which is the right donor car?

Are you one of those confused people who can't make up their mind?
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smythdlag
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 8:16 pm

which is the right donor car?

Post by smythdlag » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:02 am

I want to put Subaru(Frankenmotor) power in my 72 super beetle but the donor cars are not plentiful, for cheap.
Which car should I be looking for?
Which cars should I avoid?
I originally was looking for a 90-94 Legacy for OBD1 but it seems an OBD11 might be better nowadays.
Is any car with ej22 a good starting point?
Should I start with a 2.5 car and just buy 2.2 heads or get a 2.2 car and find a 2.5 short block?
Might it be ultimately cheaper to have this motor built and set up with aftermarket ecu and harness? Who can do this?

Wow, I thought I had some of this figured out but crap I got a lot of questions..
Any and all help is appreciated.
1972 super beetle
2012 JKU

How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time.

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billz60vw
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:46 am
Location: portland or

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by billz60vw » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:33 pm

When I started my swap I bought a wrecked 99 forester from copart.com for a few hundred bucks.you don't need a license and they are everywhere.! Check it out.the size and yrs is up to you.they will all fit but sohc is easier. Also how much of this are you going to do yourself or are you going to pay someone? You can run stock ecu or aftermarket like megasquirt.

smythdlag
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by smythdlag » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:39 pm

Thanks for the lead with copart.com. I am under the impression that only the 2.2 sohc or frankenmotor fits without cutting. True? I plan on doing everything myself. I am leaning towards a factory ecu because megasquirt and haltech are really expensive. Any other advice would be appreciated.
1972 super beetle
2012 JKU

How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time.

User avatar
billz60vw
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:46 am
Location: portland or

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by billz60vw » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:22 pm

They will all fit just the dohc will require some extra cutting.as far as ecu it depends what you want something stock or if your like me megasquirt controls sequential ignition and injection oil cooler fan, air/water x changer pump and fan, electronic boost controller , turbo anti lag, oil temp, oil pressure, fuel pressure, egt , launch control etc.etc.....
https://youtu.be/xyeSriGyufY

smythdlag
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by smythdlag » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:27 pm

Thanks and nice driver, looks like a lot of fun!
Here's my plan:
Acquire a 97-99 2.2 donor car, running and driving.
Drive it for a month or two while I get the rest of the known parts
Strip donor car sell carcass to salvage yard
Start the swap with engine fitment
Kafer brace
Plumbing, cooling and fuel
Electrical including wiring harness, computer(stock ecu), and integration with the rest of the car
Intake
Exhaust
Oil pan
Attempt to start/Gremlins
A/C
After the car is running and driving, hopefully a few months then build and install Frankenmotor
1972 super beetle
2012 JKU

How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time.

User avatar
billz60vw
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:46 am
Location: portland or

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by billz60vw » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:57 pm

Sounds like a good plan! The are alot of guys on here with experience on the stock ecu swap just need to ask.

smythdlag
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by smythdlag » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:49 pm

As it turns out the right donor car might be different for each project/person, for me the right one was a free one. A good friend remembered that a distant cousin had an old subi he was keeping alive during college. A phone called revealed that the 02 forester had an oil leak, check engine light, been sitting for 5 months and needed to be removed from the property. So a 12 hour trip up, 3 hour nap, 12 hours home and the aforementioned plan has changed. I will be fitting the ej25 to vw trans, running stock ecu. I've got a digital service manual with ecu pinout and wire diagrams.

1 What I need now is a list of everything I need to keep from the factory OBD2 harness. I've seen excellent coverage on the OBD1 but not OBD2.
2 For all OBD2 users are you running both O2 sensors and a CAT, or living with check engine light?

Thanks
http://s50.photobucket.com/user/smythdl ... sort=3&o=2
1972 super beetle
2012 JKU

How do you eat an elephant? 1 bite at a time.

modernbeat
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:13 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by modernbeat » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:59 am

Like Smythdlag said, it depends...

What it depends on is how you are going to tackle different parts of the swap?

Are you going with a Subagears converted transmission - then look for a manual.
Going with standalone ECM, then find a car that is compatible with the ECM you will use.
Want OBDII and cable driven throttle body, look at 1995-2004 (generally) models.
Want the early, easier to fit, non-interference 2.2L engine, look for a 1996 and earlier SOHC.
Want more torque, power, and electronic control, but no built-in alarm or CAN-bus, look for a 2005-2007 Forester or Impreza

There are a whole matrix of features and drawbacks. Telling us what you want will help narrow down the choice.

TLDR: if you are looking for the easy button swap for daily street driving with fewest hassles on building and maintaining in a Bug or other small car, I'd use a 1996 SOHC 2.2. For a Bus, the 2005-07 Forester or Impreza 2.5 with DBW.
Jason McDaniel

burls
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: which is the right donor car?

Post by burls » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:16 am

Definitely don't do an Outback or a model that has the hi/Lo range gearbox if you intend to use Subarugears. It can be done as l did it but l won't do it again
71 superbug Subaru Outback cross

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