Update to this post.
I scored at the pick-n-pull. I found a matching donor in a 2004 Outback. They actually started with this engine design in mid-2004 something I’m just starting to remember now. It was a PITA pulling the engine by myself in the middle of a junkyard but I managed not to die in the hot sun and got some good help loading it into my borrowed GMC Envoy by the good people who work there. (Harry’s U-Pull-It Hazleton, PA this place is fucking awesome). I had no idea of the condition of this motor, mileage, or anything and the fact that the car wasn’t wrecked gave me a little cause for concern (why else would it be in there?). At the end of the day it cost me $200. I also picked up a matching D/S fender since mine is a bit dented, and an a/c hose because the PO mangled the schrader valve.
Anyway since I’ve got it home I ran a carfax on the donor vehicle (BTW here’s something I discovered. Want cheap carfax reports? Check eBay. $5). Last reported mileage was 161k last month, where it seems it was traded into a nearby Subaru dealership, and then went up for auction soon afterwards. So there likely wasn’t anything wrong with the car mechanically other than being a rusty shitbox and unsellable. So I pushed the Subaru out of the garage and set up shop.
Overall I can’t find anything wrong with the engine aside from that the valve cover gaskets were leaking a bit. I stuck a borescope down the spark plug holes and see a nice crosshatch pattern on the cyl walls. The valvetrain is spotless, and it seems head gaskets were already done on it due to tool marks on the head bolts (wouldn’t surprise me). The intake ports and valves are incredibly clean, and I even cut open the oil filter and found absolutely nothing inside.
So all I’m going to do is change the valve cover gaskets, new timing belt, water pump, all the associated rolling things and send it. The only thing I have to transfer from the old engine is the coolant crossover pipe since it seems the coolant temp sensor is in a different location. That’s it, everything else is identical. Oh and I did transfer the spark plugs from the old engine because they were brand new NGK IR’s so that saved me a good $25. The above parts I’m not even going to really consider part of this project at least in terms of cost because it’s maintenance I would do even if I bought a non-blowed up Subaru.
So that’s where I’m at right now, waiting for that Rockauto box to show up at my door.