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Gen 2 EJ22NA to EJ20TT conversion

Gen 2 twin turbo EJ20 EJ22 1996 Engine Conversion

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#1 zacsuby


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Posted 14 November 2016 - 08:03 PM

Hi all,

I have a Gen 2 1996 Liberty GX with an NA Ej22 engine and am considering a swap for the twin turbo EJ20. I believe there were gen 2 sedans and wagons released with the twin turbo ej20 so it shouldn't be too difficult to swap right? I was wondering if anyone has or knows of someone who has made the conversion and what the things to watch out for would be. 

I'm also wondering how difficult/if it is possible to use a manual gearbox from an ej20 wrx with the ej20TT engine and whether it is a bolt on to gen 2 liberty's or too hard to be worth it?

Any info is greatly appreciated!



#2 Barbbachello


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Posted 14 November 2016 - 08:39 PM

It depends how you define "difficult" to swap. I hate to say it but if you have to ask you probably aren't up to the task. At minimum a twin turbo swap would consist of an entire engine, cross member and wiring loom swap. To make matters worse the GX has a different radiator support compared to the turbo and RX models and as such the turbo radiator doesn't really fit (sits proud and hits the bonnet) 

Aside from all this the twin turbo system requires constant maintenance and will crap out for seemingly no reason requiring in depth diagnosing to fix. Im all for a backyard conversion but its not as simple as undoing some bolts and putting new stuff in.

As for your question yes you can use a WRX gearbox. Any gearbox designed for an EJ will bolt to any EJ car and engine. Make sure you get the matching rear diff. 

The next issue is cost; if your idea is that using a twin turbo cut would be cheap youre half right. Yes the cuts are cheaper than a WRX or STi halfcut but youre still looking at around 3000 + a major service + spare money for when (not if) things go wrong mid conversion. Also gen 2 cuts dont come up very often.

If you know how to remove your engine and associated wiring and supporting parts then go for it and post as many pictures as you can for us to gawk at :)


#3 Jimbo


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Posted 14 November 2016 - 09:21 PM

I think conversion are becoming a dying breed. Considering how cheap you can pick up factory turbo'd Subaru's for these days, a conversion seems hardly worth the time. As Nick has said too, TT's require a bit more loving and preventative maintenance to keep them happy. Unfortunately, TT's are only getting older and are at the least 14 years old now. 

Save your cash, sell your GX for as much as you can and enjoy something out-of-the-box.

If you have oodles of cash, space to do the conversion, all the equipment, a second car to daily, a few solid good weekends and some mates to help out, by all means do it.

To do a Gen2 conversion, I would budget about $5k including the half cut (if you can find one). There's always things that go wrong, things that break and things that go missing. You would want to do a major service (timing belt, water pump, idlers,seals and head gaskets) on your donor engine to make sure it doesn't have to come out again any time soon. You would need to budget a new clutch and flywheel machining, new exhaust to suit etc

The list goes on.


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#4 duncanm


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Posted 15 November 2016 - 05:04 AM



To the OP - sift through the forums here and read all the conversion threads - twice.


All your answers are there.

#5 93tzlegacy


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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:19 AM

all conversions should be done with a front cut, then you get every part you need ( some even come with good panels) and most reputable sellers will run it before you take it away, handy so if it RX / RS / GT BUT if you get a front cut you can un pick it and weld it in, its only takes a couple of hours but i would highly recommend getting a spot weld drill as it can drill through the spot weld only and leave the bottom skin intact which makes it tonnes easier to weld the replacement panel in. 

Benny's Custom Works supplying OEM new, aftermarket new and used parts at the best prices 

0415 522 512


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Gen 2, twin turbo, EJ20, EJ22, 1996, Engine, Conversion

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