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JDM 2000 BH5 Legacy GTB 4EAT to MT swap. Please help, I’m so lost.


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Hello all. First off, this is my first post on LegacyGT, so if I’m doing this wrong please forgive me.


As the title says, I have a JDM 2000 Legacy GTB E-Tune (BH5) with the 4-speed automatic that has the “semi auto” shift buttons on the wheel. I’ve had the car for roughly 18 months, and I love it. It’s my first “nice” car (aka not a beater), and my first turbo car. I bought the car with about 85k km, it has just over 104k km, and for the most part looks like new.


Over the last several weeks, I’ve noticed an increasing “clunk” when shifting into reverse. It doesn’t do it all the time, sometimes it clunks when I shift into reverse after being parked, sometimes it clunks when I shift into reverse while driving. More recently, within roughly the last week, I’ve noticed the clunk randomly happening when the transmission downshifts from 4th to 3rd. Again, this doesn’t happen all the time, it tends to happen when I’m braking down hill, and the transmission downshifts to 3rd around 70ish km/h. I can also replicate the clunk by putting the transmission in “manual mode”, and downshifting from 4th to 3rd, or 3rd to 2nd. Again, it doesn’t clunk every single time, but it does it randomly.


So here’s my questions and dilemma….


First, is this a known issue with these transmissions, and is it a relatively simple fix? The car had a transmission flush about 2 years ago, roughly 20-25k kms ago.


Second, and this is my bigger issue…as of right now, I would like to keep the car long term, and slowly work on building it. As such, I have a really hard time justifying spending money to fix the 4EAT transmission when my goal is to swap it for a manual. I know my two options are either a 5MT with upgraded gearing, or a 6MT from an STi.


But that’s about as much as I’ve been able to figure out before being overwhelmed with jargon and things I’m not familiar with. I do most of my own maintenance, I’ve pulled a 2.5 motor and done head gaskets on an old Impreza I had, but I’ve never done any kind of swap before.


1. Will a USDM manual, either 5 or 6 speed, work in my JDM car? Or do I have to source a manual transmission from Japan?


2. What model years are options in terms of donor cars? Both for either a 5MT, or a 6MT.


3. Ideally, I would be interested in buying a rebuilt transmission. I live in BC Canada, are there any companies that sell rebuild Subaru MTs? Or more specifically, would rebuild a 5MT with heavier duty gears (I’ve read the stock

5MTs are a bit like glass). I’ve read that there are some shops in the US that do this…is it reasonable to buy a rebuilt transmission in the US and ship it to Canada?


4. What other parts am I looking at requiring? A clutch and associated parts of course, but do I need a new rear end as well? New drive shaft? New rear axels?


5. And lastly, money. Roughly what am I looking at paying for all the required parts, if I do the work myself? Roughly what would it cost to pay a shop to do this job? Are there any reputable shops in western Canada that would do this job?


Sorry for such an open ended question that I’m sure has been asked and answered several times. Like I said, I’m a bit overwhelmed with everything at this point, but I’m really stressing about what to do with my car. It’s not my daily driver (I have a company work van), but it is my only personal vehicle, and I can’t really afford to buy something new (or if I do, it’ll be another beater).


Thanks in advance for any help. Additionally, if there’s any threads or guides on this forum that would help me or point me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate any links. Cheers


Edit: link to where I asked the same thing in the Gen 3 section of the forum.




Not sure if I should be posting the same thing in two locations. I’m new, still trying to figure things out on this forum.

Edited by Twitch_6
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Have you checked the U joints for play. Sounds like the clunking noise that happens when the U joints on the driveshaft go bad.


Get under the car and try to rotate the Propeller shaft back and forth near the joints.


Years back, I felt vibration under my right elbow while driving when I rested the elbow on the center consul. Turned out my carrier bearing had lots of play.


Last summer while the tranny was out, noticed the OEM propeller shaft (45,000miles on it) had a notchy rear joint. You could feel it by moving it by hand.


The car now has a shaft from The Driveshaft Store.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.


Engine Build - Click Here

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There are usually multiple manual BH5s for sale in BC and Alberta so I can't imagine incurring the cost to swap the transmission. Just buy a different car. Try to get a Rev D, and get it tuned for the fuel in the area you live (lower mainland, interior etc.) There is a company that sells e-tunes specific to these cars and BC or Alberta gas.


If you are really dead set on the swap, there are threads on other sites that have pretty complete rundowns, but the wiring/electronics are not for a beginner.

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