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Discussion Starter #1
I am having trouble finding it reasonably priced transmission for my 2013 outback, so I have started looking at some of the other years. It seems like 2014 is the closest to my transmission. Yes, I know that they are all the same model transmission, but it looks like there were little differences from year-to-year. The dealer and some indy Subaru specialists even warned me about using the CVT transmission out of a different model year Ouback.

Curiosity got the better of me, and today was a slow workday. So I printed out all of the sheets of part numbers for the 2014 and 2013 transmissions. Tonight after dinner, I spent an hour going through each one line by line to find where the differences exist. Dear Lord, this transmission is really making me insane!

There are few differences worth noting, but most were rather minor.

Anyway, I wrote all this stuff down so that I would remember it, but I thought I would paste it up here in case it helps someone having the same problem. Here is what I found.

Chain/Pulley Set
RETAINER

Part Number: 31552AA140
This part is listed on all of the chain/pulley sets in transmissions after 2014. No Subaru CVT in 2013 has it.
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2014_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/RETAINER/49241453/31552AA140.html

GEAR-REDUCTION DRIVE
Part Number: 31446AA650 (For MY 2013)
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2013_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/GEAR-REDUCTION-DRIVE/49241028/31446AA650.html

Part Number: 31446AA680 (For MY 2014)
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2014_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/GEAR-REDUCTION-DRIVE/49241030/31446AA680.html

PLATE-DISH
Part Number: 31668AA230
This part is listed on all of the chain/pulley sets in transmissions after 2014. No Subaru CVT in 2013 has it.
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2014_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/PLATE-DISH/49241845/31668AA230.html



Transmission Case
COVER-TRANS CASE

Part Number: 32198AA040
The 2013 transmission lists two different insulation covers for the transmissions. This one is not listed on 2014. Apparently it got superseded by 32198AA081
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2014_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/COVER-TRANS-CASE/49243153/32198AA081.html



Transmission Case Fittings
BOLT ASSEMBLY-SEAL

Part Number: 31325AA220
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2014_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/BOLT-ASSEMBLY-SEAL/49240651/31325AA220.html
This part was not on the 2013 transmissions. It’s a drain plug (fill plug?) on the top of the transmission case. In the previous year, they used 31325KA080.



AT Control Valve
STAY-TRANSMISSION HARNESS

Part Number: 24046AA260 (2012-2013)
24046AA290 ( 2013-2014)
This part looks like it is a mount for one of the transmission harness plugs. They changed the part between 2012-2014, and 2013 was the switchover year.
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2013_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/STAY-TRANSMISSION-HARNESS/49234129/24046AA260.html
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2013_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/STAY-TRANSMISSION-HARNESS/49234131/24046AA290.html


OIL STRAINER ASSEMBLY-TRANSMISSION
Part Number: 31728AA121 (2010-2013) or 31728AA141 (2013-2014)
These transmissions have two filters. This is the big flat one that sits inside the CVT oil pan. It looks like they used changed the filter during the 2013 model year.
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2013_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/OIL-STRAINER-ASSEMBLY-TRANSMISSION/49242226/31728AA121.html
https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru_2013_Outback-25L-CVT-Base/OIL-STRAINER-ASSEMBLY-TRANSMISSION/49242228/31728AA141.html



Transmission Control Unit
UNIT-AT CONTROL

Part Number: 30919AC620 (2013)
30919AD440 (2014)

This is the computer for the transmission. In 2014, they changed it to part number 30919AD440. I am not sure if these are coded to the ECU, so I’m not sure this would be moved during a swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Followup: I tried doing the same thing, comparing a 2013 Outback CVT to one of the 2015-17 CVTs. i went through about 5 groups of parts, and gave up. there were a lot of chancges to the TR580 between Gen4 and Gen5 Outbacks:

2015's computer is in a completely different location
2015 has a very different set of relays under the dash
2015 has an external AFT cooling system (jealous!)
2015 has a different set of part numbers for the chain pulleys
2015 has a different number for the transmission case
2015 has a different final drive ratio

This stuff raised enough red flags for me that i don't want to try swapping on into my 2013. Granted, if someone else here can tell us that they made it work in their car, I will gladly change my tune.
 

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Also in the same boat. 2014 CVT transmissions can be found for pretty reasonable prices (below $1500), 2013 on the other hand are in the $3k+ range.

Im very eager to know if these are easily interchangeable.
 

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SUCCESS! The 2014 trans bolted in and the electrically harnesses all plugged in perfectly. The original 2013 TCM and ECU didn't care what transmission was installed. There were no CEL's or mechanical hiccups and the car has been driving fine. I've only got about an hour of driving in at city and highway speeds. I'm sure it'll get better as the trans "relearns" through driving.

Maybe a swap to the new 2014 TCM might give better shifts and overall longevity but it's not necessary. I'm going to run it as is.
 

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Good update, happy it's working out!! Found doing a search that the 2013 and 2014 transmissions came up with a the same part number as far as replacement is concerned. I didn't dig deep enough to know for sure though.
 
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