Can I swap out my 2.5 engine in my 2009 Outback with a 2.5 engine from a 2012 Outback?

Asked by Jan 03, 2017 at 07:19 PM about the 2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Engine blew in my 2009 Outback and I've found
another engine of the same size from a 2012
Outback. Will this be a compatible swap or will I be
running into issues trying to do so?

18 Answers


Those would probably be different engines and the swap would probably be difficult. There was a transition in Outback models in 2009 so it would depend on what you have now. Run your VIN online to see what the engine was originally. What happened to the old engine? Head gaskets?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I think they are both EJ Series Phase 2 engines, so, I don't know why it couldn't be done. The new FB series engine didn't get introduced to the Subaru Outback until 2013. The only thing to be concerned about is the transmission, the 2009 had the older 4 speed electronic automatic transmission which would be the biggest challenge.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks to both of you. This provided me the answer I was looking for. They are both EJ2 engines. Not 100% sure what all exactly happened but I know I blew the head gaskets. I also heard some knocks and lost a significant amount of oil, so I'm thinking I've done some more damage but not entirely sure. To side on the cautionary end I've decided to swap the whole engine. My 09 Subaru has the CVT system in it, so with this, is it safe to assume the transmission mounts would be the same or am I just being wishful?


Jtsch- NO, I really don't think you have the CVT transmission.... How's that possible? The first CVT transmission was on the 2010 Subaru Outback Limited and only with the 2.5 FOUR. OKAY, how many miles are on your car? And, let me help you further, the 2010 was also the first year of the multi layered head gaskets. You can read more about them here,


The 2009 Subaru Outback was a very good year, see this,


Finally, please don't assume anything, that always gets people into trouble. Again, the Web site for the gaskets is here, please see,


Are you purchasing a new engine?? That should take you a long way, but, make sure that you have the new head gaskets.


Oy oy oy...all this babble. Strongly suggest that you chase a 2008-2009 2.5i and have the gaskets changed and heads cleaned and checked before installation. Then you'll be sure that ALL tranny, intake, and exhaust hookups, as well ECM management, will be easy and flawless. If you save your original stuff you should be able to go back to to 2006-2007 too. But exhausts et al changed in '08. BTW you probably ran out of oil via the passenger side HG and subsequently ruined the rod bearings. New gaskets on a good used one should get you the rest of the body's life, total expense in the $2.5k range. Just use good wrench and machine shop.


Jtsch- How many miles were on your car?? I assume that you check your oil regularly? Could something like this happen almost immediately without warning??? I'm sure that you would have noticed an oil leak in your driveway or something...


No, Grasshopper! The pass side HG 2.5i oil leak drips slowly onto the exhaust pipe and cat, usually causing a stink that someone notices BEFORE messing a driveway. Over time enough oil will seep out to result in starvation to the rod bearings and a catastrophe. Sometimes a driver will notice on-acceleration "rapping" for minutes-to-years, but the actual failure is quite abrupt. Please stop blaming owners on this one. Happy You Near.


The point is that the seepage burns off instead of soiling the ground, unlike the coolant HG failure.


OK, but, I'd still like to know what the mileage is on this car.


Jtsch- please understand that I'm NOT blaming you or anyone else on your car's engine failure, but, it would be helpful to know how often you checked and changed your oil, did you use synthetic oil and what the mileage was on the engine. Also, are you the original owner?! Unfortunately, there's some evidence that the 2009 model had its share of engine failures, see this below, otherwise good, d_through_oil_and_blew_up_engine.shtml


Grasshopper, please stop quoting coarse anecdotal data! 2006-2009 (and 2000-2005 for that matter) share the the same incident rate for engine failure, mostly consequent to cooling liquid (either oil or coolant) starvation. Rod breakage is simply a natural end result of a percentage of causal HG liquid loss events. This is old news by now, and has NOTHING to do with what poor Jtsch used for lubricants nor change intervals. It simply is NOT helpful to quiz him ad nauseum.


Ernie, knowing how many miles on this 2009 would be helpful. I'm thinking it's way past 100,000.


Sure, but it's actually NOT helpful, as it's not pertinent to the failure. A dry engine will throw a rod whether it has ten or a million miles on it.


I guess our original poster does NOT want to share this information. Too bad, I'm sure it was a LOT for a 2009. AND, you're assertion of a million miles is RIDICULOUS! Yes, I understand completely that it was a dry engine, but, a certain amount of wear and tear occurred and this contributed to an engine failure.


Nope...probably not. A well-engineered mototr running isothermally on good lubricants will run on its functioning plateau ad infinitum...somewhat like this thread!

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