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Updated on May 06, 2012
Ok, we knew this day was coming. The trans finally went bad. The 4 speed trans that these cars came with were bad design and tend to have problems similar to mine. They would often strip out 3rd or reverse or get jammed and had very weak syncros and tended to grind when shifting. True it still lasted about 23 years but did only have about 138,000 miles. So after months of gear grinding and getting stuck in 4th from time to time it finally jammed in 3rd for good. So time for a new and better trans. At least using 4 low I was able to get going, then shift back to high. I only was a mile from my shop atleast and made it back.
Theres a few write-ups on for this so heres is some quick info I can add to putting a EA82 5 speed in an EA81 car.
The 5 speeds from the EA82 engines use a totally different linkage system, they dont have the slop of the 4 speeds and the syncros are much better, with no gear grinding when shifting. A very good upgrade option rather than finding a junk yard 4 speed that may or may not last for 6 months.
Used from original trans or car:
clutch cable(fit just fine on the 5 speed) speedometer cable(screws in with no problem to the 5 speed) trans mounts (new mount to trans adapter needed though) flywheel bolts cross member
Parts used from EA82 car:
trans flywheel clutch assy(disk,pressure plate, T/O bearing, pilot bearing) shifter assy( 4 wheel drive and gear shifter) plastic console and front mounting bracket driveline
Total time about 3-4 days working on it a few hours a day. Next time would be about a day less or more, now I know what I need to make / change.
First thing you find, the EA82 flywheel uses larger(in diameter) bolts. Some people say they have had no problem just using the smaller bolts, but I would would be worried it could eventually work loose from having side to side clearance, You can use a very thin steel sleeve maybe but I found if you thread a 8mm helicoil onto the bolt it fills the space perfect. I had to slightly grind down the helicoil but then you get a nice snug fit into the EA82 flywheel.
You can see the new flywheel hits the belhousing atthe bottom corners. You just need to cut off about 1/4 inch and remove the steel inspection cover.
That only takes about 30 seconds. Then once you have some clearance bolt the flywheel up.
Next thing, easiest way to mount the trans is to use the EA81 trans mounts with the original cross member. The EA82 mounts are beter but they are at a 45 degree angle and would take lots more work to make them fit. The EA81 mounts dont wont fit quite right so you need to cut them apart, weld the ears to a plate and drill it out to fit the trans.
Next the shifter base needs to bolt to the car but theres nothing there. Cut a little plate, bolt it to the trans tunnel and then the shifter can be bolted onto it.
Now you need to make a center driveline bearing mount. I just bolted it to some steel that was bolted to the floor. I put the bolts into a steel plate under the seats for extra support. If I just drilled though the floor and bolted it in it could bend the floor over time.
Now the old exhaust hanger is just left hanging, but a trans mount off the EA82 seems to fit just fine, so I welded it to the exhaust.
Now I have a 5 speed dual range brat.
2 Week update:
I had an occasional rattle from something hitting the floor board. I found this mounting hole on the back of the trans is to close to the tunnel.
All I had to do was use a weighted impacting device and deliver successive impacts to the area nearest the mounting boss ( hit the floor with a hammer). So you might check your clearance when putting your trans.
I had now made a short(or sport) shifter. You only have to move the shifter about 1/2 as far as before. It feels alot better, similar to my WRX i use to have.
All I did was cut out about 2 1/4 inches of the middle of the shifter (top arrow) and weld it back together. Then cut the bracket from the shifter(bottom arrow) and move it up about 1 inch and weld it back on. The further the bracket from the pivot point the less the shifter will need to be moved for each gear.
So now the shifter sits a little lower and feels much better.
You can see the difference from the other picture showing the shifter.
Ive driven lots of EA82 cars and I know how much better they shift than the old sloppy gear grinding 4 speed and this one was no exception. The 5 speed donor car had about 155,000 miles on it and the trans still shifts perfect.
Another option I would look at if I did another swap, cut the whole trans tunnel from the donor car and weld or bolt it in the EA81 car. That would solve the shifter mount and center driveline mount at the same time.
I have now (as of Oct 2008) driven it 15,000 miles after the 5 speed swap. No problems or noises with the swap or anything else. It still runs right along with the 110 miles a day I drive.
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are you interested in selling this at all???
Hey nice Subie!! You should check out MySubie.com. It's a new Subaru social network w/ tools to help enthusiasts find parts, reviews, mods, pics, events, and more. Let me know what you think.
fair play mate i need the five speed box, i love it, check my brat!
Hey Chris- I love stories of rescuing cars from the yard, great job and I admire your handiwork. Cheers!
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