Gen 3 – 2009 Outback Cranks, Won’t Start

Hi, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks reading posts here, but I’m still stuck.

My son has a 2009 Outback 2.5i, MT, about 180k. He has been living in it for about 6 months, in a different state than me. He is the fourth owner, and had it for about 45 thousand. We have a fairly comprehensive set of maintenance/repair data from its entire life.

He told me the mileage had gotten worse and sometimes it was hard to start. Then came CEL. Took it to Autozone, and they checked for codes and returned P0335, Crankshaft Sensor. He’s visiting, and there’s a great Subaru repair shop here, but they’re swamped. Shortly after it got here, the rough start became not starting at all (still crashing fine). I checked and found that replacing the sensor was simple. We bought one and replaced it. In the process, the wiring was pulled from the connector, but we got a new connector and the card post, explaining how to make sure which wire goes to which pin, got us out of the jam. It still wouldn’t start.

By this time, he was able to make an appointment with the mechanic and we had the car towed there. They told him the engine was bad and replaced it, but they still couldn’t start it. They said they checked the sensor and the wiring, and both were fine. They also checked that the timing belt was fine (which we expected, since it has about 60k on it). My son figured it out by saying that two of the plugs were turning on, and two were not. They say their next step would be to try replacing the ECU, but not sure if/where they can find one for this old model and didn’t seem too sure that would fix the problem.

I’m no automotive expert, but I’ve driven many cars over the past 45 years and done most of the work on them myself. Wondering if anyone here has any suggestions. I would very much prefer to get this car back in shape, but I am concerned that the time and cost may make this impossible.

I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions!
Thank you

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