in the car world is possible with enough money, time, and fabrication in that order.
 

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That is true. I know though that the jdm legacy gt wagon which is basicly an outback for the same year had a ej255 in it and I've seen videos with an auto Trans also so I feel like the question should be asked, just how hard could it be and what possibly would it entail really... I've done the hood and bump swap already on my outback but to possibly do an engine also and have a bit more power would be nice...
 

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You'd probably find a better audience on one of the forums that cater to CANBUS 2008+ cars, like Nasioc. I know people have for sure done it. Just watch out that you don't shock them because I know you're lightning enchanted.
 
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