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Discussion Starter #1
Time is drawing nearer to finalizing my decision on what overhaul to do to the little Impreza.

One recent problem is a new noise that is emmitting from somewhere on the drivers side of the cabin, but I bitched enough about that in the General Madness section. It just makes me second judge whether or not its worth modifying this thing.

I think I have decided to not go with the 2.5 engine transplant, just because of the torque issue it presents to the transmission. I have come to this decision not only because I now what I want from the car (reliability), but I also know what kind of driver I am, and I like having power down low, and if its given to me, I will use it, thus most likely kill my tranny soon afterwards. Not good.

So I thought about this following solution, please tell me what those of you with experience would recommend or advise me to change or continue on this plan:

Find another 1.8liter and/or tranny. Rebuild that 1.8 strong (there is an import shop in Madison that I found that could take on this project, they are currently fixing a 2.5Turbo right now that Cobb fucked up).

Once the new 1.8 is rebuilt strong, possibly out to 1.9 or 2.0L, have it swapped with the hi mileage 1.8 I have in there now, swap the tranny (most likely will have to rebuild tranny, and/or get new differentials and new clutch).

Then there are all the neccesary bolt ons, i.e. short shift kit is a neccessity, get new tyres, new brakes, possibly a rear sway bar (I hear the strut bars on the 1.8 base models dont do much anyway, but sway bars help significantly??). The car already has a superb suspension spring and strut kit that works beautifully. I would also like to do a general tune up on the car. Replace the CV axles. Replace plug wires, etc. These minor things are not so much of a concern to me as the major project of the engine is.

Is it common sensical in a $$$ and reliability sense to do what I am suggesting?

Just replace the 1.8 with a rebuilt one that would be stronger? Possibly add a small turbo and a top mounted intercooler (i know its $$$ and hassle, but still need to toy with the idea)

Just wanted to get last opinions before I fucked anythign up too bad, know what Im getting at?

And off to work we go,
-C.D.
 

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1993 FWD Impreza Racecar, 2002 WRX Donor car for the Racecar!
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You could also find a EJ22 for cheap... Ive seen them go for $500 or less

The EJ18 isnt much of an engine, even with a turbo...

And why are you worried about torque and the tranny???
 

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1997 Brighton 2.5
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I just bought a 1.8 Liter Impreza with 171,000 miles on it. Plan on replacing that engine with something, sometime. I suppose it will depend on when something comes along.

As far as the 2.5, and the torque issue, it's not like that thing is a torque monster. Decent, but not enought to go breaking tranny parts. From what I have always seen, people can get right near the 300 HP mark (torque following), before they start breaking gears. Of course, that's assuming you've replaced the clutch with something that isn't spinning.

The 2.5 takes some pretty good massaging to bring it near 300HP, I think you're safe.

Now, can anyone tell me if someone has figured aout a way to shoehorn the H6 under our hood? I thought it would have been done by now, somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From what my research concluded:

EJ22 is a weak engine, and on average does not withstand much modification (not that I am doing an extensive amount), but the 1.8 would be more reliable.

JSpecEJ20T swap is not only expensive, unneccessary for this daily driver, and not reliable in the way I would demand, but it is fucking expensive. Front clip alone would be more than I am spending on my proposed idea, not to mention the labor and the hassle.

And as for the 2.5, every single person I have talked to (here locally) who has either a 2.5NA or 2.5 turbo, has allready gone through a few gears. Its just a simple fact, the trannies CAN NOT withstand the torque the engine can give. This is UNNACCEPTABLE. Therefor cannot happen. Unless a way is figured out to keep the tranny in check. Then the 2.5turbo would be a beautiful match to this very light body base impreza.

If I was to have a performance clutch with a 2.5, the tranny would be shot. If i didnt have a performance clutch, id be slipping a bit. If i had a 1.8l engine rebuilt strong and bored out to 2.0 and added a turbo, it would be not too much torque, not too much HP, just the right amount.
 

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every single person I have talked to (here locally) who has either a 2.5NA or 2.5 turbo, has allready gone through a few gears
Talk to more people. If you're breaking gears in a 2.5 na, you're abusing shit. Talk to StiShawn in St Louis. He can tell you exactly how much abuse these things can take before things start breaking.

Anyway, if you don't believe that, and you are looking to use a "1.8l engine rebuilt strong and bored out to 2.0 and added a turbo", you're going to be to the same HP levels. A stoch 1.8 puts out 115 horse. 2.5 puts out 165. Don't you think you'll get 50 extra ponies (and remember, torque follows) out of a 10% overbore, and a turbo??? So maybe you anly get 150HP. You think that 15 HP is going to make or break your tranny?

Now, lets move onto cost...boring out, new pistons, turbo, all the plumbing there, new ecu, or piggy back (crappy) components, building stronger (rods? crank?), going to use an intercooler? Come on, now.

Why not buy a cheap used 2.5, drop it in? Proven reliable, and 165 HP. Always could add a turbo later, when have enough $$ to upgrade the tranny. Plus, you'll have a spare 1.8 liter you could put into a sandrail. Guess what I'm doing?
 

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Streetman said:
Talk to more people. If you're breaking gears in a 2.5 na, you're abusing shit.

...Why not buy a cheap used 2.5, drop it in? Proven reliable, and 165 HP. Always could add a turbo later, when have enough $$ to upgrade the tranny...
I agree, this is the best option.
Don't do clutch drops and it won't break.
 

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Caddy Daddy said:
From what my research concluded:

EJ22 is a weak engine, and on average does not withstand much modification (not that I am doing an extensive amount), but the 1.8 would be more reliable.
I know a guy up here with an EJ22T (turbo block) that is running ~22 psi with a turbo, and is running 11's. At 6,000 feet. So that would be 10's at sea level.

Completely stock internals.

I would have to completely disagree if you were referring to the EJ22T.
 

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I would have to completely disagree if you were referring to the EJ22T.
James, I agree. I've always heard that the 2.2 bottom end is stronger than the 2.5. Many swear by it. I'm sure it won't handle 400 HP with ease, but 250 is easy, and I'd even go as high as 300 from what I've heard. That's a lot out of that little thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Last night at the the thanksgiving dinner for MidWest chapter (thank you BTW!), I was able to talk to many folks about what to do in this situation.
Many suggested going to the idea of the 2.5 and 2.5 tranny and drivetrain. Not that this is a new idea, I started inquiring about the reliability of the transmissions when getting torqued. I think everyone there who ever had a 2.5 there had already gone through at least one transmission with it.
Then heres where the story breaks:
I asked them to define what kind of use constitutes the tranny to go out like that.
These crazy bastards, ;) , they are driving like madmen...and women. No wonder there transmissions are dying! They treated their 2.5RS worse than I treat my 130Kmile 1.8liter! I baby that thing compared to the shit they are doing with those 2.5s. So I figure, since I will still be driving the same (safety first), perhaps the wear on the tranny will be considered "normal"?
Somethings to ponder on...
Thank you all for your inputs so far--much obliged!
-C.D.
 

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I gotta side with the majority here (since I'm going that route). You will be fine with a 2.5. Those who've grenaded trannies with a stock or slightly modded N/A 2.5 had to be abusing them mercilessly.

Mine is on a skid enroute to me. Soon the 1.8 will be the thing of memory.:devil:
 

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I know a guy up here in my area who has a turbo'd 1.8L Impreza, and with all the work and money that went into turboing it, he's running about even with stock 2.5's. But with the smaller displacement, he doesn't have nearly the torque down low. And if you are running an NA 2.5, lightly modded, then abuse is going to be the only thing that breaks the tranny. I can handle up to around 250HP/TQ before you really start having to be carefull about the gears, so if you drop a 2.5 in there, lighty mod it (I have a CAI, K&N, and Stromung axle-back), you shouldn't have any problems. I've even rally-crossed mine a few times, and am still on the original gearset. I'd say go for the 2.5L if you plan to stay NA, or an EJ22T if you want to go turbo, I've never heard anything bad about that engine.
 

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I think everyone there who ever had a 2.5 there had already gone through at least one transmission with it.
Bullshit. I don't believe that for a second. Everyone? I wouldn't even believe 50%. Look at everyone else's comments. The opinion of most is that you can pull 250 HP safely. Many have done it.

Getcha a 2.5 already.
 

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My buddy Andrew still has his tranny on a turbo 2.5 engine.

Of course, he has the 4EAT, not that spindly 5-speed jobber. ;)
 

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I found a WRX tranny, reconditioned, for $1000. First, whatdaya think of the price? Second, is it any different than the one in the 2.5? What about the 97 1.8 liter. For some silly reason, I've got it in my head that they are all the same. Can that be true? Maybe it's just they're all interchangable.

What say you?
 

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Caddy Daddy said:
These crazy bastards, ;) , they are driving like madmen...and women. No wonder there transmissions are dying! They treated their 2.5RS worse than I treat my 130Kmile 1.8liter! I baby that thing compared to the shit they are doing with those 2.5s. So I figure, since I will still be driving the same (safety first), perhaps the wear on the tranny will be considered "normal"?
I would agree with the "normal wear" statement. Get some RedLine fluids all around, and it will take seasons of auto-x and wives learning to drive stick, ect. still on the original drivetrain and the only problem I have is a slight clutch shudder when it's cold. MRT exhaust, Ganzflo intake. There is plenty of free'd up torque after all that. Drivetrain takes it like a champ. ;)

That whole idea about boaring out the 1.8 and putting a turbo on it will definately make more torque and HP at the top end (just like a WRX engine, in my simple nuclear engineering mind) , thus tearing up trannies.

2.5's and their drivetrains may not like hard turbo use, but N/A day to day ops and a little fun on the weekends is what it's made for.

Just my $0.02,
Brett
 

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I used to know of a website that chronicled all the years, and what parts are interchangable. I can't find that link now, and don't know if it would even be up. Can anyone point me in thne right direction? I'd like to know which tranny I have in the ol' Brighton here.

Actually, I am thinking along the lines of losing the whole drivetrain, and using it for a sandrail, or some sort of road buggy. Not sure on how keep I am on doing the electrical work on any new engine though.
 
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