Trace a VIN by engine serial #?

1999 Subaru Outback, 2.5L

I bought a used engine from a junkyard… er, I mean auto recycler. When it arrived, I found the serial numbers had been ground off. They have not provided a carfax, and without the VIN, I can’t get any data to verify mileage or history.

Is that typical? If so, why would a recycler do it? Is it legal?

With some patience and varied lighting, I was able to get the engine serial numbers. Is there any way to trace the VIN from these numbers? Subaru says “no,” but why would the engine have them if they weren’t matched to the VIN somewhere?

Thanks, TB

By Subaru, do you mean the Subaru dealer or SOA (Subaru of America) the parent company? The dealer will not know but I would think that SOA should be able to. The only problem with the latter is that they may just not want to expend the effort.

I don’t understand why they would grind the serial numbers off of an engine. It’s also possible the numbers were ground off by the vehicle’s previous owner.
Sometimes modifications are made during production runs and references in the future as to parts, etc. may be based on the VIN of the vehicle. If the part ordered was approrpriate for the VIN but did not fit the engine then I would think there would be a cross-reference for a situation like this.

JMHO, but the normal reason for grinding serial numbers off is usually an attempt to cover up a stolen item.