Engine Swap FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions we get. If your question is not here, please feel free to call us or email us. 

Q: Is the transmission included?
A: No. The prices listed are for the engine only. 

Q: Will my transmission hold up to the new power?
A: Depends! The 2.5 RS tranny is no different to the WRX transmission in how it’s built. The gears are the same size and material. There are a couple of differences though. The WRX uses a pull type clutch that holds power more effectively (no slipping clutch) with a lighter pedal feel. This is why a clutch upgrade is needed when swapping your engine for a more powerful one. The other difference is the gear ratios. The shorter gearing of the RS is much more suited to a turbo power band. The 2 liter turbo engine can get to boost much faster with the shorter gears. The Japanese WRX has gears much closer to the RS than the American WRX. We believe that the high gears were used here on the WRX to meet fuel economy requirements.
When installing an STi engine into an RS, it is extremely important to be gentle to your transmission. The STi engine has lots of torque that can potentially damage your transmission. We have performed many swaps that kept the 5 speed transmission and they are running strong. If you have an Impreza L, it is recommended to upgrade your transmission to a WRX, RS or STi transmission. 

Q: How do I “be gentle” to my transmission? This doesn’t sound fun….
A: It is best to answer this question by first explaining why the Subaru 5 speed fails. The 5 speed has a weak clam shell casing design. This allows the gears to spread apart from each other under heavy load. On rare occasion, this alone is enough for the gears to shred the teeth. Usually, it is the weak aluminum shift forks that break when the driver gets excited (or retarded) and yanks the shifter back to force the gear change. To keep your tranny alive, simply let the gear change happen instead of forcing it. You can feel the shifter pull the gears out of engagement. Further through the gear change is neutral and then you can feel resistance again as you are about to push the gears into engagement again. This is where you slow down and let the syncros do their job. The job of the syncro is to get the gears moving at the same speed so that they can be engaged smoothly. If you give the syncro time to work, your transmission will last a long time with no problems.

Q: What clutch should I get?
A: ACT. We love this clutch. The only issue with this clutch is availability. Sometimes they can be hard to come by. We charge $400 for this clutch. The Exedy RS clutch is not good enough to hold turbo power.

Q: What’s included?
A: We include the motor and it’s associated parts, crossmember, fuel pump, wiring and ecu. We do not include the transmission, clutch or exhaust. 

Q: How long does it take?
A: Normal turn around time is two weeks. This is assuming all goes smoothly and that your parts are in stock and functional. Many times sensors will be broken, inlet tubes are damaged and other roadblocks happen. Out of state cars take longer. For obvious reasons, we want to be able to test the reliability of the swap for at least a week. Please, don’t call us 10 times a day for status reports. This process takes concentration and interruptions lead to mistakes that take us even longer to fix. If we run into an issue, we will inform you.

Q: What happens to my original engine?
A: Your engine becomes Garage Tuning property and finds a happy new home in a sandrail. If you would like to keep your engine, there is a $500 core charge. The value of your old engine has been figured into the price of your swap.