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Conversion Costs

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Site last updated on 15/08/08

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What does it cost to convert to Subaru Power?

  What converting to Subaru power costs depends on many factors. The main ones are:

  • What spec / age of engine you want to use. More power and newer engines cost more money!
  • How much work you do yourself. You can save a considerable amount of money by installing, or partly installing your conversion yourself.
  • Whether you pay for your conversion to be built as a ‘one off’, or buy ‘off the shelf’ components. One off fabrication and development is expensive due to the labour involved. Off the shelf components such as the majority of RJES components have already had the development done, and are designed to fit with the minimum effort - ‘bolt on’ wherever possible. They also tend to give a neater, more professional final installation due to being designed for the purpose, rather then made as a one off, and a better fit, as they are made in fixtures, etc. for accurate repeatability.

  The following is a guide to some of the costs. Note that all figures are a rough guide only though:


  By ‘engines’, this actually means everything you need from the donor Subaru. You can pay anything between zero and about 1500 for a Subaru engine.

0 - 300    For nothing, you may, if you’re lucky, be able to find someone who is scrapping an old, dead Subaru with an OK engine, who will give you the car if you take it away. This is obviously likely to be an old, high milage engine - probably something like a 2.2 from an early ‘90’s Legacy. It’s not uncommon for 150,000 mile engines to still be used for conversions though. If they’ve been looked after, they should still have plenty of life left. For between around 125 and 300 you are likely to get the same kind of engine from a breakers. Also check eBay. These are likely to look very tatty, but can be cleaned up to look nice!

250 - 1000    Mid price range engines are likely to be more modern units, with prices increasing with capacity, specification, and ‘newness’. Around 1000 will get you a very low milage, very high spec naturally aspirated engine, or maybe an older turbo engine. Be extra careful with turbo engines. Like all high performance cars, by the time they get old, and therefore cheap, they tend to find their way into the hands of less careful owners - i.e. thrashed by boy racers! Also, you may find older six cylinders such as the 3.3 SVX in this price range.

800 - 1500     Higher price range engines tend to be super low milage four cylinder naturally aspirated models, good turbo engines, or more recent six cylinders, such as the 3.0 H6 Legacy engine.

Over 1500    You’re looking at seriously powerful production (such as low milage WRX STi), tuned or racing engines for over 1500. There is no upper limit! You could easily spend 15000 on a race spec engine, for which you could probably get up to 1000 bhp.
   Note that 500 bhp is relatively easily (and ‘cheaply’) achieved by some of the US sand rail racers by turbo charging a low compression, but otherwise standard, EJ25 naturally aspirated Legacy engine.


Whole Installation:

   The following is an approximate guide to how much it is likely to cost to convert to Subaru power. They are based on the simplest installation - an early ‘90’s Legacy engine into a T25 / T3 / Vanagon. Obviously the costs will increase for mire complex installations:

Minimum Cost:
   If you obtain a very cheap engine, buy only the essential parts (such as a bellhousing kit), make everything which can be fabricated as one off’s yourself (engine mounts, exhaust, etc, etc), and use scrap yard parts wherever possible, it ought to be possible to install a Subaru engine in something like a watercooled T25 for under 1000, INCLUDING THE ENGINE. It will cost you a lot of time and effort as well though. This will obviously increase if you have to install radiators, etc.

 Typical ‘Self Installation’ Cost:
    If you were to buy all components available, for as much of a ‘bolt on’ installation as possible, from RJES, You would be looking at your engine cost (see above), plus about 1200 for all the conversion parts. This is very approximate, as what parts are needed depends on so many things. Total 1200 ish plus engine.

‘Drive Away’ Installation Costs: 
    As ‘Self Installation Costs’, plus about 2 days labour (approx. 300??) for someone to swap the engines and install all the conversion parts. Also add at least another couple of days labour if you want the installer to source all the parts required, and strip the donor car. Total about 1500 ish, plus engine.

 Inventors of the Subaru - VW conversion bell housing using Subaru flywheel, clutch and starter

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