View Full Version : '86 Subaru Leone engine swap ideas
26-05-02, 03:43 PM
My mate is thinking of buying his mothers '86 Subaru Leone, however it is going to need new lifters, water pump, timing chain/belt (?) replaced etc....
That will end up costing a fair bit so we were thinking about the posibility of doing an engine swap.
What motors will fit easily into these car?
Say if we picked up a written off WRX cheap, is it a huge (lots of custom fabrication etc) job to transplant it's engine and drivetrain under the Leone?
Any other ideas?
I thought it was supposed to be a big job, but at least one forum regular has looked into it and/or done it, and they reckon it ain't that bad.
There really aren't many other alternatives, though. You can't get a helluva lot of power out of the 1.8 turbo. One whacky idea, if you can get a cheap half-cut of a 2.7 n/a flat-six (out of Jap-model Vortex - Alcione?) that should theoretically fit 'cos a Vortex is just a Leone under the skin.
03-06-02, 05:54 PM
Depending on what you want, I'd actually just stick in an EA82T, which bolts directly in to the Leone (the same as an RX Turbo). These can be made to go fairly hard, and if you look hard enough you can find constant 4WD gearboxes for them.
If you want an absolute "blow almost every other car off the road" kind of thing, stick in a WRX's EJ20T and play with it.
It appears it isnt a MASSIVE job to get one into a Leone. (but not really simple either!)
Have a look at -
A few of the guys there have done the EJ20T swap, and there is a heap of info & photo's floating about on the messageboard.
The ER27 (?) is the 6 cylinder. I havent heard of anyone doing the swap in Australia, and I wouldnt really bother. It would be just as much fabrication as for the EJ20, with marginally more power than the EA82T. The hard part would be finding one - then working out how to make it fit, and then you run into the usual hassles with spare parts & stuff. Stick with one of the Aussie delivered engines. If you want to be really different, I think the twin-turbo EJ20's are under $3000 for a half cut....
03-06-02, 07:35 PM
Thanks for the info there damo. :)
Sounds like the EA82T is the go for sure.....I'll have a chat to brenno and see what he thinks. :D
04-06-02, 09:47 PM
I have done the EJ20 turbo swap into my Leone together with constant 4wd etc. The engine/witing part itself is very easy. The hardest part I came across was converting to 5 stud wheels to fit bigger rims. I ended up importing some XT6 (home of the ER27) front and rear hubs to do the job, rears bolted in fronts required machining - this did give bigger front brakes though but is a thorough pita. The swap requires a turbo Leone engine crossmember to which the EJ more or less bolts straight onto. The spare tyre carrier needs to be cut to allow the intercooler to fit. You need to use a impreza/liberty pedal box to suit a hydraulic clutch. To use the factory ecu you need to cut a heap out of the wiring loom, the factory service manual helps heaps with this.
The ER27 does not fit easily into the Leone since the XT6 front end is quite a bit different to the earlier Vortex which was identical to the Leone. To make one fit the radiator has to be located in front of the rad support panel and the engine mounts need to me modded to make the engine sit further back. The ER27 produces 115kw. The turbo EA82 makes 83kw but it has a turbo. The problem with the EA82 turbo is it is over ten years old and not many were around to start with. Once old they start to have issues with heads cracking in the exhaust port and headgaskets blowing (need copper ones ;)) The lowest spec EJ20 turbo makes 145kw in the Australian Liberty RS and this is about the limit of a worked EA82 turbo without becoming unreliable. The EJ20 is also more fuel efficient and reliable at higher power levels. And so to me made a sensible option after the engine in my Leone RX caught fire and destroyed its self. After having driven/owned a worked EA82 running 11psi boost and now driving a below factory EJ20 on 5psi boost I have vowed that I will never own an EA series engine again!!!
Sorry for the essay, just telling the story from someone who has done it! - oh yeah you need a 58mm shorter tailshaft.
04-06-02, 11:27 PM
Hmmm.....that presents a very tasty option! :D
Not knowing too much about the older subes myself....was your car FWD or AWD before the swap?
Does the EJ gearbox also bolt up easily?
05-06-02, 05:51 PM
My car was already 4wd but the conversion from fwd to 4wd is straight bolt in swap (basically whole rear suspension assembly)
The EJ gearbox requires shortened gear linkages (cut and shut)
and some crossmember modifications to make it bolt up, I welded a bracket onto the Leone gearbox crossmember but am going to have to change it to the liberty type as mine is a dodgy "get the car on the road" effort ;)
07-06-02, 09:22 AM
Might want to check the 4WD conversion thing.
When I built an RX from a Leone, we needed to put the Diff hanger things in. The studs that hang down from the chassis that the rear diff hanger bolts to.
Also needed to put the tailshaft centre bearing mount in.
Other than that, it's a straight bolt in :)
11-06-02, 09:32 PM
Hrmm.... maybe it was the MY series I was thinking of then ;)
So to rebody an L series it isn't just a matter of swapping the rear diff stuff then hey.....
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