How To Do a Subaru WRX Swap into a RS
Updated: Apr 30
In this blog post we go over some of the biggest challenges and mistakes people make when swapping a Subaru. A huge shout out to Bucky Lasek for letting us swap his car as well as his dope editing skills! The full weekend swap can be found on the Buck Yeah YouTube channel. Below we've time stamped a few pieces that we think are the most important to make sure your swap goes well. Click here for the Budget and Parts List.
1. Intro - Do's and Dont's for completing a swap. Watch the first five minutes of this video. You can also check out the iWire Blog for some more Do's and Dont's
2. Buying your engine. Before doing a swap you need to make sure you purchase a good engine. Watch this video to learn more.
Haven't purchased an engine and want some recommendations? Check out our "Easy" Subaru Swaps Blog
Already purchased an engine but not sure which one it is? Watch this Engine Guide Video.
3. Making sure engine is good to go. It's a lot easier to fix connectors, timing belts, hoses, etc. BEFORE the engine goes into the car. Watch this video for some basics of what to check.
4. Removing old engine. Once you've made sure your new engine is good to go and you have the parts ready for the swap, you have to remove the old engine.
5. Old engine pieces onto the new engine. Once you're removed the original engine there are a few pieces you need to take from it to put onto your new engine. These pieces include the alternator and AC compressor. Watch what is needed here:
6. Engine mounting. Once the new engine is prepped an important step is how the engine will actually mount in the chassis. Learn more about cross members, steering racks, steering knuckles, and steering columns here. More detail about crossmember options can be found here
7. Wiring. While you're doing the mechanical changes, you'll also have to make wiring changes so the new ECU talks to the chassis. Send the wiring to iWire to make your life simple. We suggest doing the wiring as soon as possible in the swap. You can make all of the mechanical changes while you wait for the harness to be completed and plug it in last.
8. Priming the engine. We suggest hooking up the minimal pieces needed to do a test fire of the new engine. That way if there are any issues, it's easier to fix and worst case remove the engine.
9. Final pieces. Once the engine is hooked up and good to go it's just about the final pieces like power steering lines, down pipe, O2 sensors, AC compressor and lines, radiator, and putting the interior back together. You'll also want to take the car on a careful test drive to make sure there are no issues.
If this post and our video series don't answer all of your swap questions, we recommend contacting a local shop or if you're going the DIY route utilizing online forums like NASIOC or RS25.